Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28

Gene Lyons: The Fall Of The GOP True Believers


U.S. banks in 2012 post highest profits since '06 (Reuters)

Emily Stephenson reports that new data released by the FDIC shows 2012 was a very good year for finance, but they're worried about the effects of an economic slowdown caused by the sequester. What about the banks? Won't someone think of the banks?


That GOP civil war is getting nasty!

LaTourette, who retired from Congress in January and hopes his organization will be a key factor in 2014 Republican efforts, said in a statement, "The Club for Growth is a cancer that has attached itself to the Republican Party." LaTourette added, "The Club repeatedly backs candidates who espouse bizarre views on rape, incest, immigrants and even witchcraft. … The left wants to caricature the Republican Party as out-of-touch and extremist and the Club spends millions to help them do this."
A Club for Growth spokesman quickly shot back at LaTourette in an interview with TheDC.

"It's not surprising. He's a liberal," Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller said. "He's defending his fellow liberal RINOs. He's never met a bailout he didn't like. is designed exactly so voters are aware of the other Steve LaTourettes out there."


There's Karl Rove versus the Club for Growth, and the tea party versus Karl Rove, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal saying that the GOP must stop being the "stupid party," which it has no intention of doing. You have right-wing Republicans already tanking the GOP's chances of picking up the open Iowa Senate seat next year (ultra-nut Rep. Steve King will be unchallenged for the nomination), not to mention putting the Georgia one at risk by chasing the incumbent into retirement.

It's hard for these guys to focus on Democrats as long as they're beating the shit out of each other. All the while, changing demographics and social norms push them further into the margins. Remember, it wasn't just the Todd Akins and Richard Mourdocks who lost last year. The GOP establishment candidates all got their asses handed to them as well.

Yet they'll be fighting this internal war all the way through the 2014 election cycle, while we get to focus on sending House Speaker John Boehner back to the minority and making the NRA as radioactive as it deserves to be.

Best of all, the things that make Democrats more popular with mainstream voters also make them more popular with base liberals (like protecting Social Security). But the things that would make the GOP more competitive—like dropping social issues, compromising more, not hating brown people, and accepting the validity of science—are violently opposed by their base.

So they might as well fight each other, because they ain't gonna get far fighting for new votes.


Antonin Scalia shows once again what a vile creature he is

Antonin Scalia

Scalia, like other conservatives (on the Court and otherwise), thinks that efforts to enforce equal voting rights are somehow discriminatory against the majority race (i.e., whites, or otherwise those who didn't need the Voting Rights Act to have their voting rights protected). As Think Progress notes, his remark "raises concerns that his suspicion of the Act is rooted much more in racial resentment than in a general distrust of unanimous votes," the latter being an argument he has made in the past (as if somehow unanimous votes are, in and of themselves, suspicious and indeed illegitimate, which is remarkably stupid).

I'll leave it to others to dissect this contemptible man's legal views. I'd just add that if you don't know the difference between a right and an entitlement, if you don't understand the purpose of the Voting Rights Act and why it might still be necessary to protect voting rights from those out to strip them away, and if your judicial mind and worldview generally is clouded by self-regarding bitterness, you should have no place on the highest court in the land.


Big Hack Attack! - Rep. Keith Ellison tells-off Sean Hannity, who tries the angry black man gambit before cutting him off. (Raw Story)


"There were moments of joy and light but also moments that were not easy. There were moments, as there were throughout the history of the Church, when the seas were rough and the wind blew against us and it seemed that the Lord was sleeping. I took this step in the full knowledge of its gravity and rarity but with a profound serenity of spirit." -Benedict Palpatine, in today's farewell address.

I'm guessing that the lord was sleeping when Joey was working for Hitler and when he covered up all the rape of little children. What a vile pig.


U.S. stocks rose to a 5 year high today, and came very close to setting an all new record high.


Republican outreach

New Hampshire legislators are debating a bill that would "reduce simple assault from a misdemeanor crime to a violation-level offense in any case of "unprivileged physical contact" that "does not result in harm or injury."

Why? You ask. Because, according to state Rep. Mark Warden, some people like being abused.

"Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships. It's a love-hate relationship. It's very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her," said Rep. Mark Warden, a Republican who represents Deering, Goffstown and Weare, during a meeting of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, according to a video provided by Granite State Progress, a liberal advocacy group.

According to the video, Warden added, "Is the solution to those kind of dysfunctional relationships going to be more government, another law? I'd say no. People are always free to leave."

The overwhelming majority of those who remain in abusive relationships do so because of the difficulty of leaving them. Passing a bill that would reduce the penalty for incidents of domestic violence only further increases the problem.

Unless I am reading this incorrectly, the bill would reduce penalties for assault as long as there are no visible bruises left behind. At least that seems to be the thinking of Rep. Frank Sapareto who introduced the bill because current law punishes assailants for "minor incidents where no harm was done."

We should consider the possibility that Mark Warden and Frank Sapareto are simply projecting elements of their own lives into the debate.


Old Men Yell at Clouds. City Council Votes to Remove Clouds


Steve King will probably be the Republican candidate for the open Senate seat in Iowa, after Tom Latham decided he didn't want to spend two years of his life being splattered by the bullshit that would emanate from Michele Bachmann's male doppelganger. Now that he has the nomination if he wants it, King is playing coy:

A potential Senate race remains an analytical decision first and then one that requires deep conviction. Such a decision includes, of course, my family and the best interests of Iowans and Americans. It is too big a decision to be rushed.

My analysis tells me that the best interests of Americans will be served by a homophobe, racist,dogfight supporting Teabagger candidate who likes to talk about rape and is hung up on Obama's middle name.


The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committeerecommended a bill yesterday that would effectively allow doctors to lie or withhold information about debilitating genetic conditions or birth defects in order to influence women's decisions about their pregnancies.

Kansas SB 142 provides blanket protection from "wrongful birth" lawsuits to doctors, with section 1(a) reading:

"No civil action may be commenced in any court for a claim of wrongful life or wrongful birth, and no damages may be recovered in any civil action for any physical condition of a minor that existed at the time of such minor's birth if the damages sought arise out of a claim that a person's action or omission contributed to such minor's mother not obtaining an abortion."

The Arizona State Senate passed a similar law in 2012, but that proposal contained a provisionabsent from the Kansas bill allowing wrongful birth suits in the event of "an intentional or grossly negligent act or omission."

The proposal was included as a provision in an omnibus anti-abortion bill last year, but was so controversial that it ending up being submitted as a standalone bill in this cycle, according to Kansas NOW lobbyist Elise Higgins. Despite Kansas's dismal reproductive rights record, Kansas legislators have already introduced over 90 pages of anti-choice legislation in 2013.


Texas Bill Would Dramatically Loosen Gun Training Requirements


Barring a last minute agreement, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts that were included in the Budget Control Act will go into effect on Friday, affecting everything from food safety inspections, to HIV testing kits, and domestic violence programs. On Monday, Immigration of Customs Enforcement even began releasing some 10,000 nonviolent detainees from Immigration Detention Centers, citing the looming budget cuts. "I'm supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "How do I pay for those?"

Republicans — who have remained silent on the cuts that would effect health care and education programs — immediately expressed outrage, arguing that the Obama administration was purposely releasing immigrants to scare the public. "This is very hard for me to believe that they can't find cuts elsewhere in their agency," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in an interview with CBS. "I frankly think this is outrageous. And I'm looking for more facts, but I can't believe that they can't find the kind of savings they need out of that department short of letting criminals go free."

The party finally found a cut it didn't like, even though all of the immigrants released were being held on non-violent, immigration-related offenses and are still being tracked by ICE.

Taxpayers are forking over roughly $5.1 billion to the private prison industry every year to pay for detention centers, which hold thousands of immigrants who have not been convicted on any crime.

At around $164 per day per immigrant in detention, the centers are a huge burden on the U.S. economy and are home to multiple human rights violations.


Mississippi Republicans Would Prohibit Towns From Establishing A Minimum Wage



Hey, kids, looks like another candidate has tossed his asshat into the ring for our Legislative Shitmuffin of the Year contest! The newest contendah is New Hampshire state Rep. Mark Warden (R-Fuck This Guy), who was one of four members of an NH House committee to vote in favor of reducing the penalty for some cases of simple assault from a misdemeanor to a "violation-level offense." Speaking in support of the reduced penalty, Warden explained it's merely a matter ofaccommodating different lifestyle choices, you know, to be considerate of the wife-beaters. READ MORE »


Hi Lizzz! HIIIIIII! WE LOVE YOU!!!! Why? Well, in addition to the usual reasons, Ben Bernanke appeared in front of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, and Elizabeth Warren basically asked him stuff like: Why is everything still so horrible, Ben? Why are you doing absolutely nothing to fix anything, Ben? Why are you just standing there with your dick in your hand while the banks crap all over the American people, Ben? If you love the banks so much, why don't you marry them, Ben?  READ MORE »

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