Thursday, March 31, 2011
Teabagger queen Michele Bachmann says that President Obama is intentionally making America poorer. This conspiracy theory is echoed by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and scores of other right wing pundits and politicians. So let's take a look at the stocks and see how Obama compares.
Incorporate your uterus.
That way, the GOP won't want to pass any restrictions on it. Because gods know, business should have no regulations at all.
A Democratic lawmaker got in trouble for suggesting that. Well, not really for suggesting that... He got in trouble just for using the word "uterus."
Yes, you read that right. Rep. Scott Randolph of Orlando was censured by the Republican leadership in the Florida House for saying the word "uterus" on the House floor.
The latest nutjob conspiracy theory of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Batshit Crazy): The military action in Libya is a false flag operation so that President Obama can call up his secret health care reform militia and declare martial law in the United States.
"I wondered when I read that in the bill. But then when you find out we're being sent to Libya to use our treasure and American lives there, maybe there's intention to so deplete the military that we're going to need that presidential reserve officer commissioned corps and non-commissioned corps that the president can call up on a moment's notice involuntarily, according to the Obamacare bill."
First it was terror babies. Now it's a secret health care reform army that's going to take over America and force us all to... get medical examinations... or something... not really sure. Watch the video for yourself and see if you can figure it out.
Far be it from me to be on the same side of Bill O’Reilly, but occasionally it happens. Every once in a while O’Reilly has flashes of intelligence, and for the most part he’s not a crazy, mentally-addled nutjob like Glenn Beck, he’s just a guy doing a show on a right wing network.
But O'Reilly and I share the same suspicion – that Donald Trump doesn’t really believe the birtherism BS he’s trying to sell, he’s just pandering in order to get attention and publicity.
Trump has been causing outrage in many corners—from "The View," where he set Whoopi Goldberg off, to CNN, where anchor Carol Costello called him a "joke"—due to his recent spate of declarations casting doubt on Obama's American birth.
O'Reilly said his show had looked into the claims about Obama's birth certificate. Once they found the two Honolulu newspapers which announced his birth, he said he "put [the issue] to bed," since "that is impossible to make happen" if Obama was not born in a Honolulu hospital. O'Reilly labeled Obama's mother a "hippie," and scoffed at the notion that there was a "sophisticated conspiracy" to smuggle Obama into the U.S. and forge his identity.
"What is he, baby Jesus?" he joked. Trump said that he remained convinced that there was something fishy going on. "People have birth certificates," he said. "He doesn't have one." He then repeated the speculation that had so angered Whoopi Goldberg—that something on the birth certificate must be so radioactive that Obama is covering it up. "Maybe it says he's a Muslim, I don't know," Trump said. "...If he wasn't born in this country, it's one of the great scams of this time."
O'Reilly finally said he didn't believe that Trump was serious in his skepticism. "It's provocative, I think it gets a lot of attention, but I don't think you believe it," he said.
Republican representative Tom Marino, who, apparently, is required by party law to disagree with any and everything Obama says and does, had this to say about Libya:
"The bottom line is I wish the president would have told us, talked to Congress about what is the plan. Is there a plan? Is the mission to take Gadhafi out?" Mr. Marino asked.... "Where does it stop?" he said. "Do we go into Africa next? I don't want to sound callous or cold, but this could go on indefinitely around the world."
Mr. Marino, Libya IS in Africa, you idiot.
Did Marino learn about geography from Sarah Palin?
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Eric Cantor does not know how government works. It is incredible that someone right wingers and teabaggers tell us is so smart doesn't know what a fifth grader knows about how bills become laws. This is jaw-dropping stupidity.
Cantor actually thinks that he can make a bill into a law without any other branch of government. He seems to have forgotten that the Senate and then the President gets a say too.
A new study shows that people who believe in intelligent design have more anxiety about dying than people who accept evolution. Of course, that probably just means that people anxious about death are going to naturally be more inclined to religious belief, and thus to intelligent design (which is a religious belief, after all).
There are no words to describe the revulsion I feel for this despicable excuse for a human being.
An Indiana Republican representative says that women will pretend to be raped in order to get a free abortion.
Yesterday morning, the Indiana House considered an anti-abortion bill that “would put some of the tightest abortion restrictions in the nation into Indiana law.” Introduced by state Rep. Eric Turner (R), HB 1210 would make most abortions illegal after 20 weeks. Current law restricts abortions after the fetus is viable, generally around 24 weeks.
In an attempt to soften the blow this bill would land on Hoosier women, state Rep. Gail Riecken (D) introduced an amendment to exempt “women who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or women for whom pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm” from being forced to carry to term. Fearing this bill would “push women to the back alleys” for illegal abortions, Riecken pleaded with lawmakers to allow women to make the choice in these cases.
Turner then stepped to the podium and insisted that Riecken’s amendment would create a “giant loophole” for women. That loophole? Women “could simply say they’ve been raped”:
TURNER: With all do respect to Rep. Riecken, I understand what she’s trying to do. But as you know that when the federal health care bill was going through Congress there was a lot of discussion whether this would allow for abortion coverage and of course we were all told it would not. And the bill, my house bill 1210, would prevent that for any insurance company to provide abortion coverage under federal health care bill. This [amendment] would open that window and I would ask you to oppose this amendment.
I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could — now i want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest — but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.
Republicans in Maine are seeking to loosen child-labor laws. Right wing media went collectively insane screaming that Obama was taking this country "step by step closer to socialism," but in reality, it's the Republican Party taking us step by step closer to feudalism:
Far from places like Ohio and Wisconsin, Maine has become a new battleground in the labor fight. Gov. Paul LePage (R) recently sparked the anger of the union community by ordering a mural depicting workers throughout the state's history removed from the Department of Labor. Now, Republican members of the state legislature are attempting to loosen child labor laws that the community fought hard to put into place.
