Artist – Nick Anderson

In other news, U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned today following several subsequent debacles. Joseph Clancy will serve as the interim head of the agency.

I’m not big on resignations, but in this case it feels entirely appropriate. Allowing the White House fence jumper to reach the green room before being taken down by an off-duty agent was bad, but allowing an armed contractor to enter an elevator with the president (and apparently not telling him about it) is unforgivable.

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

Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray Wastes Employee Money, Fires Them When He Can’t


Four weeks ago a former employee of Murray Energy filed a lawsuit against CEO Bob Murray because he fired her after she refused to make political donations as instructed by him.

“Not only did Mr. Murray name candidates and specify the amount to be contributed to each candidate, but he also required that the political contributions be returned directly to him in a self-addressed envelope that he enclosed with each of his letters to her,” the lawsuit states.

ThinkProgress examined financial records and discovered the names of the candidates CEO Bob Murray directed the donations to as well as the amount of each donation.

One name among the group that sticks out to me, and the second biggest recipient of cash, is Scott Brown.

In the latest accusation of coercion against Murray, the former employee cited fundraising letters she received from Murray in late May of 2014. Those letters asked for contributions to four Republican candidates for U.S. Senate: Scott Brown from New Hampshire, Ed Gillespie from Virginia, Terri Lynn Land from Michigan, and Mike McFadden from Minnesota.

Scott Brown is a name that sticks out to me because while he is the second biggest recipient of contributions from Murray’s PAC, he’s also failing spectacularly in his race against Senator Jeanne Shaheen. But you could say Ed Gillespie is an even greater tale of failure as he is the biggest recipient of contributions from Murray’s PAC and he’s currently polling nearly 14 percent below his opponent.

Scott Brown, Ed Gillespie, Terri Lynn Land, and Mike McFadden are all polling behind their opponents, with Ed Gillespie trailing Mark Warner by nearly 14 points and Mike McFadden trailing Al Franken as much as 13 points according to the RCP average.

It’s entirely possible and plausible that every campaign CEO Bob Murray has commanded his employees to donate to will lose.

It’s also possible that donations made by Murray’s PAC were used to fund this amazingly nonsensical ad the Scott Brown campaign released last week.

The one employee who refused to make Murray’s required donations to these failing candidates was fired.

Posted in Elections, Epic Fail, Ethics | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Common Core Killer

Are children better off living under a drug war than learning Common Core?

After a brief discussion about the cost of educating immigrant children, Fox News host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery posed the question.

Montgomery: “It makes you wonder what’s worse: drug war in Honduras or Common Core?”

Get it? I hope someone does because I sure as shit don’t. Apparently this is suppose to be funny but there’s nothing funny about it unless the goal was to highlight their own absurdity

These are mostly small children we’re talking about, but the biggest question — the moral dilemma — on the minds of Fox News hosts is the cost of deporting them versus the cost of letting them attend public school.

It’s a real conundrum if you’re a disgusting puke of a person, and if there was a way to just get rid of the children at no cost to the well-off hosts of Outnumbered, I imagine they would support it.

Is converting them into Soylent Green an option?

Posted in Education, Immigration | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Slippery Slope

Picard and Riker Facepalm

If we allow recovering alcoholics to meet on church grounds, before you know it we’ll be letting the gays in.

At least that seems to be the thinking of a baptist church in Louisiana.

In mid September, the Westwood Baptist Church in Keithville, Louisiana sent a letter to the leaders of a local AA group informing them that they could no longer meet at the church. According to KSLA News, church leaders explained that if they accommodated the AA group, which had been meeting at the church for more than 5 years, then they could also one day be forced to accommodate same-sex weddings.

Of course. One thing leads to another. One minute you’re helping people who are trying to put the bottle down, and the next minute you’re forced to perform gay marriages.

We all know Jesus would have turned away people in need of help over the non-existent threat of forced gay marriages.

Posted in LGBT, Religion, Super Stupid | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Outreach: Say Yes to the Rick Scott Dress


This bridal-themed video ad produced by the College Republican National Committee isn’t quite as cringe-worthy as the conservative dating profile was, but it’s close. The bar is exceptionally high.

Apparently women should say ‘yes’ to voting for Governor Gollum because Charlie Crist is a very expensive dress and your mother likes it.

The bride-to-be likes the Rick Scott dress because Scott is a “trusted brand” that has “new ideas.” Mom, on the other hand, says you should choose the Charlie Crist dress because she “knows best.” And don’t forget the Charlie Crist costs more and you’ll be paying it off for “the rest of your life.”

You couldn’t be more patronizing if you tried.

