Tuesday, December 30, 2014


(Here's the third installment of a year-end bottom-ten of the lowlights of 2014, culled from my archives and elsewhere. The previous installments are here and here. Read 'em and weep!)

4. The Eternal ObamaHitler. In January Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit addressed some Obama conspiracy theories: “…that the NSA may have been relaying intelligence about the Mitt Romney campaign to Obama operatives, or that Chief Justice John Roberts' sudden about-face in the Obamacare case might have been driven by some sort of NSA-facilitated blackmail.”

Yeah, you might shrug, there are plenty such crazy notions out there. But Reynolds went on: “A year ago, these kinds of comments would have been dismissable as paranoid conspiracy theory. But now, while I still don't think they're true, they're no longer obviously crazy. And that's Obama's legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.”

Reynolds’ main theme was the IRS “scandal,” one of a long series on alleged wheels-within-wheels Obamaspiracies that have not gotten the traction he and his colleagues think they deserve. But it’s his idea that crackpot theories about Obama are somehow legit because of other crackpot theories about Obama that’s really interesting. There are many conservatives on the internet who sound as if they’re writing from survivalist treehouses where they wait, gun at the ready, for UN troops to try and put them in FEMA camps; you expect such people to peddle every daffy Obama story that churns up. But Reynolds’ theory may help explain why the ones who manage to hold down jobs in the non-tinfoil world also circulate them; perhaps they do so more in sorrow than in psychotic rage, clucking (as Reynolds did recently, in a column speculating that a Congressional spending billing passed “because NSA has ‘dirt’ on John Boehner”), “Sad what this country has become under the Obama Machine.”

Or it may be that they’re just political operatives who’ll throw any shit that comes to hand. But I try to be generous.

You may know that GM had an ignition-switch problem that it handled badly, possibly causing dozens of deaths. But did you know, as PJ Media’s Bryan Preston reported, “the Obama administration may have been covering up union shop GM’s deadly ignition switch flaw”? Wake up sheeple! Fox News’ Eric Bolling went so far as to suggest that the Obama White House “bankrupted GM" -- that is, bailed them out -- "...to make sure that the old GM was responsible for these deaths because they knew they had a problem and the new GM could go on with business as usual and then they would look like heroes.” “Did GM Bailout Cost Lives?” asked wingnut foundation the National Legal and Policy Foundation. “Congress needs to take a very close look at this — and perhaps the newly-Republican Senate will do so after January,” said Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. Maybe they can work it in between #Benghazi hearings.

But it’s not all tyrannizing and murdering in this Obama alt-reality universe: There’s also Obama playing pool, which became a thing (“WHILE THE WORLD BURNS, OBAMA FIDDLES, GOLFS, AND SHOOTS POOL”). Also Obama saluting a Marine with a cup of tea in his hand, ditto (“speaks volumes about President Obama, not only concerning his underlying disdain for our military, but also as regards basic decency”). And that tan suit business which, Jesus, I’m looking at it now and I still can’t figure it out. And golf, but that’s sort of an evergreen with them by now.

As seen by the brethren, Obama’s villainy informs everything he says and does; it’s so complete it’s mythic, like the strength of Paul Bunyan or the wiles of Br'er Rabbit. If Obama skips a military funeral, for example, it suddenly becomes unprecedented, even though other Presidents have done it. The most outrageous statements may be attributed to Obama and they will be believed, even without evidence. When his friends celebrate his birthday, Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist explains, it pollutes the very institution of birthdays (“One, it’s childish. Birthdays are for kids”). Why, he commits treason even when he frees an American P.O.W. — that’s how twisted he is!

Despite this superhuman power, it goes without saying that Obama is also wrong about everything — for example, he says “horseshit” when he clearly should have said “bullshit” (this from Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff, a master of both).

Given this view, it should come as no surprise that their rhetoric verges on the hysterical when they discuss him — see National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy (“So now Obama, like a standard-issue leftist dictator, is complementing lawlessness with socialist irrationality”) and Deroy Murdock (“Obama now rules by decree… Obama’s predecessors have signed executive orders and, more or less, left it at that. But Obama pounds his chest as he does so”), Politico’s Rich Lowry (“Barack Obama, American Caudillo”), the Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen ("Is Obama considering surrendering to the Taliban?”), Rod Dreher ("as far as the Obama administration is concerned, traditional Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are vestiges of barbarism”), former Texas GOP Senate candidate Darren Yancy (“a 6 year reign of terror against Christianity, liberty, the Constitution, self responsibility, employment, and economic opportunity”), actual Congressmembers Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC (“he has declared war, and not just on Congress but the American people”) and Rep. Randy Weber, R-TX (“On floor of house waitin on 'Kommandant-In-Chef"'... the Socialistic dictator who's been feeding US a line or is it 'A-Lying?’”), et alia.

Pundits like to tell us that political mudslinging isn’t anything new — look at Adams and Jefferson, etc. But with all respect to James Callender, the Founders lived in a simpler time before rapid-response teams, social media, and vast armies of citizen journalists who have turned what used to be quadrennial mudslinging into a constant, suffocating shitstorm.

3. Torture as an American value. I’m not sure how old you have to be to remember when torturing prisoners was something the United States simply didn’t do. As a lad I, like many Americans, was shocked to learn about the My Lai massacre; if I had been then told that Lt. William Calley also waterboarded and hung from chains his Vietnamese victims, whether they were Viet Cong or not, I’m sure I would have been even more shocked. Maybe Dirty Harry did that shit, but not John Wayne.

I am old and jaded now, but I must admit, when after the Senate released the torture report in December a number of Americans, including a former Vice-President of the United States, told us that torture was great and it was actually the citizens who balked at it that were anti-American, I was still a little shocked.

It’s not that I expected better of the cheerleaders. The Republican response to the Senate Report, for example, was just the kind of ass-covering that could have been predicted from members of that august Party. “The rendition, detention, and interrogation program [the CIA] created, of which enhanced interrogation was only a small part,” they said, “enabled a stream of collection and intelligence validation that was unprecedented.” That is, we haven’t been attacked since, so it stands to reason everything we did, including the 13th Century barbarities, must have helped.

And I can’t say I was exactly surprised by those conservatives who don’t belong to any Congressional committees who nevertheless jumped up and said torture, what’s the problem? Like Commentary’s Max Boot, who seethed that “the release of the Senate report will only aid our enemies who will have more fodder for their propaganda mills” — as if the torture weren’t worse than people finding out about it; as if in fact the citizens of the nations we conquered weren't already well aware and we, the American people, weren’t the last to find out.

There was the libertarian perspective from Reason’s Scott Shackford: The torture itself wasn’t the problem — the problem was Big Gummint. “Strip out the torture and terrorism and you've got any other troubled government program,” Shackford shrugged, and offered what he must have thought was a brilliant correlative: “Was the Department of Health and Human Services honest with those charged with oversight about the state of Obamacare health insurance exchanges prior to their launch, and has it succeeded in providing affordable health insurance? It's the same argument.” Obamacare is torture too, basically, but you don’t see Democrats complaining about that!

About the attempted deep thoughts on the subject by Jonah Goldberg (“In other words, we have the moral vocabulary to talk about kinds of killing — from euthanasia and abortion to capital punishment, involuntary manslaughter and, of course, murder — but we don’t have a similar lexicon when it comes to kinds of torture”), the less said the better.

There were also straight-up psychos like the person who wrote “Yes, Christians Can Support Torture” for The Federalist. (Depressingly representative quote: “Prolonged torture designed to crush the spirit of an individual is different from interrogation techniques, even ones that inflict pain.”) Probably the nadir, though, is represented by internet tough guy Steve Hayward of Power Line, who snarled at “the handwringing of the media and liberals” and suggested in future we just take the detainees (whom he took care to call “terrorists,” although a significant number of them had no proven connection with terrorism — that’s how professional propagandists work, folks) out of CIA custody and “hand them over to the Hells’ Angels,” haw haw.

The most interesting (in the clinical sense) part of Hayward’s essay addressed the reasonable conclusion that if we torture, we’re not better than other totalitarian regimes; nonsense, Hayward huffed, American exceptionalism “does not and has never meant that the United States is above or immune to the basic rules of political life, especially the basic instinct to defend itself against enemies. The fact that we do so without apology (except from liberals) is a good part of what makes the U.S. exceptional today…” So this is the conservative defense of a practice condemned by civilization for centuries: That we torture, but we’re still better because we do so with an all-American sneer on our faces.

The surprise wasn’t that these people would lie about torture and, when the lie was exposed, just laugh about it — I’ve known that about these people for a long time. I guess what shocked me was the confidence they showed that ordinary Americans would agree with them, and that their confidence might be justified.

(More later.)


  1. But I try to be generous.

    You old softie, Roy!


  2. P Gustaf3:01 PM

    Ah yes, Instapundit's favorite, "it may be untrue, but what does it say about the President that I find it believable?" Uh-huh. It says something about the President.

  3. hellslittlestangel3:16 PM

    The year in bullshit ... so all this goes away on Thursday, right? Please?

  4. Fearguth3:30 PM

    In re: Paul Mirengoff's vocabulary lesson:

    How to Keep Your Shit Straight
    1. If something is phony, it's Bullshit.
    2. If something is cowardly, it's Chickenshit.
    3. If something is untrue, it's Horseshit.
    4. If something is crazy, it's Batshit.
    5. If something is worthless, it's Dogshit.
    6. If something is amazing, it's Holyshit.

  5. cahuenga3:33 PM

    I keep this link around especially for these occasions:


  6. mommadillo3:39 PM

    remember when torturing prisoners was something the United States simply didn’t do
    Nope, can't say I remember that. The United States has always CLAIMED they didn't torture and it's been bullshit lies every single time.

  7. Whoa, conservatives speaking out about corporate malfeasance that resulted in the loss of lives? We're through the looking glass, folks, largely because the conveyance had no seatbelts due to poor regulatory oversight.

  8. Let's see where they stand on the Freedom Industries indictments.

  9. lawguy4:32 PM

    That would I think be the difference. Once it was secret and something to be ashamed of, now it is something to broadcast and be proud of.

  10. beejeez4:47 PM

    Actually, that's pretty good. No shit.

  11. edroso4:52 PM

    That is indeed what I meant.

    Also, I'm not up on the history, but I don't believe the military ever had much use for torture -- it was always outfits like the CIA that had to prove their worth by extorting confessions. Am I wrong?

  12. Shalimar4:59 PM

    Since Obama is all-powerful, we might as well warn them that the president has changed their prescriptions so that one pill will slowly poison their penis until it falls off, and a second pill will make them colorblind so they won't notice the first pill changes the color of their pee. The only way to check to see if you have been poisoned is to let other men watch you pee and confirm for you that your urine is still the same color.

  13. TGuerrant5:04 PM

    Notice the cat exceptionalism silently at work here - as always.

  14. glennisw5:06 PM

    Chief Justice John Roberts' sudden about-face in the Obamacare case

    What "sudden about-face" in the Obamacare case? Did Justice Roberts ever come out with any position on the ACA prior to the 2012 decision? Not that I recall.

    Talk about wishful thinking! They were so certain Roberts was on their side that they attributed a longstanding opposition to the ACA to him before he even uttered a single word about it!

    (Yes, I know that taking up a new ACA case in November 2014 could be considered an "about face", but I hardly think that's what Reynolds meant back in January)

  15. TGuerrant5:26 PM

    It's almost like someone told Reynolds the fix was in, isn't it? And that the corruption involved was something the NSA nailed, forcing the abruptly unfixed-Roberts onto the side of history? I could believe that except for the part about someone informing our Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law of it so that he'd have something real to blog about for a change.

  16. satch5:27 PM

    Oh, I think we all know where they stand. The nut graf from an NPR piece on just that subject:



    KEN WARD, JR.: The biggest move that was made here as a result of the chemical leak at Freedom Industries was passage by the legislature of an incredibly strong bill
    to regulate above ground storage tanks and to protect drinking water. The legislature here is generally considered friendly to the oil and gas and chemical industries, but this bill was something that those industries weren't very happy with. And the legislature passed it, and the governor signed it anyway.

    RATH: But the control of the state legislature flipped from Democrats to Republicans in the November election, and Ward says there is talk now of rolling back some of that law. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

  17. Jayson Alan Grigsby5:28 PM

    Yeah, that vaudevillian, goatee-stroking "hmmmm?" always warrants a full-throated "oh, for fuck's sake.."

  18. TGuerrant5:29 PM

    Ask not for whom the Goldberg faaaarrrrrts; he faaaarrrrrts for thee.

  19. In that guy's defense, any time I've read David Brooks write about small-town America it's taken every ounce of self-control not to grab a pen and drive it into my right eye.

  20. Robert M.5:53 PM

    And golf, but that’s sort of an evergreen with them by now.

    It's not a particularly original association, but IMO it's worth pointing out every time: "I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive."

  21. Probably the nadir, though, is represented by internet tough guy Steve Hayward of Power Line, who snarled at “the handwringing of the media and liberals” and suggested in future we just take the detainees..out of CIA custody and “hand them over to the Hells’ Angels"

    "the" hells' angels? now that's writing from the heart of the culture.

  22. 7. If something is sexy, it's Catnip.

  23. I had to break it to my mother this mornign that David Brooks was not only, horrifically, and as usual David Brooks but that he was Jewish. This kicked her hatred of him up to the stratosphere. Friedman, in her view, was enough of a cross to bear, as it were. Tremblingly she had to ask me whether Douthat, at least, was still Christian.

  24. I think that's a matter of historical accident. When military decisions are made on the ground, in a time of war, of course the military tortures and always has. But at the upper levels, removed from the field, the military command has no use for torture because it simply has no one to torture.

  25. coozledad7:00 PM

    All they want to do is get torture somewhere on the menu. They know it's worthless militarily. Where it's really effective is subduing intractable populations. A kind of end of politics altogether.

    That's what they want, and we're apparently stupid enough to let them have it.

  26. There was chatter that Roberts was prepared to rule against Obamacare, but the Hardcore Three + the Fucking Stupidest Supreme Court Justice in Living Memory took such an over-the-top position with lots of collateral damage, that Roberts was amenable to a deal that hollowed out the Medicaid expansion while leaving the rest intact. As always, Roberts is a fan of the death by a thousand cuts, or of the superficial adherence to norms ("Hey, most of the Voting Rights Act is still there; it's only the enforcement that's been gutted.").

    Or, alternatively, Obama's NSA found out who he murdered in order to import his lovely blond adopted children by way of South America. If we don't treat the latter as at least as likely as the former, a bald eagle cries.

  27. Smarter than Your Average Bear7:51 PM

    LOL the Hell's Angels would hire them as enforcers and drug mules :)

  28. Smarter than Your Average Bear7:57 PM

    And why they want to keep Gitmo open so they can intimidate ordinary citizens with the possibility of being disappeared.

  29. I'm surprised how the ObamaStalinHitlerIslamoFascist summary didn't also point out how the very same people who skree'd about The Dusky Usurper being a (Chicago) thuggish strongman was also a weak, inept, watery feminized wimp who lets the entire world run rampant peeing all over our lawn and knocking over our trash bins while he practices reading teleprompters and fails to cut brush on his non-existent ranch.

  30. What the waitress at Denny's is faced with every damn morning.

  31. Anyone who needs water can just buy it! Hasn't anyone seen those big displays at Walgreens? pffft!

  32. I still say they did it just for retribution - someone had to get hurt for 9/11 and the failed WMD search, and they couldn't cause enough pain to Americans with all those stupid laws in place.

  33. Why not compromise and drive it into Bobo's right eye, instead?

  34. he faaaarrrrrts for thee

    Downwind, preferably.

  35. Some of us knew going in that Roberts would uphold ACA simply because ACA is one of the biggest give-aways to the insurance industry ever crafted by law. Roberts is first and always a tool of the corporations, and will always rule in whatever way most enriches business. So the only question was how he'd craft his ruling to uphold.

    And it turned that he did it in such as way as to prevent as many people as possible from getting free insurance while making certain everyone else paid up via the exchanges or through employer-supplied plans.

  36. Actually, it's counter-productive in subduing intractable populations. There are plenty of people in the officer corps who know this. Unfortunately, there are many more on the civilian side who don't know this and refuse to believe it.

  37. I have to take issue with this. Torture at the field level is actually pretty rare, and generally gets severely punished when it's detected. We've been court-martialing soldiers for this since the Phillipines campaigns more than 100 years ago.

  38. TGuerrant8:37 PM

    Jack Bauer!

    Has Donald Sutherland disowned that sorry bastard son yet?

  39. Suttree9:05 PM

    Gitmo, Ferguson, Cleveland...... At least some made it alive out of Gitmo.

  40. And really, the sad part here is Instaputz's attitude nicely sums up this society's fuckheaded relationship with women and minorities.

    Sure, it may not be true that all black men want to kill whitey for his watch, but whitey has decided that's what the black man do and that's the black man's fault.

    See also all the gross queermonauts who purposely make people like Brian Brown think they plan to force everyone to marry someone of the same gender and the slutty sluts who make men think they want to have sex by giving off secret sexy slut signals like making eye contact for .0000005 seconds or having a pulse.

  41. The tan suit thing:

    The suit is tan.
    Obama is sort of tan.
    By wearing a tan suit he was feigning nudity.
    If he is nude his dick is out.
    If his dick is out HE CAN RAM IT DOWN OUR THROATS!!!

    That's my best guess anyways.

  42. Hemidemisemiquaver9:18 PM

    I must admit that I am concerned about the security of your shit.


  43. Robert's incremental reactionary. He prefers to chip away at the New Deal bit by bit. The other four reactionaries were being greedy and over confident. Roberts wants to be more subtle.To strike down Obamacare would have given the game away.

  44. The Chutney Love Boat9:42 PM

    OMG. Roy combines the in-depth analysis of Provider-UNE with the boring verbosity of Cerberus to create the most WTF? blog post of his career.


  45. John Wesley Hardin9:47 PM

    Roberts did an about-face so he could stab conservatives in the back, then he rotated back to his original position to demolish the Voting Rights Act.

  46. Steve King is right, Steve Scalise is just like Jesus.


  47. but- but- the 9/11 attack was by Saudis, and the Cheney Admin. tortured Iraqis and Afghanistan people, and anyone else whose looks they didn't like. Except Saudis.

  48. No doubt about it: Jesus would totally have been down with lynching Black people and burning crosses on the lawns of Jews. Except for Jesus being, you know, Jewish and all that.

  49. Wait. You mean there are women who don't want sexual advances from fat balding 50-something men?

  50. KKK propaganda from the 20's, you know, for kids.

    "The Ku Klux Klan In Prophecy is a 144-page book written by Bishop Alma Bridwell White in 1925 and illustrated by Reverend Branford Clarke.* In the book she uses scripture to rationalize that the Klan is sanctioned by God "through divine illumination and prophetic vision".[4][5] She also believed that the Apostles and the Good Samaritan were members of the Klan.[6] The book was published by the Pillar of Fire Church, which she founded, at their press in Zarephath, New Jersey. The book sold over 45,000 copies"
    *First female bishop in the U.S., a literal feminazi.

  51. Now, now, we couldn't overthrow the government of those nice Saudis, could we? Doing something like that might have destabilized the whole Middle East!

    Oh, and hrm hrm, oil and stuff.

  52. If only there were ethics in video gaming!

  53. I know, but -

    maybe I've led a sheltered life, but while I understand the idea of blatantly racist shit and the fact that it's out there, it's always a shock to me to, you know, actually see it.

    Kind of like any given GamerGater and lady parts.

  54. billcinsd10:40 PM

    my life would say the fraction of women that do not want that approaches unity

  55. AGoodQuestion10:48 PM

    This year (mostly worthless) Democrats were thrown out of office nationwide as a way to punish Obama after five years of falling unemployment. On the other hand, Obama was allowed to celebrate his birthday, causing Mollie Hemingway to weep and gnash her teeth. I'll take my victories where I can find them, I guess.

  56. Tehanu10:52 PM

    That was my first thought, too!

  57. AGoodQuestion10:59 PM

    If something appears on the Powerline blog, it's Fuckthisshit.

  58. Halloween_Jack11:00 PM

    The photo of Lynndie England above reminded me of this recent article by James Fallows about how deeply in trouble the American military is. A lot of it isn't really news--at least, that the defense budget in general and the F-35 program in particular are ginormous pork barrels shouldn't be--but one thing stuck out: practically no one in the corps of generals lost their job because of their conduct during the war; your high-profile scandals such as McChrystal and Petraeus were generally related to sexual misconduct. (Jeffrey Sinclair, who was on trial for sexual assault, pled out to lesser charges.) Ultimately, in the Abu Ghraib scandal, no officer went to jail, and the highest-ranking officer charged in it, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, got busted down a rank. Her superior, Geoffrey Miller, refused to testify to Congress until they threatened to withhold his retirement, and despite "discrepancies" in his testimony, he was allowed to retire with a Distinguished Service Medal. 'Merica!

  59. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:09 PM

    as if the torture weren’t worse than people finding out about it

    It's not the crime, it's the not covering it up...

  60. AGoodQuestion11:12 PM

    I just figured that since a tan suit is lighter than a grey one, his wearing it drew King's attention to his shamefully dark complexion.

  61. AGoodQuestion11:17 PM

    I also like

    HARACK OUSSEIN BOBAMA – Still-born white Christian heterosexual twin brother of Obama. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house. Injured 1961 while still in womb when McCain punched white mother of Obama in stomach. Obama finished job on potential presidential rival by sawing off twin’s head with makeshift ritual Muslim scimitar constructed from placenta, partially digested former Chicago city comptroller.

  62. Great minds think alike!

  63. http://cdn.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/1335298036781_3013300.png

  64. realinterrobang12:40 AM

    If something hurts a lot, it's SHITSHITSHIT!!

  65. If it's on the High Times website, it's Good Shit.

  66. Gabriel Ratchet2:13 AM

    He'd probably have been okay with burning crosses too, albeit for more personal than symbolic reasons.

  67. mrstilton2:43 AM

    See? Jewish liberals are the real anti-semites!

  68. Indeed. Obama is able to be all things because he is everything and nothing. He's not just our first Black president--he's our first Zen Buddha president as well.

  69. If there is one thing both Republican and Democratic presidents agree on, it's that whistleblowers must be punished as severely as possible.

  70. Only anti-Semitic when not self-loathing. I have that right here in my Dictionary for Dealing With Jews.

  71. Well, women will SAY it depends on their personal tastes and their "feelings" and blather on and on about what they find attractive and bore you to tears with chatter about personalities and mutual interests.

    Some will even say they don't want sexual advances from any man of any sort AT ALL. This is all a lie because women don't have individual agency and the world would be a better place if we just stopped pretending they do.

  72. Hey, isn't that Genghis Cohen on the right?

  73. Torture is brutal, inhumane and sociopathic. Torture is ineffective and unreliable as an intelligence tool. Torture is illegal and/or unconstitutional.

    All valid arguments....

    But Torture is also terrorism. The advocates for torture in America use it to intimidate and terrorize populations. Despite their caterwauling about being "revealed," American Torturers have always been walking that tightrope of making sure their targets knew they existed while keeping it discreetly away from the parlor talk back home. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

    Like every regime that uses torture and public executions, etc., America doesn't give a shit about the minuscule or absent results from individual torturing; it is all about the cumulative intimidation of target populations.

    What has happened in the past 10-15 years or so, in my opinion, is that the paranoid, hostile nature of American culture has outgrown our need to be worshipped and flattered. Instead of inspiring the world with positive achievements to retain our position at the World Leaders table, our Deciderers have chosen to rely solely on the Big Stick of Bullydom to keep our status.

    If you can't join 'em, beat 'em.

  74. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:44 AM

    It was the pink shoelaces, polka-dot vest and big panama with a purple hatband that drove them over the edge.

  75. Contactos Menorca8:28 AM

    Very Nice post Sir!!

    Contactos Menorca anuncios clasificados personales en Menorca: http://www.contactosmenorca.com/

  76. zencomix9:05 AM

    We must have waffles, forthwith!

  77. coozledad9:14 AM

    It must suck to be a replica of Igor Stravinsky and be a no talent sumbitch.

  78. haha "alma"

  79. DrLearnALot9:40 AM

    "But now, while I still don't think they're true, they're no longer obviously crazy. And that's Obama's legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.”

    See? Obama makes them crazy. So crazy they can no longer recognize crazy when they see it.

  80. Halloween_Jack9:54 AM

    Oh, absolutely. I'm saving Errol Morris' documentary on Rumsfeld (in which, according to Morris, trying to get Rumsfeld to say anything solid on the record was like trying to nail Jello to the wall) for when I want an excuse to replace my television (I'll make sure to have a number of heavy, hard objects within easy reach).

  81. I thought it was John Malkovich.

  82. billcinsd10:06 AM

    the din-chewers do not look like diamonds to me

  83. Who says that conservatives aren't a forgiving bunch? Roberts has two more chances to get right with the wingnuts:

  84. witlesschum10:20 AM

    The military used widespread torture, including waterboarding, in their campaign to suppress the so-called Phillipine Insurrection in the early 1900s. And lots of soldiers told the Winter Soldier hearings they'd tortured suspected Viet Cong or seen it done. So, whenever we fought a guerilla war against brown people.

  85. [conservativeMan] Look. All I want to do is lay all these women and girls who are waving their tits in my face every day. They should be flattered that I want to stick my dick in them!

    But they can't be allowed to have birth control. Or to get abortions. Or to complain about me being heavy handed and gropey. 'Cause it's all in fun, right?

    Besides: All the ones who won't sleep with me are just lust bitch feminazis who are ugly and probably hairy, too.[/conservativeMan]

  86. Christopher Hazell10:42 AM

    There was the libertarian perspective from Reason’s Scott Shackford: The torture itself wasn’t the problem — the problem was Big Gummint.

    That's not bullshit so much as it's obviously true.

    Well, it's more that you've paraphrased a perfectly good point in a way that makes it bullshit.

    You or I could go find somebody we didn't like the look of, lock them in our basements, and torture them, but as soon as anybody else found out about it we'd get dumped into a Supermax prison and they'd throw away the key.

    On the other hand, there's real question as to weather anybody involved in this torture is going to receive more than a stern finger-wagging.

    Why? Because they're in the federal government and we're not. That's why when they torture it's an understandable mistake that could've happened to anybody but for the rest of us it's a felony.

    “Strip out the torture and terrorism and you've got any other troubled government program,”

    That's... that's really quite a lot to strip out, though. One thing I legitimately don't get about both Republicans and the government in general is that they don't actually take life and death things more seriously than anything else.

    You have this program that is supposed to protect Americans from terrorism, and on the inside it's run by people who were clearly just winging things and hoping for the best, and then on the outside you have Republicans defending the program, even though if they found a food stamp program being run the same way they'd be howling in protest.

    Now, to me, you get angrier and more concerned about the torture than you do Obamacare, because the consequences of whatever fuckups happen in the torture regime as massively, hugely worse than the consequences of Obamacare's fuckups. That's not something to ignore; it's a part of the moral calculation going on.

  87. Conservative women feel that way too, which I find hard to get my head around, since I thought women were supposed to have more sense than that.

  88. And never ever ask for child support if they get pregnant!

  89. It's also Obama's fault for forcing them to be racist by presidenting while black and all. The nerve of that guy.

  90. "now that's some writing from the heart of the culture.

    Conservatives are well known for being hep to the latest jive, daddy-o.

  91. The words Herrenvolk Democracy explains a lot.


  92. edroso11:41 AM

    Christopher, your thought process here looks a lot like mine on the matter. Probably though I'm more suspicious of libertarians than you. I agree that the state lacks authority to torture, just as you or I lack that authority. But for me that's a moral question. I think the state has the authority to lock up convicted criminals, though, and I don't. Maybe that's a moral question too, and one we should visit whenever we talk about reforming criminal justice (which we don't do enough, at least not seriously). But I accept that we will grant some rights to the state that we would not reserve for ourselves.

    As you can see, for me the money shot is the Obamacare comparison, not because Obamacare is so hot but because it conflates the moral question altogether so that it becomes gibberish.

  93. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:01 PM

    "Look what you made me think!"

  94. coozledad12:12 PM

    Today's youth --hopped up on crack, * * crystal meth, formaldehyde-processed * * opium, tar heroin, and --pomade!

  95. susanoftexas12:14 PM

    They believe in privilege and are dumb enough to think being subservient (in theory at least) affords them privileges by their men.

  96. catclub12:16 PM

    I don't know. I know if I saw the present House and Senate, I could get away with killing it and nothing would happen. I could even predict no consequences at least until 2021 at the earliest. Who would care if they 'gave the game away' if you win for that long?

  97. If something is really great, it's the cat's ass.

  98. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person1:01 PM

    I'd think anyone would have more sense than to become Conservatives, but what a wino...

  99. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person1:04 PM

    If Billo says it, it's O'Shit...

  100. DrLearnALot1:22 PM

    He could at least tone it down a bit.

  101. I know what you mean.

  102. cleter4:33 PM

    I'm pretty sure the auto bailout didn't cost as many lives as the unfettered capitalism of the Pinto.

  103. Christopher Hazell10:36 PM


    My complimentary personal opinion is that modern American politics is hugely about branding.

    Like, Coca Cola has nothing to do with world harmony or Christmas or cute frolicking animals; it's a carbonated sugar drink that has no relationship with those things one way or the other. The point of hammering on those things in Coke ads isn't to make an actual argument that Coke causes or aids these things; it's to, I suppose, create an emotional link in the viewer's mind so that the emotion you feel for cute polar bears and singing in perfect harmony is now also invoked by Coca Cola.

    Same with, say, Republican talk about freeing people from big government overreach; it's not there to make an actual argument about what is or is not government overreach and how you stop it; it's to take the emotional frustration we've all felt dealing with huge inept merciless bureaucracies and then say "the Republican party can alleviate that bad emotion" the same way KFC can eliminate your disappointment with ordinary fast food.

    Republicans who are actually concerned with government over-reach have plenty of reasons to howl at the torture report, but howling at the torture report would be like going against other parts of their brand, like support of the military and taking strong stances against evil terrorists.

    The reason so many Republicans are defending torture is the same reason KFC ads are never going to tell you to make a home-cooked meal, even though that's objectively a much better way to improve your dining than switching from McDonald's to KFC.

    In a weird way I think that Herrenvolk thought process often goes in the opposite direction than you might expect; I think a lot of times it's not so much that liberals are honorary non-whites as it is that non-whites are honorary liberals. Concern with racism is a big part of Democratic party/American Liberal branding, and that's the enemy brand. You start getting too concerned about racist cops as a Republican and you start diluting the brand, you might as well ask people to have a Pepsi and a smile.

  104. Jayson Alan Grigsby6:20 AM

    "Hey gang, here's a gesture for ya...hey."

  105. mgmonklewis11:57 AM

    If it's served up on toast, it's Shit on a Shingle.

  106. mgmonklewis11:58 AM

    I find this comment to be awesome at any speed.

  107. mgmonklewis11:59 AM

    This comment's gams are the bee's knees.

  108. mgmonklewis12:04 PM

    This. It's an (allegedly) adult variation on the junior-high clique crap we all knew and didn't love. You know, how you mercilessly criticize everything about the non-clique person, no matter how trivial. It doesn't have to make sense; it just has to ostracize and dump on the "out" person.

    "Gawd, Becky, did you see his tan suit?" [sneers, rolls eyes, snaps gum] "He's like, such a total dork. Nobody wears tan anymore." [snaps gum again; applies Dr Pepper Lip Smackers™]

  109. StringOnAStick2:27 PM

    I used self-hypnosis to develop a photographic memory while I was a college student; it made the required regurgitation of endless memorization so much easier when you could just call up a page in your mind and scan it for the info you needed.

  110. LittlePig11:04 AM

    A CatassTrophy.