The minimum wage in Maine is $7.50 an hour, and there is no training or subminimum wage for students. But under a new piece of legislation introduced in the state's House of Representatives, employers would be able to pay anyone under the age of 20 as little as $5.25 an hour for their first 180 days on the job.
The bill, LD 1346, also eliminates the maximum number of hours a minor 16 years of age or older can work on a school day and allows a minor under the age of 16 to work up to four hours on a school day during hours when school is not in session.
Poor, poor Sean Duffy... It's SO hard to live on JUST 174 thousand dollars a year! The Republican representative from Wisconsin is caught whining about it on tape... and now the GOP wants to keep that tape off the Internet so you can't see it.
First the Republican Party in Polk County, Wisconsin, pulled the tape of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) fretting about making ends meet on his $174,000 a year salary from its own website. Now they want it gone from the whole Internet.
For a couple hours, the local county GOP was successful. But we've put an excerpt of the video back up.
A day after TPM posted the video we obtained of Duffy talking about his salary at a Polk County town hall meeting earlier this year, the Polk County GOP contacted the video provider we used to host the video, Blip.tv, and demanded the video be taken down.
Elsewhere I've commented that Sarah Palin seems emotionally and intellectually stunted at a high school level. This just backs that up.
Sarah Palin launched a lengthy attack on The Daily Caller via Facebook on Wednesday in which she slammed the conservative-leaning news organization for not featuring her quotes prominently enough.
The publication, helmed by Tucker Carlson, quoted from a 650-plus-word statement she issued to them in response to an article on legislation she signed as governor of Alaska providing tax credits to production companies who film in Alaska. It also reprinted the entire statement on the next page of the article. This was not good enough, however, for Palin, who said that her statement was "buried."
"Goodness, cleaning up the sloppiness of reporters could be a full time job," she began a Facebook post on the article today. "In response to The Daily Caller's online inquiry, I gave them a statement that the writer buried on his story's second page (which most people won't even notice - I didn't even notice it."
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released today indicates that only 32% of the public has a favorable view of teabaggers. 47% of people questioned say they have an unfavorable view of them, up 4 points from December and an increase of 21 points from January 2010.
Republicans in North Carolina have cooked up another big giveaway to their corporate overlords.
Just imagine if Republicans worked this hard to find ways for consumers and working class people to have more money in their pockets – that money would get spent on goods and services, which would improve the profit margins of the big corporations also. But no, it seems they just want to suck us dry instead and FORCE the money out of us.
The Republican-dominated North Carolina State Assembly this week approved a bill that would prohibit communities from upgrading their internet access, forcing individual municipalities into a private monopoly of managed broadband services by companies like Time Warner and Comcast.
Both firms have been restricting the amount of bandwidth users can consume, even though bandwidth itself is not a tangible, meter-able commodity.
The bill, which was heavily supported by telecom giant Time Warner, comes on the heels of several communities successfully launching their own fiber-optic broadband programs. One program in Wilson, North Carolina, called Greenlight, even features speeds up to 100 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) at a lower price than its corporate competitors.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Right wing defenders of Scott Walker, can you explain why Governor Scott Walker is seeking federal stimulus funds for rail line improvements… AFTER he campaigned on rejecting them?
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won election in 2010, in large part by campaigning fiercely on limited government. One of his signature promises was a rejection of $810 million in federal stimulus dollars for high-speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison.
Walker followed through on turning those dollars down. But now, he is joining several other Midwestern states in asking for $150 million in federal funds to pay for upgrades to an Amtrak line.
In a striking irony, the funds he's requesting are only available because another conservative governor, Rick Scott of Florida, rejected some $2 billion for a high-speed rail project in his state. That line would have joined Tampa and Orlando along a busy corridor whose Interstate 4 is often packed with traffic.
Those $2 billion are now available for other states, and Walker's hoping to get a piece of the action.
Provided it's in the service of trying to keep women from exercising control over their own wombs, that is. (h/t Daily Kos)
Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones reports:
A bill that Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) introduced in January would provide federal funds for the purchase of sonogram machines at organizations that counsel women against having an abortion (the American Independent reported on this bill last week). These crisis pregnancy outfits, sometimes called "pregnancy resource centers," are often run by religious groups; many have been found to provide women with false and misleading information to dissuade them from having an abortion.
The bill, H.R. 165, laughably called the Informed Choice Act, appears quite simple:
To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to nonprofit tax-exempt organizations for the purchase of ultrasound equipment to provide free examinations to pregnant women needing such services, and for other purposes.
But of course it doesn't allow all organizations to apply for funding. There are a few restrictions, according to Mother Jones.
To be eligible for this grant, a facility would have to show every woman seeking services the ultrasound image and describe to them the "general anatomical and physiological description of the characteristics of the fetus." The facility would be required to provide women with "alternatives to abortion such as childbirth and adoption and information concerning public and private agencies that will assist in those alternatives." It also must offer its services free of charge. That last condition would disqualify abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, which charges on a sliding scale based on a woman's income.
Monday, March 28, 2011
The best response to Donald Trump's birther nonsense I've seen so far has been posted at The Smoking Gun website.
Except the document is not an official New York City birth certificate, but rather a document generated by Jamaica Hospital, where Trump’s mother Mary reportedly gave birth in June 1946. Official birth certificates are issued (and maintained) by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Vital Records.
So, what is Trump trying to conceal?
On a possibly related note, Jamaica Hospital has been the recipient of significant financial largesse from the Trump family. In fact, the Queens institution includes the Trump Pavilion, a nursing and rehabilitation facility that was named for Mary Trump.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
And Newt further defends his flip flopping by pointing out that his first statement was actually a PRE flip flop flip flop.
