Melting Ice Caps To Kill Us; Rich Man Builds Space Rescue Plane Just In Time

  gifzette daily briefing

YO THIS IS SORT OF WHACK WE THINKNEW YORK—The eagerly awaited Time magazine Person of the Year award is out, and we just want to say what an honor it is to have received this award for an unprecedented second time. Time gave the nod this year to “The Protester,” i.e. us, the editors of The Gifzette, who attended a handful of Occupy Wall St. protests this year. We’re very excited to set this award on our mantle right next to the one we got in 2006 just for having a blog.

So the government is busy intruding on areas of our privacy that aren’t our womb or our marriage again, as the National Transportation Safety Board announced yesterday its recommendation that US states ban the use of all electronic devices while driving. Conservative commentators, meanwhile, are naturally failing to see the safety difference between legitimate cognitive distractions and switching the dial on the radio. Jokes on us, though, for expecting people who don’t often demonstrate much command of the fundamentals of cognition to be capable of teasing out the subtleties of cognitive differences.

Fourteen Democratic senators are asking for answers from the Obama administration after the latter’s shamefully stupid decision to restrict access to the Plan B emergency contraceptive. “We ask that you share with us your specific rationale and the scientific data you relied on for the decision to overrule the FDA recommendation,” write the senators, and as Greg Sargent notes, it “puts the administration in an awkward spot,” because it either “produces a scientific rationale that’s acceptable to these Senators, which will will be extremely difficult at best, or it will face more criticism for failing to justify its policy, reinforcing the sense that this Democratic administration abandoned science and put politics first.” We’re not sure if they’re putting politics first or just putting irrational cultural judgments about young women having sex first, but sure.

Attorney General Eric Holder gave a pretty big deal of a speech last night in Austin, TX, taking on Republican efforts to “prevent ballot fraud” by, in essence, imposing a poll tax. Voting rights, Holder said, “must be viewed not only as a legal issue but as a moral imperative,” and, really, it just makes us happy whenever someone picks a fight with conservatives by quoting Immanuel Kant.

Anyway, remember the aughts? God they sucked so hard. Bush, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, all those clowns in positions of power? All of them just SO PSYCHED to drop bombs on everyone? It was the worst! Thank god they’re all gone. Because if they were still around we might be bombing Iran already because of that drone thing!!

 
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Sane people the world over already suffering from heightened blood pressure levels less than a month out from the Iowa caucuses are rejoicing at Donald Trump’s decision to bow out of that crazy presidential debate he wanted to host that only two of the Republican contenders were crazy enough to want to attend in the first place. But stay vigilant, people, because Trump claims he only pulled out so as to retain the option of running for president as an independent, i.e. he’s never actually going away god help us all.

We’re now just a day away from the next round of hearings on the Stop Online Piracy Act, so look forward to another round of insufferable people on the internet who otherwise can’t be bothered by government to suddenly take up an interest in policy.

Well thank god Newt Gingrich—with all of his crazytalk about moon colonies and space lasers—isn’t the only person talking about outer space, because yet another fabulously wealthy private investor has decided to do the right thing and fill the shoes left so tragically vacant after the United States stopped being in awe of outer space (except for that one time George Bush brought up Mars in a State of the Union—that was good). This time it’s Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who’s building an enormous plane—reportedly so huge it will make the Spruce Goose look like a balsawood party favor—that will be capable of delivering satellites and maybe even people into orbit. It’s not set to have an operational launch until 2016, so we’ve got at least four years before Newt starts sending inner city kids who don’t have an appreciation of a hard day’s work to go toil in his moon mines.

Um, right, so this is terrifying? Basically: methane gas? Way worse for the environment than carbon dioxide! 72 times worse, to be precise. And there are hundreds of millions of tons of this really scary stuff hiding under Arctic ice sheets, ice sheets which (you guessed it) are all melting. The Independent quoted scientists who know about this stuff using words like “dramatic,” “astonishing,” and “unprecedented” to describe the current rate of methane release.

John Boehner, naturally, responded to the latest disturbing chapter in the history of climate change by holding a middle class tax cut hostage to more drilling.

