Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14

Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian - - The Guardian
Anne Laurie mentioned Jeb's appearance on all the talk shows yesterday morning, but I had to chuckle seeing this headline in the Guardian today. I happened to see a couple of minutes of Jeb on Face the Nation and I agree with Steve Benen: It's still pretty hard to figure out Bush's immigration position after he changed it four times in the last six days.

Still, immigration aside, if your campaign strategy is to bravely embrace the disaster that was your brother who, four years later, voters are still blaming for our economic disaster, and who remains the only living ex-President with an approval rating under 50%, then you had better be out raising a shitload of money, because Bieber knows you'll need it.


This may be the most awesome passage in the history of wingnut media (via):

Journalists on the campaign trail saw (Lyndon B.) Johnson drunkenly board a plane armed with nuclear weapons and then accidentally drop them on the United States. Luckily, by the grace of God, they did not go off. None of this was reported, while newspapers editors worked in overdrive to portray Goldwater as eager to push the button.

(From Breitbart's Big Government site.)

Let us savor.


Textbook For Louisiana's Voucher Schools Teaches Hippies Are Dirty, Rock Musicians Worship Satan



Eric Holder's more worthless than Erik Erikson will prove to be for Fox "News."


Joe Lieberman has a new job. He will be co-chair of the American Enterprise Institute's "American Internationalism Project," led by former Senator Jon Kyl. 

Of the AIP, Kyl writes: "Fiscal constraints, weariness with war and isolationism are eroding the American will to lead. The nation has often chafed 'at the burden of our obligations.' But what once appeared to be a truism of an earlier era – the willingness to shoulder 'the burdens of leadership in the free world' – has ceased to resonate with many Americans. American internationalism has never been simply a response to threats, but an expression of who Americans are and what kind of world we want to live in."

So Joe Lieberman, a man once considered for VP, who turned his back on Democrats when they needed him most, and who still pretends to be an independent, is now going to work for a Republican think tank to help them find new ways to start wars, all in the name of bipartisanship. Seriously, how does this guy sleep at night? 


Governor Who Cut Funding for Sexual Assault Victims Has Son Who Was Charged With Sexual Assault


Hey, kids, have you recovered yet from that time in January when Rep. Phil Gingrey—who is an OB/GYN (that's fancy talk for lady parts doctor) and co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus(because yes, that actually exists)—explainedthat Todd Akin was actually "partly right" about his theory that in cases of "legitimate rape," women's mysteriously magical lady parts can detect and deflect rape sperm? And Rep. Gingrey MD had the science to back it up:
We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, 'Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don't be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.' So he was partially right wasn't he?
Well ... Now that Gingrey is considering a Senate run in Georgia, he's trying to clean up his record a bit. And since the Republican talking point du jour is that candidates should avoid these awkward "Todd Akin" moments and stop saying stupid shit about rape, he's had a change of medical opinion. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
"I made a very awkward attempt to explain the unexplainable," he said, admitting the resulting political damage has been self-inflicted. [...]

Gingrey said he has had conversations with James Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "We went over articles and more recent journals," the congressman said.

"Whereas Todd said the panic would cause a body to shut down and prevent ovulation, more recent data suggests just the opposite is probably true," the physician-congressman said. Adrenaline is more likely to spur ovulation, he said.

"So you learn," Gingrey said.

Damnit! Don't you just hate when "more recent data" completely contradicts what you insisted, in your medical opinion, was true? How shocked will he be to learn that illness is not caused by tiny demons living inside your body? Or that Jesus did not actually ride a dinosaur? Or that the Earth is not, in fact, the center of the universe, as the Catholic Church discovered in the '90s. The 1990s. Oops! Sorry, Galileo.

Still, nice to know Gingrey's at least willing to learn—which is more than can be said for most of his party.


Religious Freedom - A law pending in Tennessee would allow high-school counselors to discriminate against LGBT students, sexually-active students or anyone else based on religious objections, even if the kid ends up committing suicide. (Raw Story)


Civics! - Legal scholar Rep. Jim Bridenstein says that the Supreme Court does NOT decide what is constitutional and what is not:

"Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn't necessarily mean that that's constitutional."

The best part? He says it to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife Ginni Thomas, who doesn't try to correct him. (Think Progress)


NRA a front group gone rogue
The Contrary Party

"Universal background checks, it's at 91 [percent]. They're more popular than capitalism, Italian food and vacations. Universal background checks have 91% support, when nothing has 91% support.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee today moved a universal background checks bill — they moved it through committee to send to a floor vote in the Senate later this week — do you want to know how many Republicans votedfor universal background checks on the committee? Zero. The vote was 10 to 8. All the Democrats vote in favor. All the Republicans voted against.

All the Republicans voted against something with 91% support among the public. Tell me how this ends for the Republican Party." Rachel Maddow

Clearly the financial support from the NRA is more important to the Republicans than the opinion of 91 percent of Americans. This speaks volumes about the Republicans, but it actually says more about the strength of the NRA and the influence they command. And the gun control side lags way, way behind.


