The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 11/13/14

bcs_tubes

RELM_buttonSeries of Tubes: Back from Computer Hiatus; Editor of Greenwald’s The Intercept Jumps Ship; Matt Taibbi Speaks Out About First Look Media; The Midterms; Meme Culture Wins; Democrats and Backbone; Net Neutrality; Framing the Debate; Federalizing Elections; Boogie Nights; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the BobCesca.com Amazon Link and The Bowen Law Group.

Bubble Genius

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Posted in Bob and Chez Show | 16 Comments

Clear Message

SuperGOP

Artist – Tim Eagan

In other news, former Senator Scott Brown is getting back in the saddle at Fox News after losing the election. Again.

Meanwhile, President Obama will address the nation tonight at 8 p.m. ET regarding the action he intends to take on immigration. You can watch at whitehouse.gov

And finally, if you’re a regular reader of the blog, please consider donating during this week’s fundraiser. I’d like to thank everyone who has already donated. Your contributions will keep the snark flowing.

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Unpaid Blogger Fundraiser for JM Ashby, Day Four

It’s that time again. Time to give thanks for our own intrepid blogger JM Ashby by dropping some donations in the jolly, candy-like PayPal button. Ashby doesn’t get a paycheck for his writing, but he should get one and now’s the time to make up for it. Show your appreciation for Ashby’s most-excellent blogging and click the tip-jar early and often.

Thank you in advance!

Posted in Fundraiser | 3 Comments

The Colbert Report Performs a Public Service, Exposes “Huge Douchebag” Libertarian Bros

This isn’t necessarily funny because utterly contemptable assholes like this do exist, but the Colbert Report makes them slightly more palatable.

For fighting for their constitutional right to be total fuckstains, the Free Keene Squad are tonight’s difference makers. And, just to be clear, are huge douchebags.

There’s a very high chance that these pricks read InfoWars and troll comment sections on behalf of Rand Paul.

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Rand Paul, the Civil Rights Hero Who Thinks the Civil Rights Act Went Too Far

RandvsRand

Rand Paul is known for many things, chiefly among them is his belief that ending segregated lunch counters was a federal overreach and that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate.

He could hardly be described as the ‘biggest defender of minority rights in Congress,’ but that’s how he sees himself.

I don’t think there has been anybody who has been a bigger defender of minority rights in the Congress than myself, and that’s not saying others aren’t trying as well,” Paul said an in interview with Salon. “But I think you can see a history and a litany of bills that I’ve put forward to not only restore voting rights, but to try to prevent people from the tragedy of losing their employability through felony convictions and other things.”

As others have pointed out, John Lewis is still a member of Congress.

Posted in Civil Rights, Dumbassery, Rand Paul | 5 Comments

House Committee Says Defunding Executive Action is Impossible

CoyoteDrawingBoard

The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee has quietly informed Republican leadership that they cannot defund the president’s actions on immigration because the agency responsible for implementing it is not funded by Congress; it’s funded by user fees.

[The] committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.

House Republicans have floated the idea of defunding the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to thwart the president’s actions, but that would have no effect at all.

Back to the drawing board?

Posted in Epic Fail, Government Shutdown | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Outreach: Democrats and the “Simple Minded Darkies”

Ira Hansen, the incoming speaker of the Republican caucus of the Nevada Assembly, would like to tell us what he knows about the Negro.

Take it away:

Among other things, as part of a broader statement of support for school vouchers, Hansen claimed that “[t]he relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded darkies.

say-what

The Republican caucus of the Nevada Assembly chose this man to be their speaker.

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

GOP Rep: Send Obama to Prison for Taking Executive Action

Picard and Riker Facepalm

Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) is just sayin’ there’s a statute somewhere (he can’t remember exactly) that says we could throw the president in prison for a few years.

Brooks said there is a federal statute (“I don’t have the citation for it at the tip of my tongue”) making it a felony to aid, abet, or entice a foreigner to illegally enter the U.S.

“At some point, you have to evaluate whether the president’s conduct aids or abets, encourages, or entices foreigners to unlawfully cross into the United States of America,” he continued. “That has a five-year in-jail penalty associated with it.”

While Brooks is keen on the idea of imprisoning the president, he’s not sure if the president has done anything worthy of impeachment, which makes total sense except not really.

Posted in Stupid Party, Super Stupid | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Report: Only 1 Percent of Employers Dropping Healthcare

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Immediately following the midterm election, congressional Republican leadership announced that one of their goals during the next session of Congress would be to redefine what it means to be a full-time employee because, supposedly, Obamacare is the reason employees are receiving fewer hours on their schedule.

There are a number of reasons why that’s wrong, not the least of which is the fact that the employer mandate has been delayed until 2016 and thus the requirement that businesses with at least 50 employees provide healthcare to employees who work at least 30 hours per week is not currently in effect.

