I watched last Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher. As regular readers know, I’m not that keen on Maher—he’s a bit too much the arrogant libertarian (and a kind of atheist that might amuse me sometimes, but is mostly annoying). On this episode, I was very much in sync with Maher. Also on the show was Soledad O’Brien, who has been acting like a real journalist over on CNN. (She can’t last long!) Jason Alexander was there with his new “semi-permanent” rug; he looked good, but he was typical of actors on the show: not that interesting. But what really struck me was Ron Christie, the gentle conservative with the harsh ideas.
I’ve put together a little video where I show the Ron Christie clips and discuss them. People who have followed my first small steps into the field of videography will note that this one doesn’t look too bad—except for the reflection on my glasses, but I like that in some ways: it makes me look like a cartoon nerd (which is what I am). Anyway, take a look at it and then I’ll have a few things to add:
I finally figured out what Christie was saying about Paul Ryan taking the money out of Medicare and putting it back in. He claims (I don’t think this is true) that Ryan’s plan takes these savings of Obama and then puts that money back into providing more Medicare. What is most remarkable about what he says is that this is what Obama has done: saved money for the Medicare plan. As a result of it, the program’s under-funding has been cut by almost 70%. The ACA makes Medicare viable for longer. But Ron Christie calls it savings when it is a Republican and cuts when it is a Democrat.
The bit Christie says about the Ryan plan not affecting anyone older than 55 is pure Republican talking point. But what exactly is the larger point? Paul Ryan is putting more money into Medicare so that he can reduce the number of people who get it? It is just madness. And, of course, there is this:
What I most hate about Ron Christie is exactly how “nice” he seems. He is just the same as Arthur Laffer. They, and many more like them, spew this conservative nonsense and when they are called on it, they just smile and say, “Ah, shucks!” They never admit to being wrong. Their whole approach is just to get out as much disinformation as they can.
This reminds me of the movie Flock of Dodos about the “Intelligent Design” movement. It was run by all these really nice old people. They were all so friendly! But they are also all committed to destroying our culture. That goes for the “reasonable” Republicans too.
This via Crooks & Liars. Governor Brown challenges New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to a three mile race:
I think there may also be a jab at Paul Ryan who recently claimed to have run a 3 hour marathon. For those of you that don’t know, that would be a really fast marathon. In fact, 100 years ago, that was the world record. Today, we are pushing the two hour marathon. Regardless, if I committed the rest of my life to marathon running, I would never be able to run a 3 hour marathon. However, Ryan has run a marathon in something over 4 hours which is still really impressive. Why did he feel he had to exaggerate? Does he have delusions of John Galt?
Regardless: California is better than New Jersey, because our governor can run faster. Also, our governor isn’t a self-serving fucktard who gets his jollies from yelling at people with little power.
I hate the show The Big Bang Theory. It is a stupid person’s idea of what smart people are like. But this kind of thing is hardly new. For years, I’ve been bugged by Star Trek. For example, there was an episode in The Next Generation where the surface temperature of some planet (or something) was minus 290 degrees Celsius. Or something. Regardless, it was some number of degrees below absolute zero. You would think these shows would have science advisers who would catch this kind of thing. And you would be half right: they have science advisers but they don’t catch this kind of thing.
By far the most annoying Star Trek science problem is Mr. Spock’s hyper-precision. He can’t say the temperature is 30 degrees; he has to say that it is “approximately” 32.14 degrees. This is okay when discussing something that can be stated that accurately, although adding that “approximately” really roils. But check out this scene from the episode “The Trouble With Tribbles”:
One million seven hundred seventy one thousand five hundred sixty one. That’s assuming one tribble multiplying with an average litter of ten producing a new generation every twelve hours over a period of three days… And allowing for the amount of grain consumed and volume of the storage compartment.
1,771,561! It is way too precise a number given his calculation, given that his calculation is just 11 to the 6th power. He explains this.
But then he goes on to add in calculations that he most definitely didn’t do. He did not allow for the amount of grain consumed nor the volume of the storage containers. So again, we have TV writers who don’t understand this kind of thing. They figure, sciencey kind of people act and talk like this. The problem is, a real life scientist would most likely say something like this, “Over a million, most likely.”
I really like Melissa Harris-Perry. But I haven’t paid much attention to her MSNBC show. She’s clearly thrilled to have the show, and I’ve thought that after she calmed down, the show would be worth watching. For the time, she was just too damned chipper.
Well, perhaps it is time to take another look at the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. This is a catch of Crooks & Liars. There is a panel discussion about the racist stigma of the word “welfare.”
Much of the segment is what you would expect. Throughout, fucktard not-a-blond-bimbo-conservative-only-because-she’s-not-blond Monica Mehta plays the foil to the other liberal guests. But at about the 8:00 mark, things get very exciting. So exciting, I lost my breath. It was thrilling.
Mehta drags out the standard conservative canard that class mobility comes from “taking risks.” At this point, Harris-Perry loses it and says:
What is riskier than living poor in America? Seriously! What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America? I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t. I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No. There is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you! Being poor is what is risky!