Morning Awesome

The Descendants Soundtrack – “Ka Makani Ka’ili Aloha”

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True Victims


Artist – John Darkow

Good news — the San Diego public school system says it will return that mine-resistant military vehicle they acquired from the Pentagon. The Los Angeles school system, for their pair, is returning the grenade launchers but keeping their mine-resistant vehicle

Yes. Grenade launchers.

Meanwhile, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said today that the company made a mistake by funding ALEC because ALEC are liars who are “making the world a much worse place.”

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“How is This Still a Thing?”

John Oliver and his crew dug into the tax records of the Miss America pageant and found that they’ve been lying scholarships to the tune of millions of dollars.

What Oliver and his crew discovered was that the Miss America pageant doesn’t actually dish out $45 million in scholarships each year. They hand out just under $4 million per year and arrive at the $45 million number by combining every single contestant who was eligible even if they didn’t attend a school that a scholarship was offered for.

When we contacted Troy [University], it turns out the pageant got to that $2.6 million dollars by multiplying the scholarship by 48; the number of competitors who could theoretically accept it, even though the actual number of contestants who accepted a scholarship that here was — and you are not going to believe this — zero. Absolute zero. Meaning that the difference between the money they provided, and the money they awarded, was all of the money they provided.

Oliver goes on to make the point that, even though the Miss America pageant is lying about the amount, they’re still the biggest provider of scholarships for women, which is depressing.

This isn’t just comedy. It’s journalism.

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

All Roads (and Fence Jumpers) Lead to Benghazi

Fox News host Harris Faulker just couldn’t stop herself from linking the White House fence jumper to ‘another asset we didn’t protect.’

At 2:18

HARRIS: I couldn’t help but let my mind just flow to something else; another asset that we didn’t protect — the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya. I don’t want to say this is a trend but it smells like it.

Of course. As as if often the case while thinking about anything — really, your mind inevitably flows to Benghazi.

Posted in Benghazi, Super Stupid | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Conspiracy Theory


Proof is in the pudding for anti-NSA complainant Larry Klayman.

According to him, the president’s refusal to nuke the entire middle east and kill Muslims on sight is proof that the president himself is a secret Muslim or “Muslim in Chief” as he puts it.

KLAYMAN: The harsh reality is that Muslims cannot be counted on to forcefully fight other Muslims, and thus Obama’s similar plan to have a coalition of primarily Arabs do the dirty work in killing ISIS is doomed for failure. But of course, that is what our so-called president wants.

Of course! Our “so-called president” wants ISIS to win.

If we really want to destroy ISIS and set an example for other radical Muslims and the Putins of the world to fear us and leave us in peace, we must use the tools that can do this. Put simply, we should employ tactical nuclear weapons to wipe out the enemy. We cannot worry that Islamic civilians will be killed in the process.

“We cannot worry that Islamic civilians will be killed” during our nuclear holocaust.

But of course, Hussein Obama will never authorize this strong action. In the last six years since he took over as our so-called commander in chief, he has ordered our brave servicemen not to fire on Muslims unless they were essentially fired upon first.

And there it is. The rules of engagement which dictate that we do not shoot first shouldn’t apply to Arab civilians and the fact that they do is proof that President Obama is trying to get American service members killed.

Given Klayman’s intense islamophobia, I think it’s fair to ask if he believes that Muslims living in America deserve the same right to privacy as others.

Klayman filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the NSA’s snooping power on constitutional grounds, but it seems reasonable to me to suspect that his strict constitutionalism may not apply to every single American.

How can a man who says we should massacre hundreds of thousands of innocence people possibly be taken seriously on the limits of federal power or federal overreach?

Am I relaying Klayman’s words just to discredit him, his lawsuit, and those who side with him? Absolutely. In addition to being an unparalleled Islamophobe and a birther, Klayman is also a homophobe and a racist.

If you find yourself on the same side as him on any subject, that should be your first hint that you may be wrong.

Posted in Conspiracy Theory, NSA, Religion, Wingnuts | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Outreach: Conservative Dating Profile

The conservative Americans for Shared Prosperity group is tired of the Democratic party’s “war on women” rhetoric so they’re fighting back with this amazingly patronizing, terrible, horrible, sexist video ad. This is monumentally bad.

Warning: this may be one of the most awkward and terrible things you’ve ever seen because holy shit this is bad. Seriously, what the fuck is this?

In 2008 I fell in love. His online profile made him seem so perfect. Smart. Handome. Charming. Articulate. All the right values. I trusted him. But by 2012 our relationship was in trouble, but I stayed with him because he promised he’d be better. He’s great at promises. He told me we’d be safe.