Speaking of Newt, we found this absolutely hilarious: Joe Lieberman begged to differ yesterday with Newt’s characterization of the Palestinians as an “invented people.” Lieberman had this to say: “The important fact is that the Palestinians are a people today, and any resolution of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has to be between two people, two nations.” So, you know, memo to Newt: when Joe Lieberman is being more reasonable than you on Israel-Palestine, it’s probably time to find your way back to the reservation.

[READ MORE AT THE GIFZETTE.]

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145 comments

  1. Barb

    "bans all electronic devices while driving…."
    We can still use battery operated, remote control pink dildos, right?

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Standard remote-ing distance is 25 feet (??) so you could technically be in front or behind the other person in another car. They will also spin left or right, or pulse, so I guess it could be a way to give directions?

        1. Chet Kincaid

          Phil: "Next on 'The Amazing Race', the Tijuana Detour: one teammate must navigate the other from Chula Vista, California to Tijuana, Mexico, using only the speed and spin direction of a battery-operated, remote-controlled dildo — including passing a tense border checkpoint."

          1. FakaktaSouth

            No worries man, I totally got this. Wouldn't be the first time I tried to cross the border with a dildo and a smile…

    1. Biff

      If it also means the right-wingnuts can no longer listen to hate radio while driving, it might be worth the sacrifice.

    2. yrbmegr

      NTSB is ridiculous! Are they trying to ban talking to, or by, your passengers? ALL cognitive distraction is dangerous? Really? What if I get hungry? Stop driving wherever I am, because being hungry is a dangerous cognitive distraction?

      Can we get a new board of some kind that makes sense?

  2. paris biltong

    The methane gas problem is exacerbated by powerful emissions during Republican presidential debates and the candidate's speeches and utterances in between.

    1. freakishlywrong

      As well as any and all inane utterances from Boner, Cantor or any other "conservative" jack off.

  3. GunToting[Redacted]

    "The Independent quoted scientists who know about this stuff using words like “dramatic,” “astonishing,” and “unprecedented” to describe" the fact that hated pus-filled marshmallow Newt Gingritch is a viable GOP presidential candidate.

    FIFY NDTT

  4. SorosBot

    "Anyway, remember the oughts?"

    No; I remember the zeroes. Why some people keep referring to the past decade with the archaic word "aughts", when anyone who ever used the word "aught" in any other way is long dead now is mystifying.

    1. paris biltong

      Actually, during the zeroes, we ought to have done things differently. That's why they're called the "oughts".

      1. eldswede

        I'd hoped we'd settle on the 'naughts' so we could talk about what it was like back in the naughties.
        oldswede

    2. Biff

      The reference I just don't get is when otherwise normal people refer to the year 2001 as "two-oh-one", etc. I thought when we crossed the decade threshold that things might improve, as "two-oh-ten" etc almost makes some sense, but no–they say "two-ten" etc. WTF does this even mean?

    3. Generation[redacted]

      We said "aughts" because the Kaiser stole all our zeros. I had an onion in my belt, which was the style at the time.

  5. BaldarTFlagass

    "really scary stuff hiding under Arctic ice sheets, ice sheets which (you guessed it) are all melting."

    Let me know if Kurt Russell or Keith David shows up with a flamethrower, that's when I'm gonna start getting scared.

  6. slithytoves

    it just makes us happy whenever someone picks a fight with conservatives by quoting Immanuel Kant.

    Is somebody studying for a Philosophy final here?

  7. freakishlywrong

    it’s probably time to find your way back to the reservation.
    That's kind of hard for Newt, considering he lives in his own turgid, vivid imagination.

  8. ThundercatHo

    So with the new giant space plane can all the GOP, fundies, teabaggers, wingnuts and Duggars (I realize there is some overlap here) go Galt to the moon?

    1. Nothingisamiss

      Free enterprise! No government interference! Find your own oxygen! This is what you asked for, right, wingtards?

  9. ManchuCandidate

    The typical difference between a LW nay-sayer and RW pollyanna is this.

    When I'm (the LW naysayer) is wrong, I look like a fool.
    When you're (the RW pollyanna) wrong, we're all fucked.

  10. Steverino247

    Well, now we know the real reason for all the fuss over Fast and Furious. Holder's going to fuck up the voter suppression efforts.

  11. BaldarTFlagass

    Well, if I can't have a jet pack or a flying car, a giant space plane is a kinda cool consolation prize.