During their post-election victory tour, Republican leadership also alleged that Obamacare is actually causing employees to lose their health insurance.

That also isn’t true, but even if it were true it’s extremely rare according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.

A year after the advent of new insurance marketplaces for individuals and small businesses under the health-care law, just 1 percent of employers said they have decided to stop offering health coverage for 2015, one survey said. There was relatively little difference between larger employers and those with fewer than 50 workers, which qualify for new small-business marketplaces, known as SHOPs, that are part of the health-care law.

That survey of more than 3,000 employers, conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management, also found relatively little tendency for companies to narrow the groups offered coverage. One in 12 employers said they are eliminating coverage for workers’ spouses, while 1 in 76 said they are dropping insurance for part-time employees.

According to the Washington Post, a separate survey conducted by the Mercer consulting firm also found that only 4 percent of employers intended to drop healthcare coverage within the next five years.

Numbers this small, ranging from 1 to 4 percent, could be written off as anomalies or even normal operating procedure, but I’m sure that’s not how the Right will see it.

Approximately 2 percent of employers dropping healthcare coverage is clearly the end of America as we know it.

I jest, but here’s something really funny: House Republicans want to sue the president for delaying the employer mandate which they allege is the root of all evil. If they were to win their lawsuit, the employer mandate would take effect immediately.

Why do House Republicans want to implement the mandate and cause people to lose their coverage and jobs?

Posted in Healthcare | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Rand Paul Squandered the Only Shot at NSA Reform For a Long, Long Time

The Keystone XL pipeline wasn’t the only piece of legislation that was killed on Tuesday. Make no mistake, it’ll unfortunately be back after the new Congress is sworn in next year, but for now it’s been blocked. The other item on Tuesday’s agenda was the USA Freedom Act, a bill designed to reform the National Security Agency. Naturally, it was successfully filibustered by all but four Republicans and one Democrat. The cloture vote failed, 58 to 42, with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) voting in support of the legislation.

Among other things, the bill would’ve ended bulk collection of electronic metadata by NSA, mandating that telecoms retain that information to be accessible by NSA with a warrant. It would’ve also appointed a citizen advocate on the FISA Court to argue in support of privacy and civil liberties. The entire story is an exercise in how utterly clueless the supporters of Ed Snowden really are, this time squandering the only real chance at NSA reform they’ll likely see in a while.

Regardless, one of the senators who voted to filibuster the legislation was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the hero of Snowden disciples everywhere. The bill would’ve only needed Rand Paul and one other senator for cloture. But nope.

To be fair, Paul said he voted to filibuster because the law didn’t go far enough. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense because it suits his well-known duplicity on a wide variety of issues. When he’s kissing the asses of civil liberties people, he can roll out the “it didn’t go far enough” excuse. But when he’s kissing the asses of conservative primary voters in New Hampshire or South Carolina, he can say he’s all for beefing up our national security in the face of threats like ISIS, so he voted against it. A flip-flopper needs to flip-flop. Rand Paul is a slick used-car salesman who’s always on the lookout for opportunistic material with which to trick voters into buying his clown-sized jalopy.

What makes his filibuster vote additionally suspicious is… CONTINUE READING

Posted in The Daily Banter | 1 Comment

Morning Awesome

Eagles – “Take It To The Limit” (Live at The Capital Centre 1977)

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Last Week’s Agenda

EbolaWins

Artist – Rob Tornoe

In other news, Louisiana Republicans are establishing a special voter integrity program to combat the non-existent, imagined threat of voter fraud.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has officially scheduled 132 days of work for 2015. “Work” should not be taken literally.

And finally, if you’re a regular reader of the blog, please consider donating during this week’s fundraiser. Your donations will help me make it through the holiday season without losing my mind. Thank you to everyone who continues to laugh at me or with me.

Posted in Open Thread, The Media | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Paul Krugman Says What He Got Wrong

Here’s something you don’t see every day: an economist talking about the things they got wrong.

via Business Insider

Just once I’d like to see a conservative economist admit that the Ryan Budget and Republican economic philosophy is hogwash. Tried, tested and failed hogwash.

Or as Krugman says in the video above, if you never get something wrong and if “events never refute your framework,” there’s “something wrong with you.”

Posted in Economy, Ethics | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Colbert on Executive Action and GOP Pushback

Last night, Colbert warned us that immigrants are “coming for the jobs they already have.”

Yes, the president is refusing to deport these illegals so we must cut the funding to pay the immigration officers he won’t need to not deport them.

It’s just like when I was a kid and I refused to rake the yard, so as a punishment my parents wouldn’t buy me a rake.

It’s a good point. What would defunding the DHS and DOJ really achieve?

Posted in Comedy, Congress | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Unpaid Blogger Fundraiser for JM Ashby, Day Three

It’s that time again. Time to give thanks for our own intrepid blogger JM Ashby by dropping some donations in the jolly, candy-like PayPal button. Ashby doesn’t get a paycheck for his writing, but he should get one and now’s the time to make up for it. Show your appreciation for Ashby’s most-excellent blogging and click the tip-jar early and often.