In other words, he was for it before he was against it before he was for it before he was against it.
It turns out that freshness dating on food is mostly unregulated.
One in six Americans is sickened each year by tainted food, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
And food dating is largely unregulated by the state and federal governments, leaving the bulk of responsibility to manufacturers and stores.
In January, President Barack Obama signed a food safety bill expected to bring about the largest reform in food safety since 1938.
But the law, which gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to recall tainted food and places more responsibility on producers to ensure food safety, did not increase the federal government's oversight of dating.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Democrats and progressives, take a good look around at what’s happening in the country right now, especially with this current crop of radical, extremist teabagger governors.
This is what happens when we don't get our asses to the polls and vote. Some of you say you're disappointed and upset with Obama and the Democratic party, so you withheld your vote -- this is the result.
This is a horrifying story. A woman burst into a hotel in Tripoli where foreign journalists are staying, screamed that she had been raped and beaten by Moammar Gadhafi's forces, and then was dragged away by government authorities before anyone could talk to her or help her.
CNN says they had no way to independently confirm her story (because obviously they weren't able to interview her), but that she showed injuries consistent with her story -- her face and legs were bruised, and she had blood stains on her inner thighs. The government authorities pulled weapons on the journalists and smashed their cameras.
She was well-dressed and appeared to be a well-to-do middle-aged woman. She spoke in English and said she was from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and had been picked up by Gadhafi's men at a checkpoint east of Tripoli.
She sobbed and said she was held against her will for two days and raped by 15 men. She showed the journalists how she had been tied at her wrists and ankles. She had visible rope burns.
Government officials quickly closed in on her to try and shut her up. But she persisted, wanting the journalists, staying at the Rixos Hotel, to see Gadhafi's brutality firsthand.
International journalists, including CNN's staff, are not allowed to move freely in the Libyan capital and are escorted on organized outings by government minders. This was the first time a Libyan citizen had approached them inside the hotel.
Security forces tried to subdue the woman. Even a member of the hotel staff drew a knife. "Traitor!" he shouted at her in contempt.
One government official, who the journalists believed was there to facilitate access to their stories, pulled a pistol from his belt. Others scuffled with the journalists, manhandling them to the ground in an attempt to wrestle away their equipment. Some of them were beaten and kicked. CNN's camera was taken away and smashed beyond repair.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Corporate profits hit an all-time high, even as they refuse to use their massive profits to hire American workers, and companies (such as GE, who paid NO taxes on their 5.1 Billion dollar profit) paid less in taxes than ever before.
Despite high unemployment and a largely languishing real estate market, U.S. businesses are more profitable than ever, according to federal figures released on Friday.
U.S. corporate profits hit an all-time high at the end of 2010, with financial firms showing some of the biggest gains, data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show. Corporations reported an annualized $1.68 trillion in profit in the fourth quarter. The previous record, without being adjusted for inflation, was $1.65 trillion in the third quarter of 2006.
Many of the nation's preeminent companies have posted massive increases in profits this year. General Electric posted worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, while profits at JPMorgan Chase were up 47 percent to $4.8 billion.
Would you be okay with a mosque in your neighborhood? A whopping 69% of Americans said yes.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday found 69 percent of Americans would be "okay" with a mosque in their area while 28 percent would not.
But there are big differences depending on where you live. Half of rural Southerners say they disapprove of a mosque in their neighborhood, while 42 percent say they would be "okay" with it. That rises to roughly three-quarters among those who live in cities and suburbs.
A Republican Senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, was asked what he thought about G.E. paying NO taxes on its 5.1 Billion dollars' profit, and his response was... that the corporate tax rate should be cut further! This, from a Senator from a state that thinks teachers, bus drivers and garbage collectors are paid too much.
"We have to be concerned about what the business environment is in the U.S. here. We can’t afford to have the highest tax rate in the world…Those are individual companies. I think overall, we really can’t be looking at a corporate tax rate much higher than 25 percent because that’s the world average. So we’re sitting up there at 35 percent, that’s just the wrong signal."
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Now, the question is this: was Fox News in on this? Because they sure were intent on ratcheting up a narrative about "union thugs being violent." So were they trying to lay the groundwork for a faked assassination attempt that would be blamed on union protesters?
A deputy prosecutor in Johnson County, Indiana, has resigned his job after it was revealed that in February, during the large protests in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union bill, he e-mailed Walker's office and recommended that they conduct a "false flag operation" -- to fake an assault or assassination attempt on Walker in order to discredit the unions and protesters.
As Wisconsin Watch, a project of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reports, Carlos Lam initially denied that he had sent the e-mail, which was part of the tens of thousands of e-mails released in an open-records settlement the Walker administration reached with the local paper the Isthmus and the Associated Press.
When contacted by Wisconsin Watch, Lam had initially denied sending the e-mail, claiming that he had been the victim of identity theft, and said he did not support the criminal activities described in the e-mail: , "I think he's trying to do what he has to do to get his budget balanced. But jeez, that's taking it a little bit to the extreme."
However, Lam admitted late in the afternoon that he did send the e-mail, and resigned his job.
The short answer is no.
The longer answer has a lot of information and facts the right wing pundits will not tell you, like which country we import the most oil from. (Hint: it ain't in the middle east.) There's also the fact that, despite all the blaming placed on Obama, domestic oil production hit record levels last year.
Read the long answer, and the words of the experts, here.
Now that Republicans have struck the unions and are patting themselves on the back for putting working people in their place, their next target is clear: public education.
They don’t like public education because students get taught facts, and that’s something they can’t abide. They know that people who are educated tend to vote Democrat, while the less educated and the less informed vote Republican.
That’s why they’re all for the “home school” movement, because they want kids indoctrinated in anti-science propaganda, hatred and fear of gays, and the sure knowledge that baby Jesus loves tax cuts for the ultra wealthy.
Three potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates expressed hostility toward the public school system at a home schooling rally on Wednesday in the early presidential caucus state of Iowa.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul told the crowd government wants "absolute control" of the "indoctrination" of children. Paul spoke along with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Georgia businessman Herman Cain.
"The public school system now is a propaganda machine," Paul said, prompting applause from the crowd of hundreds of home schooling families. "They start with our kids even in kindergarten, teaching them about family values, sexual education, gun rights, environmentalism - and they condition them to believe in so much which is totally un-American."
Bachmann said home schooling is the "essence" of freedom and liberty. "It's about knowing our children better than the state knows our children," she said.
Bachmann, who home-schooled her five biological children, lamented that she and her husband had been unable to teach the 23 foster children who have lived in their home because Minnesota authorities said foster children could not be home-schooled.
"It is not up to a bureaucrat to decide what is best for your children," Bachmann said, drawing cheers from the crowd. "I am so tired of the establishment telling us that they know best. We know best."
Cain, former chief executive of Godfather's Pizza and another prospective Republican candidate, denounced government involvement in education at all levels.
"That's all we want is for government to get out of the way so we can educate ourselves and our children the old-fashioned way," Cain said.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I mean, we all know he's delusional. But did you know he's thinking about leaving Fox News and starting his own network? It's true.
But somehow I don't think that'll be easy. After all, Beck has lost over 300 sponsors.
He's also losing affiliates for his radio show. He's been dumped from the biggest markets, and today he lost his affiliate in Connecticut -- where he got his start.
Mitt Romney is another great Republican flip flopper. Back then he wanted his health care reforms in Massachusetts applied nationwide, saying in 2006 it would be "wonderful" if his slate of reforms were to be applied on a national level.
''I actually ran with (health care reform) as something that I wanted to do. If there are national implications and applicability, that would be wonderful," Romney told Ron Fournier of The Associated Press at the time.
But Romney's big problem now that he wants to run for president against Obama... is Mitt Romney. When confronted with the fact that his Romneycare has a lot in common with "Obamacare," so how can he be against it, he now claims those reforms were only good for his state and not the whole country.
Romney has, awkwardly at times, attempted to cast daylight between his plan and Obama's, as analysts roundly believe the issue could sink his presidential hopes. He has endorsed full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The argument he has settled on, as he wrote Wednesday in the National Review, is that the law is a "one-size-fits-all" plan that shouldn't be implemented on a national level.'
Mitt Romney of 2011 and Mitt Romney of 2006 obviously don't get along.
"Obama's military advisers are sissies," says the man who avoided military service complaining of "anal cysts."
"Obama is a sissy," says the man who popped so many pain pills he went deaf.
Poor James O'Keefe. He needs a bailout. He's asking people to donate $50,000 to him so he can pay off his "major credit card debt."
Hey, wait a minute... that sounds like socialism to me! He should pull himself up by his own bootstraps, dammit! Why should we bail him out just because he ran up his credit cards?
Please, some teabagger explain this to me.
Possible Republican presidential candidate and Jesus sucker Mike Huckabee says we should reinstate DADT forthwith.
"I would -- because that's really what the military wants," Huckabee told OneNewsNow. "There's been some talk that the military is fine with having same-sex orientation people. But if you really surveyed the combat troops, that is not at all the case."
"I don't think that these are decisions that politicians should make," the potential Republican 2012 presidential candidate added. "These are decisions that soldiers should make. And when the soldiers in the foxholes make the decisions, they choose something different -- and we should listen to them."
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
So basically, in South Dakota, if you want to have an abortion, you have to let someone talk you out of it first.
How about this -- a law that says if before you can vote Republican, you have to let a Democrat browbeat you for several hours... That works the same way, right?
New battleground polls show that the Republican majority in the House is in jeopardy in 2012.
A new Democracy Corps survey in 50 of the most competitive battleground Congressional districts shows the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives very much at risk in 2012.
Key finding: "The GOP incumbents, identified by name, have an average approval rating of 35 percent across the 50 districts, with 25 percent disapproving. Another 38 percent were not able to give the candidates a rating, suggesting lack of visibility. This is about 10 points lower than the approval rating Democratic incumbents held in July of 2009 (with comparable disapproval rating)."
Also, 40% of voters in these districts say that they will vote to reelect their incumbent, while 45% say that they "can't vote to reelect" the incumbent.
More than seven in 10 Americans (73 percent) say they approve of the President's handling of the U.S. response to the triple disaster, and just 14 percent expressed disapproval.
A CBS News survey shows that exactly half of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling the situation in Libya, and just 29 percent disapprove. Twenty-one percent said they did not have an opinion.
Proposed Republican cuts to the budget would cause gas prices to soar even higher.
(But the Democrats fail to realize this is exactly what the Republicans want. They know high gas prices can choke the economic recovery, and the GOP NEEDS the economy to tank in order to have a chance at defeating Obama in 2012.)
With gas prices soaring, 45 Senate Democrats signed a letter on Tuesday urging GOP leaders to abandon their proposed cuts to the budget for a key regulator that oversees the food and energy markets, part of a broader effort to reduce government spending.
The letter, sent to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday, argued that Republicans should protect funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which would be cut by one-third under a defeated House GOP plan.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sarah Palin is currently visiting Israel, trying to burnish her foreign policy credentials (HA HA HA HA!!!) ahead of a possible presidential run. But also wanting to be all Christian-y, she's trying to visit as many Christian holy sites in the Holy Land as she can.
