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.
It's The Fees That'll Kill You
Memo to Mark Kirk, Dan Dumaine, and Bill O'Reilly: YOU ARE DUMB.
Back to the bottom! I've been crazy-ass topical for weeks, but that just means the old stuff in the research pile gets older and older. Before they pass into the mists of antiquity, let's remember that IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!
"Had I been limited to that I would have had no chance to recover like I did. So unlike before suffering the stroke, I’m much more focused on Medicaid and what my fellow citizens face." - Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, taking a small step and stopping.
A lot of people thought it was, in a small way, admirable of Kirk to let his personal experience with a stroke affect his perception of poor stroke victims on Medicaid, and the discrepancy between what they need and what they get. And it is admirable, in a small way, for a sufficiently small value of "small".
See the thing about all these Republican single-issue conversions on issues that affect them directly, whether it's Mark Kirk on stroke victims or Dick Cheney on gay daughter rights, they never allow themselves to take the next step. If Mark Kirk was wrong about Medicaid before he had his stroke, what else is he still wrong about? What assumptions was he making before his stroke? Is he still making those assumptions about other things, things that directly correlate to the thing he admitted he was wrong about? Can you do a 180 on one issue that affects you while maintaining the core political philosophy that led you to being wrong on that issue?
Kirk obviously can. And so, apparently, can most Republicans. Which is convenient, but not really admirable.
"A holstered gun is not a deadly weapon. But anything can be used as a deadly weapon. A credit card can be used to cut somebody’s throat." - New Hampshire state Rep. Dan Dumaine, continuing the tradition.
The great thing about having the first gun debate, even a fake modern political gun debate, in like the last decade is that it brings all the old, shitty pro-gun canards from the locked cabinet in the den where we kept them safe from the kids. I mean, since everything is potentially lethal in the hands of a trained ninja, everything must therefore be equally dangerous, right?
This isn't a problem we have with other technologies. The real Americans in truck commercials understand that a big pickup truck with a big engine and lots of torque is better for hauling a trailer full of boulders up a mountain* than a Prius is. Nerds understand that a bigger processor and a beefier graphics chip lets you run bigger games, better games. Better technology improves efficiency.
A gun is a much more efficient killing technology than a credit card. It's more efficient than a car. Increase the rate of fire, the accuracy, and the magazine size, and it becomes even more efficient. More efficient than a hammer. More efficient than all the other things the NRA and their puppets want to shift the conversations to.
And that's what gun regulation is for. Not stopping gun violence. Not stopping massacres. Not stopping murder. Just making it less efficient. You want to argue the regulations are unconstitutional? Bring your lawyers. Want to argue that they won't reduce the efficiency of murder? Bring your numbers and show your work. Everything else is bullshit and distraction.
"But you know what's shocking? 35 percent of the Hawaiian population is Asian, and Asian people are not liberal, you know, by nature. They're usually more industrious and hard-working. - Bill O'Reilly, thinking he's being nice.
This has been your occasional, necessary reminder that BIll O'Reilly, in addition to his confusion over workplace boundaries, Middle Eastern foods, and general human decency, is also still a screaming racist. You're welcome.
*Even though mountains are pretty much made of boulders, they keep hauling 'em up there.