Tag Archives: Campaign 2012

Paul Broun Sadly Sits on the Committee on Science and Technology

Georgia congressman Paul Broun (Rep.) does not like science.  In fact, as reported by TPM, he really does not like science so much that when speaking at the recent Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet he informed the group:

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.  And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

He, along with Todd Akin (who, in his spare time, invents facts about rape), sits on the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.  Broun, a medical doctor with a B.S. in Chemistry, continued:

“You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.  I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”

To conclude he summed up how he makes public policy decisions:

“What I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it.  It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.”


As reported later by The Huffington Post Broud’s reelection campaign later defended his remarks by explaining that they were “Off the record” and, despite his clear and unequivocal explanation that they informed his public policy decisions, that his comments were  “about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.”

Broud has a complete lack of understanding of both science and the role of a secular government.  Worse, he is clearly immensely proud of these flaws.  He is charged with Grand Dickory in the First Degree.  Furthermore we sentence him to live without the benefits of science until he decides to respect it.

Stump Speech Roundup

The fine folks at FactCheck.org have put together an excellent series on the standard stump speeches from each 2012 candidate.  Some highlights:

Obama’s Stump Speech

  • He tells us that number of manufacturing jobs have gone up by more than half a million from the lowest point.  He doesn’t mention that the number is still less than half the total lost in his first term.
  • He says that Romney will raise taxes by $2,000 on  middle-income taxpayers.  Romney has responded clearly that he has no plans do that.
  • He also attacks Romney and the Republicans for running a negative complain when independent reviews show that 69% of the president’s own ads are also negative.

Romney’s Stump Speech

  • Romney references an uncontrolled, online, opt-in survey to defend his position that small business owners will refrain from hiring because of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Romney continues to play heavily on Obama’s out-of-context “you didn’t build that” quote despite repeated, public attempts to correct him.
  • Romney exaggerates several claims regarding annual income, health care costs and gasoline prices.

What become clear is that neither candidate is sticking solely to the facts.  Instead, as we’ve come expect, a good soundbite continues to trump the truth every time and from all the players.

Paul Ryan is Sad

Comedy Centrals Indecision 2012 has a wonderful photo collection, Paul Ryan Is Sad.  Apparently the sad hobo look is kind of his “thing”.  My favorite:

If you see him on the campaign trail, maybe you could offer him a hug?

Almost Half Sad

As reported initially reported by Mother Jones  and later NBC News and others Mitt Romney was secretly recorded at a private fund-raiser held at the home of a major supporter and his message was slightly … “different from those made in front of the cameras.  One of the most controversial has been the following:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.”

As to the 47 percent figure Romney is technically correct (the very best kind of correct).  As clarified by The Washington Post Fact Checker and FactCheck.org about a quarter of those people are seniors who receive less than $25,000 a year.  About half of them earn so little that after standard deductions there is no income to tax – but they still pay a significant amount in payroll taxes and of course pay excise taxes, local and state taxes and others.


We must give credit to Romney.  While he danced, equivocated and rationalized he never did completely back down from his statements when they came to light.  At the same time, however, the statements were pretty damn stupid and we’re unconvinced that Romney truly believes the underlying meaning.

As the factual statements were, technically, true we can only deliver a verdict of Misdemeanor Douchebaggery.  Based on the misleading and insulting nature of the non-factual comments we feel justified in adding an additional charge of Misdemeanor Dickory as well.

The Last Posters the Left will Need

Why spend time with facts or thought?  Just use these instead!  (If you’re more right-minded you’ll want these instead.)

The Last Posters the Right will Need

At least the last they’ll need for this election.  (If you’re more left-leaning you you’ll want these.)

Who Built What Now?

Even discounting the audience chanting the phrase “we built it” has become the mantra of the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida.  The phrase is adapted from a quote made by president Obama in July.

When quoted by conservative sources the quote is relayed as: “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.”  This has been used repeatedly and vitriolically to demonstrate that the president has no respect for small business owners.  However the complete quote, in context, is:

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

More importantly the president has continuously clarified that the “built that” portion of the speech was referring to “roads and bridges”, or infrastructure.  Concerning the ads (which often edit the speech to highlight the statement further)  leveraging the statement “They’re flat-out wrong.  Of course Americans build their own businesses.”

The Verdict

The usual political hypocrisy of ignoring an opponent’s explanation while enjoying a long history of lambasting them for doing the same is here in spades.  However making such a clearly forced and deceptive interpretation the centerpiece of the entire convention is a unprecendented case of Mass Douchebaggery.  In addition we’d like to bestow all the leaders of the Republican convention involved in this decision a shiny new asshat.

This Man Makes Rape Even Sadder

As reported by NBCNews, The NY Times, the Christian Science Monitor and many others, Rep. Todd Akin said a very stupid thing.  While being interviewed during his campaign to unseat the Democratic incumbent Akin was asked his opinion about abortion in the case of rape.  He did not answer well:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.  But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Perhaps Rep. Akin needs to find some smarter doctors.


He later apologized for the word “legitimate” in his remarks.  We’ll grant grant the benefit of the doubt and assume that he didn’t mean to imply that any woman who became pregnant after a rape was raped incorrectly.  Disturbingly however we’ve found no evidence that he actually corrected his thinking on the subject.

As the Washington Post Reports studies conclude that as many as 30,000 pregnancies a year are the result of rape with as many as six percent of fertile victims becoming pregnant.  There simply is no “automatic” defense against pregnancy in cases of rape.

In fact the entire argument that women can “shut that whole thing down” seems to have been invented completely from whole-cloth by Republican Stephen Freind when he was defending his own anti-abortion bill in the 80’s.

Considering his apology and the unscripted nature of the statement we slap Rep. Akin with a reduced charge of Dickory in the Third Degree.  However we recommend that continuing to propagate this groundless myth will be seen as clear malicious intent to deceive.

Harry Reid Takes the Sad, Low Road

As reported by The Huffington Post, National Public Radio and CNN Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has recently decided that dirty politics are just fine for him.  While the issue of Romney’s past tax returns and his refusal to release them may be a valid talking point but Reid stepped over the line by reporting random heresy.

He claims that a former Bain Capital investor called his office and said of Romney, “Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years!”  As if saying something unsubstantiated made it something worth expanding on he continued in what can only be termed a rant:

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain.  But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?  You guys have said his wealth is $250 million.  Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”

Dragging his comments even lower into the muck Reid concluded with, “His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son.”  That’s just plain low and outside.


Reid’s statements would be distasteful if they came from your average ass-hat pundit; from the Senate Majority Leader however they’re despicable.  Reid is therefore given one of the most deserved sentences of First Degree Dickory that we’ve seen.

Sad, Paid Tweets for Romney

In “Report says 15 percent of Mitt Romney Twitter followers are paid fakes” Ars Technica summarizes a new report that estimates that more than 15% of Mitt Romney’s Twitter followers have been generated by paid services.  The report from Barracuda Labs points specifically to July 21st when Romney’s fan base jumped by 116,922 new followers.

These new followers represented a single-day 17% spike in followers for Romney.  Fully 25% of the accounts were less than four days old and over 23% had never issued a tweet.  Interestingly over 10% of the accounts were later suspended without comment by Twitter.

The study explored the shady grey market of purchasing followers by opening test accounts and purchasing followers for them for an average of $18 per 1000 follows.  They then collected metrics about the fake accounts and applied them to Twitter accounts at large.  The practice of selling accounts is against Twitter’s terms of service but the firm seems to do little about it.


We must be clear that the Romney campaign has yet to comment and the report’s evidence can only reasonably considered circumstantial.  However the evidence is also very convincing.  Having taken into account the minimal potential impact we still feel that this kind of store-bought deception earns the Romney campaign a charge of Douchebaggery in the Third Degree.  In addition we also give the campaign an additional charge of Misdemeanor Dumbassery just for the plain egotistic silliness spending any money at all on fake Twitter followers.

We are willing to suspend these charges should it come to light that the campaign did not, indeed, purchase the followers in question.