Sunday, February 27, 2011

Headlines - Sunday February 27

"The problem is, and dare I say this, it doesn't look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice…I'm trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you."
Times' collection of the most surprising photos of 2010
#5 is my favorite.
Remember, when a Republican talks about how much they care about babies, they mean hypothetical babies. Once those babies become real, they couldn't give a big hot bowl of crap.

Political Pictures - Abraham Lincoln, Glenn Beck, Republicans
Jonathan Turley: Is the Scott Walker story just the tip of the Koch brothers' political iceberg?
The protesters were back on Saturday, in the largest numbers yet (estimates ranged from 70,000 to 100,000) and signs indicating Walker is a Koch Whore were everywhere.

Speaking of the Koch Brothers, this ought to shrivel their nutsacks Anonymous has decided that they merit their special attention, and they are "actively seeking vulnerabilities."

Top ten disasterous policies from the Wisconsin GOP you haven't heard about.
Why did our government give special preference to christian pseudo-insurance companies?

This country recently managed to pass a rather lame compromise on health care: there is now a mandate that requires everyone to have health insurance, even if it is from a hodge-podge of insurance companies, with the intent of fairly distributing the expense. Unfortunately, one group got singled out with an exception from this requirement. Can you guess who?

Yep, Christians.

Did you know that if you are a Christian you are exempt from the taxes, penalties and regulations imposed by the recently enacted health insurance law?

All you have to do is to affirm a statement of Christian beliefs and pledge to follow a code that includes no tobacco or illegal drugs, no sex outside of marriage, and no abuse of alcohol or legal medications and pay a monthly fee to join a religious health care sharing ministry plan, a plan that specifically does not guarantee the payment of your medical bills in any fashion and holds members solely responsible for payment of said bills.

And the reason for this exemption? According to the spokeswoman for the Senate committee responsible for writing much of the legislation, lawmakers granted the exemption out of respect for religious freedom.

That's a rather large loophole, and it's also preferentially sectarian. It's also non-surprising. What it means is that a few Christian scam-artists get to get richer, while lots of gullible Christians get screwed. The con is to set up a Christian "bill-sharing" cooperative in place of a real insurance plan; members send in monthly premiums, which can be quite substantial, but do not have to buy in to any other insurance plan, and then the bill-sharing program offers to help cover medical expenses, but "The payment of your medical bills…is not guaranteed in any fashion." It's a great deal for the Christian bill-sharing plan; if your medical expenses get so high that they cut into their profits, they can just elect not to pay, and then you have to go begging to join some other insurance pool.

Absolutely brilliant. Send me money now, and maybe, if I feel like it, I'll help you out with some bills later. But I am not obligated.

And this is such a profitable plan that they managed to lobby congress to support it, all under the cloak of Christianity.


Did you pay five bucks in income taxes in 2010? 

Then congratulations, Mr. or Ms. High Roller! You paid more in Federal taxes than did CitiBank, JPMorganChase, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Boeing, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and probably a shitload of other big corporations--combined!

That's correct. You paid more to the Treasury than all of those fuckers. And all of those bastards either received large bailouts or are large contractors. Boeing is going to make billions and billions on the KC-X contract, but they won't pay any Federal taxes while they are doing it.

Something is seriously wrong here. But nothing will change, between the spineless Democrats who quake in their shoes whenever somebody says something mean about them to the Republicans who scream "Gays! Guns! God! Abortion! Illegal Aliens! Sharia Law!" whenever it is pointed out that they do nothing that does not serve the interests of the wealthy and the corporations.

political pictures - Protesters, Winston Churchill, Barack Obama


It looks like more apparent coverups by the Vatican:

The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.

Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.

Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.

The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese.


Olbermann has a blog.


From a good article in Newsweek, mostly about his work in Sudan, George Clooney on why he won't get into elective politics:

"I f--ked too many chicks and did too many drugs, and that's the truth."

And were he to take leave of his senses and run for office:

"...'That's gonna be my campaign slogan: 'I drank the bong water.'?"

Does anybody remember ...
George Bush's "signing statements"? Well, guess who's whining now?

Lawrence O'Donnell took a shot at these great "defenders" of marriage, Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich for going after the Obama administration for their decision not to defend DOMA. Apparently the two of them have a little trouble telling the difference between enforcing a law and defending that law in court.

Here's Beck via Media Matters -- Beck Falsely Claims Obama Won't Enforce Law On DOMA; Adds, "He Has Made Congress Irrelevent".

The Chimp didn't enforce anything he didn't want to. If I've ever seen a Congress that was "irrelevant", it was the ones during the Bush years.

Marcy Wheeler: ...

Which makes what Obama did far far less abusive (in all senses of the word) than what George W Bush did with his long catalog of signing statements. Perhaps Bush's most famous was his signing statement to the Detainee Treatment

Scumbaggery is discernable in youth 
We learned with George W. Bush that what a man does when he is "young and irresponsible" does reflect on the man he becomes later. When a boy gets his kicks by blowing up frogs with firecrackers, it's a pretty good bet that given the opportunity, he'll get his kicks in middle-age by torturing actual human beings. When a boy insists on changing the rules in the middle of a game he isn't winning, it's a pretty good bet that given the opportunity, he'll steal an election.

And when a young man engages in illegal campaigning in college, you can bet that he's going to be equally scumbaggy as a candidate for Governor of Wisconsin:
Jill: While I was driving home from work on Friday, I was listening to Thom Hartmann talking to someone who said that the police were going to be sent into the Madison, Wisconsin Capitol building and start arresting protesters one by one -- whatever it took to clear out the rotunda.

How's that working for ya, Gov. Walker?
From Boing Boing:

Yesterday afternoon, hundreds of cops marched into the Wisconsin Capitol Building, where Wisconsinites have spent more than a week protesting their governor's plan to eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees. They were there to join the protest. Musician Ryan Harvey posted this report to Facebook:

"Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside."

"Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: 'We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what's right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!' Unreal."

Click over to see the video. Money quote:

"Mr. Walker, if you are listening to me, let me tell you something. we know pretty well now who you work for. Let me tell you who WE work for. We work for all of these people."

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