Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Future mass migration of Mexicans to U.S. because of global climate change?

From a story in the Seattle Times:

Climbing temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and increase droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires.
Now, scientists are predicting another consequence of climate change — mass migration to the United States.

Between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Mexicans could migrate by 2080 as climate change reduces crop yields and agricultural production in Mexico, according to a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The number could amount to 10 percent of the current population of Mexicans ages 15 to 65.

"Assuming that the climate projections are correct, gradually over the next several decades heading toward the end of the century, it becomes one of the more important factors in driving Mexicans across the border, all other things being equal," said study author Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

Of course, Oppenheimer acknowledged, changes could occur in U.S. immigration and border policy or in Mexico's economy and its reliance on agriculture. But he said this was a simplified first step in studying the effect of global warming on migration.

Boy, I cannot wait to see what conservatives do with this one. On one hand, this feeds into their paranoia about Mexicans coming to “take over the U.S.” That’s what they are always warning us about. And this one actually might be based in some sort of fact and logic-based analysis! That certainly isn't the case for most of the other BS that they routinely become hysterical about. But, on the other hand, in order to use this as any sort of credible threat, those same conservatives must admit that global climate change is not some sort of liberal plot and will indeed have real and lasting effects across the world. Climate change will eventually lead to mass migrations of entire populations.

What’s a poor conservative to do?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Conservatives in this country want to be lied to.

I had been rolling this concept in my mind around for a bit, trying to get up the initiative to actually write a blog post about it. Of course, to quote Uncle Bonsai, “There’s no such thing as an original thought.” Doug J of Balloon Juice has it all right there.

I used to believe this sort of thing, that it was shameful, for example, that Fox provided such a low level of journalism to its captive conservative audience. My thinking was that conservatives watched Fox and listened to crazy conservative talk radio not because they enjoyed being lied to, but because they enjoyed overtly conservative media and Fox/Rush/etc. was what they had to choose from; the lying and low level of discourse, I reasoned, might very well be bugs rather than features.

Well, I was wrong, they’re features. Compare the ratings of Shep Smith with the ratings for Glenn Beck. Compare the traffic numbers for Hot Air, Drudge, and Instapundit with those of FrumForum, The American Scene, and Eunomia. And note that the Daily Caller traffic went way up with when they started in with the JournoList silliness (whatever one thinks of JournoList, the way that Daily Caller is presenting the story is extremely dishonest).

Given the choice, conservatives as a group will go for the dumber, more dishonest, more insane option. There’s a market for good-faith conservative media, but that market is liberals. Who watches/reads the faux-good faith propaganda of David Brooks? Totebaggers. Who reads The American Scene and Eunomia? People like me.

Conservatives, by and large, have no interest in what you or I or actual journalists consider journalism. It’s telling that when Clark Hoyt and Andy Alexander muse about pleasing conservative readers, they don’t talk about covering legitimate stories that conservative readers are interested in, they talk (exclusively) about following ginned-up Breitbart controversies.

And that about sums it all up, I think. There really isn’t any market for the truth these days, because somewhere between 25% and 50% of this country doesn’t want to know the truth. They really don’t want to know what was really behind the Iraq war, or how the United States of America came to be one of the world’s foremost proponents and practitioners of torture. They don’t want to know what caused the financial meltdown of a couple of years ago, and whether or not the policies enacted by some Republicans and then taken up by the Democrats really helped or not. They don’t want to know the truth that ACORN was a small, underfunded organization trying to help low-income people get their voices heard in government and was in no way some giant secretive monster manipulating elections behind the scenes.

No, apparently most conservatives of this country want to hear stuff that feeds into their already formed ideas and positions. Government is evil. Democrats are evil. Guns are great and everyone should be allowed to carry them anywhere they want. Big business can really do no wrong, and when something bad does happen (e.g., the huge oil spill in the Gulf, 29 miners killed in West Virginia coal mine explosion), then it was just “an accident”, “God’s Will” or, once again, the fault of the government for too much regulation. All events, everything that anyone has ever said or done, all can be manipulated to fit into these narratives, so that everything, absolutely everything, confirms to the conservative mind what they already “know.”

