Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I can''t understand, why life goes on the way it does

The internets are insane today. I read this profile, What Every Happened to Ted Turner and thought it was quite good, if a little sad. I've actually been wondering about Ted for a while. It seemed like he just disappeared after being such a visible presence for so many years. Turns out he just got old, deaf and tired of the bullshit. He's devoting his remaining years towards working to make the world a better place and saving the planet.

We all owe Ted a debt of gratitude. He practically invented cable TV. Without his pioneering work, we wouldn't have the wealth of information we now enjoy. Like everything in life, it's a blessing and a curse, but still, without Ted's vision and courage our view of the world would be very narrow indeed.

Just saw that the wingnuts are in a froth about the piece because he made one offhand remark about tea party people being mean spirited. Because you know, spoiled, self-entitled, greedy sociopaths who want to humiliate poor people and make them suffer, deny women vital health care services they don't need themselves and want anyone who disagrees with them to die are really very nice people.

Meanwhile, the twitter tells me Snooki is procreating and Bristol Palin has a new reality show. I find it disturbing I know who both of these people are. Makes me almost wish that meteor that just missed us, hadn't missed.

Post title inspired by this song that just played on the sountrack to some show on the TV.



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Anne Romney hates the media

So this didn't get much attention. At Romney's victory speech last night, a reporter for The Economist was briefly handcuffed and detained for daring to listen to Romney in real time through an open door. "She left the press filing room when she realized that the televisions in the room were showing the candidate’s speech on a tape delay."

You have to wonder why they didn't have a live feed into the press room in the first place. Hard not to suspect it was to prevent them from hearing any potential verbal gaffes. And with Willard, there's always a great potential for that. But this could also explain it:
There have been tensions between the campaign and members of the press after the candidate’s wife, Ann Romney, accused some reporters of wanting to see President Barack Obama re-elected.

“I am so mad at the press [that] I could just strangle them!” she recently told The National Review.

"And, you know, I think I’ve decided there are going to be some people invited on the bus and some people just aren’t going to be invited on the bus."
Mrs. Romney getting rather feisty these days. Beginning to think that poor old Willard has been subjecting himself to the humillation of running for president more because of her ambition to be FLOTUS than his own desire to hold the office himself.

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Stupid con tricks

Don't know what possessed me to read this tripe, but this idiot con at National Review, Charles C. W. Cooke has a eureka moment. He discovers it's easy to get free condoms. In New York City. Which of course, the pea brained cretin decides is conclusive proof that all this concern about access to contraceptive care for women is so invalid. Because you know condoms are exactly the same as birth control pills.

Meanwhile Edroso finds another conservative genuis who has figured out how to free the poors from the slavery of food assistance dependence. Make it as difficult and as humilating as possible for them to buy food. And it can only be shitty food in ugly packaging and of the lowest quality possible to qualify as sustenance. And it can only be sold in government stores. Because, the producers like him abhor the indignity of having to stand in the cashier lines in real grocery stores and watch these damn poor people burn up his tax dollars on staying alive.

This tirade was born of his allegedly having seen a food stamp recipient with a cell phone that was nicer than his. So of course, they're not even poor anyway. And by the way, if they take food assistance they shouldn't allowed to vote, because they'll just vote to give themselves more free cheese.

Every time I read one of these idiot screeds, I wonder where the hell these people shop. I've seen a lot of people use an EBT card. Sure some few buy soda and candy with them. But more often they're buying a very few essentials and end up desperately digging through their pockets because they're a few cents short of the money they need to pay for the toilet paper that isn't covered. And a whole lot of them are elderly.

I shouldn't read these heartless morons. It makes me wish evil would befall them and they find themselves someday subject to the same deprivations and humiliation they wish on their fellow human beings.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Michigan won't be Willard's Waterloo - Updated

"Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me." ~Napoleon Bonaparte
Close race. It looks like Willard could lose Michigan by a handful of votes. Romney HQ is already doing damage control pushing the narrative that Santorum stole the primary by reaching out to those damn Dems, a strategy Romney called disgusting earlier this morning.

The early returns show Santorum holding the edge by a couple of hundred votes with 6% in, but they haven't tallied the Romney strongholds yet. Detroit News is showing with 8%, Santorum is still holding with about the same ratio.

The Detroit News is also reporting Michigan turnout is very light. Can't wait for the media to start talking about the Republican enthusiam gap. But not holding my breath, since they haven't seem to have noticed this has been the pattern since Iowa. Funny how that "liberal media" loves that meme when young liberals are threatening to sit out the election but don't seem to notice when the Tea Party conservatives seem to going all lukewarm.

But to answer Josh's question, if he loses, no, Romney won't go quietly. He's too invested in proving he can do what his Dad couldn't accomplish.

To quote Napoleon again, "Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them."

Willard's ego won't let him quit and his money will keep him going to the bitter end.

Update: Looks like Willard is going to saved by Santorum having dissed JFK. The twitter machine tells me Little Ricky is losing the Catholic vote to Willard by about 4%. Which is coincidentally the same amount he's losing by state wide.

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Greed is great, greed is good

News from the Dept. of Obvious, a new study finds wealthy people, lie, cheat and view greed as a virtue. And not just on big stuff. They'll cheat for $50. They see no problem with lying to advance their goals and greed? Piffle. That's just "enlightened self-interest." A good thing in their gilded book.

Apparently, this is particularly common in economic studies majors. Something I can confirm with anecdotal evidence. Fully two thirds of my critics who have openly praised greed also claim to be economic professors or experts of some kind.

The researcher posits that "pairing ethics courses with economics may be beneficial" in changing the dynamic. Good luck with that. The problem is these people have no empathy and their world view is intractably solipsistic. Their moral clock didn't just stop ticking, it never had any juice to begin with that I can see.

And they're cheap. They'll nickel and dime you to death. There are of course exceptions, some few are extraordinarily generous, but as a whole, the more money they have, the more likely they are to stick you with the tab. And the worst are the trust funders. They never had to work to earn their money. They only work to hold onto it.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Turn of the screwed


Poor little rich guy Willard Romney. He was the inevitable nominee. Everybody said it was supposed to his turn. The Big Mitten should have been his for the taking. But on the eve of the vote, Nate Silver says the latest polling shows the Michigan primary is back to a toss-up.

He probably should have pulled a Palin and just avoided public appearances. It could only have helped because to know him is clearly not to like him. Every time he tries to go all man of the people, his inner multi-millionaire slips out. Take for his instance Romney's little side trip to the Daytona 500.
Asked by the AP reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney responded, "Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."
The mockery writes itself. I mean who among us isn't BFF with the owner of a NASCAR team? Meanwhile, say what you will about Little Ricky, he gets how to exploit that demo. Santorum is just a lowly NASCAR sponsor. Don't know how much that costs, but he got his name plastered on the ass end of a race car. Which seems appropriate in too many ways.

Small wonder, whether you want to call it brokered, or call it contested, establishment GOPers clamoring for a crazed convention that would allow a latecomer to take up the checkered flag are growing faster than the last lap of the Daytona. [graphic via]

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Don't give me that old time religion

Wherein I argue conscience exemptions are unconstitutional at the Detroit News.

And this didn't make the national news. Here's something else Little Ricky told his Michigan Tea Party fans:
Santorum continued to repeat his "phony ideology" of the Obama administration on energy policy. "The earth is there to serve man, not the other way around."
Thinking Santorum needs to brush up on his Bible studies. I seem to recall some passage about being "stewards of the earth." That would imply caretaking, not exploitation.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Anne Romney speaks and other oddities

Slow news cycle. This was the most amusing story all weekend. Anne Romney is tired of listening to Willard:
"I also decided no more debates," she said, as her husband stood next to her. "If we're going to do another debate, he's going to just sit in the audience and watch me."
Word has it she's a much speaker than he is. Admittedly a low bar.

And a few fun links for your Sunday morning amusement.

[photo via]

Was shocked to get 80% on this short quiz, since I know nothing at all about heavy metal or Megadeath. Apparently I spend too much time listening to Santorum. It's one of those "who said it" quizzes. Little Ricky or Megadeath guy.

Gorgeous graphics in these vintage science ads.

Loved these paper lanterns.

And I'm sure I posted this a very long time ago, but since I'm at the beach and it's one of my favorites, revisiting closeups of gorgeous sand.

And with that I'm off to the beach myself. Will return after dark.

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Chris Christie watch

Every time I turn on the TV New Jersey's gasbag governor is bloviating on some channel or another about some bullshit. They keep asking him about running for president. He's not saying no. In fact he just said, I can't preclude that on this show. And the far right noise machine hasn't stopped talking about a brokered convention. My favorite conspiracy theory is still alive. Just saying...

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Beer bottle orchestra

This came across the transom yesterday. Love it. I'm told it's very big in the Midwest.



[Direct Link] Via hush6.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Lonely, he's Mister Lonely

Seriously. Whose bright idea was it to hold a primary rally in a stadium? Poor Willard. It could hardly be more embarrassing. Not only did his jokes fall flat, almost nobody showed up for the Great Romney Rally. Even when they herded "the crowd" into a small space they couldn't hide the emptpy seats.


Looks even worse on the long shot.


Whoever booked this one probably doesn't have a job anymore. But that's okay. Willard likes to fire people. [photos via Charlie and Think Progress.

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Tripping the gay fantastic

Kind of a good news, bad news day for equal rights today. Maryland passed their bill allowing same-sex marriage. The governor promises to sign it. However, the vote was close and in the horse trading, there are provisions included that make it likely the opponents will try to put it to a voters' referendum in November. Not exactly a resounding victory, but progress. So there's that.

Meanwhile, in California a federal court judge ruled "the U.S. government's ban on same-sex marriage benefits unconstitutional." This brought the opponents crawling out from under their slimy rocks. Congressional GOPers are already appealing to the 9th Circuit, apparently as part of their larger strategy to enforce DOMA on us.

The story fails to mention the half milllion Boehner pledged to fight for DOMA. And you know it will cost much more than that by the time all these cases run through the courts. So where are the deficit concern trolls, one wonders? Oh wait. That's right. Spending is okay if it jibes with their agenda. Especially if it pisses off liberals.

What a world...

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Friday Funnies

I can't embed this cartoon in a large enough format to be readable, but I really did laugh out loud when I read it. Click over for Oliphant's Santorum joke. Note the punchline is in the last panel, in the lower right hand corner. [hat tip Anne Laurie]

And since I'm doing silly stuff, I'm not much into fart jokes but this series of Japanese fart scrolls amused me and they were a big hit with the boys I shared it with. Here's one of them:


Click over for the rest of the scrolls and the funny commentary by the guy who found them.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

A dearth of perp walks

There's a running joke on the internets. I can't remember it exactyly but it goes something like, want to steal a little money, rob a bank. Want to steal a lot of money, own a bank. Sadly, it's not a joke. The same bastards who robbed the world economy and crashed it in 08 are still at it. Foreclosure scams are the new grand larceny.
Big financial institutions continue to foreclose on troubled borrowers in error -- either while a homeowner is awaiting a loan modification or because of fees incorrectly added to the seizure -- according to a national survey of attorneys representing borrowers.

One intent of the recent $25-billion mortgage settlement among attorneys general, the nation's five largest mortgage servicers and certain federal agencies was to do away with such errors, but in recent weeks consumer advocates have raised concerns that borrowers who are in the foreclosure process may still be harmed.

More than 80% of the attorneys surveyed said they had in the last year represented a borrower who was awaiting a loan modification but a foreclosure sale was attempted.
Atrios flagged this story this morning and then finds the new angle in their scam. After they wrongfully take the homes, the Banksters buy the foreclosed properties themselves and become slum lords. They ignore rules and regulations without fear of retribution.

And why would they be afraid? They sucked up most of the money betting on the fradulent mortgages in the first place and the government bailed them out when they lost the bet. None of the major players paid a price for their crimes. As Charlie succinctly puts it:
They will not stop — I mean, they absolutely will not stop — until a couple of hundred of them are thrown into jail for terms so long that they scare the tassels off the loafers of the ones who are left unarrested.
The incentives are fucked up. They arrested a few petty thieves like Bernie Madoff for show. Nothing is going to change until they perp walk a whole bunch of the serious larcenists.

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Oh please

By Capt, Fogg

Marvelous Mitt must be desperate to have something scary to say to distract Republicans from the religious wedge issues the public is getting tired of. He'd rather not talk about religion anyway and he needs of course, to distract from the dumb things he keeps saying. So he's had to come up with something dumber, if not quite original.

Remember when Darth Cheney told us in solemn tones that "Obama will be tested" and that there would be an onslaught of terrorist attacks should we be so foolish as to elect him; that candy-ass, ultra-liberal crypto-pacifist, watermelon stealing coward? Well Republicans may not remember, but we all know the result - more terrorists killed than ever and that includes Osama bin Laden. I think he's passed the test.

No, he didn't take our guns, he didn't make capitalism or Christianity illegal, he didn't appoint Jesse Jackson as Secretary of State and he didn't give us a huge middle class tax increase or a confiscatory corporate tax rate. He didn't institute Sharia law. In fact he's usually done the opposite of what the Chicken Littles have been squawking about for 4 years now.

So a return to objective reality not being possible when your entire platform and your strongest base are pickled in delusion and ignorance, what option does he have but to go nuclear? That's right, if we re-elect the president, the world will be blown up in a nuclear holocaust says Mr. Bluster of the plastic face.
" If I’m president, that will not happen. If we re-elect Barack Obama it will.”
I couldn't make this shit up, but then, I couldn't make this Mitt up. I couldn't vote for him either.

“Ahmadinejad having fissile material that he can give to Hezbollah, Hamas, and that they can bring into Latin America, and that they can potentially bring across the border into the United States to let off dirty bombs here — or more sophisticated bombs here.”

