Friday, February 22, 2013

February 22



This is a serious question: Can a Republican manage to speak without lying? If the Republican is Sen. Ted Cruz, obviously not:
I don't believe President Obama wants an immigration bill to pass ... The president has been focusing on amnesty, a path to citizenship that skips ahead of the line ... It's designed to scuttle the bill.
What President Obama has proposed:
But for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship.

We gotta -- we gotta lay out a path, a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally. That's only fair. All right.

Okay, confession time ... it wasn't really a serious question.


Cops use Facebook to notify mom of son's death


How would Jesus hide money to avoid paying debts to the victims of sexual abuse by priests?

A week before Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan is set to leave New York for Rome, where his name is being floated as a candidate for pope, he was questioned in Manhattan for three hours on Wednesday behind closed doors in a legal deposition concerning the sexual abuse of children by priests. [...]

The Milwaukee Archdiocese said recently that it had spent $9 million in legal fees.Creditors accuse the archdiocese, under Archbishop Dolan, of shielding $55 million in a cemetery trust. The archdiocese argued that those assets had been set aside for Catholic burials by Archbishop Dolan's predecessors.

That's funny because in Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahony raided that archdiocese's cemetery trust to the tune of $115 million to, yes, pay off some of pedophile protection racket debt. 


Tebowed! - The Xristian Xrazies finally got Tebowed at the last moment when God's Own Quarterback Tim Tebow cancelled at the last moment an appearance at a church known for the homophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-catholicism of its preacher, Robert Jeffress. Rev. Fishdick is pissed, Denny Burke says that all Christianity is now marginalized, but of course he'll be back once it all blows over.


Will he or won't he? - The Kenyan Usurper will not say whether his administration will weigh in on the challenge to California's Proposition 8 marriage amendment that is before the Supreme Court. (BuzzFeed)




The most terrifying graph you'll see all year


Rep. Louie Gohmert Pyle (R-TX) is very, very concerned about Sharia Law and our need to protect the Second Amendment so we can stop Sharia Law.

I thought we needed guns to obtain discounts on pizza and stop the "bad guys." Now it's Sharia Law?


Republican outreach

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), says there's no way in hell an immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship will emerge from his committee.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chair of the Judiciary Committee that will mark up any House legislation on the issue, told NPR this week that he will not support a bill that eventually grants citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.

"People have a pathway to citizenship right now: It's to abide by the immigration laws, and if they have a family relationship, if they have a job skill that allows them to do that, they can obtain citizenship," Goodlatte said. "But simply someone who broke the law, came here, [to] say, 'I'll give you citizenship now,' that I don't think is going to happen."

A tentative reform bill which has the support of congressional Democrats includes a path of citizenship that may take as long as 13 years for an immigrant to traverse which, if you ask me, is far too long however I do believe some path is better than no path.

For Bob Goodlattee, even a 13 year wait is apparently far too short. And he's not the only one. Republicans in the House of Representatives have not signaled a willingness to support meaningful reform let alone a path to citizenship.

Today's news is an indication that a bill which includes a path to citizenship may not even come to a vote in the House.

And in other news, the sky is blue.


CPAC 2013 Speakers Romney & Palin Will Discuss Best Ways To Lose Presidential Elections


… Possibly because the entire Republican party has become a parody. From Spencer Ackerman atWired:

Meet The Duffel Blog, if you haven't already. A must-read for national-security nerds — and anyone who enjoys humor, really — it provides pitch-perfect military parody online, such as this piece about Syria hosting Iraq War reenactors (bylined by "G-Had") or this one about a Google Street View Prius getting blown up in Kandahar. The Duffel Blog, as dutiful readers know, is America's oldest online source for fake military news, founded in 1797 in a moment of farsightedness. It often gives more real talk than most legit journalistic institutions, but there is no way you can confuse it with the real news.

Unless you are a senior member of the United States Senate.

On November 14, 2012, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote to Elizabeth King, the Pentagon's congressional liaison, with a an unusually credulous query. "I am writing on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits," McConnell wrote in a letter acquired by Danger Room. "I would appreciate your review and response to my constituent's concerns."…

Of course Senator McConnell is just committing proactive constituent service here, for a particularly low-information constituent. Said level of proactivity may have been inspired by the rumors thatAshley Judd is getting closer to considering a run against him, and I'm guessing those low-information voters not firmly committed to Teahadism would probably rather look at Ms. Judd than Mr. McConnell on their teevees…


I'm guessing that most of those who read this blog will already have heard about John McCain's latest descent into former decency:

Constituents at a town hall hosted by Sen. John McCain Wednesday in Phoenix cheered after the Arizona Republican told the mother of an Aurora, Colo. shooting victim that an assault weapons ban could not get through Congress.

"My 24-year-old son, Alex, was murdered in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.," Caren Teves said. "These assault rifles allow the shooter to fire many rounds without having to reload. These weapons to do not belong on our streets."

"I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States," McCain responded. The video, posted Thursday by Phoenix's KTVK, showed the line drawing applause and cheers from the crowd.

YMMV, but from where I stand, it takes a special sort of person to tell the mother of a murdered child that they need "straight talk."  And by "special" I mean…

…you know what I mean.

He's got the self-righteous condescension act down, certainly.  I have no doubt that Ms. Teves has an abundance of experience of blunt reality, but John McCain still found it in him to set her straight. That's impressive — albeit in a wholly unimpressive frame.

And would he have told a man that he needed some straight talk?


Clear Channel Loses $424 Million in 2012, StopRush Rolls On


(Time): "Why medical bills are killing us"


5 Ways The Sequester Could Make You Sick

Indiana Bill Would Force Women To Undergo Two Transvaginal Probes To Take A Pill (UPDATED)

Republicans With Influence On Immigration Debate Are Top Recipients Of Private Prison Contributions

Oh boy, here we go! This week may have started out all "slow-newsy-snoozey" but never fear, wonketteers! The fabulous ruby-slippered Pope's retirement has become embroiled in a scandal described with words like "seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting." What? Oh yes! Let the hunt for all double entendres possible commence!

A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.
The pope's spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

Declined to confirm or deny? Well that just begs for some rampant speculation — and innuendo, don't forget that part — and let's try to figure out what happened besides the obvious, which is that gays and their gayness ruin everythingREAD MORE »


It turns out no one, really:

Earlier this month, the Justice Department and 16 state attorneys general sued the Standard and Poor's (S&P) credit-rating agency, accusing the company of improperly inflating the ratings of 40 collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)—essentially, securities made up of other mortgage-backed securities—at the height of the housing bubble. According to the suit, S&P misled investors by rating the risky securities as "triple-A," super-safe investments. But the purchases turned into massive investor losses when the bonds failed after the bubble collapsed. Using emails and other communications, state, and federal prosecutors will seek to prove that S&P knew the securities were junk but rated them highly for the most obvious of reasons: to make more money.

The lawsuit gets at a major problem at the heart of the credit-rating business: Rather than investors paying rating agencies to assess the value of securities it is the issuers of the securities themselves who pick up the tab. It is naturally in the interest of issuers—typically big banks—for rating agencies to rate their products highly, which increases the chances investors will buy them. Under this "issuer-pays" model, the largest credit-rating agencies then have a strong incentive to highly rate securities for issuers who can give them more business in the future. This is said to be part of the reason rating agencies ignored the risks from the highly complex securities and simply let everything pass; in one communication revealed in the filing, an S&P employee boasted, "It could be structured by cows and we would rate it."

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