Dumbass quote of the day

>> Tuesday, February 02, 2010

There is almost nothing the Obama administration does regarding terrorism that makes me feel safer. Whether it is guaranteeing captured terrorists that they will not be waterboarded, reciting terrorists their rights, or the legally meandering and confusing rule that some terrorists will be tried in military tribunals and some in civilian courts, what is missing is a firm recognition that what comes first is not the message sent to America's critics but the message sent to Americans themselves. When, oh when, will this administration wake up?
-Richard Cohen
"Obama administration is tone-deaf to concerns about terrorism"
-Washington Post, February 2nd, 2010

Wait, wait, wait--the test of what's constitutional, legal, honorable and moral is whether it makes me feel safer?!


Oh, thank goodness. Mr. Obama must order the Justice Department to shut down The Washington Post immediately and detain Richard Cohen at Gitmo indefinitely and without trial.

Because paranoid motherfuckers who would put the laws and honor of the United States under the thumb of their personal insecurities scare the crap out of me.


vince Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 12:37:00 PM EST  

If we're going to detain paranoid motherfuckers who would put the laws and honor of the United States under the thumb of their personal insecurities, I have a (sadly) large list of people I'd like to submit.

Nathan Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 12:57:00 PM EST  

There was a delicious moment on McGlaughlin Group on Sunday when they were talking about whether or not to hold the upcoming terrorist trials in NY. Pat Buchanan was trying to make the case that the reason they should be tried before a military tribunal was that none of the evidence would be admissible in a regular courtroom because they had been waterboarded..."tortured" in Buchanan's words...so many times.

leanright,  Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 6:40:00 PM EST  

National Dumbass quote day I guess...


Eric Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 6:45:00 PM EST  

Er... 'kay, Dave, what am I missing?

leanright,  Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 11:37:00 PM EST  

Perhaps Mr. Obama telling America to stay away from Las Vegas for the second time in the past twelve months?!? Maybe?

Even Haplass-Harry Reid didn't like that.

I really didn't expect you to see it.

By the way Eric, YOU are my liberal version of a Rock-Star. Do you think you could pull off the Scott Brown Cosmo Centerfold thing?

(Please forgive the three IPA's I had after work)

Eric Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 12:03:00 AM EST  

Well no, Dave, I mean, what the President said, per the article, was:

"When times are tough, you tighten your belts," the president said. "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

I'm not sure what dumb about that. If I can't make my mortgage payment, I'm not going to secure a boat loan, and if I'm trying to save money, I'm not going to go on vacation in a resort town dedicated to gambling.

The previous comments alluded to were criticisms of business leaders going on the taxpayers' dole and then taking junkets to, again, a resort town dedicated to gambling. It certainly looks bad, whether it's directly a waste of taxpayers' money or not (and it might be). When state budgets are tight, state employees' don't get expense-paid conferences in less-exciting-places-than-Vegas, however necessary the conferences might be: we get to teleconference from our boring old offices. Not sure why that's something people in the banking and automotive industries can't do, but maybe that's some kind of hifalutin' private-sector thing, where your company is on the verge of bankruptcy but will still pay for you to attend the Super Bowl (the other thing the President mentioned last year, in addition to Vegas).

Now, as it happens, you have a Nevada news station reporting that Nevada politicians are annoyed that the President suggested going to a Nevada city whose sole industry is separating rubes who are bad at statistics from their pocketbooks--I imagine they'd rather he picked on some other, less-recognizable tourist attraction, maybe one that doesn't air national ads premised on the idea you can visit their locale and be as stupid as you want to be in a consequence-free environment (of course, I don't have TV, so perhaps I missed the "What happens in Aspen stays in Aspen" campaign). Perhaps they're onto something: perhaps the President should nominate a different tourist spot every time he suggests people not spend money they don't have. Or, I guess, he could just apologize.

I, however, am free of political considerations, and you know what: fuck Las Vegas. I've never been and have no intention of ever going. It's a gaudy little mob town whose primary industry is theft. There's only one honest game in the casinos of Las Vegas, Blackjack, but if you try to play it smart they call it "cheating" and kick you out; little old ladies dumping their purses into slot machines, on the other hand, are a civic prize. Well, they can go straight to hell, is what they can do. Any extra dough I have for travel--and I'm not spending money I don't have, thank you much--I'll look at going somewhere with beauty or culture before I let that crystal city make a wreck out of me....

Eric Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 12:04:00 AM EST  

Sorry, a line there should've read:

Now, as it happens, you have a Nevada news station reporting that Nevada politicians are annoyed that the President suggested not going to a Nevada city whose sole industry is separating rubes who are bad at statistics from their pocketbooks...

Leanright,  Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 1:57:00 AM EST  

Eric says: "It's a gaudy little mob town whose primary industry is theft."

You talking about Washington DC, or Las Vegas?

Real people live and work in LV. I have many of them for clients, as we have a broadcast on KNUU. They don't really deserve a second "dissing" by Barack Obama within one year.

Eric Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 9:43:00 AM EST  

It's disingenuous to accuse Obama of "dissing" them. He's saying, "don't take a vacation you can't afford." He mentions a vacation city that relies on visitors losing track of how much they're spending and spending more than they intended--which may be more than they can afford.

Y'know, if that has the side effect of hurting Las Vegas, too fucking bad--what the President said is the sort of thing that used to pass for so-called "common sense" before that term (which didn't mean a whole lot to start with) was hijacked as a talking point for people without anything substantive to say. You have money you can afford to lose and you like bright light, games of chance and Celine Dion? Go to Vegas. Have fun. Try not to have an unplanned wedding. You can't make your mortgage and the credit card companies are calling you every month? Stay home.

That advice, of course, might be applied to Aspen or Orlando or New York City or San Fransisco, of course. The difference, though, is that those tourist locations have more static expenses--while they may all hope you'll spend more than you meant to, it's not the angle they're playing. Vegas, on the other hand, is playing the angle that people, outright fools and normally prudent folks alike, will lose track of how much they've spent in a sea of cheap or free food, unchanging casino floor lights, and the adrenalin rush that comes with play. Nor is it an image Nevada shies away from--"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Unfortunately, a side effect of being a place that caters to being stupid is you become a target in lean times for, "Don't do anything stupid."

Sorry: live by the stupid, die by the stupid.

So I remain underwhelmed. But the other thing is: even if I was more sympathetic to LV's tourism industry, it would hardly make what the President said a "dumbass" comment. Unfortunate to Nevadans, maybe, but hardly dumb--unlike Mr. Cohen's statement that constitutionality should be determined by political considerations and fear. If you want to try to make a legal argument against the rights of detainees, have at it, but whining, "I'm scared and noone listens to me," isn't it.

Oh, and one last thing: I happen to like D.C. However, even if I didn't: it's the nation's capitol, for better or worse, and has a central place in our nation's governance and culture (seriously--think Smithsonian, or the Mall, or the various Presidential and war memorials, or the Holocaust Museum, or the Library Of Congress). I like a good cheap shot as much as anyone, but sometimes a cheap shot is just cheap.

leanright,  Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 11:05:00 AM EST  

By the way, Eric...I don't disagree with you. Money one does not have should not be spent.

Mr. Obama though, should have chosen his words more carefully. A general "vacations" as opposed to singling out one particular city would probably not cause another firestorm of criticism.

Eric Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 12:05:00 PM EST  

I suspect that the firestorm you refer to is confined to a single state and/or a segment of the population that struggles to turn irrelevant or out-of-context statements into fauxtrage. The remainder of the country probably doesn't care enough to even bother ignoring it.

Hell, I wouldn't have known about it until you offered the link to a Nevada TV station, and didn't expend too many words on it until you tried explaining what was wrong with it (original reaction, quote: "Er... 'kay, Dave, what am I missing?").

I mean, seriously: telling people who can't afford to go to Las Vegas not to go to Las Vegas qualifies as a contender for "National Dumbass quote day"? Really? The dumbest thing about the quote is it could've come from Captain Obvious.

But just in case it only seems obvious:

Kids, don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college.

Eric Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 12:19:00 PM EST  

Oh, and one more point: I'm actually not saying don't spend money you don't have; there was a recent Salon piece that made the point that rational people and businesses do this all the time. I spent money I didn't have when I went to college and when I "bought" my condo and my car. With regards to the first, I reasonably expected that future income would allow me to repay the college loans and with respect to the latter two, I didn't sign onto a mortgage or car payment that I didn't think I'd be able to pay based on reasonable assumptions about job security. Similarly, businesses borrow against future profits.

I have no problem with somebody putting a big trip to Vegas on the old credit card if they can afford to make their monthly payments; now, I may think that purchasing a trip and hotel room with money loaned at an exorbitant interest rate is kinda dumb, but even there I won't go so far as to say it can't be a rational decision--perhaps, for instance, getting away from things so you can stay healthy and sane is worth the economic hit for the next several months or years. Perhaps you have no real intent of paying down the principal and have just decided, screw it, it's Just Another Monthly Bill. Hey, as long as you know what you're getting into and are prepared to hack it, it's your thing, you know, not mine.

But that's sort of inapposite if we're talking about saving, which, again, is what the President actually said and not what the fauxtaged seem to be claiming he said. The President didn't say, "Hey, don't ever go to Vegas, Vegas sucks balls and even if you can afford to go or are willing to charge it, fuck those bastards." He said, exact quote, "don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

So he singled Vegas out. So he could've said, "don't blow a bunch of cash on crack cocaine when you're trying to save for college." Big honking deal.

Have we exhausted this yet? I live to entertain, but I feel my foot going right through the horse carcass at this point.

Leanright,  Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 8:57:00 PM EST  

Horse Dead.


How DARE Rahm insult the mentally disabled by calling them Democrats, or something like that.

I'm done.

Eric Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 10:11:00 PM EST  

Actually, his intended insult was to progressives who were talking about not supporting conservative Democrats who were screwing up healthcare reform. Because, you know, we liberals are beholden to Democrats, even the ones who oppose our policies and/or principles.

Yeah, fuck Rahm Emanuel, too.

Dave, Dave, Dave: haven't you been here long enough to know I'm not a Democrat, I'm a liberal? And that I'm not exactly politically correct, for that matter? So, I mean, you've got two problems with your crack. One is that I couldn't care less how much you take the piss out of Democrats. It's not like I'm a member of their party. The second is that I wasn't terribly offended by Emanuel's use of the word "retarded," which I think has passed into the vernacular and lost much of what technical meaning it might have had (i.e. getting mad about the use of "retard" is about as sensible, I think, as getting mad about the use of the word "imbecile," which had a specific scientific meaning until the middle of the 20th Century). The third is that in this case your joke's kind of weak on the premise to start with--it would have had (a very tiny amount of) potential if you'd said, "How DARE Rahm insult the mentally disabled by calling them liberals," but you basically blew the punchline by ill-advisedly going partisan and distorting the context of Rahm's original line.

Mind you, the whole, "saying x is y is an insult to y" formula is a fairly tired one--it still works, but only if you can make "y" so inherently over-the-top that "y" becomes inherently funny. I think someone at Jim's blog left a comment along those lines about rabid monkeys that was kind of funny because the phrase "rabid monkeys" conjures a fairly disturbing and surreal image all by itself.

So if you want to sell a line like that, you gotta work on it, you know? Make sure you have the story right, first of all, then make sure you're really swinging for the stands with it.

mfheadcase Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 10:36:00 PM EST  

Syphilitic Baboons.

**grin** I mostly lurk on a lot of blogs, for some reason Jim's and Janiece's are the ones most likely to get me to de-lurk occasionally.

Now, i have gone and done so here.

Leanright,  Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 1:31:00 AM EST  

Eric, Eric, Eric....Where was it in my comment that I called YOU a Democrat? Trust me, I'm well aware that you're and progressive/liberal/independent.

And oooh! "Rabid Monkeys" that's funny. I picture Dennis Kucinich.

Eric Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 9:18:00 AM EST  

Thanks for de-lurking, mfheadcase! And kudos: "syphilitic baboons" is an awesome turn of phrase: I bow in your general direction, wherever it might be!

BD Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 11:22:00 AM EST  

I don't know a lot about the internet, but I do know that there is no such thing as a limitless container or a bottomless box. So if we keep pouring data into cyber space, eventually it must fill up. And then what will we do? As far as I could determine, at this time the technology does not exist to remove the old, used digets from cyber space. Don't believe me? You try it - I googled "how to remove old digets from cyber space" and didn't get a single relevant hit!

So Eric, I must chastise you. You have dumped far too many ones (of course the zeros don't take up any space, Silly) into the precious reservoir that we call cyber space, arguing with a retard.

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