Thanks for Nothing

In other the-NRA-is-terrible news, Senator Mark Pryor is receiving no thanks from the NRA for voting to kill universal background checks.

Last year, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) voted against a popular proposal to require people who purchase firearms online or at gun shows first complete a background check. On Tuesday, however, the National Rifle Association announced a $1.3 million ad buy in Pryor’s home state of Arkansas supporting Pryor’s Republican opponent Rep. Tom Cotton.

This is what happens when you deal with the devil.

Posted in Guns | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

NRA: Gun Control Advocates Are Pro-Domestic Violence

It’s forgone that the NRA sits atop the list of Worst Persons in the World, but this is a reach that deserves special recognition.

According to the NRA, the Ray Rice domestic violence case shows that people who are in favor gun control are also in favor of domestic violence because they’re denying women the right to protect themselves.

via Media Matters

While criticizing the manner in which [Shaneen] Allen’s case has been handled, [NRA News commentator Colion] Noir made a bizarre leap of logic to claim that “all anti-gunners around the world” are “providing an example to young men that it’s okay to beat women as long as you can throw a football of course,” because of the Ray Rice case. Noir also claimed that “anti-gun utopia” is a world where “a mother of two kids, is faced with three years in jail for trying to protect herself, but isn’t afforded the same second chance that some knuckle-dragging hothead who ‘Tiger Uppercuts’ his fiancée into a momentary coma is given.”

On other hand, if Janay Rice owned a gun, the chances of her being shot and killed greatly increase. Women who live in states with higher gun ownership rates are nearly five times more likely to be killed by a gun. Women are also six times more likely to be shot and killed by their husband or boyfriend than a stranger.

As you might already know, the NRA is against laws the prohibit domestic abusers from purchasing or carrying guns. They believe the solution is to put guns in the hands of women. Gun control advocates, on the other hand, support laws to limit ownership for abusers.

The NRA wants an arms race in America’s living rooms. Gun control advocates want to end it.

Who is really looking out for women?

Posted in Guns | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Rand Paul Promises to Repeal All Executive Orders… Ever

The other day on his podcast, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks bragged that he’s never been wrong when betting on the winner of presidential elections, then offered this:

“If you’ve got Rand Paul running on a ‘Let’s stop messing around in the Middle East because we’re getting killed, and it’s doing absolutely no good for us’ campaign versus Hillary Clinton’s ‘Let’s keep doing the same stupid shit we were doing before that you hated before’ campaign… If I was a betting man, and I am… right now I’d lay money on Rand Paul being the next president of the United States.”

Two things here. First, Cenk knows that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will win the next election, more than two years before the actual election will take place. Second, Cenk still thinks Rand Paul is opposed to military action in the Middle East. How sweet.

Here’s to hoping Cenk loses a pile of money wagering on this one. As we’ve covered numerous times over the years, Rand Paul is a flip-flopping mess, and probably won’t win the Republican nomination much less the general election. He simply can’t win — meaning, he’s unable to win given how conservative GOP voters will line up against him, and he shouldn’t win because he’d be a terrible president. In addition to being a political lightweight and an empty suit, Rand Paul promised to repeal all executive orders ever issued in the history of the United States.

I think the first executive order that I would issue would be to repeal all previous executive orders.

Yep, the knucklehead who… CONTINUE READING

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Morning Awesome

R.E.M. – “Nightswimming”

Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | 1 Comment

Outreach

NoMeansNo

Artist – Ed Hall

In other news, the primary suspect in the ambush and shooting of two state police officers outside a barracks in Pennsylvania is a doomsday prepper who fantasized about killing law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Obamacare is working as the number of uninsured has dropped to the lowest level since 1997.

And finally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against the for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges Inc. for misleading students and using “illegal debt collection tactics.” Corinthian was discussed by John Oliver last week.

Posted in Education, Open Thread, Rush Limbaugh | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Benghazi Network

foxnewsfairbalanced

According to a report from Media Matters, Fox News aired nearly 1,100 segments on Benghazi between September of 2012 and May of 2014. And to be clear, this does not merely include mentions of Benghazi; it includes “significant discussion” between at least two speakers.

