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October 30, 2015


News for tomorrow:

Ben Carson will make a major policy statement in the late afternoon regarding his theories explaining gravity.

He will also deny that the construction of the Pyramids was a government program gone awry.

Donald Trump will belch the full text of the Bill of Rights and then claim trademark over the lot of them and demand royalties.

Jeb Bush, for his measly part, will deny New Hampshire their requests for septic tanks with the excuse that the Pyramids weren't built in a day, but, hey, things .. .. aren't going to happen if he's elected.


He then excused himself to use the facilities and backed up the New Hampshire sewage facilities for a fortnight, at which point the denizens of that hardy state opted to exercise the "or die" part of their state motto.

Ted Cruz, for his part, limped downstage and summed up his view of the electorate thusly:
"Was ever woman in this humor wooed?
Was ever woman in this humor won?
I'll have her, but I will not keep her long."

Count, you missed the whispered content of JEB!s pitch in NH: "I'll pump your septic tanks for FREE! Let's just say that it'll come in handy for the next debate..."

I, for one, look forward to Carson's explanation of 'intelligent falling', which has never been made in such detail and with such care.

It's not that hard to do pretty well in good old tax-free New Hampshire if you live within convenient commuting distance to the technology sector located just south of the border.

The problem for Raymond is that, even though it's in the relatively affluent southern tier of the state, it's not situated well to take advantage of the major north/south commuting arteries.

No sewers for you, Raymond.

When did the US become all about capital?

Surely with the building of the transcontinental railroad, the financial shenanigans around which formed a template for succeeding generations ?

A quick jaunt back in blog-time...

There are some unknowns in thermo and the Big Bang, In particular, when you try to translate 'classical' thermo into something that works in a General Relativity framework (of super-high temperatures and relativistic plasmas, etc), most thermodynamic quantities (temperature, pressure, etc) are easy to translate, but entropy is a problem: there's more than one way to do it.

There's no firm theoretical basis for choosing one "GR friendly" form of entropy over another, and since heat engines with black holes and relativistic plasmas are hard to build, zero experimental help as well.

And zero observational consequences, AFAIK.

You know what deity is responsible for this state of affairs? LOKI.

let's see if lying about getting accepted to West Point will hurt Carson or not.

Robert Reich asks a former GOP Rep about the current race:

Me: “So what do really you think of these candidates?”

Him: “You want my unvarnished opinion?”

Me: "Please. That’s why I called.”

Him: “They’re all nuts.”

Me: “Seriously. What do you really think of them?”

Him: “I just told you. They’re bonkers. Bizarre. They’re like a Star Wars bar room.”

Here's the rest of the conversation from Reich:

Me: “How did it happen? How did your party manage to come up with this collection?”

Him: “We didn’t. They came up with themselves. There’s no party any more. It’s chaos. Anybody can just decide they want to be the Republican nominee, and make a run for it. Carson? Trump? They’re in the lead and they’re both out of their f*cking minds.”

Me: “That’s not reassuring.”

Him: “It’s a disaster. I’m telling you, if either of them is elected, this country is going to hell. The rest of them aren’t much better. I mean, Carly Fiorina? Really? Rubio? Please. Ted Cruz? Oh my god. And the people we thought had it sewn up, who are halfway sane – Bush and Christie – they’re sounding almost as batty as the rest.”

Me: “Who’s to blame for this mess?”

Him: “Roger Ailes, David and Charles Koch, Rupert Murdoch, Rush Limbaugh. I could go on. They’ve poisoned the American mind and destroyed the Republican Party.

Me: "Nice talking with you.”

I wish Reich would tell us who the former Republican Rep is.

I suspect he fears for his life and that his family will be harassed and threatened by Republican operatives.

There is something very, very creepy about these people, the Presidential candidates and the riffraff who have been permitted to take over the House and are moving now to the Senate, not to mention the filth infesting the Republican media.

This entire thing is almost like a Zombie movie, and the one I'm thinking of is the miniseries "The Returned", a French series you can watch on Netflix.

They're here, and they want something, and they will get it, or else.

Well, I just think it was unnecessary to insult Star Wars bar rooms like that.

I guess it's time to take a closer look at Carson's medical bonafides. That degree from Yale. That residency at Johns Hopkins.

Given the pathological nature of this serial lying.

His patients need to seek second opinions immediately. When he was poking around in their brain tissue, did he really do what he said he did?

