Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30

Reuters hires a climate change denying editor and stories on climate change drop 50%. 


Rand Paul thinks that the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy is that the money sent to people saying, in his words, "Gimme, gimme, gimme", means that there's less money left over for defense spending. This is in response to the fight Chris Christie picked with him by calling Paul weak on national security.

The nice thing about a mudfight is that everyone gets dirty. A special bonus in this one is that the lesser Paul actually thinks he can be President, so he's far more eager than his father to throw his libertarian principles into the trash as soon as any one of them stands between him and a primary victory.


Turns out that Mitt Romney isn't the only failed candidate serving up some revisionist campaign history this week! On Friday, Sarah Palin went on Greta Van Susteren's televisual shouting festival and revealed that during the 2008 campaign, "elitists" in John McCain "banned" her from flying her freak flag and talking about Barack Obama's connections to Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, two people who were never mentioned during the campaign. READ MORE »



Pope Francis:

Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked.

Good question. I have a couple more: Are you going to tell that to the bishops? And how about a few deeds to back up the pretty words?


Florida Cops Shoot Unarmed Black Man In His Mother's Driveway



So the GOP has been on a tirade about combating voter fraud by dead people, even though after spending millions of dollars like the folks in South Carolina, they find out that dead people aren't voting, because they are dead and zombies aren't real. However, we now learn that dead people are storing up treasures in heaven, apparently, because they are totally cashing in money from farm subsidies! According to The Hill:

GAO looked at data from 2008 to 2012 and "found that $22 million in subsidies and allowances may have been provided on behalf of an estimated 3,434 program policyholders two or more years after death."

In response, we can expect the GOP to cut food stamps by an additional $22 million, to make up the difference.

[The Hill]


Mittens Romney swears he never said that 47% percent of American wouldn't take personal responsibility for their lives, but that this was what he was perceived as saying. Here's the actual quote: "And so my job is not to worry about those people -- I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." Yeah, I can see how people could perceive that as meaning that they won't take personal responsibility and care for their lives -- mostly because that's exactly what Romney said. A word of advice for Mitt: the campaign is over, you can stop lying now. 


Hawaii To Offer Its Homeless Residents One-Way Flights Off The Islands


4 People Dead After Shooting in Clarksburg

If the shooter was black, the racists would be full of outrage. 


Walking Ambien tablet George Will has a creative explanation for Detroit's bankruptcy: It's not about factories closing or jobs moving overseas or a declining tax base or anything to do with economics, really. Detroit is a basket case because "their problems are cultural." Marvel at his impressive code-word gymnastics in this clip from ABC's This Week, where Will manages to avoid saying "black" even once. READ MORE »


Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29

Great news!: Cumulus planning to drop Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity


The Latest Scandal – Republicans Sabotaging Their Own Party


Bad Sheriffs are everywhere. In Baton Rouge  (via Atrios):

According to a special report from theBaton Rouge Advocate, the Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office is conducting stings to find men willing to have consensual gay sex and arresting them for crimes against nature. No money is discussed in these exchanges; the men are being targeted and humiliated under the state's sodomy law, which has been unconstitutional since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling.

At least a dozen of these arrests have taken place since 2011, with the most recent taking place July 18. District Attorney Hillar Moore III said that none of these cases have been prosecuted because no crime occurred, but these men are still being arrested, temporarily jailed, and fined merely for agreeing to private sexual activity. [...]

And in Buffalo:

Has anyone else managed to wrap their head around the fact that Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard isn't justopposed to the NY SAFE Act, but has pledged to not honor or enforce it in any way? The power of the sheriff is not law selection – to pick and choose which laws to enforce – it is, instead, law enforcement.

The SAFE act is New York's new gun control law.


I hold no brief for Peter "The Mucker" King, but now Politico is trying to tell me that he's on President Obama's side for once:

New York Rep. Peter King slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday for praising NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

"When you have Rand Paul actually comparing Snowden to Martin Luther King or Henry David Thoreau, this is madness, this is the anti-war Democrats in the 1960s that destroyed their party for almost 15 years," King said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't want that happening to our party."

King also blasted other Republicans for voting to defund the National Security Administration last week, calling the move "disgraceful."

"I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that so many Republicans voted to defund the NSA program, which has done so much to protect our country," King said….

