Monday, September 30, 2013

Now he can pair up with Ted Nugent

On Nugent's television show...oh, right I forgot.

NBC Sports Network is dumping the show that featured a guy shooting an elephant in the face. The show—hosted by NRA lobbyist Tony Makris—isn't being canceled for that episode with the elephant shooting, exactly (though that didn't help). Instead it's because Makris compared his critics to Hitler earlier this week. He said of his supposed critics: "And now they're shocked. And they said but they're so big and special and they're smarter. And I went, you know, Hitler would have said the same thing." That didn't go over well.

Of course, given that NBC Sports Network is the home of the English Premier League (up yours Barclays!) they could have given him a competition show where the power of his arsenal is compared to the strength of Luis Suarez's chompers.

Apparently

Being a Republican Politician is the only job one ever willingly enters when you absolutely hate your profession.

Other than National Review online contributor or 18-year old pornstar of course.
 

Do it Again

The Republican Party, now run by the crazy uncle who sends you the emails that keeps Snopes.Com in business, has not yet begun to have a fit.
Undeterred, House Republicans pressed ahead with their latest attempt to squeeze a concession from the White House in exchange for letting the government open for business normally on Tuesday. "Obamacare is based on a limitless government, bureaucratic arrogance and a disregard of a will of the people," said Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind.

Another Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, reacted angrily when asked whether he would eventually support a standalone spending bill if needed to prevent a shutdown. "How dare you presume a failure? How dare you? How dare you?" he said.
Well "open meltdown" is an interesting tactic. But I guess it just goes with the program.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

No right-wing whack-job who advocates war crimes

Ever remains unemployed. 

Elizabeth O’Bagy, the foreign policy analyst who helped convince Senator John McCain to bomb Syria (and was later fired for lying about having a doctorate from Georgetown) has a new job: an analyst for John McCain. Congrats!

If only Hitler had limited his atrocities to people of color (a model Mussolini wanted followed) he'd have had been left alone by the west for a long career as German Chancellor -- and probably have Ann Coulter write a book full of faulty footnotes to praise him.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Good deal

I do not do a whole lot of media commentary, because "who gives a shit, right?" but I'm glad "Bob's Burgers" was renewed for an additional year before this year's season even starts. For those of you looking for a well-written show to binge upon on Netflix, you cannot do much better.

It's 2013...somewhere else

But not in Qatar. Good job FIFA!
Qatar's construction frenzy ahead of the 2022 World Cup is on course to cost the lives of at least 4,000 migrant workers before a ball is kicked, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has claimed. The group has been scrutinising builders' deaths in the Gulf emirate for the past two years and said that at least half a million extra workers from countries including Nepal, India and Sri Lanka are expected to flood in to complete stadiums, hotels and infrastructure in time for the World Cup kickoff. The annual death toll among those working on building sites could rise to 600 a year – almost a dozen a week – unless the Doha government makes urgent reforms, it says.
That's Panama Canal level.

Who could have anticipated...other than everyone?

I guess it stunned somebody that a notorious idiot, would act like an idiot:
Former congressman Allen West, who was hustled out of the military before being hustled out of Congress after one term, is now also leaving his job at right-wing news outlet PJ Media. And this time the tireless Israel supporter is being accused of anti-Semitism. BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray reports that West is out as director of programming for PJ Media's NextGeneration.TV. Gray's sources tell her West was fired after getting into an argument in which he called an employee a "Jewish American Princess" and told her to "shut up."
When you get fired from a "quality" position like PJ Media...

