Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is This Really The Best Group To Be Doing This?

Who better to partner with schools to educate the public about child sex abuse in the wake of the Penn State scandal than the organization that perpetrated the biggest child abuse scandal of our time? Yep the poster child for child rape, the Catholic Church, wants to help.
The Roman Catholic Church is willing to partner with American educational institutions to educate the public about child sex abuse after the Penn State scandal, according to the head of the U.S. church.

"One of the good things God might bring out of this evil and this tragedy would be now some type of alliance between religion and the educational establishment in a major national campaign to see that this is faced head on," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the top Catholic official in the United States.
You just can't make this stuff up.

Apparently $6.2 Billion Doesn't Go As Far As It Used To

Having been stationed on 3 different aircraft carriers during my time in the Navy I can remember when $6.2 billion would buy US taxpayers a ship that had toilets that usually worked at least somewhere. True we had many issues in isolated areas of the ship often caused by clothing or some other type of foreign object being flushed but what is going on onboard the Navy's newest carrier, the George H.W. Bush, is something else altogether.
The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier has a messy problem. Since deploying in May, the Norfolk, Va.-based carrier George H.W. Bush has grappled with widespread toilet outages, at times rendering the entire ship without a single working head.

But it’s no laughing matter. Sailors tell of combing the ship for up to an hour to find a place to do their business, if they can find one at all. Others have resorted to urinating in showers or into the industrial sinks in their work stations. Some men are using bottles and emptying the contents over the giant ship’s side, while some women are holding it in for so long that they are developing health problems, according to sources on the ship.
The article goes on to document that since the ship was commissioned in early 2009, the poor snipes in the Bush's engineering department have spent over 10,000 man hours keeping the waste system operational including at least one 35 hour stretch where not one of the 400 plus toilets worked.

So what does the Navy have to say about their $6 billion dollar plumbing headache?

Instead of calling out the contractor who supplied the system that the Navy freely admits was designed with unusually narrow waste pipes, they blame the sailors on the USS Bush all while claiming that a 94% uptime for the system that has no back up is acceptable.
The Navy, in a written statement, acknowledged problems with the system since the ship was delivered in May 2009. Sailors have spent more than 10,000 man hours addressing the toilets’ vacuum system on this deployment, averaging roughly 25 calls per week for commode problems. Most problems were fixed within 24 hours, with some requiring just a few minutes of work, said a statement from Naval Air Force Atlantic, adding that the ship had a “94 percent availability of commodes” throughout the deployment.

AIRLANT said most issues occurred when inappropriate materials were flushed down the toilets. Sailors onboard the ship said that everything from feminine hygiene products to clothes have been unclogged from the network of pipes. When used as intended, the system works well and most problems can be fixed in minutes, AIRLANT said.
As a former sailor I can tell you that of course 94% availability is long as you don't have to go during the other 6% and throw in a few 35 hour system wide outages and 94% doesn't look as rosy. Even on the USS Midway, a 45 year old ship at the time I was stationed on her, these types of outages were unheard of but would at least be understandable. But on a 2 year old state of the art carrier?

Come on now...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hot Coffee

Tort reform has been a buzz word in our political landscape for quite some time. Who couldn't be against getting rid of frivolous lawsuits right?

Susan Saladoff, director of the HBO documentary Hot Coffee, explains that tort reform isn't the silver bullet that we have been led to believe.

If you have HBO I recommend that you see this via OnDemand or HBO Go if not, the DVD is now available. Watch it!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Supposed Family Oriented Hate Group Gives 100% Rating To Rep That Refuses To Pay Child Support

The South Dakota War College recently made a big deal over the Family Research Council's (FRC) 0% rating given to South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. So with that in mind I figured I would add some perspective and show what exactly someone must do to gain the approval of the group which made the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups.

Illinois freshman House Republican Joe Walsh was recently awarded a 100% rating from the FRC for what they called his "unwavering support of the family" and Walsh was more than happy to accept.
“We thank Cong. Walsh who has voted consistently to defend faith, family and freedom,” said FRCA President Tony Perkins. “Cong. Walsh and other ‘True Blue Members’ have voted to repeal Obamacare, de-fund Planned Parenthood, end government funding for abortion within the health care law, uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, and continue support for school choice. I applaud their commitment to uphold the institutions of marriage and family.”

“I am proud and honored to be recognized by the Family Research Council as the only member from Illinois with a 100 percent pro-family voting record,” Walsh said in a news release. “Defending American values have always been one of my top priorities, and this reward reaffirms my dedication to that fight.”
So what exactly are some of Walsh's family value highlights? How about allegedly being over $100,000 behind on his child support payments.
The freshman congressman's ex-wife, Laura Walsh, filed the claim against him in December as part of their divorce case, saying he owed $117,437 to her and their three children, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in a story published Wednesday. She contends that Walsh loaned his own campaign $35,000 and took international vacations but said he couldn't afford child support payments because he was between jobs or out of work.
Sounds pretty pro family to me, too bad Senator Johnson can't live up to these standards...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Milking The Gullible Continues To Be Profitable

You would think that selling yourself as the doomsday prophet and then having the date of your prophecy come and go without incident would be bad for your reputation but what about 3 times?

Harold Camping, the Family Radio preacher who predicted the end of the world for the first time way back in 1994, has apparently left the rapture business after incorrectly predicting it not once but twice this year alone.
For the past five months, Harold Camping's Family Radio website had posted on its main page an "explanation" of why the world did not end on May 21 and why it would truly end on Oct. 21. Four days after Camping's failed doomsday date, however, that explanation has been removed, suggesting that Family Radio may be out of the rapture prediction business.
But before anyone starts to feel sorry for the man who's supposed unquestioned faith proved to be wrong you should know that playing on the beliefs of the faithful can be quite profitable, like 75 million dollar profitable. Certainly no vow of poverty for this preacher...

So what is worse, predicting the end of days at least 3 different times by pulling arbitrary dates out of your rear end and banking millions while doing it or sending money to the guy who did?

So in honor of Harold Camping, I predict the rapture will happen January 3rd, 2024 (no particular biblical reason, I just pulled the date out of my ass). Any Camping follower or anyone else that truly believes, feel free to send money to me at the link in my sidebar so I can spread the word.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sanctity Of Marriage

It sure is a good thing that we have the religious Conservatives working on our side to prevent gays from marrying and ruining the sanctity of all our marriages. After all we all know how seriously straight couples take the sanctity of that institution and we sure wouldn't want to ruin that...
Kim Kardashian is filing for divorce just 72 days after tying the knot with Kris Humphries in a lavish ceremony that was taped for her reality show.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Study By Climate Change Skeptic Ends Up Proving Climate Change

What is even funnier than a global warming skeptic and physicist performing a study to disprove climate change that actually proves it? How about it being funded by the Koch brothers...
Back in 2010, Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate skeptic, decided to launch the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project to review the temperature data that underpinned global-warming claims. Remember, this was not long after the Climategate affair had erupted, at a time when skeptics were griping that climatologists had based their claims on faulty temperature data.

Muller’s stated aims were simple. He and his team would scour and re-analyze the climate data, putting all their calculations and methods online. Skeptics cheered the effort. “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong,” wrote Anthony Watts, a blogger who has criticized the quality of the weather stations in the United Statse that provide temperature data. The Charles G. Koch Foundation even gave Muller’s project $150,000 — and the Koch brothers, recall, are hardly fans of mainstream climate science.

So what are the end results? Muller’s team appears to have confirmed the basic tenets of climate science. Back in March, Muller told the House Science and Technology Committee that, contrary to what he expected, the existing temperature data was “excellent.” He went on: “We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups.” And, today, the BEST team has released a flurry of new papers that confirm that the planet is getting hotter. As the team’s two-page summary flatly concludes, “Global warming is real.

Don't Worry

Translating Conserva-Speak

Translations for some of the more popular right wing talking points from Anything But Theist:
Support our troops (Kill foreigners)
I oppose big government (I hate when Democrats do anything)
Family values (I decide what families should be)
Obama is a Nazi Socialist (I know nothing about Nazis, Socialism, or Obama)
America first (Me second, everyone else third)
Only 53% pay taxes (Tax kids, the elderly and the comatose!)
Wealth will trickle down (The rich are pissing on us)
I’m pro-life (Unless you’re a black convict or lack health insurance)
Liberal bias (Science and history)
I don’t see color (I ignore minorities)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Truly Miss George Carlin

George Carlin explains as only he can why efforts like the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" protests are so important. (NSFW)

There's a reason education sucks, and it's the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It's never going to get any better, don't look for it, be happy with what you've got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners, now. The real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions -- forget the politicians.
The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations; they've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State houses, the City Halls; they've got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They gotcha by the balls.
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying -- lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want -- they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that, that doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin' years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers.
People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.
And now they're comin' for your Social Secuirty Money. They want your fuckin' retirement money. They want it back. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later -- 'cuz they own this fuckin' place.
It's a big club. And you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club. By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the in their media telling you what to believe -- what to think -- and what to buy. The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-workin people -- white collar, blue collar -- doesn't matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-workin people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don't give a fuck about them.
They don't give a fuck about you, they don't give a fuck about you. they don't care about you -- at all. You know? And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care ... that's what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth.
It's called the American Dream ... 'cuz you have to be asleep to believe it.
Thanks to PZ Myers

Friday, September 23, 2011

Congress Isn't Too Popular Are They?

Saw this on Facebook this morning and figured I would share.
A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly, a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down the window and asks, "What's going on?"

"Terrorists have kidnapped Congress and are asking for a $10 million dollar ransom. Otherwise, they're going to douse them all in gasoline and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking up a collection."

"How much is everyone giving, on average?" the driver asks.

The man replies, "About a gallon."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day, A Day To Celebrate The Demise Of American Labor

Labor Day, a federal holiday to celebrate American labor since 1894 when it was rushed through Congress in an attempt to head off further conflicts after the killing of numerous striking workers by the US authorities, seems to have lost some of its luster lately.

Currently as many as 16-20% of the US population is either unemployed or underemployed all while many US companies are seeing record profits often on the backs of cheap foreign labor. Since 1973, private sector union membership has declined from 34% down to approximately 8% while at the same time wage inequality in the private sector has increased by more than 40 percent. (no correlation there right?) Hardly numbers to to be celebrated.

While many are looking for work, Apple the US based darling of Wall Street and one of the biggest companies as far as revenue generated gives us a good example of the current labor/business relationship such as it is.

In 2009, the materials to make an iPhone cost Apple $172.46 and the Chinese labor to assemble it added another $6.50. Given those numbers, Apple had a profit margin of around 64% on each and every iPhone sold. Now look at what those numbers might be if Apple decided to manufacture that same iPhone in the US:
For the sake of discussion, they assumed that assembly line wages in the U.S. are ten times higher than in China. Given that Chinese production workers earn roughly $1 an hour, that is not an unreasonable assumption. The higher wages would mean that the total assembly cost per phone would rsie to $65 and the total manufacturing cost would approach $238. If Apple continued to sell the iPhone for $500, the company would still earn a very respectable 50% profit margin.
Yep, Apple would be forced to only make a 50% profit margin on each unit and 1000's of new jobs would be created. Obviously the example above isn't completely accurate as you can't touch an unsubsidized iPhone for anywhere near $500 and it doesn't take into account any benefits that Apple might chose to offer those imaginary workers but you get the picture.

Now despite how it sounds, I am not going to turn this into another "corporations are greedy" meme, well maybe I will a little bit, and I freely admit that Apple is free to run their business as they see fit and to make as much money as possible. Heck if Nike can employ a workforce of children in the 3rd world to make their $200 shoes why can't Apple also take advantage of cheap labor to make their toys? I only point this out to show how the current climate is taking us down the road to a 3rd world wake up call in which we could eventually become the next former superpower. Our education system is already well on its way there, so how long before that $1 an hour assembly job starts looking good here as well?

