November 28, 2012

Tom Ricks probably won't be back on Faux Noos anytime soon

Ricks very simply points out that the Faux outrage over Bin Ghazi is trumped up and politicized by Fox News, and that Fox is the media wing of the Republican Party. Jon Scott was not amused.

Fox News later said that Ricks “apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.” Ricks says that did not happen.

The true outrage ought to be over the way the fate of four Americans is being used by the wingnut right for political points, all the while ignoring the dozens or even hundres of similar incidents that have happened under Republican administrations.

This shouldn't be political.


November 27, 2012

Well, there's the problem right there...

The Atlantic - Jordan Weissmann

Hey Rick Perry, It'd Be Dirt Cheap to Give More Poor Texans Health Care

The problem in a nutshell... too few Republican policy makers with any kind of sense... including, maybe especially ol Guv. Goodhair.


November 26, 2012

Victoria's Secret

The crotchless panties must have been on sale.



November 25, 2012

Sunday Funnies

More funnies below the fold...


November 23, 2012

Lots of news lately

Good, bad and ridiculous.

“Among the dozens of Facebook groups spawned by the Syrian uprising, a page supporting women's rights has suddenly received a wave of attention, because of an image posted there by one of its followers. The picture was of 21-year-old Dana Bakdounis, without the veil she had grown up wearing - and it polarised opinion.”

“The Internal Revenue Service said in a report released Wednesday afternoon that average effective tax rates — the percentage a taxpayer actually pays after deductions and other breaks — fell for every income group above $500,000. The decreases were largest for the top category, households with income exceeding $10 million. The average rate fell for that group to 20.7% from 22.4% in 2009.”

 “But DesJarlais said he is not the same man who supported his first wife's decision to have two abortions. The physician-turned-congressman said he also deeply regrets sexual relationships with multiple women, including two patients, three co-workers and a drug company representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper.”

“Not a month after Hurricane Sandy there’s a rough consensus about how to respond. America is already looking to places like London, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Tokyo, where sea walls, levees and wetlands, flood plains and floating city blocks have been conceived.”

“Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.”


November 22, 2012

Poetry break

The Answer 
October 1915

When I go back to earth
And all my joyous body
Puts off the red and white
That once had been so proud,
If men should pass above
With false and feeble pity,
My dust will find a voice
To answer them aloud:

“Be still, I am content,
Take back your poor compassion—
Joy was a flame in me
Too steady to destroy.
Lithe as a bending reed
Loving the storm that sways her—
I found more joy in sorrow
Than you could find in joy.”


November 20, 2012

We can't fund public education or womens health, but...

Guv. Goodhair's cronies always seem to get their own palms greased.

From the Dallas Morning News...
"The state’s $3 billion program to fight cancer has come under increased scrutiny after its chief scientist and dozens of advisers stepped down this year, alleging that methods for awarding grants have been compromised.

our new investigation of The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, we report that millions from the agency flowed to two firms founded by political contributor and Dallas businessman David Shanahan.

A month after Texas voters in 2007 approved the state’s 10-year, $3 billion program Shanahan and several of his associates began to pour tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign funds of Gov. Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst."
Goodhair and the rest of the Texas Republican big chunks steered upwards of $12.8 Million to their own political backers, and did so for chump change contributions. Yes, $50K in exchange is a classic example of buy low, sell high. You can't get much lower than a Republican in Texas these days.

This story has legs, and I hope those legs will help boot the ethically challenged "leaders" out of office.

The November 17th Dallas Morning News investigative report is HERE, and the November 19th follow-up HERE. There is an earlier report on October 23rd by the Fort Worth Star Telegram HERE, followed by Goodhair's response the next day. Since the DMN piece appeared none of our  erstwhile dirty tricksters have been available for comment.


November 19, 2012

A Farewell To Arms: Ending The Phony Filibuster

The following is reprinted in its entirety from  Jonathan Turley's blog. Turley tags the post under "Constitutional Law" , "Politics" and "Things That Tick Me Off." Following some interesting conversations with right wing acquaintances and friends suffering some to degree or another with sour grape syndrome... and feeling a need to respond... it seems that this brief article came along at just the right time. 

