Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 10


At some point, we as a nation just have to come out and admit it: Some of the top politicians in our country are irredeemable crapsacks. Why do we elect crapsacks? What's in it for the constituents of crapsack-friendly states like Oklahoma, to have as their top national representatives people who seem like they're the sort of people who would just as soon steal your wallet or shoot your dog as do anything more productive?

Here's Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who believes that the families of children murdered in cold blood in Sandy Hook Elementary School last December are mistaken; the debate over gun violence doesn't have anything to do with them:

Eleven family members of Newtown victims were in Washington on Tuesday, meeting privately with senators to urge them to support a forthcoming gun package that would impose tighter background checks, crack down on gun trafficking and enhance school safety measures. Speaking to a handful of reporters, Inhofe said he feels bad for those families because they're being used as pawns in a political fight.

"See, I think it's so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn't," Inhofe said.

When it was suggested that the families of Newtown victims actually believe the gun debate pertains to them, Inhofe said, "Well, that's because they've been told that by the president."

Having a child actually killed by gun violence does not, in fact, qualify you as someone whose opinion "pertains" to the topic of gun violence? Inhofe is willing to go even that far—to dismiss the families of actual victims of a mass murder from discussion over what to do about mass murder? Why? Who does James Inhofe, crapsack, perceive the actual parties involved in the "gun debate" to be? The NRA gets a seat at the table, but the families of actual, recent victims are only there as pawns? Ammunition companies need valiant representation from the good representative of Crapsackistan, but the people whose children caught those bullets in the face due to one unbalanced man who felt like doing it, those people do not?

This is impossible to parody or make fun of or even condemn. This is what a sociopathic, crap-filled monster would say. Dismissing the victims outright as pawns, while assuming that all other parties have more validity in deciding how many more victims to allow in the coming years, and how easy we should make it for the killers. This is the sort of thing that ought to get a politician run out of town on a literal rail after having their pockets filled with hot, boiling tar, but we accept it because our politicians are supposed to be that rancid, and that inhuman, and that filled with crap. Why does Inhofe presume the gun violence debate is about him, the mighty power-brokering, lobbyist-coddling senator, but not about the real-life, actual victims? Is it because he is, in fact, a sack of crap?

America's greatest sin is that we do not throw these people out of office for such things. Our willingness to tolerate true monsters is the link that ties together all the other evils. God help you if you get caught in a sex scandal, but actively dismiss and seek to discredit the victims most damaged by society's ills and you will have a very rich, very long career ahead of you as professional, national crapsack.

Go to hell, Mr. Inhofe. No respect for man or office is warranted, at this point: Just go to hell.


Exxon - Energy Everywhere


McConnell campaign's spin is spinning out of control

Mitch McConnell's reaction to the story of his willingness to smear Ashley Judd has really got Mitch off-balance. All in all, this hasn't been a good day for Team Mitch.
Steve Benen…Look, I've followed enough campaigns to know how the game is played. McConnell doesn't want to talk about his opposition-research team digging up dirt, and certainly doesn't want to talk about his willingness to use the suicidal thoughts of a sixth-grader as a legitimate line of attack in a Senate campaign, so instead he and his aides are trying a misdirection strategy — the recordings aren't important, the argument goes; it's how the recordings were obtained that matters.

It's all rather transparent, predicated on the assumption — which is probably a rather safe one — that the political world is easily distracted by smoke and mirrors.

But the hysterical reaction isn't helping McConnell's case. The Republican senator's office initially blamed " the Left" for "bugging" McConnell's campaign headquarters. Then McConnell aides blamed Mother Jones magazine. Then Team McConnell blamed a local liberal group called ProgressKY. Then McConnell sent out a fundraising letter arguing that "the liberal media" is responsible. The begging-for-cash email included [the above] attention-getting graphic.

It's certainly possible Republican donors will fall for this, but with Team McConnell pointing at a new culprit every hour or so, they're starting to sound a little unhinged. When Brick Tamland shouts, "Loud noises," it's hilarious, but when the Senate Minority Leader's office does it, it's kind of pathetic.