  12. V572 the Merciless

    In other news, the Border Patrol "loaned" a drone to local cops so they could hunt down some gun nuts patriotic 1st/10th Amendment activists.
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2011/12/sho

    Shouldn't be long before drones are tracking speeders on the highway, but not near the airport, ya hopes…unmanned aerial vehicles "steered" by doughnut-fueled local cops are just a little scary around aircraft full of people, hennghengh?

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      From the article:
      "Rodney Brossart reportedly still had to be tazed during the arrest, and caused about $1000 worth of damage after being put in a squad car."

      What, did they put him in the driver's seat?

      1. V572 the Merciless

        The back seats of patrol cars are upholstered in rich, Corinthian leather — just another way criminals are coddled today.

    2. weejee

      This post 9/11 shit 24/7 is getting to be a bit much. I'm more concern about our overzealous "protectors" these days than fucking al Qaeda.

      1. V572 the Merciless

        When he was still CIA honcho, Leon Panetta was on Fareed Zakaria's show and said he estimated there were 50 AQ personnel left in A'stan. Fifty!

    3. not that Dewey

      The drone was used to arrest "Sovereign Citizens" (Basil Marceaux?), so maybe this is progress.

      Also, this is reassuring:

      “We don’t use [the drones] on every call out,” Bill Macki, head of the SWAT team in Grand Forks, told the Times. “If we have something in town like an apartment complex, we don’t call them.”

  13. BornInATrailer

    So who else hit the name Joe Lieberman in the last paragraph, stopped, and had to make sure who they thought that was was who that was? For a moment, I worried about stroke or the early onset of dementia.

  14. freakishlywrong

    Oh, and you know what? Keep your fucking tax cut. Hell, raise taxes, then maybe we can get some nice things. Like trains. Or my flying car already. Just don't cave to these goblins awful demands. Fuck em'.

      1. V572 the Merciless

        Worse yet, in zero gravity, what keeps the litter (and you know what else) in the litter box?

  15. Mumbletypeg

    "John Boehner, naturally, responded to the latest disturbing chapter in the history of climate change by holding a middle class tax cut hostage to more drilling."

    I hate to pull the plug on the dick jokes but it's time to pronounce the Speaker's name correctly. For too many of us he has become the bane of our existence.

  16. Allmighty_Manos

    Cheney has a point. With the withdrawal from Iraq, we as a nation are dangerously close to being involved in no long-term cluster fuck conflicts in the Middle-East. Remember what that was like? W/o having to spend money on air-drones and Humvees, someone might get the idea that fully funding schools and bridge repair is the proper use of taxpayer money.

    1. JustPixelz

      Dick Cheney was wrong about absolutely everything*. Cheney's own heart has been trying to kill him for decades. So let that be your guide to his character.
      ______________________
      * Cheney also said Obama would be a one term POTUS. Hooray! Four more years.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Imagine if Mick Jagger had sung it like "You Kant Always Get What You Want" in British proper-familiar parlahnce, instead of "cain't" like he was from Kinston N.C.

      Actually, don't imagine that at all… it still doesn't sound right..

  17. BaldarTFlagass

    "ban the use of all electronic devices while driving."

    Does this mean that I can't finalize my CADD remediation system design plans on my laptop while I'm driving to the meeting?

    1. not that Dewey

      Many cars are, technically speaking, electronic devices. Get down there under the car, stick your head in the catalytic converter, and monitor your own damn Oxygen throughput.

    2. yrbmegr

      Yes, that's what it means. Also, you can't use your laptop to hit your kid and make him shut up, either. Nor can you throw your cell phone at your wife while driving.

    3. jus_wonderin

      I can still use my Marks-a-lot to scrawl unintelligible mantras on my Duece and a Quarter's headliner, right????

      "Save the scales, as the One has tribbling written in milkbone with terrycloth!!"

  18. Goonemeritus

    Today we are all Joe Lieberman… well not really but in recognition of this step towards rationality I will be removing his surveyor marked likeness from our urinal.

  19. deanbooth

    Why is it that when an administration abandons science, the result is always conservative policy? Why not "The administration abandoned science and is requiring all high-school crossing guards to hand out Plan B for free."

  20. bureaucrap

    I went to OccupyDC a couple of times, so I guess I'm Time's Person of the Year, too!! I'm gonna call my mom right now; she'll be so proud!