A significant number of the segments were devoted to conspiracy theories as tallied by Media Matters. (emphasis mine)

1,098 total Fox News evening segments that included significant discussion of Benghazi — an average of about 13 segments per week

In 18 of 20 months studied, Fox ran at least 20 Benghazi segments per month, with a high of 174 in October 2012

382 segments aired on Special Report, the network’s flagship news program

478 segments invoked the talking points used for Susan Rice’s 2012 Sunday show appearances

281 segments alleging a “cover-up” by the Obama administration

144 interviews of GOP members of Congress versus only five interviews of Democratic members of Congress and Obama administration officials

120 comparisons to Iran-Contra, Watergate, and the actions of the Nixon administration

105 attempts to link Benghazi to Hillary Clinton’s potential presidential ambitions

100 segments promoting the lie that the administration issued a “stand-down order”

It’s been four months since May and Fox News has continued to devote a significant amount of time to covering Benghazi and has continued to promote conspiracy theories, including a recent claim that Hillary Clinton’s staff “scrubbed” incriminating documents.

On the anniversary of September 11th, Fox News host Megyn Kelly even repeated the claim that President Obama never called it terrorism.

We all remember how well that claim worked out for Mitt Romney. “Please proceed.”

Posted in Benghazi, The Media | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Do You Stand With Rand? Does Rand Stand With Rand?

RandvsRand

It was only months ago when Rand Paul took to the floor of the Senate and engaged in a 13-hour long filibuster of a judicial nominee to protest the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen and American drone policy in general, but it seems like a lifetime ago now that Rand Paul has committed to flip flopping on a weekly basis.

At a campaign event in New Hampshire headlined by Rand Paul and Scott Brown, Rand was asked about the killing of American citizens who are fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq and Syria and he came out against due process.

RAND: “If you are engaged with battle against the United States, you really do not get due process on the battlefield. If you want to fight against the United States, you’re a target. Already, I think two Americans have been killed.”

I don’t disagree with Rand’s assessment in this particular case, but I find his new position to be very amusing given that he did, in fact, engage in a lengthy filibuster of a judicial nominee for this very reason.

In an op-ed written for The New York Times in May of this year, Rand denounced the nomination of David J. Barron to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit because he wrote two legal memos that justified “the execution without a trial of an American citizen abroad.” Rand also stated that Anwar al-Awlaki should have been tried and convicted before his execution.

Anwar al-Awlaki was an American citizen who was subject to a kill order from Mr. Obama, and was killed in 2011 in Yemen by a missile fired from a drone. I don’t doubt that Mr. Awlaki committed treason and deserved the most severe punishment. Under our Constitution, he should have been tried — in absentia, if necessary — and allowed a legal defense. If he had been convicted and sentenced to death, then the execution of that sentence, whether by drone or by injection, would not have been an issue.

That was in May.

As of September, Rand says you “do not get due process on the battlefield” if you fight against the United States.

Do you stand with Rand?

John McCormack at The Weekly Standard reports that Rand was “escorted out of the room by his press aides” at the joint campaign event with Scott Brown after he was reminded of his 13-hour filibuster.

Posted in Drones, Epic Fail, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Rand Paul, Syria, Terrorism, Yemen | Tagged | 7 Comments

Words Have No Meaning in Georgia

JodyHice

Words continue to have no meaning as Jody Hice, the Republican nominee to fill Representative Paul Broun’s (R-Pit of Hell) House seat, says gay people have “the same rights” as everyone else because they can straight marry if they choose to.

via RightWingWatch

“Let’s just suppose a gay person comes up to you and says something like, ‘Why shouldn’t I have the same rights as everybody else? Why can I not marry the person I love?’” Hice said.

“Well what rights are we talking about?” he asked, before implying that gay people can simply marry someone of the opposite sex: “Gay people have the same rights as everybody else. There are no rights that are missing. They have the same rights as anyone. We are Americans and we all have the same rights.” [...]

Homosexuals have the right to be married but what they are demanding, in reality, is that marriage be redefined to suit them,” he said.

No. If gay people had the right to marry the person of their choosing in all 50 states, that would mean they have “the same rights.” That would mean no rights are missing.

To say that they have “the same rights” because they can marry someone of the opposite sex is hilariously obtuse.

It’s also ironic because Hice is inadvertently admitting that the “sanctity of marriage” is bullshit. What sanctity is there if Hice is promoting sham marriages?

Hice also compared gay marriage to incest during his unhinged rant.

Posted in LGBT, Wingnuts | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Super Stupid

EHasselderp

Nothing to add.

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

Bobby Jindal and the Science Deniers

JindalStupidParty

Bobby Jindal is not a scientist, man.

At a prayer breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor this morning, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said the Obama administration is filled to the brim with “science deniers” who are “holding our economy hostage” by not harnessing every available domestic energy resource. Jindal went on to cite the Keystone XL pipeline as a job creator the Obama administration is allegedly blocking but, according to the State Department’s analysis, the pipeline would only create 50 permanent jobs after construction is complete.

To say that the Obama administration is refusing to utilize every available resource is a dubious accusation to make and one that some liberals would dispute as they oppose the president’s “all of the above” energy policy, but I digress.

At the same event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Jindal was asked by reporters if he believes in evolution and his response was to say that he’s not a scientist.

The reality is I’m not an evolutionary biologist,” the Republican governor and possible 2016 presidential hopeful told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“What I believe as a father and a husband is that local schools should make decisions on how they teach,” he said. “And we can talk about Common Core and why I don’t believe in a national curriculum. I think local school districts should make decisions about what should be taught in their classroom. I want my kids to be exposed to the best science, the best critical thinking…”

Bobby Jindal is very concernedBobby Jindal wants kids to be exposed to “the best science” unless the best science involves man-made global warming and climate change, and he says “the best science” on either should be presented alongside competing theories.

Jindal also says that we should “let the scientists decide” if man-made global warming and evolution is real, and given that scientists have decided that both are real, there should be no controversy, right?

There shouldn’t be, but Jindal wants to have it both ways. Jindal says intentionally-vague things in an attempt to accept the science and deny the science at the same time, and he does this while accusing the Obama administration of being “science deniers.”

As Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo points out, Jindal did study biology at Brown University. He may not be a scientist, but he knows enough to know that he is full of shit.

Governor Jindal was a supporter of Common Core education standards up until the point that he wasn’t. Jindal personally signed Common Core into law in the state of Louisiana, but Common Core has become a proxy for attacking President Obama and “big government” even though neither the president or big government created it. Common Core was created by a bipartisan group of governors and educators.

The superintendent of Louisiana public schools and the state legislature have lined up against Jindal in his new push to dismantle the Common Core standards he lobbied for and signed into law. Because he’s not a scientist, man.

Posted in Education, Science, Stupid Party, Super Stupid | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Bernie Sanders Might Be Running, But He’ll Never Be President

Apologies if you’ve heard this one before.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dials the customer service number for his cell provider. An automated voice on the other end says, “Press one for English and two for Spanish. Para Espanol, oprime el dos.” Sanders replies, “Fine, but first let me tell you about the middle class…”

No other senator of either party is quite as good as Sanders when it comes to pivoting to his agenda, and there’s ultimately nothing wrong with Sanders’s agenda. Middle class, middle class, middle class. He’s a decent senator and remains tremendously popular in his state and among the broader far-left. But don’t count on him winning the Democratic nomination in 2016. He has even less of a chance at winning the presidency in a national election. There’s no real way to objectively quantify the reasons why, but being a self-identified socialist is a big one. He’s just not really presidential material and he’s not mainstream enough to win nationally. Plus, even though he caucuses with the Democrats, he’s spent his entire Senate career as an independent. The party cares about things like that, and tends to reward loyalty — not fair-weather friends who only climb aboard when it’s convenient.

Sanders plans to run anyway but supporters would be well-served to keep their hopes for victory firmly planted in the reality of presidential politics. Candidates like Sanders, or guys like Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich, always say they’re running to win, but it’s never actually true. It’s all about getting the message out. Bernie Sanders will run almost exclusively for those moments during the debates when he’ll be able to pivot the conversation from anything else to middle class, middle class, middle class. He also won’t mind having “presidential candidate” on his list of accomplishments. He is, after all, a politician who will eventually want to collect some decent speaking fees.

But there will surely be… CONTINUE READING

Posted in The Daily Banter | 3 Comments

Morning Awesome

Smashing Pumpkins – “1979″

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Distractions

NFLDistraction

Artist – John Darkow

In other news, the first vice chair of the Arizona Republican Party resigned last night after saying that women on social welfare programs should be sterilized.

As you may recall, Russell Pearce also introduced the “papers please” law SB1070 in the state legislature and he’s been spotted palling around with neo Nazis several times.

Meanwhile, Debo Adegbile has formally withdrawn from consideration for the position of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Senate Republicans and a handful of Democrats blocked his nomination earlier this year. As events unfolded in Ferguson, the Department of Justice did not have a confirmed head of the Civil Rights Division because his nomination was blocked.

Posted in Civil Rights, Open Thread, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lindsey Graham Says We’re All Going to Die

JudgementDay

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a man who may piss his pants on a regular basis.

During his appearance on Fox News Sunday, Graham called the president “delusional” for believing that ISIS can be defeated without boots on the ground, and he predicted certain doom for all mankind.

Comparing the estimated 30,000 ISIS fighters to the Nazis, Graham warned that “this idea we’ll never had any boots to defeat them in Syria is fantasy.” He argued that given the growth of the “radical Islamic army” and its control of territory in northern Iraq and Syria, “it’s going to take an army to beat a army.” “This is ISIL versus mankind,” he said, using another acronym for the group. [...]

This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.

I believe ISIS is a potential terrorist threat to western nations, particularly Europe, and I believe it’s an existential threat to women, children, and other civilians who live within the territory occupied by the radical group. In addition to the beheading of numerous individuals, unspeakable violence is being committed against women as they’re removed from their homes forced into sex slavery.

I don’t take the group lightly, but this idea that ISIS is a threat to “mankind” that is going to kill us all is absurd and hysterical.

Someone this unhinged has no business dictating foreign policy and Graham should consider looking into a mirror before he accuses someone else of being delusional.

Posted in Iraq, Terrorism, Wingnuts | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Not Intended to be a Factual Statement

rand_paul_derp

During an interview with Breitbart, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said that the first executive order he would issue as president — Ha! — would be to “repeal all previous executive orders.”

Why? Because, according to him, you should have to “build consensus to pass things” and it “should be hard to pass a law.”

When asked about Rand’s comments however, an aide said that his comments were “not meant to be taken literally.”

“Senator Paul’s statement was meant to emphasize this president’s overt and unconstitutional executive orders, it was not meant to be taken literally,” Doug Stafford told The Huffington Post.

If Rand’s comments were merely a jab directed at the president, it means he was attacking the president’s use of executive orders by promising to issue the mother of all executive orders.

If you were to actually repeal all previous executive orders, you would repeal the order issued by President Harry Truman to desegregate the military among many other things over many decades.

Posted in Epic Fail, Rand Paul | Tagged | 5 Comments

Words Continue to Have No Meaning

Today in Fox News chyrons brought to you by Media Matters.

FauxFacts

During a segment of America’s Newsroom focused on “American ambivalence” and the president’s lack of action, Fox News inadvertently disclosed that the president has, in fact, taken action.

It appears that action does not count as “action” unless it involves ground troops.

Posted in Epic Fail, Iraq | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Perdue: Nunn Supporters Are Like ACORN

AliensGuy

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is investigating the New Georgia Project, a third party voter registration organization, following allegations that they may be committing fraud.

There are a few reasons why I’m skeptical, but Democratic Senate candidate Michele Nunn’s opponent, David Perdue, is convinced that Nunn’s supporters are just like ACORN.

“The fact that an organization led by a well-known Nunn supporter would attempt to illegally register voters is unacceptable and reminiscent of the Obama-political machine’s ACORN scandal. There is nothing more fundamental to our democratic process than maintaining the integrity of our elections and any attempt to tamper with them is deplorable.”

It’s not clear how this can be reminiscent of something didn’t actually happen, but I digress.

I have serious doubts about the motivations of Secretary of State Brian Kemp as he recently made a big deal out of the Democratic party’s evil plan to register minority voters.

In a video posted last week, Kemp warned that Democrats are “registering all these minority voters that are out there” and that they can “win these elections in November” because of it. Kemp has also said that allowing same-day voter registration is an affront to individual freedom.

I think it’s fair to ask if Kemp’s investigation of the New Georgia Project is politically motivated. It’s clear that, as the chief of elections, he does not value high voter turnout if it concerns the poor, students, or minorities.

I anticipate the investigation will conclude sometime after the election and that Kemp’s office will find that no acts of intentional fraud were committed. Finding an invalid registration form does not necessarily translate to an act of fraud and I expect that is all they will find.

Posted in Georgia, Voter Suppression | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The Ugly Side of Football and How Fans Continue to Let The NFL Get Away With It

ESPN’s Hannah Storm delivered an emotional and poignant monologue on SportsCenter the other day, raising the questions: why isn’t Ray Rice in jail, why didn’t he get fired and what does the NFL stand for? I wouldn’t presume to know the actual answers to these questions, but we can offer up a fairly strong series of guesses. American professional football players are royalty, and between the money, the hero-worshiping and the regionally proud fan-base, the dark underbelly of the sport, even post-Rice, will continue on without interruption because of it.

I’ll be completely up-front about my bias in all of this. In recent years, I’ve watched my sport, professional cycling, the sport I both enjoy as a fitness activity on the road and as a pass-time on television, get dragged into uncertainty, ridicule and scandal while one of its former heroes, Lance Armstrong, continues to this day to fight a losing battle that’s already cost him all of his victories, a lifetime ban from all professional sports and, ultimately, the bulk of his fortune. The public shaming was so thick that jokes about cancer became acceptable in Armstrong’s context (evidently testicular cancer is the hilarious cancer). Yes, I get it, people think he’s an asshole. He’s also a liar, insofar as he covered up his use of performance enhancing drugs, just like all of the top contenders in his sport for the duration he was active, by the way. Using PEDs is a violation of the rules of the sport and, in some cases, a crime. But unless I’m mistaken, lying to the press and being an asshole aren’t against the law and, in fact, are prerequisites for running a Fortune 500 business or being elected to Congress.

Armstrong should have absolutely been punished for using PEDs. No question. The degree of punishment, however, far outweighed the crime, at least relative to similar activities in other sports. But to even suggest that perhaps the effort to bring down Armstrong was even slightly unfair or even vaguely lopsided given what happens in other sports is, in the eyes of most, a trespass almost as bad as the doping itself. Lance is the devil. Case closed. Now… who’s playing Monday night?

What bothered me most about the Armstrong story wasn’t that he was caught, or the disappointment to learn that he was just like the other top cycling contenders 1999-2005 who were also using PEDs, it was how loudly he was condemned by the same American public who gathers in stadiums and living rooms and sports-bars from coast-to-coast for five months every year cheering for men who are pumped full of a menu of PEDs more powerful than anything Lance Armstrong or his teammates could’ve ever consumed in a lifetime. But America’s professional football players get a pass both professionally and publicly because it’s the mighty NFL. The sport itself is popular and beloved, and the players are Sunday supermen.

Until TMZ posted a video… CONTINUE READING

Posted in The Daily Banter | 2 Comments

Morning Awesome

U2 – “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)”

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Awkward Questions

AwkwardLunch

Artist – Pat Bagley

Sorry folks, the park’s closed. I’m dealing with some computer hardware issues and won’t be posting today.

Regarding the above cartoon — here’s the shot, and here’s the chaser.

Have a good weekend.

Posted in Education, Open Thread | Tagged , , | Leave a comment