The New York Times editorial page has taken a huge dump on Paul Ryan's Path to Poverty 3.0.

All the tired ideas from 2011 and 2012 are back: eliminating Medicare's guarantee to retirees by turning it into a voucher plan; dispensing with Medicaid and food stamps by turning them into block grants for states to cut freely; repealing most of the reforms to health care and Wall Street; shrinking beyond recognition the federal role in education, job training, transportation and scientific and medical research. The public opinion of these callous proposals was made clear in the fall election, but Mr. Ryan is too ideologically fervid to have learned that lesson.

The 2014 budget is even worse than that of the previous two years because it attempts to balance the budget in 10 years instead of the previous 20 or more. That would take nondefense discretionary spending down to nearly 2 percent of the economy, the lowest in modern history. And in its laziest section, it sets a goal of slashing the top tax rate for the rich to 25 percent from 39.6 percent, though naturally Mr. Ryan doesn't explain how this could happen without raising taxes on middle- and lower-income people. (Sound familiar?) [...]

If the Ryan budget is any indication, Mr. Obama's quest to bring reason to an unreasonable party may be doomed from the outset.

Following the 2012 election, I assumed that GOP would continue to be the GOP, but I certainly didn't imagine we would go through an exact repeat of 2011 and 2012. Although, since House Republicans had their majority reaffirmed for at least another two years, perhaps we should have expected this.

What this really tells us is that they view Paul Ryan's Path to Poverty as a long-term policy goal, not just some short-term gimmick, and they won't let it go until they lose their majority.

The results of the 2010 election will haunt us for at least another two to four years.


Normally I would recoil at something like this, but I have a hard time blaming the Atwood Little League team for raffling a gun for a fundraiser, because this says more about our gun culture society as a whole than it does the ideals of the team.

A Little League in Atwood, Illinois is holding a raffle to raise money for new equipment. The prize is a military-style AR-15 rifle — the weapon of choice for Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary Hook shooting and James Holmes in the Aurora theater shooting last year.

The assault rifle is from Atwood Armory, which partnered with the Atwood-Hammond Little League to help them improve last year's dismal fundraising record of ten dollars. Since the raffle launched on Tuesday, the armory has apparently been flooded with calls.

No one could be bothered to support the little league players in Atwood until they decided to raffle an AR-15. Now they have plenty of money to purchase new equipment.

I imagine that rifle will be used for an unsavory purpose, whether it serves as a penis-extension or a political symbol, but it's not the kids' fault that we won't support them unless there's a chance we'll win a gun while doing so. Cuts to education will only exacerbate the problem as extracurricular activities are phased out so schools can afford to teach the bare minimum of courses required by the state.


Warren Throckmorton reportsIn September 2012, the tax exempt status of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) was revoked due to failure to file Form 990 for three consecutive years. The notice of revocation was yesterday according to the IRS website. NARTH's website advises prospective donors that their donations will be tax deductible but it appears such deductions after September 15, 2012 may not be allowed. It is difficult to know what this means. NARTH has never been a wealthy organization and conference attendance has declined in recent years.

NARTH is possibly the most vile of all anti-gay hate groups and is responsible for spreading the lie that gay men die 20 years early.  The group was co-founded by Charles Socarides, father of gay rights activist and former Clinton White House aide Richard Socarides.


There's a new leader of the world's largest crime syndicate: 

Argentine Cardinal (the new pope) Named in Kidnap Lawsuit


Fox station apologizes after celebrating Women's Day with footage of boobs


Post-racial America is my favorite.

The South Carolina legislature rejected extra funding from Obamacare for Medicaid expansion this week, despite pleading from South Carolina Democrats, who urged the South Carolina GOP to stop acting like douchebags and extend Medicaid to thousands of poor South Carolinians.

Democrats even pulled the old "What would Jesus do?" trick, appealing to Republicans' sense of morality (scoff!), and quoting scripture and everything:

Rep. Joe Neal, a Baptist pastor, told his colleagues they will account for their vote before God.

"If our citizens don't have access to health care, we rob them of all meaning of life," said Neal, D-Hopkins. "What did you do for the least of these? We'll all have to answer that question. Did we do what was right — what was fair?"

Unsurprisingly, South Carolina Republicans were unmoved. One Republican in particular finally said in front of God and everyone what everygoddamnbody knows most of these wingnut assclowns have been thinking all along: Republicans oppose President Obama's policies because he's black, even when they otherwise agree with the policy.

Meet Rep. Kris Crawford (R-Seriously Dude?): He supports the Medicaid expansion but voted against it anyway, because Obama's black. Literally. He actually said it out loud back in January, bless his heart:

Rep. Kris Crawford, a Republican from Florence and also an emergency room doctor, supports the expansion but expects the Republican caucus to vote as a block against the Medicaid expansion.
"The politics are going to overwhelm the policy. It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party," Crawford said.

If only the president would stop being black, poor people in South Carolina might be able to get some healthcare.

Why does Blacky O. hate poor people?

[via Think Progress]


14 GOP Congressmen who think government shouldn't borrow have big debts of their own

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