Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Headlines - Tuesday August 21

Here's an event Paul Ryan may regret scheduling.

Speaking of Ryan, let's hope
stories like this gain some traction.
There's no way he's not pulling out of the race. First the background from CBS:
The question he faced was simple: Should abortion be legal in the case of rape?

"From what I understand from doctors - that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said.
NYT has more:
Amid an uproar over provocative comments on rape and abortion that Mr. Akin made in an interview broadcast on Sunday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee declared that it would withdraw financial and organizational support for Mr. Akin, including $5 million in advertising already reserved for the fall. In the interview, Mr. Akin said victims of "legitimate rape" rarely got pregnant.

Crossroads GPS, a Republican advocacy group that had already spent more than $5 million to weaken Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, considered the Senate's most endangered incumbent, announced that it was withdrawing from the state.

At the same time, Republican candidates like Mitt Romney and Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts either called for Mr. Akin to step aside or strongly indicated that he should. In a radio interview, the conservative host Sean Hannity pleaded with Mr. Akin to drop out. "Sometimes an election is bigger than one person," he said.

But Mr. Akin said on Monday that he would not drop out. "I'm not a quitter," he said on Mike Huckabee's radio program.
Romney and McConnell have abandoned the guy too. It's only a matter of time now.
Not only are the wealthy pushing to have lower taxes, the rich also show little compassion for anyone other than themselves.
A new study shows that middle-class Americans give a larger share of their income to charity than the wealthy.

The study, conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy using tax-deduction data from the Internal Revenue Service, showed that households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 year give an average of 7.6 percent of their discretionary income to charity.

That compares to 4.2 percent for people who make $100,000 or more. In some of the wealthiest neighborhoods, with a large share of people making $200,000 or more a year, the average giving rate was 2.8 percent.
This is really depressing:

In late May, Akin (R-Legitimate Rape) led Claire McCaskill by a 45-44 spread. Now, even after the rape comment, he's still ahead by one point, 44-43.
What could Todd Akin do to lose support of Republicans in the state? Act like a human being with a functioning soul, I guess. Treat women, gays, and racial minorities with respect, that would lose him plenty of support among the troglodytes.

We'll see how the day unfolds. My guess is Akin stays, and McCaskill remains in the toughest election battle of her career. All that motivates Republicans in 2012 is hatred of Democrats. Akin could eat a kitten on live TV and he'd still be within the margin of polling error because he doesn't have (D) after his name.

He'd get 27% of the vote if he clubbed a baby seal on The View while Hank Williams Jr. and Dave Mustaine were playing "Beat The Devil's Tattoo" and the seal was named Barack. 
Greenland has started melting over its entire surface, which makes the ice darker, which encourages melting. Arctic sea ice is becoming a fond memory, the Mississippi River has dried up so much that boats can't use it for shipping traffic and New Orleans might run out of water, an odd leading economic indicator makes me want to stockpile dried beans, which will be harder to get as record droughts hit the global food supply, and NASA has cut a program for asteroid preparedness.

On the plus side, Nate Silver puts the odds at better than seventy percent that Obama will be president when everything collapses all at once. I'm going to make a drink.


We've been a mobile species about 20,000 years longer than we thought. An ancient human skull found in a cave in Laos is the oldest modern human fossil found in Southeast Asia and is believed to be between 46,000 and 63,000 years old, and that we left the coasts for inland terrains far earlier than previously thought..


Okay, let me see if I have this straight, because it's kinda a mind-bender. Mitt Romney went on the record on Monday, saying that the ticket "could not defend" Todd Akin -- which brings up an issue or three that are problematic for his running mate.

...since Ryan and Akin are two peas in a pod. They joined forces and co-sponsored a radical personhood amendment that would have outlawed abortion as well as many forms of birth control. The two also worked together on an effort to "redefine" rape to make women impregnated by rapists have to jump through more hoops to get abortions.


The influence of money in national politics is a big problem, but Washington lawmakers sure make a lot of it:


The US has taken many steps over the last decade to strengthen national security measures, but the Kentucky Supreme Court knows who is really to thank for our safety: Almighty God.


According to a new USA Today survey, this November another ten million Americans will join the 80 million who did not vote in 2008. A majority of those staying home this year say they support Obama.

A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people who are eligible to vote but aren't likely to do so finds that these stay-at-home Americans back Obama's re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote. Eight in 10 say the government plays an important role in their lives. Even so, they cite a range of reasons for declaring they won't vote or saying the odds are no better than 50-50 that they will: They're too busy. They aren't excited about either candidate. Their vote doesn't really matter. And nothing ever gets done, anyway.

Even in 2008, when turnout was the highest in any presidential election since 1960, almost 80 million eligible citizens didn't vote. Curtis Gans, director of the non-partisan Center for the Study of the American Electorate, predicts that number will rise significantly this year. He says turnout could ebb to levels similar to 2000, when only 54.2% of those eligible to vote cast a ballot. That was up a bit from 1996, which had the lowest turnout since 1924.


After the fire that destroyed his historic church was ruled to be arson, an Ohio pastor says he's certain the attack came because of his welcoming of LGBT members.

The Rev. Scott Davis bought the church in 2010 and opened it to the community for services in 2011. Davis said he suspects arson because he has received many death threats in the past. "It's because this is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender church, and people around here don't agree with it." Davis said he welcomes all people to the church, regardless of faith, sexual orientation or race. There are approximately 30 locals who attend on a regular basis. Davis said the residents of the small, quaint town are very upset with the orientation of the church, but doesn't understand why someone would destroy the last historic building other than for revenge.

The church was built in 1854. Very curiously, I cannot find any mention of this crime by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, or the National Organization for Marriage.


Family Research Council president Tony Perkins (KKK lover) is crowing that he personally authored the portion of the Republican national party platform which opposes same-sex marriage. Perkins sits on the draft committee for the platform, which will doubtlessly be adopted by general acclaim during the convention.


Michelangelo Signorile has penned an open letter to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and invited him to a debate on his SiriuxXM show.


In other news, Americans living within 125 percent of the federal poverty level is expected to reach an all-time high of 66 million in 2012.

I'm sure the wealth will start trickling down any time now. Maybe. Probably. Just wait for it!


Here's a video of Paul Ryan advocating for stimulus and complaining about low revenue under George W. Bush.

Low revenue!


Dan Froomkin wrote an amazing summary of Republican voter suppression efforts. I'd really like to hear from conservatives who can legitimately explain why they're making voting more difficult.


Mitt Romney  -  A Paler Shade of Nothing   :   http://mariopiperni.com/

Wikipedia defines Psychological Projection as follows:

Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people.

Do not make the mistake of confusing the above definition of a personality disorder with the political dirty tricks used by the Republican Party. In the GOP's version, there is nothing subconscious about what they do. Their lies are intentional and it's all part of a strategy crafted in the backrooms by the Karl Roves of the party to be disseminated to the masses by the grunts and hacks who populate the conservative media.

When a Rush Limbaugh charges that it is President Obama and Dems who prefer propaganda over truth, one could not find a better example of right-wing projection. Obama lies, says Limbaugh, while he and those on the right are "the virtuous ones in our society — we think truth wins. We have this investment in the truth. We think it's holy. We think that it is profound, and we think it's persuasive."

Pass out the barf bags.

Is Limbaugh subconsciously projecting his own traits on to liberals? Not a chance in hell. He knows exactly what he's saying. Limbaugh believes truth is holy and profound in the same way he believes marriage is holy and profound. How long before wife number 5 enters his life? Limbaugh's only investment in truth is ensuring it never leaves his lips.

