Science Suddenly Inconvenient For Obama; Higgs Boson Leads Iowa Polls

  gifzette daily briefing

TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!NEW YORK—Have you been watching “Up” with Chris Hayes? You should be! It’s really, really wonderful. Though honestly kind of creepy? Because that man is smart. Freakishly so. As in: he does this weird thing where whenever one of his guests brings up some random new topic he’ll just recap it for everyone watching. Like, just off the top of his head? Without a teleprompter? And it’s crazy! Who let this man with a perfectly healthy frontal cortex on television?! It just makes no sense to us at all. But in any event, Sunday’s show featured a depressing reminder of the President’s remarks in 2009 that “it’s about letting scientists, like those who are here today, do their jobs free from manipulation or coercion and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient, especially when it’s inconvenient,” two years before deciding it was too inconvenient teenage girls to have access to emergency contraception.

(One more plug for Chris Hayes and then we promise we’re done? Sunday’s segment on the rights of women to have access to all available and safe contraceptive options featured a panel of three men and—wait for it—four women! Again: who let this man on TV?!) (Seriously: Saturday mornings at 7 and Sunday’s at 8.)

Scientists in Switzerland have “glimpsed” the elusive Higgs Boson according to advance remarks of tomorrow’s press briefing.

Now this “glimpse” is a qualified one, of course. Do we all remember how science works? It’s tricky, of course, for American readers, because scientists do this bizarre thing where they come up with a theory and then furiously set about trying to disprove that theory instead of, oh, continuing to slash taxes on the top bracket after decades of ample evidence have put the lie to their suspicion that the wealth will just trickle down maybe for starters? But we’re digressing. The moral of the story is that this “glimpse” of the Higgs Boson is another way of saying that scientists have yet to find a way to disprove its existence, and that they may be less than a year away from having a definitive answer. Less than a year! Or put another way: scientists could finalize the Standard Model of particle physics in about a tenth as much time as the Republican party hasn’t been able to figure out that the Laffer Curve is a joke.

In other Just Making It Up As We Go Along news, the world’s highest paid historian, Newt Gingrich, is taking heat (rightfully) for saying an exceptionally stupid thing about the Palestinians.

And because stupid begets stupid, Rick Perry invented a people of his own when he lambasted the administration for sending so many hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign solar aid to the country of Solynda.

Ok now hold on a minute. We follow all of this stuff pretty closely but we’d never heard about the great EMP threat facing America? What the?! Anyway, do you ever get the feeling that these conservative warmongery types are so dependent on having something—anything—to be afraid of they’ll just make one up? (We’re kidding: that’s rhetorical, obviously).

Mitt was doing damage control in New Hampshire yesterday after his disastrous offer of a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during Saturday’s debate, telling the story of his time as a missionary in France. It was very humanizing! Apparently he had to… poop in buckets? Which we think may say more about France than Mitt, but either way.

Lindsey Graham went on Meet the Press yesterday to say that Republicans were opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which passed the Senate with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority—bolstered by the vote of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown—not because it “lacks oversight” (as we’ve heard) or because it answers to a single cabinet official instead of a review board (heard that, too), but because it’s “Stalinist.” Which… right.

Jonathan Cohn, meanwhile, thinks the rejection of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is akin to nullification. (And we think he may be right!)

And in today’s surest sign yet that the 2012 Republican primary is a joke, Politico’s Ben Smith is moving to… Buzzfeed?!

[READ MORE AT THE GIFZETTE.]

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157 comments

      1. tcaalaw

        To be fair, he didn't flip the car, he front-ended a Catholic priest going the opposite direction. (Insert child sex abuse joke of your choice here.)

        1. SorosBot

          Yep, really:

          In June 1968, an automobile Romney was driving in southern France was hit by another vehicle, seriously injuring him and killing one of his passengers, the wife of the mission president.

  1. Negropolis

    You're telling me they may find the Higgs Boson the a few days before the world ends in 2012?! How fitting; how very human. I picture the scientists using our last few days trying to explain to us that the Higgs Boson is neither a food product nor an alien race.

  2. freakishlywrong

    I love UP, don't miss it. Although, MSNBC treats it like a red-headed step child. Replace Morning Blow with this show and the ratings would soar.

