Yes, probation sounds like bullshit, but let's hope it's a trap. You know he's not going to be able to go 2 years without violating, and then it's directly to jail. "An anti-abortion pastor was found guilty and sentenced to two years probation yesterday for stalking North Carolina doctors who perform abortions, The Charlotte Observer reports. According to the Observer, Rev. Philip L. "Flip" Benham, director of the Dallas-based Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, posted "Wanted"-style posters of the doctors, which included their names and home addresses. Benham was charged with "misdemeanor stalking and violating a state law against residential picketing." He plans to appeal. WSOC-TV reports that Benham considered his actions free speech, and that he said: '"[The doctor] kills babies. He does it for a living. He has no respect for life of children in the safety and neighborhoods of their mothers' wombs." According to WSOC-TV, one doctor said he considered the posters a "call for my murder." "
Oh look. The Republicans are playing grabass with the debt ceiling.
Fresh off their election day sweep, top Republicans in Congress are already threatening a high-stakes gambit to block what has traditionally been a fairly routine move: changing the law to increase the total amount of debt the federal government is allowed take on. [...]
"I think it will not be without some strings attached if it happens, because they're going to have to seriously address spending and debt," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News last week.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) suggested he'd like to see over $300 billion in spending cuts before he'd end a filibuster on the debt ceiling.
On NBC this weekend, Tea Party leader Jim DeMint (R-SC) joined in on the fun: "No, I won't. Not-- not unless this debt ceiling is combined with some path to balancing our budget: Returning to 2008 spending levels. Repealing Obamacare," DeMint said. "We have got to demonstrate that we have the resolve to cut spending."
So they're going to hold the debt ceiling as ransom in a game of high-stakes chicken with the White House. Nice. I'm sure they know that if the debt ceiling isn't routinely raised, the United States defaults on its loans causing a large-scale economic collapse.
Awww. Isn't it precious how much the Republicans care about America?
DOJ says no charges in the destruction of those CIA torture videotapes.
Torture is a crime. Destroying evidence of a crime is a crime. Nobody should be protected from prosecution because a bunch of ideologically-driven lawyers issued some sort of bullshit memos that said that torture was legal.
I doubt that a defense of "but our lawyers said it was OK" would have flown in Nuremberg, for instance.
They're just begging to be laughed at.
Bryan Fischer really hates it when animals attack. Like, hates it so much that he thinks we'd be better off without them.
Which is why Fischer, who is the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association, wrote a blog post today…in which he refers to Grizzly Bears as a "curse" and says that "it's time" for the grizzlies to go.
He references a November 6 article in the Los Angeles Times about the high death toll of bears in the Yellowstone region this year, which the article says is the worst on record. Fischer's point is that the piece "exudes far more compassion for live bears than dead people," since the two people who died from grizzly attacks only warrant a fifth-paragraph mention.
"One human being is worth more than an infinite number of grizzly bears," Fischer writes. "Another way to put it is that there is no number of live grizzlies worth one dead human being. If it's a choice between grizzlies and humans, the grizzlies have to go. And it's time."
He continues: "Of course there is a simple answer: shoot these man-eaters on sight."
"God makes it clear in Scripture that deaths of people and livestock at the hands of savage beasts is a sign that the land is under a curse. The tragic thing here is that we are bringing this curse upon ourselves."
Seriously, are there any conservatives out there with the slightest understanding of science? One word for this bozo. Ecosystem.
Also. About thirty Americans die each year from dog attacks. Another twenty die from snake bites. As for bears, from 2000 to 2010, fewer than thirty Americans were killed by bears, for an average of under three deaths per year.
Therefore, taking Fischer's thinking to its logical end, if it's a choice between dogs, snakes and humans, the dogs and snakes have to go.
All of which begs the question, how many Bryan Fischers is a single bear worth?
Mario: Screwing up our planet one day at a time.
Morford: Dear Tea Party: You will now get yours.
Is our village learning?
Anne Applebaum finally notices that "conservative" Alaskans are full of shit:
For whatever the reason, the hypocrisy at the heart of the party – and at the heart of American politics – is at its starkest in Alaska. For decades, Alaskans have lived off federal welfare. Taxpayers' money subsidizes everything from Alaska's roads and bridges to itsmyriad programs for Native Americans. Federal funding accounts for one-third of Alaskan jobs. Nevertheless, Alaskans love to think of themselves as the last frontiersmen, the inhabitants of a land "beyond the horizon of urban clutter," a state with no use for Washington and its wicked ways.
Perhaps in a year or two Applebaum will note that a lot of Tea Party members are railing against the federal government from the comfort of a Medicare-financed mobility scooter.
I've been looking for a good review of Bush's book, and I don't think anyone's going to top "How did this wastrel ever find his way to the White House?":
His sadness over Hurricane Katrina is not for the victims in New Orleans, as Mr West understood, but for the damage done to his reputation by that snap of him staring blankly and aloofly down on the catastrophe from the window of Air Force One. His paramount distress over Iraq is not over the loss of life, civilian and military, but how that banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" on the aircraft carrier came to make him look naive and vainglorious. He reveals his shallowness and vapidity with these reflections in the most crystalline of clarity, and hasn't a notion he is doing so.
It takes a certain minimal intelligence for the truly dim to have a notion of their own dimness, but this is denied him. Unlike Mr Tony Blair, who emerges from his well-calibrated if often chilling memoir as a man of colossal cleverness (though not intellect), W has the self-awareness of a bison. There seems even less to him than met the eye, and there was precious little of that. Astounding as it appears, we misoverestimated him.
That's Matthew Norman in the Independent. The whole thing is funny and lacerating.
What exactly are they studying?
This is destined to be an instant classic. Under pressure to list specific cuts, The Republican Study Committee has announced that they will cut a program that… expired several months ago. So I guess they can throw that in the "Win" column!
Truly awesome. Can't you just feel the fiscal discipline?
Are we starting to see the beginning of the "lamestream media" pushing back against stupid Sarah? "Aw, shucks. ... Sarah Palin is "just a former governor and current housewife from Alaska, but even humble folks like (her) can read the newspaper." ... Reading's one thing. Comprehending's another. ... Palin makes the unfortunate mistake of slapping back at Wall Street Journal reporter Sudeep Reddy for calling her out for what he called "hyperbole" in a speech Palin made to the Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association convention in Phoenix. ... She gets it wrong again. It was indeed hyperbole." ... So, Palin is hammering the Journal and Reddy for pointing out that she's flat wrong about grocery prices going up significantly in the past year. What does she do? She quotes a separate Journal story that confirms what Reddy is saying-and cuts out that part with three dots. Nice! ... Palin has a journalism degree, so I'm guessing she knows what an ethical no-no it is to misquote somebody like that. It ought to be awfully hard for her to get on her pedestal and condemn the media when she can't even quote somebody honestly. How about to make it up to Reddy, Palin lets a real reporter like him fly out to Wasilla to interview her for once instead of going to her house folks at Fox News?"
IEA: last year's inaction on climate goals cost us $1 trillion.
That whole Barbara Bush fetus jar thing from yesterday really screwed up her son's mind, so much so that in 2008, during the buildup to the general election, he told former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and a group of dignitaries he would have endorsed Barack Obama if Obama's people had asked him. And that he "probably won't even vote for" McCain. Is this because Bush was mad at McCain for having the GALL to seriously compete for the Republican nomination in 2000? Or is it because the man's mental capacities were permanently damaged by the trauma of his mother shoving that fetus jar in his face and years of subsequent alcohol addiction and was actually confused as to which party he belonged?
When Andrew Sullivan trades in being insufferable for being vicious and tears the right wing a new asshole, he can really leave you needing a cigarette at the end of a piece. Today was just such a day.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will file a friend-of-the-court brief in the multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of health care reform, Politico reports. McConnell argues in his brief that the reforms "dramatically oversteps the bounds of the Commerce [Clause] which has always been understood as a power to regulate, and not to compel, economic activity."
I wonder if it says anywhere in the Constitution that Congress should get free health care?