Of course it is not true that King is agreeing with the President, he's just disagreeing with the faddish new "populist libertarian", i.e. "anti-neocon", splittist faction within the GOP. He's got the Old Bull party-machine take on the late-1960s Democratic implosion — if only those DFH kids had had the common decency to know their place and wait their turn rather than insisting on all those anti-war, pro-Negro, womens-libber pieties! — and sees a political advantage for Peter King in warning the other GOP Old Bulls against wrongthought deviationism. Which is why I can, with a clean conscience, pray for injuries (or a small, targeted meteorite) in this intraparty scuffle.

But then, despite his public flirtation last week, Peter King is never going to be a serious presidential candidate — he's just stroking the egos of his Lung Guylint constituents when he suggests he could win as many as three electoral votes. On the other hand, barring some particularly exotic scandal, this guy…

… Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who was a vocal and at times caustic critic of Rand Paul's father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, during the 2012 primaries, called it a welcome development that "people are starting to push back."

"There was a lot of talk, particularly during the Republican primary last year, of, 'Well, we don't want to alienate these voters," Santorum said, recalling that he'd been criticized as "too bellicose" and "too warlike. "I can tell you, the Paulistas who were active on the state level in 2012 were not interested in the Republican Party as it now exists. They are interested in a very different kind of model."…

… is arguably 2016′s man of the ever-GOP-popular "It's His Turn" coalition. So maybe we Democrats will have the excitement of watching the GOP's long-awaited implosion after all?


Conservative Christian group blames falling SAT scores on lack of school prayer



Coloradans Are Applying For Concealed Carry Permits In Record Numbers


Fox News Anchor Dumbfounded That A Scholar, Who Is Muslim, Had The Audacity To Write A Book About Jesus




Here's some background via Jezebel. They're evidently handing them out to kids at a State Fair in North Dakota:

Want a squishy toy fetus with your corn dog? If you're visiting the North Dakota State Fair, you're in luck! Last weekend, local anti-choice advocates slipped soft fetal models into kids' candy bags without parental permission during the fair's gigantic parade. "I don't know exactly where I stand on abortion," one mother told Jezebel, "but I believe in my rights as a parent."

The North Dakota State Fair boasts a bevy of attractions, including performances by Tim McGraw and Creedence Clearwater Revisited. But Minot Right to Life spent the weekend giving away creepy little fetuses to kids without asking parents' permission first. "It was really disturbing watching children run around with them," one recalled. A federal judge recently temporarily blocked enforcement of the state's highly unconstitutional six-week abortion ban; perhaps appealing to elementary schoolers' interests is the group's Plan B?

"The Precious One" fetal models are manufactured by Heritage House, a "pro-life supply store," for $1.50 a pop — cheaper if you buy in bulk. "Its beautiful detail, softness and weight can really move hearts and change minds!" the website promises. A customer service representative told Jezebel that the models are most often given to pregnant women at "pregnancy centers" and kids at school presentations.

Yep. It's really easy to care for a plastic fetus without any consequences or responsibilities. I hope parents explain to their kids how their new fetus doesn't deserve affordable healthcare or a solid public education after its born.


Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26

Halliburton admits destroying evidence in Deepwater Horizon disaster


To cap the recent discussion of 'people who should never be put in a position to abuse the authority they crave', a snippet from NYMag:

"Pepper spraying a bunch of seated student protesters might turn out to be one of the best career decisions John Pike ever made, despite the fact that the former University of California at Davis police lieutenant lost his job over it. Pike is now seeking worker's compensation benefits from the university, for psychiatric injury. If the State Department of Industrial Relations awards him disability benefits, "it will cover income, health and other benefits until he turns 65," the Davis Enterprise reports. Pike, who made $121,680 a year with the university, was 39 when his employment with Davis ended last year…"

I try to be sensitive to others' pain, but I'm finding it hard to muster sympathy for "Waaah, after I made myself unemployable, people were mean to me on the internet!" as an excuse for a permanent disability waiver.


Apparently it's not nice to poison Mother Nature:

Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch's brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.

When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.

Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they're designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.

"There's growing evidence that fungicides may be affecting the bees on their own and I think what it highlights is a need to reassess how we label these agricultural chemicals," Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the study's lead author, told Quartz.

Here's the actual study.

So now that we know what is happening, much like we know what is happening with climate change, what are we going to do about it?

Here is what will happen. The Koch brothers and their allies in the petrochemical industry will fund some new start-up organization to dismiss the science and defend fungicide use. The shitbirds at existing "think tanks" like the degenerates at the Competitive Enterprise Institute will pen op-ed after op-ed and all the right wing nutjobs will link to them. In no time, DeMint and the Heritage foundation will release their own studies "proving" that there is nothing wrong with bees and fungicide and Instapundit and Reason Magazine will "heh-indeed" the studies and link approvingly, and Nick Gillespie, the Fonzi of Freedom, will make a couple weepy youtube videos whining about all the excess regulations that might come down the road if we move too quickly. Because freedom, duh. Fox news will now grab the baton and run to the front of the pack telling us it is all a hoax, and within weeks it will be the received view among Republicans and "centrist" stooges in the Democratic party that not only do fungicides not hurt bees, but there is no such thing as a bee colony collapse.

The entire sick farce and eventual death of all the bee colonies will then be punctuated with Steve Doocy or Brian Kilmeade on the Fox morning show, grinning, and announcing to America "Of course the bees aren't sick. I just stepped on one last week and let me tell you, he was healthy because the sting hurt for days."

You're welcome.


Gun Advocacy Group Sends Zimmerman $12,000 To Buy Guns

ABC News: The only minority on the all-female jury that voted to acquit George Zimmerman said today that Zimmerman "got away with murder" for killing Trayvon Martin and feels she owes an apology Martin's parents.

"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," said the woman who was identified only as Juror B29 during the trial. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."

She said the jury was following Florida law and the evidence, she said, did not prove murder.

Did Steve King Just Compare Himself To Jesus?

BREAKING: Justice Department Will Ask Court To Reinstate Voting Rights Act In Texas


What if Americans like Obamacare? That's the question on the minds of many Republican strategists and operatives, but FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperty aren't willing to rely on what-ifs and are trying to convince young people that they don't need healthcare.

FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative issue group financed by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, known for funding conservative causes, are planning separate media and grassroots campaigns aimed at adults in their 20s and 30s – the very people Obama needs to have sign up for healthcare coverage in new online insurance exchanges if his reforms are to succeed.

"We're trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange," said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic "Obamacare card" that college students can burn during campus protests.

This is purely political. And it's anti-business.

They spent years and millions of dollars trying to convince Americans that Obamacare was a "government takeover of healthcare" and that healthcare should be left up to the private sector, but now their goal is to convince Americans that they don't need to sign up for private healthcare.

Conservatism is a mental illness.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25

Why Larry Summers Shouldn't Be Permitted to Run a Dog Pound, Much Less the Federal Reserve


North Carolina legislators approve carrying guns in lots more places. For holders of concealed carry permits, those places include: bars and restaurants that serve alcohol (as long as the owner doesn't object); greenways, playgrounds and public recreation areas; locked in cars at universities and public schools. The lawmakers removed a provision that would have done away with background checks and permits by country sheriffs for anyone buying a handgun.


The release of methane from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea, off northern Russia, alone comes with an average global price tag of $60 trillion in the absence of mitigating action — a figure comparable to the size of the world economy in 2012 (about $70 trillion). The total cost of Arctic change will be much higher.


CNN: After weaknesses in its ground game were badly exposed in 2012, the Republican National Committee is taking a page straight out of the Democratic playbook and launching an ambitious "50 state strategy" that will steer party resources and staffers to every corner of the country as it works to repair its voter contact effort before the next presidential election.

The party's short-term vision with the project is to help the GOP win key races this November and in next year's midterm elections.

But that's only part of a larger and more important goal for Republicans: rebuilding a broken and outdated get-out-the-vote operation that seemed dominant during the George W. Bush era, but was overtaken in 2012 by a Democratic coalition that had spent years polishing its tactics in the fields of voter contact, persuasion, data collection and statistical modeling.
The problem here is that, while the party plans to compete in every state, they don't plan on competing for every vote. Relying on GOTV efforts shows that Republicans have given up on minority outreach and have embraced the "missing white voter" hypothesis. Conservatives like this hypothesis, because it's become fashionable on that side of the aisle to be shockingly racist — which makes winning over anyone other than white voters a little bit of a challenge.

The good news for Democrats is that the missing white voter is fantasy. No matter how hard you scrape the bottom, there's no more mayo in that jar. The Republican tendency to dismiss reality is finally coming to bite them in the rear, as it had to eventually, causing them to waste resources getting out voters who don't actually exist. 


Just because it's never mentioned anymore: 2,255 soldiers killed in Afghanistan; 4,486 in Iraq.


Obama: It's Not My Fault Republicans Are Crazy
President Obama's economic speech today is putatively a broad-stroke overview of his economic vision — investing in physical infrastructure and early childhood education, restraining runaway inflation in the cost of health care and college, and marginally shifting the burden of government away from the middle class and toward the rich. In reality, it is a call for a responsible opposition.

Thematically, it is hard to build a speech around the opposition when you're president, because people expect the president to lead and set the agenda. But the extraordinary tactics of the House Republicanshave created an unusual and counterintuitive situation wherein the president's agenda is mostly irrelevant. Conservatives simply refuse to negotiate with Obama in conventional terms. Their strategy is to threaten a series of crises — government shutdown, defaulting on the debt — in order to force the president to offer unilateral concessions…

Obama mounted an ideological defense of his vision of government. But mainly he dared Republicans to stop acting like madmen. The most important line in his speech is a kind of subordinate clause:

And as long as Congress doesn't manufacture another crisis — as long as we don't shut down the government just as the economy is getting traction, or risk a U.S. default over paying bills we've already racked up — we can probably muddle along without taking bold action.

That's wrapped in a plea to not muddle along and to take bold action instead, but it's also a tactic recognition that simply not manufacturing a crisis is an ambitious goal for the House Republicans….


Did Fox really cut away from Obama's speech for breaking news on the name of the royal baby? Why yes, they did.



Darrell Issa has a long-standing reputation as a self-indulgent obsessive criminalcreep. This story might take the cake:
But Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican leading the House effort to save the postal service, wants more. He has made doing away with doorstep delivery a key part of his bill, which would require everyone to get mail at a curbside box or from a cluster box.

"A balanced approach to saving the Postal Service means allowing USPS to adapt to America's changing use of mail," said Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Moving away from door-to-door delivery saves a lot of money. Right now, 35 million residences and businesses get mail delivered to their doorstep.

It costs $353 per stop for a delivery in most American cities, taking into account such things as salaries and cost of transport. By contrast, curbside mail box delivery costs $224, while cluster boxes cost $160, according to a report from the Postal Service's Office of Inspector General.

Issa has been called a "pathological liar", so it will come as no surprise when he goes all Nathan Thurm on this story as the backlash builds when he's reminded that the USPS is the only government agency – hell, the only entity of any kind in the history of the nation – which has to fully fund in cash its pension obligations, and if we allowed them to do what every other frikkin' entity uses, the USPS would be profitable: "I know that! You don't think I know that?"

He'd rather see the American people inconvenienced and their mail put in jeopardy: stolen checks, lost bills, important documents misplaced, than pony up and fix the real problem for the average American's benefit. Issa moron. Nuff said.


With Voting Rights Act Gutted, Florida Set To Resume Voter Purge

Tea Party Congressman Compares African American Civil Rights To Snail Darters

A new analysis by the Office of Congresssman George Miller finds that 14 members of Congress voted to continue farm subsidies from which they personally benefit while failing to continue nutrition aid for 47 million Americans.

Yep. His office released a report detailing how these 14 GOP Congresscritters have raked in more than $7.2 MILLION in farm subsidies (aka welfare, also aka YOUR tax dollars) while they voted to completely gut food stamps for hungry kids. Hahahahaha, sucks to be poor and not a Member of Congress.

Not only did Rep. Miller (D-Honey Badgerville) release this report, and not only did he call his colleagues out by name, but he straight up put photos of each of the offending members on his website, in case anyone was interested, because George Miller DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK.


The National Memo describes the report this way:

In his Pork Barrel Politics report, Miller charges these select Republicans with voting for a bill that they themselves benefit from, while eliminating assistance for millions of low-income Americans under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Miller writes in the report, "The 14 Republican members of Congress who voted for the FARRM Act and personally receive government subsidies have received an average of $515,279 in benefits."

The Fuckin 14, as we call them in the seekrit chatcave, received on average HALF A MILLION DOLLARS from the government teat. Clearly these are just poor public servants, so it is good that they subsidize their income with governm…. Wait, what? The 14 Republicans "have a total net worth of up to $124.5 million."

COME THE FUCK ON. So we live in a country when GODDAM MILLIONAIRES walk the halls of Congress, vote for bills that literally, actually line their own pockets with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, and then try to deny food assistance to 47 MILLION AMERICANS, most of whom are basically walking Margaret Keane portraits.

Thank you, Rep. Miller, for bringing this study to light. We will now take two mustache rides, please, for five cents, and freedom.

[George Miller/National Memo]

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24


Why Fox News' Popularity Is In Serious Jeopardy


To right-wing State Senator Brian Nieves, the life of the mother is only an excuse; if she lives or dies is 'a matter of convenience.'


Today in Republican Latino outreach

¡Ay, caramba!:

Iowa conservative Republican Congressman Steve King said in an interview with Newsmax that for every valedictorian DREAMer who has been brought to this country by his or her family, "…there's another 100 out there who, they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act."

I'm not sure whose job it is to handle Steve King or if he even has handlers, but I do know there must be someone at the RNC whose asshole puckers each time King steps in front of the cameras to plead with Latinos to vote for the other party. Love it, Republicans. Keep it up.


Pennsylvania police chief: F*ck all you libtards out there, you take it in the a**


National Review Tells Young Whites To Avoid Blacks, Again


Virginia Governor Apologizes, Repays Loans He Had Insisted Were Not Improper


The Rich Feel Poor If They Have Less Than $5 Million

F**k those people.


North Carolina On Cusp Of Passing Worst Voter Suppression Bill In The Nation


Why did Time magazine give the new pope devil horns?

Pope Lucifer II





Senator Ron Wyden is not an Obama hating emo-prog. He is a US Senator with Top Secret clearance and he knows all the details of these NSA surveillance programs and understands the implications of them in a free society. It would be advisable for those who think that this story can be discounted because you think Edward Snowden is a traitor or Glenn Greenwald is a twitter asshole to read Wyden's entire speech today to Center for American Progress.

I have not been able to understand why so many otherwise responsible liberals and progressives have so blithely dismissed these revelations when we have Senators like Wyden, Udall and Merkley running around with their hair on fire about it. This didn't start with Edward Snowden --- these people have been trying to sound the alarm for years and nobody listened. That's what happens when these programs are classified, the people in the know are appalled and cannot say anything about it. 

Wyden's speech lays out all the reasons why these programs are wrong and intimates strongly that we still don't know the full scope of what they are doing.

Do read the link to the speech above and see how these secret laws have enabled a series of programs that enable idea of a government "tele-screen monitoring your every move turns from dystopia to reality." Truly, this is not about whether Edward Snowden is someone you'd want to have a beer with. Ron Wyden is not a narcissistic freak. He's pretty low key, actually. And he's basically saying that Snowden's revelations are real and they are a threat. Isn't it important that we know that?


July 23, 2013


In other news, Senator Lindsey Graham is ready to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

"If nothing changes in Iran, come September, October, I will present a resolution that will authorize the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb," Graham told a "cheering" audience at a conference put on by the right-wing group Christians United for Israel, according to CQ Roll Call.

Meanwhile, Christine O'Donnell may be considering another run for Senate. And she is not a witch. She's you.


It's that time of year again when Republicans start threatening to shut the federal government down if they don't get their way, and this time their ransom demand is the defunding of Obamacare.

According to The Blaze, there is a coalition of Republican senators who have vowed to block a continuing resolution that will prevent a government shutdown.

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told TheBlaze Monday he has recruited more than a dozen Senate Republicans to help him defund President Barack Obama's landmark health care law.

Fifteen Republican senators, including Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), John Cornyn (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Inhofe (Okla.), David Vitter (La.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), John Thune (S.D.), and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), will block a continuing resolution to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30 if it includes funding for Obamacare, Lee said.

They won't be any more successful this time than they were last time, but let it be known that these men are willing to crash the economy if it means they can deny healthcare to people who can't afford it.

That's all this is about.