  21. bureaucrap

    If it had been my choice, I would have chosen George Takei for TIME's person of the year, for showing the world that out of work actors can continue to make important contributions to society (Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger do NOT prove that proposition, obvs).

  22. Come here a minute

    Even more terrifying: When you read it in The Independent, you have to pronounce it "MEE-thane" instead of the US American version "METH-ane". I can see why we prefer the latter.

  23. EatFrankRich

    Don't forget to read Metaphysics of Morals in the bathtub, because you know that nothing is better than a wet Kant.

  24. slithytoves

    I was going to give him some leeway on that, since the categorical imperative is an unconditional moral imperative.

  25. FakaktaSouth

    Newt took some time out from watching all his policy creating Bond flicks to research methane for fuel on Mad Max. He ain't scared – them methane seeping ice sheets is like cash for cold. (Yes. Bad Pun Wednesday. Fuck it I'm sick and living on NyQuil. It is what it is.)

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Bad puns are welcome here. After you mentioned Pun Fun Friday last week I waited to find opportunities to deliver but my pun-o-meter needle must've been stuck alongside the house thermostat I was waiting to have repaired. Hope your cold is on its way out sooner than later.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Oh man I hope your thermostat is okay. It's 70+ degrees in FREAKING DECEMBER here all of a sudden – hence the stupid cold. I can't do highs of 70 degrees to 30 and back to 70 in a week without having a physical reaction. THANKS GLOBAL WARMING.

        1. Mumbletypeg

          It got mended after five days of back-&-forth with various service providers and fix-it crews.
          I blame the extreme temp' swings when there's nothing else left to blame stuff on. Such careening climate antics seem to legitimately warp my whole frame of being though I have nothing to back up scientifically why my body should react to waking to dress for low 30s and disembark for mid-day errands recalibrating for upper 60s. Another reason to wish we'd evolved for hibernating or similar this time of year.

  26. Chillwaver

    "Well thank god Newt Gingrich—with all of his crazytalk about moon colonies and space lasers."

    How about frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their frickin' heads?

    1. jus_wonderin

      Scott: It's no hassle–
      Dr. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: But–
      Dr. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: I'm–
      Dr. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: All I'm say–
      Dr. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: They're gonna get a–
      Dr. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: I'm–
      Dr. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: I'm just–
      r. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: Would–
      Dr. Evil: Knock-knock.
      Scott: Who's there?
      Dr. Evil: Shh!
      Scott: But–
      Dr. Evil: Let me tell you a little story about a man named SHH! SHH! Even before you start, that was a pre-emptive "shh!" Just know that I have a whole bag of "shh!" with your name on it.

  27. KeepFnThatChicken

    So… can the new fines for cell phone use be as binding as those stupid "Photo Enforcement Zones", where we pay the fine, but it doesn't go on our record?

  28. An_Outhouse

    At what point has the one percenter olds outlived their purpose in life>? When they decide to build space planes. Its the new shark jump.

    1. jus_wonderin

      Given that I require a couple of Vodka-7's each night, I just don't see how I can exist in a world with no ice.

  29. johnnyzhivago

    Koch Brothers are SO behind this global warming:

    The ice caps melting means LOTS of water in people's basements – and guess what you clean THAT UP with: BRAWNY paper towels……..

  30. johnnyzhivago

    The neotards upset over the drone thing are the ONLY people in the world other than the Iranians who apparently don't realize that was the biggest Trojan Horse since the Trojan Horse.

    I mean really, a big shiny thing from the CIA lands on your lawn and we tell them – hey, whatever you don't drag that thing into your most sensitive intelligence centers and start taking it apart!!!! – please send it back – it's like our property!

    Please!

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Yeah, it's not like we haven't done that before — back when Valerie Plame was outed, a program also came to light about us sending fake nuclear weapon blueprints intended to be intercepted by Iran. Unfortunately the parts that were wrong were apparently pretty obvious, and freaked out a bunch of nuclear weapons experts because they could easily develop real plans from what we sent them.

  31. SayItWithWookies

    "Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing," Dr Semiletov said.

    Well, this gives me hope — hope that I'll be able to sell a shitload of beachfront property to a bunch of climate-change deniers in time to see them get screwed.

    On another note, though, I thought I remembered reading that our atmosphere was largely saturated with as much methane as it was capable of handling, so it really wouldn't have as much of an effect on global warming as carbon dioxide. It was a couple years ago, though, so maybe that's not thought to be true anymore.