Now, this is not to say that there are not liberals and progressives that exhibit these same traits. No doubt, there are. I am always questioning myself about this. I don’t actually find anything that makes me change my mind on certain questions, I must admit, but at least I am asking myself the right questions. I think most liberals and progressives really do want to know the truth about their government and their country. If a Democrat is behind something underhanded, then I firmly believe that most of us would want that person gone, immediately. Mostly… Right now, many of us are torn by the Obama adminstration. They are making it mightily difficult for liberals and progressive to give their unbridled support to an administration that seems determined to always “go for the middle,” even when that means shortchanging the very people who supported them in the first place. And we really don’t like the fact that President Obama is intent on ignoring the wrongdoings and lawlessness of the Bush administration, and even carrying on some of the worst of the previous administration’s policies.

But, to go back to my original point, when conservatives will never, ever make any concessions of wrongdoing and try to use every single thing that happens as some sort of cudgel to bash the other side over the head, even at the expense of the country as a whole, then, ladies and gentlemen, we have an ungovernable country. We simply cannot fix the huge problems we are facing because one side doesn’t want to admit they are problems, or else they do believe they are problems but don’t have any policy that would actually address those problems other than to attack the Democrats for actually trying to do something.

I can’t say that President Obama and the Democrats haven’t gotten anything done in the face of this overwhelming opposition to everything. There have been a number of amazing achievements made since Barack Obama took office. But what could have been has been significantly watered down, and with the Democrats a sure bet to not have anywhere near the required “super-majority” in the Senate after January of next year, then it’s a good bet that major achievements will be few and far between.

I am extremely disgusted and disappointed by the almost everyone in our society today. I suppose I should consider myself some sort of wild-eyed idealist, as what I believe in seems to be so far out of the mainstream these days. By looking around the blogosphere, I can see I am not alone. There are many knowledgeable, educated and well spoken people that seem to believe in the same things that I do. But I have come to believe that we are not going to get there. Not in the time of Barack Obama, and not ever. The tide is just that overwhelming. Huge Money, in the form of powerful lobbyist groups, mega-corporations and wealthy donors that want to see their own agenda enacted, is just too much to deal with.

This country is on a path to mediocrity, and maybe even worse. But at the very least, we are on the downside slope of the curve. Yes, the United States will remain a power in the world, just because of the money and power that is concentrated here, along with a huge consumer market. (How long that huge consumer market lasts is an unknown, given all the forces that are at work undermining the capacity of 90% of the population of this country to actually be consumers of anything past the essentials for living.) The argument for “American exceptionalism” will become less and less persuasive, if it ever were a real argument, and more and more just some myth that hardly anyone believes in but keeps telling each other anyway, just like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Here's what I find so discouraging about the Shirley Sherrod story.

It's the reactions, or non-reactions, from everyone after it has been laid out so plain about what went on and how it was exactly like what happened to ACORN and Van Jones. The reactions seem to be able to categorized like this:

1) Who, us? We didn't do anything. It's all Obama's fault anyway. Oooh!!! Look over here! Big Mexican women helping Afghans become illegal aliens! (Fox News)

2) Gee, I feel sorry for Ms. Sherrod. She certainly went through some tough times. It's the NAACP that's the racists, that's who I was going after! ((Andrew Breitbart)

3) I don't really care what the facts are, Breitbart was correct! Shirley Sherrod is a racist and deserved to lose her job! (Wingnut commentators)

4) YAWN! Well, the White House certainly overreacted, didn't they? Yes, black eye for the Obama administration. No, Breitbart is perhaps overly enthusiastic, but he really didn't do anything wrong. And we certainly aren't going to say anything bad about our brothers at Fox News. (95% of the national media)