Trouble is, Palin was too stupid to know that Bethlehem is in Palestinian territory, and it would be a major foul up for her to visit.
But, after an uneventful drive from her hotel in nearby Jerusalem, her car stopped just short of the main Israeli military checkpoint outside Bethlehem, a Palestinian city in the West Bank, appeared to hesitate and then performed a u-turn.
Israeli military officials declined to comment on why Mrs Palin may have turned back, but the country's defence ministry confirmed that she had made no formal request to visit the occupied West Bank – standard protocol for any foreign dignitary.
The oversight could prove embarrassing for Mrs Palin's advisers, who are unused to planning for foreign visits and have a reputation for being poorly organised.
That's got to be some kind of record - a flip flop in less than a half minute!
On today’s edition of his Fox News show, Beck said of Libya, “If I would have told you a year ago that France would lead -- that France would be the one that says, ‘You know what? I’m tired of waiting around. We’ll send our planes, and we’ll bomb.’ And America would say, [crying noise]. Would you have believed that a year ago?”
Then, exactly 20 seconds later, Beck said: “America is involved in the third front. If I would have told you four weeks ago that America may now be involved in a war -- in a third war in a third Muslim country in the Middle East, would you have believed me? I believe I did say words similar to that right over there, that it would sweep, destabilize, and drag us all down. We’re in a third war, a third front. God help us all if it all boils over in Libya.”
Tim Pawlenty has announced that he's probably going to announce the formation of an exploratory committee, to look into whether he should announce that he is announcing he may or may not be running for president.
Republicans really doubt their chances in 2012. That explains all the coyness.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Looks like the biggest consumers of porn are in conservative states.
Americans may paint themselves in increasingly bright shades of red and blue, but new research finds one thing that varies little across the nation: the liking for online pornography.
A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states.
"When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different," says Benjamin Edelman at Harvard Business School.
However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Glenn Beck is making a lot of noise recently about how we're living in the "end times." That seems to be his major kick right now.
It would appear one lady is taking him seriously. She tried to stab her kids to death because she thinks we're in the "tribulation."
LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A Palmdale woman was arrested Friday in Lancaster for stabbing her two children and herself.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies were called to a house on Landau Place in Lancaster at approximately 5:23 p.m. Friday by a resident.
A woman had driven her two children, 11 and 14 years old, from their house on the 41000 block of Riverrock Lane in Palmdale to a friend's house on Landau Place in Lancaster.
The friend arrived at her house to find the woman and her two children, who were bleeding from stab wounds. She called 911.
It was unclear if the children were stabbed in Lancaster or Palmdale.
The children were treated for substantial but non-life-threatening stab wounds.
The kids were placed in the care of the Dept. of Child Protective Services.
The Palmdale woman was in custody Friday night.
The woman may have been motivated by Christian "tribulation," according to the sheriff's department.
A man was stoned to death for being gay.
The killer excused his action on the basis of the Bible.
A Delaware County man has been arrested and charged with murder in the beating death of an elderly Landsdowne man who had befriended him and made him executor and sole beneficiary of his will.
John Joe Thomas, 28, of the first block of Sunshine Road in Upper Darby, allegedly told police he killed Murray Joseph Seidman, 70, because the older man had made sexual advances and that the Old Testament spelled out stoning as the punishment for homosexuality.
"I stoned Murray with a rock in a sock," Thomas said to police, according to court documents.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Donald Trump goes full-on teabagger and fires off another one of those very old, very debunked teabagger claims against President Obama and says that people who went to school with him never saw him.
PolitiFact checks out the claim (again) and rates it a "pants on fire" lie.
In a 2005 interview in an alumni magazine, Columbia College Today, Obama said that while at Columbia he was somewhat involved with the Black Students Organization and participated in anti-apartheid activities, but otherwise kept a fairly low profile.
"Mostly, my years at Columbia were an intense period of study," said Obama, who lived off campus. "When I transferred, I decided to buckle down and get serious. I spent a lot of time in the library. I didn’t socialize that much. I was like a monk."
So he wasn't BMOC. But he wasn't entirely invisible either.
A May 15, 2008, story by the Associated Press, "Old friends recall Obama's years in LA, NY," quotes the recollections of an old roommate of Obama's in New York, Sohale Siddiqi.
And former roommate and friend, Phil Boerner, has shared his recollections of Obama's time at Columbia with several reporters and is quoted in David Remnick's Obama's biography, The Bridge. The New York Times did an extensive interview with Boerner for a Jan. 20, 2009, story.
And Politico posted online an article Obama wrote for Columbia's weekly magazine, The Sundial, which ran under the headline, "Breaking the War Mentality" on March 10, 1983.
After FactCheck.org ran a story about the Columbia classmate's claim, another former classmate e-mailed to say she, too, remembered Obama.
And there's lots more at PolitiFact.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I had a dream that President Obama walked on water across the Pacific Ocean and singlehandedly put out the fires and repaired the Japanese nuclear plants, personally rebuilt with his own hands several Japanese towns, and rescued over a hundred missing people. Then he walked on water back across the Pacific Ocean and returned to America.
Fox News and right wing radio then attacked him for not being able to swim.
Comcast wants to kill Netflix. And they might just do it.
Appearing in a recent panel discussion at the South by Southwest music, film and technology festival in Austin, Texas, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) warned that net neutrality, or the treatment of all data on a network as equal, was under threat by Comcast and other telecoms.
But the immediate prize for a company like Comcast especially, he cautioned, is "to put Netflix out of business entirely" by making it too costly to compete with the network owners' video service.