To be sure, if there's any evidence that a journalist was involved with, in McConnell's words, a "Watergate-style" bugging operation of a senator's office, it would certainly deserve to be a huge controversy, but there' no evidence that anyone — Mother Jones, ProgressKY, Bigfoot, the Illuminati, et al — bugged McConnell's office.
As I've already pointed out, Mitch has actually got two problems and the combination is apparently proving a bit much for him. He's shrieking "WIRETAP! WIRETAP!" but as Benen points out, there's no evidence of that at all. In fact, it's much more likely that the recording was leaked — for reasons as yet unknown — by a member of McConnell's own team or someone close to it. In other words, McConnell got stabbed in the back by a traitor.

Maybe Team Mitch's scattershot blame-casting is a reflection of how distracted they are by the turncoat in their midst. You'd think the Senate minority leader's campaign team could walk and chew gum at the same time, but maybe walking, chewing gum, and looking over their shoulder for backstabbers is stretching their abilities a little thin.



The North Carolina state legislature is debating a bill, Senate Bill 594, that would require new applicants to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to pay out of pocket to undergo a mandatory drug test.

Why? Because according to one state senator, people might be smoking doobies and then using food stamps to pay for their munchies. The dirty hippies!

Tempers flared after Bill Rowe with the N.C. Justice Center told lawmakers similar legislation in Florida and Michigan has been struck down by courts as unconstitutional.

"Our Fourth Amendment doesn't allow suspicion-less testing of people," Rowe said. "There's no decision that says this is OK."

Rowe also cited studies that show drug use is no more common among TANF recipients than in the general public.

Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, argued with Rowe.

"You're OK with (drug users) getting federal dollars if they've had a doobie and get the munchies and need more food stamps?" Tucker asked. "Sit down."

And those whose salaries are paid using taxpayer dollars, such as Tommy Tucker, may be doing the same thing or worse. We just don't know. Should we drug test them?

If Florida Governor Rick Scott couldn't get away with drug testing welfare recipients, I doubt the bumbling legislators of North Carolina who recently shared their desires to declare an official state religion have the law on their side.


Greed and Jesus: The Republican Perversion of Faith


Not sure if you have been following this idiotic controversy where MHP is under attack for pointing out the obvious, which is that society has a vested interest in collectively taking care of children, but it's really quite sad. Of course we take care of our kids collectively. No one runs their own baseball team, soccer team, or elementary school. Even home schoolers spend hundreds of hours online and elsewhere collaborating. It's just so fucking depressingly stupid. And when something is this stupid, you just know snowball Snookie has to get involved:



That's the minimum number of years lost to guns in the United States of America in the 99 days of this blood-soaked year.  Click the link for an amazing data visualization that captures the loss of lives and years to homicides (and some suicides) thus far in 2013

The scandal, of course, is that the last three months or so is no more crimson than any similar slice of time in recent memory.  Here's the 2010 version of the same data visualization, representing homicides only (and not quite all of them, if the CDC is to be believed).  The tally that year:  9,595 people, robbed of 413,838 years.

Ass long as the rump of gerrymandered Confederate and exurban white voters can be turned to provide the .01% sufficient political power to keep on robbing us blind, there is seemingly no end in sight.  Guns trump vaginas, non-pale folks, even moochers as the eternal touchstone of aggrieved right politics.  And until that chain that binds power to the untouchable civic virtues of 30-round clips, we'll continue to live in a country where some 30,000 people each year will fall too soon to the wrong end of a gun.  That most of them will be gun owners themselves; hell that most of them will take their own lives [PDF -- see p. 19] makes no difference to the debate.

One hundred and twenty thousand, four hundred and sixty one years that will never pass.  2,739 of our fellow citizens gone.  Obama is still trying.  Reid is still trying.  Maybe they'll be able to rescue a life or two.  But not if the leaders of the  Party of Death have their way.

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