One could make the argument, of course, that pond scum like Limbaugh are simply "entertainers" out to make a buck and push a conservative agenda. Whatever. But what does one way say about a man aspiring to be president who uses the exact same tactics that a Limbaugh does – a man who lies with wild abandon and projects every weakness and flaw that he and the Republican platform possess on to Democrats?

Hello Mitt Romney. Here's a sampling of what Romney said this morning (via Daily Kos) during a CBS interview.

  • On the Obama campaign: "The president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred."
  • On whether his remarks seemed unhinged: "They were very measured. I can be much more dramatic, I think. I think unhinged would have to characterize what we've seen from the president's campaign."
  • On what he means by the president's campaign being about hatred: "Well, I think if you look at the ads that have been described, and the divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity, and so forth, it's designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger."
  • On his view of the president: "The president seems to be running just to hang on to power. I think he'll do anything in his power to try and get reelected."
  • On what has really got him mad: "The president's campaign has put out a campaign that's talking about me and attacking me. I think it's just demeaning to the nature of the process, particularly when we face the kinds of challenges we face."

Projection at its best. The man whose party has claimed for five years that Barack Obama hates America is now crying that Dems are attacking him personally. Romney is a piece of work. Attacks and questions on what he heralded as his main qualifications for the job – his business experience at Bain – are now seen by him as personal attacks.

Personal is insinuating that a man is unpatriotic and is out to purposely hurt his fellow citizens. Asking to see the tax returns of a man vying for the top job in the country and questioning some of his business decisions are not.

Four years ago it was hard to imagine a more unfit, incompetent pair of political clowns than McCain and Palin. That was until we got introduced to Romney and Ryan.


Meet Joe Redner, "Tampa's Strip-Club King":

... More than sunshine, cigars or the rollercoasters at Busch Gardens, Tampa is known for its naked ladies.

And the man in the thick of this spectacle is Joe Redner, who almost single-handedly made Tampa's adult entertainment world famous. He's a wiry 72-year-old with a bemused smile and skeptical brown eyes who owns what is arguably the most notorious of Tampa's all-nude clubs: Mons Venus.

The club — located less than 6 miles from where the Republicans will gather to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate — isn't much to look at. The blue-and-purple building sits on a busy stretch of road next to a Taco Bell and near where the NFL champion Buccaneers play home games. There's a sign outside that says "Home of the Most Beautiful Women in the World," and another: "Live NUDE Shows."

"I don't expect the RNC to be as busy as Super Bowl," Redner said, with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I don't think those people are coming to party." ...

He's still involved in community issues. He goes to county commission meetings and recently, stopped in to an ACLU meeting about the RNC. He's worried that protests will get out of hand and that police will use too much force on demonstrators — especially since he's letting some Occupy Tampa members camp and protest 24/7 on a private lot he owns west of downtown. Redner's been in the news for that, lately, as well; residents of the area are fed up with the campers and are worried the RNC will draw thousands of people to the neighborhood.

Redner doesn't talk much about the actual Republicans coming to town; he considers himself a very liberal progressive. He doesn't like the Republicans' politics, but is hopeful that will bring money into the community. His club's business is down by 50 percent since its heyday in the late 90s, he said. Tampa is in a recession. ...

Other strip club owners in Tampa are more optimistic than Lange about seeing more customers; 2001 Odyssey's Kleinhans said he's put in a VIP area for the RNC, complete with a private entrance around the side of the club, so anyone who wants to sneak in unannounced can do so.

Redner refuses to do that for his customers.

"I can't play to that part of human nature," sniffs Redner. "If you gotta hide from what you're doing, you shouldn't be doing it."

Folks have been wondering what Redner will do during the RNC. Will he protest and get arrested, like he did when President George W. Bush and his brother, Jeb, held a Tampa rally in 2008? Will he offer some outrageous promotion at The Mons? Tip reporters off if a famous politician comes into the club?

Nope. None of that.

He's going to be in Vegas, for a gentlemen's club expo. He's the keynote speaker. 

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