A Cunning Plan

"Hey, America, this is the NSA, remember that time we listened in on you as you called that 900 number and used your passwords to that porn site you like? Yeah, good times right? Remember how we're pals?"
The day before he is to begin a series of public hearings on Capitol Hill, [Director of the NSA General Keith] Alexander said in a speech at the National Press Club: “We need your help. “The American people have to weigh in and help us get the tools we need to defend this country,” Alexander said.
Hey, maybe a new control room that looks more like Joss Wheden's Enterprise instead of Gene Roddenberry's will do the trick? [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Republican "outreach" seems to involve a clenched fist

Something to match their sphincters:

"We have some real opportunities in 2014," Hickey said Tuesday. "This is a great year in an off-presidential election. Seemingly no Democrat on the top of the ticket against [Gov. Brian] Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012, we'll have like 700,000. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential. It's a great year for Republicans."

So it comes down to this...fewer voters is better for Republicans.

DEMOCRACY in inaction!

Most projectionist projection of all projections

I'd call it performance art, but that requires at least a modicum of talent.

In an interview Wednesday shortly after his 21-hour talkathon to defund Obamacare had come to an end, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) lamented to shock jock Rush Limbaugh that too many lawmakers think their constituents are naive.

"They think their voters are gullible rubes," Cruz said in the radio interview.

And then they hit the cough button had a good laugh and muttered "thank goodness".

And ....who cares?

I remember when I was a kid and they were still stuffy old-money white guys (and Ted Turner) racing in single-hulled ships and people sort of cared.

Now I'm old and I just demand those catamarans get off my fucking lawn (or pier).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Because Sharks are no longer interesting enough to scare us...

We have found a new scary monster!

Although it's native to the Amazon, a testicle-eating fish species called "Pacu" has been turning up in places including Denmark, France and Illinois

Now, a large Pacu has been found in northern New Jersey, just more than 10 miles outside New York City. 

Retired bus driver Tom Boylan hooked a 10-inch-long Pacu on Saturday at Third Ward Veteran's Memorial Park in Passaic, N.J., according to The Bergen Record, which posted a photo of the fish.

Pacu have wide teeth shaped like molars and strong jaw muscles that allow them to crack open tree nuts and other tough aquatic foods. Somewhat terrifyingly, however, the fish have been known to mistake human testicles for tree nuts. Two men in New Guinea reportedly died from blood loss after a Pacu chomped on theirs.

Okay, two additional things we've learned from this article:

1.  It doesn't actually eat testicles...deliberately.

2.  The Amazon is so long it not only flows through much of South America...but also half-way around the world, through the Pacific and into New Guinea (logically even were this true,  I have the technicalities of the river's flow wrong, but in the spirit of the article just go with it).

Oh, and a bit of research reveals what the Huffington Post apparently could not suspect well enough (New Guinea and Amazon and no suspicion at all, huh?) that this "testicle-biting" is all a big ole hoax.

Maybe Ted Cruz should talk about it...seems factually accurate enough for him.

Oh well...another year

Another failure to obtain a MacArthur Genius Grant.

Ladies and Gentlemen, YOUR REPUBLICAN INTELLECTUALS





















Notice how the attempted Right-Wing meme for outrage wasn't going to be the accuracy of the claim, but that Obama has been given special "Twitter" privileges.

Oh the Wurlitzer.


Via Balloon Juice.

Because "Just like the Holocaust" was just a bit too much to analogize

Our wealthy gamers of the system, always the first to decry "victimology" unless, of course, you are their victim.

The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that-sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.

Other than lynchings ACTUALLY happening; and being a group of people deprived of political power and wealth it is so strikingly similar.

(pic via monkey_bob99x at flickr.com)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Huzzah!

America has now officially created more Islam espousing international terrorists than Saddam's Iraq, who we allegedly invaded for ties to international terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, having a giggle.


Just add this to the list

Of Tennessee's long tradition of assholery...from making teaching evolution to making particular religions illegal to Instacracker to just being assholes.

Married same-sex couples who live in Tennessee, where gay marriage is banned under the state constitution, are being denied name changes on their driver's licenses, the Tennessean reported Saturday.

But if Riley J. Cornpone wants to change his name to Asshole P. Loudly NO PROBLEM!

What can austerity do for you?

If you are in the country imposing it on others, it can help you get re-elected.
Chancellor Angela Merkel scored a stunning personal triumph in Sunday’s national elections in Germany, becoming the only major leader to be re-elected twice since the financial crisis of 2008 and winning strong popular endorsement for her mix of austerity and solidarity in managing troubled Europe.
But if you are in a country that had austerity imposed upon it...
Golden Dawn, which has seen its popularity soar on the back of debt-stricken Greece's worst crisis in modern times, has not only set up a military wing but is actively training its members in the art of combat. "In Golden Dawn we have an entire military structure with at least 3,000 people ready for everything," one member was quoted as saying by the Sunday Vima newspaper. Pictures of recruits in camouflage and balaclavas conducting night exercises in clandestine camps were published in another leading daily on Monday. The paper, Ethnos, claimed the men, some of who were armed with knives and wooden clubs, were being trained by members of Greece's elite special forces who sympathise with the ultra-nationalist party.
Short-term planning wins again.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 23, 2013

A brave, brave man

But...of course:

George Zimmerman is in hiding now to avoid being served with the divorce papers that Shellie filed -- which is hindering the proceedings and therefore putting a damper on her plans to end their marriage.

Maybe Wayne LaPierre should be the process server?

Get this to the Supreme Court Stat!

They'll keep a company with a long history of supporting/encouraging/covering up human rights abuses without worries.

Faced with potentially billions of dollars in legal liability, Chiquita Brands International is asking a federal appeals court to block lawsuits filed against it in the U.S. by thousands of Colombians whose relatives were killed in that country's bloody, decades-long civil war.

The produce giant, which long had huge banana plantations in Colombia, has admitted paying a right-wing Colombian paramilitary group $1.7 million over a seven-year period. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company insists it was blackmailed into paying or risking violence against its own operations and employees, although in 2007 Chiquita pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges that it had supported terrorists. It paid a $25 million fine.
This is EXACTLY the sort of case the "Corporations are the LOVELIEST PEOPLE in the WORLD" crowd in black robes wish to come before them.



Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/09/21/2585138/chiquita-seeks-dismissal-in-colombian.html#storylink=cpy

Ivory Tower supported by the Koch Brothers

The Roberts' Court, yet to meet a dollar they did not love more than humanity.
On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court will take up an appeal from the Republican National Committee, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon, who say contributions should be treated as "core political speech." If they win, wealthy Republicans or Democrats could each give as much as $3.6 million total by giving the maximum amount to all of their party committees and candidates. This money could be funneled by party leaders into a close race or races, tipping the balance of power in Congress.

Defenders of the election laws have been sounding the alarm. "It would be terrible for our democracy … if one politician could directly solicit $3.6 million from a single donor," said Lawrence Norden, an election law expert with the Brennan Center, a liberal legal advocacy group in New York. "That is 70 times the median income for an American family. It would mean a tiny, tiny group of donors would wield unprecedented power and influence."
Or, as the conservatives on the Roberts' Court will almost certainly think of it...an awesome idea.

Here's a link to the pending case -- vomit sack not included.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Well, that's comforting

Would have made for a very special episode of the Andy Griffith Show...like when Opie killed a bird.

A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.

The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.

Each bomb carried a payload of 4 megatons – the equivalent of 4 million tons of TNT explosive. Had the device detonated, lethal fallout could have been deposited over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and as far north as New York city – putting millions of lives at risk.

Though there has been persistent speculation about how narrow the Goldsboro escape was, the US government has repeatedly publicly denied that its nuclear arsenal has ever put Americans' lives in jeopardy through safety flaws. But in the newly-published document, a senior engineer in the Sandia national laboratories responsible for the mechanical safety of nuclear weapons concludes that "one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe".
Of course, if North Carolina residents were able to possess their own nuclear weapons...like the NRA would like, this would never have even been possible.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Modern GOP

Coincidentally and unironically, full of assholes.

A group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), has proposed a new bill that would provide a nationwide “license to discriminate” against married same-sex couples. Though Labrador claims the bill protects “religious liberty,” it is nothing less than a blanket invitation to deny benefits to same-sex couples that they are entitled to under law.


It's not gunfire, it's patriotic fireworks in which martyrs are created

Another day another sacrifice on the altar of the NRA:

Thirteen people, including a 3-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, were shot at a Chicago park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood Thursday night, authorities said.

I'm sure the Second Amendment being read as expansively as irreality allows was real important to all those martyrs. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

This guy is a remarkable improvement

Have been pleasantly surprised so far...I will certainly enjoy watching folks like Dolan and even further right-wing clerics have to prevaricate now.

Pope Francis, in the first extensive interview of his six-month-old papacy, said that the Roman Catholic church had grown “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he has chosen not to speak of those issues despite recriminations from some critics. 

In remarkably blunt language, Francis sought to set a new tone for the church, saying it should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings.

...

This should help in that election campaign

First of all, it is a marvel that Phil Gengry of Georgia HAS employment, let alone this:

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who's running for Senate in Georgia, complained that while his staff can jump to K Street and make $500,000 a year by lobbying, he's "stuck" in Congress making a bare $172,000 a year.

The comments, relayed by congressional aides to National Review, came during a closed door meeting among Congressional Republicans on Obamacare.

"Just lie back and think of (bombing) England"

Yesterday it was noted that Iran's government was open to negotiations and compromises in its nuclear program vis-a-vis the United States -- this, of course, is potentially bad news to America's only "serious" people -- aspiring war criminals.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he's working on legislation that would give the president the green light to attack Iran if negotiations over the country's alleged nuclear weapons program stall. Graham, one of the GOP's most prominent hawks, told reporters on Tuesday that he's worried the administration's failure to get congressional approval for a strike against Syria has emboldened Iran.
I admit I haven't reviewed my Hugo Grotius' rules of "just wars" lately, but I'm pretty sure being accused of "feelin' good" is not in there.

 But kudos to Lindsey, he's demanding his happy ending -- even if it is just for him. He's just that much of a "Statesmen" -- or so Chuck Todd will allow.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"But but, what about our national bombing plan?!"

Oh dear, first we postpone one bombing and now we may have to give up on the biggest neo-Conservative wet-dream of them all.


Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has given the clearest signal yet that the country's newly elected president and moderate cleric, Hassan Rouhani, has the authority to conduct direct talks with the US and offer compromises in nuclear talks.
I dunno if Bill Kristol, John McCain, or David Ignatius will be able to stand it...the public getting more of this whole non-war policy it seems to favor so sensibly. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In other news of "awesomeness"

There's this.  Of course, there's always stories like this:

Police in Indiana say a Michigan City man accidentally shot and killed a child in his care while playing a dangerous "gun game" with the boy.

Zachariah L. Grisham, 24, was arrested an charged with neglect and reckless homicide following the death of his girlfriend's son, 3-year-old Lance Wilson, this past Sunday.

According to Det. Sgt. Andy Hynek of the La Porte County Sheriff's Department the "gun game" Grisham would often play with Lance consisted of the boy pointing a finger gun at Grisham, followed by Grisham pointing his real gun at Lance and pulling the trigger.

Grisham told authorities he forget he had loaded the gun earlier that day.

How many layers of asshole are there in this story?

Awesome!

So a guy with a violent criminal history is able to just go legally buy an arsenal.

That worked out well.

Empty words, empty chambers

As we try to sort through the actual biography of our country's latest mass shooter, Aaron Alexis, the fact of gun violence continues to be plain...and plainly ignored.
The largest study of gun violence in the United States, released Thursday afternoon, confirms a point that should be obvious: widespread American gun ownership is fueling America’s gun violence epidemic... ...the authors ran a series of regressions to see what effect the overall national decline in firearm ownership from 1981 to 2010 had on gun homicides. The result was staggering: “for each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of household gun ownership,” Siegel et al. found, “firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9″ percent. A one standard deviation change in firearm ownership shifted gun murders by a staggering 12.9 percent.
Not that we'll ever be allowed to do anything about it...after all the only words in the Constitution that mean nothing are "well regulated". [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 16, 2013

"But they might have worn hoodies!"

One shudders to contemplate...because you know it would have happened...how Bill O'Reilly would have come up with a reason that four girls in a Church...who died in Birmingham, Alabama fifty years ago...would have had it coming.

They were wearing "gangsta poodle skirts" or something.

But...of course

America, fuck yeah.
Nina Davuluri has been hit with Twitter abuse after becoming the first woman of Indian descent to be crowned Miss America. After her victory in Atlantic City, the 24-year-old beauty queen, who was born in Syracuse, New York, and is believed to be a practising Hindu, said: "I'm so happy this organisation has embraced diversity.
But enough about diversity in the objectifying racket, let's get on to what we as a country are really good at, being bigoted assholes on twitter!
One Twitter user, DallasRobinson8, wrote: "I am literally soo mad right now a ARAB won. #MissAmerica"

Jakeamick5 added: "How the **** does a foreigner win miss America? She is a Arab! #idiots"

Emi_adkins said: "It's called Miss America. Get outta here New York you look like a terrorist. #bye #americanforamerica"

And another user said: "Well they just picked a Muslim for Miss America. That must've made Obama happy. Maybe he had a vote."
The really sad thing is that the bigotry is so inaccurate. If you are going to be a bigoted asshole, at least get your slurs right!

"Not that there's anything you can do about it"

I know it is hard to believe but having those who defrauded America get off any punishment as they whine about taxes does not mean they are anyone's heroes...outside of those who theoretically govern them.
The poll of more than 1,400 adults, representing a cross-section of the U.S. population, shows that half of the respondents believe there has not been enough reform to prevent a future crisis. As many as 44 percent of those polled believe the government should not have bailed out financial institutions, while only 22 percent thought it was the right move. Fifty-three percent think not enough was done to prosecute bankers; 15 percent were satisfied with the effort.
Of course nothing will happen to them. Oh sure, they get to pretend that Larry Summers is a victim, so there's that.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sorry light posting this weekend

But I've been assisting several women add up all the reasons Larry Summers should withdraw.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pay no attention to the facts -- the poor must be beaten!

Funny how the beltway mentality of hating the poor never changes no matter the facts:
New Treasury Department figures confirm what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected in the spring: the budget deficit for fiscal year 2013 will be dramatically lower than it was the past four years. The government recorded a $148 billion deficit in August, 22.5 percent smaller than in the same month of 2012, and is on track to total a $642 billion annual deficit when the fiscal year ends on September 30.
Nonetheless, the call to cut programs to help the poor and middle class will continue...along with calls for tax cuts for the wealthy.

Because reality doesn't matter.

Oh, now you leave!

A little break from the drumbeat of "who are we gonna bomb next?"...

Back when Jimmy Carter was President (and I remember that) a spacecraft, one of two, was launched to take advantage of the alignment of the solar sytem's gas giants; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The first of those, Voyager I has been determined to have left the solar system. The first human-made object to have done so. In many ways a poignant moment. And, just to let you know the practicalities of space travel...it only took 36 years at 11 miles a second.

Although it will also someday be responsible for a really boring Star Trek film.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Baby steps...

There's still a long way to go, but this is a good first step.

A progressive theological current that emphasizes the Catholic Church’s closeness to the poor and the marginalized but was subject to decades of hostility and censure is now finding increasing favor in the Vatican under Pope Francis.

Francis, who has called for “a poor church for the poor,” will meet in the next few days with the Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian theologian and scholar who is considered the founder of liberation theology.

The meeting was announced on Sunday (Sept. 8) by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, during the launch of a book he co-authored with Gutierrez.

It’s a remarkable about-face for a movement that swelled in popularity but was later stamped out by the conservative pontificates of John Paul II and his longtime doctrinal czar, Benedict XVI.
And delightfully, Benny the 16th is still alive to be aghast.

Is it too much to ask

That Vlad Putin not be made into a hero?

I mean, really.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

So awesome folks all-around then

I guess "hey they are eight times more likely to be assholes!" is a kind of argument for blowing shit up...though not the greatest.

At least eight massacres have been perpetrated in Syria by President Bashar Assad's regime and supporters and one by rebels over the past year and a half, a U.N. commission said Wednesday.


The commission's probe highlights the worsening pattern of violence against civilians, including executions and hospital bombings, as the government battles to retake lost territory from the rebels, including Islamist foreign fighters who also have carried out war crimes.

"The perpetrators of these violations and crimes, on all sides, act in defiance of international law. They do not fear accountability. Referral to justice is imperative," says the report by the U.N. commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria.

The report updates the commission's work since 2011 to mid-July, stopping short of what the United States says was an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas that killed hundreds of civilians.

A sad, sad day for easy comedy

Senor Danger received only 5% of the votes in the New York mayoral primary last night (the five-percent who like their politician's literally pants-less).  It is a tough morning for him, now a metaphorical dick pic forever more, but also for those of us who like to make smart-assed asides without too much intellectual effort.

Oh well, I'm sure Sarah Palin has already said or tweeted a half-dozen stupidities already this morning, so there's still that.

I hope this is a sign of middle age

Because we, as a country, seem to be losing our ability to maintain a war boner.

Or maybe we could attack the curse of nepotism?

Your establishment jackass of the day...and perhaps ever.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This is just weird...

And not really all that comforting. A high ranking NSA official...and serial 4th Amendment violator woos Congress.
When he was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a "whoosh" sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather "captain's chair" in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen. "Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard," says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.
Patrick Stewart should kick their asses.

Life is all 'skittles and mountain dew'

Good job Florida. I'm sure Zimmerman's wife or family was within a few square miles of a black teenager, so I guess this is excusable to FoxNews.

A fortuitous stumble

Hey look a possible stumbled into compromise that avoids us bombing someone...is that even possible anymore?
White House officials say they will “take a hard look” at a Russian offer to push Syria to give up its vast chemical weapons arsenal, a late and unexpected proposal that could provide President Obama a way to avoid a bruising defeat in Congress over use of force.
Yeah, the saving grace is no longer "avoid killing people", it's "avoid a bruising" political defeat. Because that's the important thing in the equation I guess. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 09, 2013

That's one concentrated trio of stupid

You could not contrive a worse group to travel with.

Tea party-backed Representatives Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) on Saturday held a press conference in Egypt to thank the country’s military for overthrowing the elected government, and at one point even seemed to suggest that the Muslim Brotherhood had been behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

“Together, we’ve gone through suffering. Together, the United States and Egypt, have dealt with the same enemy,” Bachmann explained. “It’s a common enemy, and it’s an enemy called terrorism.”

“We want to make sure that you have the Apache helicopters, the F-16s, the equipment that you have so bravely used to capture terrorists and to take care of this menace that’s on your border,” she continued. “Many of you have asked, do we understand who the enemy is? We can speak for ourselves. We do.”…

During Saturday’s press conference, Gohmert praised Egyptian coup-leader General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi by comparing him to U.S. President George Washington.

“We met with for a long meeting General el-Sissi and many of the military leaders, and my friend Steve King mentioned again about our heritage in America,” he explained. “George Washington, doing what no one had ever done before him, led a military in revolution, won the revolution, and then resigned and went home.”….

W-O-W.

America, 2013!

Here are a few select people that should be put in jail.

The people who did this...and allowed this.

On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.

Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.

All because he didn’t pay a $134 property tax bill.

Meanwhile, east of Syria, every day just drones on...

As we debate the issue of whether causing mass civilian deaths with the use of chemical weapons demands a military response, the conventional weapons' infliction of mass civilian death goes on and on and on.
Afghan officials have said an apparent Nato air strike has killed 15 people – nine of them civilians, including women and children – in an eastern province where the Taliban remain strong. Nato said 10 militants had died in the strike, and that it had no reports of any civilian deaths.

Civilian deaths in Nato operations have long been a sore point between the Afghan government and the US-led troops in the country, and they have been a major factor in the animosity many Afghans feel towards foreign forces.
Hearts and minds are often harder to win when other hearts and minds are blown away via fiery death from the sky. But I'm sure nothing will ever come of it, right?

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Hooray for the lesser of two evils!

Good luck Virginia, you have chosen to suck less.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe has opened up a seven-point lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the Virginia gubernatorial race enters the post-Labor Day stretch. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters finds McAuliffe with 45% support to Cuccinelli's 38%. Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, while 10% remain unsure.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

But Jesus and shit!

Oh dear, this isn't how it is supposed to work in right-wing imaginations y'know that thing they can use before it doesn't have to question the literal words of the Bible:

Dr. John Santelli, a professor of population and family health at Columbia University who was not connected to the government study, told NBC News that the 2012 figures represent “a considerable one year drop.” But Santelli also noted that isn’t because there’s been much change in teenagers’ sexual activity over the past decade. There aren’t fewer adolescents having sex, and there aren’t an increased number of abortions being performed. 

“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” Santelli explained. Particularly as more medical professionals have been recommending long-lasting forms of contraception to their teenage patients, Santelli believes more adolescents have been able to take effective steps to avoid pregnancy. 

“This stunning turnaround in teen birth represents one of the nation’s great success stories of the past two decades,” Bill Albert, the chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told U.S. News & World Report. “This report shows that significant progress can and has been made on a very challenging social problem that many once considered both unsolvable and inevitable.”

But fewer pregnancies means fewer abortions...and we cannot pretend that happens!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Finally, the NSA has another reason to justify its existence

Environmental concerns:
How do you prevent someone from wasting electricity? The same way you prevent them from picking their nose—make them think they are being watched.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers wanted to see whether the Hawthorne effect could be used to change energy-use patterns. The Hawthorne effect refers to the way people tend to alter their behavior when they sense they are being observed. The effect can be a pain in the ass for scientists trying to study human behavior, but it can also be a powerful tool for influencing that behavior.
They also want to watch fetish porn with you since you seem to enjoy it so much.

Re-Leash the Poker Playing Dogs of War

It appears that for the first time, I believe, since the waning days of the Vietnam War Congress is about to reject military action or aid in the interest of an act of war.
While the Senate appears poised to come to some type of agreement, the "People's House," as it is known, is showing much more reluctance to approve the deeply unpopular bombing resolution. "Peace may well have a chance," said one top House GOP aide. Public opinion surveys have been reflected in the outpouring of calls, emails and letters that have flooded House offices, running, say lawmakers, at more than 9 to 1 against intervention. The opposition spans the political spectrum.
And, despite Congress being infected with a large variety of yahoos who cannot tell the difference between the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments (and have no understanding of either) perhaps there is about to be a stumbling into military actions following the guidelines the Founders intended. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, September 05, 2013

As ambivalent as I am

About the latest "surgical strike" that won't backfire no matter what plan -- it does have the ability to bring out how much worse the nation's position could be.

Graham has been careful to distance himself from Obama, calling on the president to “up his game” and charging that Syria is “the most mismanaged situation I’ve ever seen since World War II when they were trying to to control the Nazis.”
Try not to think too hard in unpacking the logical and historical fallacies in that sentence, lest you just give up thinking in favor of drinking.

No Churrasco for you!

Obviously, this is all Glen Greenwald's fault...surely not Americas?
Revelations of a U.S. spy program that allegedly allows digital surveillance of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico have drawn cries of indignation and anger in both nations, but the fallout may be strongest for U.S.-Brazil relations. At stake is whether Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will cancel a planned state visit to Washington in October, the first offered by President Barack Obama this year
A State Dinner would also be at stake. The spying of the NSA has not yet hit home in the Beltway, but when Sally Quinn cannot have an empanada across the table from an discomfitted Pele and Gisele Bundchen there is going to be hell to pay.

 [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

A lot of people saw John McCain's gambling addiction up close last night

But I prefer to think of him as playing the new App, "Really Really Angry Birds".

Probably the inevitable ending

Ariel Castro, the man who held three women against their will for years, and probably committed murder had his likely end realized last night.

One would think Castro should have been on suicide watch -- but how much do you think that may have been "overlooked"?

But there's consent

Apparently we require the "wisdom" of Richard Cohen, America's Concern Troll, to determine whether things get too rapey.

So this one is a conundrum, can a country be physically abused if the government consents? Probably not.
A project that would use cyanide to mine gold and silver has prompted thousands of Romanians to protest. The planned mine, near the small town of Rosia Montana would be Europe's largest open-pit mine. Its four pits are estimated to total more than 8 kilometres in diameter and would be visible from space. The government last week approved a draft law that would allow the project to move forward if passed by parliament. The $7.5-billion project is controlled by a Canadian company, with Romania's government holding a 25 per cent stake...
"Four pits" means the destruction of four mountains by the way. The area is also full of historical ruins from the Roman Imperial period -- oh and people, lots of people who will get jobs of some modest quality in exchange for working or living near an environmental ruin offset by the copious application of cyanide.

Sounds like a real thought-out plan.

How are the Koch Brothers not involved?

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Um, what?

Probably not the "worst headline ever" but W.T.F.?

Australian Rules-Player apologises for burning dwarf

From the opposite of the perspective of decency

For Republicans having Obama throw bombing Syria in their lap makes them battle amongst themselves and their cold, dark souls.

1. They really really hate Obama, a person of color.

2. They really really love to bomb people of color.

 ...plus Obama doesn't live in Syria, and Boehner is a person of color.

A conundrum for them.

Meanwhile, on the subject of bad ideas...

I read over the long weekend that Mary Matalin, of all people (that should just be her name, "Mary Matalin of All People...") was demanding the Obama Administration have an "exit strategy" in regard to Syria. And while I must disrespectfully agree, it does make me wonder how she suddenly discovered this idea, because it hasn't been demanded by a Republican in years. For example...
Afghanistan's police and army are losing too many men in battle, and may need up to five more years of western support before they can fight independently, the top US and Nato commander in the country has told the Guardian. General Joseph Dunford also said in an interview that it was too early to judge whether Nato had been right to end combat operations in Afghanistan this spring.
"AMERICA: Even our existing exit strategies, do not have an exit strategy." [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 02, 2013

Well, now we have some evidence

Putin is about one more dead-eyed comment from blaming gay people:
"I am convinced that it (the chemical attack) is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict, and who want to win the support of powerful members of the international arena, especially the United States," Putin said.

Oh terrific

So good to know that twerking is the biggest evil in the world, because otherwise I'd be concerned more about this:
Radiation levels around Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than previously thought, Japanese authorities have warned. Last week the plant's operator reported radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank into the ground. It now says readings taken near the leaking tank on Saturday showed radiation was high enough to prove lethal within four hours of exposure. The plant was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) had originally said the radiation emitted by the leaking water was around 100 millisieverts an hour.
So how were those readings so faulty? ...wait for it...
However, the company said the equipment used to make that recording could only read measurements of up to 100 millisieverts
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]