Derp Roundup: Your Weekly Stocking Stuffer Of Stoopid

Happy Solstice, you ugly vile little snark mob! Welcome to yet another Derp Roundup, the weekly feature where we steam-clean our browser tabs, clearing out a bunch of stories that weren't worth a full post on their own, but too stoopid to ignore altogether. Then we serve up the resulting sludge up for you to choke down as best you can (Protip: Add liquor).

  • Our first dip into the derp pile comes from Peter Schiff, libertarian investment guru ("guru" is a Hindu thing, so he clearly hates Jebus), a rich twatwaffle who's the CEO of "Euro Pacific Capital Inc.," a geographically confused brokerage firm. Schiff did a special little project where he hung around the parking lot of an unidentified Walmart and pretended to be collecting for a group called "15 for 15," as in 15% price hikes for a $15/hour wage, since obviously if striking Walmart workers want more moneez, it will have to come out of consumers' pockets. And then he videotaped people saying no, they would not give him an additional 15% of the purchase price of whatever they'd just bought so that he could give it to Walmart workers, proving once and for all that America prefers low prices to any increase in wages forever. (CEO salaries, of course, must go up endlessly, or they will all Go Galt.) Attention Walmart strikers: shut up, get back to work, and be glad the company even tells you how to sign up for food stamps, Kthxbai.

    HuffPo points out that Schiff's math is all wrong, linking to a 2011 study which found that raising Walmart workers' wages to $12 an hour would cost most shoppers only an average of 46 cents per shopping trip. And of course, nobody's actually proposing a sudden doubling of the minimum wage anyway -- congressional Dems are talking about $10 over several years, and Walmart strikers are suggesting $13 as an eventual target (haha, see what we did there?). And as we've mentioned several times, in other countries, McDonalds manages to pay higher wages without vastly higher prices or lower profits. Schiff is one of those Austrian-School Economics fans, whose continued insistence that our economy is just on the verge of hyperinflation has also been mocked by Paul Krugman, who noted that if your economics model is as consistently wrong as Schiff's the smart thing might be to say "Gosh, I seem to have been wrong. I need to rethink my approach."

    Also, too, credit where it's due: While our worthy opponents at The Blaze buy into the premise that if the minimum wage increased to $15 "the going price for items such as sweaters and groceries would undoubtedly surge," they also acknowledge that Schiff's stunt proves exactly nothing:

    First, as in all “man on the street” videos, it’s important to remember that we’re only seeing what the video’s producers want us to see.

    A few shoppers may have actually tried to donate to Schiff’s fake organization. Perhaps shoppers declined Schiff’s challenge because, well, they recognized him, as Business Insider noted. Maybe they turned him down because they thought he was a hustler.

    Schiff’s lack of success doesn’t necessarily mean those Walmart shoppers are against an increase in Walmart’s wages. It could just mean that the shoppers didn’t want to donate to Schiff.

    We like to encourage folks on the other side of issues when they get it right like this. Now, once they embrace Keynesian economics, we'll all sing "Kumbaya" and get gay-married.

  • In a similar vein, the always charming Bill O'Reilly warned that, thanks to Barack Obama (and maybe New Pope?), "Every affluent person in America is in danger. Every one." His proof? Well, just look at that poor fellow who won $30 million in the Florida Lottery a few years back! He was murdered by a lady who wanted to take his money! Also, there are "legions of lawyers lined up to bludgeon wealthy Americans and corporations" for a "piece of the action." And don't even get Billo started on Big Government. So please, please, do the right thing: Pray for the rich.

    Sounds good to us! Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive...

  • Fox News was so busy finding new ways to accuse Barack Obama of electoral perfidy that it accidentally insisted environmental regulations are good things. See, what happened was that Steve Doocy was talking up a report that accused the Obama Administration of delaying a number of environmental regulations from going into effect until after the 2012 elections, so the GOP couldn't make a campaign issue of 'em. Fox legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. was shocked, SHOCKED that election-year politics could have an impact on the implementation of necessary government regulations on industry:

    "Does that mean, the White House was putting politics before people? Because that's what it sounds like," Doocy said.

    This news is "huge, huge -- look at me, yes -- huge!" Johnson declared. "I know we talk about regulation nation and there are so many regulations in this country, but sometimes regulations actually save lives and help people, and there should be some transparency in government ...

    "They took a risk with American lives, and now Americans are paying on health care, environmental issues and worker safety," said Johnson.

    So remember, kids, regulations on things like coal ash disposal, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental stuff are destroying American industry, wrecking the economy, and killing jerbs, and shame on Barack Obama for delaying some of those regulations for a few months merely for the sake of depriving Mitt Romney the chance to condemn them.

  • A charming lady named Justine Sacco, head of communications for internet company IAC, which owns sites like The Daily Beast, College Humor, and Vimeo, was flying from London to Cape Town when she decided to make use of the inflight wifi amenities and share a hilarious joke with the world:

    The Internet Was Not Pleased, and as her 12-hour flight progressed, the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet began trending on Twitter; IAC owner Barry Diller called the tweet "outrageous, and offensive," and not terribly long after her arrival, Sacco deleted first her tweet, and then her Twitter account, and then IAC scrubbed her from their website, and presumably their payroll.

    Best, awesomest good-guy trolling? Some wonderful smartass registered and redirected it to Aid for Africa, a genuine AIDS & development charity hub, to which we just gave ten bucks ourselves.

    Surprisingly, Sacco's sacred free speech rights haven't received a single word of support in the face of this monstrous case of censorship. If only she'd added some stuff from Leviticus!

    Update: In a complete surprise to absolutely no one, IAC confirmed today that they and Sacco have "parted ways." The internet's no good at solving stuff like world hunger, but it's excellent at shitstorms.

  • Man, that's one heaping helping of Derp. In fact, there was so much Derp this week that we may have to bring you a second helping of Derp before next Saturday! Not only that, but we'll be bringing you an All War-On-Christmas edition of Derp Roundup on Sacred Baby Festival Day.

    [YouTube / HuffPo / The Blaze / The Wire / HuffPo / Fox News / Gawker / Aid For Africa / USA Today]

    Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He promises to never tweet anything embarrassing from Business Class on an intercontinental flight.

    Doktor Zoom

    Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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