Have you looked at the news? He’s in my emails and text messages; spying on me but ignoring real threats.

He said that we’d finally get on our feet financially. I’ll never pay down what he spent.

He thinks the only thing I care about is free birth control but he won’t even let me keep my own doctor.

I know I’m stuck with Barack for two more years. I get that. But I’m not stuck with his friends. I’m looking for someone who gets that this isn’t about him. It’s about us.

I was left quite literally speechless after watching this.

Obviously the president is not your boyfriend and he’s not in your emails and text messages, but that’s beside the point.

Conservatives apparently believe the way to get in touch with women is to reduce elections and civic responsibility into a horrible dating metaphor in which the woman on screen refers to “Barack” as “articulate.”

You could write a column on just the racial undertones of this ad in which the “articulate” black president is accused of invading the white woman’s privacy and spending her money. Furthermore, the tone of the ad as it is delivered, in which the president is presented as a bad boyfriend, comes off as some kind of domestic abuse PSA.

It’s amazingly terrible.

It’s hard to imagine this will persuade anyone other than late night comedy writers.

Posted in Stupid Party, Super Stupid, War On Women, WTF | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

The New and “Edgy” Meet the Press Explains the Midterms Using Chicken, Coffee and a “Nerd Screen”

There are a few things we know about the current status of Meet the Press. As Chez Pazienza pointed out, the way NBC News forced David Gregory out of his job was horrendously bad form. Like or dislike Gregory’s style, there’s no justifying the way he was tossed out. Nevertheless, NBC’s choice for a replacement was essentially a lateral move — swapping Gregory for MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, who’s basically the same person, torn from the same establishment circuit. There’s really nothing Chuck Todd brings to the show that David Gregory didn’t already provide. Except for one thing.

Those of us old enough to remember Election 2008 recall Chuck Todd’s admittedly insightful sidebar reports on electoral math and poll results. It was still craptastical horserace pandering, but it was at least wonky enough to set it apart from the ceaselessly ludicrous “Who won the week?” and “Why can’t Obama close the deal?” segments. I mean, it was math rather than subjective observations based on green-room chit-chat, so it delivered actual news.

When he was announced as David Gregory’s replacement, many of us thought there was a chance Todd might bring this kind of objective-type wonkery to Meet the Press. Maybe the show would be a little more than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grandstanding every week or insufferable panel discussions that merely serve to reinforce rather than debunk the misinformation campaigns ricocheting around the echosphere.

Not a chance in hell.

On Sunday’s show this week, Todd introduced something called “The Nerd Screen.”

Please join me now in a group “oh… fuck… me.” Yes, our political discourse now involves something called “The Nerd Screen” — and the legacy of Lawrence E. Spivak, Garrick Utley and Tim Russert is officially dead. This was clearly a sickening effort to inject an edgy hashtaggable thing into the show — an obvious attempt to appeal to the online, social media, viral youth demographic. By the way, if you’re watching Meet the Press, you’re a nerd — we’re all nerds. There doesn’t need to be something in the show that’s specifically geared toward nerds since the whole show is for nerds.


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Morning Awesome

Alanis Morissette – “Crazy”

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Who Are The Boots?

Defeating ISIS

Artist – Rob Rogers

I can think of no better way to start the weekend than Colbert on Fox News coverage of “boots on the ground.”

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen this week.

Well Obama, are the boots not on the ground because they’re on that Michael J. Fox hoverboard, or are they not on the ground because our troops have turned into teen wolves and are dunking a basketball right now?

A compilation of just Brian Kilmeade saying random stupid stuff would be just as funny.

Posted in Iraq, Open Thread, Stephen Colbert | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rand Paul Delivers the Rand Paul Rebuttal to Rand Paul


Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) delivered a rebuttal speech to himself on the floor of the Senate yesterday, contradicting several of the rhetorical positions he has taken over the past several weeks.

In his fantastical speech, Rand denounced the interventionists who, according to him, are always wrong.

Rand spent the opening minutes of his speech splitting hairs over procedure in a transparent attempt to both support and oppose intervention at the same time, saying that the bill to authorize intervention and the continuing resolution to fund the government should be split and voted on separately. And if you’ve spent any amount of time watching how Congress operates in the past four years, you’d know that this would be a bad idea that could lead to a government shutdown.

After facing a brief objection from Senator Mikulski (D-MD) concerning congressional procedure, Rand went on a lengthy spiel denouncing the interventionists who want to ‘involve us in another nation’s civil war.’

The problem, of course, is that Rand himself has called for doing exactly that multiple times in the past several weeks.

On September 4th, Rand wrote an op-ed for Time in which he attacked the president and said that he would have called congress back from recess and sought authorization for strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria.

As Commander-in-Chief, I would not allow our enemies to kill our citizens or our ambassadors. “Peace through Strength” only works if you have and show strength. [...]

If I had been in President Obama’s shoes, I would have acted more decisively and strongly against ISIS. I would have called Congress back into session—even during recess.

Rand didn’t merely take on a more hawkish tone than the president, he also explicitly called for airstrikes in Syria and for arming regional opposition.

The military means to achieve these goals include airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. Such airstrikes are the best way to suppress ISIS’s operational strength and allow allies such as the Kurds to regain a military advantage.

We should arm and aid capable and allied Kurdish fighters whose territory includes areas now under siege by the ISIS.

It’s not entirely clear why Rand supports arming Kurdish rebels but not Syrian rebels, but during his speech on the floor of the Senate yesterday he made several subtle references to the rumor that the CIA began delivering American arms to rebels in Syria a long time ago and that those weapons are already in the hands of ISIS.

Rand referred to a story that appeared in The New York Times, but that is not what the New York Times reported. The Times reported that the CIA helped Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatari deliver arms to moderate rebel groups, not ISIS.

The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said.

Throughout his speech Rand went to great lengths to repeatedly denounce shipping more arms to the region, saying that we’re sending more arms “into chaos,” but he explicitly called for arming Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

What makes them so special? How do you reconcile these two positions? Why is that different? Isn’t he worried that arming Kurdish rebels could inflame regional tension with Turkey and create more “chaos?”

Rand also carved out a segment of his speech to attack Hillary Clinton again around the 25 minute mark, saying that he can’t explain to the American people why “Secretary Clinton made terrible decisions in Benghazi” and “failed to defend the consulate.” He went on to assert that the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi is a good example of why we must involve ourselves in the Middle East; because we must take pro-active measures to ensure the safety of Americans.

Not many people would necessarily disagree with that sentiment, but isn’t that contradictory to his position that we’re too active in the region? That we create “chaos?”

That brief attack on the former secretary of state was a continuation of his appearance on Fox News on September 5th, the day after he wrote the op-ed for Time, in which Rand took a hawkish stance and mocked Hillary Clinton for being more concerned about climate change than terrorism.

His response: “I don’t think we really want a commander-in-chief who is battling climate change instead of terrorism.

He went on to question “whether she has the wisdom to lead the country — which I think it’s obvious that she doesn’t.”

Rand spent a great deal of time during his nearly 45 minute speech yesterday decrying the bipartisan rush to war and the procedural steps taken to authorize it, but ultimately he supports military intervention in Iraq and Syria. He supports a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF). He said he would call Congress back from recess to pass a new AUMF. He has attacked the president for not doing so.

I lost count around the 6th or 7th time Rand complained about attaching the authorization for intervention (which he supports) to the continuing resolution to keep the government funded, as if to cast himself as the lone voice of reason when he has been as vocal as anyone in calling for military action.

You can watch the full the speech below. It’s nearly 45 minutes long but around the 30 minute mark he really begins to ramble.

Posted in Foreign Policy, Iraq, Rand Paul, Syria | Tagged | 4 Comments

Conspiracy Theory


As far as the executive vice president of the Family Research Council is concerned, it’s an established fact that President Obama “orchestrated” the migration of immigrant children who will form a new permanent Democratic voting bloc.

It’s not clear what motivation the president would have for building a voting bloc that will fully mature sometime around the year 2030, but I digress.

If this is an established fact, why hasn’t the president been impeached? Why hasn’t he been charged?

According to Jerry Boykin, the president hasn’t been removed from office because gay people, Marxists, and the Muslim Brotherhood are in cahoots and they’ve brainwashed Americans.

“The Islamists are running an influence campaign, trying to change our thinking and you saw the evidence of that when the president stood up last week and said ‘ISIS is not Islam.’ That’s an influence campaign, that’s brainwashing the American people trying to get them to believe that nonsense,” he said. “You see that also with the Marxists, Marxists are doing exactly the same thing. The LGBT lobby is doing the same thing, they are bombarding us with this messaging that is really about changing the way we think, changing our attitude.”

Islamists and gay people working together. Mass hysteria!

Boykin must not be aware that ISIS believes gay people are pedophiles, animals and creatures who must be eliminated.

Unless that’s just want they want us to believe. It’s possible ISIS is merely pretending to be one of the most violent anti-gay organizations in the world for the purposes of working with gay people to brainwash Americans into not impeaching the president over an imagined invasion of liberal children.

The lizard people could be in on it, too.

Posted in Conspiracy Theory, LGBT, Wingnuts | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

GOP Candidate Wouldn’t Hesitate to Fire Lasers at Mexico

This is real life.

Mark Walker, the Republican nominee for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, is an unhinged ignoramus who is willing to fire our lasers(??) at Mexico to handle the drug cartel threat.

“I will tell you if you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat,” Mark Walker said during a speech to Tea Partiers in Rockingham County. The footage was reported by via a post at the Daily Kos. “And if we got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don’t have a problem with that either. So yeah, whatever we need to do.

Picard and Riker Facepalm

Walker says he would have “no qualm” about doing whatever we need to do with lasers because we “did it before” and it may need to be done again.

I wasn’t aware that we had fighter jets and lasers during the Mexican American war.

Posted in North Carolina, Stupid Party, Super Stupid | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

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


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: “Heatwave”: Heatwave in Los Angeles and Hawaii; Crazy Popular YouTube Stars; Chez Continues to Fight a Troll; Rush Limbaugh says No Sometimes Means Yes; Who’s Pissed Off at Bob Now? It’s Charlie Pierce Again; Bernie Sanders for President; A lot of Americans are Clueless; Everyone’s Pissed Off at U2 and Apple; Gone Girl; Ultrasound Souvenirs; Breaking Bad is the Greatest Show Ever (SPOILERS!!); and much more.

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Morning Awesome

Genesis – “Duke’s Travels” Live

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The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 9/18/14


RELM_buttonAll Things Scottish: Ben Cohen From The Daily Banter Joins Us; Banter’s Campaign to Unfcuk the Internet; Scottish Independence; George RR Martin Campaigning for Tom Udall; Obama Investigating Wall Street Banksters; Chez’s Controversial Troll-Baiting Posts; The Danièle Watts Arrest; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the Amazon Link and The Bowen Law Group.

There’s more political banter in the Bob & Chez Show After Party. If you’re not a member, download individual After Party podcasts for $2 each via our Band Camp page.

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By Corporations, For Corporations


Artist – David Horsey

In other news, the House of Representatives has canceled their work session for the remainder of the month and will not return to Washington until November 12th.

Must be nice.

Meanwhile, racist rancher and freeloader Cliven Bundy is facing a lawsuit because one of his cows almost killed a woman.

The accident report said authorities at the scene had to herd four other cows away from the highway through a hole in the fence along the interstate.

“The cow’s owner never arrived on scene after being contacted by NHP dispatch,” the report said.

Bundy says it’s the state’s job to maintain fencing; not his. If you can believe that shit.

Posted in Congress, Open Thread | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Obama’s Fault

Representative Tom Cotton (R) would like to assure the residents of Arkansas that the only reason he voted against the farm bill is because President Obama made him do it.

COTTON: When President Obama hijacked the farm bill and turned it into a food stamp bill, with billions more in spending, I voted no. Career politicians love attaching bad ideas to good ones. Then the bad ideas become law and you pay for it.

I’m Tom Cotton. I approve this message. I think you paid enough already.

If you have even a cursory understanding of the agricultural industry, you’re probably aware that food stamps have been included in the farm bill for decades, long before Tom Cotton even graduated from high school.

Spending on subsidies and food stamps filters down from the government to the farm and on to supermarkets where farmed goods are sold. Every one dollar spent on food stamps translates to more than one dollar in economic activity. Spending on subsidies and food stamps inevitably lines the pockets of rural conservative farmers who vote Republican even though they’re against food stamps.

Tom Cotton wants those rural conservative voters to know that he only voted against their subsidies because Obama.

The ironic thing is the farm bill that ultimately passed and was signed into law contained fewer cuts to food stamps than the bill Tom Cotton initially voted against. And why didn’t the final bill contain as many cuts as the original bill? Because House Republicans did not have enough the votes to pass their own bill without Democratic support.

The final bill reduced spending on food stamps. It did not add “billions more in spending” as Cotton alleges.

Posted in Agriculture | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Don’t Mess With Texas History


The imagined slight of an Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum that is “anti-American” has swept the state of Texas and the state Board of Education has taken steps to eliminate it.

