Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A brief hiatus with kittens

We will be offline for a few days while we head West to inspect our operations in the Pacific Northwest. There should be fairly frequent Twitter updates here: https://twitter.com/@akaprofessorcha if you miss the smart-aleckry.

Meanwhile, here are kittens:

Monday, March 25, 2013

A couple minor little disagreements

People have been giving bizarrely-named rodent boy Reince Priebus a certain amount of shit the last few days for referencing his hetero-marriage while half-assedly reaching out to gay voters. But that's not really even the stupidest part of his statement:

STEIN: On the issue of inconclusivity. What would you tell an independent minded gay man who believes the right to marry is a civil right? What would you tell him about why he should vote Republican?
PRIEBUS: I would tell him, look, we might not agree on every single issue but, for the most part, if you look at where we are at in our economy and look at where we are with educational choice and our military positions and positions on a strong defense in our party for the most part, we agree on almost everything and doesn’t make someone a bad Republican. It means we are good Republicans and disagree on one or two things

One or two .things

Come on, gay voter! So we have a couple of minor little disagreements, like, oh I don't know, whether or not you are a human being deserving of the full rights of American citizenship. What's the big deal?

I mean, just because we think you should be second-class citizens is no reason not to vote for us. I mean, it's not like we want to kill you or something!

GOP-linked punk rock ministry says executing gays is ‘moral’

By Andy Birkey
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 6:00 am
Yeah, but it's not like this weird punk-rock-Republican group is part of the GOP mainstream or anything, right?

 You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry that brings its hard rock gospel into public schools, has been deepening its long-running ties to the Republican Party of Minnesota. Long a cause célèbre for Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has twice lent her name to the group’s fundraising efforts, You Can Run (YCR) had a booth at the GOP convention in April, and the group’s frontman, Bradlee Dean, reports that gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer recently accepted an invitation to visit with him at Dean’s home.

“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said on YCR’s May 15 radio show on AM 1280 the Patriot. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”
“If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,” Dean continued. “That is what you are seeing in America.”
“The bottom line is this… they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator,” Dean said, before going on to make a claim that has no basis in fact: “On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?”

Oh my God!
Is there maybe someone else in your party you could recommend to have a more sane, rational discussion about LGBT tolerance?

Priebus cited former governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas as an example of someone who could be “a model for a lot of people in our party” in terms of discussing issues like marriage and abortion. “I always tell people: Listen to Governor Mike Huckabee,” he said. “I don’t know anyone that talks about them any better.”

Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee is the model for discussing social issues?

Mike Huckabee, the guy who says shit like this:

Huckabee told the interviewer that not every group’s interests deserve to be accommodated, if their lifestyle is outside of what he called “the ideal.”
“That would be like saying, well there’s there are a lot of people who like to use drugs so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, should we accommodate them?” he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

and this:

“I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle,” he wrote, in response to a question about gays in the military.

You know, that's just one of the little things on which we disagree! We think that you people are aberrant, unnatural, and sinful, you probably think that you have loving relationships just like everyone else. But we can agree on other things!

Great job with the outreach, there Reince!

Next week "Why won't those filthy, thieving Mexicans vote for us?"

Friday, March 22, 2013

Headline of the Day

I saw this headline on Yahoo!

3/21/2013 @ 12:47PM |110,643 views

You Won't Believe The Stupidity Of The Latest Attack On Walmart

So already you can tell this is going to be good, solid objective journalism!

If you thought Mayor Bloomberg’s failed assault on certain large sodas sold in certain kinds of stores was arbitrary and capricious, get ready for a similarly bizarre attempt to punish large retailers.

I thought it was frivolous and whimsical, but do go on, Mr. Roget!

The salvo is called the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), but just think of it as yet another effort from the DGDP: the Department of Good Deeds Punishment

Yes, because if Wal*Mart is known for anything it's for having done so many good deeds. . . wait, Wal*Mart? What good deeds are we talking about?

Available now at Wal*Mart!

For its sin of providing millions of working class Americans with good service, broad selection and low prices, Walmart might as well have painted a (Target-style) bullseye on itself among progressives.

