Thursday, October 16, 2008

Post-debate Whatever

Here is the single best thing to come out of last night's debate:


Most of the rest of it was babbling about "Joe the Plumber," plus the usual lies and obfuscations and pretty words that mean very little. The most exciting moment was when I really pissed off my friend's cat, who tried to maul me. He couldn't though, because he was declawed, and that must have been pretty frustrating. I feel bad about the whole thing. Sorry I was a dick to you, cat!

The results of the debate are pretty typical. If you already planned to vote for Obama, you still plan to do so. Ditto for McCain. If you're undecided at this point in the game you're probably so clueless you'll either miss the election entirely because you got confused about what month it is or you'll get lost trying to find your polling place and somehow drive into a lake. So who really cares what you think?

There are two things I want to mention, though. They both keep coming up, and they're both really aggravating.

This is a picture of an overhead projector:

This is a picture of the Adler Planetarium's Zeiss Mark VI projector, which John McCain has repeatedly referred to as an "overhead projector":

Yeah, pretty big difference there.

Here's a page where you can donate to help them renovate the Zeiss projector. Feel free to send them some money, by the way. Planetaria are awesome.

Anyway, know why they need a donation page? Because while money for the planetarium was in a budget proposed by Obama, it never passed. The Adler Planetarium got no money to update their 40 year old projector.

Yet McCain repeatedly brings it up. It's bad enough that he thinks planetaria are "foolishness" (that is actually the word he used). But in his whining about someone daring to try to fund science education, he can't even be bothered to tell the truth, which is that the funding never passed. Argh!

It's part of a weird pattern of Republicans hating astronomy, for reasons I can't fathom.

McCain hates planetaria, Nathan Bech hates telescopes, Sarah Palin presumably hates the concept of heliocentrism. I guess the astonomers have it a little easier than the biologists, at least. Hell, nearly 70% of Republicans reject evolution.

I wonder why America is falling behind the rest of the world in science.

The second thing that irritates me into calcifying a black pearl of fury is this quote from McCain about ACORN. This is basically the new Republican talking point/excuse for why McCain is going to lose.
[ACORN] is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history ... maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.
Oh my god what total bullshit that is! Forget Diebold and the largescale disenfranchisement of potentially millions of people, what's important is that a few people might have registered "Mickey Mouse" to vote. So now when Mickey Mouse shows up to vote he will destroy democracy!

Here's a good explanation of ACORN and "voter fraud". In a nutshell, yes there have been cases of false registrations. This was fraud against ACORN, not voter fraud. There's no evidence anyone ever voted under the false registrations, someone was just trying to make some extra cash by registering people who don't exist.

In almost all cases, it was ACORN itself which drew attention to the fraudulent registrations. Their only crime (and this is only a crime in the eyes of Republicans) is trying to register poor people to vote. That's not a reliable Republican demographic!

Making this all the more annoying is that I can pinpoint when I first heard a Republican shill badmouthing ACORN. It was on NPR, in a piece about voter suppression by the Michigan GOP.

The shill downplayed the Republican attempts at voter suppression while also claiming that ACORN commits voter fraud for the Democrats. It was probably on September 11th that I heard it, judging from the date on this NPR blog entry.

Apparently it took the Republicans about two weeks to get their talking points coordinated, because it wasn't until around the 27th that attacking ACORN really started to take off.

The accusations are obvious bullshit to anyone who actually bothers to look at the facts. They're just a smokescreen to try to divert attention from the well-sourced evidence of Republican voter suppression.

Sadly, debunking lies like this just tends to make people believe them more strongly. Cognitive dissonance is a terrible thing.

Anyway, Obama won the debate. Yay!

[Update 6:38 PM] Want to know more about what the hell is up with that picture up top? Go here and be enlightened!