NOTE: Due to travel and other issues, YAD will be updating more irregularly than usual during the first two weeks of September. Follow YAD on Twitter if you need YAD methadone during this time.
You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Dec 28, 2011
Memo to Jon Kyl's spokesman, Herman Cain, and Ralph Hall: YOU WIN, LOSERS.
It's the end of the year! Which means I get to recycle some old comment, make some new commentary on it, and go back to playing Rayman! Or, as other journalists less honestly put it, I get to frame and contextualize historical content in an attempt to create a meaningful summary of the past calendar year. Yes, it's time for IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS, BEST OF 2011 EDITION!
""His remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, a organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions." - A spokesman for senator Jon Kyl, creating a meme in April that would resonate throughout the rest of the year.
Hey, remember when defunding Planned Parenthood was the most important thing in the universe? Me neither, but this spring, there was a big fight over federal funding of family planning services, and in order to convince his fellow senators that Planned Parenthood shouldn't get any tax money, told his colleagues that 90% of Planned Parenthood's business is baby-killing.
Unfortunately, when people actually looked, it turns out that abortion only makes up about... 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. Oops. This was, despite Politifact's desperate spinning to the contrary, easily the biggest, most blatant political lie of the year, and Kyl was caught red-handed. So when his spokesman tried to get him out of it, he uttered the now-famous line that Kyl's lie wasn't a lie, it was just "not intended to be a factual statement".
Little did he know it, but Kyl was a trendsetter. Kyl established that you can say anything you fucking well want to in politics, as long as you pre-empted criticism by admitting that you didn't have any fucking idea what you were talking about. You'd think this strategy would have certain obvious drawbacks. Well, you'd think that if you don't actually pay any attention to American politics and think it operates rationally. Jon Kyl's lesson was learned by many, but one man made it an art form.
""I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration." - The one, the only, Black Allnuts himself, the late* Herman Cain giving us all his views on Occupy Wall Street.
Herman Cain pulled this trick on at least three separate occasions. Just throwing things out there while admitting there were no facts, no evidence, and no science to back up his claims. Did knowingly not knowing hurt his campaign in the slightest? No it did not. After everything else, it was a long-time alleged mistress - who was barely secret, and not even Argentinian - who forced Cain to abandon his uninformed run for leader of the free world.
Now, I don't want to spend too much time recounting Herman Cain's idiocy for the Nth time... not today, anyway. But I'd like to point out that he was not the only vector of infection.
"But I don't think it's the cause. I don't think we can control what God controls... I'm really more fearful of freezing. And I don't have any science to prove that. But we have a lot of science that tells us they're not basing it on real scientific facts. And we need to listen to more. I'm willing to listen for more. - Texas Republican Ralph Hall, who is the chair of... the chair of... Look. I don't have any way to let you down easily here. I'm just going to come right out and say it. He's the chair of the House science committee.
He's more fearful of global freezing than he is of global warming, but he doesn't have any science to prove it. You haven't seen this quote here before. It's fairly new. I've been saving it because, well, you can connect the dots between Kyl, Cain, and Hall, and when you do, you get a picture of three guys, all wearing "I'm With Stupid" shirts that point at each other.
Also, for the record, let's point out the fundamental contradiction between "I don't think we can contro what God controls.", meaning that the weather is entirely in God's hands, and "I'm willing to listen for more." If you truly believe the climate is in the purview of the same guy who helps Tim Tebow win football games and delivers presents to children every Christmas, then you may be willing to hold endless hearings where scientists tell you we're fucked and the Capitol hearing room slowly fills with seawater, but you're sure as hell not willing to LISTEN.
And do you think, when it all goes to shit, Ralph Hall will look back and see that he helped contribute to the deaths of millions? Nope. He'll blame that on God too. Or, if I had my guess, God's anger at all those gay people marrying each other.
*Well, he's dead to me, now.