The Miami-Dade County Elections Department Are Dicks

The fact that you will no longer be able to use the bathroom at polling precincts in Miami-Dade County is not as amazing to me as the reason why.

After a disability rights lawyer asked the county elections department if bathroom facilities at polling precincts were accessible to the disabled, the department responded in the most asinine way possible.

[He] received a written response announcing that the county would close all restrooms at polling places “to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly,” a January email stated. “[T]he Department’s policy is not to permit access to restrooms at polling sites on election days,” Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves said in a Feb. 14 email. Elections Department officials did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress inquiries.

Nice bathroom you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to it.

It’s not clear if it’s even legal for the department to do this as it seemingly violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Posted in Voter Suppression | Tagged | 13 Comments

Download This Week’s Bob & Chez Show After Party! Only $2 Per Download!

bcsap_thrones

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.

Join the After Party. Only $6 per month!
If you’re already a member, go on in.

This Week’s Pulse-Pounding Episode: Salon.com Really, Really Sucks; Chez and Patton Oswalt Tag-Team Against Salon; The Daily Show Racism Accusations; Mike Judge’s New ‘Silicon Valley’ Series; Flevity-Five; TED Talk Awfulness; We’re Not Fans of Home Schooling; Stop Posting Horrifying Photos on Facebook; Crazy New Documentary About The Sun Orbiting the Earth; Big Star Wars Episode VII News; What Exactly Was Wrong with the Prequels?; Insane Woman Who Tries to Dissolve Chemtrails Using Vinegar; Game of Thrones Season Premiere; and much more.

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The Daily Banter Mail Bag! Salon.com Click-Bait, Colbert and Letterman, and a Round of Marry, F**k, Kill

In this week’s edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss Salon.com click-bait, Colbert stepping in for Letterman and a round of marry, fuck, kill.

The questions. Answers here.

1. I liked your article on Salon and completely agree that it’s lost its way. With so much media out there, how important do you think it is now that websites that claim to be about real journalism not resort to overhyped click-bait?
– Randall

2. I have mixed emotions about Stephen Colbert replacing Letterman. On one hand I’m excited he’ll be moving up because he’s so talented and funny. On the other, the Colbert Report will be no more. If Comedy Central does change up the show and put someone new in Colbert’s place, who do you think they should get?
– Steve

3. I was playing Marry, Fuck, Kill with a friend the other night and it got me thinking, which one of you would I want to marry, which would I want to fuck, and which would I want to kill?
– Juliana

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Morning Awesome

Yes – “Awaken” Live

Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | 1 Comment

Intervention

Intervention

Artist – Pat Baglety

In other news, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that Obamacare enrollment has reached 7.5 million, meaning at least 400,000 additional people have enrolled since the March 31st deadline passed because they began the process prior to the deadline.

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

Scott Brown Chooses Freedumb

LiveFreeorLogOn

The Associated Press obtained excerpts from Scott Brown’s announcement that he will formally enter the Senate race in New Hampshire and apparently someone told him this would be a winning message.

“Along with our money and our health plans, for a lot of us, it feels like we’re losing our liberty, too. Obamacare forces us to make a choice, live free or log on — and here in New Hampshire, we choose freedom,” Brown planned to tell supporters Thursday night.

Live free or log on?

I don’t think Scott Brown is really this monumentally stupid; I think this is a cynical ploy that won’t come off as genuine.

And how could it? Live free or log on? Less than 7 percent of New Hampshire’s insured obtains health insurance on the individual market according to the Associated Press. Is Scott Brown going to win an election with the 22,000 people who sacrificed their liberty by accessing healthcare.gov ahead of the March 31st deadline?

Medicaid has been expanded in New Hampshire, covering as many as 50,000 people who previously had no health insurance. Does Scott Brown choose “freedom” and liberty(!) for them?

Choosing “freedom” for them means kicking them off their healthcare.

With the law’s success, campaigning against Obamacare will soon become just as toxic as campaigning against Medicare or Social Security.

Posted in Super Stupid | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Conspiracy Theory

tinfoilHats

Michele Bachmann, who unfortunately is still a sitting member Congress, alleges that Hillary Clinton has “bought and paid for” testimony on Benghazi that contradicts Bachmann’s own batshit theories.

According to Bachmann, because ex-CIA Acting Director Michael Morell’s congressional testimony contradicted her own Benghazi conspiracy theory, Morell must be lying and working on behalf of Hillary Clinton. “[I]f Hillary becomes the next president, he can safely become the next director of the CIA,” she said. “That’s what this is all about.” [...]

