Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30

Compassionate Conservative Stacey Campfield, Tennessee GOP Lawmaker, Wants To Tie Welfare Benefits To Children's Grades



Now that Congress has solved all of our other problemsThe heads of the House Oversight Committee are planning to grill professional football players directly in their probe of human growth hormone use in the National Football League.


Everything you need to know about gun nuts summed up in this story:

Neil Heslin, the father of a 6-year-old boy who was slain in the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, stoically faced down pro-gun activists last night.


But as he gave his emotional testimony, pleading with lawmakers to improve mental health options and to ban assault weapons like the one Adam Lanza used to murder his child and 25 other people, his speech was interrupted by dozens of audience members, The Connecticut Post reported.

"I still can't see why any civilian, anybody in this room in fact, needs weapons of that sort. You're not going to use them for hunting, even forhome protection," Heslin said.

Pro-gun activists responded by calling out: "Second Amendment!"

Undeterred, Heslin continued. "There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened."

Obviously, the massacre of kindergartners does not outweigh the right for some asshole pinhead cracker to load up on automatic weaponry. At this point, I don't know what it will take for these fear-driven, sea cucumber's dingleberries to realize that having an AK-47 doesn't make them any "safer" from scary black people, women, Hispanics, or themselves. Maybe the election of an old white guy as President? Ha.


Sherrod Brown and Chuck Grassley want answers on too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-jail banks:

U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter today to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder questioning whether the "too big to fail" status of certain Wall Street megabanks undermines the ability of the federal government to prosecute wrongdoing and impose appropriate penalties. They also requested that the Justice Department disclose the identities of parties with whom prosecutors consult about the appropriate level of penalties for financial institutions.

"Wall Street megabanks aren't just too big to fail, they're increasingly too big to jail," Brown said. "Already, the nation's six largest megabanks enjoy what amounts to taxpayer-funded guarantee by virtue of their size, making it harder for regional and community banks to compete. Now, these megabanks may also enjoy some impunity when they violate the law by laundering money or illegally foreclosing on homeowners. Wall Street should pay the full price of its wrongdoing, not pass the costs along to taxpayers."

"The best deterrent to crime is to put people in prison," Grassley said. "That includes those at powerful banks and corporations. Unfortunately, we've seen little willingness to charge these individuals criminally. The public deserves an explanation of how the Justice Department arrives at these decisions."
I think we'd all like to know. The American people would like to know. The banking cartel has become immune from prosecution because they collude to threaten our economy with destruction if we so much as look at them askance.

But it's an empty threat. They're not a force of nature. They exist because of laws on the books. And while it might be a little messy, the various pensions, bonds and investments they hold on their books can be transferred to a variety of smaller, more manageable institutions.

Too big to fail is still too big to exist.


Ohio Will Not Rig The Electoral College

Good news — Ohio's top lawmakers said today that they do not support plansto alter the state's winner-takes-all approach to the electoral college, much to the ire of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus who loves the idea.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Count Ohio's Republican leaders out of a GOP-backed effort to end the Electoral College's winner-take-all format in the Buckeye State and other presidential battlegrounds.

Spokesmen for Gov. John Kasich, State Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker William G. Batchelder told The Plain Dealer this week that they are not pursuing plans to award electoral votes proportionally by congressional district.

Batchelder went a step further, saying through his communications director that he "is not supportive of such a move." And Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, the state's chief elections administrator, emphasized that he does not favor the plan either, despite Democratic suspicions based on reported comments that he said were taken out of context.

It's possible that the threat of being challenged in local elections is too great for some state politicians whose poll numbers are already too low to absorb a hit of this magnitude.

With that said, we should continue to watch Jon Husted like a hawk.

Husted's pre-election antics, which drew the wrath of local judges more than once and lead to the wrongful termination of several election officials in Montgomery County (disclosure: that's my county), are not forgivable.


How to Give Kids Nightmares

This is unspeakably asinine and a depressing example of where we're at here in America.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A school shooting drill planned for tomorrow in the far northwestern suburbs has many parents upset.

According to a letter from Cary-Grove High School principal Jay Sargeant, there will be a code red drill at the school on Wednesday.

It will include somebody shooting blanks from a gun in the hallway "in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire."

You can't window-dress this. If we're in a situation where we feel the need to familiarize children with the sound of gunfire in their school's hallway, our society very close to being irrevocably fucked if it isn't already.


The Obama Team's Farewell Gift for Hillary Clinton

Posted on 01/29/2013 at 9:41 am by Bob Cesca

This is too damn cool:

Last week campaign disclosure reports revealed that Hillary Clinton had finally retired the debt from her 2008 presidential campaign—with a little help from the guy who beat her, Barack Obama. Clinton's debt once totaled more than $20 million, although it had dwindled to about $250,000 by last year. That's when a team of top Obama donors decided to surprise Clinton, and thank her for her loyal service, by raising enough money to pay off her bills. As secretary of state, she was forbidden from political fundraising.