  3. SudsMcKenzie

    * Shameless early morning pandering for first few posts*
    Laurie Apple is getting fired from Gawker.
    Can we get our Laurie Apple back?

    1. Negligently_Joe

      I'll miss her if she falls off the Internet. Honestly, her posts were too good for Gawker, really.

      Not Jim's, though.

    2. Nothingisamiss

      Gawd, Lordy, yes! That's the first thing I thought of when I read her goodbye. She deserves better, no doubt, but for now……

  4. freakishlywrong

    Lindz..at least the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau isn't "gay". And push-back from the Gregory tool? Nah.

  5. e_z

    In an attempt to escape capture noted terrorist Higgs Boson unleashed his EMP weapon. Thereby bringing a quick end to all electrical devices on Earth and validating the Mayans. They may not have seen the Spanish coming but they nailed that end of the world shit.

  6. Negropolis

    Hayes will do his grunt work morning weekend show, but he'll be a star if they give him the opportunity. I've only seen his show, once, but he was brilliant. I've always liked him when he's been a guest on Rachel or substitutes for her. When they put both of them together, it's like having your brain plugged directly into reality, and is to say it's so awesome it can be overwhelming.

      1. Negropolis

        They seem like brother and sister. I really don't think he's copying her, they are just both very similar in their deliveries by coincidence.

  7. Ancient_Hacker

    Gingrich, a self-avowed "historian" nto financial institutions, giving an opinion about EMP is like my asking my chiropodist what's wrong with my left-turn signal– he'll have an answer, but it's sure to be way off base.

    Newt: note to self: Before opining about something technical, read up on things like Petajoules, throw-weights, and um, maybe a little bit about the history of countries that have made nuclear weapons and not used them. That last bit you'd think a "Historian" could handle.

  8. GunToting[Redacted]

    OT, but why is it whenever I see a thread about GOP debates, the ad in the corner is trying to help me prevent "disgusting septic backups?"

  9. paris biltong

    Consumers under Stalin were pretty well protected by the fact that there was almost nothing to consume and those who complained were sent shopping in the gulag.

  10. Baconzgood

    Solynda IS a country next to the Cuban speaking Ubeki Becky Stan Stan. Don't you people know your geometry.

  11. Goonemeritus

    The Republican “scientific method” requires a different degree of rigor. Firstly all theories should be drawn out on a napkin and when questioned referred to as if it were carved on stone when the planet was just beginning to cool. Secondly create an alternative collection of “experts” who will talk dismissively about any school of thought that wasn’t first composed on a napkin.

    1. Nothingisamiss

      And they can be the same experts for any line of enquiry! They'll tell us what the real, scientific truth is on taxes, homosexuality and green energy, no new training required.

  12. Baconzgood

    But I thought EMTs were there to help you when you got hurt and preform crucial first aid on the way to the ER.

    1. Baconzgood

      Meh. I liked the Pepper Chick the best. Love me some latina brunettes. And for some reason if you google "latina brunettes" you'd think you'd get J-Low or somthing pop up….not so.

    2. Millennial Malaise

      However, it's such a relief to finally be able to read Wonkette at work without having to re-size the browser window.

  13. FakaktaSouth

    Man the rethugs ARE JONESING – just looking for that great fix – the party has no valid policies and is so addicted to getting that one little issue that the great unwashed masses will fixate on and know nothing about but the soundbite that explains it – and BAM! Votes. SOLYNDRA – YOU'RE EATIN' PEOPLE!!!! ABORTIONS FOR 3 YEAR OLDS!!! FAKE ARABS EVERYWHERE AAAAAAAAHHHHHHGGGG!!!! RUN AWAY RUN AWAY!!!!

    What sucks for them is that with more than 49million poors, people actually HAVE to give a damn about more than what makes them feel like they are "better than" the other guy. HAHAHA. suckers.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      You could probably get the same effect if you asked him to explain the concept of "tying your shoes."

  14. sbj1964

    Republicans have always had a problem with science that's why it took a Democrat to put a man on the MOON.

  15. DahBoner

    Meanwhile, President McCain laughs when asked why he can't bring the troops in Iraq for Christmas…

    I don't care if we're there for 99 more years, or how many American soldiers will die, we're staying until we win.

    WELCOME HOME BOYS AND GIRLS, YOU WILL BE EATING CHRISTMAS DINNER WITH YOUR FAMILY, THANKS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA!

    1. Negligently_Joe

      Wow, if there were no surer sign that Obama hates the troops, and Christmas, now he's even redeploying them to the War on Christmas itself.

    1. Baconzgood

      In the 90's someone gave me their CD. I listened to it once then used it as a table coaster. True story.

  16. SorosBot

    The Republicans have misused the words "socialist", "communist" and "Stalinist" so long now that those words no longer have any meaning.

    1. SorosBot

      Oh I think Newt's made the "an historian" misuse before. Note to people who think this makes them sound smart: it actually makes you sound like a stupid person trying to sound smart. '"An historian" is appropriate for the British because they don't pronounce their Hs; since we pronounce the H in American English, you should always use "a" before one.

  17. sbj1964

    Politicians are not very bright when it comes to science.Most of them think the InterNet is a series of Tubes?

  18. fartknocker

    Snark off. I miss the days where we as a nation let NASA make us go wow with inventions like velcro, Tang, new and improved mechanical fasteners and other technological improvements. It depressed me to read that the CERN particle accelerator used to find the elusive Higgs Boson cost $10 Billion. Given the costs of 2 wars and taking care of our veterans, I wish we would take 10 percent of those dollars and put it back into our national laboratories for the good of the people.

    I really hope that the end of Earth on 12-21-2012 is quick as I do enjoy refrigeration for the ice I place in my nightly Jack Daniels and water.

    And Rick Perry looked intelligent this weekend. Don't be impressed America: he has an entire week to reconfirm to you how he is a stupid man.

    Please return to snark. Merry Christmas.

    1. SorosBot

      Blame Congress; the Superconducting Supercollider we were building back in the 90s would have been several times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider, but they killed it in the budget balancing frenzy. Now the only thing the US is willing to spend money on is "defense"; which is very important considering that we face exactly 0 credible military threats.

    2. Negropolis

      Not on the same scale, or even searching for exactly the same thing, but the Department of Energy is building the multi-million dollar FRIB (Facility for Rare Isotope Beams) here in Michigan on the campus of Michigan State University. Many folks don't know it, but the the United States already has one of the best nuclear physics research centers in the National Superconducting Cyclotrone Laboratory, which is also on the campus of MSU.

      But, yeah, we do need to be far more ambitious.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Maybe them Spartans can tame some of them isotope beams to unleash on their Outback Bowl opponent GaTech. I hate the fucking SEC.

    3. GregComlish

      It makes sense to have an international effort to fund particle physics. Science is a public good. We should all share in its benefits and its costs. We're getting a bargain for the LHC data because Europe and Japan are also giving lots of support to the facility.

  19. Negropolis

    To kind of draw home the point of the depravity and stupidity of the GOP, Obama is polling ahead of the Republicans in South Carolina. He probably won't win it, but that he's even competitive there is nothing short of amazing.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Due to the abject failure of the LCD GOP candidates, I won't be surprised if it all falls apart and the Pres whoops ass in all kinds of bizarro-world places purely based on a lack of any real competition. It is all about identity, spit, vile and anger and neither Newt or Mitt (wtFUCK with these NAMES?) are going to be able to get people going down here. AND since actually policy is naturally anathema to what GOP politics is all about – and policy is what we need, there's nothing for these twats to do. "Hey I know you're unemployed and bankrupt, but aren't you PISSED about all these sluts wanting to see doctors??" yeah, not really…

      1. Negropolis

        This is conjecture that the president could lose places like Pennsylvania and Ohio and such, but astoundingly pick up places like South Carolina, Georgia and Arizona just based on demographic changes and a weak Republican field. This election will be far more unpredictable than even the unpredictable election of 2008.

        1. FakaktaSouth

          I swear to you, based purely on just knowing a lot of dumbasses, (and not scientifically poling them – although that might be funner) I truly, truly believe it's going to be the ones that simply, organically hate Barack vs the rest of the country. ANYone who reasons ANYthing out, (and isn't a bazillionaire) won't have enough in their "pro" column to vote for any of the freaks (who will be shown to be on both sides of every issue) that may oppose the Pres – and those other people just won't vote, as they go with their "guts" and their guts won't be with Gingrich or Romney. I'm STILL saying 70/30 Pres O and I include my county where the dickbag stood in the school house door as a win. It really is that bad for the GOP. I know outside people don't believe it, but I'm in the middle of it, the fuckers I know got no fight in them for these guys.

          1. Negropolis

            EDIT: "This" should have read "There".

            Yeah, this is shaping up to be a bloodbath, and it's really kind of amazing given that by every other polling measure, Obama shouldn't even be close to winning another term. I also think that even if the GOP decideds to get more serious, it's too late. The damage has been done during these debates.

            That said, I hope that Obama buries them during the campaign, but pretty soon. Wall Street needs to be one notice that if they think they are going to try to oust the president, they are going to have to fight for it, or back down and go along to get along with a president who has largely given them most of what they wanted within what they see to be reason.

          2. FakaktaSouth

            Like Frank Luntz said regarding OWS, the words are "I get it" – but the GOP DOESN'T, they keep shoving crazy $10k bets (you know who ELSE had 10K to throw around?) "job creator" and "free market" bullshit in our faces – and I'll be damned if it might not save us all from them.

  20. DerrickWildcat

    And that thing that went faster than the speed of light might not have actually went faster than the speed of light. It might have went just as fast as the speed of light and no faster.

  21. SorosBot

    Newt should know all about the Higgs boson, considering that it's theorized to be responsible for making things massive.

  22. Nopantsmcgee

    Wonkette reports that famous politician Obama acted like a politician.

    Welcome to America, Wonkette. Try to see the Statue of Liberty while you're here.

    1. Negropolis

      Also, that Rick Perry is a moron and Newt Romney is a flip-flopper. You must have fallen out of the wrong side of your bed, this morning, poor thing.

      1. comrad_darkness

        I never visit a lady until it's late enough in the day I'm certain she's wearing more than her day robes.

  23. Negligently_Joe

    I mentioned this at the chatango for the debate before the last one (or was it the one before that? It was whichever the last one was where I gave a partial damn, basically), but the EMP threat thing is complete nonsense. Not because the electro-magentic pulse from a nuke detonated in low orbit couldn't plausibly devastate electronics across North America per se, but… well, we barely have the technology to set something like that off on ourselves, if we wanted to. The list of other actors that could pull something like that off is very, very, very short.

  24. Not_So_Much

    Oh, Lovely Lindsey living out his lurid repression fantasies again? The clip I saw of him over the weekend, he was wearing a soldier costume (I presumed he was hoping to lure a soldier to wear him).

    1. June_Cleaver2.0

      "…he was wearing a soldier costume ….."

      I thought Miss Lindsey was against gays in the military.

  25. sbj1964

    limiting Plan B for minors appears to be about caution when it comes to young children.How many times have we been told a drug is safe just to see it pulled because the pharmaceutical company lied?

    1. GregComlish

      That indeed was the specious rationale presented by the Obama administration to quell their supporters who overwhelmingly object to the imposition of Christian theology into the decision making process of the Food & Drug Administration

    2. SorosBot

      No, it's about pandering to the people who get all worked up about how awful it is for teenagers to have sex , and think parents should have full control of teenagers' personal lives, pure and simple. And Plan B has been out for a while and is perfectly safe.

  26. DaRooster

    Finally… (another) new band name-

    Mitt's Poo Bucket…

    "This band is crap."
    "Yeah, I think they're French."

  27. EatsBabyDingos

    The police infiltrate OWS because they have WMPP (weapons of mass poo poo) and Prof. Nutt gives us a lesson on EMF. You're so Unbelievable!

  28. Mahousu

    In other news, Blackwater is changing its name again, to "Academi." The new name is intended (no joke) to evoke the feeling of Plato's Academy.

    Indeed, I remember the part in Symposium where they all got drunk and went out and shot random people in the agora.

  29. Negropolis

    You know, I was thinking about Mitt's serious-as-sin $10,000 bet, and the only redeeming thing I can find out of that flub is that at least he qualified the 10,000 with a human currency, and not some shit like 10,000 quatloos as his alien ass is wont to do.