Sure Mitt, Just like Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons were potentially going to be smuggled into Peoria in a briefcase even though he had none, nor the means to make them, and we had to blow a few trillion and kill nearly a million to wipe him out -- and why is Obama going to get us into a nuclear war? Why, says make it up as you go along Mitt, because he hasn't been threatening to blow Iran off the surface of the planet for even thinking about it and possibly because according to the Secretary of Defense, Iran hasn't been doing much more than thinking and blustering about building one.

"Potentially." It's such a great word to weave a plot around. Potentially I'm an NBA linebacker who writes music like Mozart and travels the world in his magic submarine fighting for justice. Is Romney potentially a President? Oh please.

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Post debate mortem

And I do mean post mortem. Even only having sort of half watched half of the debate, one can't come to any conclusion other than the Republican party is dead. Didn't think I'd live to see the day that I agree with Roger Simon at Politico, but really, the thought that one of these cretins could become President is thoroughly chilling. And he gets this part right too:
The upside of having debate after debate was clear: They would introduce the Republican candidates to the voting public.

But the downside of having debate after debate has now revealed itself: They have introduced the Republican candidates to the voting public.
And I didn't think of it at the time, but he's right about this as well. When it came to the vacuous, describe yourself in one word question....
How curious that not a single one said, “Presidential.”
That's all I have to say. I'm outsourcing my commentary to others. TPM does the serious analysis, telling us how Santorum blew his big chance to shine.

For the mockery, go read Charlie. Have to agree that the candidates really outdid themselves in proving they were total, unlikable dicks. And for more just go to Balloon Juice and keep scrolling from the top.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Late to the debate

Spent the day at the beach so I almost forgot about the debate. Tuning in late, but I'm hearing I didn't miss much. So far the most interesting thing is they're sitting down this time. And the audience is rather feisty, aren't they? Lots of cheering and booing.

Meanwhile, I'm all mellow from a wild afternoon on the beach. Got there, the sun was shining. Stopped to hang out with this gigantic freaking heron who wasn't afraid of people. Ten minutes later, a fog rolled in. Within two minutes you couldn't see ten feet in any direction. Stayed for three hours anyway. It alternated between fog and sun the whole time.

The shelling isn't so great here, but the beach is long, the people on it are interesting and the birds are all really friendly. Had some intimate encounters with the sand pipers and a flock of frigate birds swooped me in formation. That was really cool.

Fog burned off for the last time just at at sunset. Also, too, I cut my hair this morning, and it was the perfect cut for this environment. Which is pretty much 100% humidity. At the end of the day it looked great. So there's that.

Addendum: So I'm listening to the debate as I'm writing this and thinking this is really weird. Newt isn't going after his rivals, He's not really talking about himself at all, he's just going for the cheers for Obama bashing. And the moderation is bizarre. It sounds like one of those shows where the contestants do stupid stunts to win a few thousand bucks.

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Big Mitten just not that into Mitt

Being that I'm now the longest standing political blogger for the Detroit News, I've of course been particularly interested in the Michigan primary. After eight years of being harangued in the comments, I'm not that surprised to see Santorum doing well. Between the fundies and the Tea Party types, there's a huge base of very conservative Republicans in the Big Mitten who demand their candidate pass the purity test. Willard's tenure as governor of that liberal wasteland of Massachusetts alone is enough to disqualify him in that crowd.

Still, I always thought they were a minority, so I didn't expect Little Ricky would become quite so much of a threat. As Michael D. Shear notes Romney has been forced to drop a ton of money to keep his candidacy alive in what should have been a cake walk for him. What with all the grand memories of his Dad and his having grown up in the state. Certainly, he has the full support of the establishment GOP and they're firmly in power now.

In any event, today the editorial board at Detroit News endorsed Romney. And by editorial board, I'm pretty sure I mean Nolan Finley. The lenghty piece on Willard's electability and business acumen read like his work. Oh and that slam on the auto bailout, well, all the candidates did that -- so nevermind the Detroit bashing.

The only part that surprised me was Nolan's whack at the Santorum supporters. Found it to be unusally snide. But you should click over and read the comment section. They're hilarious. I especially liked the guy who accused DetNews of being "the Liberal Media." Hell, I'm the only real liberal who writes there and the liberal leaners are few.

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It's the singer, not the song

Well, it looks like they had quite a party in the East Room, what with all the legendary musicians that showed up including B.B. King and Mick Jagger. They had the whole audience shaking it, including Michelle and Barack. And damn if our president isn't a pretty good singer. Yep, he did it again:



Details on the festivities here.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

She's my pride and joy


I was so bummed I forgot to watch The Voice last night. A woman I've known, literally since she was a baby, was on the show. But thanks to my Facebook friends who posted the video, I got to watch Naia Kete nail her performance. (Sorry, it can't be embedded.)

She was so great, I was seriously in tears, just busting with pride and happiness for her. And that's her mom Kulpana in the video at the end. Who is also a tremendous musician in her own right, having fronted more than one successful band. In fact the whole family is ridiculously talented. Pretty sure the tall guy with the dreads is Naia's baby brother, also a fabulous performer. Think the last time I saw him, he was barely out of his stroller. They grow so fast.

Anyway, Naia got to pick between two teams. I'm glad she chose Blake. I didn't like the way Cee Lo was looking at her. I suspect he would have been hitting on her more than coaching her. Blake seemed much more sincerely interested in her talent.

Meanwhile, I haven't had a real vacation in at least five years and I found an affordable beach I like. Don't think I can deal with politics tonight. I spent three hours this afternoon in the sun, walking on the sand to collect a handful of shells. My hair is all fluffy from the salt air. Which is more exercise than I've had in at least six months. Feeling tired, but happy and peaceful.

Going to spend a few days here before the hotel rates go up. But it might rain tomorrow so I'll catch up in the morning.
[photo viawith bonus video]

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Plan B From Outer Space

By Capt. Fogg

It's hard to observe the growing and comical chaos in the GOP without thinking of B movie icon Ed Wood and his Plan 9 From Outer Space, wherein space aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop evil men from creating the 'Solaranite' bomb. With the Republican circus trying to breathe life into mouldering, uncouth candidates reciting ancient and eldritch formulae to fight the evil Bill of Rights, secularism and the Obama Bomb, it's harder and harder to avoid the suspicion that this is only a movie.

With the economy showing signs of recovery and the ability to substantiate the hysterical portraits of Obama as a Kenyan Communist, Indonesian Socialist ally of big banks, Wall Street and the World Caliphate fading, the GOP must feel like Ed Wood trying to piece together a movie with $273.50 left in the checking account and an unwritten plot. The rising star candidate and the great white hope is making such a fuss about the need for a gospel-based theocracy with sex by permission only that any platform they can cobble together at this point would be so far beyond city limits and so rickety it can't support itself much less a coherent and discernable political position.

Whispers are being heard, CNN.com writes today, about coming up with a new candidate for the GOP ticket and ditching the Chameleon, the Worm and the cut-rate Rasputin. Finding any brand new candidate with any potential of being passed of as sane or decent (if not quite qualified) is remote, as the Tea Party element and the Holy Rollers simply won't accept him any more than they did Huntsman. The rest of the black-hearted Plutocrats aren't going to support Ron Paul and even if they could bring back Reagan from the dead, he wouldn't pass muster as a Conservative in today's party. Who ya gonna call?

The prospect of an open convention with desperate delegates acting like football hooligans in Tampa this August must have Republican strategists doubled over with cramps trying to come up with a plan B before the Grand Old Barrel goes over the falls in November.

With an inability to field a credible candidate so late in the game, the voters are going to have to reconsider a blind allegiance to a party that can't run itself much less a complex 21st century superpower.

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The silent treatment

Hell hath no fury like a woman's rights scorned. Love this. David Dayden reports on a powerful protest against Virginia's state sanctioned rape bill. This happened. Hundreds of women gathered and said not a word.
The Capitol ground rules say that we cannot assemble, hold signs, chant, yell or protest. We think silence in the face of this struggle and their unconstitutional rules presents the strongest response to their assault on women. Please come out and stand up for our rights and for the rights of all women in VA to choose the best reproductive route for themselves. These people are used to signs, yelling, chanting etc. It is not new. They are not used to silently being stared at and having to look us in the eye. It gives us the power.
The crazy theocrats got the message, loud and clear. They postponed the vote on the bill. Of course, the polling also showed "55% opposed to the legislation and only 36% in support" so we can assume that factored into their new found reluctance to push it forward quickly. Which is not to say they won't try again to sneak it through when they think no one is watching. Their kind never gives up.

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Feisty old ladies

When I'm 75 years old, I want to be a bold old broad just like this:

The Health Secretary was berated by June Hautot from Tooting who claimed he was privatising the health service. Brushing aside his denial, she jabbed at him with her finger and shouted into his face: "Codswallop, don't lie to me, I'm sick of you."

Via Atrios, who is getting on in years himself. He just turned the big four oh a couple of days ago.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

We don't need no education

Watching The Ed Show on MSNBC. They aired a clip of Little Ricky Santorum saying the federal and state government shouldn't be involved in education at all. That it should be solely a function of local government. Translating that to mean: we don't need no stinking public schools teaching liberal crap like the science of evolution to our kids.

Also heard somewhere that the more outrageous Ricky gets, the better he polls. They said he's leading nationally by 10 points. Astounding.

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Read it while you can

I was going to post about Romney's big fundraiser with the anti-gay agenda who made his money on a pyramid scheme business so sleazy, he was legally sanctioned by the government. Then I read about how he bullies even his mildest critics with threats of legal action and saw the evidence the he goes after everyone from the most insignificant bloggers to the highest profile news organizations. Now I'm seriously afraid to even post his name.

However, Glenzilla isn't afraid of him so click over there and get the goods, before the guy intimidates Salon into taking it down.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

TransCanada: This land is our land

The project may be on hold but that hasn't stopped TransCanada from pursuing land takings in Texas by eminent domain to build the damn Keystone XL pipeline. They don't need federal approval to do that part. Apparently Texas is happy to help. Thankfully, at least one landowner is fighting back.

TransCanada claims they have the right to simply take the easements under the aegis of common carrier law. The Texas Railroad Commission is backing them up, though that may not be true forever. The easy granting of common carrier status is currently being litigated in some courts.

It's not clear to me the landowners get any kind of compensation at all for being forced to risk their land to potential toxic spills. Which in the case of TransCanada would seem to be virtually assured to happen.

That fabulous invisible hand of the free market just gets to take what it wants I guess. Wondering why I haven't seen any libertarians howling about rent seeking.

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Sex. Lies and Santorum

By Capt. Fogg

"He is imposing his values on the Christian church. He can categorize those values anyway he wants. I’m not going to,”
lied Republican candidate Rick Santorum to an assemblage of Tea Bag idiots immediately after having categorized President Obama's "values" and his "agenda"as being
“not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology,”

Yes, some phony ideal is on the agenda. A phony ideal involving liberty, Democracy and a constitution that never mentions God or gods or scriptures of any religion and declares that there shall be no religion in government. Science is a phony ideal to sanctimonious Santorum too because we all know that Senators Jesus, Mary and Joseph agree with the oil companies and that the president's job, as 'Rick' told the 'baggers, is to keep gas prices down (and the subsidies up, no doubt.)

No sir, all that Washington, Jefferson and Madison secular prattle is phony and if we're looking for full employment, a decent quality of life and personal liberty you must turn to The Christian Scriptures which forbid us to charge interest on a loan or obtain a divorce or marry whom we will or even to enjoy sex when it isn't only for making babies. Some churches I won't mention have interpreted it to demand a king chosen of God rather than an elected government, but don't bother Rick with that. It's already on his agenda.

So why is this sex-fearing, woman hating, half-witted fake theologian; this lame-brained Longinus and meretricious medievalist mewling about theology while pronouncing Ernulphian maledictions on what he pretends are President Obama's values, cursing them one by one? Because theological statements don't have to be true, you see; don't have to be supported by evidence and are easily and frequently used to do horrible things to people. Cognitively impaired, confused and historically ignorant "conservatives" seem pre-lubricated to receive ecclesiastical wisdom without discomfort and Faith invents facts as well as it rejects them to the despair of brother Ockham.

So Obama, who thinks a Harvard Law degree makes him as good as a white. Christian man, agrees with Justice Scalia that religious freedom does not legalize acts done in the name of religion and yet, conservatives still want to shove the notion that he's a radical, Liberal, Christian-hating Sodomite Commie up the national hoo-ha and true to form, the 'baggers assume the position and take it.

How can any curse suffice?

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Second worst Sheriff in the world

Don't usually post on closeted gay GOPers who get caught but this guy is so bad, he might even tie Joe Arpaio for the Worst Sheriff title. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who also became a high profile figure in Arizona because of his flagrant bashing of undocumented immigrants, is accused of threatening his gay Hispanic ex-lover with deportation unless the paramour agreed to keep their affair a deep dark secret forever.

Apparently, the lover refused the deal and went to the press out of fear for his safety. Details of their extended relationship and somewhat intimate pictures at the link. Word has it some of those pix were sent out over the internets.

But it gets better, or worse, if you're the Sheriff. Babeau is also running for Congress. One wonders how that will play out in the campaign ads. But even more delicious, he was co-chair of Willard's presidential campaign. Emphasis on the was:
“Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams told The Arizona Republic in a statement. "We support his decision."
I'll just bet they do.

TBogg has the definitive last word on this story: "Obviously when someone told Sheriff Babeu to "screw the Mexicans" there was a horrible misunderstanding."

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Angry patriotism

Haven't heard this new Bruce Springstein album yet and the reviewer is bit hyperbolic but the quotes from the Boss are good.
"A big promise has been broken. You can't have a United States if you are telling some folks that they can't get on the train. There is a cracking point where a society collapses. You can't have a civilisation where something is factionalised like this."
(Internet is dicey here tonight so the videos won't load but archiving for future listening.)


