This snippet perfectly encapsulates something I’ve been thinking lately:

But I still can’t figure out why in the world Republicans expect the president of the United States not [be able] to do his job and handle more than one thing at a time.

And then I realized why.

It’s because for eight years they so-willingly, so-blindly buried themselves following the “leadership” of George Bush that they have completely forgotten reality and convinced themselves that a president is only able to handle one thing at a time. If that.

Seeing a president actually do his job has become incomprehensible to Republicans. But then, seeing a president able to simply walk and chew gum at the same time has seemingly become an impossible, alien concept to them.

Think about it. We were stuck with a bumbling, mentally challenged five-year-old in the White House for the past eight years.

How could we NOT get used to the idea that our President is incapable of thinking about more than one issue at a time?

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My favorite quote of the week:

Do you think homosexuality is a choice?

Oh, no. I don’t think I’ve ever really subscribed to that view, that you can turn it on and off like a water tap. Um, you know, I think that there’s a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can’t simply say, oh, like, “Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being gay.” It’s like saying, “Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being black.”

That’s the chairman of the Republican Party, by the way. I’m sure he’ll be tarred and feathered for it soon enough.

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Take a moment and think to yourself how CNBC and the other financial talking-head networks refer to The Market. Does it ever remind you of how priests talk about God or witchdoctors about the Angry Fire Spirit?

There’s a great new article in Time that makes exactly this point:

CNBC looks at everything, particularly politics, in terms of how it will affect “the Market.” The commentators on CNBC murmur about the Market as if it were the Island on Lost: a mystic force that must be placated, lest it become angry and punish us. “The Market doesn’t like …” “What the Market wants to see is …”

And, oooh, is the Market cranky at Obama! The Market doesn’t like raising taxes on the wealthy (even if Buffett does). The Market doesn’t like government health-care reform or cap-and-trade environmental policy or big budgets or limiting bonuses at bailed-out banks. And don’t get the Market started on bank nationalization. That ticks the Market off!

Update: Reader friar_zero points us to a great article in the Atlantic along these same lines:

The lexicon of The Wall Street Journal and the business sections of Time and Newsweek turned out to bear a striking resemblance to Genesis, the Epistle to the Romans, and Saint Augustine’s City of God. Behind descriptions of market reforms, monetary policy, and the convolutions of the Dow, I gradually made out the pieces of a grand narrative about the inner meaning of human history, why things had gone wrong, and how to put them right. Theologians call these myths of origin, legends of the fall, and doctrines of sin and redemption. But here they were again, and in only thin disguise: chronicles about the creation of wealth, the seductive temptations of statism, captivity to faceless economic cycles, and, ultimately, salvation through the advent of free markets, with a small dose of ascetic belt tightening along the way, especially for the East Asian economies.

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Can someone please remind me again why didn’t we just let the South secede?

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday became the first governor to reject some of his state’s share of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus money, spurning $700 million that he said would harm his state’s residents in the long run.

Sanford, a Republican who served in Congress in the 1990s, made his announcement at three sites across South Carolina in a daylong flight tour that fed speculation that he’s eyeing a 2012 presidential run.

To put this in context:

Sanford’s announcement came the same day as new unemployment data showed the state with the nation’s second-highest jobless rate, at 10.4 percent…

South Carolina has the fastest growing unemployment rate in the country, and economists do not see an end to the cycle of job losses spreading across the state.

Between January 2008 and January 2009, the state’s unemployment rate increased 4.7 percentage points, which was the largest jobless rate increase in the country, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I just can’t begin to describe how supremely heartless, reckless, irresponsible and stupid this is.

This shameful, feckless southern ideologue is all too happy to ignore the suffering of the citizens of his state in order to burnish his conservative credentials in the eyes of Rush Limbaugh for a 2012 run for the Presidency.

I will never understand how I used to find the Republican party anything but hateful, intellectually bankrupt, fear-obsessed and nausea-inducing.

Update: Gov. Sanford compared the stimulus bill to Robert Mugabe’s insane handling of Zimbabwe:

“What you’re doing is buying into the notion that if we just print some more money that we don’t have and send it to different states, we’ll create jobs,” he said. “If that’s the case, why isn’t Zimbabwe a rich place?… Cause they’re printing money they don’t have and sending it around to their different – I don’t know the towns in Zimbabwe but that same logic is being applied there with little effect.”

The intellectual aptitude of these people is truly staggering.

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I just finished watching John Stewart bust out the most metaphysically earth-shattering can of nuclear-weapons-grade whoop-ass on CNBC’s Jim Cramer imaginable.

I really don’t think I could have wished for a more satisfying 30 minutes — Cramer looked like an assassin who failed in his objective cowering before Dr. Evil.

The government needs to legally mandate that this episode be played in every business school finance class and before the daily opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

I need a cigarette.

One of my favorite salvos from John Stewart’s overflowing arsenal of pain:

I understand you want to make finance entertaining — but it’s not a fucking game.

Go here to watch the video.

Update: Here’s the AP’s take:

Jon Stewart hammered Jim Cramer and his network, CNBC, in their anticipated face-off on “The Daily Show,” repeatedly chastising the “Mad Money” host for putting entertainment above journalism.

It was perhaps the hardest lashing Stewart has given to a TV commentator since 2004 when he called Tucker Carlson and his then co-host Paul Begala “partisan hacks” on CNN’s “Crossfire,” the since canceled political commentary program.

Update 2: Here’s another blogger’s reaction:

Jim Cramer is close to tears, and there are a few minutes left. It’s an absolute breathtaking interview, and deserves to earn the show a Pulitzer, another Peabody, another Emmy, and maybe a Polk for good measure.

I am utterly in awe. This is a magnificent display, a late-night funnyman systematically and devastatingly taking apart one of the biggest faces of CNBC, and in doing so undermining everything about economic reporting and the market as a whole.

Update 3: And for the last word for tonight, Balloon Juice sums up the interview thusly:

Jon Stewart in brief: people like Jim Cramer sell stock trading as a clever game, knowing full well that small investors like his viewers will get creamed if they follow his manic trade-every-day advice. His network works like a cheap PR firm for the major criminals of the mortgage investment bubble and bears all the more guilt because most people in it saw through the happy bullshit they sold to the rubes.

Cramer responds: Every time I met one of my good friend CEOs he told me everything was fine! Now that a truck-squashed rattlesnake can tell who the criminals are I make useless noises of disapproval on my show. What else could I do?

Earlier: CNBC: The High Priests of the Cult of The Market; John Stewart Demolishes Santelli and CNBC

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The hits just keep on coming from GOP chairman Michael Steele. In a GQ interview, he lets slip that he believes that women should have the choice to have an abortion:

Steele: The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

GQ: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

Steele: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.

Not only that, he also doesn’t think being gay is a choice and opposes a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Something tells me this won’t turn out well for him.

Cue the snivelling apologies!

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The quality of your position is often revealed by the amount of mindless bullshit your opponents are forced to throw at you.

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I am getting absolutely sick and tired of GOP douchebags reflexively criticizing Obama and his policies by whinging on incessantly about how Obama will turn us into FRANCE! (!!!!) It’s lazy and stupid and needs to stop.

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