Good service? Good service? I mean, I'll give you low prices, and I guess I could go along with broad selection since that implies quantity and not quality

But good service? In a Wal*Mart? I'm not complaining, I think for what the Wal*Mart employees are paid, customers are lucky to get any service at all, it's like adding insult to injury to tell someone that have to work for Wal*Mart wages AND be good at their job and have any enthusiasm. I know I don't have any and I get paid a lot more than that. But anyway, I guess my point is Good Service?

In order to punish this good deed, though, the rebarbative chairman of the D.C. City Council, Phil Mendelson, has been pushing an extraordinary new law that would apply only to large national retailers, with more than $1 billion in sales, who open D.C. stores of greater than 75,000 square feet.

Ooh, "rebarbative!" You know, nothing screams "I'm afraid that people will figure out that I'm not all that smart" like casually dropping a word like "rebarbative" into a sentence. And before you say anything, yes, I admit that I often go to Thesaurus.com to find a five-dollar word to express my two-bit meaning, but I usually do that to find a funnier-sounding word. I assume most of the readers have already figured out that I'm not the sharpest bulb in the drawer. So what is this horrible rebarbative new law? (see what I did there? Funny word.)

Such firms would be required to pay a “living wage” of at least $11.75 an hour to all employees

. . .  a “living wage” of at least $11.75 an hour to all employees — a 62 percent premium over the federal minimum wage. D.C. already has its own super-minimum wage of $8.25 an hour (set by law at $1 above the federal minimum).

 I like how you put "living wage" in quothes, there, because I don't really think $11.75/hr really is a living wage either. It comes out to about $24,400 per year, gross. You try living on that! I know that's not why you used the quotes, you were trying to imply that $11.75 per hour is an exorbitant amount of pay that would bankrupt poor little Wal*Mart while its employees reclined in the lap of luxury, but we both know that if the minimum wage had kept up with inflation, it would be a little over $22/hour. So, $11.75 hardly seems excessive.

So the LRAA is a super-duper minimum wage proposed mainly to punish a single company, which is why wags in the press are calling it the Walmart Living Wage Bill.

First of all, paying your employees a halfway decent wage is hardly being "punished." It's behaving like a decent human being. Secondly, it seems that this law would also apply to Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, etc. although at least two of those companies wouldn't be affected because they already pay their employees halfway decently.

You may well ask why Walmart allowed the matter to get this far: When it comes to breaking into northern urban markets, can’t one of America’s largest and greatest companies steamroll a few local-yokel pols? Can’t it grease the right palms?

Yeah, what the hell is wrong with this city? Won't anyone accept a bribe? It may surprise you to learn that Wal*Mart does not get to decide how far the matter goes. Shockingly, this is still a democracy, and our elected officials make the laws, and they actually aren't supposed to make them to cater to the Walton Family.

And the answer is: Walmart is way ahead of you. In its D.C. push, which has been underway since at least 2002, Walmart has thoughtfully gone around making the kinds of “donations” to politically-connected figures that wedding guests gave the Corleone family.

You do remember that you're trying to make Wal*Mart the Good Guy in this story, right?

It put on its payroll the treasurer and campaign manager of a key city council member, Yvette Alexander. It invited neighborhood activists to a focus group that paid $100 and dinner. It spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on local charities like the Greater Washington Urban League and D.C. Hunger Solutions. It arranged a healthy-foods photo-op with Michelle Obama. And it spent in the “eight-figure range” (in the estimate of one journalist) to sponsor a traveling exhibition on the African-American experience that was led by NPR host Tavis Smiley, who proceeded to praise Walmart at the swanky opening-night party amid many influential black leaders

Really, Tavis? Goddammit, must EVERYONE be a disappointment to me?

Michelle Shocked Draws Fire for Anti-Gay Remarks
Michelle Shocked performing in Madison, Wisc., in 2011. 

You’d think a business that not only plays by the rules (without asking for tax and zoning breaks)


What?!?!? Since when?

 a business that not only plays by the rules (without asking for tax and zoning breaks) but is a beloved icon for the working class and goes to considerable lengths to be a good corporate citizen

A good corporate citizen? Even Wal*Mart doesn't pretend to be a good corporate citizen! They don't deny forcing manufacturing jobs to China, they make no bones about the taxpayers having to subsidize their employees' meager wages with food stamps. What the hell is your definition of a good corporate citizen?

Okay, I'm just going to skip ahead to the end. . .
And even in statist D.C., there is recognition that an efficient free market, unlike the city’s sclerotic bureaucracies, is a near-miraculous method for lifting people up.


People are going to be "lifted up" by a company that would rather spend millions greasing influential palms than pay it's workers a lousy $12 bucks an hour? How does that work, exactly?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Liberalism run amok!

Here's the stupidest headline I've seen in a while:

Has liberalism run amok under President Obama?

Where would you even come up with this sort of nonsense? Unless. . .

Much attention has been given to growing extremism in the GOP — but critics say progressives are just as bad.

Of course! It's modern journalism's slavish devotion to the "both sides do it" zombie lie!

Since President Obama's convincing re-election victory, the dominant political story has centered on whether the GOP should counter right-wing elements within its party and undertake moderate reforms that many argue are necessary for Republicans to return to power

I'm not sure that has been the dominant political story. I think the dominant political story has been the debate over whether we should destroy Social Security and Medicare altogether or just damage them to placate the deficit hawks, who, as everyone knows, are the only serious very important thinkers inside the beltway, since in January, 2009 they suddenly realized that deficits exist!

But while a proposed Republican makeover has grabbed all the attention — see the much-publicized "autopsy" this week of Mitt Romney's November defeat — developments within the Democratic Party have largely escaped the microscope.

Because we're all just too excited to see what Paul Ryan will come up with next to pay attention to stupid Democrats!

Together, Virginia, we can destroy all the olds and poors!
David Brooks, the center-right columnist at The New York Times, argues that liberals have, in fact, lurched leftward under Obama.

Oh, well, if David brooks thinks so! David Brooks who thinks that anyone to the left of Dick Cheney is a bomb-throwing radical thinks that Democrats have "lurched leftward?"  Well, okay. I'm game. Let's take a look at this column you link to.  (oh, and by the way, a man who is editor of the "Weekly Standard" can hardly be described as "Center-right.")

There is a statue outside the Federal Trade Commission of a powerful, rambunctious horse being reined in by an extremely muscular man. This used to be a metaphor for liberalism. The horse was capitalism. The man was government, which was needed sometimes to restrain capitalism’s excesses.

Or, it could be a metaphor for common sense. Or a metaphor for the reality-based community. Or for the basic workings of the real world. . .

Today, liberalism seems to have changed. Today, many progressives seem to believe that government is the horse, the source of growth, job creation and prosperity. Capitalism is just a feeding trough that government can use to fuel its expansion.

Ah, yes. The infallible journalistic source "many progressives!" And David Brooks will inform us of what they "seem to believe." Now that's just first-class reportage!

For an example of this new worldview, look at the budget produced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus last week. These Democrats try to boost economic growth with a gigantic $2.1 trillion increase in government spending — including a $450 billion public works initiative, a similar-size infrastructure program and $179 billion so states, too, can hire more government workers.

So, the Progressive Caucus is proposing something progressive? And this constitutes a "lurching leftward?" Also, too, are you really going to dispute that we have serious infrastructure needs in this nation? Do you deny that the large numbers of layoffs of state employees is a big contributor to our nation's unemployment? Or would you have to be a dumb ol' lefty to acknowledge those basic facts?

 Today, progressives are calling on government to be the growth engine in all circumstances. In this phase of the recovery, just as the economy is finally beginning to take off,

[Stop the presses! A right-wing hack has actually admitted that the economy is improving under the Obama administration?]

 these Democrats want to take an astounding $4.2 trillion out of the private sector and put it into government where they believe it can be used more efficiently.

Well, perhaps more efficiently than hiding it the Caymans and not hiring anybody, I guess. Maybe more efficiently than just sitting on piles of assets and not loaning money to small businesses or homeowners.

How do the House Democrats want to get this money? The top tax rate would shoot up to 49 percent. There’d be new taxes on investment, inheritance, corporate income, financial transactions, banking activity and on and on.

Yeah, those would actually be OLD taxes. The kind of taxes we used to have in this country before the Reagan/Friedman/Jarvis/Norquist mindset took over. For the 40 years pre-Reagan, the top tax rate was over 70%. Forty-nine percent is a walk in the park compared to the Eisenhower years! (link)

  Now, of course, there have been times, like, say, the Eisenhower administration, when top tax rates were very high. But the total tax burden was lower since so few people paid the top rate and there were so many ways to avoid it. Government was smaller.

Okay, I don't get it. I've been trying to wrap my head around this for a couple minutes. Is the objection not that the increased tax rate would put too onerous a burden on individual taxpayers, but that the total amount of revenue the government takes in would increase? Like it would be ok if government took a higher percentage in taxes as long as they took it from fewer people? I don't get it.

I also don't get how there could possibly have been more ways to avoid taxes than there are today. There are entire industries dedicated to helping rich people exploit loopholes to avoid paying taxes.

Today, especially after the recent tax increases, the total tax burden is already at historic highs. If you combine federal, state, sales and other taxes, rich people in places like California and New York are seeing the government take 60 cents or more out of their last dollar earned.

Oh, noes! Poor Phil Mickelson! 60 cents out of every dollar? No, what did you say? 60 cents out of their last dollar. Okay, but they had to have already earned many many dollars to get to the 60 cent dollar, so. . . I don't know, it doesn't really seem all that terrible, especially since you know damn well they are hiding a lot of their income in tax shelters. And the very very rich pay the super-low "carried interest" rate, or capitol gains rate, or whatever people who don't have to work for their money pay. Ask Warren Buffet, he can explain it.

The first problem, of course, is that there aren’t enough rich people to cover even the current spending plans. As an analysis by the group Third Way demonstrated, even if we threw every semiplausible tax increase at the rich, the national debt would still double over the next three decades.

 Okay, but what if we just went back to the Clinton-era rates when we were actually paying down the debt?

The second problem is that if you set the tax burden at astronomical levels you really do begin to change behavior and wind up with a very different country. You don’t have to be a rabid supply-sider to believe that when you start taking away 80 percent or 90 percent of somebody’s top marginal earnings, you are going to get some pretty screwy effects.

Well, I don't think anyone is suggesting that, but I believe the country actually did fairly well when the top marginal tax rate was in the 80-90+% range, an era I like to call the 1950's and 60's. (link) 
(yes, it's the same link. So? How much time do you think I have for my silly little blogging hobby?)

Higher taxes will produce long-term changes in social norms, behavior and growth. Edward Prescott, a winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics, found that, in the 1950s when their taxes were low, Europeans worked more hours per capita than Americans. Then their taxes went up, reducing the incentives to work and increasing the incentives to relax. Over the next decades, Europe saw a nearly 30 percent decline in work hours.

Really? Really? Increasing taxes provides more incentive to relax? Does anyone need any extra incentive to relax? Everybody loves to relax!

And Europeans saw their work hours decrease because their unions fought for it. Do you think that the bosses of European companies were giving their employees the option of how many hours to work? "What's that Francois? You say your taxes have gone up, so you're going home early today? And coming in late tomorrow? Well, C'est La Vie! Au Revoir, mon ami!" (pretty much my entire French vocabulary)


Au revoir, we're all going home! Because of Le Taxes!

Also, how does raising taxes provide an incentive to work fewer hours? Let's see, I used to take home 10 Francs an hour, now, with the additional tax, I only clear 8 Francs. What to do, what to do. . . I know, I'll put in fewer hours, that way, I get fewer Francs per hour, but multiply that by fewer hours. . .Francois, you diabolical genius, you're rich!