    BTW, Mitt's terse and aggressive "Hey, Rick"s he's delivered at almost every one of these debates should be turned into some kind of meme.

  30. Steverino247

    One more time:

    Getting Plan B to go over the counter, but not for the under 18 crowd, serves to get Plan B over the counter instead of part of rape kits at the ER. Obama banning the under 18 distribution is a distraction to keep the Fundies away from the real issue (which is getting Plan B to be widely available) and avoid looking like he wants his daughters to act like the Bush daughters. Plan B being OTC will enable women to get the drug without all the guilt tripping bullshit, photos of fertilized eggs and a personal appeal from Barbara Bush for canning jars for miscarriages. Sixteen year olds will have to find a sympathetic 18+ to get it for them, which sucks, but at least it will be out there. All the heat is now out of the issue and the nutballs have nowhere to go. Who's going to know if I buy some Plan B for any under 18 and then give it to them ten minutes later? Nobody.

  31. BornInATrailer

    You know what is really weird?

    We gave about 500 mil in aid to the Palestinians last year and Solyndans are an invented people.

  32. Negropolis

    So, when Newton wins the nomination, can the Dems take out a 15-minute slot every single week until November with nothing but the picture of Newt sitting next to Nancy Pelosi on a park bench whilst they talk about the reality of climate change? Oh, and make sure to have Pelosi's eyes glowing red? Seemed to work for the GOP in 2010.

  33. anniegetyerfun

    "As Mr. Gingrich starts to surge in Republican primary states, voters are likely to get to know some of his many passions. He is an outspoken advocate for zoos."

    I would never have pegged Newt as an animal-lover. I mean, when I say "he blows goats", I guess you could take that either way.

  34. Negligently_Joe

    because it’s “Stalinist.

    I mean, it's pretty obvious that the CFPB is way more Stalinist than that time a small cabal of party leaders decided to use procedural trickery to override their own country's duly passed laws, for "The People's" supposed own good.

  35. Chet Kincaid

    So the Big Genius has heard about EMPs? So has every other pop science/science fiction writer since at least the novel "Warday" by Whitley Streiber and James Kunetka in 1984. "24" has used it as a plot device, so has the silly family-safe dinosaur TV show "Terra Nova" just a couple of weeks ago. Is Newt going to warn us about the threat of bored suburban housewives next?

    1. Negligently_Joe

      So has everybody who's played Call of Duty, so maybe he's angling for the frat boy FPSer vote. Honestly, I'm suddenly surprised that Herman Cain never saw fit to make the "EMP threat" a major plank of his national defense platform.

  36. comrad_darkness

    Crying past tough times while you were a foot soldier on a reeducation mission for your sky god from another planet doesn't count, mitt.

  37. GregComlish

    THE HIGGS BOSON IS THE "JESUS PARTICLE". WHEN IT IS FOUND IT WILL HERALD THE RETURN OF THE MESSIAH AND THE BEGINNING OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH

  38. ttommyunger

    "Stalinist", really? How many voters today have any inkling about Stalin or his policies? Jeez, these motherfuckers must be desperate…Maybe Mitt's bucket of shit will enter the race; that would be an improvement over the current lot.

  39. outragedcitizen

    So, Mitt's last presidential run was hurt by the story of Mitt's dog being strapped to the roof of his car and terrified till it pooped all over the car and now, he goes and tells everyone how he once pooped in a bucket in France.

    This guy will never learn…

  40. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    The greatest sin that Stalin ever committed was providing robust consumer protection in the former Soviet Union.

  41. finallyhappy

    I personally(not with my own money, you fools)helped fund CERN when I was still working. I worked with people who went to/worked at Cern. However, I could not put language in the funding agreement to include my name in any future discoveries. And I think I have a good name for a particle(but I'm not giving it away here)

  42. Negropolis

    Lying doesn't seem to hurt them, either, so I hope Obama "lies" his way all the way back to the White House. lol

  43. not that Dewey

    Me too. It was so depressing that it was funny. I had a band in college; we did an album called "щ-282" and used this as the cover art.

  44. natoslug

    How about early 80s cheese? It's extra Gipperlicious!

    "I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you
    I know you were right, believing for so long
    I'm all out of love, what am I without you?
    I can't be too late to say that I was so wrong"

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