The sheer number of patents in the U.S. is fueling frivolous litigation and drastic action is needed to make patents more difficult to obtain and easier to invalidate, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit said Tuesday. > more ... (0 comments)
I’m glad this conservative reporter finally woke up and smelled the sociopolitical napalm the Teabaggers are unleashing:
It’s a charming act, which makes the tea-party movement seem no more unnerving than the people who spend their weekends reenacting the Civil War. But the 18th-century getups mask something disturbing. After I spent the weekend at the Tea Party National Convention in Nashville, Tenn., it has become clear to me that the movement is dominated by people whose vision of the government is conspiratorial and dangerously detached from reality. It’s more John Birch than John Adams.
Like all populists, tea partiers are suspicious of power and influence, and anyone who wields them. Their villain list includes the big banks; bailed-out corporations; James Cameron, whose Avatar is seen as a veiled denunciation of the U.S. military; Republican Party institutional figures they feel ignored by, such as chairman Michael Steele; colleges and universities (the more prestigious, the more evil); TheWashington Post; Anderson Cooper; and even FOX News pundits, such as Bill O’Reilly, who have heaped scorn on the tea-party movement’s more militant oddballs. [...]
I consider myself a conservative and arrived at this conference as a paid-up, rank-and-file attendee, not one of the bemused New York Times types with a media pass. But I also happen to be writing a book for HarperCollins that focuses on 9/11 conspiracy theories, so I have a pretty good idea where the various screws and nuts can be found in the great toolbox of American political life.
Within a few hours in Nashville, I could tell that what I was hearing wasn’t just random rhetorical mortar fire being launched at Obama and his political allies: the salvos followed the established script of New World Order conspiracy theories, which have suffused the dubious right-wing fringes of American politics since the days of the John Birch Society. [...]
Perhaps the most distressing part of all is that few media observers bothered to catalog these bizarre, conspiracist outbursts, and instead fixated on Sarah Palin’s Saturday night keynote address. It is as if, in the current overheated political atmosphere, we all simply have come to expect that radicalized conservatives will behave like unhinged paranoiacs when they collect in the same room. [Um, Hello!?]
That doesn’t say much for the state of the right in America. The tea partiers’ tricornered hat is supposed to be a symbol of patriotism and constitutional first principles. But when you take a closer look, all you find is a helmet made of tin foil.
Don’t forget yesterday’s glorious Fox News poll, in which (now) 75% of respondents picked “Fruitless Mix of Racism, Conspiracy Theories” to describe that patriotic band of neo-klansmen and other assorted ne’er-do-wells.
At any rate, the fact that the Tea Parties have gotten this far with their incoherent and often times hypocritical message (to say nothing of the lunatics and racists and militia types) is a sign to me there is no amount of bullshit our media won’t swallow. The fact that it is allegedly a “populist” movement that was inspired by a tantrum from millionaire tv financial personality and a Brooks Brothers mafia on the Chicago trading floor, upset over meager plans to help troubled mortgage holders in the wake of a near trillion dollar bailout of the the wealthy elite who pay Rick Santelli’s salary, just ups the humor value in this theatre of the absurd. Nothing cracks me up like an angry peasant mob screaming for the repeal of the estate tax and ending the capital gains tax.
A sad state of affairs.
I really don’t understand how we are supposed to survive as a democracy when one half of the political spectrum is run by people who don’t even try to make an effort to lie creatively:
On Monday, ThinkProgress pointed out how conservatives like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) were complaining that President Obama and his administration are not “willing to use the word” terror — a claim that is refuted by Obama’s own statements and speeches. But the right-wing meme persists.
In response to Obama’s remarks yesterday on the Christmas Day plot, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) whined that “he still refuses to use the word ‘terrorism.’” Fox and Friends this morning featured two chyrons claiming that the administration avoids the word “terror”:
Asked on MSNBC this morning to defend the GOP’s rush to politicize the attempted terrorist attack, RNC Chairman Michael Steele said it was justified because President Obama “can’t call a thing what it is.” Steele then claimed that Obama denies that what America is dealing with “writ large is terrorism, a war on terror, and what we’re dealing with individually is a terrorist.”
The level hatred and vitriol coming out of the right wing right now is pretty freaking scary:
Allen Quist, a Republican who is seeking to defeat Rep. Tim Walz in southern Minnesota’s First Congressional District, told attendees of the Wabasha County Republicans Christmas Party in mid-December that beating the “radical” liberals in Washington, D.C., is a bigger battle than beating terrorism.
“Our country is being destroyed. Every generation has had to fight the fight for freedom… Terrorism? Yes. That’s not the big battle,” he said. “The big battle is in D.C. with the radicals. They aren’t liberals. They are radicals. Obama, Pelosi, Walz: They’re not liberals, they’re radicals. They are destroying our country.”
For what it’s worth, Rep. Walz, the one Quist is describing as a radical enemy of the U.S. and a more serious threat than al Qaeda, is a 24-year veteran of the National Guard, retiring as a command sergeant major and the highest ranking enlisted soldier in southern Minnesota.Oh, and this, from VoteVets:
Sergeant Major (Ret.) Walz’s service to his country apparently means nothing to Allen Quist, one of the Republicans lining up to challenge Walz in this year’s mid-term election. Here is a video of Quist, who has never worn the uniform of his country, telling you that this brave American is a “radical”, is more dangerous than a terrorist and is out to destroy the country he served for 24 years…
Allen Quist, a politician who has been chasing office since 1982, should be ashamed of himself. A year before Quist began his desperate attempt to become a career politician, the man who’s patriotism he attacks put on an Army uniform at the age of 17 and wore it for 24 years, rising to the highest enlisted rank and becoming the highest ranking enlisted soldier in southern Minnesota. A man who has so little respect for the service of America’s Veterans has no business serving in Congress.
Last month, at a right-wing conference hosted by David Horowitz, Gingrich outlined his vision for how Republicans can win control of Congress in 2010. After the victory, Gingrich said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) should become a committee chair (her only current committee assignment is Financial Services):
GINGRICH: I think that both Ed Royce and Michele Bachmann, who are here today, are going to end up being chairs, probably in January of 2011.
There is literally not a cell in my body that doesn’t shudder at the thought of this woman possessing real power:
Fightin’ Joe McCarthy in a pantsuit… (cringe)
This quote pretty much sums up the fundamental irrationality behind the populist right’s fact-free, reality-free obsession with all things Palin:
From time to time, I’ll get into a debate with a right-winger about whether Sarah Palin is actually stupid or if liberals are just hopelessly biased against her. They claim this bias comes from the fact that liberals are scared of her electability, her charm, her looks, her femininity, her Christianity, her ability connect to the common man and her overall wonderfulness. So, the theory is that we have all collectively decided that she is the best Republican candidate in some secret liberal meeting and are conspiring against her because we are afraid of how brilliant and electable she really is.
How could you possibly try to argue with thinking like that?
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