So, anyway, has liberalism "run amok" under President Obama? Short answer: no. Long answer David Brooks is the worst columnist in the world, unless you count Ryu Spaeth who wrote the original article for "The Week" in which he cites both David Brooks and Jennifer Rubin as if they were objective arbiters of reality to criticize the Democrats' alleged leftward lurch (don't you wish!).
Check out his entire article here: http://news.yahoo.com/liberalism-run-amok-under-president-obama-155000998.html if you're in the mood for a laugh.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Bible has a casting problem

The husband and wife team behind History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries issued a statement in response to accusations that the actor cast in the role of Satan was chosen due to his vague resemblance to President Barack Obama:

“The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics – including Satanic characters – long before Barack Obama was elected as our President,” said Burnett and Downey.
“This is utter nonsense.”

Okay, I'm perfectly willing to assume that he was not chosen due to his resemblance to POTUS.  But you know what? You've still got a serious problem with the casting here.
Let's see if we can spot a pattern here:

Moses is played by British actor William Houston

You may have to answer him these questions three.


Another Brit, Gary Oliver.

Mary, mother of Jesus?

The very British Roma Downey.

Jesus Himself?


Portugese actor Diogo Morgado.

But Satan, the embodiment of evil?


Black guy!

I don't even care if he bears a resemblance to the President, why are you casting a black guy as Satan? Why would you assume that Satan would be black? Especially when you apparently assume that all of the ancient Hebraic characters would look like lily-white Europeans? You couldn't find anyone whose ancestors came from the Holy Lands?

A Jewish actor? Now I've heard everything!

So, yeah, maybe it's a coincidence that Mehdi Ouzaani sort of looks like Barack Obama in 20 years, but how are these casting decisions not just a teensy bit, oh, I don't know. . .racist?

Oh, and by the way, if this hand-hole is at all indicitave of your production values. . .

. . . I wouldn't be clearing out any space on your Emmy shelf.

Oh, wait, the Emmys are terrible! You'll probably need to add a shelf.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St Padrick's Day!

I don't celebrate it myself, being neither Irish nor Catholic, but I do love the music and the dancing.

CPAC Crowd pretends Sarah Palin isn't a huge embarrassment

Sarah Palin was one of the stars of this year's CPAC, the only place in the world where she is considered relevant and Chris Christie is not. I don't know what the bulk of her speech was about, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was about the Real America? But I did see this clip, in which she acts like a snotty 12-year-old boy to wild applause from the troglodytes.

First she does what any 12-year-old whose dad lets him have a gun would do, makes sure everyone knows she has it. "Hey, did I ever mention that me and Tahd have guns, 'cuz we totally do. I totally bought him a gun for Christmas. He totally bought me a gun rack for all the guns I have, you guys. I'm kind of a gun expert!"

Then she makes a juvenile dick and boob joke "he has the 'gun', you guys! Get it? 'gun?' But I have the 'rack!' Ha ha, you get it? 'rack?' Hmm? You know, 'rack?' like boobs?" Ugh! painful.

Then she acts like she's some kind of defiant rebel by sipping from a Big Gulp. In Washington, DC. Where there are ZERO restrictions on sizes of soda, so wow! You're really flaunting your bad-girl street cred, there. For the record, I agree that mayor Bloomberg's soda rule is a stupid rule. And it has already been tossed out by the courts. But you're not in New York. You're not exactly stickin' it to the man, there. It would be like me flying to Las Vegas and playing a slot machine and bragging about how I'm a total bad-ass because gambling is illegal in Georgia. Then I fly back to Atlanta and brag to everyone about how I broke the law and totally got away with it because I'm a rebel and I'll never be any good. I'm a rebel and I never ever do what I should!

But of course the mouth breathers in the CPAC audience erupt into wild ovations like she was Spartacus, brazenly defying the Imperial might of Caesar! Oh, my God, what a hero!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

I know It's Caturday

But come on! Look at this little guy!

It's CPAC time again!

Yes, it's time once again for C-Pac, the annual gathering of right-wing lunatics that's like a conservative political version of Dragon*Con if the folks at Dragon*Con didn't know that their stuff was make-believe.