Franken also discussed the recent scrape between Comcast and Level 3 Communications, which is an intermediary that works with Netflix to deliver video. Comcast demanded that Level 3 enter into a reoccurring payment agreement with them, or face being cut off from all Comcast subscribers.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Republicans have called an EMERGENCY MEETING in the House.
No, it's not about jobs.
To block funding for NPR, of course. Because of a video that even Glenn Beck's people say unfairly edited things out of context. NPR - which even teabaggers say treated them fairly in their coverage.
Excuse me, Mr. Boehner, but defunding NPR creates jobs how, exactly?
Proving that it's awfully difficult for a Republican to open her or his mouth without lying, Haley Barbour, making big noise about running against Obama, has been caught lying about job loss figures.
Barbour, March 14: Well, let’s look at their record: in the last two years the federal government spent $7 trillion and our economy lost seven million jobs. I guess we ought to be glad they didn’t spend $12 trillion!
But Barbour is dead wrong about job losses in the last two years. He’s not even close.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm employment (the standard for measuring jobs) decreased by 3.24 million in Obama’s first two years in office, from January 2009 through January 2011. The job loss is even less if you look at "the last two years" — that is, the most recent 24-month period, from February 2009 through February 2011. By that measure, the job loss was 2.32 million jobs. That’s a lot of people out of work in either case, but it’s not even half the number that Barbour claimed.
It’s true that nearly 8.8 million jobs were lost between the most recent peak in January 2008 and when the job slump ended in February of 2010, according to recently revised BLS figures. (The loss was even worse than BLS had thought when we last looked at this subject.) About half were lost under Bush and half under Obama. But in the past year nearly 1.3 million jobs have been regained.
Any way you look at it, Barbour was way off.
Monday, March 14, 2011
A big rift has developed between Sarah Palin and Fox News chief Roger Ailes. He advised her not to make her infamous "blood libel" video, but she did anyway. This could be the reason why some of Fox hosts are now giving her a hard time, like Bill O'Reilly (though Sean Hannity still seems to worship her as his messiah).
Hard to believe this is posted on Fox News' web site, but it's a must read, all the way through.
In the 1920s, before the peak of the union movement, income inequality and wealth distribution in America reached dangerous proportions. Incomes for the nation as a whole were barely keeping pace with inflation while incomes for the top 1% of Americans skyrocketed up seventy-five percent. Unions, along with a host of New Deal era accomplishments, helped drastically turn this tide.
In 1955, when the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) was formed, Republican President Eisenhower praised the newly combined labor federation and unions in general for achieving economic prosperity for all.
It was widely accepted that following an era in which the robber barons recklessly abused workers in order to extract maximum wealth, unions were the way working class Americans could fight back together for rights, benefits and fair wages.
Which is why big business -- and big business-backed politicians like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker -- have worked so hard to destroy unions ever since. Do you really think big business gives a damn about “our economy” or “your jobs”? Come on. They care about their bottom line. That’s what businesses do. Unions care about workers.
Unions raise the wages of workers by roughly 20% and raise total compensation, including both wage and benefits after union dues are deducted, by twenty-eight percent. The effect is even greater for low- and middle-wage workers and those without a college degree.
Unionized workers are significantly more likely than non-union workers to get paid leave, employer-provided health insurance and employer-provided pension plans (in fact, up to 54% more likely). And unionized workers receive 26% more vacation time and 14% more paid leave.
What’s not to like about that?
But here’s the kicker: Even if you’re not in a union, unions help you. There’s an old bumper sticker that reads, “Like your weekend? Thank a union!” A bigger bumper sticker might read, “Like your weekend, your 40-hour work week, your workers compensation program, your employee benefits, your minimum wage, your safety standards on the job? Thank a union.”
But that’s not all.
Because the players wanted the owners to open their books.
DeMaurice Smith and the NFL Players Association wanted 10 years of financial audits so they could see why the most successful sports league on earth was claiming to be financially embattled. They wanted to see how the owners could feel justified to ask for a rookie pay scale and 18% cuts in player compensation. They wanted to see how, despite all we now know about the brutal hazards of the sport, the owners could insist on adding two more regular season games. But the owners refused to open the books, offering instead “a single sheet of paper with two numbers on it.” This single sheet would only be available to the union after being vetted by an independent third-party.
It’s unclear why the owners have made a deal-breaking fetish of financial secrecy. We can only assume that the "books" would not be flattered by the light of day. We don't know whether their private ledgers would provoke the IRS to give the NFL something slightly less pleasant than a body cavity search. We don’t know if the audits would demonstrate that owners leveraged their franchises and then took a bath in the 2008 economic crash. We don’t know if individual NFL owners—like their MLB counterparts—lied to local governments so they could get more taxpayer cash for stadiums. Given the financial state of baseball’s New York Mets, whose owners flushed their liquidity by partnering up with a guy by the name of Bernie Madoff, you’d forgive us for fearing the worst.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The guy who JUMPED to vote for the Patriot Act after 9/11 has now flip flopped, and says we shouldn't make policy based on a recent disaster.
Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell if the nuclear disaster in Japan had caused him to have second thoughts about his desire to build nuclear plants in the U.S.
"I don't think right after a major environmental catastrophe is a very good time to be making American domestic policy," McConnell said.
"My thought about it is, we ought not to make American and domestic policy based on an event that happened in Japan, and we ought to concentrate on helping the Japanese get past this catastrophe."
McConnell was one of 98 senators that voted to pass the PATRIOT Act less than two months after 9/11.
There’s some bad news for the Sarah Palin worshipers this morning.
Sarah Palin, perhaps the most closely watched of all potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, is viewed in an unfavorable light by 60 percent of those questioned in a new Bloomberg News poll.