So on this Labor Day when we find that being employed in the government sector is bad for your employment prospects and private business is not creating jobs despite banking trillions in profits, maybe we should consider changing the name of the Labor Day holiday. How does Boardroom Day sound? We can make it a day when all the CEO's collect their multi-million dollar bonus checks and we can stand in line to collect our latest unemployment checks.

After all if you are unemployed, do you really need another day off?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Registering Poor To Vote Is Like Giving Burglary Tools To Criminals

Believe it or not that is the contention of Matthew Vadum writing in the ironically named rag the American Thinker.
Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?
Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery. 
Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country -- which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.
So there you have it, only the rich should be allowed to vote because only the most productive ones in society should have that right. Besides they certainly would never fall victim to false claims or bribes...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DOJ Sues To Block AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

To be honest I am completely shocked by this considering all the pro-merger hype and the rubber stamp big business seems to be wielding these days, but the Department of Justice announced this morning that they would be suing to block the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.
Right now, four nationwide providers account for more than 90 percent of the mobile wireless connections in America, and preserving competition among them is crucial. For instance, AT&T and T-Mobile currently compete head-to-head in 97 of the nation’s largest 100 cellular marketing areas. They also compete nationwide to attract business and government customers. Were the merger to proceed, there would only be three providers with 90 percent of the market, and competition among the remaining competitors on all dimensions—including price, quality, and innovation—would be diminished.

As can be seen in the Department’s complaint, AT&T felt competitive pressure from T-Mobile. One example cites an AT&T employee observing that “[T-Mobile] was first to have HSPA+ devices in their portfolio…we added them in reaction to potential loss of speed claims.”

So as you can see, a merged AT&T and T-Mobile would combine two of the four largest competitors in the marketplace, and would eliminate T-Mobile, an aggressive competitor, from the market.
As one would imagine given the seeming certainty that this was going to fly through the approval process, AT&T is livid.
We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated.

We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.

At the end of the day, we believe facts will guide any final decision... We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court.
Now barring a reversal by the DOJ, not only will Ma Bell not be allowed to swallow up a competitor, they will be on the hook to T-Mobile for $3 billion and all kinds of 3G roaming rights and US mobile customers will not lose one of a dwindling number of choices for cell service. So at least for now it seems that big business lost and customers won.

Can the Obama is anti-business meme be too far behind?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Disaster Aid The Next Political Hostage?

If comments from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor are to be believed, the Tea Bag wing of the Grand Old Party might be looking to tie any disaster aid requested in the wake of this week's earthquake and hurricane on the East Coast to spending cuts before getting House approval.
Cantor raised some eyebrows on Wednesday when, in the aftermath of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the East Coast and originated in his district, he said Congress will help those hurt by the earthquake but will require finding offsets for any federal aid.

"When there's a disaster there's an appropriate federal role and we will find the monies," Cantor said during a news conference in Mineral, Va. "But we've had discussions about these things before and those monies will be offset with appropriate savings or cost-cutting elsewhere in order to meet the priority of the federal government's role in a situation like this."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pandering To The Tea Party Not Such A Good Idea Anymore

Some recent polling seems to show that the Tea Party has lost some of the luster it had during the last election cycle.
Polls show that disapproval of the Tea Party is climbing. In April 2010, a New York Times/CBS News survey found that 18 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of it, 21 percent had a favorable opinion and 46 percent had not heard enough. Now, 14 months later, Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.
Those numbers aren't pretty but if you really want to put their growing unpopularity into perspective, Tea Partiers (and by extension the Religious Right) are even less popular than us lowly Atheists!
Of course, politicians of all stripes are not faring well among the public these days. But in data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right.
I guess people have finally gotten tired of be called every word in the dictionary ending in "ist" every time they don't agree with the tea bagger's warped ideology.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Under President Bachmann Gas Will Be Under $2 A Gallon

Michele Bachmann promises that she has a plan that would somehow cut gas prices in half to under $2 a gallon gas if she becomes President. All we have to do is open up our domestic drilling and somehow make oil shale production profitable at $50 a barrel.

“The day that the president became president gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Look at what it is today,” she said at an event in Greenville, S.C.. “Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen.”
Who knew it would be so easy to tame the speculation and world oil markets?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Bachmann: Even Hypothetical Cuts Are Fake

During the Iowa GOP debate the other night the candidates were asked a hypothetical question on whether they would accept a debt reduction bill if it was setup so that it included a 10 to 1 cut to tax increase ratio. Everyone on the stage being the good tea bagging suckups that they are, raised their hands to say that they wouldn't

Yesterday during an interview with Fox's Chris Wallace, Michele Bachmann was asked to explain why she wouldn't agree to such a debit deal that would in theory be a big win for the GOP:
WALLACE: Let's go back to that moment in the debate, though, when you -- and I've got to say, all the other candidates on that stage said that you would walk away from a debt deal, here it is right here, $10 in real spending cuts, to $1 in revenue increases. 10-1. Even Reagan's top economic adviser, Marty Feldstein, said that is too hard-line, that that would be walking away from a huge conservative victory.

BACHMANN: Well, I think probably Reagan would be the best example, because Reagan was going to get $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. It ended up being $3 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts. That's the way it works in D.C. The deal sounds so rosy in the very beginning, and usually the cuts are illusory, they are off into future years. And of course one Congress can't bind the next Congress, and a Congress lasts for two years. So we can't bind what future Congresses can do. We can beat our chests and be really proud and say, oh, we're going to cut trillions of dollars, but we can't guarantee what future Congresses will do. That's why no one would take that deal on the Fox stage of the debate, because we all know that they're fake cuts, essentially. They sound good. They're soundbites, but they are not real.
Yep, that's right, Bachmann said she wouldn't vote for a hypothetical debt deal that might take a few dollars from the rich in the form of higher taxes because the cuts would be fake, you know the hypothetical cuts that weren't even specified!

The Koch brothers have her trained well don't they?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ok Iowa, Very Funny. So Who Really Won?

Michele Bachmann (R-Mars) won Iowa's straw poll yesterday which if anything shows that Iwegians have a sense of humor (please Iowa tell me you were joking) and satirist Andy Borowitz reacts.
Calling the results of today’s Iowa straw poll “alarming,” Standard and Poor’s took the unprecedented action of downgrading Iowa’s IQ.

While the effects of such an extraordinary measure are hard to predict, experts say the IQ downgrade could result in Iowans having difficulty completing sentences or operating a television remote.

“This downgrade would be very upsetting to Republicans in Iowa,” said an S & P spokesman. “Fortunately, there’s no way they’ll understand it.”
And in other Iowa straw poll related news, some other Minnesotan called it quits after Iowans wondered who this guy was on their straw poll ballot.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

San Francisco's Transit Authority Goes The Way Of Egypt To Quell Protest

One of the ways governments in the Middle East have used to try to break up the protests has been put to use right here in the US. When San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) heard rumors that people were planning to protest a BART officer's shooting of a local resident last month, they put into place several tactics including contacting cell phone providers having them shut down the towers serving 4 BART stations for 3 hours.

The protests never materialized calling into question whether they ever were going to happen in the first place but the approach used by BART and the fact that other governments including England are now looking into employing similar procedures has some wondering about the government infringing on the rights of its citizens.
BART has been the target of outrage since it successfully jammed cell signals at its stations. Hackers have already broadcasted their ire, with a digital flyer entitled “muBARTek,” a reference to the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s own efforts to jam cell service in his country during mounting protests.

In response to the allegations that BART is infringing on first amendment rights to free speech, the transit service said, "BART accommodates expressive activities that are constitutionally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Liberty of Speech Clause of the California Constitution (expressive activity), and has made available certain areas of its property for expressive activity...."
So what do you think, did BART go to far? Does the government have the right to purposefully control access to technology to stop peaceful protests?

And maybe more importantly, what is happening to folks in the Bay Area if they can't organize and carry out a decent protest without having cell phone coverage? I seem to remember that Northern Californian's used to be quite good at that whole protest thing long before anyone had ever heard of a cell phone.

Fischer: God Only Allows A Woman To Be President As A Last Resort

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, buddy of newly announced GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry and co-sponsor of his hate filled "Response" prayer-athon, has definite ideas on what place women should have in our culture and it doesn't include the White House. Unless there are no men available to do the job that is...
If you look at the Scriptures, I believe it's clear that God has designed men to exercise authority in the home, in the church, in society, and in government. So let me repeat that - that is my personal take on what the Scriptures indicate about the way God has designed man and woman to work: God has designed men to exercise leadership and authority and headship in the home, in the church, in society, and in government.

Now then the question becomes what if God can't find any men with the spine and with the testicular fortitude to provide the kind of leadership? Well, what he'll do is He'll send a woman to do a man's job.
Rick Perry must be so proud.

Keeping Up Appearances

Apparently Michele Bachmann was more concerned with keeping up appearances than she was in boning up on the issues for the latest Iowa GOP debate.
In a Twitter post that evening, Jennifer Jacobs, a Des Moines Register reporter, wrote, “Bachmann left the stage at every commercial break, even during the last one, when the Fox crew corralled her and asked her to stay,” and someone with knowledge of what happened confirmed that account. They said that Mrs. Bachmann insisted on leaving in order to touch up her makeup, even after Fox employees warned her that leaving during such short breaks was risky.
At least she looked good while falsely telling us that raising the debt ceiling gave Barack Obama a blank check to add more debt.
Michele Bachmann repeated a false claim that raising the debt ceiling
is giving Obama a $2.4 trillion "blank check." She also adds another
misleading statement that the debt-ceiling agreement — known as the
Budget Control Act of 2011 — will result in only "$21 billion in
illusory cuts."
Bachmann, Aug. 11: It was very important that we not raise the debt ceiling, because — consider what happened. The Congress gave Barack Obama a blank check for $2.4 trillion. What did the American people get in return? $21 billion in illusory cuts.

As we have written before, a "blank check" means unlimited spending. But the administration is limited under the agreement to new borrowing of between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion, depending on future congressional actions, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office explained in an Aug. 1 analysis of the deal. Also, the administration cannot spend money without congressional authorization. The borrowed money will go to pay obligations Congress has already approved or will approve.

As for the "$21 billion in illusory cuts," Bachmann is referring to the estimated impact on the federal deficit in the first year. The CBO estimates that the debt-ceiling agreement would reduce the federal deficit by $2.1 trillion over 10 years, including $756 billion over that time by capping discretionary spending.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fox Shuts Down Comments On Hip Hop BBQ Post But Leaves Headline That Incited Them

It seems Fox Nation's post on Barack Obama's 50th birthday party titled "Obama's Hip-Hop BBQ Didn't Create Jobs" spurred so many racist and defamatory responses that they had to shut down the comments on the article completely.
On Friday, Fox News' Fox Nation website was forced to shut down comments on a post that referred to President Obama's 50th birthday party as a "Hip-Hop BBQ," after receiving many submissions that were racist. "We found many of the comments to be offensive and inappropriate and they have been removed," Bill Shine, the executive vice president of Fox News programming, told The Cutline on Friday.
As noted, Fox was forced to shut down the comments on this post but yet apparently still doesn't have any problem with the headline that initiated the comments as it remains. Of course this just further highlights the outright hatred demonstrated by many at Fox and from those that drink the Fox Kool Aid and is just the latest in a continuing pattern of hatred by Fox and many of their followers.

All that seems to be missing from Fox's logo are men in hoods wearing white sheets and a burning cross.

Stewart: They're Really Only Entitlements When They're Something Other People Want

Jon Stewart uses Fox News' Megan Kelly's rant about the criticism she received from conservative radio host Mike Gallagher about her maternity leave to point out the hypocrisy of the anti-entitlement crowd.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Those Damn Entitlement Programs

To be considered for the GOP nomination these days you have to preach about the evils of just about any entitlement program. It certainly wouldn't pay to have any socialist tendencies with the tea party's calling the shots in the GOP now would it?

So I guess it isn't going to be all wine and roses for 2 of the tea party favorite sons/daughters as it is being reported that Minnesota crazy woman, and entitlement hater, Michele Bachmann has been at the front of the line when stimulus dollars were being handed out not to mention the government aid she and her husband have received over the years for their business interests.
A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama's stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled "fantasy economics." Bachmann made two more of those requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution that she has suggested she would eliminate if she were in the White House.

Taken as a whole, the letters underscore what Bachmann's critics describe as a glaring distance between her campaign oratory and her actual conduct as a lawmaker. Combined with previous revelations that Bachmann personally relied on a federally subsidized home loan while her husband's business benefited from Medicaid payments, it appears that one of the Tea Party's most cherished members has demonstrated that the government does, in fact, play a constructive role -- at least in her life and district.
And then there is Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Fresh off his "Response" rally with some of his most hate filled fundamentalist friends we are learning that he apparently suffers from a slightly milder case of the same affliction that South Dakota's own Kristi Noem suffers subsidies.
Falling into line with the Tea Party rhetoric against “out-of-control” government spending, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is now supporting a move away from direct subsidies to the agriculture industry in favor of an incentives-driven model. But Perry himself has benefited from over $80,000 in farm subsidies over the years and publicly declared his support for farm subsidies when running for Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 1990.
Obviously coming from my political persuasion, benefiting from government programs like both Bachmann and Perry have is nothing to be ashamed of. Doing so and then preaching on how evil they are, on the other hand, certainly is.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

McConnell Admits Holding Debt Ceiling Negotiations Hostage

Not that we already didn't know this but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell goes on record and admits that the GOP held the debt ceiling negotiations hostage in order to get their agenda shoved down our throats and doesn't rule out doing it again.

But at the Capitol, behind the four doors and the three receptionists and the police guard, McConnell said he could imagine doing this again.

“I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he said. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”

[Washington Post]

The "Response" Wasn't The Only Gathering In Town

Texas Governor Rick Perry's so called apolitical get together of some of his most hateful religious extremist friends wasn't the only gathering in Houston last Saturday. In fact an estimated 3 times as many people attended another gathering on Saturday and it didn't even rate a mention in any mainstream media newscasts.

The other event, Houston's first ever citywide back to school event was setup to provide much needed school supplies, uniforms, haircut vouchers, immunizations, and fresh produce to the city's ever growing poor population. Unfortunately the pre-event estimates of 25,000 needy children ended up being closer to 100,000 causing event organizers to close the doors 2 hours early and turning away 10's of thousands of kids.

Not surprisingly, the "Response" attendees apparently made no mention of those who had gathered only a few blocks down the road.

Monday, August 8, 2011

E-Trade's Next Commercial

Pretty fitting considering what has been going on with the economy lately.

YouTube pulled the video over copyright concerns from e-Trade

(h/t Digby)

S&P Agency Chief Has Literary Degree And No Economics Background

I am not really sure what to make of this but I do find it interesting that the chief of sovereign ratings at Standard and Poor's, John Chambers, has a masters in English Literature but never studied economics.
Mr Chambers, the chairman of S&P’s sovereign ratings committee, has come under scrutiny himself since the downgrade.

Political observers have noted that he never studied economics and that he majored in literature and philosophy and has a master's in English literature.
I would assume that he has an office full of economic egg heads working under him but in the wake of the reported 2 trillion dollar mistake in the S&P's calculations it does make one stop and think doesn't it?

But then again many in Congress don't have economic backgrounds either and they set our fiscal policy...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who Are The Terrorists Again?


Planned Parenthood of North Texas said someone threw an ignited container of diesel fuel that smashed the outer glass of the front door and started a small fire around the door and on the sidewalk. The container was not thrown inside the clinic which is located in a small strip mall shopping center.

And for the record they don't perform abortions, only women's health and reproductive services.

Judson Phillips:Liberalism Has Killed a Billion People

Head tea bagger from the Tea Party Nation, Judson Philips, was in Wisconsin yesterday trying to save the political butt's of 6 Wisconsin legislators who are facing recall this week over their union busting legislation. During his speech Philips had his propaganda message in top form when his told those gathered at the event in Milwaukee that "Liberalism Has Killed a Billion People"
I will tell you ladies and gentlemen, I detest and despise everything the left stands for. How anybody can endorse and embrace an ideology that has killed a billion people in the last century is beyond me.
Wow, who would have known us Liberals were so evil? You'd think we led the Crusades or something.

S&P Decision Maker Explains Why He Lowered US Credit Rating

John Chambers of Standard & Poor's discusses why the decision was made to lower US credit rating.

I especially think this statement by Chambers when asked what was behind his decision is quite telling:
Well, I think there were two reasons. The first reason is the one that you have outlined, being our view of the political settings in the United States have been altered. We have taken them down a notch, the rating down a notch. The political brinkmanship we saw over raising the debt ceiling was something that was really beyond our expectations, the U.S. government getting to the last day before they had cash management problems.
And to further pound this point home Anderson Cooper asked him again:
COOPER: So it’s interesting. You’re saying without a doubt, the recent debate, the recent roadblocks in Congress, the tenor, the timing, the tone of the debate had a major impact on this.

With Chambers' comments in mind I just have one question. Who was it that installed the roadblocks and set set the tenor and tone of the debates again?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Boehner: I Got 98% Of What I Wanted

While Standard & Poor's was contemplating and eventually lowering the US credit rating for the first time in history because of our politician's failures to properly address the situation, Republican House leader John Boehner was telling us that he got 98% of what he wanted from the debt ceiling bill that eventually led to the credit downgrade.
When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the white House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I'm pretty happy.
Once again from the S&P:
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.
So Mr Speaker was the downgrade part of the 2% you didn't get or the 98% you did especially in light of Senator Mitch McConnell's well publicized comments on how the GOP's single most important mission was to ensure Barack Obama was a one term president?

Friday, August 5, 2011

S&P Downgrades US Credit Rating

Reuters is reporting that Standard & Poor's is downgrading the credit rating for the US from AAA to AA+ with the agency also saying that it might not be done and could lower it once again in the next 12 to 18 months.
The United States lost its top-notch AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's on Friday, in a dramatic reversal of fortune for the world's largest economy.

S&P cut the long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA-plus on concerns about growing budget deficits.
ABC News is also reporting that major reasons for the downgrade include Congress's holding the debt ceiling negotiations hostage for political gain as well as the GOP's refusal to accept any tax increases that could be used to help offset the mounting debt.
Official reasons given, one official says, will be the political confusion surrounding the process of raising the debt ceiling, and lack of confidence that the political system will be able to agree to more deficit reduction. A source says Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal will be part of the reason cited.
Next time you see your adjustable rate mortgage or credit card interest rate jump due to the higher cost of borrowing make sure you thank your local tea party member.

UPDATE: Standard and Poor's statement regarding the credit downgrade.
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.

Fox News Not Even Bothering To Hide It Anymore

Fox's headline from story on Obama's 50th birthday party. Comments section from the story is even nicer...

Eating Their Own

District 25 voters should really head over to the Dakota War College to see our (I live in district 25) illustrious homophobic/"I am patriotic and you're not" State Rep Stace Nelson's war of words with some of the more prominent Republican commentator's before the DWC possibly whitewashes it. It is really a sight to behold.

I especially enjoyed Rep Nelson's ripping of career politicians all while announcing he will be seeking another term by spamming the comment section of DWC with his donation page link. Really looking forward to another election where I again do not vote for him only this time let's hope more of our district's voters follow suit.

Climate Science Is BS But End Of Days Prophecies Just Peachy

Again I go to Wingnutdaily to peer into the far rightwing's thinking or lack thereof. This time Joseph Farah's internet rag tells us about a Texas lake that has turned red (like in blood) and following the typical fundamentalist views that WND and their readers subscribe to, it can be nothing other than another sign of the approaching end of days.
"I'm not saying that this Texas lake is these Scriptures in Revelation, but what I am saying is the Bible prophecies are slowly fulfilling themselves in the midst of an end time revelation – that we need to be right, we need to be saved, we need to be born again and ready to meet the coming King," he said.
Of course scientists do have a non-biblical explanation for the death of the lake and it's subsequent change in color, you know like the worst drought in the area's recorded history causing a major fish kill and bacterial/algae growth. But obviously that explanation is not something that their flock could latch on to as they might have to admit that something isn't quite right with our climate and we all know that just won't work.

All is not lost though. In an almost biblical twist of fate, Texas Governor Rick Perry just so happens to be holding his "I'm sucking up to the religious right in preparation for a Presidential run" day of prayer and fasting this weekend so maybe he and his minions could say a little prayer to end the drought. It didn't work back in April but maybe with all the high powered righteous folks he has sponsoring his "apolitical" event the man upstairs might just listen this time around stopping both the end times and the drought.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Birthday President Obama!

Or as Wingnutdaily and Rush Limbaugh would it really? I haven't seen any proof of that yet.

Wealth Disparity

Al Jazeera takes a look at wealth disparity and I doubt we will be seeing any similar reporting from Fox.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fuzzy Math

The GOP claims they are all about cutting spending and creating jobs so isn't it interesting that they decided to leave Washington for a month without passing a funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration. What you say is so interesting about that?

How does putting up to 74,000 workers on indefinite furlough and costing as much as $1 billion in lost tax revenue sound? How's that for interesting? And what is even more interesting is one of the main reasons the GOP has refused to reach a funding deal (besides the GOP's hatred of unions) revolves around a $200 million FAA program that subsidizes rural airports known as the Essential Air Service which readers here might remember I have touched on in the past.

Now I will not go into whether or not this program should continue as I discussed that in the linked to post above but isn't it funny that Congress's refusal to pass a bill because of its cost is actually costing us many times as much as the program that they are against?

That must be that new math I've heard so much about.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Christian Love On Display

While many Christians are using their best damage control techniques to deny any association with Norway mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, they continue to show their love for Atheists including this latest example on Fox News' Facebook page. The following comments were some of the most telling after Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists, appeared on America Live with Megyn Kelly the other day to discuss his group's court case over the cross at the 9/11 memorial.

Obviously Fox News was quick to moderate most of these out of existence but it is nice to see once again the amount of love these folks have for their fellow humans. I feel it don't you?

(from American Atheists via the Examiner)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

RIP Sherwood Schwartz

I was truly saddened to hear this afternoon that the creative mind behind several of the favorite shows from my youth had passed away. Sherwood Schwartz (no relation), the creator of such classics as the Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island died in his sleep at the ripe old age of 94.
Sherwood Schwartz, writer-creator of two of the best-remembered TV series of the 1960s and 1970s, "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch," has died at age 94.
Great niece Robin Randall said Schwartz died at 4 a.m. Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was being treated for an intestinal infection and underwent several surgeries. His wife, Mildred, and children had been at his side.
Goodbye Sherwood, thanks for the hours of enjoyment you provided me in my youth. And to honor his passing, I think it only fitting that we answer the age old question...Ginger or Mary Ann?

Mary Ann of course!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Guns Don't Kill

Stupid people in state legislatures with guns do...
Richard Ruelas, a reporter for The Arizona Republic, found himself staring down the barrel of Republican state Sen. Lori Klein's raspberry-pink firearm during a recent interview at the Capitol.

"Oh, it's so cute," Klein said of the .380 Ruger that she carries in purse at all times.

While the loaded pistol had no safety and the laser pointer was centered on the reporter's chest, Klein explained that there was no need to worry.

"I just didn't have my hand on the trigger," she said.
This is the same woman who tried to carry her firearm on to the Arizona State Senate floor and who read a letter to the Senate claiming Hispanic students "hate America" and only want to become "gang members and gangsters."

Perfect poster child for the NRA...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sad Irony

If you look up irony in the dictionary, this would be one of the definitions.
A bare-headed motorcyclist riding in protest of New York state's helmet law crashed, struck his head on the roadway and died from his injuries, state police said on Sunday.

Philip Contos, 55, was riding among a large group of motorcyclists staging an organized protest ride in western New York near Syracuse against the state law requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cutting Spending Bad For Economic Growth?

I'll leave the statistical anaylsis of this to those like my friend Cory but it appears that despite what the GOP would have us believe, cutting spending is actually bad for growth.

From the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 through the end of 2010, 24 states have cut government spending by an average of 7.5 percent after adjusting for inflation. Another 25 states have expanded government outlays by an average of 11 percent. (The analysis excludes Alabama due to data problems reported by the National Association of State Budget Offices). And the differences in these states’ economic performance could not be more self-evident. Relative to national economic trends, states that increased spending enjoyed on average:
  • 0.2 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate
  • 1.4 percent increase in private employment
  • 0.5 percent real economic growth since the start of the recession
In contrast, states that cut spending saw on average
  • 1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate
  • 2.1 percent loss of private employment
  • 2.9 percent real economic contraction relative to the national economic trend

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Picture Is Worth...

In honor of the State Of New York's recent decision to allow gay marriage.

(h/t - unreasonable faith)

Michele Bachmann Is Good For Business, The Fact Checking Business That Is

Michele Bachmann's announcement yesterday that she was entering the race for 2012 has made plenty of people happy. Obviously the religious fundamentalists and teabaggers are overjoyed because of Bachmann's extreme right wing views but another group that has to be happy are the various fact checking organizations that will need to add staff just to keep up with Bachmann's outright lies, gaffes, and half truths.

See there, Bachmann is likely already creating jobs and she hasn't won anything yet!

One of those groups, Pulitzer Prize winning,  has documented 26 statements from Bachmann to date. Of those 26 only one proved to be true with 7 more being determined to be either half or barely true. The other 18 were proven to be false or even worse, "pants on fire" which is Politifacts' politically correct way of saying she lied her ass off.

She got her campaigning off to a flying start on Sunday with her latest gaffe. While speaking to Faux News she compared her spirit to that of another Waterloo, Iowa native John Wayne. Unfortunately for Bachmann, the only John Wayne that spent any amount of time in Waterloo was renowned serial killer John Wayne Gacy. But what the heck she was close right?

Some more of her highlights that don't even include her claim that God called on her to run:
BACHMANN: "If you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that's absolutely true. He was a very young boy when he was with his father serving essentially as his father's secretary. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery." - On ABC's "Good Morning America."

REALITY: John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father. He was 9 when the Declaration of Independence was made and 20 when the Constitution was adopted. His father, John Adams, was the Revolutionary War figure and an architect of the declaration - and therefore a Founding Father. Both father and son became president. Bachmann was defending her earlier, inaccurate remark that the Founding Fathers had devoted themselves to ending slavery.

BACHMANN: "Overnight we are hearing that potentially 10 to 30,000 people could have been killed in the strike." - Criticizing Obama in May for the "foolish" U.S. intervention in Libya, and citing what she said were reports of a civilian death toll from a NATO strike as high as 30,000.

REALITY: The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, said in late April that U.S. officials have seen reports that 10,000 to 30,000 people may have died in Moammar Gadhafi's crackdown on protesters and the fighting between rebels and pro-government forces, but it is hard to know if that is true. He was speaking about all casualties of the conflict; no one has attributed such a death toll to NATO bombing alone, much less to a single strike.

BACHMANN: "It's ironic and sad that the president released all of the oil from the strategic oil reserve. ... There's only a limited amount of oil that we have in the strategic oil reserve. It's there for emergencies." - On CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

REALITY: Obama did not empty all the oil from the strategic reserve, as Bachmann said. He approved the release of 30 million barrels, about 4 percent of the 727 million barrels stored in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. It's true that the U.S. normally taps the reserve for more dire emergencies than exist today, and that exposes Obama to criticism that he acted for political gain. But the reserve has never been fuller; it held 707 million barrels when last tapped, after 2008 hurricanes.

BACHMANN: "One. That's the number of new drilling permits under the Obama administration since they came into office." - Comment to a conservative conference in Iowa in March.

REALITY: The Obama administration issued more than 200 new drilling permits before the Gulf oil spill alone. Over the past year, since new safety standards were imposed, the administration has issued more than 60 shallow-water drilling permits. Since the deep water moratorium was lifted in October, nine new wells have been approved.
It's going to be a fun campaign season...

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Romney/Huntsman Problem

Being that Barack Obama has among many things, failed to get us out of 2 unwinnable and costly wars (and has since added a 3rd), failed to do much of anything to fix the economy or create jobs, and has chosen to allow the continuation of the assault on the 4th Amendment under the guise of the Patriot Act, the 2012 GOP field holds more than a passing interest to me. Unfortunately though even disregarding the nutjobs that claim their imaginary friend in the sky told them to run, one still doesn't have much of a selection.

A couple that do peak my interest, partly because of their views and partly because our local wingnuts hate them (they must be doing something right don't you think?) are Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Obviously there is a lot of time left for them to screw up by pandering to the tea baggers or the religious right but even running a perfect campaign going forward, a new Gallup poll shows that both Romney and Huntsman must overcome a major handicap.
At 22%, Americans' resistance to electing a Mormon president, even one nominated by their own party, is exceeded only by their opposition to electing someone who is either gay or lesbian (32%) or an atheist (49%). By contrast, less than half as many, 10%, say they would not vote for a Hispanic, and fewer than 10% would not vote for a nominee who is Jewish, Baptist, Catholic, female, or black.

No matter what happens going forward it is likely it will come down to another election where many, myself included, will end up holding our noses when pulling the lever for whomever we do end up choosing. In Romney and Huntsman's case, being Mormon isn't going to help. But at least they aren't gay or an atheist or even worse, a gay atheist...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pants On Fire

Jon Stewart was recently on Fox News Sunday and while there he happened to mention that Fox News viewers were often the most uninformed viewers of any of the major networks. Apparently his statement didn't pass muster with Politifact and he was happy to apologize as only he could.

Democrats In Bed With AT&T

A couple of weeks ago I came across what amounted to a propaganda piece in the Pierre Capitol Journal regarding the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Reading the article I had the feeling that it came directly from AT&T's marketing department and pretty much said so here.

Well it appears that local rags aren't the only ones in Ma Bell's pocket as 66 of 72 Democrats that co-signed a letter sent to the the FCC and the US Justice Department praising the deal that would cut the number of national carriers down to 3 received almost $500k in contributions last year from what would become largest cell phone carrier in the US if the deal does go through.

The list of 72 and their take:
G. K. Butterfield $10,500
Gene Green $10,000
Peter Welch $6,500
Joe Baca $10,250
John Barrow $10,000
Dan Boren $10,000
Robert Brady $9,000
Ben Chandler $7,000
Silvestre Reyes $8,500
William Lacy Clay, Jr. $10,500
Al Green $10,000
Alcee Hastings $10,000
Nick J. Rahall $10,000
James P. Moran $2,500
Gregory W. Meeks $9,500
Albio Sires $9,000
Tim Holden $8,000
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. $11,250
Ed Pastor $10,000
Mike Ross $10,250
Rubén Hinojosa $7,500
Henry Cuellar $10,000
Joseph Crowley $10,000
Eddie Bernice Johnson $9,000
Luis Gutierrez $5,500
Adam Schiff $5,500
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. $3,350
Adam Smith $4,500
Corrine Brown $6,000
Chaka Fattah $8,000
Henry C. Johnson, Jr. $2,000
Michael Michaud $8,500
Loretta Sanchez $11,000
Donna M. Christensen $7,500
Ted Deutch $6,000
Jim Costa $10,500
Betty McCollum $1,000
Ed Perlmutter $5,500
Brad Miller $2,000
Yvette Clarke $7,000
Grace Napolitano $4,000
Steve Cohen $5,000
Ron Kind $7,000
Betty Sutton $4,000
Heath Shuler $10,000
David Scott $11,500
Jared Polis NA
Cedric Richmond NA
Shelley Berkley $7,000
Frederica Wilson NA
Tim Bishop $10,500
Marcia Fudge $9,000
Rosa DeLauro $2,000
Karen Bass NA
Christopher S. Murphy $6,800
Frank Pallone $7,500
Laura Richardson $8,000
Dennis Cardoza $10,000
David Cicilline NA
Raúl Grijalva $2,000
Danny K. Davis $6,000
Brad Sherman $5,500
Ben Ray Luján $5,000
Dutch Ruppersberger $7,500
Terri Sewell NA
John B. Larson $5,500
Charles A. Gonzalez $10,500
James R. Langevin $8,000
Collin C. Peterson $4,500
Jerry McNerney $12,750
Joe Courtney $4,250
Gerald Connolly $9,500
Evidently the Republican's aren't the only ones in big business's pocket...

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Day Of Prayer Brought To You By Hatred And Bigotry

Texas Governor and possible GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry is organizing what he claims is a non-denominational, apolitical, Christian (please explain that) day of prayer event in Houston August 6th and invited the 49 other Governors to attend. The event is being sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed hate group the American Family Association guided by the one and only Bryan Fischer.

You may or may not be familiar with Fischer but he has a long and storied history of gay, immigrant, and Muslim bashing, as well as just plain outright bigotry. With that in mind one would wonder why Perry, and believe it or not many other Republican's, would want to be associated with such a hateful group/person and so far only Kansas' Sam Brownbeck has publicly agreed to attend though Louisiana's Bobby Jindal would like to if he can get around a scheduling conflict.

All I can say to anyone believing that Perry or anyone else pandering to this guy and his organization (Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich that means you) should be anywhere near the White House is please watch Fischer at work below...and then re-consider.

Ohio Is Channeling Its Inner South Dakota On Gun Wingnuttery

I found out quite quickly after moving to South Dakota that if many here had their way we would all be transported back to the good old days of 1880's Deadwood where everyone was packing heat and our differences were settled at high noon in the public square. I did have high hopes though that the state of my birth wouldn't be dragged down into that vortex of wingnuttia.

Unfortunately I was wrong and it appears they have dipped even lower than South Dakota (never thought that was even possible) when it comes to pandering to the NRA crowd with a bill on the Governors desk waiting for his already promised signature.
The bill will allow concealed carrying of firearms in all of Ohio's Class D licensed liquor establishments, which include bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping malls, museums and sports stadiums.

Just what we need, a bunch of idiots mixing alcohol with guns. Can't wait to see what happens when a bunch of drunk Brown's fans in the "Dog Pound" at Cleveland Stadium get pissed off after Colt McCoy throws his next interception...

Ohio's Version of the 2nd Amendment

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear conceal arms to prove how big their "member" is in an environment where testosterone and alcohol flow freely shall not be infringed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homophobes Find Pleasure Watching Gay Porn

Psychology Today published a study that re-enforces the adage that those protesting the loudest are often hiding their own issues when they wrote about arousal levels experienced by homophobes vs. non-homophobes when watching gay porn. The study asked a group of heterosexual men questions concerning their feelings towards homosexuality to determine which would be considered homophobes (a few in our local blogosphere come to mind) and then had each group watch several clips depicting various heterosexual and gay/lesbian sex acts.

The results were quite telling and i'll let you read the article yourself for the details but the bottom line was:
Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.
No wonder they support "Don't ask don't tell"...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is God Hedging His Bets?

I've been reading a lot of analysis from Monday's GOP debate and researching the ever growing field of candidates in the day plus since it concluded and one thing stuck out for me more than anything else. God must be hedging his bets.

Why you may ask?

Well if you listen to at least 3 of the candidates (Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann), they are all running because God has told them to run for the highest office in the land in one way or another. Apparently a 4th candidate, Mike Huckabee, was told by God not to run so I guess he does have some standards.

So with God backing 3 different candidates, who will win? And why would he feel the need to back so many? If God really felt someone was the right person for the job wouldn't he just go all biblical on the election and make it happen? He apparently steps in all the time in sports (still wondering why he isn't a Browns fan), so why would one not expect him to do so in the hugely more important political arena?

Or it could be that all 4 are just batshit crazy...

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Piece Of History Lost

One of only 14 remaining airworthy Boeing B17's known to exist crashed this morning in a corn field in Illinois. The restored "Liberty Belle" crashed shortly after take off on a scheduled flight to Indianapolis and luckily all 7 aboard were able to walk away. Unfortunately the same can not be said for the historic WWII bomber affectionately know as the "Flying Fortress".

More about the crash here.