Caught the trailer for Inside Job last the other night before Centurion (basically The Dirty Dozen in second century Britain, and as awesome as that sounds). Looks like it shares a lot with an excellent Planet Money/This American Life/ProPublica collab from earlier this year, right down to the name, which bodes well. While it seems like ‘How did this go to hell so badly?’ vein has been mined pretty heavily as of late, there’s still plenty we don’t know about the bastards who broke the global economy and how they got away with it. If director Charles Ferguson’s debut effort, the Oscar-nominated No End in Sight, is any indication, expect this one to be enlightening, compelling, and utterly devoid of hope for any sort of justice or decency to be salvaged from it’s subject.

The Vatican released a statement today updating some of it’s many, many, many rules, and calling the ordination of female priests a “grave crime” that should be punished in the same way as clergy sexual abuse. While advocates for ordaining women were naturally ruffled at the notion of being compared to the Catholic Church’s veritable legion of sexual predators, this may actually be  good news for their cause. After all, the policy towards ordaining women just essentially became ‘Official Disapproval Followed By Decades of Not Doing Shit.’

The Vatican also updated some of their rules regarding how they will deal with priests who sexually abuse children, basically codifying and making official the current de facto policy of ‘not doing shit with a gun to their heads.’

Joseph McCarthy - Terrible Human Being

There’s plenty of stuff that liberals in the US will have to deal with tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow – I don’t think I need to mention it right now. Instead, I’ll point out that progressives across the United States now have to worry about the long buried past returning to haunt them. Joseph McCarthy, the closest thing the Senate has ever had to a sitting super villain, is going to be vindicated in the eyes of American history textbooks.

A powerful conservative bloc on the Texas State Board of Education has transformed the requirements for high school history books in Texas, and, by practical extension, throughout the U.S. Among the most galling changes is a clause proposed by board member Don McLeroy requiring that kids be taught that “the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.” We would like to take this moment to congratulate Mr. McLeroy on having apparently read an Anne Coulter book, which is akin to actual reading, inasmuch as smearing your own feces all over a bathroom is akin to creating art.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the signifigance of the Venona papers has been subject to much debate among historians, but has been latched onto by some of the dumber, meaner, conservatives  of our age as making McCarthy an American hero rather than a monster who ruined hundreds of lives in the bald pursuit of political gain and died in disgrace. Rehabilitating McCarthy on the basis of the Venona papers, which have never proven a single allegation made by McCarthy, is a process not unlike making an America hero of Cotton Mather because one of the dozens of people whose deaths he was responsible for might have known someone who had mentioned the word ‘witch’ at some point.

And as mentioned earlier, this isn’t just bad news for the Lone Star State. To save on printing costs, text book publishers tailor their academic requirements to the two largest markets – Texas and California, which means there’s a 50/50 chance that your kid will get the Patriotic Joe McCarthy version of history, marking the latest American tragedy to come out of the Texas School Book Depository.

So remember, parents – if you don’t talk to your kids about Joseph McCarthy, someone else will.

FBI agent John Guandolo was fired from the FBI for hating Islamo-fascism too much, says Wa-Po columnist Frank Gaffney. You know, as long as by ‘hating Islamo-fascism too much,’ you mean ‘stepping out on his wife to sleep with the star witness in a federal corruption case.’ Which is a lot like counterterrorism… for the soul?

Remember, FBI agents – sleeping with a witness in big case is not something you can pull off unless you are the coolest FBI agent ever. And even that guy  ended up languishing in the Black Lodge for it.

Fun Fact - Between Them, These Two Guys Have Never Said One Interesting Thing. Ever.

About 5,000 members of the worldwide dating portal/clubhouse for desperately lonely elitists have been banned from the site for getting too fat over the holidays.

The site, which is so elite that it cannot currently be viewed by the rest of us CHUDs, for fear that our grotesquely scarred visages will interact with the background radiation produced by the Internet might render the Alphas  less attractive, provides a site for the world’s most beautiful people who can’t get a date in real life to meet, mingle, and talk about how hard it is being pretty. It’s membership, which is strictly policed by members who are prettier than you and know it, informed a number of members who had been determined to be hitting the Christmas ham a little too hard that they would need to re-apply.

Once the process played out, over 5,000 members were banned from the site, determined by a jury of their gorgeous, vapid, dead-eyed peers to have grown too hefty to be termed beautiful.

Site Founder Robert Hintze defended the decision to expel the users in a statement reading, in part:

“Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which was founded.”

That concept, remember, is providing a social space online for people who are very attractive but still can’t manage to get a date on Saturday night, because they are too vain, or too stupid, or simply because they  are nightmarish human beings who have the toxic souls of monsters, and maintain their good looks via dark magic.

So congratulations are in order, – you have officially alienated some of the few human beings on the planet who were desperate enough to interact with you, rather than just enjoy looking at you and then talk about what a piece of shit you are every time you leave the room. Happy New Year, fuckers.

I’m not usually one for procedural porn, but this is just too goddamn good to pass up. Al Franken, presiding over the Senate, informs Joe Lieberman that no, he may not have more time to finish his speech. This is… profound brilliance and justice on the floor of the Senate, courtesy of TPM.

Watch it, and then watch it again. Drink it in. Then giggle a little bit when Lieberman assures Franken he doesn’t take it personally. Actually, Joe, this one you might want to. You may be too important to the caucus to get the string of Senatorial pink bellies and swirlies you so richly deserve, but you have not behaved in a way that is going to make you many friends. Then keep giggling when John McCain, proceeds to literally wag his finger scornfully at the entire august legislative body and just barely avoid a rudeness induced aneurysm.

Oooh, let’s watch it again, shall we?

How big of an American hero is Tedd Petruna? I’m glad you asked. He is such a big goddamned hero that he can save an entire plane full of people from terrorists…when he is not even on the plane.

Petruna was supposed to be on a flight that he didn’t quite make. When a commotion on the flight made the news, Tedd Petruna, who apparently doesn’t even know how to spell his fucking name correctly, sent his friends and family an email about how he and a couple other passengers had taken matters into their own hands and kicked a dozen muslims off the plane, thereby preventing them from DOING TERRORISM, which is the only reason a muslim has ever gotten on a plane anywhere.

He only neglected two things – first, airlines keep track of every passenger on board every plane – even the ones who are not terrorists. Which is how we know th Tedd Petruna was not, in point of fact, on this plane. Which would have only been an embarrassing thing for his friends and family to eventually find out, except for the second thing that Tedd Petruna forgot — forwarding email is really goddamn easy, and pretty much anything you put on the internet is a matter of public record.

Just ask Russell Wiseman, mayor of some bumfuck ville in Tennessee who sent out facebook notes bemoaning the mulsim president’s pre-emption of a Charlie Brown while also bitching about how this country has really gone to shit since we let people who don’t even own property vote and then acted all surprised when it turned out that the internet knows what you say on Facebook, which means Wiseman is not just a total fucking idiot… he is also a total fucking idiot.

Similarly, Tedd Petruna apparently had no idea what the little ‘Forward’ button in most email programs does. Now, we can assume, he knows.

Full letter after the break, which is totally priceless.


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