My contacts forwarded this preview of Ted Cruz's opening statement, as demanded, at the next debate:


Face it, put a wig on Cruz and you have Olivier's Richard III,, with his pedantic, precise enunciation of where we are going if he has anything to do with it.

He also demanded that his father serve as sole moderator at all future debates.

Carson and Trump opined that they preferred less talk from the get-go and more direct action against liberals and the republican establishment, a la McKellen in the same role:


Hundreds of years from now, the twisted, malformed, withered skeleton of the soul-less and horse-less Republican Party will be excavated from underneath a parking lot in a southern American city:


Hey, I resent that !
Shakespeare fable/propaganda notwithstanding, there's reasonable evidence that Richard was (by the standards of the time), a pretty decent king.
And whatever else he might have been, certainly not a republican....

And in any event, Cruz is both less persuasive, and scarier that the crookback.

Goodness, the prevailing narrative now seems to be that the Politico hitpiece overreached...

How is this serial fantasist a front runner for the nomination - and indeed, in some head to head polling against Clinton, potentially President ??

How sweet; there are "Ben!" badges...

Jeb! should sue.

Politico hitpiece = overreach by definition

Jeb Bush just now bragged that HE was the shooter in the Tower at the University of Texas in 1966, adding that his powerful family connections convinced Charles Whitman to take the fall for the 14 murdered and 33 wounded.

"Look", said Bush shrugging, "I was 13 years old at the time, but anyone who claims I DIDN't commit these murders is probably trying to grab your guns from ya, and is lying to boot. Let's see Politico make like I didn't shoot those people. I dare them.

Why the admission now, Mr. Bush?

"Have you looked at Carson's poll numbers. The Republican Party wants someone as President who has a close familiarity with violence and can ruthlessly leverage his adolescent rage into policy decisions that can do the most amount of killing damage to the most number of Americans the first day as President."

Hillary Clinton is meeting with her advisers this afternoon to come up with a news release admitting to ordering the attack on the Benghazi consulate and the murder of the four employees, including the Ambassador as a way of strengthening her bonafides for ruthlessness among more conservative Democrats and the few on-the-fence Republicans.

Besides, the consulate employees were government employees with healthcare plans and pensions, one of the many groups targeted by Republicans for liquidation come 2017, so the thinking goes in the Clinton camp, how damaging could this admission be.

The feeling is that by competing with the Republican candidates on their turf of adolescent rage and attempted murder, she may peel away enough f*cking a*shole ignorant Republicans to her side.

"Politico hitpiece = overreach by definition"

So, you're standing by Carson's assertion that he WAS a violent thug as an adolescent, and that his friends and acquaintances claims, as transcribed to Politico, which Carson denies, that he was a quiet unassuming, maybe even studious kid who never hurt a fly are lies and yellow journalism.

Skittles, schmittles, you say. Carson should have been shot dead when he was a thug, but since he was luckier than Trayvon Martin and allowed to outgrow his bad attitude, let's elect him President.

It overreached, but moreso in tone than in fact. By all appearances this was a clear-cut case of dishonest self-aggrandizement on Carson's part. If we adopt the standard proposed by Carson's campaign's rebuttal, pretty much every US member of the ObWi commentariat was "offered a full scholarship to West Point", insofar as they weren't explicitly denied admission, and had they pursued admission and been accepted, they (alongside every one of their classmates) would not have had to pay any tuition, as WP requires service in exchange for education, not cash.

There's no firm theoretical basis for choosing one "GR friendly" form of entropy over another

But then, there is no theoretical reason why matter should have overwhelmed anti-matter at the beginning of the universe. Indeed, theory suggests that they should have been present in essentially equal amounts . . . leading to mutual destruction and no matter at all. Which would have been tough on our prospects for existing.

wj: observation trumps theory. The GR/thermo problem I mentioned was that there is neither theory nor observation to resolve the question.

Which I guess puts it firmly in the domain of theology, but I've yet to hear of any theology that gets stated using 2nd rank tensor equations...

Let's move beyond the Republican crazy crap.

Rachel Maddow just interviewed Martin O'Malley and now is chatting with Bernie. I'm for Hillary because I don't want to get attached to anyone else, but man are these Dems great. All of them!!!!! I will wait until the primaries are over, and then be a Dembot as per usual.

Sorry, not ignoring your request, sapient, but

suggests to me that the adjective to describe Carson is 'Reaganesque'...

Moving on then, to other crazy crap: I hadn't seen this:
but it's tough to disagree with TNC's conclusion that these guys are incipient fascists

The comment thread to that USAToday piece is also overflowing with open and unvarnished racism, social darwinism and other -isms from the Right end of the spectrum with a few lonely voices of sanity instantly shouted down.
One of the more original claims is that US born n-words do not speak English unlike immigrants from African countries.
There was also the hope that the n-words will massacre the libtards in their gun free zones and be gunned down by white conservative citizens in their well-defended white-only districts.

A professional Republican:


His profile:


Incidentally, I've decided to take the Republican Party's counsel (this follows my full conversion to an expansive Second Amendment, far beyond what the NRA envisions) regarding the inadvisability and even the unAmerican and godless pursuit of expertise, professionalism, scientific inquiry, qualifications, and elitist common sense, in all walks of life and so I now offer free brain surgery in my apartment, a la Carsoni.

First come, first serve.

There's a guy on another floor who is having severe headaches and spells, so I told him I'd open his head up and have a look-see.

The surgery is scheduled for 3 pm today.

Does anyone know if I should wash my hands first?

The Hand of God and the Invisible Hand always appear to be badly manicured and frankly, soiled, when they intervene in human events, so I'm just wondering if it matters.

I mean it's not like it's brain surgery or anything.

More like running a country, which anyone can do, even sh*theads.

The first link re Lofgren was provided by Washington Monthly, but what do they know?

Something tells me Carson is going to flunk Perceptions 304:


That's the name of the class at Yale he made up, and that ain't all.

See, this is bad news. Now another dangerous, know-nothing piece of sh*t is going to take the lead in the Republican Presidential polling.

Those Siamese twins he said he separated only THINK they are separated.

Such is the power of conservative horsesh*t to win over the masses.

the adjective to describe Carson is 'Reaganesque'.

No way. Agree with him or disagree, there's no question that Reagan's experience (e.g. as Governor of California) made him enormously better qualified than Carson is. Not to mention having a far better handle on the real world. And on how to work with those who disagreed with him.

instead of Reagan, maybe Chance the gardener comes close.

I'm (snarkily, I'd be the first to admit) referring to Carson's ability to mythologize himself.


White House Press Secretary Larry Speakes had his own response.
“If you tell the same story five times, it’s true,” he said.

I killed Osama bin Laden

I killed Osama Bin Laden

I killed Osama Bin Laden

I killed Osama Bin Laden

I killed Osama Bin Laden.



(Or if we wanna get all old-fashioned about it, just the place for a snark!)

Count, sleeping on a Sealy doesn't make you a Seal. Sorry. ;-)

That's politically correct nonsense! 8-)

But, this is sure to make it happen:


I'm not saying I was the wizard of Oz, but I was called in to transplant a brain into the Scarecrow:


See, normal people do or say something (or not) and then wait a respectful period of time for the parody of their actions to appear somewhere.

We've been witness more and more lately to the Republican habit of beating parody to the punch by a nose. No sooner do I write something ridiculously imaginary about one or all of them in the afternoon, but then I hear that they've said or done that very thing that very morning.

Donald Trump appears on Saturday Night Live in a parody skit regarding his Presidency, except that it's not a parody, it's a documentary prequel of precisely what his Presidency will be.

I guarantee that the Donald looked at the draft of the skit he was in and said to the writers: "I thought this was a comedy show. Sh8t, this sketch is a blueprint for my first week in office. Who wrote this? David McCullough and Lou Cannon?"

Now, comes Carson, who reads a parody that apparently had nothing to do with him and he converts that past parody into the fool's gold of his life story, and among other sociopathies, it's not even funny any longer.

This is the largest collection of oddballs to get close to the nuclear button in American electoral history (prove to me it's not) since Sterling Hayden and Slim Pickens blew up the world in "Dr. Strangelove", and that was a parody ..... I think.

I can't tell any longer.

Normally, the delusional, the insane, and the criminally psycho types are dissuaded from seeking the Presidency or other high office some considerable time before they actually do it.

Here's a true story (told to me secondhand) about alcoholic delusion, but it's funny.

My best friends Dad (now deceased) served on a Navy supply ship in World War II. Did not see combat up close. Over the years, he nurtured a case of alcoholism and to boot, he had a lively imagination.

Decades later, in the 1970s, when my friend was in his 20's and living away from home this phone conversation occurred late at night between dad and son:

Dad: Hey, this is Dad. Turn on the TV quick. There's a movie I'm in.

Son: O.K? (smelling alcohol on Dad's breath over the phone line) ... I'm watching. Go on.

The movie was a World War II film (black and white B film late 1940s; I saw it long ago, can't remember the title) and the scene was of a Navy pilot and co-pilot trying to land their plane on the heaving deck of an aircraft carrier.

Dad: That's Bobby, my co-pilot, and me coming in for a landing. Watch this.

Son: O.K. Looks kind of harrowing. (rolls eyes)

Dad: Let me tell you, landing one of those things in a storm in the middle of the ocean was like trying to land a piano on a postage stamp.

Dad narrates over the phone what is transpiring on screen: "Alright, we're coming around for a second try. I'm letting Bobby get in some landing time, cause the kid needed it. Here we go. Get those flaps full. Keep the nose up, Bobby. That's right. Don't stall. This is going to be smooth sailing. Set her down just so......"

On screen, the plane indeed hits the deck but its hook misses the trip wire and careens sideways across the deck and smashes into a bunch of other planes and explodes. There is a cheesy closeup of the pilot's and copilot's faces as impact occurs, and the fire and heat from the explosion turns their heads into charred crispy critterdom.

Son: Dad? Are you there? Hello?"

After a long, silent interval....

Dad: "I knew I should have taken over the controls from Bobby for that landing. Well, tomorrow's another day."

The discovery of a half billion year old fossilised brain seems, somehow, appropriate to this thread:

Several Republican candidates were going to put forward the fossilized 11-million-year-old arthropod brain as their choice for a primo Cabinet position in their Administrations -- probably Secretary of State -- but front runner Dr. Ben Carson pooh-pooh that option, positing that the scientist's so-called research is an obvious hoax and besides, it is a well-known fact that Fred Flintstone was a Progressive in his day.

The unwashed hand of God, with unkempt, dingy cuticles, intervenes in a life again.


How oddly peculiar is it that Progressive-hater Dr. Kit Carson appropriates one of the most "notorious" media Progressive's and parodist's early sophomoric college parodies into an uplifting, self-congratulatory part of his own mythical past as the chosen one?

Well, not at all. It's sickening and frightening, like finding out a man about to assume the Presidency is actually an alien bug living inside a hosting human husk and beholden to a distant bug planet.

Will the innard remains of the real Dr Ben Carson, accomplished surgeon, be found in a dumpster out behind Johns Hopkins University Hospital, like the human leftovers after the body snatchers had their way.

Nevertheless, this should give Carson a big boost among the base.

Prediction: At some point this week, if ersatz Carson's poll numbers fold, a conservative pundit, let's see ... oh, say Ann Coulter .... will crack that this is what the Republican Party gets for acting like them Democrats and embracing an inferior race to its bosom, and really, the slave trade that brought THOSE people over here was nothing more than another Progressive affirmative action scheme. After all, the Confederacy was an idea hatched by a Democrat, amirite?

Jeb eats a fake nail, says "Yum":


This is sure to put a damper on Republican outreach to the baby Hitler vote, which comprising a good 30% of their base, could swing the election against him as the goose-toddling Nazis rally to Ted Cruz.

Michelle Bachmann sez she would keep hands off baby Hitler (and Himmler) because their presence in history was part of God's nefarious plot to slaughter most of the Jews:


I wonder if the headlines in the Israeli papers read: "Crazy Murdering American Woman Threatens Holocaust to End All Holocausts for the World Jews Who Don't Convert ... Escapes to America Before Apprehension By Mossad"

The Republican Party exports its murdering insanity.

"Leftist rag Politico..."

Is the entire US really a Dadaist artwork ?

I was born here and have lived here for almost 60 years now, but frankly I have no explanation to offer for the state of this nation at this point in time.

Or, really, any point in time. The crazy has always been with us, it just finds new things to seize upon every generation or two.

And/or, the old thing gets handed down to a new demographic to be their shiny object. Fluoridated water used to be a communist conspiracy, now the Greens are agin it.

Long story short, your guess is as good as mine, Nigel.

I was born here and have lived here for almost 60 years now, but frankly I have no explanation to offer for the state of this nation at this point in time.

Or, really, any point in time. The crazy has always been with us, it just finds new things to seize upon every generation or two.

And/or, the old thing gets handed down to a new demographic to be their shiny object. Fluoridated water used to be a communist conspiracy, now the Greens are agin it.

Long story short, your guess is as good as mine, Nigel.

I have no explanation to offer for the state of this nation at this point in time.

My guess (and it is only that) is this: In the middle of the 20th century, the Republicans were a center-right party, while Democrats were a center-left party. But both had a lot of members from the other end of the ideological spectrum. To take the obvious example: the reactionary Southerners among the relatively liberal Democrats.

But starting circa 1970, the parties began to sort themselves into much more ideologically homogeneous groupings. The Southern Democrats moved to the Republican Party. The more liberal Republicans moved towards the Democrats. (We can argue seperately whether the latter moved voluntarily or where ejected.)

As a result, it is far easier for both groups to talk only to themselves. And to only know the other side as caricatures, rather than interacting with them as human beings. (I saw something recently that suggested that part of the problem, in Washington, was the rising tendency of Congressmen to keep their families back in their home district instead of moving them to Washington. Which both cut Congress back to a 3 day work week, and eliminated the sort of social interactions which make working together possible. "It's harder to demonize someone when your kids go to school together.")

That's doubtless not the whole story. But it seems to account for a lot of what we see.

"I saw something recently that suggested that part of the problem, in Washington, was the rising tendency of Congressmen to keep their families back in their home district instead of moving them to Washington. Which both cut Congress back to a 3 day work week, and eliminated the sort of social interactions which make working together possible. "It's harder to demonize someone when your kids go to school together.")

"Suggested'? Did you read it here the 18 times I've cited it over the past 15 years? ;-}

Newt Gingich, Frank Luntz, Dick Armey, and Tom Delay made this a disciplinary bullet point for the incoming freshman Republican landslide in the House in 1994.

Republican politicians don't want their children mingling with the cooties of liberal Democratic children.

It's like liberals are Jews, or Negroes, or Mexicans, or gay, which in fact we are, by coincidence. They've got the hate on full time.

Thus the spectacle of these grown men bunking in their offices like f*cking Yoko Ono in the Abbey Road studios, so underpaid Congressional maintenance workers have to clean up after them. Or living like frat boys in a house together (sometimes sampling the local poontang;) while their families do whatever they do in the heartland.

It persists to this day, in spades.

So we have Paul Ryan's sob story of needing to fly back to his home town on the weekends to see the kids on my goddamed f*cking ticket, and then fly back on my goddamned f*cking ticket to defeat any and all bills improving family leave.

He can't move the goddamned family to D.C. like every other f8cking American who takes a new job and the family goes with.

I expect his wife is cheating on him, despite his dreamy blue eyes.

Women have needs too.

It's part of the cloud of kicked up Republican horsesh*t visible from space over North America.

111 work days schedules for 2016 to take citizen's healthcare away or beg the President to blow something up overseas.


They get healthcare year round, 365 days a week, but no none thinks to bomb them, not that they would, this being America, born and weaned on violence.

I have no explanation to offer for the state of this nation at this point in time.

"Fluoridization of the water supply will work beyond our wildest dreams. Guaranteed."

-Henry A. Wallace

But starting circa 1970, the parties began to sort themselves into much more ideologically homogeneous groupings.

You omitted the part where the Democrats threw the the left out of their party: 1947-1960.

"But starting circa 1970, the parties began to sort themselves into much more ideologically homogeneous groupings."

I think he also omitted the period from the mid 80's through around 2008 and arguably after, when centrist Democrats constantly argued the Democrats had to tack to the right to win elections. Not saying that was always false--maybe in the 90's you needed Clintonian triangulation to win. I'd like to think it wasn't so, but maybe you did. But anyway, the Democrats as a whole weren't exactly progressive champions of social democracy Bernie Sanders style during those years.

The trouble is that neither Newt Gingrinch nor Bill Clinton elected themselves to high office. Neither did Steve King or Louie Gohmert. It wasn't the gods who imposed Ted Cruz on the Senate, it was the voters.

There have been all sorts of the-trouble-with-Washington-is theories, including the one that air conditioning the Capitol back in the 1930's was the beginning of the end for self-government.

But the basic problem has always been that we Americans are NOT exceptionally wise, exceptionally virtuous, or exceptionally engaged in civics. By chance alone, we are bound to elect idiots and assholes from time to time -- and refuse to admit it was us who did it.


Safe, kept us he did.

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