And were worse at making costumes.

I've seen a few quotes coming out of the cesspool to which ideas go to die, let's look at a few:

There was this gem from Mitch McConnell -
"Conservatives were never meant to be part of the crybaby caucus.”

Seriously? Have you ever seen a bigger bunch of crybabies that today's conservatives? Waah, the evil libr'rul media is against us! Waaaah, the mean gay people are trying to steal marriage! It never stops with these sniveling babies! Down the hall, they held a panel on "liberal bullying" in which they whined about how if you support voter ID laws, they call you a racist, and if you support traditional marriage, they label you a bigot, and oh, it's just so unfair, they're making it harder to be a raging cockhole all the time!

Oh, speaking of marriage equality and raging cockholes, Senator Rob Portman has had a change of heart on the issue. (The marriage issue, not the cockhole one)


"The overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible, and certainly the Golden Rule, and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker, that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue," Portman said, adding that he feels that "in a way, this strengthens the institution of marriage."

Wow, well that's terrific. What exactly led to all this soul-searching? Just wake up one morning and decide that maybe you should be less of a cockhole?

No, of course not. His gay son came out. Seriously. He changed his mind once the issue affected him personally. Now that there's a gay in my family, suddenly I'm a bit reluctant to persecute the gays so much. Mighty big of you, Senator!

Don't get me wrong, this is actually a positive reaction the Senator has had. Maybe not particularly sincere, but a hell of a lot better than the Alan Keyes "get your filthy gay butt out of my hose" approach to conservative parenting.

He said his decision to announce his new stance was not motivated by its potential political impact, and he was not sure what the fallout would be.

"Although, I can read the polls," he did not add.
Marriage equality is pretty popular and getting more so all the time, so a politician with his eye on the White House, might suddenly find it expedient to come out in favor of equality TWO YEARS after his son comes out. So, can we expect Sen. Portman to lead the charge for equality in DC?

Portman, who backed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, said he now thinks parts of that bill should be repealed, though he hasn't considered introducing such legislation himself because economic policy issues are his specialty.

Oh, right. Because economic policy. . . um. . .does that seriously make sense to you? Gosh, I would love to introduce a bill to take my son out of second-class citizen status, but golly, I don't think I have the right form for social policy legislation. I suppose I could cross out here where it says "economic" and write in "basic human decency," but I don't know, it's not really my area of expertise.


Texas crackpot Louie Gohmert weighed in with this bit of historical wishful thinking:

 "Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it!"

(Artist's depiction)

Well, if by "winnable" you mean that we could potentially have turned the entire nation of Vietnam into a smoking, rubble-strewn post-apocalyptic nightmarescape a'la the Road Warrior, then sure. We probably could have done that. We probably could have killed every man, woman and child in the region then declared that region safe for democracy, so if that's what you mean, then sure!

And what would a wingnut conclave be without Donald Trump? 

I'm not even going to look up a quote from this gasbag buffoon, just look at this picture of his speech and feel slightly better about the world:

And most of those losers are probably on his payroll!

Marco Rubio said something that was probably even true:

“just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot.”

I believe you are right. It was probably tour upbringing that made you a bigot.

Opposing marriage equality doesn't make you a bigot. Being a bigot makes you oppose marriage equality.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shouldn't There Be Some Sort of Basic Civics Test For Office-Holders?

Remember a while ago when Rand Paul* said something to the effect of "just because 9 guys in robes say something is constitutional doesn't mean it is?"  Because obviously a self-certified opthamologist who can't discern between a hairpiece and a dead possum is a far better judge of Constitutional law than the members of the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT?

*I think it was Rand Paul, I'm too sick to bother researching it.

 Well, now some idiot back-bencher from Oklahoma is saying roughly the same thing.

Rep. Bridenstine on Obamacare: ‘Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s constitutional’ [VIDEO]

Well, I'm sure representative Brindenstine probably has an extensive legal background. Let's just look at his campaign website to see where his law degree is from:

Jenks High School – Distinguished Graduate, Oklahoma Swimmer of the Year
Rice University - Triple Major - Economics, Psychology, Business
Cornell University - Masters of Business Administration


Still, though, swimmer of the year! That's gotta count for something, right?

I'm sure though, that a highly educated man (no sarcasm, his college resume is darn impressive) must have some insightful legal analysis behind his claim that the Supreme Court is not the boss of him.

(via the horrible Daily Caller, no link)
Bridenstine says Obamacare “is a government takeover” and says Chief Justice John Roberts is “incorrect” on the Affordable Care Act being a tax. He says he wants “Congress to take back its constitutional authority.”
“Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s constitutional,” he said.

I see. So your paranoid assumption that "Obamacare" is a "government takeover" and that Roberts is a stinky dummyhead informs your decision that the Supreme Court can, in the immortal words of Abe Fortas, "suck it?"

Did I mention that I'm sick?

BRIDENSTINE: Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s constitutional. What that means is that that’s what they decided on that particular day given the makeup of the Court on that particular day.

Yes, I'm sure if you ask them tomorrow they'll probably be in a better mood and will rule completely differently! It's just like Judge Judy, if your case comes up before lunchtime, you damn well better mind your p's and q's, 'cuz Judge J will be cranky! After lunch, she's much more reasonable. I'm sure the Supreme Court works the same way!

Tell me again about the rabbits, George!
And the left in this country has done an extraordinary job of stacking the courts in their favor.
God, it's like a Weather Underground reunion!

 So what we have to do as a body of Congress is say, “look, just because the courts” – and I hear this all the time from Republicans – they say that the court is the arbitrator and after the arbitration is done, that’s the rules we have to live under and we can go forth and make legislation given those rules. That’s not the case.
And I know, because I've been a Congressman for like 7 weeks!
Seriously, when the senior members of your party take you aside and tell you "hey, rookie, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of Constitutionality," believe them. They may be lunatics in a lot of ways, they may be unscrupulous assholes, but they've been around a while and they know how things work.
They aren't going to tell you how to fly a plane, don't tell them how the Constitution works.
I mean, somebody has to, just not you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lindsey Graham's Expected Primary Challenge Comes From an Unexpected Place

Well, despite his best efforts to seem all butch and tough and wingnutty as possible, Lindsey Graham knew it was inevitable that he was going to get primaried by someone more extreme/crazier. He was expecting that. He probably wasn't expecting this:

Bruce Carroll Resigns From Gay Republican Group GOProud To Explore Lindsey Graham Challenge
The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:


Yes, Bruce Carroll, one of the leaders of the ironically-named "GOProud," the group that split off from the Log Cabin Republicans because they just weren't self-loathing enough, is going to challenge Lindsey Graham for the job of Senator. From South Carolina. Because where else would the first openly-gay Senator come from than South Carolina?

No, I said "openly"
(how much does Graham have to hate himself to do this photo-op?)

He made his announcement on a website called "The Gay Patriot" or "Gaytriot" for short.

Gay Patriot Header Image

Here, in my opinion, is the highlight:

In the spirit of transparency and honesty, I informed my fellow GOProud board members that I could not dedicate the time to the organization while I seriously considered the effort it will take to challenge Senator Graham in the 2014 Primary.

Because you can't expect the man to hold down a full-time job AND consider something at the same time! Not if you want him to "seriously consider" it. Hmm, I wonder if he'll still be drawing a salary while he considers how best to rake in those sweet, sweet, untraceable campaign contributions?

Oh, and this was good, too:

I felt it best to resign from GOProud in advance of the CPAC conference this week so that my position in GOProud would not be a distraction from my serious deliberations regarding my potential future plans in South Carolina public service.

Because GOProud has very conspicuously NOT been invited to CPAC? Because if there's one thing the Republican base hates more than Lindsey Graham's occasional flirtations with sanity, it's gay people? So maybe if you resign from GOProud, they might not notice that you're actually a gay person yourself and might consider voting for you? The CPAC base doesn't even want you in the building. lest your gay cooties infect their perfectly hetero wieners.

According to NBC:
GOProud, a Republican gay-rights group, is still not officially invited to attend CPAC, next week's conservative conference in the D.C. area -- but it will be on site.
Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud's co-founder and executive director, will be participating in a panel happening at the same time as CPAC, in the same building as CPAC. . . LaSalvia is excited to participate, and says his understanding is that CPAC is unhappy with the additions.

They hate you, Bruce. Almost as much as you apparently hate yourself. There aren't enough self-loathing closet queens in the state of South Carolina who feel strongly enough about fiscal conservatism or whatever to risk being seen as someone who might consider voting for you. You have no chance. But please, don't let reality dissuade you from running. I need the material.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Good Job, Women!

In honor of International Womens' Day:

By All Means, Let's Investigate!

Death of lion lover spurs state, federal scrutiny

DUNLAP, Calif. (AP) — A 24-year-old intern who was described by her father as a "fearless" lover of big cats ventured into a lion enclosure at a privately owned zoo and was mauled to death, prompting investigations by several government agencies that want to know how the accident happened.

Yes, let's launch an investigation into how it was that someone who "ventured into a lion enclosure" ended up getting mauled by lions.

Yep, that's a real head-scratcher!
Also, it doesn't really sound like an "accident." I don't think the young lady "accidentally" wandered into the lion pen, and I doubt that the lion "accidentally" mauled her.


Dianna Hanson, whose Facebook page is plastered with photos of her petting tigers and other big cats, was frustrated that the exotic cat zoo in California where she had worked since January did not allow direct contact with animals, her father told The Associated Press.
"She was disappointed because she said they wouldn't let her into the cages with the lion and tiger there,"

Dang it, why won't they let me go into the lion cage. . . oh, now I get it!

Whether Hanson ignored orders or was performing a function that placed her in danger is being investigated by Cal-OSHA, which also is trying to determine if employees were properly instructed about potential danger, as required.
"There should have been procedures that very clearly stated what the employees were required to do in order to not get killed," said agency spokesman Peter Melton

I know, I know! Stay out of the fucking lion enclosure?
Look, I'm actually a big fan of OSHA. I think workplace safety requirements are absolutely necessary and proper, but come on! All you really should need is a sign reading "here there be lions," and anyone who's not a lunatic will know to stay out. I think we can let this one go and just chalk it up to thinning the herd. Literally.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lindsey Graham will protect your imaginary family from imaginary mobs

"Can you imagine a circumstance where an AR-15 would be a better defense tool than, say, a double-barrel shotgun?" Graham asked. "Let me give you an example, that you have an lawless environment, where you have an natural disaster or some catastrophic event -- and those things unfortunately do happen, and law and order breaks down because the police can't travel, there's no communication. And there are armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods. Can you imagine a situation where your home happens to be in the crosshairs of this group that a better self-defense weapon may be a semiautomatic AR-15 vs. a double-barrel shotgun?"

Yes, It was called "The Road Warrior."

Also, this could happen. Probably.

[Eric] Holder pointed out that the senator was "dealing with a hypothetical in a world that doesn't exist."
"I'm afraid that world does exist," Graham insisted. "It existed in New Orleans, to some extent up in Long Island [after Hurricane Sandy], it could exist tomorrow if there's a cyber attack against country and the power grid goes down and the dams are released and chemical plants are -- discharges
Is it relevant that there were not, in fact, marauding gangs roaming the neighborhoods in either of those situations?
Too busy finding bread and soda to maraud.

There were people with assault weapons, but they weren't defending themselves from marauding gangs, they were just shootin up black guys.  http://www.thenation.com/article/katrinas-hidden-race-war 
I don't know that I would really look at that as a positive, though.
"What I'm saying is if my family was in the crosshairs of gangs that were roaming around neighborhoods in New Orleans or or any other location, the deterrent effect of an AR-15 to protect my family, I think, is greater than a double-barrel shotgun."


 You know what, Senator, how about if we all just agree that you're super butch and masculine and totally not at all gay and you just cool it with the ridiculous macho gun crap, hmm?
Pyew! Pyew!