Saturday, January 8, 2011

Headlines - Saturday January 8

Objective: Using the Holy Bible as your guide, correctly answer each of the following scientific questions.
Rep. Steve King's Proposal For Health Reform: "Move"
QOTD: Theresa Cao

"Literally if this question of the natural born citizenship, if this question does not get answered, then I am allowing a tyrannical dictator – the spirit of the anti-Christ, the new world order system that has their plans right this second to collapse the U.S. economy, and we know their plan, the new world order system's plan is to literally destroy humanity. He [Obama] has fought it not only for two years, not only has he fought it pre-election but historically all of his connections, every single connection [has been] blacked out. It's prophesied this new world order system will devastate America and the world, and Satan's plan is to take as many people to hell with him as he can. " - Birther loon and anti-gay activist Theresa Cao, in today's fawning interview by World Net Daily.

Following Cao's arrest for disrupting the U.S. House yesterday, Speaker John Boehner said he wasn't going to question the president's eligibility for office, but that he also wasn't going to dictate what other people believe.

Major Televangelists Evade Senate Fundraising Investigation

Sen. Chuck Grassley has wrapped up his three-year investigation into the fundraising practices of major televangelists. No action will be taken by the government, mostly because the figures being investigated refused to provide financial data.
The report by Sen. Chuck Grassley questions the personal use of church-owned airplanes, luxury homes and credit cards by pastors and their families, and a lack of financial oversight. But Grassley draws no specific conclusions about whether the ministries violated IRS rules that bar excessive compensation for leaders of religious nonprofits. Two of the targeted televangelists -- Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn -- made changes in response to the inquiry. But Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Bishop Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar Ministries and televangelists Randy and Paula White refused to provide information, while insisting they comply with IRS rules.
Stand by for announcements of God's intervention!

"She is too stupid to deserve an answer." - Gore Vidal, responding to Michele Bachmann's claim that she became a Republican after being horrified by Vidal's "trashing" of the Founding Fathers in his 1973 novel, Burr.
Our flourishing economy
Unemployment Drops As Americans Abandon Pointless Search For Work

'Welcome to Costco. I love you.'

Good news for the U.S. job market: The unemployment rate miraculously dropped from 9.8% to 9.4% in December, the biggest one-month drop in the official jobless rate since 1998! Coincidentally, this plunge in the number of Americans desperately seeking work coincides with more Americans dropping out of the labor force entirely, because there aren't even enough new jobs to keep up with "natural growth" — 26-year-olds getting their GEDs and needing that Jiffy Lube job to help momma out at home, etc. — let alone provide work for the 15 million officially unemployed Americans. Of course the real official unemployment rate is 16.7%, because that number includes "discouraged workers" and people subsisting on seasonal or part-time or temporary work while still hoping for a full-time job again, someday.

At least the Nobama Administration is making good on its threats to fire a lot of government workers! The government payroll was cut by 10,000 jobs last month. Merry Christmas, people who actually believed a government job was "safe."

Of the paltry 113,000 reported new private-sector hires, nearly half of those were lowly service jobs — what the business media calls "leisure and hospitality," which sounds so much better than "motel housekeeper" or "Taco Bell cashier." The other sector still creating a few jobs is Health Care, because keeping obese diabetics alive so they can continue to wash down KFC with 72-ounce buckets of iced corn syrup is the one assembly line this country will never lose. [Marketwatch]


Economists have drawn a blank, the average citizen doesn't understand, and even the media is now trying to figure out how the Republicans plan to "get serious" about the deficit without cutting defense or increasing taxes. This is something that should have been paid more attention during the 2010 campaign season, but better late than never.

So how exactly are they going to do it? Simple. Cook the books.

WASHINGTON – Democrats are accusing newly empowered House Republicans of exempting more than $1 trillion in proposed tax cuts and higher spending over the next 10 years from a promise to cut federal deficits.

The exemptions include a bill to repeal last year's health care legislation as well as GOP-backed proposals extending a series of tax cuts for upper income filers that are due to expire in two years, according to a tally several Senate Democrats were to present at a midmorning new conference Thursday.

Oh! Ok. So the promise to cut federal deficits doesn't necessarily include $1 Trillion in tax breaks and higher spending over the next decade? Would the Republicans make room on their list of exemptions for more economic stimulus or more job-creating legislation? Oh that's right, the Republicans believe cutting taxes is job-creating legislation.

Mr. Boehner where are the jobs?


While the Republicans chase their own shadow in their farcical crusade to reduce the deficit, the CBO has dished out some tangible numbers for what would occur should the Republicans have their way in repealing or defunding "Obamacare."

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated overturning the reform signed by Obama last year would add about $230 billion to the deficit by 2021 and result in 32 million fewer people having health insurance...

In a preliminary estimate, the CBO said repealing the healthcare overhaul would increase the federal budget deficit by roughly $145 billion by 2019. That figure would rise to about $230 billion by 2021, it said.

Does this mean the Republicans will abandon their campaign to repeal healthcare reform since they are so very serious about reducing the deficit? So serious, in fact, that they have already abandoned nearly every budgetary promise they campaigned on. Who will the Tea Party blame when they realize that none of their hopes and dreams have come to fruition?


We live in a country where we have a Supreme Court Justice – Antonin Scalia – who says that the Constitution doesn't protect women and gays from discrimination. And we're not impeaching this guy? What has this country come to that we allow justices on the highest court in the nation who don't have enough of a grasp on reality that they don't understand that women and gays are people. I think Scalia has more in common with the Taliban than he does with Americans. - Marc Perkel


The Discovery Channel has out-bottomed even the SyFy channel: they have made a deal with Satan the Catholic Church and will be producing a show on exorcisms.

This is why NetFlix will conquer the home entertainment universe: all the broadcast and cable channels have become the domain of the dumb.


The 111th Congress ended on a high note for scandal watchers with the Rangel 'trial' and censure. And now we've got the first genuine scandal of the 112th Congress. Meet the man at the center of it: Rep. David Rivera (R-FL).


Two house members violate the Constitution on the day Congress reads the Constitution, but ....

By a vote of 257 to 159, the House voted in a special rule written for Sessions and Fitzpatrick to essentially rewrite Congressional history so the votes they cast as unsworn members-elect Wednesday and Thursday never happened.


Krugman: The Texas Omen


David Letterman - Top ten things overheard during the Republicans' first day in charge of the House


Stoned, or just plain stupid? by John Cole

Reacting to the choices of Sperling and Daley, this comment is one of the all-time greatest here at Balloon Juice:

For 2011, I have resolved to believe my lying eyes. It makes trying to figure out the Obama presidency so much easier. Then there is that saying about first impressions: again when it comes to Obama's picks go with the first impression.

These two picks tell me that if Obama loses in 2012, he has set himself up nicely to waltz right over to a Wall Street job when his gig in the West Wing is up.

Because a former Senator and President probably didn't have enough of a resume to get in with Wall Street. But now that he has picked Daley and Sperling, he's a fucking lock. Not to mention the well known transition from President to stock broker that everyone in politics covets.

This is why hippies are occasionally punched on some blogs. Because it is so easy. And you deserve it.


In the Wyoming state legislature, 10 congressmen and three senators have co-sponsored "The Health Care Choice and Protection Act." The intent? To make it a felony to implement the health-care reform law -- which is, you'll remember, the official law of the land. Here's the relevant bit.


I can't quit you when you write things like this:

So true. You've got Andy McCarthy telling us that president Obama is allied with radical Islamists in a Grand Jihad against America, Stanley Kurtz insisting that he was a Marxist revolutionary in college, and Dinesh D'Souza claiming he is motivated by the Kenyan anti-colonialism of a bygone era. John Yoo and Marc Thiessen established themselves as national pundits by insisting that strapping someone to a board and nearly drowning them repeatedly isn't torture. Glenn Beck twists history in ways so conspiritorial he can't even maintain his own consistency, and earns tens of millions peddling his untruths.

Of course, Hanson isn't talking about those sophists. Instead he takes am at targets including climate science, the stimulus, and Ezra Klein…

Or this:

Before the spending binge occurred? You mean to say that the eight years of George "Deficits Don't Matter" Bush did not include spending binges? You mean to say that emergency spending for the worst downturn since the 1930s was seriously in doubt under any president of either party?

What Ryan is doing is pretty obvious. He is trying to frame fiscal irresponsibility as somehow solely about 2008 – 2010. He's lying about the Republican past and the recession. He has no serious plans to cut entitlements now (anyone only focusing on discretionary spending is a demonstrable fraud), no plans to cut defense, no plans to raise any taxes. And he has thrown away a chance to become a real fiscal conservative in Washington, able actually to tackle the problem rather than exploit it for partisan purposes.

He is the problem with Republicanism today, not its solution. If the debt is such a threat, why do you refuse to tackle it seriously now? Why reduce yourself to the tiniest sliver of the smallest part of the discretionary spending budget … when you could claim a serious mandate to end the debt for good? Why, after the last campaign, are the Republicans still unserious about cutting spending?

Because they're frauds.

When he is on, he is on.


Of course, why should Idiot America let reality get in the way of its delusions?


Educational fuckery in Virginia and North Carolina.


Sigh. We're not stupid, Mr. President. We can tell the difference between stale crumbs and fresh cake. And between genuine compromise and cowardly capitulation.


Mistaken identity our Aunt Fanny -- this is cold-blooded murder no matter how you try to spin it "HEBRON, West Bank - Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed, 65-year-old Palestinian man in his bedroom in this tense city early Friday, in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. ... The man's wife said he was sleeping and she was praying when soldiers burst into the apartment before dawn, entered the bedroom and immediately opened fire. Afterward they asked her for his identity card. She gave her account a few hours later, standing next to the bed, whose mattress, sheets and pillows were soaked in blood. The headboard, an adjacent wardrobe and the ceiling were also spattered with blood and bits of what appeared to be brain matter. ... The Israeli military expressed regret but offered no explanation beyond saying that it had been carrying out an arrest operation. "


What America really needs is a formal caste system

This is brilliant. But it doesn't go anywhere near far enough.

Let's have separate classes of citizenship to accurately reflect the separate economic classes we already have. Then maybe the need for the not-top classes to rise up and defeat the social parasite classes will finally become obvious.

Because the non-rich will be a lower class of citizen, we can eliminate all forms of publicly-funded support for them. After all, the real citizens will all be rich, and will have no need for food stamps or unemployment compensation, or public education, or municipal drinking water, or toll-free highways. The people who do need those things will be a lower class of citizen and therefore not entitled to the benefits of rich-people citizenship.

Or we could approach the class designations from a different direction: according to your actual value to society. Not your claimed magical ability to create invisible jobs, as rethuglicans claim for their obscenely wealthy parasite masters. But your actual, tangible, daily contribution to making life for your fellow Americans just a little more tolerable.

By that measure, the highest citizenship class with the most citizenship benefits will be awarded to garbage collectors, farmworkers, janitors, waitstaff in diners, nurse aides (the ones who change bedpans and bathe the bedridden), social workers, probation officers, grocery stockers, daycare workers, firefighters, beat cops, special-education teachers and plumbers.

The lowest citizenship class, the one that bars voting, would be assigned to people who live off inherited money or interest on investments, corporate CEOs, lobbyists, consultants, celebrities who are famous for being famous, defense contractors, fossil-fuel industry executives, televangelists, public relations hacks and all media purveyers of thumbsucking conventional wisdom.

And revoke citizenship altogether for everyone who dares to claim that some citizens are more equal that others.


With Dems like these.


Ah, nothing wrong with her a hundred dollars couldn't fix ....

You know how you know when a constant terror threat level alert is working? When people actually go so crazy that they start sending packages that "ignite and smoke" to the head of the Homeland Security Safety Mall Corporation. This is really going on! People in Maryland are sending smoke bombs addressed to Janet Napolitano because of those highway signs that tell drivers to report anybody doing anything suspicious, such as not eating sixteen tacos while driving to another fast food franchise.


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