Palin's numbers suggest she would face a challenge in attracting voters beyond her conservative base if she decides to run for president next year. Bloomberg's survey of 1,001 adults was taken between March 4-7 by the Iowa firm, Selzer & Co. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Within the 60 percent who disapproved of Palin, 38 percent said they had "very unfavorable" feelings about her. She was viewed favorably by 28 percent, with only 4 percent not sure how they felt. A December Bloomberg poll had Palin's unfavorable rating at 57 percent.
What will be fun to watch is when the GOP nomination is given, and the candidate then faces pressure to pick Palin as his or her running mate. The funny thing about this is Palin would not want to run second to anyone else, but will be livid if she is not picked as the VP candidate. The sparks will fly as Palin takes non-stop digs at the Republican nominee all the way to election day.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Michigan's governor wants the right to declare "financial martial law" so he can fire municipal governments without any public oversight whatsoever. You know, just in case that municipal government does things he doesn't like or gets a little too "Democratic." So the governor will have the authority to eliminate all Democratic local governments and install Republicans, and no one would be able to do anything about it.
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government took the same power in Germany, passing laws to make sure that the center of power was firmly in his hands, and he could dismiss any local government that displeased him for any reason.
The Michigan Martial Law Act of 2011 is fast-tracking right onto Governor Rick Snyder's desk just in time to take center stage after the fact. Despite large protests in Lansing, it's getting very little press while the Wisconsin conflict continues.
According to the law, which has already been approved in the House, the governor will be able to declare “financial emergency” in towns or school districts and appoint someone to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, and eliminate services.
Under the law whole cities or school districts could be eliminated without any public participation or oversight, and amendments designed to provide minimal safeguards and public involvement were voted down.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Governor Rick Scott's irrational Obama Derangement Syndrome just cost Florida 2.4 billion dollars and who knows how many jobs.
A right wing terrorist plot has been foiled.
Five members and associates of a Fairbanks, Alaska, right-wing militia group were arrested yesterday for allegedly plotting to kidnap or kill Alaska State Troopers and a state judge.
The five include Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, the founder and leader of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia. Cox also founded a pro-gun group and advocates armed resistance to gun control.
Cox and the other defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit arson, in addition to gun charges and other crimes.
According to an Alaska Department of Public Safety statement, an investigation of the militia group "revealed extensive plans to kidnap or kill Alaska State Troopers and a Fairbanks Judge."
"Cox et. al. had conspired a plan to launch an attack on Alaska State Troopers and Court Judges. Investigation also revealed that extensive surveillance on troopers in the Fairbanks area had occurred, specifically on the locations of the homes for two Alaska State Troopers. Furthermore, Cox et. al. had acquired a large cache of weapons in order to carry out attacks against their targeted victims. Some of the weapons known to be in the cache are prohibited by state or federal law."
Also arrested were Lonnie Vernon, Karen Vernon, Coleman Barney and Michael Anderson.
(Feel free to add your own examples.)
Fox News calling Obama a racist, saying that progressives are “Nazis” and “they’re going to take over the country and shoot you in the head” is free speech.
An NPR fundraiser saying some teabaggers are racist means that NPR must be defunded and shut down.
Their plans are becoming clear.
Republicans don't care how many people you get to show up at a rally. They don't care if they carry out extremely unpopular power grabs. Because they have a plan to stay in power and to ensure that the majority of people in this country cannot vote them out.
They're going to force this country into a bloody revolution.
The following video is of the must-watch variety if you care about the future of the United States.
from msnbc.com: Maddow
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Even though a majority of Wisconsin voters did not want them to, they did it anyway, and underhandedly.
I don’t think there’s a form of life lower than a Wisconsin Republican.
You can bet the next thing to happen will be a general strike, followed by the biggest political recall vote in American history. Wisconsin Republicans are going to be run out on their asses.
A Wisconsin lawmaker has admitted on the air that their attacks on unions has never been about any budget issue. It’s solely about getting Obama.
Wisconsin State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald: Well if they flip the state senate, which is obviously their goal with eight recalls going on right now, they can take control of the labor unions. If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.
You gotta love Newt.
He says he screwed all those women and had all those affairs because… wait for it… he loved his country so darn much!
"There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate," says Newt.
So, men, if you want to have multiple affairs, just blame it on your passionate patriotism. I’m sure your wives will understand. And if they don’t, just tell them God forgives you, so they just better shut their mouths and stop complaining.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
“Teachers make too much money. Billionaires need welfare.”
“Safety regulations on corporations are nothing more than government intrusion. The government should regulate the wombs of women and keep gays from getting married.”
“Tea Party protests are what freedom is all about. Union protesters are thugs and should be arrested.”
Feel free to add your own.
Here's another glaring example of the hypocrisy of right wingers on protests at political events. This one LOVED the protests that shut down town hall events on health care, but when it happens to HIM, suddenly it's “unfortunate” people couldn't ask questions.
Why are right wingers such blatant, obvious hypocrites?
In 2009, corporate front groups like Americans For Prosperity organized protests against Democrats who supported the health care overhaul, raucously disrupting the town hall meetings of these members of Congress.
One of the Republican members of Congress who most vigorously supported these town hall protests was Rep. James Sensenbrenner (WI). At the time, Sensenbrenner implored politicians to listen “to the message” of the town hall demonstrators and praised their efforts to disrupt the meetings of his Democratic colleagues.
The tables were turned yesterday when Sensenbrenner was confronted at a constituent town hall by scores of people who were outraged by his endorsement of a GOP budget proposal that would slash and burn investments in infrastructure and education and deny millions of Americans a decent shot at living the American Dream. The constituent protest became so intense that the congressman adjourned the meeting early. An attendee of the event recorded footage of the protest.