From the Associated Press

The Board of Education approved a measure declaring that the history curriculum its members set trumps that covered by the AP history course created for classrooms nationwide. That class concludes with an exam that can earn college credit for students who score high enough.

The board must still take a final vote, but the measure’s content isn’t expected to change.

Critics contend that the revised Advanced Placement curriculum is anti-American because it has narrowed the amount of content students are required to memorize but, rather than omit events that paint America in a less-sympathetic light, it excluded events that are more endearing.

In other words, critics contend that it’s anti-American because it does not whitewash our history.

I’ll ask the same question I have asked about this topic before: why do conservatives want to emulate the educational practices of nations they would call enemies by censoring negative events in our own history?

As the Associated Press points out, actions taken by the state Board of Education could potentially hurt Texas students because they will take the same exam even if they aren’t preparing for it as intended.

In 2013, about 47,500 Texas high school students took the AP History exam, and about 18,600 earned college credit. AP History students this year will still take the new exam, but will prepare for it by studying Texas-sanctioned curriculum.

Conservatives in the state government are setting their students up to fail. Because Advanced Placement U.S History is the stuff of liberals.

Posted in Education, History | Tagged | 5 Comments

Senate GOP Want to Deport All DREAMers, Block Non-Existent “Amnesty”


Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has committed to bringing up the House Republicans’ terrible, no good, bad border bill which they voted on before the August recess.

In his own words, Sessions says they must vote on the bill to block “executive amnesty.”

“This is the time. It’s either stopped now, or it may never be stopped,” Sessions said, calling the idea “executive amnesty.” “And we need to vote on it, and people need to be held accountable. And every American needs to know where their senator stands on the president’s unlawful assumption of power.”

“Executive amnesty” sounds sexy, but don’t be fooled. Amnesty, as the Republicans refer to it, is not something the president is actually considering.

The White House is reportedly considering measures such as greatly expanding work visa programs and deferred action, but neither of these things qualify as amnesty in the legal sense.

In the minds of Republicans they do qualify as amnesty, but so would any other measure the president is considering. Regardless of what he does, they’ll call it “amnesty” even if it isn’t amnesty.

Don’t forget that the bill Sessions is bringing up for a vote is the bill passed by House Republicans which would end deferred action and deport all DREAMers. The bill also included far less funding than the White House requested to deal with the so-called “border crisis.” The White House requested over $3 billion in funding to deal with the situation, but House Republicans passed a bill including less than $1 billion.

Remember the border crisis? We haven’t heard about that in a while, have we?

The new hotness on the right is the idea that ISIS is coming across the border. Diabolical children who are supposedly Ebola-carrying rapists are so last month.

Posted in Immigration | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Republican Odds For Taking Over the Senate Drop 10 Points in Two Weeks

Watching the polls over the past six months, I can’t help but to wonder whether presidential terms should be limited to one six-year term. Frankly, in the internet age, I don’t think voters have the patience or an attention span long enough to carry through two four-year terms. We’ve re-elected all but three presidents in the last 40 years, which is a relatively new trend unique to the late-20th Century and the early 21st (FDR aside). So, we don’t really care for changing horses mid-stream any more. Yet with the rise of social media and the internet enabling us to self-flagellate with misinformation, confirmation bias, conspiracy theories and just plain nonsense from the world of politics, perhaps two terms is too much.

Take President Obama for example. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows Obama’s overall approval remains in the crapper, while, generally, the Republican Party has a slight edge over the Democrats. Obama’s job approval overall and in key areas such as the economy, terrorism and foreign policy is hovering around 40 percent, and the GOP holds a six point edge over the Democrats. None of it makes sense if you look at the record. Regarding terrorism and foreign policy, the president is generally taking actions that are popular in the polls. On the economy, nearly all indicators are besting pre-Great Recession levels, especially the stock market and the budget deficit. Maybe there’s something else, and maybe that something else is TMI — too much information. The bombardment is relentless, creating anger and fatigue.

But it’s not all bad news for the president and his supporters. If we scan further down the poll results and take a look at specifics, the congressional Republicans are ridiculously unpopular with a 19 percent approval rating next to the congressional Democrats’ 30 percent. Voters are growing tired of the president, but they appear to viscerally despise the congressional GOP with the fire of a thousand suns. As the midterm season throttles into high gear, these numbers are the only ones that really count. No, the president isn’t the most beloved man in the universe right now, but the congressional Republicans — put it this way, Nixon’s approval rating during the height of Watergate was 24 percent, while banks during the recession had an approval rating of 18 percent.

Not too long ago… CONTINUE READING

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