Friday, March 4, 2011

Headlines - Friday March 4

In addition to union-busting, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's so-called "budget repair bill" will:
           ... repeal a state law requiring insurance companies to cover prescription birth control.

I think Babs-the-Impaler canned the wrong fetus.


"I can assure you, Bill, that we are delighted to be here to watch you hang."

-- George W. Bush upon watching the unveiling of the portrait of former Senate Leader Bill Frist

What a coincidence! How I've longed to say those words to you, Chimpy.


On the bright side, Republicans did defund ACORN:
After nearly a decade of mismanagement, theft and fraud, the U.S. military still hasn't found a way to staunch the flow of what is likely hundreds of millions -- if not billions -- of dollars in lost fuel in Afghanistan, some of which is sold on the black market and winds up in Taliban hands, a TPM investigation has found.
Wisco: Pickpocket Republicans
You've all seen the O'Reilly Factor video featuring violent union protesters in a Wisconsin where palm trees grow. Apparently, the protesters in that video wasn't angry enough for the patriots at Fox headquarters. It's been re-edited. Here's the final product.
Speaking out for the environment returns a guilty verdict, but war criminals, politicians, banksters, and corporations roam free.
Here's his speech after the verdict:
When Mice Snort Koch


Wingnut GOP Rep. Steve King Plans To Cut DOJ Budget Over DOMA

Virulent homophobe Rep. Steve King (R-IA) says he will introduce a budget amendment that will cut the Department of Justice's funding by the amount it would have spent to defend DOMA.
"What I intend to do, and there are other solutions that are offered, and I believe that the Speaker is focused on this, as well ... is to offer an amendment on an appropriations bill that would cut the funding to the Department of Justice in an amount yet to be determined that would be equivalent to that amount that they would otherwise use to defend the Defense of Marriage Act," King said Tuesday.
Completely ridiculous grandstanding, of course. 
According to the Los Angeles Times, Newt Gingrich served as middleman for an anonymous donor who gave $200,000 in "seed money" to fund the successful campaign to oust three Iowa state Supreme Court justices.
This year, several potential presidential candidates are vying for attention among religious conservatives. But only Gingrich was instrumental in the most heralded event of recent Christian political activism: The effort last fall to remove the Iowa judges. "It wouldn't have happened without Newt," said David Lane, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, the organization that led the campaign. "Newt provided strategic advice and arranged the initial seed money, about $200,000, which is what got everything started." The money came from an anonymous donor whose contribution was arranged by Gingrich, Lane said. Robert L. Vander Plaats, chief spokesman for the judicial campaign, said the former speaker provided key strategic advice. He said Gingrich had won over pastors in the state with his "open and transparent" approach.
Newt Gingrich would like to remind everybody that that marriage is between one man and one woman whom you abandon riddled with cancer on her hospital bed while you screw the hell out of your mistress whom you later marry and cheat on with a third woman while screaming with Godly moral outrage about the infidelities of the president.
The lawyer for a Connecticut man who was arrested for fisting a female horse (SRSLY) is asking the court to show his client lenience because he's a devout Christian without a previous criminal record.
"Mr. Wegiel has never been arrested for any crime before this, and I think he is eligible," Crozier said. Crozier said Wegiel denies abusing the horse. Crozier said Wegiel is a "decent human being," who has been "churchgoing all his life." Crozier said he has dozens of letters from people who wrote in support of Wegiel, such as friends and fellow parishioners. Wegiel is due back in court March 11, when a judge will decide if he should be allowed into the program. It is for first-time offenders, and it is generally not permitted in serious cases. Christine Flannery of Shelton, whose family owns three horses, including Indiana, which Wegiel is accused of abusing, attended the court proceeding. Afterward, she said she objects to Wegiel being allowed into the program. "It would be a slap on the wrist," Flannery said. "He deserves more punishment."
Police were called when Flannery found Wegiel with "his hand and arm inside the horse's vagina." Wegiel says that was totally an accident. The above-linked story observes that the two male horses in the corral were not touched. Cuz that'd be gay, dude. 


I'm beginning to get the idea that we're going to be seeing a lot of two-week extension bills over the next several months. Less than 24 hours after the President signed into the law the first two-week extension, Republicans are already playing games.

White House efforts to bring Congressional leaders together Thursday to kick off bipartisan budget talks are already hitting a wall: GOP leaders are signaling they won't be there.

Democratic sources said Wednesday night that White House officials, led by Vice President Joseph Biden, and Democratic leaders had agreed to meet Thursday afternoon in a Senate room to begin talks on a budget blueprint aimed at keeping the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year. [...]

But GOP leadership aides suggested that their bosses have no plans to attend until Senate Democrats produce a spending plan of their own.

The President's budget has actually been available for nearly a month, so the claim that the Democrats haven't offered an alternative plan is patently false.


White House compromises before budget negotiations even begin 


That didn't take long!  Pink flamingos have started migrating to Palm Beach, Wisconsin.


CNBC: A new study of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme concludes that JPMorgan Chase made over $900 million in pretax profits from the Madoff scam.


Mike Huckabee is talking shit about Natalie Portman

Mike Huckabee—who is concerned that Barack Obama is, like, totally blackity blackity black black,y'all, was born in Kenya, and wasn't a "traditional" American with the Rotary Clubs and the Kiwanis Clubs and the other stuff—is now downright concerned that Natalie Portman's crotchfruit will be born a bastard, because apparently people still give a shit about that sort of nonsense:

Appearing on the Michael Medved Show, Huckabee had this to say Portman:

You know Michael, one of the things that's troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.' But there aren't really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.

You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids—across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.

So let me get this straight. The Huckster is concerned about the colored kids born out of wedlock, but at the same time wants to force all women to have babies should they become pregnant through rape, contraception failure, a mistake, or rampant sluttery, and then he has the temerity to lament the poor uneducated and unemployed status of the zombie babymakers single moms while at the same time preaching abstinence only.

How has his head not exploded from cognitive dissonance?

Maybe if Bristol Palin had won an Oscar, Mike Huckabee would have rebuked her for being an unwed mother the same way he has Natalie Portman.


funny pictures - Nobodee unnerstandz me. nobodee carez whut I want. I haz a pitifull.


Do these people really think actions like this will make Muslims (or anyone else) want to be like them?

Video- Anti-Muslim Protestor Throws Crosses At Feet Of Man Praying By White House

According to TPM's Ryan J. Reilly, a police officer at the scene said this Muslim man shows up at the White House "every couple days" to pray. That was lucky for anti-Sharia protestors who were there and couldn't find any Muslims to yell at.

And here's the ugly face of Islamophobia in Orange County, California


Your Repug Congresscritters at work

It's gotten to the point that you don't even have to check the roll call - if the bill adds to the deficit, kills jobs, hurts the middle class, handicaps the military, damages education, poisons the water and air or just generally makes life worse for everyone who is not obscenely wealthy, House republicans voted for it.

Like we keep sayin': religion kills. "Pakistan has announced three days of mourning for former minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti. Mr Bhatti, a Christian, was shot dead in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday. Christians protested across Pakistan, condemning the killing and denouncing the government. In some places, road blocks were set up and tyres burnt. The Pakistani Taliban say they killed Mr Bhatti. He had received many death threats for urging reform to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Police have issued a sketch of one of the men they believe to be involved in his killing but have so far made no arrests. In January, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who had also opposed the law, was shot dead by one of his bodyguards. The blasphemy law carries a death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. Critics say it has been used to persecute minority faiths."

Republicans are a "wrecking crew" in office.
10 things Newt doesn't want you to know about him.
GOP councilwoman says she wants marines to send Muslim families to 'paradise.'
Bobby Jindal's wife getting very interesting charity donations

You guys are looking a little pale. Is everyone alright?

In an alternate universe where Bobby Jindal never opened his adorable mouth about letting volcanoes kill us all, Bobby Jindal is engaged in an epic struggle with Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich to be the next president of the United States. In that universe, this scandal is game-changing news: Jindal's wife's charity has received a series of very large donations from corporations who are looking to influence regulatory policy. The kind of regulatory policy that, uh, leads to things like giant oil spills off the coast that threaten the ecosystem of the state and the livelihoods of many of its residents. But it's for a good cause! Supriya Jindal has "revolutioned chalkboards," because chalkboards are obviously the thing to blame for making Louisiana's kids dumb, fat, poor, poisoned, and covered in crude oil. READ MORE »


Jason Sigger: "Pop-Centric" warfare still kills people

ISAF with kids

I'm trying to absorb the news in the NYT today that "NATO" helicopters (probably Army Apaches) shot up a group of children who were picking up firewood near a forward operating base that was under fire by insurgents using a mortar. This FOB was in an eastern province on the border of Afghanistan, a dangerous area in which to operate. ISAF promptly owned up and apologized for killing "nine civilians." Civilians? That's a pretty bland term for a group of kids aged 9-15.

We've had too much bullshit talk about "population-centric" operations that are supposed to ensure we befriend the Afghan population and target the violent extremists. I get the theory, I get that the Taliban insurgents are causing a good deal of civilian casualties as well. I know who the bad guys are. I just have to wonder when the US Army - and the White House - is going to understand that they are really not suceeding in this strategy.

Our role in Afghanistan - assuming one believes we need to be there, as the president does - ought to be one of advising, training, and equipping the Afghan security forces. The Afghan government ought to be leading the operations to secure its own country with its own forces. Now we know this government can't do that, it's too corrupt, its security forces aren't motivated or inclined to do their jobs, so the impatient American response is "well, then we'll do it for you." Guess what? Doing combat operations for the host nation is not the point of counterinsurgency operations.

I'm tired of hearing the bullshit excuse that "we have to be in Afghanistan because Pakistan has nukes and Teh Terrorists might get them." Guess what? Both the Taliban and AQ are in Pakistan already. Fighting them in Afghanistan does NOTHING to secure that objective. Giving Pakistan billions of dollars in military aid every year should ensure that country's ability to secure those weapons, don't you think?

So instead, Karzai is going to get some free publicity by bashing his main ally, the United States. The Taliban are going to have a field day, trumpeting how US forces are killing Afghan civilians. And our Congress and White House are going to stoutly resolve that we've got to stay there for four more years before thinking about pulling combat forces out of Afghanistan. When will the Obama adminstration stop acting like a bunch of blood-thirsty neocons and admit that its Afghan strategy is a failure?


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