5) Yes, we overreacted and we did Ms. Sherrod a huge disservice. It was all the media's fault, they made us overreact. (Obama administration)

6) Um.... What? We didn't see anything. (Elected Republican officials)

7) We don't care, Democrats are evil and deserve everything they get! (1/3 of the population of the United States)

I may have missed a few, but that seems to be about how it went. Yes, the left leaning blogosphere and most of the programming on MSNBC made sure that how this all went down was well documented. But in the end, no one really cared, because it STILL is not going to be the "learning moment" that we have heard mentioned. Breitbart and Fox News are not going to stop doing what they do, because that's who they are. The official media won't stop listening to them, because that would be impolite. Politicians looking to cover their butts will still overreact to really stupid fake news stories but will not work together to address the very real problems that this country has.

Geez. After everything we have been through in the last 10 years, and people are still going to vote for Republicans. I can't believe it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"No, Buffy. You are at fault here and you must admit your mistake."

"After all, if it hadn't been for you falling in love with Angel, we wouldn't currently be overrun with good-looking, brooding vampires that attract young girls. The world would have never been exposed to Twilight, Underworld and the Wizards of Waverly Place if it hadn't been for your rash, impulsive behavior. I hope you realize that now."

Will the Shirley Sherrod story be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Will everyone finally acknowledge the agenda of the right wing media?

I rather doubt it. However, there are some signs of hope. For those who don’t know what this story is about, here are some good links to get the idea of what went down. This one is from Crooks and Liars and this one is from HuffPo.

The roles that Andrew Breitbart and Fox News played in this travesty are so egregious that even moderate conservatives are pushing back. Here is David Gergen, vaid Crooks and Lairs.

Cooper: Given what we now know, should Miss Sherrod have been forced to resign?

Gergen: Absolutely not... absolutely not. Anderson this is ripped away the veil and shown us all that is wrong with politics today. An ideologue injects poison into the Internet, other people rush to judgment on camera and then the administration gave its stamp to beat it and commits this travesty and injustice. What is needed now, the NAACP has at least had the courage to come back and say we were wrong and apologized. Now the administration needs to do the same thing.

I think the President tonight ought to order the Agriculture Department to reopen this case, give this woman a fair hearing and if the facts are as they seem, reinstate her with an apology indeed. I think she deserves a whole lot more than an apology. I think she deserves an honor for her attempts to bring people together.

Here is David Frum, via The Week.

But you’ll never guess who emerged as the villains of the story in this second-day conservative react. Not Andrew Breitbart, the distributor of a falsified tape. No, the villains were President Obama and the NAACP for believing Breitbart's falsehood.

CNN actually spent a good portion of one of its news days to debunk this story. So, finally, maybe everyone is actually beginning to be willing to recognize and point out the extreme agenda Fox News and people like Brietbart have. They aren’t there to report news. They are there to manufacture news that is to their liking and supports their agenda, which is currently to make Democrats and President Obama look as bad as possible. They certainly succeeded in this case, as they did in bringing down ACORN with the same type of video manipulation. That is what they do. They have no other reason for existing, other than making money, of course.

This is why I really hold out very little hope that this country will ever regain anything that looks to be an “even keel.” We have people in positions of power and influence that have absolutely no compunction against manipulating truths and spouting outright lies, as long as it gets them what they want. They don’t really even care if they are caught, because they know there will be no adverse ramifications for them. In several weeks, this little “dust up” will be all but forgotten and they will play their little game with someone else. There are no grownups in the room to stop them, and we certainly cannot count on any of these people to come to their senses on their own volition.

We have media who lie to and manipulate their audience. We have mega-corporations that rape the only planet we have while making obscene amounts of money, and they will lie and cheat in order to be able to make as much money as they can. Even when their misdeeds are out there for the entire world to see, they still cannot make themselves do the right thing. We have politicians that are in the pocket of these same mega-corporations and will vote anyway that their masters want them to. A significant number of elected officials continue to make statements that have people wondering if these elected officials ever made it out of high school.

This country is so screwed. The eight years of the presidency of George Bush only cemented that fact. All this that I am talking about was already around. It all became institutionalized during the reign of George Bush, however. I don’t see any chance of things really ever changing for the better.

Getting back to the original story, I hope that Ms. Sherrod finds another job, one that she finds very fulfilling and provides her the same or greater pay than the job she from which she was forced out. If the Dept. of Agriculture does offer her her old job back (after the appropriate amount of “study”, of course), I hope she throws it back in their faces and sues everyone involved. Fox News, Andrew Breitbart and the Dept. of Ag. Everyone. At least I will come away with some vicarious satisfaction that assholes and thugs don’t always get away with their misdeeds.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

John Boehner proposes a moratorium on all new federal regulations.

From Talking Points Memo:

House Minority Leader John Boehner, fresh out of a meeting with business and trade group lobbyists, announced a new idea this afternoon: A moratorium on all new federal regulations, for a year.

"I think having a moratorium on new federal regulations is a great idea it sends a wonderful signal to the private sector that they're going to have some breathing room," he said, according to Greg Sargent.

This guy is the minority leader. He who supposedly speaks for the Republican Party. And here he is, actually proposing that Congress do nothing for a year. Oh, sure they hold hearings and supposedly approve the Presidential appointees (which doesn't seem to be happening either). But isn't that what Congress is supposed to do, make laws? That's why they are called "legislators." And he isn't talking just about Congress, but ALL government agencies that make regulations. That would include the FAA, FDA, EPA, TSA, etc. Everything that is there to protect the America and all her citizens, Boehner wants to put a muzzle on them. I have personal knowledge (as I work for the federal government) that many companies and individuals in industries that are being regulated have taken a position that if there isn't a regulation or guidance (how you comply with a regulation) about something that comes up, then they automatically assume that the government "does not care" about the issue and, therefore, they don't have to do anything about that particular issue. I have seen that time and time again, even on what might be very critical, safety-related issues. And Boehner wants all government agencies to essentially shut down their rulemaking process. That's insane.

"Breathing room?!?" These guys certainly have a much different idea about government than what I was taught in my middle school civics class. And, once again, I wonder what would have been the response of the Republicans and the media if Nancy Pelosi had proposed this in public.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hell is full of sludge, tar and oil.

I hope this is the fate that awaits oil executives who deliberately press on with risky oil drilling adventures with no real idea what do to if something goes wrong, even if government regulations require such a plan. This is the place for those who deliberately require their workers to work around their own safety procedures, and for those who threaten to fire any workers cleaning up the horrible mess left if they wear any sort of protective gear or respirators while working in a toxic environment that could harm the worker's health. This is the place for those who pretend to have the authority to arrest people if they attempt to take pictures of the environmental catastrophe, even though the President of the United States specifically requested them to allow open access to reporters and photographers. This is for the executives that "earn" millions and millions of dollars but will find every single way they can to wiggle out of their responsibilities to pay for damages and loss of income to thousands of workers in the Gulf, even after they said they publicly said they would.

There is no Hell great enough for these rapacious thugs of the oil industry. However, as we have seen lately, what really happens is, when the spotlight gets too great, they retire to the English coast and go race their yachts.

There is no justice in this world.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The "Fire" Waterfall at Yosemite

From Wiki:

Yosemite National Park, California.

This park was gazetted as a national park in 1890. It is world famous for its rugged terrain, waterfall and century-old pine trees. It covers 1,200 sq km and the "fire" waterfall of El Capitan is one of the most spectacular of all scenery.

