Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20

The Rush Limbaugh advertiser backlash is knocking down the radio networks


Republicans say Rice must testify on Benghazi statements

Republican U.S. lawmakers turned up the heat on Sunday on Susan Rice, saying the U.N. ambassador – seen as a possible nominee to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state – must testify before Congress.


Boo fucking hoo: Paula Broadwell is telling friends she is devastated by the fallout from her extramarital affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus, which led to his resignation as head of the CIA. 


Talking Points Memo's Pema Levy points out an exchange in an interview of Marco Rubio by GQ:

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

Marco Rubio: I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.

A few points here. First, we know how old the Earth is — at least, more or less. It's not the big freakin' hotly contested mystery Rubio wants us to believe it is.

Second, since when aren't people able to "teach their kids what their faith says, what science says?"

Third, that whole thing about Republicans becoming chastened by their "unskewed polls" disaster and becoming more accepting of reality? I wouldn't bet money on it.


Krugman: Paul Ryan Is A Con Man

"The fact is that Ryan is and always was a fraud. His plan never added up; it was never, contrary to what people who should know better asserted, 'scored' by the CBO. What he actually offered was a plan to hurt the poor and reward the rich, actually increasing the deficit along the way, plus magic asterisks that supposedly reduced the debt by means unspecified. His genius, if you can all it that, was in realizing that there was a role — as I said, that of Honest, Serious Conservative — that self-proclaimed centrists desperately wanted to see filled, so that they could demonstrate their bipartisanship by lavishing praise on the holder of that position. So Ryan did his best to impersonate a budget wonk. It wasn't a very good impersonation — in fact, he's pretty bad at budget math. But the 'centrists' saw what they wanted to see." - Paul Krugman, in a New York Times "public service reminder."
The Vatican has formally excommunicated an activist priest for his ordination of female priests. Via a press release published today by Christian Newswire:
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on October 4, 2012, canonically dismissed Roy Bourgeois from the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, also known as the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. The decision dispenses the Maryknoll priest from his sacred bonds. As a priest during 2008, Mr. Bourgeois participated in the invalid ordination of a woman and a simulated Mass in Lexington, Kentucky. With patience, the Holy See and the Maryknoll Society have encouraged his reconciliation with the Catholic Church. Instead, Mr. Bourgeois chose to campaign against the teachings of the Catholic Church in secular and non-Catholic venues. This was done without the permission of the local U.S. Catholic Bishops and while ignoring the sensitivities of the faithful across the country. Disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women's ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization.
Bourgeois is a hero to the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, a group of female clergy who have likewise been excommunicated for bucking the Vatican patriarchy. Bourgeois is also a renowned peace activist who has spent a total of four years in federal prisons for various anti-war protests. In 2010 he was nominated by the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-war work.
Buggering little boys won't get you excommunicated, but ordaining a female priest will. Well done.
In other news, Google announced plans today to invest $75 million in a 50MW wind farm in Rippey, Iowa, bringing the company's total investment in renewable energy to more than $990 million.

Hostess executives and the baker's union, which is currently on strike, have agreed to mediation.

(Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc, its lenders and the unions representing its striking workers, agreed to start mediation hearings on Tuesday at the urging of a bankruptcy court judge.

A hearing on Monday during which the bankrupt maker of Twinkies snack cakes and Wonder Bread was set to ask for permission to liquidate was quickly adjourned until Wednesday after the judge urged the parties to mediate in private.

The good news is that it's possible 18,500 people will not end up losing their jobs, however it's worth pointing out that, coincidentally, or perhaps not-coincidentally, Hostess executives agreed to mediation only after the Department of Justice thwarted their request to pay additional bonuses this afternoon.

(Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc, the maker of the iconic Twinkies snack cake, will square off in a bankruptcy court on Monday against an agent of the U.S. Justice Department, who says the wind-down plan is too generous to management.

The U.S. Trustee, an agent of the U.S. Department of Justice who oversees bankruptcy cases, said in court documents it is opposed to the wind-down plan because Hostess plans improper bonuses to company insiders.

The 82-year-old Hostess wants permission to pay senior management a bonus of up to 75 percent of their annual pay so they will stay on and help wind-down the business.

More from Fortune

"The cessation of … operations is not a simple matter of turning off the lights and shutting the doors," the company wrote in a court filing. "A freefall shutdown and fire sale liquidation" could result in damaged production equipment and the "improper disposal" of waste, the company added.

Under the plan, bonuses ranging from $7,400 to $130,500 will be paid to 19 executives. The company argues the bonuses are below market rates for such payments.

After the Department of Justice thwarted the company's plans to pay new bonuses while liquidating the company, both sides agreed to mediation at the urging of U.S Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain.

Mediation will begin tomorrow.

For more on how the company arrived at this point, see here.


Mitt Romney saw "Lincoln" over the weekend

Actually, no he didn't.

Mitt and Ann Romney were spotted at the new Twilight movie in California, TMZ reports.

Yeah, the weekend when Lincoln opened, Mitt Romney chose to see the new Twilight movie instead.

We totally dodged a huge pile of crapola two weeks ago.


I hadn't been paying attention to the News International scandal, but this caught my eye:

Prosecutors have announced new criminal charges against the former News International editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, this time over alleged illegal payments to public officials.

The Crown Prosecution Service announced on Tuesday that four former News International employees, and a defence official alleged to have been paid £100,000 for information, should stand trial.

We've gone from phone hacking to $160K in bribes to a single defense official – just imagine if Robert Gibbs had slipped that kind of money to David Petraeus as part of his job before he worked for Obama. DC would screech to a halt, and Politico would start a whole new publication dedicated to just that scandal.


They've Been Their Own Worst Enemy


GOP's Benghazi Conspiracy Falls Apart: White House Didn't Change Susan Rice's Talking Points


Hobby Lobby Must Cover Contraception For Employees, Judge Rules

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