"Pessimism and optimism are slammed up against each other in my records, the tension between them is where it's all at, it's what lights the fire."

The album is the last on which Clarence Clemons, the legendary saxophonist from the E Street Band, played on before he died last year. "When the sax comes up on Land of Hope and Dreams," Springsteen says, "it's a lovely moment for me."
RIP Clarence. He was one of the greats. Be worth buying the album just to have his last gig.

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If you want a lover

Rainy Friday night here and my belly is full of Indian food. Finally. Been craving it forever and can't get it in the little city. Been such an ugly couple of days in politics. Don't feel like blogging about it anymore tonight so some music. This was on the soundtrack of some TV crime show I was watching last night.



I love Leonard Cohen. He's held up well over the years.

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GOP primary far from over

Lost the link, but read this morning both Texas and Pennsylvania primaries are being pushed back until probably May or June because it will take that long for the courts to decide if their convoluted redistricting is too gerrymandered to be legal. Which of course, means nobody is going to feel all that pressured to drop out.

Santorum is riding the wave at the moment so he's not going anywhere. Newt has a comeback plan. It's not that bad a plan actually. At the moment he's targeting wingnut rich districts in California where delegates will be awarded proportionally. Word has it he's generating a lot of excitement among the Tea Party and so-cons with his -- shall we say -- unique style.
Unlike Santorum, whose social conservatism centers around family values, Gingrich's message is characteristically grandiose. In particular, his ideas for reforming the judiciary to reign in "activist judges" fire up those who see the federal courts as a major threat to religious liberty. More broadly, Gingrich's historical vision of America and American Exceptionalism speaks to those who believe that the country has gotten dangerously off track, both morally and economically.
One supporter notes he's "really drawn to his sense of history — it gives us a sense of how we get out of this mess we're in." And Newt just got another $10 million from Sugar Daddy Adelson so he's good to go for another round.

Meanwhile, the state of Maine has decided if everyone is going to make such a big fking deal about it, okay, they'll do a damn recount on their caucus tally and maybe include all the votes they ignored or declared irrelevant this time. Ron Paul may get his victory there yet. Not that he's likely to quit anyway, but it would boost the troop morale.

The good news is the candidates seem to be burning out on the endless debates. Two of three have been recently cancelled because nobody wants to show up anymore. So there's that.

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Bye bye Pat Buchanan

One bright spot in an otherwise dismal news cycle yesterday was the announcement that Pat Buchanan was fired from MSNBC. He blamed the vast left conspiracy, specifically Color of Change and Media Matters.

He's probably right that they were instrumental in his firing, along with the bombardment of cranky viewer emails demanding they kick that bigot out. So great, the left finally threw at least a small monkeywrench into the right wing noise machine. Haven't exactly ground it to a halt yet, but it's a start. So yeah for us. [Grahic via]


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Virginia mandates rape by the state

I've been trying to find words to express my disgust with this turn of events all day. I've been unsuccessful in coming with anything more coherent than why the fuck are these vile, God bothering assholes allowed to run free in a civil society? So I'm just going to archive this by outsourcing to Dahlia who manages to calmly describe this horrifying conservative attack on women:
This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion. Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law. ...

Yet physical intrusion by government into the vagina of a pregnant woman is so urgently needed that the woman herself should be forced to pay for the privilege.

Whatever happens in the commonwealth, it’s fair to say it’s no accident that this week the Legislature also enacted a "personhood" law defining life as beginning at conception—a law that may someday criminalize contraception and some miscarriages as well as abortion. Today was not a good day in the War on Women. Abortion is still legal in America. Physically invading a woman’s body against her will still isn’t. ...
Adding, I also wonder, as Charlie asks, where the hell is the AMA? If child molesting priests are allowed conscience exemptions, shouldn't doctors be allowed to refuse to violate their sworn oath? They should be suing these bastards for telling them they can't.

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Darrell Issa stacks the deck

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is at it again, holding yet another inane hearing. This was the scene in his committee room this morning:


Yes, his first panel of witnesses was solely comprised of male religious leaders whose consciences are inflamed by the new rule on women's health services that include contraception coverage. Unsurprisingly, Democrats were enraged and demanded at least one witness to balance this skewed panel.
Ranking committee member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) had asked Issa to include a female witness at the hearing, but the Chairman refused, arguing that “As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.”
You can view the rejected testimony here.

Apparently, after the media caught wind of the melee, Issa added a couple of women bringing the total witness list to eleven. One assumes he found women who agree a handful of aging Catholic men, sworn to lifelong celibacy, should dictate government policy on contraceptives for the entire female population of the USA.

You have to love the name of the hearing: “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”. Atrios joked on the twitter machine this morning that the Democrats should hold an all-female hearing on the reproductive health of men. I'd agree. Maybe they could call it something like: "Pelvic Thrust: Does the GOP's Support For Easy Availability of Viagra, Risk Back Injury, Encourage Promiscuity in Men and Enable Out of Wedlock Pregnancies?"

Meanwhile, in a related development, at another hearing Rep. Jeanine Notter gravely informed her colleagues that "health plans shouldn't cover birth control because it causes prostate cancer." No, she wasn't joking.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Que pasa GOP

Desperately seeking outrage, the GOPers are yelping like a pack of chihuahuas about Jim Messina's tweet:
We demand that Mr. Messina immediately apologize and we ask that President Obama disavow his campaign manager's ridiculous statement," said Jennifer Sevilla Korn, executive director of the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network, in a statement.
Bueno Dios, Republicans are always demanding apologies and disavowals from Democrats but when one of their own makes blatantly overt racist statements, it's always -- sorry if anyone was offended...

Of course, Messina was quoting Dana Milbank, who was quoting John McCain, but you can't fit the entire quote into 140 characters.

Figure given the actual knowledge Republicans have about the Latino culture, some clueless GOPer probably saw chimichanga and was hoping it was as insulting as macaca and got the outrage machine rev'ed up. Expect they would love to have a macaca moment at the expense of the Democrats. And guess they're not worried about offending their elderly Caucasian fundie base by pandering to those durn illegals who are "stealing out jobs" and "taking our welfare." Since they don't serve those at Taco Bell, they won't even know what they're talking about.

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Suicidal conservatives

Going to be busy with real world stuff for a few hours, so here's a quick hit of interest. Kay discovers who benefits from The Affordable Care Act. Take a look at her map. I'm sure you'll shocked to learn that the redder the state, the more they'll benefit from Obama's health care reforms. And the more vehemently they want to repeal the bill. Apparently they would rather die than accept any program that originated from evel commie socialist libruls.