The Yosemite Firefall was a summer time ritual that lasted from 1872 until 1968 in which burning hot embers were dropped a height of about 3000 feet from the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park down to the valley below, and from a distance looked similar to a glowing water fall because the people who dumped the embers made sure to do so in a uniform fashion. The ritual was performed by several generations of the owners of the Glacier Point Hotel. The ritual ended in January of 1968 when the National Park Service ordered that the Firefall be discontinued. The hotel burned down a year later and was never rebuilt.

The ritual was performed at 9 PM every night, to coincide with the end of a performance at Camp Curry.

This is where Rick Roberts came up with the name of the 1970's country rock band, Firefall.

UPDATE: I see by my Sitemeter that this post of mine got a number of hits from people searching specifically on "fire waterfall" or "El Capitan", and some included the word "hoax" in their search.

For those who are interested, no, this is not a hoax. Now, the original text of the e-mail that I received these in was totally wrong, in that it said this was some sort of natural phenomenon due to sunlight hitting the waterfall in just the right way. That's totally bogus. The text above that I lifted from Wikipedia is correct. I happen to know the members of the band Firefall (yes, they are still around), the lead guitar player being my older brother, and the current bass player was the one who sent me these photos. I am pretty sure that Rick Roberts, who picked the name back in the 70's, would have known if this were a hoax or not. One of these photos is actually in the inside sleeve of one of their albums, Elan (the old vinyl version, that is). Although, not being much of a photo bug, I suspect that most of these are time exposures, which gives the firefall its smooth, continuous look. Otherwise, it would look like a bunch of burning logs and sticks falling.

Besides, if you can't believe Wikipedia, who CAN you believe these days?

UPDATE II: Thanks to commenter Amanda. There actually is a waterfall in Yosemite that does catch the sunlight and look like it is on fire. Here is the link she provided. O.K., there are TWO versions of a Firefall in the same national park. Amazing. I stand corrected. Actually, I think these pictures are a mixture of both. The one taken at the side of the falls where it is obviously twilight is the actual 1968 version of the firefall. The others may be this sunlit version.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NASA study shows that first half of 2010 is the hottest on record.

Following fast on the heels of the hottest Jan-May — and spring — in the temperature record, it’s also the hottest Jan-June on record in the NASA dataset [click on figure to enlarge].

It’s all the more powerful evidence of human-caused warming “because it occurs when the recent minimum of solar irradiance is having its maximum cooling effect,” as a recent must-read NASA paper notes.

Remember last winter when the east coast of the U.S. experienced some pretty good snowstorms? And do you also remember the wingnuts, such as Rush Limbaugh and many others, screaming at the top of their lungs about how the presence of snow pretty much repudiated the concept of global warming and climate change? I certainly do, although I am pretty sure that Rush would never use the word "repudiate."

Well, where are they now? Are they going to say something about this data? No, I don’t suppose not.

Chart and quoted text from Climate Progress, via HuffPo.

And if that isn't bad enough news, here's some news of the near future from Stanford University.

Exceptionally long heat waves and other hot events could become commonplace in the United States in the next 30 years, according to a new study by Stanford University climate scientists.

"Using a large suite of climate model experiments, we see a clear emergence of much more intense, hot conditions in the U.S. within the next three decades," said Noah Diffenbaugh, an assistant professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford and the lead author of the study.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), Diffenbaugh concluded that hot temperature extremes could become frequent events in the U.S. by 2039, posing serious risks to agriculture and human health.

"In the next 30 years, we could see an increase in heat waves like the one now occurring in the eastern United States or the kind that swept across Europe in 2003 that caused tens of thousands of fatalities," said Diffenbaugh, a center fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment. "Those kinds of severe heat events also put enormous stress on major crops like corn, soybean, cotton and wine grapes, causing a significant reduction in yields."

I find it almost a relief that I won't be around to witness the worst of the looming environmental catastrophe. I do worry about what kind of life my daughter and her family might find for themselves.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Rush Limbaugh is a despicable human being.

Oh, I know that Rush must have a really tough job. After all, it can’t be easy to sit in the same chair, day after day, week after week, and come up with wild crap to spew, with absolutely certainty, about President Obama and Democrats. I mean, he must keep them fixated on how much they hate the Obama and the Democrats and just how different they are from “real Americans.” He needs to keep throwing them red meat, just like at a pack of dogs, to keep them in a frenzy. After all, that’s the only way his audience will keep coming back, day after day, week after week, and listening to him concoct ever more fantastic allegations about the greatest enemy that this country has ever known, i.e., people who disagree with Rush Limbaugh.

Every time I think Rush can’t go any lower, he does. This past week, he accused President Obama of tanking the economy of the country on purpose because… Well, I just refer to this column in HuffPo.

Rush Limbaugh said on his July 2 radio show that he believes Obama tanked the economy on purpose, both as "payback" for 230 years of racial oppression and because Obama simply doesn't like America.

He railed: "Who is Obama? Why is he doing this? Why? Why is he doing it? Is he stupid? Is it an accident? Is he doing it on purpose or what have you? ... I think we face something we've never faced before in the country -- and that is, we're now governed by people who do not like the country, who do not have the same reverence for it that we do. Our greatest threat (and this is saying something) is internal."

Limbaugh went on to compare Obama to the Black Panthers:

"So in this interview with J. Christian Adams yesterday talking about [how] he and his line attorneys were told to just drop the case against the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation in Philadelphia, he said that there were people in the office, DOJ, who said, 'Well, you know, those people suffered the indignity of slavery, discrimination, segregation and so forth.'

He said somebody else said, 'This is payback,' meaning, 'All right, look. We don't care if it's the New Black Panthers or whoever it is. Black people in this country have never, ever had a fair shake. This is payback. O.J. Simpson was payback. How does it feel?' That word 'payback' is not mine, [but] it is exactly how I think Obama looks at the country: It's payback time... There's no question that payback is what this administration is all about, presiding over the decline of the United States of America, and doing so happily."

So, Rush’s premise is that Barack Obama becomes a senator and then runs for POTUS just because he hates America and wants to punish all Americans for racism. That’s what he is saying.

Can anyone beyond a fifth grade level of thinking actually believe any of that? Someone would actually want to become president because he hates America? Normally, that’s a pretty insane place to start a discussion. However, these are not normal times. Thinking is not required and it is actually frowned upon. Pure, raw emotion is all that is necessary for Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc. etc.

I am in disbelief at where we find ourselves in this country today. People like Rush and Beck get national soapboxes to shout their insane venom, just because they make billions of dollars for their corporate masters. Those corporations don’t really care what is being said, although I suspect most of them secretly or not so secretly delight is skewering Democrats on a daily basis. I certainly don’t think that those corporations are headed by people who really believe that President Obama is actively trying to destroy this country because he hates America and wants to “pay it back” for decades of racism. All they care about is the activity at the cash register. Cha-ching! Money, money, more money. They continually need more money so they can keep doing what they do best, which is to make more money.

I suppose I shouldn’t be too angry at Rush’s audience, those deluded saps who actually believe crap like this. It’s just basic human psychology, really. People want to hear stuff that reinforces things they already believe. Mob mentality takes over a bit, which is an interesting subject since the “mob” in question here is dispersed and only connected by an electronic media. That’s not the historical view of a mob, but I think it still applies. Also, human beings are easily manipulated. Given enough time and resources, you can apparently get humans to believe in anything, no matter how insane it might be. And finally, human beings apparently need an enemy, someone to make their lives worthwhile. If people don’t have a specific enemy, then they must invent one. Illegal immigrants seems to be the latest invented enemy in the minds of quite a few conservatives.

But to believe that President Obama went through years of grooming himself for public office and to spend several years of his life running for President, only so he can “punish” the country for its inherent racism is nuts. Absolutely insane. Yet, we hear about crap like this every single day. The more outlandish the accusation, the better. And Rush and his ilk need to keep up “upping the ante” every day in order to keep their followers angry. People will just stop being angry if they get fed the same old stuff every single day. So, Rush must come up with even more insane accusations on a daily basis, just so he can keep his audience.

