Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 25

Leaving for a few days....


John Fugelsang: God is the least pro-life character in the Bible



Because I'm still trying to process the story about the ricin-wielding Elvis impersonator actually being set up by a GOP dickhead, I'll just leave this here. The full-length movie of Sharkcat vs. Duck.


13 Reasons To Be Glad Bush Is No Longer President


Yesterday a group of GOP Iowa state representatives introduced a budget amendment to cut the pay of the four state Supreme Court justices that ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2009. 

"It's our responsibility to maintain the balance of power" between the three co-equal branches of government, Rep. Tom Shaw [PHOTO], R-Laurens, said Tuesday. The justices "trashed the separation of powers" with their unanimous Varnum v. Brien decision and implementation of same-sex marriage without a change in state law banning any marriages expect between one man and one woman, added Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull. Their amendment to House File 120, the judicial branch budget bill, would lower the salaries of the four justices on the seven-member court who were part of the unanimous Varnum v. Brein decision to $25,000 – the same as a state legislator. It's not meant to be punitive, Alons and Shaw said Tuesday. "We're just holding them responsible for their decision, for going beyond their bounds," Shaw said.
In 2011 Shaw attempted to have the justices impeached. Last November one of the justices won reelection after a local hate group ran a statewide bus tour calling for his defeat. NOM had pledged $100K to that campaign.


It begins: a Republican state Rep. from New Hampshire says theBoston Marathon bombing was carried out by the government. Coincidentally, Tamerlan Tsarnaev himself was also an aficionado of conspiracy theories -- including those of gun nut and conspiracy crank Alex Jones, presently a hero of the right. Not surprisingly, Jones says that this revelation is in itself a conspiracy to make him look bad.


House GOP leadership just cancelled the voteon pre-existing condition coverage that was designed to put Democrats in a bind. Instead, their own conservatives revolted. Sahil Kapurlaid out what was going on earlier today.


Why Obama's Stealth Social Security Cut Is Bigger Than It Seems



This is exactly what it looks like. Former South Carolina Governor Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford debating a cardboard representation of Nancy Pelosi on some random street corner:

An Iowa-based anti-abortion activist who was previously interviewed by the FBI thinks it would be "a blessing" if someone shot the staff of the clinic recently reopened several years after the murder of Dr. George Tiller. As you may recall, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly referred to the doctor as "Tiller the Baby Killer" prior to his murder.

In the recording, Leach discusses the fact that Tiller's former clinic has now been re-opened to the public, and speculates about what would happen if the clinic's new owners were killed in the same way that Tiller was. "If someone would shoot the new abortionists, like Scott shot George Tiller…hardly anyone will appreciate it but the babies," he says. "It will be a blessing to the babies. Everyone else will panic. Of all places to open up a killing office, to reopen the one office in the United States more notorious for decades than any other is an act of defiance against God and the last remaining reverence for human life."

I didn't intend to encourage anyone to commit murder, I just, you know, told them they would be doing the world a favor if they did commit murder.

We can all live with the relative comfort of knowing that murder-advocating whackaloons and domestic terrorists should have no problem acquiring guns and ammunition. Congress is doing its part to maintain the status quo.


Rand Paul was against the use of drones before he was for the use of drones, but now he's against them again. Or something.

In a statement released Wednesday, Paul said that his comments left a "mistaken impression" of his actual position on the subject.

"Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations," he said. "They may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster. Additionally, surveillance drones should only be used withwarrants and specific targets."

Oh, really?

"If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don't care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him" -Rand Paul, yesterday

Paul couldn't flip flop more if he was an Olympic diver.

We don't know what he really thinks. All we do know for sure is that a certain element of the Left is incredibly gullible for having bought into his shtick.

Some of the responses I've seen to Paul's latest remarks from those who engaged in hero-worship after his filibuster have been more dismissive than regretful, as if his latest position(s) are of no consequence to their prior support.

Maybe it's fair to say that just because you support one position he has taken doesn't mean you support every position he has taken, but you should understand that, in Paul's case, women, people of color, and the poor may take offense to that and not necessarily care for your selective ideological petulance. And you should accept the consequences of deifying someone or branding them a "hero" after he reveals that he played you for a fool.

Paul raised $75,000 in less than 24 hours after his filibuster stunt.


Shocker: The BP Oil Spill Was Much Worse Than Previously Known

Not only was there way more oil gushing into the Gulf than originally reported, but now people are reporting serious health problems as a result:

"It's as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid." That's what Jamie Griffin says the BP man told her about the smelly, rainbow-streaked gunk coating the floor of the "floating hotel" where Griffin was feeding hundreds of cleanup workers during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the workers were tracking the gunk inside on their boots. Griffin, as chief cook and maid, was trying to clean it. But even boiling water didn't work.

"The BP representative said, 'Jamie, just mop it like you'd mop any other dirty floor,'" Griffin recalls in her Louisiana drawl.

Griffin did as she was told: "I tried Pine-Sol, bleach, I even tried Dawn on those floors." As she scrubbed, the mix of cleanser and gunk occasionally splashed onto her arms and face.

Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. She lost her voice. "My throat felt like I'd swallowed razor blades," she says.

Then things got much worse.