  32. cheetojeebus

    Adding to the release of all that methane is the further vast pool of methane being produced by all the kummerspeck* formed during the recent financial troubles. Yes, we are so fucked. Imagine all of the triumphs, accomplishments and failures of man wiped out by fucking farts. God does indeed have a sense of humor.

    *Literal German translation: grief bacon.

  33. CapeClod

    How many of you predicted that civilization would end with us 'Hot Boxing" ourselves? Pretty appropriate, I might add.

    1. Negligently_Joe

      Hot boxing, I forget: is that that thing when ladies are given boxing gloves and little else and told to go at it? Or is it that thing with the weed and somebody else's car? Because I totally would have predicted either of those honestly.

  34. natoslug

    I'm investing in cork futures. With enough corks, we should be able to plug enough cows to offset any methane emissions from the ice sheets.* Should be a booming business.

    * Guaranteed to be at least as effective a global climate change stopper as prayer, chicken dances or whatever stupid shit the right will start using once they realize that climate change is real. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!1! Yeah, so never. Fuck, I need a drink.

  35. Negligently_Joe

    The eagerly awaited Time magazine Person of the Year award is out and we just want to say what an honor it is to have received this award [...]

    You know who else………

  36. Negligently_Joe

    Incidentally, all those Iraq war vets who were beaten up or shot in the head by tear-gas canisters have now won the coveted/meanless Time Person of the Year award a truly unprecedented three times, so, yeah, suck on that, everyone else.

  37. Nostrildamus

    Methane is awesome. The best current theory on the Permain extinction is that volcanism caused a large release of trapped oceanic methane, which caused excessive greenhouse warming, which disrupted global oceanic circulation, which oxygen starved the lower oceans. The resulting death of oxygen-metabolizing bacteria facilitated the rise of the sulpher-metabolizing kind, which released huge quantities of H2S into the atmosphere, resulting in sulfuric/nitric acid rain worldwide and massive terrestrial extinctions.

    Methane is sort of a Rube-Goldberg device of global biosphere destruction.

    1. sati_demise

      Blow your nose, please, and no more of these goddamned theories or predictions or insinuations. I was already bummed out.

  38. VinnyThePooh

    I'm sure that drone had a very obvious USB port labeled "Super Duper Secret" from which an Israeli-born trojan will cripple Iran's computers.

  39. Chichikovovich

    it just makes us happy whenever someone picks a fight with conservatives by quoting Immanuel Kant.

    Ah, few things bring such a robust and wholesome pleasure as the enlisting of the Great Sage of Königsberg in a mental joust. Why just the other day I was matching repartee with a gentleman who represented himself as a member of the so-called “tea party" (a tendency I confess was unknown to me until that very moment, but which I am given to understand involves the use of motorized devices for locomotion). The gentleman spoke in a dialect of some kind (apparently shared by those who watch the races of a type of automobile called a "Nas") and he posed to me this challenge: “So d'yew wan' arr health care run by the gubmint, lahk the DeeEmVee? HAR HAR!"

    Now quick as a flash, I called upon a recollection of a college reading of the Kritik der Reinen Vernunft and parried his thrust with these familiar words:

    "If a question is absurd in itself and calls for an answer where none is required, it not only brings shame on the propounder of the question, but may betray an incautious listener into absurd answers, thus presenting, as the ancients said, the ludicrous spectacle of one man milking a he-goat and the other holding a sieve underneath."

    I'm sure I don't have to tell you that my erudition rendered the poor man quite speechless, and I chuckle as I remember the helpless look on his face as he struggled to grasp the extent of his defeat. Game, set and match, my good fellow!

  40. Wonderthing

    A cool marketing trick! See, if every protester buys a magazine they'll be rolling in the dough! Next year, look for "Fucking Loser Poor Person" as top nominee.

  41. not that Dewey

    And quite an endorsement it was:

    When host Carol Costello noted how the GOP’s designated flip-flopper has actually “changed his mind” quite a bit on important issues, O’Donnell offered this analysis: “That’s one of the things I like about him, because he’s been consistent since he changed his mind.”

  42. GregComlish

    Christine O'Donnell is just angling for a pair of those magic Mormon undies to contain her unkempt bush

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