Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 20

NRA – ATF = GOP or How the NRA Controls Nominations

President Barack Obama will nominate B. Todd Jones as the next director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,…Obama announced he would nominate Jones as part of a sweeping plan to tighten gun laws…"since Congress hasn't confirmed a director … in six years." The National Rifle Association has not said whether it would support or oppose Jones' nomination to head the ATF, which has gone without a permanent director since gun-rights lobbyists pressured lawmakers to require congressional approval of nominees.


School's new armed security guard forgets gun in school bathroom


Suck it, Michael Chertoff.

Say "don't let the door hit ya" to the invasive pornoscanners made by Chertoff's moneymaker, "Rapiscan":

WASHINGTON—The Transportation Security Administration confirms that it is getting rid of airport body scanners that produce a naked image of travelers.


TSA says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June. It says the company that makes them, Rapiscan, was not able to come up with a software fix to make the scanners comply with the Congressional mandate.

Guess TSA will have to come up with another way to invade our privacy. Maybe it's time for anal probes?

Of course he personally got rich off the scanners.


Poll: Americans want term limits. But at the ballot box, they don't


Even after the 2012 election in which Americans re-elected most of the sitting members of the U.S. House and Senate — as is typical in national elections — three-quarters of Americans say that, given the opportunity, they would vote "for" term limits for members of both houses of Congress.

Republicans and independents are slightly more likely than Democrats to favor term limits; nevertheless, the vast majority of all party groups agree on the issue. Further, Gallup finds no generational differences in support for the proposal.

These findings, from Gallup Daily tracking conducted Jan. 8-9, are similar to those from 1994 to 1996 Gallup polls, in which between two-thirds and three-quarters of Americans said they would vote for a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that members of Congress and the U.S. Senate can serve.

The problem is that voters reelected 90% of congress in 2012, meaning that they think term limits are a good idea — so long as they're applied to someone else's congress critter. Their's is fine. Congressional approval ratings are very low and term limits are one way we'd lose a lot of really awful legislators that other dopes keep reelecting (I'm looking at you, people in Louie Gohmert's district).

But term limits solve no real problems. The problems are the undue influence of money in politics and the revolving door that allows congress members to come back to Washington and write law as lobbyists — even when voters soundly rejected their ideas. Term limits only ensure that congress is staffed with idealists and dreamers. Seriously, in what other line of work would you say, "The less experience, the better." And do you want to fire Bernie Sanders in order to fire Michele Bachmann? There's an old saying about babies and bathwater that I'm sure you're familiar with.

No, the way to fix politics is to end multi-billion dollar campaigns that convince people to vote for complete tools. Replacing congress with a bunch of people who don't even know where the cloakroom is would only make things worse. Doubt me? Name the Tea Party freshman you think did a bang-up job 2010-2012. Those were the new guys — and they sucked.


The Republicans have caved on the debt ceiling hostage threat, at least for now.

The new offer, announced at the conclusion of a three-day retreat, represents a modification of the Republican leadership's previous demand that any debt limit increase, temporary or otherwise, must include equivalent spending reductions. The temporary increase this time comes with the stipulation that it will "give the Senate and House time to pass a budget," something the GOP notes that the Democratic-led Senate has failed to do so for years.
But if Republicans are willing to release the hostage now, there's no reason to believe they'll be able to hold onto the hostage later. They hope to use the sequester itself as extra ante, but as Greg Sargent notes, that's not likely to work for them. 

And, for what it's worth, it means the Republicans took seriously the President's statements about refusal to negotiate over the debt ceiling--meaning that Republicans don't necessarily see the President as a total pushover. All of that is good news. What's more, the momentum of negotiation is now on the other side, with Democrats now demanding a clean debt ceiling hike with no funny business attached. This would force Boehner to come up with at least a Hastert Rule majority of Republicans for the three-month extension, which will be no easy task with the rabid Tea Party faction demanding immediate default absent spending cuts. After the Plan "B" fiasco, it's not clear that Boehner could achieve that.

The two major concerns at this point are 1) whether Boehner can maintain his leadership position while constantly undercutting the Tea Party crowd; and 2) what sort of concessions Democrats will be tempted to make in order to take the sequester off the table.

All in all, though, today's news is good news. Democrats called the GOP bluff on their threat to destroy the economy for ideological gain, and the GOP folded. There's no reason to believe they won't fold again when the pressure's on. That leaves Democrats in the driver's seat.

At this point, if there are cuts to Social Security, Medicare or other important programs, it will be entirely on Democrats' heads unless the GOP finds a different, more credible hostage. I'm sure the search is already on.


Go easy on Fox 5's Holly Morris. It was the kind of freudian slip any conservative could make.


God Loves Uganda


The NRA says jump and gun nuts say "how many guns should we buy?"

How about all of them?

No, really — gun stores are running out of guns to sell.

"We were just swamped in here as soon as he got off the news," manager Bill Loane of Pasadena Pawn & Gun in Maryland said of the reaction to Obama's gun proposals. "People were just pouring through the door." [...]

The AR-15-style rifle, which is among the most popular firearm models in America, came to wider attention after Adam Lanza used one in Newtown. Fearing a ban, Loane said, his customers are paying unprecedented prices for the few guns still available.

"I just sold a lower model one the other day for $2,195 over thephone," Loane said of a gun that a few months ago might have gone for about $1,200. "The guy had to have it. He didn't even see the gun."

David Stone said his Dong's Sporting & Reloading Goods in Tulsa, Okla., was packed wall-to-wall all day on Wednesday. Stone said buyers barely paused during what he described as a "buying frenzy" to listen to the president speak over a local reporter's iPhone.

"We're having people call on the phone," Stone said. "I'm the only store in Oklahoma from what customers are telling me that has AR-15s."

If it were gasoline, there would be outrage over price gouging, but since we're talking about our beloved rifles, no one cares. They'll pay any price for that sweet metal because the NRA and Fox News told them the president is going to confiscate their guns.

If they weren't so selfish and irresponsible I'd say the gun lobby were geniuses for figuring out how to dupe their loyal customers into buying anything they tell them to without any tangible reason to do so.

The firearms industry has been scaremongering over confiscation for decades. And it works. All the NRA has to say is jump, and gun nuts will trip over themselves stampeding toward the nearest gun store.



After twenty years together, USA Today kicked Gallup to the curb yesterday, probably becauseGallup blew the Presidential race and people are starting to expect pollsters to do better. Chalk up another win for the gay wizard–the last couple of paragraphs of this piece tracing Gallup's errors over the last twenty years are a fairly harsh boot up Gallup's ass.

I wonder who Gannett will hire to replace Gallup. I'm not a big reader of USA Today, but as far as I can tell the main bias of that paper is towards superficiality and brevity. Even so, a lot of conservatives read it, and if they pick PPP, which is both cheap (because they robo poll) and good, expect gratifying howls of outrage.


A couple of chaps in Ohio thought it would be a good idea to do some paper-target shooting in their backyard — with AK-47s. They drank a couple beers, did some drugs (probably just smoked a little weed — nothing too heavy, man) and shot up the fucking neighborhood.

The cops were dodging bullets as they attempted to figure out just what in tarnation was going on.

Don't you just love the Second Amendment to death?


House Science Chair's First Action Is To Hold A Climate Change Denier Hearing

Whole Foods CEO: 'Climate Change Is Not Necessarily Bad'

In 2003, David Keene's son, David M. Keene, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for discharging a firearm in a crime of violence after he shot at the driver of another car from his BMW on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in northern Virginia. Police said the shot missed the other driver's head by inches. At the time, the younger Keene, then 21, was serving as [American Conservative Union] ACU's director of online communications.

In addition to Blam-Blam Junior's legal travails, current NRA President Keene's ex-wife pleaded guilty last year to embezzling $400K from the ACU. The Keenes sound like exactly the sort of people who need access to a vast arsenal. Honest to god, you can't make this shit up.


George Carlin: Fuck Lance


Der Kinderfuckenlieder

The country changes but the song remains the same:

A report about child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, based on victim accounts and released by the church this week, showed that priests carefully planned their assaults and frequently abused the same children repeatedly for years....]

The church's credibility regarding its commitment to an impartial investigation suffered a fresh blow last week when the bishops canceled an independent study into the abuse scandal amid allegations by the independent investigator, Christian Pfeiffer, that the church was censoring information.

Also, too, rape babies are a present from God:

Germans were further outraged by reports this week that two Roman Catholic hospitals in Cologne had refused to carry out a gynecological examination on a 25-year-old suspected rape victim. An emergency doctor who had helped the woman told the newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger that the hospitals cited ethical objections to advise women on unwanted pregnancies and on steps that can be taken to prevent them, like the morning-after pill. The Archdiocese of Cologne denied that the church refuses to treat rape victims. The hospitals blamed a "misunderstanding" and said the matter was under investigation.

No comments: