The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 12/18/14

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RELM_buttonTaepodong: Last Show of 2014, Back Again on January 8, 2015; The Sony versus North Korea Situation; Hackers and Hacktivists; Standing Up to Terrorists; Greenwald Attacks Elizabeth Warren; Jeb Bush is Running; Mitt Romney Again; And a Holiday Dramatic Reading of a Twitter Fight Between Chez and Dan Bidondi; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the BobCesca.com Amazon Link and The Bowen Law Group.

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Posted in Bob and Chez Show | 3 Comments

Common Ground

CommonGround

Artist – Joel Pett

In other news, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed numerous charges against McDonald’s today for violating workers’ rights.

Meanwhile, a machine gun theme park that welcomes children as young as 13 will open in Florida this weekend. What could go wrong?

I don’t know about you, but this week has left me utterly exhausted. I don’t know what the schedule will look like next week, but if something extraordinarily amusing occurs I’ll share it here.

Here’s a moment of Zen for the weekend:


Posted in Open Thread, Rand Paul | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stephen Colbert and Friends: We’ll Meet Again

In case you missed it, Stephen Colbert signed off last night with an epic sing-along featuring everyone you can imagine before riding off with Abe Lincoln and Santa Claus.

NO, you are crying!

Posted in Comedy, Stephen Colbert | Tagged , | 3 Comments

When Rubio and Paul Argue, Everyone Else Wins

I love the smell of infighting in the morning.

via TPM

When it comes to Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) support for the Obama administration’s new policy on Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said the senator from Kentucky doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“Like many people who have been opining, he has no idea what he’s talking about,” Rubio said during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Kelly Report” that was flagged by Politico.

I maintain that neither Rubio or Paul have any idea what they’re talking about, but this is great stuff.


From where I’m sitting, Rubio and Paul may as well be arguing over the correct pronunciation of “gif.”

I find it hard to believe that anyone under the age of 70 has strong feelings about maintaining an embargo of Cuba and I doubt very many voters under the age of 30 were even aware that we still impose an embargo on Cuba.

With that said, please proceed.

Posted in Rand Paul, Stupid Party | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Download This Week’s After Party Podcast! $2 per Download!

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NEW! Download this week’s show via our new Band Camp page. No subscription necessary. Only $2 per download! Major credit and debit cards accepted.

If you’re already a member, go on in.

This Week’s Pulse-Pounding Episode: The Best Shows of 2014: Hee-Haw! Our Top 10 Best TV Shows of 2014; Rotten Tomatoes 25 Greatest Christmas Movies; Our Non-Vacation Vacations; The Finale of The Newsroom; Dead Celebrities from 2014; We Review Michael Keaton in Birdman; Why Bob Loves It’s A Wonderful Life; and much more.

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Morning Awesome

David Bowie and Bing Crosby – “Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth”

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Made in China

MadeinChina

Artist – Nick Anderson

In other news, the Department of Justice announced in a memo today that it will bring claims and charges on behalf of transgender employees who’ve been fired because of their identity.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence has reached it’s highest level since 2007.

Tonight is the last episode of The Colbert Report ever and everything is terrible. I don’t know what I’ll do without “Stephen Colbert.”

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

Ignorance is Bliss

How did outgoing Representative Michele Bachmann defeat the liberals?

Bachmann told WorldNutDaily that her secret weapons were “evidence” and “logic.”

I took them on with their agenda and I went to the heart of whatever it was they wanted to advance and tried to take it apart through evidence-based arguments and they don’t like that. When the left argues they argue from emotionalism. They don’t argue from a logical, linear point of view and I take them on at their false premises.

That’s the best way to defeat them, by the way. Defeat them with evidence and defeat them with their false premises. And, um, I did that.

The evidence was overwhelming when Bachmann alleged that women were making quick stops for abortions between the grocery store and Starbucks. Or that time she alleged a very tall doctor told her a bad thing about Obamacare. Or that time she said death panels were going to kill us all. Or any number of times she said something completely batshit.

Has Bachmann ever said something correct?

(via RightWingWatch)

Posted in Super Stupid | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Number of Uninsured at Lowest Level in 50 Years

From the Council of Economic Advisers:

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As this week’s data confirm, 2014 has seen dramatic coverage gains, gains matched or exceeded only by those seen in the decade of rapid progress that followed the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. Following this year’s gains, we estimate that the nation’s uninsured rate is now at or near the lowest levels ever recorded across the slightly more than 50 years for which we have data. These levels were previously reached for only a brief period from the mid-1970s through 1980.

Even though it should be obvious, we have to point out that these coverage gains have been accompanied by 4 percent economic growth and millions of jobs.

Obamacare is no job killer. Obamacare is a job creator.

Posted in Economy, Healthcare | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Obama’s Fault

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By all accounts, Sony Pictures operated an unimaginably-vulnerable network where passwords were stored in a plain text file titled “passwords” but, according to Senator John McCain, it’s not Sony’s fault that their system was compromised.

It’s Obama’s fault.

“By effectively yielding to aggressive acts of cyber-terrorism by North Korea, that decision sets a troubling precedent that will only empower and embolden bad actors to use cyber as an offensive weapon even more aggressively in the future,” McCain said in a statement on Thursday.

“But, make no mistake. The need for Sony Pictures to make that decision ultimately arose from the Administration’s continuing failure to satisfactorily address the use of cyber weapons by our nation’s enemies,” he added.

Calling the processes used by the Guardians of Peace a “cyber weapon” is a bit of a stretch. There’s also very little any administration could have done to stop it. The responsibility lies solely with Sony and Sony Pictures.

Furthermore, the Guardians of Peace are a non-state actor. There have been reports and implications that North Korea was somehow involved, but it’s not entirely clear how and to what extent.

It would be easy to dismiss the entire incident and make a joke about Seth Rogen films, but John McCain is at least partially right.

While he wrongly accuses the Obama administration of being ultimately responsible, it does raise questions about our ability to counter threats in cyberspace. And the ironic thing is that some of those who are raising questions right now are those who seemingly believe any action taken by the intelligence community or the Department of Defense to counter cyber threats is the stuff of Skynet or 1984.

Last year Edward Snowden leaked a document showing that the intelligence community had prepared a list of potential cyber threats and drawn up plans to deal with them. Hairs were split and heads exploded.

Sony is responsible for safeguarding their own network, but the state could be left vulnerable to attack because some people are worried that the NSA is reading their Facebook page.

Posted in John McCain, North Korea, Security | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Boehner Condemns Obama’s Cuba Policy, Owns Tons Of Stock In Corps Doing Business With Human Rights Violators

It came as no surprise to see the kneejerk Republican response to President Obama’s decision to open relations with Cuba after more than half-a-century of isolation and sanctions. Clearly, 54 years isn’t quite enough time for this ridiculous policy to work, and if you ever wondered how long a series of Republican presidential administrations might have kept our military fighting the war in Iraq without “cutting and running,” let this be a solid indicator of their futile tenacity.

Jeb Bush called it Obama’s “latest foreign policy misstep.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said, “It’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has established.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pledged, “I will do all in my power to block the use of funds to open an embassy in Cuba. Normalizing relations with Cuba is bad idea at a bad time.”

The most hilarious GOP reaction came from Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) who tweeted the following:

Why is this hilarious? One glance at Boehner’s assets portfolio via Open Secrets reveals that Boehner is making a bundle from corporations that are actively exploiting workers and racking up human rights violations in China, a nation led by communists with a long history of human rights abuses, as well as other countries such as Burma and perhaps even Iran. In other words, it really doesn’t seem as if Boehner is all that concerned about people enjoying freedom.

1) Walmart. Boehner owns somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000 in Walmart stock, despite the fact that it’s arguably one of the worst offenders in terms of sweatshops and labor violations in China. In addition to running shoddy factories, workers were paid less than the 41-cents-per-hour minimum wage. In 2008, The New York Times reportedCONTINUE READING

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Morning Awesome

The Puppini Sisters – “All I Want For Christmas”

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Disorder

Disorder

Artist – Kevin Siers

In other news, President Obama has taken the first steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba. The GOP, as you might expect, is losing their minds.

Programming note… I’m still sick and today has been a really rough day. I’ll try to get back to it tomorrow.

Posted in Open Thread, Torture | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Public Support for Torture is Exactly Why We Shouldn’t Torture

There are certain policy decisions that should never be left up to the American people. I’m not necessarily saying we’re stupid. Actually, come to think of it, I’m absolutely saying too many of us are stupid. 29 percent of us can’t name the vice president. Roughly 45 percent of us believe the Earth was created in seven days. Around 20 percent of American adults still smoke cigarettes, knowing it’s a ticket to an early grave in the most horrifying ways possible. 46 percent of Americans disapprove of “Obamacare,” but only 37 percent disapprove of “The Affordable Care Act.” 80 percent of us believe in angels. Around 48 percent of us voted for a ticket that would’ve placed Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Knowing this, should it really matter that 51 percent of Americans think torture against Global War on Terror detainees was justified? Not only does it totally not matter, it’s a fantastic argument why the Bush administration should never have done it. In a newly released Pew Poll, only 29 opposed the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” and 43 percent thought it was a bad idea to release the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “torture report.” And yes, 51 percent said torture was justified.

I wouldn’t be shocked if half the people thought “CIA” was the lady that sings “Chandelier.”

More-Say-CIA-Interrogation-Methods-Were-Justified-than-UnjustifiedWorse, one of the poll questions asked these yokels whether torture “provided intelligence that prevented terror attacks.” Um, how the hell would they know? They wouldn’t, yet 56 percent said “yes,” we absolutely acquired top-shelf intelligence from the tortured detainees, enough to have prevented another terror attack. If you’re like me and you’re still reeling from Dick Cheney’s psychotic appearance on Meet the Press, take a look at every other human at the mall today. They probably agree with Cheney.

Let’s begin with… CONTINUE READING

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Morning Awesome

The Puppini Sisters – “Mele Kalikimaka”

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Thought Experiment

ThoughtExperiment

Artist – Jen Sorensen

In other news, soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says his first priority in the next session of Congress will be to approve the Keystone XL pipeline extension. Get the veto pen ready.

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz reportedly apologized to his fellow obstructionists for his procedural stunt to keep the Senate in session which allowed Majority Leader Harry Reid to confirm presidential nominees.

And finally, here’s video from the test flight of NASA’s Morpheus lander which was just published today.

Posted in Open Thread, Space, Torture | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Formidable Opponent

Stephen Colbert debates himself on America’s image and torture.

The audience was just as amused as I was when Bill O’ said he knows what he’s talking about because he wrote a book once.

Posted in Comedy, Stephen Colbert, Torture | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Browns Player Responds to Noted Asshole Jeffrey Follmer

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins has responded to Cleveland Police Patrolman Union chief and noted skinhead Jeffrey Follmer yesterday.

This is a long quote but it’s worth reading.

“I was taught that justice is a right that every American should have. Also justice should be the goal of every American. I think that’s what makes this country. To me, justice means the innocent should be found innocent. It means that those who do wrong should get their due punishment. Ultimately, it means fair treatment. So a call for justice shouldn’t offend or disrespect anybody. A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology.

“To clarify, I utterly respect and appreciate every police officer that protects and serves all of us with honesty, integrity and the right way. And I don’t think those kind of officers should be offended by what I did. My mom taught me my entire life to respect law enforcement. I have family, close friends that are incredible police officers and I tell them all the time how they are much braver than me for it. So my wearing a T-shirt wasn’t a stance against every police officer or every police department. My wearing the T-shirt was a stance against wrong individuals doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons to innocent people.

“Unfortunately, my mom also taught me just as there are good police officers, there are some not-so-good police officers that would assume the worst of me without knowing anything about me for reasons I can’t control. She taught me to be careful and be on the lookout for those not-so-good police officers because they could potentially do me harm and most times without consequences. Those are the police officers that should be offended.

“Being a police officer takes bravery. And I understand that they’re put in difficult positions and have to make those snap decisions. As a football player, I know a little bit about snap decisions, obviously on an extremely lesser and non-comparative scale, because when a police officer makes a snap decision, it’s literally a matter of life and death. That’s hard a situation to be in. But if the wrong decision is made, based on pre-conceived notions or the wrong motives, I believe there should be consequence. Because without consequence, naturally the magnitude of the snap decisions is lessened, whether consciously or unconsciously.

“I’m not an activist, in any way, shape or form. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred I keep my opinions to myself on most matters. I worked extremely hard to build and keep my reputation especially here in Ohio, and by most accounts I’ve done a solid job of decently building a good name. Before I made the decision to wear the T-shirt, I understood I was putting that reputation in jeopardy to some of those people who wouldn’t necessarily agree with my perspective. I understood there was going to be backlash, and that scared me, honestly. But deep down I felt like it was the right thing to do. If I was to run away from what I felt in my soul was the right thing to do, that would make me a coward, and I can’t live with that. God wouldn’t be able to put me where I am today, as far as I’ve come in life, if I was a coward.

“As you well know, and it’s well documented, I have a 2-year-old little boy. The same 2-year-old little boy that everyone said was cute when I jokingly threw him out of the house earlier this year. That little boy is my entire world. And the No. 1 reason for me wearing the T-shirt was the thought of what happened to Tamir Rice happening to my little Austin scares the living hell out of me. And my heart was broken for the parents of Tamir and John Crawford knowing they had to live that nightmare of a reality.

“So, like I said, I made the conscious decision to wear the T-shirt. I felt like my heart was in the right place. I’m at peace with it and those that disagree with me, this is America, everyone has the right to their first amendment rights. Those who support me, I appreciate your support. But at the same time, support the causes and the people and the injustices that you feel strongly about. Stand up for them. Speak up for them. No matter what it is because that’s what America’s about and that’s what this country was founded on.”

Hawkins clearly put a lot more thought into this than police union honcho and noted fascist Jeffrey Follmer did.

Follmer continued running his mouth yesterday, declaring that the killing of Tamir Rice was “justified.” He also said people need to do as they’re told.

Tamir Rice was shot exactly two seconds after officers arrived at the scene. If they said anything to him, he even wasn’t even given a chance to respond.

Here’s video of Hawkins’ full remarks.

Posted in Justice, Racism | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Thanks Obama

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Last week Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced that the state would cut spending and transfer money from other areas of the budget to fill a hole generated by Brownback’s signature tax cuts.

A significant portion of the funds Brownback intends to transfer are only available because of Obamacare.

Brownback offered his proposal for closing that hole last week, a mixture of spending cuts and transferring funds from other parts of the budget to fill it. And second biggest of those transfers is $55 million in revenue from a Medicaid drug rebate program that was bolstered under the Affordable Care Act. […]

What the ACA did was allow Medicaid managed care (which is different than traditional fee-for-service) to participate in the drug rebate program. […]

Obamacare also increased the rebate rates, from 15.1 percent of the average manufacturer price for most brand-name drugs to 23.1 percent, and from 11 percent to 13 percent for generic drugs. The exact impact can be hard to suss out, but according to [George Washington University professor] Bauen’s analysis of federal data, Kansas saw an increase in rebates from $60 million in 2009 to $90 million in 2012.

This isn’t something Brownback would ever boast of, but it’s enough to know that they know.

The Brownback administration knows Obamacare is helping them dig out of a hole of their own making. They’re all too happy to take advantage of it now that their own asses are on the line.

Posted in Economy, Taxes | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Jeb Bush is Running for President

It looks like we’ll spend a significant portion of the next election talking about shady finance and foreign bank accounts. Again.


Posted in Election 2016, Jeb Bush | 7 Comments