Of course these are the same people who hate themselves for taking safety net handouts from the federal government. The Republicans have so successfully brainwashed these folks, they actually believe they deserve to suffer.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dysfunction junction

One and a half months into the new year and our virtually useless Congress is poised to maybe pass one crap bill:
A tentative deal reached by senior House and Senate leaders, which appears poised to pass absent a last-minute snag, would prolong a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million Americans, extend unemployment benefits and forestall rate cuts to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Under the plan, a 2-percentage point payroll tax cut would be extended until the end of the year — and the $100 billion cost would be added to the deficit. Unemployment benefits would be extended for the next 10 months and doctors who treat Medicare physicians would avoid seeing their payments cut. Those two provisions would cost about $50 billion and be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.
And how are our Congressional professionals planning to pay for their idiot deficit demagoguery? Well they'll bang the rank and file federal workers for pension costs. Cut the timeline for unemployment benefits while the unemployment rate is still almost 9% and "cut $5 billion from a fund created by the Obama health care law aimed at promoting healthy living and curtailing chronic diseases." Because you know, promoting unhealthy living and encouraging the proliferation of chronic diseases is going to save a ton of money. Hell, if enough people die from say cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it could solve the "legacy entitlement" problem in a New York minute.

On the bright side, the deal drops the GOPers lamebrained demand to drug test for jobless benefits. But notably missing from the negotiations is any suggestion instead of robbing working class Peter to pay working Paul, that perhaps the crony capitalists who engineered our current financial ruin with their creative investment instruments might offset the cost themselves instead of pouring their illicit profits into SuperPACs to further rig the game.


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Monday, February 13, 2012

GOP women come out for contraception compromise

This is heartening. The Republican women Senators from Maine come out in favor of contraception for all:
Sens. Olympia Snowe (ME) and Susan Collins (ME) — both of whom have sponsored legislation requiring insurers to offer contraception benefits in all health plans — are in favor of the new compromise...
Meanwhile, the old men of the GOP who don't give a flying leap about birth control as long as they can still get their Cialis, are going all in:
Republicans in the senate seem determined to oppose the compromise and have introduced legislation that would allow employers or individuals to opt out of any benefit that undermines their moral beliefs. “They don’t have the authority under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to tell someone in this country or some organization in this country what their religious beliefs are,” McConnell told “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “This issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down,” he said.
Their desperate search for a wedge issue that works has gone beyond pathetic. You might think these ancient idiots who have spent their life in government would know there's nothing in the First Amendment that authorizes a conscience clause. The Church has already received much more in trade for that old trope than they deserve.

But sure, they can keep the issue alive for as long as care to carp about it. In fact, I'm hoping they dodder on and ante up all their chips on that loser bet. They may think they're holding the aces in this game, but it looks like a handful of useless jokers from where I sit.

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Hair brained journalism


There comes that moment in the silly season when the vital question of hair dressing is addressed. I think it falls under the 12 cardinal rules of Village punditry. Unsurprisingly, Callista gets clipped in this odd media obsession.

If you're dying to know the secrets of Mrs. Gingrich's miracle bob, click over for the details. I'm only bringing it up because I heard her speak for the first time this weekend on some youtube clip. I was shocked to learn she has such a pleasant speaking voice. I expected a "nails on a blackboard" screechy pitch to go with that brittle hairdo. It was like when you've developed a phone only relationship with someone for years and them finally meet them in person. In reverse.[via]

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Natural wonders

I've always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis in real life. I could if only I could bring myself to visit my brother in Alaska in the winter. Haven't managed to do in the last 20 years. Probably should have tried while the solar flares were so active. Apparently they cause spectacular displays like this.


Many more incredible shots here.

These time lapse photos of fireflies remind me of summers in the Happy Valley. There was a certain time of year when it looked very much like this when I walked the big hill into the meadows. Of course, they were moving but they did still leave trails. It was like walking into a fairy tale.

I spent a few days in Paris back in the 90s. I found the residents to be mostly rude if one didn't speak French impeccably, but it is a beautiful city. Lovely photo gallery of Paris in the rain.

This made the rounds a while back, but I didn't get to it for while. If you missed it, it's very cool. Stunning photos of an albino hummingbird.

Finally long time readers know how much I love religious sightings on ordinary objects, like finding Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich. This one isn't religious, and it's old now. Not sure how it worked out, but bidding on a bit of dried glue that looks like Homer Simpson was over $237,000 when this was posted. Not even that great a likeness. Since I have no luck at winning the lottery, always hoping to make a fortune on a sighting like this so I can retire.

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The politics of violence

Admit I've been a bit disturbed about the violence being commited at Occupy protests lately. I've been worried this would nullify all the past good work done these many months by peaceful protesters who have kept this movement alive and relevant. Dan checks in today with a thoughtful post addressing the situation.

Count me in on the non-violent side. I don't believe anarchy accomplishes anything but creating chaos. The optics are terrible. Don't think it sways the casual observer in the general public who might be reached to the cause. Even to me, who's sympathetic to the cause, it looks like mere attention seeking with no discernable platform. It dilutes the message and taints any progress for positive change.

I've always been a pacifist and have long thought the anarchists of the day pretty nearly destroyed the peace movement in the 60s. It would be shame if the Black Bloc were allowed to co-opt this movement as well. I wish they would cut it out and use their energy for construction rather than destruction.

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Santorum and Ron Paul cry foul


Romney declared victory in both the Maine caucus and the CPAC straw poll but little Ricky and Ron Paul aren't ready to concede so easily. Ricky says Willard bought the CPAC win.
Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that Mitt Romney's campaign may have rigged a straw poll of conservative activists by paying the entrance fee for supporters.

"You have to talk to the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought," Santorum said. "We've heard all sorts of things."
Of course, the losers say that just about every time. Ron Paul was accused of bussing his supporters in previous wins. And really, who the hell cares? CPAC is about as predictive as a coin toss and only reflects the views of a small subset of fringers. Suppose it matters to the candidates, since the CPACers include the so-called opinion leaders of the far right. But their adherents have pretty much shrunk to the 27%ers who are going to vote GOP no matter what.

Of more import is Ron Paul's alleged loss in Maine which smacks of establishment GOP manipulation. It's inarguably suspect that a local GOP chair decides to postpone the caucus based on a forecast of a mere 3 inches of snow. In Maine. That wouldn't be grounds to postpone an outdoor barbecue up there and indeed, it didn't scare the Girl Scouts into postponing an event in the same damn county. Which coincidentally happens to be a Ron Paul stronghold. In fact, the 16% of the precincts whose votes won't be counted just happen to be where Willard would have been trounced.

As I said earlier, it's likely Ron Paul is going to win the delegates in Maine anyway, but optics still matter to encourage his supporters elsewhere. Can't blame him for refusing to concede. [Photo via; believe it's a photoshop]

[Thanks to The Week for the name check]

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Delegate strategery

Well Romney eked a bare victory yesterday, winning the CPAC straw poll and allegedly winning the Maine caucus. Of course, in Maine, which has a bizarre weeks long caucus process, not all the precincts have voted but the the GOP's big honcho declared Willard the winner and says the rest of the votes won't be counted. This, even though Willard only "won" by 194 votes. Feels like Iowa all over again.

In any case, unsurprisingly the media narrative this morning is about Willard's "comeback." But is Willard really winning? Or is the real story, that Ron Paul is amassing the delegates.
It works like this: Romney, Santorum and Gingrich supporters vote in the straw poll, then leave. Paul supporters vote in the poll and stay around for the county business meeting to be elected delegates. Because those delegates are completely loyal to Paul, not to the straw poll results, Paul, not Romney, Gingrich or Santorum, might actually be winning the caucuses. So, who the hell knows how many delegates any Republican has at this point.
Again, this is the Masschusetts Democratic primary I worked on back in the early aughts, all over again. Robert Reich jumped in late. Everyone said he would never get on the ballot. His grass roots supporters flooded the local caucuses and won seats to the nominating convention. But they were mostly new political activists. They did the same thing, voting in the early rounds and then leaving with the belief it was all over. But the voting continued for many more rounds long into the night with the end result being a five man race. If we had instant run-off voting at the time, I'm convinced Reich would have won.

The point being, this is the most bizarre GOP presidential primary I've seen in my lifetime. Ron Paul could well be winning the delegate count, but that story is unlikely to be reported. [graphic via]

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The cult of victimology

You can almost hear their pudgy knees knocking from here. Poor little billionaire Koch brothers are oh so terrified by President Obama after he called them out on their superPAC funding.
A spokesman for the Koch brothers' lobbying firm said the billionaire brothers would not be "intimidated or silenced by the President's aides and his allies" after President Obama's reelection campaign announced earlier this week that they would encourage fundraising by a super-PAC supporting his campaign.

"We will exercise our First Amendment rights and not be intimidated or silenced by the President's aides and his allies who criticize private citizens that disagree with the President's policies," said Philip Ellender, president of Koch Companies Public Sector, in a statement.
Yes, Obama outraised the field in 2008, but that was then and it's a whole new game now.
More than half of itemized super PAC money this cycle has come from just 37 people, according to a an analysis of disclosure reports conducted by PIRG and Demos, two research firms.

And gifts of $1 million or more -- from just 15 donors -- make up 38% of itemized, individual super PAC donations.
You can bet the rent money the Kochs are in the latter group. Damn that mean old POTUS for fighting back against their money bombs and scaring them like that. [graphic via]

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Mars needs women

By Capt. Fogg

It's an odd fact that, for some male astronauts like former Space Station resident Mike Barratt, spending 6 months without gravity produces changes in vision that often are irreversible. He went up nearsighted and needing glasses for distance and came down eagle eyed and needing reading glasses. His condition seems permanent. The phenomenon is under serious study at NASA which is concerned that the possibility of a long trip to Mars might just carry the risk of blindness. Just why it happens and whether or not it can be prevented may be, according to CNN.com, the determining question as to "whether he or any other astronaut ever journeys into deep space or sets foot on other worlds."

Prolonged weightlessness causes papilledema -- a swelling of the optic nerve for about half the male astronauts, some of whom recover and others, like Barratt do not. Women seem to be immune. Of course another question that doesn't seem to be addressed here is why we don't just hire more female astronauts? Sometimes we obsess so much about a puzzling matter that we neglect to look at obvious alternatives.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Contraception contretemps

It's been really interesting to see how many ways Obama's contraception modification has been framed today. The reactions have ranged from ha ha, Obama pawned the GOPers on this one to ZOMG Obama sold women out again. And that's just on the left.

I was most surprised by Charlie Pierce's reaction. He called it a graceful dive but I'm confused by his disdain for the terms of the compromise.
And what's to prevent the clever Catholic CEO of Greedy Bastard Health Insurance, LLC from deciding that he has an objection of conscience to providing contraception as part of his company's insurance plan.
As I understand it, the Republican's bill would allow that but unless the insurance company is run by a Catholic church, Obama's rules wouldn't. And then there was this bit.
(If there's one thing that insurance companies produce more of than profits for their executives, it's arcane reasons not to do something. And, as for the institutional Church, it has no earthly reason to accept this deal. It doesn't think anyone should use birth control for any reason ever. If it accepts the deal, by which it essentially farms out its conscience to insurance companies, it looks foolish. If it sticks to its guns and rejects the deal, what's the president going to do? Run against the Church? He pretty plainly doesn't have the stomach for that. The Clan is empowered again. The comeback from the conspiracy to obstruct justice of the crime of sexual assault is complete.
I get being pissed off that the same Church which covered up its ugly history of pedophilia gets away with hypocrisy in claiming moral grounds on contraception, or anything, but nothing about this rule prevents holding them to account for it in the future. And from where I sit, Obama took a pretty bold stand against allowing them to dictate health care choices for women. Furthermore, as Greg points out Obama reversed the dynamic in the debate. The so-called attack on religious liberty has been negated, leaving the Church and the GOP with the sole position of being against any reproductive health care at all. Not a popular stand.

As for the insurers, they save money by passing out birth control instead of paying for abortions and pregnancies. They'll still be scum sucking skimmers, but that would true in any case. It's who they are and what they do. Granted this isn't a glorious victory, but not seeing how this isn't a win for Team Obama and for women. It's certainly more than we had three weeks ago.

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Come on baby light my fire

I really want to stop talking about this, but damn if they don't keep fueling my favorite conspiracy theory. Nobody is going all in on it. Hell, I'm not either, probably for different reasons, but here's Real Clear Politics talking about the path to a brokered GOP convention and only moments ago, I find dark dreams of Chris Christie.

Think what you will, but this much I know to be true. The base is fractured and hates their choices. All the polling, at all the primaries, are showing a depressed turnout. Nate tells me they've cycled through 11 frontrunners so far and nobody has ignited them for long. Even Erik son of Erik is now wishing for annihilation by a fireball from the sky rather than have to rally around any of the current candidates.

A brokered convention is their only hope. Nothing fires up the wingnut wurlitzer like a new hero. At least for a couple of months. Which coincides nicely with the election calendar if a dark horse rides in at the nick of time.

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I am curious, homosexual

I used to follow the annual con-Con festivities for the amusement value but just not finding CPAC as entertaining this year. Nothing ever changes. Same bigoted idiots, different year. But this is vaguely amusing.

As always, you have your attendees who vow to fight to the death to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man a woman and stop those damn queers from getting married. But hey, a little discreet homo-experimentation? Bring it on big boy. Or boys, as the case may be.

You have your Craig's list pitches and your Grindr searches going on even as you read this. Oh, and in case you didn't know, and I just found out myself yesterday, Grindr is apparently the place where gay men go to meet online.

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Brokered spoke - Updated

Every time I think I can pronounce my conspiracy theory about a brokered convention as DOA, the cons give it another transfusion:
It is conceivable to craft the following general scenario: Romney wins states in the west and northeast, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum combine to dominate the south, Midwest and Appalachia, and Ron Paul siphons off a chunk of delegates. If such a scenario plays out, it’s possible to see how Romney could have problems getting over the top, even if analysts are broadly correct that his money and organization give him the edge.
Meanwhile, Ron Paul is quietly amassing delegates. Romney may have more money, but Ron Paul looks like he has a better handle on strategy in acquring the actual numbers. Reminds me a lot of the Democratic Massashusetts primary leading up to the gubernatorial race of 2002. That would be the race Romney won. I continue to think Robert Reich would have been the Dem candidate if his grass roots supporters had understood the caucus process better.

In any event, the conventional wisdom is the GOP establishment won't let a brokered convention happen, but I'm thinking they could pretty easily end this comedy of horrors at any time. Their problem is Romney makes it more obvious every day they don't have a candidate that can win. So allowing this to play out to the bitter end, as the kids say, could be a feature, not a bug. Again, more than happy to be wrong. [via Bob Cesca]

Update: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-Tea Party) just said a brokered convention is a possibility.

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Local lessons in austerity?

Interesting. While there are exceptions, in Colorado, recovery falls along party lines:
The state’s recovery from recession has been spotty and uneven, a pattern seen in many places. But the further wrinkle for both parties in Colorado is that some of the most heavily Republican areas have lagged the most, with stubbornly higher unemployment rates, while some of the most staunchly Democratic places have done better.
One would assume that GOP areas elect mainly Republicans to their local governments. Certainly since the great Tea Party insurrection of 2010, the GOPers have been all about the austerity cuts, over and beyond what was absolutely necessary due to budget constraints. I'm no economist and I expect there's other factors so not sure there's a connection to made here. However, it certainly is an odd coincidence.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Romney's mythology

It's rather pathetic to watch Willard trying to obscure his silver spoon upbringing. He's not fooling 73% of the people with this line.
"I'm not anti-immigrant," said Romney. "My father was born in Mexico."
For a change it's perfectly true, but that was in a Mormon colony in the state of Chihuahua, where his grandparents fled because polygamy wasn't all that popular in the US. Willard himself hardly had such humble beginnings. By the time he was born, Daddy Romney was a successful businessman in the good ole USA and was working himself up to the higher eschelons of the poltical world. In fact Romney's childhood looked like this:

Mitt Romney, age 10, smiles behind the wheel of a Nash automobile, manufactured by American Motors Corporation of which his father, George Romney, was president, in this 1957 photo. (Courtesy of Romney family / Associated Press) [More Romney family photos here.]
However, the story apparently works for the intractable 27%ers who believe what they want to hear. Dave Weigel on the campaign trail meets up with a Romney supporter and finds:
It's still awfully resonant. After Romney spoke here, I met Bill Wilton, 64, an exterminator and Vietnam veteran who was squarely for Romney. One reason: "He came up from nothing. His father immigrated here from Mexico."
As Dave notes, that's not exactly what Romney was saying. But Willard is more than happy to let that myth rest uncorrected.

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Ricky hits a triple TKO

It was all the rage last week, but today Willard Romney's inevitability takes a nose dive under Ricky Santorum's three state primary sweep. Subdued celebrating at Romney's Colorado HQ last night while his exhausted aide tried to draw a happy face on Romney's dismal loss.
“I think we’ll do well here against Obama,” he said. “Colorado’s a tough state now, it’s going to be in play. It’ll be a tough state.”
He does have something of a point. The Republican intramural contest is whole different beast than the general. And as Charlie so aptly points out, yesterday's slugfest says more about GOP voters than the candidates:
The Republican nominating process last night was rendered a howling mess for the next two months. Super Tuesday is going to be a bloodbath, especially in the South, where Willard will have to see if he can grovel any lower than he already has, where N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization's Rules and Leader (Perhaps) of the Civilizing Forces, will make his last stand in places like Alabama and Mississippi, where Ron Paul can continue about the business of Being Ron Paul, and where Rick Santorum can try to build on the momentum he is alleged to have developed last night, when no delegates were on the line, but when he clearly became the favorite candidate of a political movement reduced at the moment to its essential nihilism, and when he became the vessel for that vast number of things about which a fuck need not be given, including the truth, science, the Republican party, and that fragile old republic called the United States of America.
Meanwhile, The Donald slings a bit of mud in Ricky's direction and dreams of future glory in a Romney administration.
On a Romney cabinet position, Trump continues, “I don’t know maybe a position where I negotiate against some of these countries. Because they are really taking our lunch.”
Hmmm. Does it sound like he's expecting to become the next Secretary of State to you? Can you imagine that? And here we thought Bolton had a lock on the title as the absolute worst SoS ever. One thing for sure with Republicans, it can always get worse. [graphic via]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Doing my shopping at J.C. Penney

Just catching up on this soc-con outrage, but way to stand up to bigotry J.C. Penny.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres said she was "proud and happy" that retail store J.C. Penney had stood by her in the face of a conservative anti-gay campaign, and said there was no such thing as a "pro-gay bandwagon."

Breaking her silence on the furor, DeGeneres, one of America's best known gay celebrities, also poked fun at the One Million Moms group who had urged J.C. Penney to drop her as a spokeswoman because she is a lesbian and said they would boycott the store.
Oddly, I hadn't been to the store in years but bought some shirts there a few weeks ago. Think it was their store brand. Impressed with the quality of the workmanship. Got a good price on sale and they're holding up well. Now I'm doubly glad I spent my money there.

Haven't seen any ads with Ellen but those new screechy commercials seem to be on a continuous loop on the TV. Those have really got to go.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Every sperm is a baby

By Capt. Fogg

It will always be impossible to convince all religious people that religion isn't the mother of religious fanaticism and of the self-righteousness that makes fanaticism so dangerous. In fact they may be right in that such ego disorders seem to be a general human failing, albeit one that so often finds a home in Churches, Mosques and Synagogues -- but that doesn't soften the fear that from the frustration believers in old religions feel about the implacable advance of what I like to call enlightenment, a movement will arise like movements in the past to overthrow an age of reason and science and relative freedom.

"any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.”


There seems to be nothing in that statement that might hint it did not originate in the 5th century before the Christian era and nothing to suggest that it wasn't a measure introduced by a Republican, but alas, neither is true. Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson is a Democrat and she has introduced an amendment to pending Senate Bill 1433, a typical "life begins at conception" bill, that says that the resulting fetus
“at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.”

Ms. Johnson wants to extend that right to a sperm cell, although apparently she thinks egg cells are exempt -- since otherwise not getting pregnant might also be as murderous as masturbation. Still, the "every sperm is a baby" bill doesn't have a chance, but apparently Rick Santorum does and probably for few other reasons than his own ridiculous positions on interfering with private lives in the name of small government and Big Religion. Santorum has attracted a plurality of Republican loonies in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota.

It's hard to think that Rick has a real shot at the presidency, but you know, I've been looking at Costa Rica lately.

I'm generally very intolerant of the "both sides are equally bad" arguments that depend on fraudulent accounting and false equivalence to forgive the side with the preponderance of guilt, but Geez - what does it say about Oklahoma Democrats that she is allowed to speak for them?

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