This is clearly a surprise to Republicans, but you don’t have to reduce policy to a dating or wedding metaphor to appeal to women. You could instead try supporting policies that a majority of women support.

Posted in Epic Fail, Rick Scott | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Worst Person in the World: Bomb Threat at Sandy Hook

Someone sent a bomb threat to the temporary location of the Sandy Hook elementary school this morning and whoever they are they’re a shitheel.

via Local ABC affiliate WTNH

MONROE, Conn. (WTNH) — Sandy Hook School in Monroe has been evacuated and students will be sent home after a telephoned bomb threat. [...]

The students will be taken to Jackie Hollow School, and they will be dismissed at noon.

“There was a bomb threat to the building early this morning that had low to no credibility,” Dr. Erardi said. “We will continue to err on the side of student and staff safety.”

As if local children, parents, and teachers weren’t traumatized enough by the 2012 massacre.

I hope whoever called in the threat is found and prosecuted.

Posted in Worst Persons | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Morning Awesome

“Leahi” – From The Descendants Soundtrack

The latest installment in my multi-part series about living in Hawaii over at The Daily Banter. Subscribe to the Members section and check it out.

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

Ad Virus


Artist – Joe Heller

In other news, the CDC has confirmed the first case of Ebola in America at a Dallas area hospital.

Meanwhile, this report from the Washington Post made me feel both sick to my stomach and very angry. An armed security contractor with multiple convictions for assault was allowed on an elevator with the president during his recent visit to the CDC, and the most insane part is that Secret Service agents didn’t know he was armed.

The contractor did not comply when Secret Service agents asked him to stop using a phone camera to videotape the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident. [...]

When a supervisor from the private security firm approached and learned of the agents’ concern, the contractor was fired on the spot and agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized he was armed during his encounter with Obama.

This is inexcusable.

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

Humans Are the Worst

A new report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London says the world’s wildlife population has declined by at least 52 percent in the last 40 years.

From The Telegraph:

Almost the entire decline is down to human activity, through habitat loss, deforestation, climate change, over-fishing and hunting. [...]

“It’s certainly very concerning,” said Mike Barrett, Director of Science and Policy at the WWF, “And if it carries on at the present rate we will continue to lose even more animals.

Freshwater species have reportedly been hit the hardest with their populations declining by as much as 76 percent.

As for why the new numbers are so much worse than numbers reported by the same group in 2012, the Associated Press reports that the group credits better (more accurate) methods for measuring populations.

It’s enough to make you wonder if there will come a time when the only significant populations of animals that remain will be those that are factory farmed.

Posted in Environment | Tagged | 2 Comments

Survivalist Gunman Leaves Pipe Bombs in the Woods

The Associated Press reports that state police officers searching for the doomsday prepper who ambushed two officers outside their barracks in Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania have found pipe bombs and trip wire that he left behind in the woods.

BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) — State police searching for a man accused of killing a state trooper say they found two pipe bombs in the Pennsylvania woods during their manhunt.

Lt. Col. George Bivens said Tuesday the pipe bombs were fully functional and could have been set off by either a trip wire or fuse, but appear to be among items that were hastily discarded. [...]

Police said last week they were treating the search area as if it was booby-trapped. They had also previously said they had evidence Frein had been experimenting with explosives.

The first question that immediately sprang to mind was whether or not the two pipe bombs officers discovered are the only two out there.

The threat that other people or wildlife may stumble upon a live pipe bomb in the future seems very real if the area is not extensively searched and cleared.

Posted in Guns | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

That Doesn’t Make it Better


It’s been nearly two years since former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made his infamous “47 percent” comments but he’s still trying to explain them away.

During an interview with The New York Times, Romney essentially said that he was pandering.

“I was talking to one of my political advisers,” Romney continued, “and I said: ‘If I had to do this again, I’d insist that you literally had a camera on me at all times” — essentially employing his own tracker, as opposition researchers call them. “I want to be reminded that this is not off the cuff.” This, as he saw it, was what got him in trouble at that Boca Raton fund-raiser, when Romney told the crowd he was writing off the 47 percent of the electorate that supported Obama (a.k.a. “those people”; “victims” who take no “personal responsibility”). Romney told me that the statement came out wrong, because it was an attempt to placate a rambling supporter who was saying that Obama voters were essentially deadbeats.

Romney went on to say that he would have said something else at the time if he knew he was “talking to the whole world” and “not just the man.”

In other words, Romney admits that some things should only be discussed behind closed doors without the presence of activists with video cameras.

In other words, he meant every word he said but he wouldn’t have said it if he knew that everyone else in the world would see it.