Like hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers on the cleanup, Griffin soon fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments. By July, unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws. In August, she began losing her short-term memory. After cooking professionally for 10 years, she couldn't remember the recipe for vegetable soup; one morning, she got in the car to go to work, only to discover she hadn't put on pants. The right side, but only the right side, of her body "started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled—my ankle would get as wide as my calf—and my skin got incredibly itchy."

And the Corexit dispersant did help:

The group's scientific adviser, Wilma Subra, a chemist whose work on environmental pollution had won her a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, told state and federal authorities that she was especially concerned about how dangerous the mixture of crude and Corexit was: "The short-term health symptoms include acute respiratory problems, skin rashes, cardiovascular impacts, gastrointestinal impacts, and short-term loss of memory," she told GAP investigators. "Long-term impacts include cancer, decreased lung function, liver damage, and kidney damage."

(Nineteen months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a scientific study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution found that crude oil becomes 52 times more toxic when combined with Corexit.)

Drill, baby, drill.


Multiple Natural Gas Explosions In Alabama; More Consequences Of Deregulation? (VIDEO)


Limbaugh Sounding Scared As He Admits Strength Of Boycott Groups (AUDIO)


"How come there's no manhunt for the owner of the Texas factory…?"


Conservatives identify the worst thing about the Boston bombers:


We Are Respectable Negroes: Today's events at the George W. Bush presidential library find the Ministry of Truth hard at work.

Speaking of which, your quote of the day: "I'm sure something will pop into my head here...maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." (George W. Bush, asked if he had made any mistakes as President, April 13, 2004)

I chuckled heartily as I read this knowing that it will put congressional Republicans in a very awkward position.


Wikipedia moves women to 'American women novelists' category to make room for more men in 'American novelists'


I've taken a lot of time to weigh the pros and cons of President Obama's proposal for a "chained CPI" to bring about cuts in Social Security, etc. I've read a piece in defense of it, from the Democratic perspective. And, of course, it's not hard to find plenty of excoriations from the left.

I've decided that my sentiments are more with the left. I can appreciate that Obama is a practitioner of "real politics," but he's already tried that with the Republicans for over four years. They've made clear that they're not interested in actually governing.

Obama now stands on the verge of his worst mistake -- not just of his presidency, but of his entire political career. He is about to alienate his core constituency in one more desperate bid to "compromise."

Social Security is indeed a different program than the one created during the New Deal in 1935. Participation isn't voluntary, and demands on the system are far greater. But it has mostly done what it was intended to do. The poverty rate among elderly Americans was once around 50%. Thanks to a compulsory pension system, it's now down to about 10%.

I understand why Obama is trying, one last time I hope, to compromise here. He hasn't been able to get Republicans who still control the U.S. House to sit down at the table and give something up on their "no new taxes" (i.e., no new taxes on big corporations and the super-rich) pledges. New revenue is clearly needed, and two-thirds of big corporations are paying no federal income taxes. In addition, super-billionaire Warren Buffett has acknowledged that he pays a lower percentage of his income in federal personal income tax than does his secretary. And he's far from alone among the richest elite.

Something clearly has to give. But Obama is giving first, as usual. As former Labor Secretary Robert Reich phrased it, "The president throws things on the table before the Republicans have even sat down for dinner."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has strong misgivings about the president's strategy. The general feeling among Democrats was expressed well by U.S. Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey: "If he's trying to do it to show he is forthcoming as a negotiator, then why doesn't he wait until he gets to the negotiating table? There's a lot of talk about the fact that politically this is not a winner. Our brand is the party that brought you Social Security."

In America, this is the day of the locust. I spent 27 weeks unemployed just recently, and for a long time was falling through the cracks. Oh, there are plenty of part-time, temporary and contract jobs, if you want them. Having a lot of medical ailments, I don't have the option of taking jobs that don't offer health insurance. And Social Security is a cornerstone of my someday retirement. It's not an option for me, and I've been paying into the system since I was a teenager.

And the same big corporations that are offering these feces-paying jobs with no benefits are the ones getting by paying little or nothing in corporate income tax. Oh, the rates are comparatively high -- for those who don't have tax attorneys good enough to get them out of paying. It just came out that Facebook not only isn't paying any income tax for 2012, on profits of $1 billion, they may actually get a refund worth nearly $430 million.

I've understood why Obama has done much of what he's done in a game of political hardball with Republicans. But as many times as he's felt their spikes, it's time to start digging his in and saying no. Otherwise, he unwisely risks his core Democratic constituency, and it should be clear by now that nothing's going to get done anyway. The Republicans, who are interested only in power, not in governing, are already trying to score political points by turning up their noses at this idea.

The president needs to abandon the idea of the "chained" Consumer Price Index now, while he still can. Then he should take his case directly to the American people. It's been estimated that U.S. senior citizens could lose as much as $112 billion over 10 years if this idea floats. If they know the facts, they'll certainly say no.


Just Four Lawmakers Show Up To Congressional Hearing On Long-Term Unemployment

Reid introduced the bill, S. 792, for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who has been out sick for much of the year. But in a press statement, Lautenberg said the Boston bombing shows that background checks are needed for explosive materials. [...]

Under current law, people can buy up to 50 pounds of explosive "black powder" with no background check, and can buy unlimited amounts of other explosive powders, such as "black powder substitute" and "smokeless powder."

Will Republicans vote against background checks for explosives in the wake of a terrorist attack?


No comments: