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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 29th, 2012

"Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy."
-- Jose Marti

Santorum Watch - No Pink Balls Edition

March 29th, 2012

This kind of thing that makes me wonder how many casual, throwaway exercises in fearful hatred are being missed when the press is not around.

Via the HRC website:

"At a campaign event at a bowling alley in Wisconsin today, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told a boy who reached for a pink bowling ball: "You're not gonna use the pink ball. We're not gonna let you do that. Not on camera." Santorum went on to say "Friends don’t let friends use pink balls." The comments were tweeted by Reuters reporter Sam Youngman." (EMPHASIS MINE)

It has come to this. The GOP base is flirting with nominating a man so virulently homophobic that he would order someone else's child not to use a pink bowling ball.

So much for small government.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 25th, 2012

"When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch."
-- Bette Davis

The War On Women, cont...

March 25th, 2012

One more time, if you think there is no GOP war on women, you are not paying attention. Or, you're in denial.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 24th, 2012

"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it."

-- Patrick Henry

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mitt Watch - Shake, Shake, Shake - Why The Etch-A-Sketch Gaffe Should End Him

March 23rd, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

Image via
Up until a couple of days ago, it had become somewhat superfluous to discuss the fact that Mitt Romney has no real positions on any issues.

This is not to say he doesn't believe in certain things.

I will concede the possibility that he might.

All this said, it is now obvious that there is something in his programming which precludes the courage of whatever convictions he might actually hold.

So used to Romney's 180 degree shifts had we become that we were beginning to dismiss the deadly seriousness his lack of character presents.

Enter the Etch-A Sketch moment. In an interview with CNN, Romney's closest campaign adviser and confidante, Eric Fehrnstrom, had this exchange with John Fugelsang:
Fugelang: Is there a concern that the pressure from Santorum and Gingrich might force the Governer to tack so far to the rigft that it might hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?
Fehrnstrom: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch-a-Sketch – you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again. But I will say, if you look at the exit polling data in Illinois, you’ll see that Mitt Romney is broadly acceptable to most of the factions in the party. You have to do that to become the major party nominee. (EMPHASES OURS)

Yes. This is as bad as it seems.

Already, this inadvertent revelation of the truth is being compared to Dukakis in the tank in 1988, George H. W. Bush's apparent fascination and previous inexperience with product scanning technology in 1992, and John Kerry's notorious stunner regarding the Iraq war in 2004.

Worth A Thousand Words - Shake, Shake, Shake Edition

March 23rd, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 22nd, 2012

"Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value."
-- Albert Einstein

On Rubio Mania

March 22nd, 2012

Larison wonders why so many GOP insiders are obsessed with Rubio for Vice President:

"I don’t deny that he has political talent, and he seems to inspire quite a lot of enthusiasm among movement conservatives, but I just don’t see why he is so often promoted to the top of these lists. I can’t recall any new Senator receiving so much admiration and praise as a presidential or VP prospect so early in his career, and that includes Obama."

Rubio has no major accomplishments in his freshman term as U.S. Senator. He has sponsored little, rarely makes waves and almost painfully hews to the background. Could it be that this lack of a substantive record coupled with his reliable lip service to general conservative notions is precisely what inspires the establishment?

In a campaign season where each of the GOP presidential contenders is flailing on specifics, it would be wise for the party to remember that a candidate Rubio would have to actually address them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why No GOP Budget Proposal Can Be Taken Seriously

March 21st, 2012

Ezra Klein lays it out flat and explains why they are all so mercenary:

"The Republican Party has settled on four overlapping fiscal commitments that leave them with few other choices.

The Republican plans we've seen share a few basic premises. First, taxes are too high, and must be cut. Second, defense spending is too low, and should be raised. Third, major changes to entitlement programs should be passed now, but they shouldn't affect the current generation of retirees. That would all be fine, except for the fourth premise, which is that short-term deficits are a serious threat to the country and they need to be swiftly cut.

The first three budget premises means that taxes and defense will contribute more to the deficit, and Medicare and Social Security aren't available for quick savings. That leaves programs for the poor as the only major programs available to bear cuts. But now cuts to those programs have to pay for the deficit reduction, the increased defense spending, and the tax cuts. That means the cuts to those programs have to be really, really, really deep. The authors have no other choice."

That's it, in a nutshell.

"Taxes are too high" in spite of being at a 60 year low.

"Defense spending is too low" in spite of being at its highest level since World War II and consuming nearly 54 cents of every weapons dollar spent globally per year.

Gutting Medicare and Social Security won't provide rapid savings so the poorest Americans will just have to pay for pretty much everything.

Lastly, the deficit has to be slashed immediately by implementing all of the above... which will guarantee higher deficits.

That we are in a position where we have to address these proposals with any seriousness whatsoever boggles.

Even At A Whisper

March 21st, 2012

I have received a lot of inquiries regarding our relative absence last week. A few readers even asked if I was abandoning the blog.

Not a chance.

Here's the deal.

The first love of my life has always been music.

My dearest collaborator, Stella Katsoudas, and I recently regrouped the band Sister Soleil. The first single is ready and here is a terrific fan video, completed yesterday, that we have chosen to distribute ahead of its wider release.

It is called "Even At A Whisper (Your Voice Is Power)". We meant it to be an anthem in opposition to bullying. In fact, we invited a group of children and teens who have suffered such ill treatment to belt out the chorus.

Speak out. Get involved. Do something. Your voice is power.

Our Closest Relatives...

March 21st, 2012

It is a dark time for the creatures closest to us on the evolutionary wonder we call our planet. Indeed, the world's wild chimpanzee population is now estimated to be as low as 300,000. If you are harboring any doubts that man alone is responsible, you are indulging yourself. However, not all of the depopulation has been the result of poaching or deforestation. Thousands of these primates have been destroyed over the years through torture masquerading as science. The video below shows a group of rescued "lab specimens" being released into a protective refuge in Austria called Gut Aiderbichl. For some, it is the first time they have breathed fresh air or seen natural light in as long as thirty years.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How Bad Is The So-Called "JOBS" Act?

March 20th, 2012

Astoundingly bad.

When You Got Nothin'

March 20th, 2012

The Republicans really have nothing to offer. No legitimate economic policies, no sensible military strategies and dwindling chances come November. Since late last year, every week has brought new lows and ever diminishing returns in the GOP's presidential blood-feud. What does this mean? It's time for more phony tax cut/program slashing!

As Robert Reich writes:

"All that matters is the headlines.

"House Republican Budget to Propose Lower Income Tax Rates," says Bloomberg Businessweek. "Republican Budget Plan Seeks to Play Up Tax Reform," says Reuters. "GOP's Budget Targets Taxes," blares the Wall Street Journal.

Presto. Republicans have gotten what they wanted on the basis of saying absolutely nothing."


Watching Fox "News" - Like Living Under A Rock

March 20th, 2012

You know the old saying "unless you are living under a rock"? Well, it seems we have more proof that exclusive Fox "News" viewers may as well be doing just that. Fox is the media outlet where the Treyvon Martin story nearly doesn't exist.

via ThinkProgress

The Koch Fortune Came From WHERE?

March 20th, 2012

Much the way the Bush family fortune was built, in part, by doing business with some of the worst human beings of the last century, the Koch brothers are also the beneficiaries of blood money.

John MacMurray explains:

"As the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953, Stalin hired Fred Koch, father of David and Charles, to construct oil refineries, pipelines, and train workers. Fred Koch delivered good value for Stalin’s money, and worked for the USSR for many years.

In later years, Fred apparently had second thoughts about the relationship, and helped found the virulently anti-communist John Birch Society."

Sleep tight.

Quote Of The Day

March 20th, 2012

"At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst."
-- Aristotle

Monday, March 19, 2012

QOTD - Nation Building Is Bullshit Edition

March 19th, 2012

Say what you will about Joe Scarborough, the man is right on Afghanistan:

"Headline for all Republicans and Democrats that want to continue to fight this war, we won the war. It was an anti-terror campaign. We went in to get Osama bin Laden. We went in to break up al Qaeda in Afghanistan where they launched the 9/11 attacks. We killed them. We routed them. We destroyed them. We didn't go in to beat the Taliban. The Taliban is a different thing. Very different thing than al Qaeda. The Taliban doesn't want to blow up buildings in Washington, DC, or New York or Charlotte or Atlanta. They want to be left alone to run their country by second century standards. We should let them." EMPHASIS MINE

The Helium Crisis

March 19th, 2012

No. Really. The dwindling supply is threatening vital science. It would seem that children's parties and the squeeky-voiced are to blame.

The Guardian reports:

"Oleg Kirichek, the leader of a research team at the Isis neutron beam facility at the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, had an unpleasant shock last week. One of his key experiments, designed to probe the structure of matter, had to be cancelled – because the facility had run out of helium.

The gas, used to cool atoms to around -270C to reduce their vibrations and make them easier to study, is now becoming worryingly scarce, said Kirichek. Research facilities probing the structure of matter, medical scanners and other advanced devices that use the gas may soon have to reduce operations or close because we are frittering away the world's limited supplies of helium on party balloons."

For a remarkably potential species, we really are idiots.

Gawker chimes in with their dry wit HERE.

Quote Of The Day

March 19th, 2012

"Genius is the recovery of childhood at will."
-- Arthur Rimbaud

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 13th, 2012

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."
-- Albert Schweitzer

Monday, March 12, 2012

Southern Voters "Unsure"

March 12th, 2012

A new PPP survey of Southern GOP voter opinions ahead of the next round of primaries is raising a few eyebrows. Yes, a staggering number are "unsure" about whether or not President Obama is a "Christian."

More depressing still, Benjy Sarlin notes something else they are "unsure" about:

"Interracial marriage laws were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1967, but a significant minority of Mississippi and Alabama apparently still long for their return, or are at least ambivalent about the idea. In Alabama, 67 percent of respondents said interracial marriage should be allowed, but 21 percent said it should be illegal and another 12 percent were not sure. Mississippi Republican voters were even more divided: Only 52 percent said such marriages should be legal, versus 29 percent who said they should be banned and 17 percent who were unsure."

One more time, it's 2012... not 1812. We are "unsure" if some of these folks have factored that into their thinking.

Quote Of The Day

March 12th, 2012

"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."
-- Voltaire

Obama's Numbers Hold Steady

March 12th, 2012

As The GOP presidential hopefuls (and the "conservative" movement in general) continue to alienate voters with their social issues obsession, Obama's numbers are stabilizing following months of fluctuation.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 11th, 2012

"All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers."
-- Francois Fenelon

Friday, March 9, 2012

Rush Limbaugh's "70 Sexist Smears"

March 9th, 2012

I thought it would be more.

RIP Peter Bergman

March 9th, 2012

America has lost one of its comedy pioneers. Peter Bergman, a founding member of the Firesign Theatre company, has passed away. There were son many wonderful bits he helped give us. What's more, they were all socially conscious as well as somewhat absurd. My personal favorite involves the translation of an incredibly poorly constructed pamphlet for Spanish speaking American children which was, apparently, meant to lessen their community's fear of police during the upheaval of the late Sixties and early Seventies.

Quote Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

March 9th, 2012

"People think I've got this job as a leader. They don't realize that I have about 200 responsibilities and roles. I've gotta be the big brother, the father, I gotta be the disciplinarian, the dean of students, the principal, the spouse—you can't believe all the roles that I have to play! But one of them is, you know, some problems you can nip early... It's just a slice of America, it really is. We got some of the smartest people in the country who serve here, and some of the dumbest. We got some of the best people you'd ever meet, and some of the raunchiest. We've got 'em all."

-- Speaker of the House John Boehner showing some signs of career fatigue.

Things You Can't Make Up - Conservative Hypocrisy Edition

March 9th, 2012

No one has ever accused Dick Armey of being that bright. Still, one has to wonder if his bulb is of an even lower wattage than previously suspected.

Josh Israel writes:

"FreedomWorks for America, the super PAC for former Rep. Dick Armey’s (R-TX) FreedomWorks USA, just released new radio and TV ads urging the defeat of longtime Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The spots are the latest in a series of attacks by the group against the six-term senator, who is facing a challenge from the right in this year’s renomination process.

The new commercials note that Hatch "voted 16 times" to raise the debt limit, allowing for $7.5 trillion of the national debt. Both ads say that it’s "time to retire" the man who "wracked up half of our nation’s debt."

The ads are available HERE and HERE.

The reason this is insane is as follows:

"Prior to joining FreedomWorks in 2003, chairman Dick Armey served nine terms in Congress. Six of those debt-limit votes took place between the time Armey was elected to the House in 1984 and his retirement at the beginning of 2003. Armey voted for at least five of those six." EMPHASIS MINE

Steve Benen is disgusted:

"Armey, a right-wing Texan, even delivered an impassioned plea to his congressional colleagues in 2002, telling them voting to raise the debt ceiling was "good for America."

Are the folks who FreedomWorks' attack ads offended by their own boss' voting record?

The larger point is that Republicans who served in Congress as recently as the Bush/Cheney era, developing reputations as consistent far-right stalwarts, are suddenly Republicans In Name Only. There's no mystery here -- as the GOP sprints past the right-wing cliff, even Dick Armey's conservative outfit no longer has any use for Republicans with Dick Armey's voting record.

The debt-ceiling issue is actually quite illustrative. As we talked about a couple of weeks ago, Mitt Romney condemned Rick Santorum for his debt-ceiling votes at an event in Ohio, while standing alongside Sen. Rob Portman (R) -- who not only voted repeatedly to raise the debt limit, but was also Bush's OMB director, demanding routine debt-ceiling increases from Congress. Indeed, most of Romney's supporters agreed with the line that all Republicans accepted for decades -- the debt limit had to be increased regularly to protect the integrity of the full faith and credit of the United States.

Former Rep. Chris Chocola (R) of Indiana cast votes to raise the debt ceiling, and now he's the president of the Club for Growth -- which condemns Republicans for voting to raise the debt ceiling."

As we have seen with nearly every policy or legislative position "conservatives'" once championed, from the personal medical mandate to cap and trade, this is just another example of the profound denial of factual reality which is coming to define their dying movement.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 8th, 2012

"Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men."
-- Joseph Conrad

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 7th, 2012

"A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short."
-- Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"What's Wrong With These People"

March 6th, 2012

Good question, Joe. The war on women is destroying the GOP. Here's proof.

Romney's Not So Super Tuesday

March 6th, 2012

The brutal infighting, the extremist pandering and the recent Limbaugh affair are something of a perfect storm for the GOP. Outside of the base, the negatives are soaring. This is particularly acute for the establishment favorite.

Quote Of The Day

March 6th, 2012

"Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish."
-- Richard Dawkins

Monday, March 5, 2012

Not Good Enough, Rush. Not Good Enough At All

March 5th, 2012

Frum's Bullshit-Detector is pinned
Again, one of my conservative heroes steps up to the plate. He also hits it out of the park.

Regarding Rush's phony "apology," David Frum gives what may be the most dignified smackdown in recent political history.

He has four points over at CNN regarding the Limbaugh/Fluke spectacle that all ring true:

"Point 1: Even by the rough standards of cable/talk radio/digital talk, Limbaugh's verbal abuse of Sandra Fluke set a new kind of low. I can't recall anything as brutal, ugly and deliberate ever being said by such a prominent person and so emphatically repeated. This was not a case of a bad "word choice." It was a brutally sexualized accusation, against a specific person, prolonged over three days.

Rush's Rank Hubris

March 5th, 2012

Image via
Well. Apparently poor, little Rush is quite saddened that no one fell for his "apology."

He took to the air today to tell everyone that he really, really, honest to goodness meant it.


But, being the slop-swilling propagandist, egomaniac and narcissistic fiend that he is, he had to explain that his real transgression last week was, in the words of Politico's MJ Lee, "stooping down to the level of Democrats in discussing the issue of contraception coverage."

Uh huh. Right. It's really the fault of the left that he couldn't contain himself. So much for the party of "personal responsibility."
Limbaugh: "In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them. Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong, I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error. I became like them."
Sure, he "apologized" for calling her "those two words."

You know? "Slut" and "prostitute?"

That just leaves the other fifty individual smears upon Sandra Fluke's character and humanity he has yet to address. Yeah, some folks are counting.

Also, when you follow an apology with a "but?" It's not an apology.

The sponsors continue to flee and the pressure isn't letting up. Nor should it. With any luck, this is the beginning of the end for his vicious, over-ripe festival of lies.

One more time, remember how this all started:

An educated and informed American woman had the audacity to speak publicly after the elected GOP leadership said she was "not qualified" to do so.

About The Geithner "Arrest"

March 5th, 2012

Okay. So, something happened here. Outside of fringe pundits such as Alex Jones, nobody is discussing it much. Shep Smith, whom we admire very much for tolerating his position as Fox News' last honest man, tries to get to the bottom of the story with Andrew Napolitano.

Is Jeffrey Lord Really This Dense?

March 5th, 2012

The answer to the question is, apparently, yes.

Even more so than previously suspected.

Writing for the American Spectator, he launches into a tirade on behalf of poor little Rush Limbaugh. He is appalled that people are appalled at Rush's appalling behavior. Get this:

"It's time to stand up to the bullies.

It's time to Rally for Rush."

He actually wrote this. I shit you not. 

Please "enjoy" his whole piece wherein he repeats the smear that Ms. Fluke "demands to be paid for her sex life," refers to those of us who have fought back as "the blacklisting crowd" emerging from our "Stalinist caves" (that mixed metaphor is rich,) and repeatedly berates the young woman "for her obnoxiously intolerant behavior when it comes to the free speech of others."

I really am not making this up. It's not from the Onion.

So, all you "Stalinist" loons, put your "blacklisting" hats on and let him know how sorry you are at

Sally Kohn On Breitbart

March 5th, 2012

For the record, I will very much miss sparring with Andrew. Here's Sally remembering the man much the way I do.

George Will, Rush Limbaugh And Trump, Oh My

March 5th, 2012

George Will made quite a few waves yesterday.

Via TPM:

"Conservative columnist George Will on Sunday tore into top Republicans for their tepid response to Rush Limbaugh's smear of Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, declaring that the GOP is "afraid" of the right-wing radio host.

"It would've been nice if they had shared that with the larger public, the Republican leaders," Will said on ABC's This Week. "Instead, Mr. Boehner comes out and says, Rush's language was inappropriate. Using a salad fork for your entree, that's inappropriate. Not this stuff. I mean, and Rick Santorum says well, what he says was absurd, but an entertainer is allowed to be absurd. No. It is the responsibility of conservatives to police the right in its excesses, just as the liberals unfailingly fail to police the excesses in their own side. And it was depressing, because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they're afraid of Rush Limbaugh."

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

This statement, coming on the heels of Will's message to the GOP that they really ought to just give up on retaking the White House, prompted a predictably ridiculous response from Fox and Friends this morning. In a piece of stagecraft worthy of Mel Brooks, the Fox stooges gave Donald Trump the chance to attack the conservative stalwart.

Nando Di Fino writes for Mediaite:

"I think he’s a totally overrated fool," Trump said. "I think this guy is so overrated. I don’t think he’s very smart. He looks smart with the little glasses and the hair slicked to the side."

"You’ve criticized him before on this show," host Gretchen Carlson said, "You’re not holding back on what you think about him today."

"He’s a hack," Trump said. "He’s a hack. And how he can say that is just incredible."

I'm not sure how they are going to top this one. Perhaps they can have Chuck Norris or Ted Nugent attack Thomas Sowell the next time he writes something reasonable.

Here's the video

Will The GOP "Listen To The Generals"?

March 5th, 2012

As the right clamors more loudly everyday for war with Iran and against the backdrop of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's current visit to the U.S. comes this full page ad in today's Washington Post (via HuffPo) calling bullshit on a war of choice with Iran. It is signed by the following:

Major General Paul Eaton (USA, Ret.)
Tom Fingar, fmr. Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis
Lt. General Robert G. Gard (USA, Ret.)
General Joseph Hoar (USMC, Ret.)
Brig. General John H. Johns (USA, Ret.)
Maj. Gen Rudolph Ostovich III (USA, Ret.)
Paul Pillar, fmr. National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (USA, Ret.)

Click HERE for better view
From the National Iranian American Council

The Truth About Gas Prices, cont...

March 5th, 2012

As the "conservative" media continues to push last month's RNC talking points, rational actors keep pushing back by stating what are commonly known as facts. I harped on this HERE recently.

Today, the NY Times editors state it plainly:

"There are lots of reasons for the rise in gas prices, but the lack of American production is not one of them. Domestic crude oil production is actually up from 5.4 million barrels a day in 2004 to 5.59 million now; imports have dropped by more than 10 percent in the same period. Despite a temporary slowdown in exploration in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil disaster, the number of rigs in American oil fields has quadrupled over three years. There have been new discoveries and the administration has promised to open up more offshore reserves. To say that Mr. Obama has denied industry access is nonsense.

Equally nonsensical is the Republican claim that Mr. Obama’s proposed repeal of $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry — whose five biggest players posted $137 billion in profits last year — would drive prices upward. As is Newt Gingrich’s claim that a proposal now taking shape in the Environmental Protection Agency, and fiercely opposed by refiners, to lower the sulfur content in gasoline would add 25 cents to the cost of a gallon. Agency experts say it would add about a penny.

The truth is that oil prices are set on world markets by forces largely beyond America’s control."

Sen Sanders is leading the fight against unbridled speculation HERE.

Quote Of The Day

March 5th, 2012

"Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out."
-- Anton Chekhov

Keith Balmer Shines Some Light On American Idiocy

March 5th, 2012

Man, I do grow tired of "lists that prove blah, blah, blah." Balmer's latest is a notable exception:

"50 Reasons America Is A Dumb Country

I have always believed that America is a dumb country. And now I get to prove it. This is my collection of bizarre facts and mini-rants. This is funny, but in a sad way.

Read on

1. 24 percent of Americans can’t name the country we fought in the Revolutionary War.

2. Two-thirds of Americans don’t know what’s in Roe vs. Wade

3. Half of all Americans don’t know how many U.S. Senators each state has.

4. 29 percent of Americans don’t know who the Vice President is.

5. 40 percent of Americans don’t know the three branches of our federal government.

6. 58 percent don’t know who the Taliban is, even though our soldiers have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan for TEN FUCKING YEARS!

7. 18 percent of Americans think the sun revolves around the Earth!

8. On the eve of the Iraq War, 69 percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attacks on 9/11. Eight years later, 34 percent STILL BELIEVE THIS SHIT!

9. Harold Camping, a 90-year old phony preacher with a ministry worth 80 million dollars, convinced a bunch of intellectually-challenged people that the world was going to end on May 21st at 6pm. His followers spent months warning the world that the rapture was coming. They gave away their earthly belongings and drained their savings accounts. That day came, and it went, and no rapture. On May 21st at 7pm I posted this to my twitter account:

"I'm cracking rapture jokes like there's no tomorrow!"
10. Millions of people watch reality TV. This amazes me. I HATE REALITY TV. I hate every one of those damn Basketball Wives. I hate the Real Housewives. I hate the Duggars. I hate Kate Gosselin. I hate The Apprentice. I hate the Bachelor. I hate the Bachelorette. I hate all of them. I don't give a flying fuck about these people. This is trainwreck TV at its worst. I love great scripted television (i.e. Justified, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Parks and Rec, Community). But I cannot stand reality TV. I think Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts summed it up perfectly in a recent column when he said:
"There is something predatory in searching out these troubled people, these drunks and narcissists, these self-centered, superficial plastic surgery junkies, these screechers and whiners and perpetual adolescents with daddy, esteem, or anger management issues, and pay them to let us watch them implode."

There's 40 more HERE. Go Keith!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quote Of The Day

March 4th, 2012

"The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic."

-- Chris Hedges

Maureen Dowd Kicks Some Flabby, Creepy, Misogynistic Ass

March 4th, 2012

If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be coming to the defense of basic women's rights as well as explaining the fundamentals of hormone therapy while the nation headed into the 2012 Presidential contest, I would simply not have believed them. After posting about this HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE, I have come to the conclusion that Margaret Atwood was not fabulist in the least.

Maureen Dowd nails these creeps to the wall:

"Limbaugh leeringly suggested that were taxpayers to be stuck with the bill, Fluke and other “feminazis” should give them something back: sex videos. “We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch,” he said.

Fluke was lobbying Georgetown University to change its policy for three years before she became a cause célèbre outcast when the Republican congressman Darrell Issa barred her from an all-male panel on contraception. But her conflict with her Jesuit school did not stop its president, John DeGioia, from eloquently defending his student (who ended up testifying for Nancy Pelosi’s all-Democratic panel).

“She provided a model of civil discourse,” he said in a letter to the school. “This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free expression.”

He branded the reaction of Limbaugh and some other commentators as “misogynistic, vitriolic and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.”

Given this season’s lava spill of hate, it was fitting that DeGioia evoked St. Augustine: “Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth.”

It’s hard to believe that not that long ago, Bob Dole, the former G.O.P. leader and presidential nominee, was a spokesman for Viagra. (Mother Jones pointed out that Rush, a Viagra fan, might be confusing the little blue pill and birth control, since “when and how much sex you have is unrelated to the amount of birth control you need.”)

Rush and Newt Gingrich can play the studs, marrying again and again until they find the perfect adoring young wife. But women pressing for health care rights are denigrated as sluts."

Damn straight.

Newt Watch - Cashing In On Rush Limbaugh's "Slut-Shaming"

March 4th, 2012

Image via
Well, even after the fat man issued his phony apology, there was at least one politician who sought to gain some advantage by dragging himself through Rush's snail-stain.

The National Journal reports:

"Newt Gingrich on Saturday used the flap over Rush Limbaugh's controversial denunciations of Sandra Fluke as a way to attack President Obama for acting "opportunistically" when he called the Georgetown University law student to express his disappointment over Limbaugh's comments.

After Limbaugh described Fluke as a “slut” and “prostitute” for advocating for subsidizing birth control, Obama contacted Fluke personally. Numerous conservatives and other GOP presidential candidates have rebuked the conservative broadcaster to varying degrees, but the former House speaker said he saw the issue much differently.

"I think the president will opportunistically do anything he can," Gingrich said in response to a reporter’s question after a rally in Hamilton. "I think the most important use of language in the last week has been the president's apology to religious fanatics, and I want to stay focused on what the president has said, and I think what he said was inexcusable and is exactly the wrong policy at a time of life and death, and playing political games is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned."

My first reaction is to suggest that Gingrich, with this act of opportunism, is the last person who should accuse anyone else of behaving "opportunistically."

What's really illuminating here is that he attempted to use the vile spectacle while simultaneously framing it as no big deal.

How Rush's Slut-Shaming Is Actually Injuring People

Mar 4th, 2012

An ordinary American mother writes that her 16 year old daughter "suffers from menorrhagia and secondary dysmenorrhea. That is, since almost the time of her very first period, she bled so heavily and suffered such severe pain and cramping that she was rendered immobile for the first 2-3 days of menstruation. She would become so violently ill that she would miss at least 2 days of school each month."

For this reason, her daughter is prescribed hormonal treatments. Yes, the pill.

What follows is a harrowing account of the abuse her daughter is now receiving from classmates and, apparently, possibly even a teacher. All of this is being justified by her tormentors with phrases like these:

"Birth control whore"

"I told my mom you were on the pill and she said you were nothing but a little tramp"

"My mom said some guy she listens to on the radio was just talking about girls like you- he even said you were a slut!"