Disdain for the “47 percent” is clearly best left tucked inside policy proposals rather than spoken out loud, and it was evident in all of his proposals. He even chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, for Pete’s sake.

I don’t actually believe Romney will run for office again but I would be delighted if he did. It’s easy to forget just how much of a disaster he was and I’m grateful that he periodically reminds us.

Posted in Election 2012 | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Unhinged History

Conservative school boards and lawmakers in states such as Texas and Colorado have alleged that Advanced Placement U.S. History is “anti-American” because it does not censor negative events in our history, but according to Doctor Ben Carson the threat is much greater than any of us realize.

CARSON: “A whole section on slavery and how evil we are. A whole section on Japanese internment camps and how we slaughtered millions of Japanese with our bombs. A whole section on how we wiped out American Indians with no mercy

I mean I think most people, when they finished that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for ISIS. This is what we’re doing to the young people in our nation. And we have got to stop this silliness.

Holy shitballs. You mean an entire generation of young Americans are ready to sign up for ISIS because they learned that slavery was evil?


Given that Advanced Placement U.S History has been offered by the College Board under the Advanced Placement Program since 1955, the threat could be even greater than the esteemed doctor tells us.

If you listen closely you can hear a man in the background laughing his goddamn ass off after Carson says the AP standards will make you want to join ISIS.

I shared the same reaction.

Posted in Education, History, Stupid Party, Super Stupid, Terrorism, Wingnuts | Tagged , | 18 Comments

John Oliver, Bill O’Reilly and Two Very Different Views of Obama

If you were in a coma for the last six years, then suddenly awakened this past weekend to observe both John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO and Bill O’Reilly’s appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, you might assume they were talking about the military actions of two very separate and distinct presidents.

On one hand, there was Bill O’Reilly who continued to push for a stronger response to Islamic jihad. Not only should the president seek to hire a mercenary army of 25,000 privateers, but we should also somehow recruit Zombie Patton to roll into Syria with the Third Army from 1944 and annihilate everyone in sight. The takeaway is the usual one: the president is a weak-willed, lead-from-behind appeaser with obvious terrorist sympathies. Indeed, some factions of O’Reilly’s side of the debate even believe Obama is offering up a swath of land in New Mexico as an ISIS safe-haven. I’m not making that up.

On the other hand, there’s the former correspondent for The Daily Show, John Oliver, who hosted a 13-minute segment Sunday night in which he deliberately scared the shit out of his audience regarding Obama’s unprecedented use of predator drones against terror targets overseas. Not only did Oliver point out that Obama has ordered exponentially more drone strikes than George W. Bush (Oliver failed to note Bush’s use of other weapons to achieve the same results), but he also repeatedly emphasized that Obama has literally ruined clear, blue skies — terrorizing grandmothers and children in the process, and making them look forward to cloudy days when drones are grounded…. CONTINUE READING

Posted in The Daily Banter | Leave a comment

Morning Awesome

Morcheeba – “Trigger Hippie”

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

False Alarm


Artist – David Horsey

In other news, the recent White House fence jumper reportedly made it much farther into the building than was originally disclosed.

After barrelling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.

Gonzalez was tackled by a counter-assault agent at the far southern end of the East Room. The intruder reached the doorway to the Green Room, a parlor overlooking the South Lawn with artwork and antique furniture, according to three people familiar with the incident.

Meanwhile, today is Monday and I can’t type or write anything. I’ve made more corrections today than I typically do in an entire week and fuck Mondays. That is all.

Posted in Open Thread, Racism | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

AFP Under Investigation in North Carolina

The Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity group is under investigation in North Carolina for sending thousands of mailers giving voters bad information.

According to the State Election Board, thousands of North Carolina residents have been calling to complain about an erroneous ‘official application form’ sent to them by AFP. The mistake-riddled form gives voters the wrong deadline for voter registration, and directs them to send their registration documents to the wrong address.

I have no doubt that if a liberal third party sent incorrect mailers that resulted in erroneous registrations, Republicans would allege fraud just as they are in Georgia where bad registration forms are being held up as evidence of fraud. But since it’s AFP, don’t hold your breath. We all know liberals don’t make honest mistakes, they’re just like ACORN.

Posted in Koch Brothers, North Carolina, Voter Suppression | 5 Comments

Ted Cruz is Running for President


The Republican clown car of 2016 will soon have its first occupant.

It has been apparent ever since he masterminded the Republican Government Shutdown of 2013, but the National Journal reports that Ted Cruz will announce his candidacy before the end of the year.

According to sources close to the Texas senator, Cruz could be preparing for an end-of-year announcement and is now dedicating considerable time and effort to cultivating a foreign-policy foundation that might help his candidacy stand out in what is guaranteed to be a crowded field.

“At this point it’s 90/10 he’s in,” one Cruz adviser said. “And honestly, 90 is lowballing it.”

And what will Cruz base his campaign on?

According to the Journal, Cruz will base his campaign on being the anti-Rand Paul.

This is very amusing to me because virtually everyone in the race, Republican or Democrat, will be the anti-Rand Paul. Even Rand Paul will be the anti-Rand Paul.

If Cruz bases his campaign on being the anti-isolationist candidate while simultaneously attacking President Obama and Hillary Clinton for being soft on foreign policy, I think it would be accurate to say that Cruz will run as a Bush-era Neo-Con.

I don’t think Americans want to go back to that. And let’s not forget what that entails because it’s not just about using greater force, it’s also about a hostile diplomatic environment where saber-rattling comes first.

There is no doubt in my mind that a neo-conservative administration would have launched a war with Iran years ago if they had been in charge.

Posted in Election 2016, Foreign Policy | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Ingraham: Why is the Anti-Colonial Welfare President Fighting Ebola?

As Newt Gingrich once said, you can’t understand President Obama unless you understand his anti-colonial worldview; a worldview shared by all people who aren’t lizards.

This anti-colonial worldview, wingnut radio host Laura Ingraham tells us, is what drove the president to send American troops to Africa to counter an outbreak of Ebola.

via Media Matters

INGRAHAM: [T]he military is just another tool in his arsenal to level the playing field, right? I mean, in other words, Africa really deserves more of America’s money because we’re people of privilege. We’re people of great privilege, so we should do what we can, we the American taxpayers, to transfer wealth over to Africa. It’s his father’s rage against colonialism, as Dinesh D’Souza wrote about, and maybe this is a way to continue to atone for that. [...]

If a few American military personnel have to be exposed to the Ebola virus to carry out this redistribution of the privileged’s wealth, then so be it.

Of course it’s also possible the president sent troops to Africa in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. American service members will construct field hospitals and clinics for medical personnel so the virus can be treated in controlled, sterile environments in a region with poor infrastructure.

To the average person this may seem like a tactic that could halt the spread of the virus or, at the very least, slow it down, but to Laura Ingraham this is really all about wealth redistribution.

I could explain that no additional funding is required for the mission in Africa, or that local residents sick with Ebola will not be receiving a check in the mail, but the details aren’t important to Ingraham.

She can’t stand the idea of American service members lifting a finger to help poor, black Africans. And because they are poor and black, her mind immediately jumps to wealth redistribution, which in this case may as well be code word for welfare.

What she’s saying is the president is a welfare president trying to save black lives at the expense of whitey. You don’t even have to ask if her view would be different if this outbreak of Ebola was taking place in Canada or Europe. She spells it out quite clearly.

Furthermore, if the president did nothing and the outbreak of the virus reached the western world, Ingraham would be just one among the many people who would blame him for it.

Laura Ingraham is a racist. She’s also as mainstream as it gets on the right.

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

Bill O’Reilly Slams U.S. Military Commanders for Not Being More Like General Patton

As we covered last week, Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly expressed a very specific rule for dissent during times of war: “You don’t criticize the Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a firefight. That could be construed as putting U.S. forces in jeopardy and undermining morale.” Uber-patriot O’Reilly is obviously concerned about not undermining the morale of the troops — or at least he used to be concerned, back before he was shamelessly crowbarring plugs for his latest “Killing [Random Famous Person]” book into a discussion about a very serious U.S. military engagement in the Middle East.

On Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, O’Reilly not only continued to push for the privatization of the U.S. armed forces by replacing the troops with an outsourced 25,000-man mercenary army, but he also stated point-blank that there aren’t any active-duty military commanders who are capable of defeating ISIS.

We don’t have any Pattons today. But I was with Henry Kissinger today and he told me that my idea of a worldwide anti-terror force paid for by coalition nations under [crosstalk] so let’s win the war, and that’s what George Patton would say.

First, when you’re discussing war and you say “I was with Henry Kissinger and he told me” — you’ve lost all credibility. Second, I wonder what Patton would say about a so-called history and military expert insisting that it was American soldiers, not Nazis, who were responsible for the Malmedy massacre during World War II. I also wonder what Patton would say about O’Reilly, who received a deferment from the Vietnam-era draft, criticizing the battlefield tenacity of the American military. Hell of a patriot, O’Reilly is. Support the troops — unless you have a book to sell.


Posted in The Daily Banter | 1 Comment

Morning Awesome

Zero 7 – “Destiny”

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