Following the meeting, Sensenbrenner put out a statement saying, “It’s unfortunate… individuals who were patiently waiting to ask a question or share a concern were unable to do so.” Yet it appears that the congressman’s standards for whether protesters’ behavior is appropriate changes depending on who is the target.
Americans support abortion rights by a clear majority. 54% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 42% believe it should be illegal in all or most cases.
So why are Republicans wasting time on this rather than creating jobs, like they promised?
Monday, March 7, 2011
Fox News can see the ratings decline just like everyone else can. While Glenn Beck still has good ratings, Fox is realizing what the trend is, and according to insiders, they’re thinking about not renewing his contract this year.
If that happens, more than likely, Beck will wind up going to some smaller outfit who would be happy to have him for what ratings he has left, even if the trend is down, down, down, and they’d figure they’d get the boon for at least a little while. Maybe someone like CNN.
The only thing for certain is that the ratings boon, declining as it is, certainly doesn’t come along with an advertising boon, as advertisers seem to want to have nothing to do with him.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
So, it's EQUALITY they hate. They hate the idea of equality so much they can't even bear to see the word applied to gay people.
Vandals have defaced a banner supporting same-sex marriage for the second time in recent weeks at the Hollywood United Methodist Church, this time it was in broad daylight, church officials said Wednesday.
The replaced 12-foot banner in front of the iconic church on Franklin and Highland avenues intersection directly addresses those that ruined the first banner, reading:
“Dear vandals: You can cut the word ‘equality’ out of our banner, but you can’t cut the message out of our church. We will always support marriage equality.”
This time, the last "equality" was ripped out.
A fantastic speech by Michael Moore that deserves your undivided attention.
America is not broke.
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.
Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.
Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.
Watch the whole thing, and learn:
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I’m an atheist, so I have no dog in this hunt. I believe in Jesus as much as I believe in Allah, or any god.
But I’m struck by the clash of religions seen here.
While a Christian mob surrounds and screams at him, a Muslim man prays for Allah to bless them.
In this video, a group of anti-Muslim protesters take their concerns about Sharia law to the White House, only to find a Muslim man in prayer. They begin shouting, insulting him and cursing Islam, and one man even threatens his life. Later, as the Muslim man bowed again in prayer, the protesters begin praying back at him, uttering Christian chants in response.
At the end, a woman who claimed to have spent years in the Middle East informed the protesters that while they mocked him, the man had prayed in Arabic that each of their families be blessed.
Friday, March 4, 2011
I’m shocked. Shocked, I say. One might even say agog.
Well, here’s a shocker: Some of the people who phone in to talk radio shows (that caller with the pitch-perfect rant, provocative comment or burning question) may actually be hired actors reading from scripts. I’m not an angry listener, but I play one on radio!
Via Tablet Magazine:
If [the actor] passed the audition, he would be invited periodically to call in to various talk shows and recite various scenarios that made for interesting radio. He would never be identified as an actor, and his scenarios would never be identified as fabricated—which they always were.
“I was surprised that it seemed so open,” the actor told me in an interview. “There was really no pretense of covering it up.”
Curious, the actor did some snooping and learned that Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.
“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.”
Ensuring the authenticity of your programming… with paid, planted callers.
It's not really stupidity as much as it is petty hatred, the kind that makes you, out of sheer spite, take anything you hear and turn it into something sinister about the object of your hatred.Limbaugh Speculates That NASA Intentionally Crashed Satellite To Preserve Global Warming "Hoax"
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart exposed the discrepancy between how Fox News views teacher pay vs. how they view Wall Street pay.
Fox News whined that those poor Wall Street bankers "weren't really rich" because "250,000 a year wasn't really that much money." But teachers making 51,000 are "overpaid."
Shows what right wingers really value.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Ouch. Tea Party leader rips into John Boehner. Says that Charlie Sheen is making more sense than the human cheeto.
The leader of Tea Party Nation declared Wednesday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) looks "like a fool" and should be defeated in a primary, tearing into him for not pushing larger budget cuts more aggressively.
"There is no other way to put this," Judson Phillips wrote on the Tea Party Nation's website. "The Tea Party movement should find a candidate to run against John Boehner in 2012 and should set as a goal, to defeat in a primary, the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives."
"Charlie Sheen is now making more sense than John Boehner," Phillips wrote.
Like Jesus calling forth Lazarus, affable sleazebag Mike Huckabee calls forth some old lies out of grave. But the most fun is Huckabee simultaneously insinuating that Obama is a Muslim, while with the same breath denying he’s ever called Obama a Muslim. Witness:
In a radio interview today, Mike Huckabee claimed that President Obama "has a different worldview and I think it is, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas. And I just do think that there is - again, I am not saying he's not a citizen, I've never said that, I've said the opposite. I've never said he's a Muslim."
That would be like if I said, “Mike Huckabee sure likes to put little girls on his lap an awful lot. But, you know, I’ve never called Huckabee a child molester.”
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Watching Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and this dismissive asshole Glenn Grothman, a Republican Senator in Wisconsin, calling protesters slobs and saying that those who oppose Governor Walker are “a different breed of people.”
Just what “breed” would that be, you humongous douche? You waste of human flesh. You witless and amoral liar.
O’Donnell also reported on the way the Ohio Republicans were breaking their own rules to get their anti-working class bills passed.
All of this together, along with the dismissive, disdainful attitude of Grothman, the biggest dick on the planet, shows me beyond a shadow of all doubt that the Republican Party has declared absolute, total war on the working class, and unless you’re ultra-wealthy, they want you destroyed, eliminated, and forgotten.
Their dream is of a society where the oligarchs and corporate masters rule all, and the worker drones have no rights, no rights at all.
Fuck them. Fuck them one and all.