According to a person involved in the effort who did not want to be named talking about internal fundraising strategy, the effort was launched last April by Steve Spinner, a California finance chairman for the Obama campaign; Jane Stetson, the former Democratic National Committee finance chairwoman; and Henry Munoz, the incoming DNC finance chairman. The challenge was tougher than it may appear, since it required a particular kind of donor. In order not to run afoul of campaign finance laws, the Obama team had to find people who had not already given Clinton the 2008 maximum primary donation of $2,300 or maxed out their total federal candidate donations during the 2012 cycle ($46,200). And of course, those people also had to be warmly disposed toward Clinton and still have plenty of free cash on hand.

We've come a long way since the harrowing days of the 2008 primary season.


Idaho gun-nut lawmakers freak out over man with gun in state Capitol (irony alert)


Fox ratings are down across the board in the key 25-54 demographic:

Fox News was down -6% in total viewers and -22% in the key adults 25-54 demo in total day in January, the lowest demo numbers since July 2008. In primetime, the network was down -17% in total viewers and -40% in the demo, posting its lowest demo numbers since May 2006. It is worth noting that January 2012 was a big one in the Republican primary race and FNC hosted two primary debates, but this month was no slouch either, with the inauguration and a number of big political stories.

MSNBC was up 11% with the 25-54 demographic in January. Fox and Friends remains a high point for Fox, though it's slipping, too:

In the morning, "Fox & Friends" was up +5% in total viewers, but down -17% in the demo. It has been number one on cable news for 135 straight months, drawing more viewers than MSNBC, CNN and HLN combined.

Morning Ho was #2 on the last ratings report I could find, which means the #1 and #2 morning shows on cable are conservative vehicles. I wonder when MSNBC will cancel that sad shitshow and replace it with something that people might want to watch.


Mazel Tov, Gomer Pyle!

HONOLULU — The actor best known for playing the TV character Gomer Pyle in the 1960s has married his male partner of 38 years.

Hawaii News Now ( reports Jim Nabors and his partner, Stan Cadwallader, traveled from their Honolulu home to Seattle to be married Jan. 15…

The 82-year-old Nabors says you've got to solidify something when you've been together as long as they have.

They couple met in 1975 when Cadwallader was a Honolulu firefighter. Cadwallader is 64.

Nabors says he's been open about his homosexuality to co-workers and friends but never acknowledged it to the media before…

Gol-lee, the things we didn't know in the 1960s. A gay Marine, out of Mayberry! — I wonder whether Andrew Sullivan will rush to claim Nabors for his team? Best wishes to the happy couple, in any case!


NRA gutted 2007 mental health registry law

What part of "bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." does Lindsey Graham not remember or understand?
The biggest drama queen in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, went full-frontalDan Burton on Hillary Clinton today, claiming that she got away with murdering four people in BenghaziSen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has upped his already harsh rhetoric against outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, claiming that she "got away with murder" in the Benghazi, Libya, attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. "I haven't forgotten about Benghazi. Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view," Graham said on Fox News Monday evening, speaking to Greta Van Susteren. "She said they had a clear-eyed view of the threats. How could you have a clear-eyed view of the threats in Benghazi when you didn't know about the ambassador's cable coming back from Libya?"

How this man can make such a claim when he was one of George W. Bush's biggest warfloggers is beyond me.

Three Charts Reminding The GOP That Domestic Spending Is Already Headed Toward Historic Lows

Poor Rush Limbaugh, who really has no one else to blame for the fact that his comments about Sandra Fluke lost him advertisers and made Mike Huckabee a viable competitor, seems to be feeling sorry for himself lately. In a recent interview with The New Republic, President Obama said, truthfully, that "If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it." Now, Limbaugh appears to believe that this means President Obama is pulling some kind of mysterious strings—and to be denying his own influence. As The Hollywood Reporter explains:

Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience Monday that President Obama is promoting a "secondary boycott" against those he disagrees with and that the mainstream media is on board with the strategy.

"I would love to take credit for this," Limbaugh said Monday. "I'd love to say that I find myself here because of a brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed strategy, but one of the reasons that Fox News and I stand out like sore thumbs here is because the rest of the media is gone. The rest of the media is in the tank. The rest of the media has long ago ceased doing their job. They're not reporting, they're not curious, they're not holding Obama accountable. They are on board. They are part of the agenda-advancement team."

I'm awfully curious about this kind of thinking. Does Limbaugh believe himself to be influential, or not? If he doesn't believe himself to have any particular influence over lawmakers, does that mean advertisers can't decide if they do or don't want to be associated with him, which is, after all, how pure media organizations have always set up that part of their revenue equation? How does President Obama saying that legislators care what Limbaugh thinks translate into him organizing a boycott against Limbaugh? What kind of free time does Limbaugh think President Obama has? It's always entertaining seeing what it's like down the rabbit hole, but I have less amused tolerance than usual when the subject is Limbaugh's hurt feelings.


31 Senate Republicans Opposed Sandy Relief After Supporting Disaster Aid For Home States

Arkansas Republicans Would Jail Doctors Who Perform Abortions After Just Six Weeks Of Pregnancy

GOP Rep Says He Opposes Immigration Reform Because Latinos Are Uneducated, Will Never Support Republicans

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