Thank you in advance!

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House GOP Wants No Independent Scientists on Science Board

The president isn’t going to sign this into law, but the House continues to wage its own private war on the EPA and science.

The House voted 229-191 to pass H.R. 1422, which would change the rules for appointing members to the Science Advisory Board (SAB), a group that gives scientific advice to the EPA Administrator. Also called the Science Advisory Board Reform Act, the bill would make it easier for scientists with financial ties to corporations to serve on the SAB, prohibit independent scientists from talking about their own research on the board, and make it more difficult for scientists who have applied for grants from the EPA to join the board.

The party of independence and personal responsibility has a problem with independent scientists who conduct their own research, but no problem with corporate scientists with conflicts of interest.

Expect a whole lot more of this over the next two years as Congress is turned into a campaign platform.

Posted in Environment, Science | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Chart: The Media’s Ebola Coverage Vanishes

TheseMessages

No, it’s not your imagination; media coverage of Ebola has evaporated.

According to a new report from Media Matters, cable news channels and broadcasters aired nearly 1,000 segments on Ebola during the month prior to the election, but have only aired 49 total segments over the last two weeks following the election.

EbolaCoverageChart

Where were you when the fake crisis ended?

To say that they stopped covering Ebola because it’s no longer a serious issue would be a misnomer because it was never a serious issue. Ebola is a very serious and lethal virus, but it was never a threat to the general public in the way news organizations and politicians led people to believe.

Posted in The Media | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Hundreds of Ballots Thrown Out in Texas

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Several hundred or even several thousand votes wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the election in Texas, but that’s beside the point.

According to the New York Times, hundreds of provisional ballots were thrown out in Texas because of the state’s new voter ID law.

Such ballots were accepted from voters who showed up at the polls lacking ID approved by the law or had some other identification-related problem, such as a driver’s license expired beyond the 60-day time limit. For their provisional votes to be counted, these voters had to return to their local elections office within six days after the election and show proper ID.

But more than 500 voters in eight counties failed to follow through, and their provisional ballots expired. In Houston’s Harris County, there were 229 such ballots. In San Antonio’s Bexar County, there were 27. Dallas County had 99.

Many conservatives will undoubtedly look at this and say ‘see, 500 cases of fraud were stopped’ and many more will say that their votes shouldn’t be counted if they were too lazy to return.

They would be wrong in both cases. There are numerous reasons why someone may not be able to return, such as their work or child care schedule not permitting it. Some may also lack the means to return or to acquire a form of ID that the law recognizes.

It should be noted that the more than 500 ballots tossed out only account for eight counties. There are 254 counties in Texas. Not all of them are heavily populated, but it stands to reason that a similar scenario played out across the entire state. It could even be worse in rural counties that lack infrastructure.

The concept of “one man, one vote” is no longer the gold standard.

Posted in Voter Suppression | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Republican Lawsuit Against Obamacare Gets a New “Liberal” Attorney

You might know the name Jonathan Turley from his many appearances on the old Countdown with Keith Olbermann show and, most recently, from his vocal opposition to President Obama’s use of drones and NSA surveillance. He’s basically Glenn Greenwald but with a paycheck from the George Washington University Law School, where he’s a professor of constitutional law. Turley also joined Greenwald in reacting with ambivalence toward the Supreme Court’s highly controversial decision in the Citizens United case, which granted corporations constitutionally-protected free speech and the subsequent freedom to contribute untold billions to political campaigns as an exercise of this newly-acquired right.

And now, he’s Speaker John Boehner’s new lawyer in the House Republicans’ lawsuit against President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. In fact, he’s not just any lawyer in the case, he’s now the lead counsel.

Why? We’ll let him answer:

As many on this blog know, I support national health care and voted for President Obama in his first presidential campaign. However, as I have often stressed before Congress, in the Madisonian system it is as important how you do something as what you do. And, the Executive is barred from usurping the Legislative Branch’s Article I powers, no matter how politically attractive or expedient it is to do so. Unilateral, unchecked Executive action is precisely the danger that the Framers sought to avoid in our constitutional system. This case represents a long-overdue effort by Congress to resolve fundamental Separation of Powers issues.

It’s difficult to believe that not only the House Republicans but also a constitutional law professor would be so utterly clueless about the role of the Executive Branch and its bureaucracy in implementing congressionally-sanctioned laws, but there it is. This is precisely what Health and Human Services has been doing with regards to the Affordable Care Act. Implementing it. Suddenly this is unconstitutional.

Take, for example, the so-called “exemption from Obamacare”… CONTINUE READING

Posted in The Daily Banter | 1 Comment

Morning Awesome

The Tragically Hip – “It Can’t Be Nashville Every Night” (NSFW Explicit Version)

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