Shorter Ezra Klein


People believe what they want to believe.

Klein has a chapter-length essay (I copied and pasted into Word to get a word count: 4,191 words) up on the first day of the news site VOX. Seriously. And it all comes down to my one short sentence. Six paragraphs in, there’s this:

“But Kahan and his team had an alternative hypothesis. Perhaps people aren’t held back by a lack of knowledge. After all, they don’t typically doubt the findings of oceanographers or the existence of other galaxies. Perhaps there are some kinds of debates where people don’t want to find the right answer so much as they want to win the argument. Perhaps humans reason for purposes other than finding the truth — purposes like increasing their standing in their community, or ensuring they don’t piss off the leaders of their tribe. If this hypothesis proved true, then a smarter, better-educated citizenry wouldn’t put an end to these disagreements. It would just mean the participants are better equipped to argue for their own side.”

I could have/should have stopped there. On the bright side, Vox is having a better first day that Nate Silver’s relaunched FiveThirtyEight.

(How Politics Makes Us Stupid Vox)

Who Let The Pigs Out?

Castrating pigs is like cutting spending? Make politicians squeal by castrating them? Metaphors are hard for me. And yes, this is real.

Before the anti-gay propaganda laws in Russia…

…there were safe-sex commercials:

True confession: I thought it was going to be a pun on how puck sounds like, well, you know, before it dawned on me that in Russian, that might not work. D’oh!

How Much Is That Judge In The Window?

Remember when Howard Dean had his 50 State Strategy? Remember when the G.W. Bush administration was stacking courts with their brand of justices? What happens when you combine the two concepts for nefarious reasons matched with massive amounts of anonymous loot?

In Michigan, where three of seven seats on the State Supreme Court were up for election, records were set for both spending and lack of accountability…Of the $15 million or so spent for TV ads in Michigan, 75 percent cannot be attributed to identifiable donors, notes Rich Robinson

You can thank Judicial Crisis Network for leading this multi-state charge. So, you know, you got that going for you. No one has connected the dots yet why so much money was dumped into a Michigan Supreme Court race. So spin the wheel and guess which high profile case will be coming down the pipeline where someone wants their brand of judge on the bench! Don’t fret, this game will be coming to a state near you soon so you can play at home.

Romneggedon, Micro Political Satire Series, Episode #2

Meet Mish, Freedom Fighter for the Womb Warrior Resistance played by the insanely talented, Julie Goldman

If we don’t vote for Obama, Romney will wage vaginal warfare on women. Women will no longer be able to get safe and legal abortions. Women will not be allowed to use birth control. Women will not get adequate, quality healthcare.

Romneggedon, Micro Political Satire Series, Episode #1

Imagine Romney being voted into office, a terrifying notion for inumberable reasons. For me, ROMNEGGEDON is my biggest fear, a post apocalyptic world where Romney’s been voted into office and waged vaginal warfare on women

The Feast of Saint Breitbart


I’m sure that’s how they see their beloved Saint Breitbart, pierced by the arrows of outrageous fortune, a martyr to the cause.

We’ve seen this show before

“We have gone as far as we feel we can go,” Hensarling said. “We put $250 billion of what is known as static revenue on the table, but only if we can bring down rates. We believe we can bring the top individual rate down to 28, 29, maybe at most 30 percent, bring the corporate rate down to the median of the EU, 25 percent. And on balance, we think that would be pro growth. But, listen, any penny of increased static revenue is a step in the wrong direction.–Super Committee co-chair Jeb Hensraling

I know. I’m shocked. Imagine that, Wingnuttia is not now, nor have they ever been negotiating in good faith.

So what remains to be seen is if 1) the Dims will continue to negotiate against themeselves (seems likely), or 2) if our notoriously hands-off President will insert himself into the process (seems unlikely, but you never know) or 3) if Obama will veto whatever hot mess this supercommittee is going to propose.

I’m told that the charm of Kabuki theater is that everyone already knows the stories, they just like to see them acted out.


Paul Ryan blames bloggers!

Ha-ha, the Eddie Haskell of politicians, Congressman Paul Ryan of WI, the truth-challenged author of the GOP’s budget to kill Medicare and give tax breaks to billionaires, said that some bloggers stacked his town hall meetings against him:

My town halls were phenomenally, overwhelmingly supportive. And this was after – you know, it was reported by the media that MoveOn, ThinkProgress, the labor council from Milwaukee were doing training sessions and trying to stack the crowds.

Let’s look at some of that overwhelming support, shall we, uploaded to YouTube on April 19.

Bloggers are so gross. Why can’t they see that Paul Ryan is only trying to help?