Limbaugh: Don’t give Haitians a penny

“Amid the rash of appeals for Haiti donations has come a call from one of the most prominent voices on the American right for people to hang on to their cash because Barack Obama might steal it.Rush Limbaugh, the most popular radio talkshow host, who is sometimes described as the real leader of the Republican party, says Americans should not give a penny to a population struggling for survival after the earthquake.” (Guardian.UK)



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“Bill O’Reilly explaining that of course America has lower life expectancy than Canada — we have 10 times as many people, so we have 10 times as many deaths.

I need a drink.” — Paul Krugman (New York Times op-ed)


No-Brainer Dept.

Telecom firms back standard phone charger in Europe: “The agreement by Nokia, Sony Ericsson and other industry majors will mean phones compatible with standard charging devices are available in Europe from next year, said the EU executive, which has pushed for such a deal.” (Reuters Technology)

And the reason we cannot do this in the US? Comes down to either greed or stupidity; I can’t see any other possibilities.


Bitterness: The Next Mental Disorder?


No one could accuse the American Psychiatric Association of missing a strain of sourness in the country, or of failing to capitalize on its diagnostic potential. Having floated “Apathy Disorder” as a trial balloon, to see if it might garner enough support for inclusion in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the world’s diagnostic bible of mental illnesses, the organization has generated untold amounts of publicity and incredulity this week by debating at its convention whether bitterness should become a bona fide mental disorder.” (Psychology Today)


The High Priests of Snark

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The Hunting of the Snark

David Denby: “A strain of nasty, knowing abuse is spreading like pinkeye through the national conversation—a tone of snarking insult provoked and encouraged by the new hybrid world of print, television, radio and the Internet. This is about style and also, I suppose, grace. Anyone who speaks of grace—so spiritual a word—in connection with our raucous culture risks sounding like a genteel idiot, so I had better say right away that I’m all in favor of nasty comedy, incessant profanity, trash talk, any kind of satire, and certain kinds of invective. It’s the bad kind of invective—low, teasing, snide, condescending, knowing; in brief, snark—that I hate…

via The Daily Beast.


Bush Drops Fake Cowboy Shtick

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‘George Bush bought his “ranch” down in Crawford in 1999 shortly before he started running for president. And now that he’s done with politics, he is moving out of there as soon as he possibly can. The Bushes have bought a new home in a tony neighborhood (and until recently a whites-only community) in Dallas. So, what happened to retiring down to the ranch?

Well, it’s what most of us suspected — all total bullshit. He was never a cowboy. That ranch had nothing on it. No cows, no farming, just a lot of bullshit brush that Bush pretended to clear (for what fucking purpose?). The ranch was always a political gimmick. It was purchased so that Bush could play the role of the Texas cowboy when in fact he has always been the Andover cheerleader.’

Cenk Uygur via HuffPo.


California’s ‘Super-Stupid Anti-Science Cell Phone Law’

“Well, today's the day that political expediency and anti-science stupidity combine for the banning of handheld cell phones while driving in California.

I've discussed this topic here several times before, noting that virtually every study shows no reduction in accident rates when talking on a hands-free cell phone vs. handheld units. In fact, there are concerns that people fumbling around to dial and answer hands-free units may actually make matters worse.

Even the Luddite who spent years pushing through this legislation admits that the science and studies are against him, but he's convinced that having both hands on the wheel is safer. Of course, the law doesn't require two hands on the wheel — which would be fairly difficult for stick drivers like me in any case, eh?

When I was out driving earlier today, I saw one women swerving while putting on make-up, and a guy weaving all over while apparently wolfing down a burger. Another car almost didn't make a stop while the woman inside appeared to be screaming at her kids in the back seat — all classic distractions unaffected by the new law. However, I saw several people now driving illegally but safely with handheld cell phones.

There are already laws against distracted driving. The new cell phone law (as applied to adult drivers) is both unnecessary and counterproductive — the latter by making people erroneously believe that they're safer with hands-free phones while driving.

This sort of “feel good” law that flies in the face of science, studies, and logic, is an example of our political system operating as a pandering pomposity of the most inane kind.”

via Lauren Weinstein.