By Mark Esposito, 

Newly elected Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has a radical idea — words should mean what they mean. Take for example the word “filibuster.” Most of us have the quaint notion that a filibuster is an exhausting oration rarely used by a principled senator to stop devastatingly wrongheaded or corrupt legislation in its tracks. From the time of Cato, the legislative maneuver was used as the last gasp effort to do the right thing even as the forces of corruption were circling. It was essentially a plea for good men and women to think long and hard before passing ill-considered law. Think Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

But alas, in the Orwellian world of “government speak” the new filibuster means simply that a senator makes a telephone call to the senate majority leader threatening to stand before senate and protest a particular bill. Magically, the bill now requires 60 votes (for the cloture motion needed to end the phony filibuster) to pass instead of that old-fashioned formula for representative democracy — the favoring of one half of the members present plus one. No speech, no reason, no passion, and no democracy. It’s too damn easy to gum up the people’s business with that slimmest and slimiest of minorities — the ego of one.

The rule has permitted the “Nattering Nabobs of No” – also known as Senate Republican Caucus — to use the filibuster 380 times since 2006 to stop such menacing bills as those appointing judges or heads of government agencies, ending subsidies to Big Oil, and to open government processes to the public. That, according to Warren, spells abuse and government gridlock.

Oh, and what about that merit of allowing a sincere senator to try by the sheer force of his words to stop bad legislation from becoming law? According to Warren that’s as phony as the new filibuster, too. “We’ve seen filibusters of bills and nominations that ultimately passed with 90 or more votes,” she says. Senator-elect Warren has had enough of “government speak” and now calls for a majority to just be a majority.

On her first week on the job in January, Elizabeth Warren, joined by several freshman senators, will propose that the Senate rules to be changed to make language meaningful again. She’ll ask that exclusive club, by a simple majority vote, to make a filibuster mean what the word implies. If she gets her way, senators will no longer hold a cell phone veto over the will of the majority and will have to actually stand in the well of the Senate to speak their piece. Maybe they’ll read aloud the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence or even the telephone directory. Maybe they’ll tell us about their childhood growing up in idyllic East Bumbletuck or about their favorite cat or about the time they caught the winning touchdown pass. But maybe –just maybe — they’ll feel compelled by logic or honor or just plain ol’ manners to explain to us all why the manifested will of the world’s greatest nation takes a back seat to their petty wants.


November 18, 2012

Sunday Funnies

More funnies below the fold

November 16, 2012

The shallow end

These secession petitions popping up on the We The People, site are an interesting phenomena. Currently there are 68 petitions with every state represented… some more than once. In fact there are 41 petitions from 25 red states and 36 from 26 blue states.

Democrat leaning California, Illinois, New Mexico and New York have two each while Ohio and Virginia three. Republican Alaska, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah each have two while Georgia and Missouri have raised three.

States with highest participation are North Dakota with 1.59%, Wyoming with 1.46%, and Montana at 1.27%... all red states. States with the fewest signatures as a percentage of population are Republican leaning Missouri at 0.023 and North Carolina at 0.020, with always blue California making a significantly inconsequential showing at 0.002%.

With over 110 thousand signatures, Texas surpasses all other states by a factor of three and is actually the most popular petition on the White House site. Funny thing is that two Texas cities have raise petitions to secede from Texas yet remain part of the U.S.A. One of these cities, Austin, raised more than double the signatures by population than Texas raised as a state.

Lots of questions as to the validity of these petitions. How many duplicate signatures? How many spoof signatures from people thinking the idea is ludicrous? How many signed by folks not from that particular state and how many of them voted on multiple petitions?

To my mind all of this is hate-centered garbage and the sarcastic response to perceived stupidity. It should feel right at home alongside the 9/11 truthers, chem-trail conspiracy theorists and homeopothists.


November 15, 2012

Yet more insanity

More news items found...

A new fool rears its head. Welcome the Alabamadamna fool.

While Facebook claims yet another victim in Ohio...

Out in California we have the 22-year-old blindingly brilliant blond having a difficult time figuring it out.

In Mississippi, the more things change the more they seem to stay the same.

This one represents the illogical dichotomy of modern Christianity. Since the vast majority of racist tweets posted following President Obama's reelection originated from Alabama (according to the demographers at Floating Sheep) it is perhaps unsurprising that this effigy was spotted on a porch in a small community not far from Dothan had apparently been sitting there since Halloween without any complaint from the neighbors.

Certain business folks have doubled down upon learning that the Romneys wouldn't be adding yet another to an already long list of palatial mansions.

By far the most bizarre overreaction is also the saddest… and occurred prior to the election. Responsibility for this hyped-up fear and hate-mongering falls squarely on the shoulders of the right-wing media and the plutocracy that funds them.


November 14, 2012

November 11, 2012

Sunday Funnies