Yesterday, Bachmann took to The Janet Mefferd Show to claim that the reason Morell’s testimony didn’t support her conspiracy theory was because his testimony was “bought and paid for” by Hillary Clinton and her allies.

More:

BACHMANN: “Hillary Clinton can’t get out of it, but it appears that she has bought Michael Morell’s false narrative and her consulting group or at least sympathizers to her in that consulting group have bought and paid for Mike Morell’s testimony.”

See? They got to him! They bought him off so he could become the next director. There’s no way he’s telling the truth!

You don’t have to take the Democrats’ side to see that Bachmann is a libelous lunatic.

The Republican-controlled House Armed Services Committee concluded that there was no “stand down” order given in Benghazi and that the military could not have intervened in time. There was no cover-up. There’s no there, there.

Posted in Benghazi, Conspiracy Theory | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Champions of Civil Rights, Except For Those People


Reince clearly forgot about his party’s nationwide assault on voting rights and reproductive healthcare and bodily autonomy for women.

And what about gay people? Is the GOP a champion of civil rights for gay people?

If “civil rights” only applies to straight white guys, I suppose they’ve got that on lock.

Posted in Stupid Party, Super Stupid | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Florida GOP: Let’s Arm Everyone During Riots

Here’s an idea: let’s get as many guns as possible out on the street during a riot or natural disaster.

Florida lawmakers are apparently very keen on that idea.

HB 209, which is expected to be voted on Friday by the Florida House, would allow people with clean criminal backgrounds to conceal firearms without a permit during emergencies — including riots and civil unrest like the 1996 racial disturbances that rocked south St. Petersburg — declared by the governor or local officials.

“To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “The bill is crazy. It’s absurd.”

You’re damn right it’s absurd. What could go wrong? About a million things. Let’s not forget Florida is a Stand Your Ground state.

What happens when you put a gun in every hand during a riot when murder is legalized? Is the Florida legislature expecting riots to occur sometime soon?

PicardWTF

Posted in Guns | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

We Watched the Psychotic ‘Blow Your Balls Off’ Campaign Ad So You Don’t Have To

We’re all familiar with the caliber of insane politicians in states like Florida, South Carolina and Texas. But it appears as if Iowa is making a concerted effort to field its own array of wackaloons in addition to, of course, the token crackpottery of Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

You might recall how several weeks ago a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Joni Ernst, released a campaign commercial in which she bragged about having spent a part of her youth (a clearly dark, horrifying youth) castrating pigs. If you know anything about livestock castration, it’s not at all pleasant for the animals, far beyond the unpleasantness of having a house pet neutered. But there she was anyway, inexplicably putting forth her castration experience as as work experience to qualify her for U.S. Senate.

Well now the testicular gauntlet has been picked up by another candidate for U.S. Senate. Meet Bob Quast, the independent (tea party) candidate and former defense contractor running in the primary there. His new commercial is, in a word, psychotic.

In a video he described as “having a sense of humor,” he goes well beyond Ernst’s castration bit. Before we get into exactly what it is, it’s important to set up the tone of the spot. Indeed, he tries desperately to be funny and he’s anything but. The ad begins with the candidate jogging along an outdoor path with a child in a stroller. Wacky, whistly music plays in the background. Quast turns to the camera and says, “Hi, I’m Bob. I am running. [pregnant pause] Running for Iowa’s open seat in the U.S. Senate!”

Hilarious…ly stupid.

Next, Quast says that he’s in favor of upholding “every aspect of our Constitution.” Every aspect? There are a few things in there that no longer apply such as, you know, the three-fifths clause, but okay. While Quast is describing his support for the Constitution, the video cuts to a dog nodding its head. Yeah, weird. Quast goes on to say that “even a baby knows it includes the Second Amendment.” A baby? Reminds me of Rep. Steve Stockman’s (R-TX) “if babies had guns there would be fewer abortions” bumper sticker, which is also really, really funny given all the babies who were killed at Sandy Hook, not to mention all the babies with guns who accidental shot other babies.

Remember: this video is supposed to have “a sense of humor.”

Cut to the interior of Quast’s suburban McMansion where Quast jarringly describes how how sister was, yes, raped and murdered. Comedy! Indeed, he brandishes a Glock with a laser-sight and says:

“If you’re the sexual predator who raped and murdered my sister Lynnette? When you come to my front door to do harm to my girls? I’m gonna use my Glock. [cut to comedic close-up take] To blow your balls off.”

Bear in mind, while describing this horrifying tragedy, the wacky, whistly music is still playing in the background. But yes, there it is: perhaps the first ever usage of the word “balls” in a political campaign. And it’s not just tossed in there in a silly way, Quast uses it in the context of describing how he intends to blow the balls off the rapist and murderer who killed his sister. In other words, he uncomfortably and awkwardly shoehorns the death of his sister into what’s supposed to be a funny commercial. Worse, just after he delivers the “blow your balls off” line, he grins ear-to-ear and an animated sparkle appears on his teeth accompanied by a crystalline “ding!” sound effect.

Um, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this in a campaign commercial… READ MORE

Posted in Election 2014, Guns, The Daily Banter | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Morning Awesome

Yes – “Looking Around” Live

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April Madness

The Situation Room

Artist – Adamn Zyglis

In other news, former senator and Heritage Foundation chief Jim DeMint has less knowledge of the constitution and slavery than your average elementary school student.

Ole Jim is a dyed in the wool Lost Causer and he’s the head of the GOP’s premier policy think tank.

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

Mike Lee Fears Cable Merger For Dubious Reasons

Picard and Riker Facepalm

Typically I wouldn’t advocate looking a gift horse in the mouth, but this is laughable.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is concerned about the possible merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast just as many people are, but his concerns probably aren’t the same as yours.

“I’ve heard some concerns expressed that the emerging Comcast, the post-merger Comcast, might have the incentive or even the predilection but certainly an enhanced capacity, due to its larger size, to discriminate against certain types of content, including political content,” he said at a hearing with Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives on Tuesday. [...]

His concern follows speculation from some right-leaning media outlets that the merger of the top two cable companies could be a “Democratic marriage.”

Mike Lee isn’t concerned about competition, innovation, or creating a monopoly; he’s concerned that they will refuse to carry Fox News because Comcast owns NBC.

As much as that would delight me, I’d say his concerns and the concerns of his colleagues are unfounded. Furthermore, if it were News Corp. we were discussing, I doubt he would have the same concerns.

While I personally oppose the merger, I’d call this a conspiracy theory. But on the other hand, if the irrationality of Republicans means the merger doesn’t get approved, who am I to argue?

There is a such thing as a useful idiot.

Posted in Conspiracy Theory, The Media | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

What Could Go Wrong?

The Tennessee Senate has decided that gun safety training is just a nuisance and a distraction from Benghazi exercising your god-given Second Amendment rights.

The Tennessee Senate voted by a wide margin on Tuesday to permit any gun owner to openly carry a firearm, provided that they are not legally barred from owning a gun. One consequence of this bill, should it become law, is that it would eliminate the requirement that gun owners complete a training course on firearm safety before they are allowed to wander the streets of Tennessee while armed.

Plenty of accidents happen even after gun owners undergo training.

If no one is required to go through training, the number of accidental deaths will undoubtedly surge.

And who is going to pay for these accidents? Tennessee is an anti-Obamacare state.

RunScissors

Posted in Guns | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Bob Quast Will “Blow Your Balls Off”

This is a real thing that exists, produced by Iowa Independent Senate candidate Bob Quast.

If you are the sexual predator and sociopath who murdered my sister Lynette and you come to my front door to do harm to my girls, I’m going to use my Glock to blow your balls off.

Real Liberty(!) is shooting people in the balls with 15-round magazines. Also term limits.

Bob Quast may have more in common with those sociopaths coming to his door than he realizes.

BobQuastWTF

(h/t TPM)

Posted in WTF | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Outreach

Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have successfully filibustered a debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The motion to proceed to the Paycheck Fairness Act received 53 votes for, and 44 against, falling short of the 60 needed to defeat a filibuster.

“This legislation would double down on job loss all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “In other words, it’s just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help. … We’ve already seen what five and a half years of Washington Democratic control has meant. More poverty and lower wages for women.”

Mitch McConnell swears he’ll never hurt you again, baby, just open the door.

It’s really quite remarkable that Republicans believe they can dodge charges that they’re waging a War on Women by blocking bills as simple as paying women as much as men for doing the same jobs.

Because they’re the ones who are really looking out for women, right? They’re protecting you from yourselves. You may not know what to do or how to act if we pay you as much as men.

Or rather; Republican men may not know what to do with themselves if women are paid as much as they are.

Equal pay is a slippery slope toward tyranny. Why do you hate Freedumb?

War on Women Fiction

“Now if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars then every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, so then we’d have a problem with caterpillars. I mean, the fact of the matter is it’s a fiction.” -RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on the War on Women

Posted in Congress, War On Women | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Tea Party Republicans Publish Op/Ed Slamming Obamacare; Shocker, It’s Filled with Lies

With a non-stop geyser of news hitting digital media every day, a lot of material tends to slip through the cracks. For example, we somehow missed an op/ed from several days ago that’s packed wall-to-wall with lies and misinformation about Obamacare. Naturally, it was co-authored by a prominent tea party Republican along with a senatorial candidate from Nebraska, and published in the very dubious Washington Examiner.

The article, titled “Republicans can’t beat Obamacare without effective health care solutions of their own,” written by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who’s Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) toady and co-filibusterer, and Midland University’s president Ben Sasse, who also happens to be running for Senate, was billed as a prescriptive, strategic item for the benefit of GOP midterm candidates. It wasn’t. Instead, it was another syllabus of unsourced myths and nonsense about the healthcare law.

So here we go again.

MYTH: Regarding the enrollment numbers announced by the administration, Lee and Sasse wrote, “Americans are smart to be skeptical about these assertions.”

REALITY: Americans should only be skeptical insofar as the actual enrollment numbers are significantly higher. As we reported earlier in the week, the independent RAND American Life Panel found that 9.3 million people enrolled through both the exchanges and employer-sponsored insurance between September and mid-March. An additional 5.9 million Americans enrolled through the expansion of Medicaid. 3 million young people were insured due to the expanded age limit for staying on their parents’ policy. And a further 9 million Americans signed up for policies directly through insurance providers, outside of the marketplaces.

Again, this isn’t the Obama administration reporting these numbers. This is an outside survey from a very reliable source. Once again, numbers don’t lie. But clearly the tea party does.

MYTH: “[Obama] has ignored the economic damage done to individuals who have lost their jobs…as a result of his signature achievement in office.”

REALITY: Wrong. The CBO’s director, Doug Elmendorf, testified to Congress that Obamacare “spurs employment and would reduce unemployment over the next few years.”

MYTH: Obamacare will “Force people on to government-approved plans and limit their health care options.”

REALITY: Limited options? Really? The marketplaces offer literally dozens of options from multiple insurance companies and with numerous tiers of coverage from each provider. For example, Kaiser-Permanente offers Bronze, Silver and Gold plans, but within each tier there are multiple policies with different options. KP’s various Silver plans range from Silver III, Silver II and Silver I with subsets of their own. I’d be happier with the law if there had been a government-run public option, but my marketplace experience was by no means limited. Furthermore, who the hell wants a plan that’s not approved by the government? Would you take a pill that wasn’t approved by the FDA? Would you buy a slab of meat that wasn’t inspected by the USDA? I suppose if you’re insane you would, but most of us want to know that we’re not being screwed or poisoned.

MYTH: Obamacare will “Require millions of people to pay for services they’ll never use, such as seniors with adult children paying for maternity care.”

REALITY: First of all, seniors are generally defined as being 65 and older, so they’re not buying Obamacare. They’re covered by “government-approved” Medicare. Duh… READ MORE

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Morning Awesome

Yes – “Magnification” Live

(I had a little something to do with this album.)

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Coming Soon

ComingSoon

Artist – Joel Pett

In other news, Mitch McConnell is doing some of that outreach again.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that major companies, including Koch Industries, are quietly benefiting from Obamacare while they lobby against it.

The Winter Soldier was excellent.

Posted in George W. Bush, Koch Brothers, Open Thread | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Obamacare is Working (Better Than You Think)

We have a fairly solid idea of how many people have signed up for Obamacare through healthcare exchanges, and we have a fairly good idea how many people have signed up for expanded Medicaid programs, but what about everyone else?

According to the RAND Corporation, 7.2 million additional people have signed up for employer-based health insurance since September of last year.

RAND Corp, a non-profit think tank, released the survey. Its eye-opening finding: 7.2 million previously uninsured people have gained health coverage through their employer since mid-September. That’s on top of those people who have purchased private coverage on Obamacare’s insurance marketplaces or enrolled in Medicaid or young adults who signed up through their parents’ plan.

Obviously, the economy has not added 7.2 million jobs that provide benefits in the past 8 months.

Larry Levitt, the vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, says some of 7.2 million figure could be attributable to an improving economy, however another portion of it could be attributed to those who have signed up for employer-based plans because of the individual mandate.

Even if RAND’s survey is off and only a couple million people have signed up for employer-based plans because of the individual mandate included in Obamacare, that’s still a significant number of people that have not been accounted for.

According to Talking Points Memo, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that employer-based enrollment would tick upward by only 1 million between 2013 and 2014.

If the 7.2 million figure is even half right, it would be entirely unexpected.

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