The Great Flabbergasting and other short notes

[8/22/2011] Friday, Rachel Maddow coined a humorous term for a serious phenomenon: Republicans’ habit of passionately attacking their own ideas as soon as President Obama adopts them. She called it “The Great Flabbergasting“.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In her usual manner, Rachel wasn’t content just to float a cute phrase out there, she assembled the research and gave these examples:

  • trade agreements and patent reform that is in the Republican jobs plan.
  • a bipartisan deficit commission
  • pay-as-you-go rules in Congress
  • cap and trade (the original bill was McCain-Liebermann)
  • individual mandate in health reform (Romneycare in Massachusetts)
  • the DREAM Act
“We should have known this was coming,” she says, before playing tape from the 2008 Republican debates where John McCain promises to vote against the immigration bill he wrote.

Thursday Jon Stewart’s show had two brilliant segments. In the first, he answers the charge that billionaire Warren Buffett is a socialist:

You really have no f**king clue what socialism is, do you? “Eh, that George Clooney, always banging different broads — what a queer.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In the second, he examines the strange notion that tax fairness should begin with taxing the poor.

So raising income tax on the top 2% of earners would raise $700 billion, but taking half of everything the bottom 50% have in this country would do the same. I see the problem here: We need to take all of what the bottom 50% have.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner zeroes in on the worst thing about Rick Perry’s global warming statement: Without naming a single name or providing an iota of evidence, Perry attacked the integrity of climate scientists in general:

… global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.

To me, this resembles Joe McCarthy’s imaginary list of communists in the State Department. If the media doesn’t pin Perry down on this and make him give at least one example, it’s not doing its job. And if he’s talking about the ClimateGate emails, he needs to address the fact that six separate investigations have cleared scientists of data manipulation.

My advice to reporters with access: The way to get Perry to answer is to attack his manhood. It’s cowardly to slander people vaguely and refuse to back up your claims.



In general I hate the idea that endangered species get better protection if they’re endearing. But damn, sand kittens are cute. Oh, and environmental regulations have brought otters back to England.


You can’ t get much greener than this: a wind-turbine charging station for electric cars. And it looks pretty cool, too.


Happy 90th anniversary to the 19th Amendment and female suffrage.


Were black families more stable during slavery? In a word: no.


Looking at the briefs John Boehner’s lawyer filed to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, you can see why the Obama administration bailed. Here’s what you need to buy to defend DOMA: Gays haven’t faced historical discrimination, sexual orientation is a choice, gays have enough power to defend their interests through the political system, same-sex couples make bad parents, and same-sex marriage damages opposite-sex marriage

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  • By Objections « The Weekly Sift on August 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    […] The Great Flabbergasting and other short notes. Rachel Maddow coined an amusing term for a head-shaking phenomenon: Republicans turn against their own ideas as soon as President Obama adopts them. Meanwhile, Jon Stewart confronts ideas that billionaire Warren Buffett is a socialist and that the poor should have their taxes raised before the rich. […]

  • […] no finding of wrong-doing, least of all anything that would justify Rick Perry’s allegation (discussed last week) blaming the global-warming theory on a “substantial number of scientists who have […]

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