Rush must really have a tough job… But, in my mind, that really doesn't excuse him for being the despicable human being that he is.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Give a thought to those Americans in uniform that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. They deserve our respect.

However, you might also want to consider whether or not that the mission these brave men and women are doing has anything at all to do with "keeping our nation free."

That is the fault of our civilian government, not the fault of the men and women of the armed forces.

Photo from here.

Friday, July 02, 2010

How is that that we are even considering the possibility of major Republican gains in November?

It appears that Republicans, en masse, have lost their freaking minds. And a majority of American votes might actually vote for this party of morons?

To whit:

- Michael Steele apparently believes that President Obama is the one that started the war in Afghanistan and that the position of the Republicans has been to oppose the war.

- Sharron Angle thinks that unemployment benefits should be curtailed so that all these lazy people on the dole will get back to work.

- Michelle Backmann doesn’t understand that the United States is already involved in a global economy.

- Joe Barton, among others, apologize to the CEO of BP on national TV for President Obama “shaking down” BP.

- Paul Rand thinks building an “underground fence” is a pretty swell idea to solve the problem of illegal immigration, but can’t explain exactly how an underground fence would work.

- John Boehner slams President Obama’s moratorium on deep water drilling, but supports putting a halt to deepwater drilling in the Gulf until we find out what exactly happened, apparently unaware that is kind of what “moratorium” means.

- Sarah Palin lies about her feelings about her dad who used to set bowling pins in Idaho, in front of a bowling exposition.

- Pamela Gorman apparently believes one of her big selling points to win an election is how well she can shoot a machine gun.

And these are only on the top of the “Crazy List” for the last couple of weeks. This insanity has been ongoing and getting worse for months. And we aren’t even talking about their political agitators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

These people seem to be certifiably insane to act as they do in public and expect their actions to be well received. It’s one thing to be a nutjob and keep it to yourself or act like a relatively sane person while out in public. It’s entirely another thing to believe acting like a lunatic will cause a majority of Americans to support you and your political party.

If Democrats were to go around saying stuff like this on a consistent basis, the press would be all over them and the Democratic Party would take decades to recover. But apparently, crazy is the new norm for the Republican Party, and they might actually make significant gains in the November election.

What a society we have constructed for ourselves. Act like a crazy bastard and get elected, and the media pretty much pretends this is normal.

UPDATE: Yes, President Obama certainly hasn't done much to energize the Democratic/Progressive base of voters. A number of us are pretty disenchanted with the Dems in power right now. But truly, I would prefer this bunch of Dems 1000 times over than the cast of Gilligan's Island that the Republicans are putting out there. If you don't want to vote for Democrats, then at least go to the polls or vote by mail to vote AGAINST the Republicans. I don't think we can even imagine what might occur if these jokers get back in power. I imagine that impeaching President Obama will be one of the very first priorities.

Glenn Beck: “Blacks don’t own Martin Luther King.”

Beck is really insane. Or else he is so intent on playing to his insane base of hard-core listeners that he doesn’t care if he sounds insane or not to the rest of us.

How could anyone possibly connect Martin Luther King’s leadership during the Civil Rights movement here in the United States, where blacks were threatened with physical violence if they attempted to vote or sit in a diner or in the front of a bus? Where black churches were bombed and little girls killed? Where dogs and firehoses were use against demonstrators? What is it that Beck actually thinks is remotely similar to the manufactured outrage of white tea-partiers in today’s society? What, Glenn? Just what the hell are you attempting to do here? President Obama hates white people? Tea-partiers are just like the Civil Rights demonstrators?

Until I see police dogs ripping the shirts off unarmed white demonstrators and poll workers getting murdered because they were attempting to sign up white tea-partiers to vote, then, Glenn, STFU.

Photo from here.