It’s Good to Be the King

KingBurger

Artist – Pat Bagley

In other news, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (R) wants to change the state’s liquor laws because women need to go to the grocery and make dinner.

Not kidding.

Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) wrongly assumes that Hispanic people are undocumented.

Why does the Republican party have such a hard time attracting women and minorities? I can’t quite put a finger on it. It must be because they haven’t properly communicated their message. Yeah, that’s it.

Posted in Open Thread | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Live From Somewhere

Jon Stewart is back from vacation and the Daily Show writers had a field day with Fox News coverage of Ferguson.

Yes, describing the actual facts of the case really does color the way we look at it. ‘White cop shoots unarmed black teen’ does sound terrible.

The follow-up segment may be the real highlight because nowhere is safe.

Posted in Comedy | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Bobby Jindal is Not Done Trying to Ruin Education

JindalStupidParty

Bobby Jindal probably isn’t a name that immediately comes to mind when education standards are mentioned, and if it is it’s probably for bad reasons, but it may come as a surprise that he’s suing the federal government to end the standards he himself signed into law.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing the U.S. Department of Education of illegally coercing states to adopt the Common Core academic standards by requiring states that want to compete for federal grants to embrace the national standards. [...]

“The federal government has hijacked and destroyed the Common Core initiative,” Jindal said in a statement. “Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C. in control of everything.”

Jindal’s record on education is less than exemplary.

Don’t forget that he initiated a program to distribute public funds to religious fundamentalist “schools” with no standards in place. This led to public funds being used to fund programs that taught children that men and dinosaurs lived side by side and that the KKK wasn’t really all that bad.

But while that program was ruled unconstitutional and ultimately fell through, Jindal embraced Common Core as recently as 2012 when he signed it into law.

Now that the state legislature has lined up against Jindal in his opposition to the standards he signed into law, he’s trying to save face with the Lunatic Base of the Republican party by blaming “big government.” He’s suing the federal government to end the standards he supported.

It’s important to keep in mind that “big government” (read: Obama) did not write the Common Core standards nor did the big scary government force him to sign it into law.

Posted in Education | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Noted Racist Frets Over Michael Brown’s Big Black Scariness

When I mocked Fox News for implying that Michael Brown wasn’t unarmed because he was armed with “big black scariness,” I didn’t expect that someone would come out and use almost those exact words.

via RightWingWatch

STEIN: The idea of calling this poor man ‘unarmed’ when he was six-foot-four, 300 pounds, full of muscles, apparently — from what I read in the New York Times — on marijuana, to call him unarmed is like calling Sonny Liston unarmed or Cassius Clay unarmed.

He wasn’t unarmed, he was armed with his incredibly-strong scary self.

We live in a country where words have no meaning if your skin is colored.

Michael Brown did not possess a weapon and thus he was unarmed, but according to racists he was armed with his scary fists.

Posted in Racism | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Government Shutdown Fever

RubioWater

Government Shutdown Fever is back and both Steve King (R-IA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) floated the idea today.

Speaking at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa today, King said Republicans should not unilaterally disarm themselves by taking a shutdown off the table.

“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear …,” King said. “I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that.” [...]

“When we hear some of our leaders say there will be no government shutdown, that’s the political equivalent of saying there will be no boots on the ground,” he said.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio told Breitbart that Republicans should consider withholding government funding if the president signs an executive order on immigration.

“There will have to be some sort of a budget vote or a Continuing Resolution vote, so I assume there will be some sort of a vote on this,” the Florida Republican told the conservative website Breitbart.com in an interview published Thursday. “I’m interested to see what kinds of ideas my colleagues have about using funding mechanisms to address this issue. Beyond that, I’m not sure if the president is going to make this decision before we go back or after.”

We’ve come to expect the worst from Republican politicians, but the tale of Marco Rubio is one for the history books.

There was a time when Rubio supported a bipartisan effort to pass immigration reform, and while he eventually decided not to support his own initiative, he has now landed squarely in wingnut territory,

Marco Rubio has gone from dubiously supporting reform to being on the same side as Steve “Calves the Size of Cantaloupes” King.

Posted in Government Shutdown, Immigration | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Outreach: Faith and Freedom Edition

Picard and Riker Facepalm

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was confronted by a group of DREAMers at a “Faith and Freedom” barbecue on Monday, and after he scolded them for being illegal a member of the audience chased them out of the building with his cane.

“We are a sovereign country that deserves to have immigration laws,” Rubio said. “You’re doing harm to your own cause because you don’t have a right to illegally immigrate to the United States.”

The crowd cheered him on. One elderly audience member shoved a protester as he weaved his way through the tables. Another, 73-year old Army veteran Turk Culberson, angrily stalked them out of the building, clutching his cane as if it were a baseball bat.

Again — this occurred at a “Faith and Freedom” event. Everyone in attendance was a good Christian. Or so I’m told.

With Rubio going full-wingnut on immigration, there will be no candidate in 2016 who can even nudge the Republican party toward the center. And while healthcare was the biggest issue of 2012, immigration will be the biggest issue of 2016.

I expect the party will follow a similar tract as they did with Romneycare and claim that they support immigration reform but in their own way.

It won’t work because you have men clutching their canes like baseball bats. Because the party needs the support of border vigilantes and diet racists to win down ticket races.

Posted in Immigration | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Man Who is Wrong About Everything Continues to Be Wrong

BillKristol

William “The Bloody” Kristol apparently doesn’t keep track of current events because on The Laura Ingraham Show yesterday he called for bombing campaign while casually dismissing those who have concerns about escalation.

“We’re underestimating the ability of what the use of force — even from the air, even with some people on the ground to help out — how much that could do.”

After mimicking his fellow talking heads who suggest that perhaps it’s best to have a national debate before using military force, Kristol then said: “What’s the harm of bombing [ISIS] at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens? I don’t think there’s much in the way of unanticipated side effects that could be bad there. We could [kill] a lot of very bad guys.”

Yeah. Let’s just “see what happens.” I can remember thinking that once when I was a child preparing to kick over an ant hill.

This a misnomer because we’ve already begun bombing ISIS, but in any event Bill Kristol is one of the last men on the planet who should feel qualified to chime in on the consequences of the use of force.

Recent history tells us that when Kristol asks ‘what could go wrong’ the answer is everything.

Personally I don’t object to the action we’ve taken in Iraq in recent weeks, but Bill Kristol shouldn’t dismiss those who have concerns while blood from the last war is still dripping from his maw.

I live with the relative comfort of knowing that the current administration is far more mindful than the previous administration of the consequences of every action they take. That they are not flying by the seat of their pants. That no one in the current White House is asking if we should just drop a few bombs and “see what happens.”

Posted in Iraq, Wingnuts | Tagged | 6 Comments

Guess What? No One Really Gives a Sh*t Whether Obama Plays Golf

Back in 2001, after spending nearly 30 days on vacation in Crawford, Texas, President Bush returned to Washington on the Friday before Labor Day, rather than on Labor Day itself. Why? Because he got hammered in the polls by Americans who thought he had taken too much time off: 55 percent of Americans said his vacation was too damn long. After having been inaugurated only several months earlier, Bush decided to spend an entire month at his Texas estate, on his way to a record-shattered total of 977 days at either Crawford or Camp David.

When it was announced that Bush would be returning a couple of days early, conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote, “By going back to Washington early, Bush is surrendering to the psychological demands of the permanent government, particularly the press corps.” Goldberg continued by denouncing the myth “that America is ‘driven’ by the president, and when he’s not at the wheel the whole country might smash into a light pole or a slow-moving cow.”

Generally speaking, this is true. It’s actually a rare bit of honesty and consistency from the writer who coined the ridiculously contradictory phrase “liberal fascism.” Indeed, if you’re interested in less government and if you’re actively suing the president because he’s abusing his executive power, wouldn’t you want the president to stay as far away from governing as possible? In other words, the Republicans should’ve been cheering for President Obama to remain at Martha’s Vineyard, thwacking away at golf balls where he wouldn’t be as inclined to take away their guns and religion.

So, sure, if the Republicans really want Obama back at the White House ruining everything in the world ever, then by all means continue to badger him about it. But at the end of the day… CONTINUE READING

Posted in President Obama, The Daily Banter | Tagged | 2 Comments

Morning Awesome

Living Colour – “Cult Of Personality”

Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | Leave a comment

Inversion Whopper

Have it my way

Artist – Bruce Plante

In other news, the Pew Research Center went in search of libertarians and they had a hard time finding any. Apparently only 11 percent of Americans correctly identify themselves as libertarian while more identify themselves as such but don’t know what it means.

That makes some sense. There’s a low ceiling on the number of people who can remain true believers well into their latter years. Many more flirt with the idea in their youth before realizing that it’s all bullshit.

Posted in Food, Open Thread, Poll, Taxes | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Nice Things and Why We Can’t Have Them

via ThinkProgress

According to a new poll conducted by Harvard researchers, about 40 percent of Americans are anticipating an Ebola outbreak on U.S. soil within the next 12 months. And about 25 percent report that they’re concerned someone in their immediate family will catch it. Those beliefs are likely fueled by the fact that two thirds of the people surveyed said they believe Ebola can be “easily” transmitted from infected people.

I assume we can thank fearmongers who blew a gasket when Americans infected with Ebola were brought home for treatment for at least some of these numbers.

The good news is it’s doubtful anyone in the current administration will recommend that you protect yourself with plastic sheeting and duct tape.

Posted in Poll, Super Stupid | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Another Unhinged Republican Campaign Ad

GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is very upset about spending from outside groups; upset enough to shoot a television.

“Millions of dollars in negative ads are flooding into Alaska paid for by Washington special interests” Sullivan says before firing his pistol at an ancient tube television.

At least he didn’t threaten to blow your balls off or fire a cannon.

If Sullivan has a problem with outside spending he should probably consult with the Republican party establishment about reversing the Citizens United decision.

Posted in Stupid Party | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Wasteful Spending

House Republicans have disclosed how much money taxpayers will pay for their frivolous lawsuit against the president.

House Republicans revealed Monday they will pay an outside law firm $500 an hour to pursue their lawsuit against President Barack Obama, a disclosure that served to ratchet up the political controversy surrounding the GOP’s legal effort.

House Republicans said they had hired law firm Baker & Hostetler LLP and partner David Rivkin to make the legal case that Mr. Obama overstepped his legal authority in implementing the Affordable Care Act.

On the bright side, at least they didn’t hire Paul Clement again.

House Republicans paid Clement $2.3 million to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Supreme Court. Or perhaps I should say taxpayers paid Clement $2.3 million.

The way House Republicans handled their defense of DOMA is significant because, in this case, they’ve set a “hard cap” on the total amount of money they plan to spend.

The contract signed and released by Rep. Candice Miller (R., Mich.), who chairs the Committee on House Administration, calls for the law firm to be paid $500 an hour in attorney’s fees while litigating the case. It also sets a hard cap of $350,000 for the total that can be paid to the law firm during the contract, which runs until the next Congress takes over in 2015.

House Republicans initially set a “hard cap” of $500,000 when they hired Clement to defend DOMA, but as you may recall they increased the cap three times and ultimately paid him $2.3 million under a final hard cap of $3 million.

Will Baker & Hostetler LLP also see their $350,00 cap lifted?

Perhaps not. The only reason I’m inclined to believe that the initial cap may not be surpassed is because the lawsuit could be thrown out of court before increasing the cap becomes necessary.

Suing Obama

Posted in Congress, Stupid Party | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Inspector General: No Deaths at VA Hospital Because of Delays

This is not to say that everything is or was fine at the VA hospital in Phoenix, but a review by the department’s Inspector General has found that the widely repeated story about deaths was not true.

From the Associated Press:

The VA’s Office of Inspector General has been investigating the delays for months and shared a draft report of its findings with VA officials.

In a written memorandum about the report, VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald said, “It is important to note that while OIG’s case reviews in the report document substantial delays in care, and quality-of-care concerns, OIG was unable to conclusively assert that the absence of timely quality care caused the death of these veterans.

Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was tarred and feathered and ultimately resigned from officer over deaths that were unrelated to delays.

This doesn’t erase the fact that veterans have waited far too long for medical care, but there is ample reason to reserve judgement in the future when allegations of malfeasance surface.

I doubt this story that partially exonerates Shinseki will receive as much play in conservative circles as the former did. It may not receive as much play in liberal circles either.

Many liberals are far too quick to buy into stories about mismanagement in the government under the current administration.

Posted in Healthcare | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sorry, But the Democrats Are Absolutely Not ‘Doomed’ in the Midterms

If you’re a Republican, you’re probably over-confident in your party’s chances in the forthcoming midterms. Of course you are. The common wisdom online and on cable news is that the Democrats are headed toward another 2010-style shellacking due to President Obama’s responsibility for everything that’s wrong in the world, not to mention the (non)reality that he invented presidential golf vacations. Admittedly, I hadn’t looked at the polls in a while so I was thinking along the same lines: it’s going to be a shitty November for the Democrats. Some headlines:

The Daily Beast: The Coming Democratic Midterm Collapse

National Journal (Charlie Cook): Congressional Democrats Face Uphill Battle in Midterms

CNBC: How bleak will the midterm elections be for Democrats?

The Washington Post: ‘Disconnected Obama’ needs to change conversation to help party in midterms

Bloomberg: Economy winning midterms for Republican Party

Politico: …Mounting danger for Democrats

Politico (Mike Allen): Democrat Prospects for 2014 Midterms are “Bleak”

The Blaze: ‘This Is Bad’: Are Democrats Starting to Panic About 2014

Then I checked Real Clear Politics today and it appears as if Democratic prospects aren’t as horrifying as everyone says. Far from it. In fact, if the election were held today, nothing at the congressional or gubernatorial levels would change all that significantly. Sorry, folks, your fabricated narrative is horseshit.

Before we get into the midterm numbers… CONTINUE READING

Posted in Election 2014, The Daily Banter | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Morning Awesome

Marc Cohn – “Walking in Memphis”

Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | 3 Comments

Loopholes

TaxDoughnut

Artist – Pat Bagley

In other news, Burger King is reportedly planning to buy Tim Hortons and then move their headquarters to Canada so they can pay fewer taxes in what’s known as a “tax inversion.”

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has mysteriously become the recipient of campaign donations from a company he just gave a tax break to. There’s nothing dubious about that at all.

Ashley Furniture fired over 1,400 employees in Wisconsin after Walker voted to give them a $6 million tax break.

Posted in Food, Open Thread, Taxes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What Could Go Wrong?

A former police officer and convicted rapist who tried to rape a women with his pistol has had his rights to own a gun restored by an appeals court in Georgia.

The full details of the assault he was convicted for are stomach churning and revolting and I won’t share it here, but I will say it involved using his gun to penetrate a woman. A gun he can now legally carry again. And that’s not all.

via ThinkProgress

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “[h]is record was filled with allegations of misconduct: that he beat a prisoner so severely the man’s brain bled; that he threatened to fabricate charges against a suspect so he could sleep with the man’s wife; that he pressured at least 10 women for sex to avoid arrest.” The former cop, for his part, is unrepentant. When asked about his sexual assault conviction, he claims that “[t]here wasn’t any crime,” and that “I was dealt a bad hand.”

When tragedies occur that were seemingly preventable, mental illness is a common scapegoat that people point toward, but there are also cases where preventable crimes are consciously enabled. This is one of those cases.

No one knows for sure if serial rapist Dennis Krauss will hurt anyone ever again, but why take that chance? Why enable him to carry a gun into bars, churches, libraries, or nightclubs; all of which are now perfectly legal in Georgia.

Posted in Georgia, WTF | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Rand Paul’s Double-Speak on Racial Injustice

RandvsRand

As you may recall Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote an op-ed two weeks ago denouncing the militarization of the police and unequal justice. And while I predicted that he would walk his comments back within a day, ultimately it took him a little over a week to change positions.

Rand son of Ron appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday and said that events in Ferguson, Missouri may have “had nothing to do with race.”

“Let’s say you’re African-American and you live there, let’s say none of this has to do with race. It might not, but the belief — if you’re African-American and you live in Ferguson, the belief is, you see people in prison and they’re mostly black and brown, that somehow it is racial, even if the thoughts that were going on at that time had nothing to do with race.

So it’s a very good chance that had this had nothing to do with race, but because of all of the arrests and the way people were arrested, that everybody perceives it as, ‘My goodness, the police are out to get us,’ you know? And so that’s why you have to change the whole war on drugs. It’s not just this one instance.”

While Rand uses one hand to agree with you, he uses the other hand to muddy the waters.

To imply that racial injustice is actually a matter of perception rather than reality is not helpful. And it’s cynical.

Many people will see Rand’s comments and understand them for what they are — empty pandering. But many more (mostly white people) will see his comments and mistake them for genuine sentiment or profound positions.

Rand Paul has no genuine sentiments or positions. He’s a changeling.

There are good reasons why some of us in the blogosphere choose not to side with Rand even when it appears that we agree on something, and this is emblematic of that. He cannot be counted on and even the positions you find yourself agreeing with are ambiguous.

When Rand embarked on a joint campaign with Senator Cory Booker to denounce the state of our overcrowded prisons and the policies that created them, I would have liked to endorse that campaign. But fast forward to today and Rand has implied that racial injustice may be a matter of perception rather than reality.

Sometimes the perception is the reality. Sometimes if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

Rand Paul is capable of understanding this, but he’s incapable of taking a principled stand on it. He can’t.

Rand says we have to “change the whole war on drugs” and I agree, but ending the war on drugs won’t end the war on black men and he doesn’t believe the latter is real.

In the free market of ideas idolized by libertarians like Rand Paul, we don’t need policies like the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act because racism is just an idea that can be voted out through osmosis.

Posted in Ethics, Justice, Racism, Rand Paul | Tagged | 5 Comments

Unarmed While Black

The so-called liberal media is at it again, referring to an unarmed teen as an “unarmed teen.” And referring to a teenager who is unarmed as “unarmed” is reverse racism. Or something.

FoxMediaBias

via Media Matters

A Fox News segment asked whether the “unarmed teen” description of Michael Brown is misleading and featured Fox contributor Linda Chavez arguing that such a description enhances racial fears and is an attempt to play the “race card.”

On August 25, Chavez and Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy aired surveillance footage from the convenience store that Michael Brown allegedly robbed before his death, and used this to argue that describing Brown as an “unarmed teen” at the time of the shooting is misleading. [...]

During the segment on Fox, on-screen text asked if the “unarmed teen” description of Michael Brown was misleading while Chavez argued that Brown was an adult male “who is six foot four and weighs almost three hundred pounds”

If words still have meaning, referring to a teenager who does not possess a weapon as an “unarmed teen” is entirely accurate.

If anyone is “playing the race card” it would be those who are implying that Michael Brown was armed with his bare hands. Because as long as we aren’t kidding ourselves, you know Fox News wouldn’t split hairs if an unarmed white teenager was referred to as an “unarmed teen.” And neither would most people because, for those who reside in empirical reality, words do still have meaning.

To say that Michael Brown was a big scary black man and that he wasn’t unarmed because he was armed with big black scariness is conclusively racist. Among other things.

If you’ve been on the fence about this issue, this should give you pause because apparently being unarmed while black is the same thing as being armed while black. And if black people are treated as if they’re armed at all times, even when they aren’t — they don’t stand a chance.

Posted in Racism | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments