The hysteria on the right about Stephen Colbert’s elevation to CBS’s Late Night post has been nothing short of hilarious. Even before news hit that Colbert would replace David Letterman when he retires, Bill O’Reilly frantically declared that Colbert is responsible for the “destruction of America.” That’s quite a distinction, when there are so many other things vying for the title of “America’s Top Destroyer.” (Wait, reality contest show idea: "Who will be America’s Next Top Destroyer?")
More than failing infrastructure, abject refusal to deal with the coming climate catastrophe, rampant, spiraling inequality to rival the Gilded Age, near daily mass shootings, the criminalization of poverty; or deportation of millions of legions of innocent undocumented immigrants [insert your favorite scourge here], it is Stephen Colbert who is ushering in the decline of this great nation. In addition, O’Reilly also said, Colbert is an “ideological fanatic,” a “deceiver” and responsible for the mayhem following UConn’s March Madness win.
No, we don't really get that last one either.
Rush Limbaugh sputtered that Colbert’s promotion was “an assault on the heartland of America,” prompting millions of heartlanders to scurry to their bomb shelters with multiple firearms, canned goods and bottled water. He also said it represented a "redefinition of comedy," a "redefinition of what's funny." This is true, Rush. Comedy has been redefined to mean something that makes actual people laugh.
And, after numerous attempts to identify the full extent of the outrage, Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro finally landed on this metaphor: In making a career out of pitch-perfect conservative pundit mockery, Stephen Colbert was guilty of no less than the moral equivalent of “vile political blackface.” Clever wordsmith Shapiro called this “Conservativeface,” a neologism that seems destined to catch on.
No word on whether Colbert is the Anti-Christ.Although a few years back a little outfit called Christfire implied as much, calling Colbert Stalinesque, Hitleresque and a bigger threat to America than Islamic terrorism.
All right ye liberals! You’ve been warned! Laugh your way straight into Satan’s clutches.
2. Advisor to Texas GOP gubernatorial hopeful: (OK, it’s Charles Murray): There’s no evidence women are significant thinkers.
It’s pretty well known that American Enterprise Institute “scholar” Charles Murray is a colossally dishonest thinker who shrouds claims of white intellectual superiority in pseudo-science. But he has proven himself offensive and wrongheaded on other topics as well. This week at a talk at University of Texas, he stood by his claim that women have not contributed much significant thought to the field of philosophy. But don’t feel too bad, gals, because Murray did allow that some of you are very good in literature.
Murray’s enlightened views on women naturally include his oppositions to equal pay laws. He argues that such laws would hurt women by discouraging companies from hiring them, and anyway he doesn’t even believe in pay discrimination—it’s a myth invented by liberals. “Women prefer to stay home with their children,” he says. And they also choose lower-paying jobs.
Who cares what Charles Murray says, you ask? Well, Texas GOP hopeful Gregg Abbott does. He takes some of his cues on education from Murray and specifically cited Murray’s work in his argument against universal pre-K. Of course, Abbott keeps some pretty questionable company in general. He’s also appeared with Ted Nugent, whose enlightened views on women and blacks are fairly well known.
3. Virginia GOP candidate Bob Marshall: No incest exception for abortion because sometimes people want to have incest.
The good people of Virginia have themselves a real prize in Republican Bob Marshall, who is running to represent them in Congress. In fact, his views are so extreme on things like abortion and same-sex marriage that even his fellow Virginia Republicans can’t stand him. And that is saying something. He’s the one who introduced the bill requiring women who want abortions to have an ultrasound first, which helped make Virginia the butt of late-night jokes.
Still, he does have a following among other crazy social conservatives who could carry him to a congressional seat, where he could continue to embarrass his state. Marshall is anti-abortion, anti-same-sex marriage and anti-Planned Parenthood. He has some pretty bizarre religious ideas, too. Remarks of his that came to light this week include his opposition to abortions even in the case of incest, because, “How do you know it’s not voluntary? Sometimes it is.”
He has also said that disabled children are punishment for women having abortions. Here is his very science-based assertion: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” he said.
No clue as to what his source for this bizarre claim is. Voices in his head, perhaps.
4. Reince Priebus: There should be no caps on campaign donations at all!
The chairman of the Republican National Party, Reince Priebus, echoed the words of his master Charles Koch this week when he came out for removing all caps on campaign donations. He also suggested that donors should not even have to be disclosed. Well, theoretically, he thinks disclosure might be okay, but....
"I mean, you want to be for disclosure," Preibus said. "But when you start to see some of the cases out there where people are targeted, and businesses are targeted and picketed and threatened for political contributions, then now you’re suppressing free speech through disclosure. So I mean, even things that I want to agree with are getting to be very difficult."
So to summarize, money is speech and should therefore not be limited in any way (particularly when it is flowing into Republican coffers). But unlike actual speech, money should be spoken in secret and not be open to scrutiny or criticism.
Because that hurts money’s feelings.
5. Detroit columnist Nolan Finley: Woman candidate is “milking the vagina business.”
Detroit News’ editorial page editor and columnist Nolan Finley displayed his ability to keep it real classy this week. Notoriously anti-Democratic and pro-corporate, he has long been using his perch to rabidly oppose the candidacy of Democrats, most recently Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and his running mate, Lisa Brown. This week Finley wrote:
[Brown’s] confrontational style will give the ticket the spunk the colorless Schauer lacks, but won’t broaden his appeal. Brown could help bring in campaign cash, however. She’s still milking the vagina business, and is a minor celebrity among feminists.
Wait, there’s a vagina business that can be milked? How come we did not know that?
What that curious term means to Finley is that Lisa Brown favors reproductive rights for women, which in his world (roughly the 1950s) makes her an extreme left-wing liberal.
Milking the vagina business.
What will the Republican woman haters club come up with next?
6. Minnesota GOPer: I'm running for Congress because no child should be exposed to science.
Aaron Miller loves to tell the story of how his daughter came home in tears from school on the day when she learned about evolution. That’s not what her daddy taught her. Determined that his daughter and other innocent children should never again be exposed to science that might be upsetting to them, Miller was galvanized to run for Congress. The government has obviously declared “war on our values,” he thought. Well, he was just going to declare war right back at them.
Miller has already gotten endorsements from other creationists in government, like Minnesota State Rep. Allen Quist, who has argued that it is only reasonable people and dinosaurs coexisted and that the Book of Job offers science lessons.
He also joins a GOP field full of anti-science deep thinkers, like Paul Broun of Georgia who knows that evolution is a lie “straight from the pit of hell.” In Texas, all four GOP candidates competing for the lieutenant governorship in Texas are pushing to teach creationism in public schools. Even more plentiful are the climate science deniers. They even get to head up congressional science committees.
Because the GOP is determined that every child should grow up in blissful ignorance.
7. Florida Rep: Floridians can't vote on solar ballot measure.
Solar energy is increasingly popular among Floridians, which is why a Republican representative is hellbent on keeping the issue out of the polls. As we all learned in high school civics class, democracy means not letting people vote on things you don’t want them to vote on. A Senate committee in the Sunshine State approved an amendment for the November ballot that would give tax breaks to businesses that install solar panels. But Ritch Workman is using his power as the chairman of the House Finance and Tax Committee to prevent that from happening. His lame excuse?
“I just don’t see the need to continue to expand the incentives and underwriting of solar,’’ Workman said. “Solar is coming a long way and eventually it’s going to be able to stand on its own two feet. But right now it doesn’t.”
More likely, say proponents of the bill, Workman is under the sway of Florida’s electric utilities, which adamantly oppose rooftop solar energy because it will end their monopoly.
Ah well, it’s not as if there’s some big hurry to convert to clean energy or anything. It’s not as if climate change and global warming are some big urgent problem that the whole country needs to immediately address in no uncertain terms in order to avert what is certain to be catastrophic climate events, the likes of which we are only just beginning to see. No, no, no.
Anyway, we all know the sun is for frying your skin, not heating your home or running your appliances. Silly.