"Yeah, my mom said the same thing, said it's about time people spoke up and weren't afraid to tell the truth"

Apparently, these classmates discovered the young woman was on "contraception" because of an extended school trip which required prescription disclosure to the institution before being allowed to participate. It is not clear how the information was disseminated to them. What is clear is where they have found encouragement for their mouth-breathing, spittle-dribbled harassment.

This is the world as Rush Limbaugh would have it in microcosm. For women, there are two choices only:

Shame or agony.

GOP Women Helping To Wage The GOP War On Women

March 4th, 2012

In case you missed this...

The Right Goes From "Religious Freedom" To "Slut Shaming" In Just Two Weeks

Mar 4th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

When the GOP made the bright decision to attack the Obama Administration's new contraceptive requirements, they framed their argument as one of "religious freedom."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Mar 3rd, 2012

"A liar is always lavish of oaths."

-- Pierre Corneille

Things We Post For No Particular Reason

Mar 3rd, 2012

The cat came back...

Things You Can't Make Up - Romney & The Obamacare Mandate

Mar 3rd, 2012

Who Mitt Romney really is or what he really believes is anyone's guess at this point. He has been for so many things before opposing them, and vice versa, that there is no longer any way of knowing.

Sahil Kapur makes this entertaining catch today:

"In July 2009, Mitt Romney called on President Obama to require Americans to buy insurance as part of his health care plan, using “tax penalties” as a backstop — in other words, the individual mandate that Republicans virulently oppose.

In a USA Today op-ed titled “Mr. President, What’s the Rush?,” which has since been removed but remains available on, Romney urged Obama to look to his Massachusetts health care plan that contained the same policy, and touted it as effective.

“First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance,” Romney wrote. “Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.”

Obama opposed that approach in his 2008 campaign, and was not on board with it at the time of Romney’s op-ed, but eventually adopted it in the sweeping bill that became law March 2010. Republican voters strongly decry the mandate as egregious federal overreach, and Romney has vowed to repeal the entire law if elected President."

This is more than a flip flop. This is Mitt Romney recommending a policy to the President the adoption of which he now singles out as a reason not to re-elect him.

Good times.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Mar 2nd, 2012

"A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve."
-- Joseph Joubert

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The War On Women Meets The War On Science

march 1st, 2012

Well, this certainly is a convergence of two lunatic disciplines; practiced denial of science meets institutional misogyny. I suspect a sprinkling of Dominionism was added for flavor.

Igor Volsky writes:

"Just moments after Senators defeated the so-called Blunt Amendment, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) accused Sebelius of lying about the administration’s rule requiring employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans and falsely insisted that religious organizations would be required to provide “abortifacient” drugs." EMPHASIS MINE

Sebelius: There also is no abortifacient drug that is part of the FDA approved contraception. What the rule for preventive care…
Murphy: Ma’m that is not true…Is the morning after pill or something like that an abortifacient drug?
Sebelius : It is a contraceptive drug, not an abortifacient… It does not interfere with a pregnancy. If the morning pill were taken, and a female were pregnant, the pregnancy is not interrupted. That’s the definition of abortifation.
Murphy: Ma’m that is your interpretation, and I appreciate that’s your interpretation.
Sebelius: That’s what the scientists and doctors…
Murphy: We’re not talking about scientists! Ma’m we’re not talking about scientists here, we’re talking about religious belief. Ma’m, I’m asking you about a religious belief. In a religious belief, that is a violation of a religious belief.
This man is an idiot. Worse, he's a very dangerous idiot. Science isn't a political or theological opinion.

One more time... were talking about organizations that seek to participate in secular society, for commercial benefit, underwritten in dozens of ways by the U.S. taxpayer. They don't like it? Close. Period. I say that as a Christian.

Quote Of The Day

March 1st, 2012

"To impose taxes when the public exigencies require them is an obligation of the most sacred character, especially with a free people."

-- President James Monroe