The Delusions Of Ross Douthat

Sully nails the folks who try to act like the GOP has ideas relevant to people who aren’t fundies, idiots or billionaires…which they don’t.

The Dish

TO GO WITH AFP STORY By Otto Bakano -- T

Ezra weighs in on Chait’s piece on Josh Barro and the plight of reformists on the right:

If you imagine a policy spectrum that that goes from 1-10 in which 1 is the most liberal policy, 10 is the most conservative policy, and 5 is that middle zone that used to hold both moderate Democrats and Republicans, the basic shape of American politics today is that the Obama administration can and will get Democrats to agree to anything ranging from 1 to 7.5 and Republicans will reject anything that’s not an 8, 9, or 10. The result, as I’ve written before, is that President Obama’s record makes him look like a moderate Republicans from the late-90s.

He is indeed a moderate Republican, which is why I’ve always liked his approach to governing and to policy. And that, of course, makes Ross Douthat nervous, because Ross is a smart…

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Gun Nut Uses Terrorism and Chemical Weapons in 2nd Amendment “Debate” with Mayor Bloomberg

NEW YORK – (AP) — Two threatening letters containing traces of the deadly poison ricin were sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and his gun-control group in Washington, police said.

The anonymous letters were opened in New York on Friday at the city’s mail facility in Manhattan and in Washington on Sunday at an office used by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit started by Bloomberg, police said Wednesday.

Chief New York Police spokesman Paul Browne said preliminary testing indicted the presence of ricin in both letters but that more testing would be done. He said the threats contained references to the debate on gun laws and an oily pinkish-orange substance.

And now you know why I call em nuts.

Idiot Aqua Buddha Rand Paul Blames Obama for what Bush Did….Again

On Monday, several news outlets highlighted comments that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made to the Iowa Republican Party earlier this month in which he mocked an Obamacare provision for being burdensome and silly. Paul ridiculed the health law for forcing doctors to use 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes for describing Americans’ injuries to the government, including for “injuries sustained from a turtle” and “walking into a lamppost.”

The new codes do, admittedly, exist. There’s just one problem with Paul’s claims — they were adopted by the George W. Bush administration, long before Obamacare was even being debated.

Paul is referring to the transition from the ICD-9 — the current system of medical code classifications that originated from the World Health Organization (WHO) — to the far more detailed ICD-10. That’s a change that was mandated by the Bush White House in its waning days and is reflective of changing international standards for coding care. Many countries have been using the updated codes for over a decade.

via Rand Paul Mocks Obamacare For ‘Turtle Bite’ Diagnostic Codes Ordered By The Bush Administration | ThinkProgress.

It was a petty and banal criticism anyway….and yet it still missed the mark.  For some reason I think it’s more his father’s influence (via those awesome newsletters he wrote during Rand’s formative years) than any reality that shapes Paul’s opinion of Obama.

That and his rampant ignorance about how government functions IRL.

NRA working to Recall Lawmakers who Voted Against Them

But in Colorado Springs, Morse opponents are piling up signatures in gun shops and outside libraries and grocery stores. The National Rifle Association sent a political mailer saying it was coordinating the recall effort with local groups, though the local recall petitioners have denied that. The NRA did not return calls for comment on their involvement in the Colorado Springs effort.

via Lawmakers facing recall bids over strict gun laws in Colorado | Fox News.

Note: This is the other side of the coin that has Republicans who voted to filibuster expanded background check legislation now claiming to actually support the notion.

The most notable example surrounds Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R-NH) vote against legislation to mandate background checks for firearm buyers at gun shows and online sales — which current law does not require. Ayotte was the only senator in the Northeast to vote against it.

But an ad released Monday by Sen. Marco Rubio praised Ayotte’s vote “to fix background checks.” An earlier spot by the National Rifle Association declared that Ayotte “voted for a bipartisan plan to make background checks more effective.”


In fact, Ayotte (and nearly every Republican senator) voted to block the Manchin-Toomey legislation to expand background checks.

So…Anyone Ever See Replicators on Star Trek? Ever consider the societal implications of such things existing?

New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione today issued a warning on the potential for 3D printed guns to be used in serious crimes in the state.

The NSW Police revealed that the force has created and tested two 3D-printed firearms. The police used the Liberator pistol blueprints produced by US-firm Defense Distributed. The original plans for the gun were downloaded more than 100,000 times before the company pulled them from its site under pressure from the US State Department.

Police believe that despite this, the files are still circulating.

via NSW Police issues warning on 3D printed guns – 3d printing – Security – Techworld.

Not only are the files circulating, they are being improved.  So are the tools used to replicate items.  So are the people designing both the tools to replicate and the designs used to replicate.

21st Century people…time to re-think how we deal with certain things like laws and city-states.  ITAR ain’t going to cut it anymore.

Rush Limbaugh Says Stupid Things, Free Market Responds

Rush Limbaugh: Obama Won’t Be Impeached Because He’s Black | The Everlasting GOP Stoppers.

You can read the link if you are really curious about how he’s race-baiting today.  I’m more interested in this story, which makes it clear where the last bastion of support for this lump o’ crap comes from.

After the news that 48 of Cumulus Media’s top 50 advertisers have requested that their ads no longer appear on Limbaugh’s show, the other shoe dropped. Media Matters reported that, “Rush Limbaugh’s syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, is the single largest independent contractor to the Heritage Foundation according to their latest 990 filing with the IRS, receiving $2,236,555 from the think tank. With advertisers fleeing his show, and as a result radio companies suffering major losses, the fiscal sponsorship of the conservative movement is now fiscally critical…Without wingnut welfare, which has also included sponsorships from FreedomWorks, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s shows would not be financially viable.”

Of course, we all know that the second he’s gone, a number of derpers will jump up to take his place at the head of the table.

Which, I think they’ll find, is not nearly as populated as it was back when Rush was a hungry young nut.

The Real Democracy Problem behind the IRS flip-flap

Today, politics is a rich man’s game. Look no further than the 2012 elections and that season’s biggest donor, 79-year-old casino mogul  Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife, Miriam, shocked the political class by first  giving $16.5 million in an effort to make Newt Gingrich the Republican presidential nominee. Once Gingrich exited the race, the Adelsons invested  more than $30 million in electing Mitt Romney. They donated millions more to support GOP candidates running for the House and Senate, to  block a pro-union measure in Michigan, and to  bankroll the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative stalwarts (which waged their own campaigns mostly to helpRepublican candidates for Congress). All told, the Adelsons donated $94 million during the 2012 cycle — nearly four times  the previous record set by liberal financier George Soros. And that’s only the money we know about. When you add in  so-called dark money, one estimate puts their total giving at closer to $150 million.

via Billionaires Now Own American Politics | Alternet.

Ted Cruz makes proposal to End Domestic IT Industry

Quick update on two topics I’ve been posting about recently…what a d-bag Ted Cruz is, and how d-bags are trying to use Immigration Reform to destroy the domestic IT industry*. Those two themes came together yesterday in a jarring display of douche-baggery.

“A number of Tuesday’s amendments were H-1B related, including one from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), which sought to raise the H-1B cap to 325,000.”I think high-tech immigrants are an unambiguous good for our economy and our country,” said Cruz.Cruz called the immigration’s bill plan to raise the cap to as high as 180,000, “a half measure.” The amendment had little support and failed. The longer discussion was around Grassley’s “good faith” amendment.”

This should be still be quite alarming…as the current “compromise” of 180,000/yr is still a 300% increase, and is just enough foreign workers to cover all the new jobs (expected to be about 120,000/yr for the next decade or so). Leaving pretty much none for Americans who did the “right thing” and got a STEM degree in college…only to graduate and realize they are competing for jobs with 1,000,000 foreign workers who don’t have any student loan debt.

* Currently the limit is 65,000/yr, and as such, foreign workers make up 25-40% of IT staff. If you increase that limit to 300,000/yr, there will be no market for domestic IT workers, as all the new jobs expected to be created over the next decade will be filled by this hugely increased pool. Wages will also plummet, as is obvious to anyone who knows what happens to price (wages) when supply is increased by 500%.

The Real Problems With Psychiatry

This guy, I like.  A new DSM is coming out defining mental diseases.  One thing that still lacks a definition; “mental disease.”

What are the important changes made in the new DSM, and how will they affect patients?

It’s going to cause a lot of trouble when Asperger’s Syndrome disappears. It may cause some trouble when the bereavement exclusion disappears. That’s a good example of why the APA’s going to be in trouble. It was so unnecessary, so stupid. They’ve made the absurd statement that they know the difference, two weeks after someone’s wife dies, whether that person is “depressed,” or just “in mourning.” Come on! Who are these guys?

Lots of examples and explanations on this pseudo and how it *could* one day become real science.

Snide Remarks – Truth Decay

Not me. I will not be bullied into silence simply because what I’m saying is nonsense.

I oppose fluoridation because it is too risky. More than two-thirds of the country already does it, and it’s been going on for more than half a century, and doctors and scientists have actual data showing that it helps improve oral health in the communities that have it.

In other words, the jury is still out.

What if the health risks of adding a microscopic amount of fluoride to drinking water don’t manifest themselves until the SECOND half-century of doing it? What if the only people able to recognize the damage it does aren’t doctors and scientists but conspiracy theorists and people on Facebook?

Nailed that one there.

Fortune 500 profits near record. Socialist to Blame

NEW YORK: The 500 largest US companies scored near-record profits last year and retailer Wal-Mart replaced ExxonMobil as the biggest revenue maker on the annual list, Fortune magazine said Monday.

Apple cracked into the top 10 companies for the first time, vaulting into sixth place from the prior year’s number 17 slot.

The combined earnings of the Fortune 500 came in at $820 billion in 2012, slipping from the all-time high of $824.5 billion in 2011.

Missed it by a “small fortune”.

I am terribly curious to see how the whole 3D printing tech can shake things up.  Printing your own little thing is a lot cooler and cheaper than having it shipped halfway around the whole.

The Solar Power Company Fox News Won’t Mention

The U.S. solar company posted a net profit of $59.1 million, or 66 cents per share, for the first quarter. This compares with a loss of $449.4 million, or $5.20 per share, in the year-ago period, which included $444 million in restructuring charges and costs in excess of normal warranty.

Excluding items, First Solar earned 69 cents a share, below the 75 cents expected on average by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.Revenue rose 52 percent to $755.2 million, above Wall Street expectations of $725.3 million.

via First Solar posts profit, backs 2013 view | Reuters.

I’m pretty sure Fox (and by their nature, Republicans) only think one solar company ever existed or got government help in the history of the country.   Pointed out that others both and exist and are doing o.k. makes minds melt, and is therefore considered some kind of lie.