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Published: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 07:59:46 +0000

Last Build Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 07:59:46 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



This mouse is moseying—but no goodbyes!

Mon, 18 Mar 2013 20:07:37 +0000

It was a dark and stormy night—No, wait, that's not it. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—Closer, but still not quite right. Once upon a time, there was a not-quite-30-year-old girl who fancied herself a writer (ah, yes, now we're getting somewhere), and she also cared about politics because it was coded into her DNA, and she was damned angry about the state of things in George Bush's America, and so, like so many other proverbial basement-dwelling Cheetos-eaters, she went onto the Internet—which is not a truck—and created an account at Daily Kos to commiserate with other like-minded dirty fucking hippies and say things like, "Fuck you, Democrats" or "Fuck you, Republicans" or "Fuck you, Sarah Palin," or "Fuck you, fill-in-the-blank." (Did I mention that our not-quite-30-year-old girl has something of a potty mouth?) As so many people who sign up at Daily Kos quickly discover, it's about a lot more than politics. It's about recipes, and pictures of our cats, and celebrating each other's achievements, and mourning each other's losses, and writing about writing, and ooohing and ahhhing at pictures of Michelle Obama in all her fabulousness, and even meeting face-to-face and exclaiming, "So that's what you look like!" and getting into pie fights and making Meta Jesus sob into his shroud, and sometimes just laughing at Republicans awkwardly eating hot dogs because we all have a giggling 13-year-old boy inside us, right? I came for the politics. I stayed for the community. And now, dear friends, it's time for this angry little mouse to mosey. I will forever be grateful for that email from The Man Himself that arrived one December day in 2009, asking if I wanted to write for the front page. (Um, yes? And also, hell yes? And also, duh.) And I'll forever be even more grateful than that for the email that came asking if I wanted to work for Daily Kos for reals, full-time, for fun and profit. (Um, yes? And also, hell yes? And also, duh squared.) And oh, how I've had fun. Like the first time I made fun of Sarah Palin—for profit!—and then realized, "Wow. I just got paid to make fun of Sarah Palin. Best. Job. EVER! also." Or that time, six weeks into the job, I got to interview the White House communications director and ask about President Obama's evolution on marriage equality, which provoked weeks of questioning by the White House press corps, and ultimately, the president putting himself on the right side of history. (You're welcome, The Gays!) Daily Kos gave me a place to write about the War on Women before it was cool and before most people believed it was, you know, a thing. (Wikipedia says I was among the first to write about it, and while I don't know if that's true, it's nice of Wikipedia to say so, isn't it?) But oh my stars did that change—until everyone was talking about it, even those silly wackadoodle wingnuts who insisted it didn't exist. We raised a lady army in 2012 and helped beat back the haters, decimate the rape caucus, and make history with all those women we sent to Washington to kick some ass and take some names. And while I don't usually like to say "I told you so," well, ya know. I told you so. Lady high five! Most of all, though, I think about the times when all manner of hell was breaking loose in my real, meatsack world, and logging on to Daily Kos and getting to be Angry Mouse was my escape and sometimes my salvation. This land of orange-colored satanic greatness has given me so much—validation as a writer, fun and adventure, friends I've come to love dearly, and a place to call home. But, to mix some metaphors, it's time for this little mouse to leave the nest and test my sea legs in some other corners of the interwebs. So I'm all kinds of happy and excited to announce that I'm heading to Wonkette to get my snark on, learn some new things, and get to write stuff like "Yr Wonkette."   I'm not really leaving. This isn't goodbye. It's more like, "Thanks for raising me, I'll be back for holidays to do some laundry and get a nice home-cooked meal, and please send money for beer [...]



Paul Ryan at CPAC: Blah blah blah my budget blah blah

Fri, 15 Mar 2013 14:18:28 +0000

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Remember when Rep. Paul Ryan was going to save Medicare by destroying it? And then how he was going to save America with his budget that makes Jesus cry? And then how he was going to save Mitt Romney's flailing presidential campaign with his epic P90X abs? And remember how none of that happened?

Well, Paul Ryan doesn't. When he took to the stage at CPAC on Friday morning, he recited all his favorite nonsense talking points about how his new budget, which is pretty much like his old budget but with fancier font or something, is going to save America for reals this time, you guys. Also, he said the word "communities" a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

Ryan's new-but-not-really budget is more than a budget, he explained; it's a "vision" that "makes room for these communities to grow so that the people in them have room to thrive." How people are supposed to thrive without basic things like health care or food isn't clear, but whatever. Communities!

"We're not just trying to make the numbers add up," he explained. "We're trying to improve people's lives." Once again, Ryan doesn't explain how destroying our social safety net makes people's lives better, but see above re: whatever. Also, communities!

Hard to believe Republicans believed—and apparently, continue to believe—that this joker should be taken seriously, but then that's the Republican Party for you. Compared with some of the other absurd appearances at CPAC this year (cough Donald Trump cough), Ryan is as close to "serious" as this ridiculous party can get.




CPAC sort of proud of its one black guy, applauds 'diversity'

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 20:32:14 +0000

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This CPAC introduction of South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott will make you want to throw up:
Help me applaud diversity.
Conservatives aren't usually very into that whole liberal "diversity" thing. In fact, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking earlier today at the conference, said, to much applause, "We're the ideology that is blind to color and solely grounded in the merit system." But if there's one time conservatives will semi-cheer for diversity, it's when they can drag their one black senator on stage to perform an incredibly awkward, and not very well received, minstrel show, saying cringe-worthy things like, "We were po. Not poor. Po."

You almost have to feel bad for the guy. Almost.




Sen. Mike Lee once found spoiled chocolate pudding at the salad bar. Screw you, Obama!

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 19:15:26 +0000

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This is the best thing that has ever happened in the history of CPAC. Actually, it's the best thing that has ever happened in the history of everything. Utah Sen. Mike Lee and his epic pudding-at-the-salad-bar story:
Today, we're witnessing what happens at the end of the progressive, big government approach. After the promises of federal solutions have eroded our faith in the institutions of family, school, church and community, and having spent our nation to the point of bankruptcy, progressives simply shrug their shoulders, throw up their hands, and say, "It isn't my fault. It isn't my job. And it's not my responsibility." That's a very un-American approach to a challenge.

I saw this attitude once on a trip through southern Utah with my family. We stopped at a fast food restaurant for lunch, and because my wife, Sharon, was with me, I thought it would look good if I chose to go to the salad bar instead of buying a hamburger. I went down the salad bar, getting bits of healthy greens and dreadfully nutritious-looking vegetables. I was quite uninspired at my prospects for my appetizing lunch that day, when to my great surprise and delight, at the end of the salad bar, I found chocolate pudding.

I immediately scooped a huge blob of it onto my plate, trying to hide it by fluffing around greens and other tasteless things so that it couldn't be seen. Suddenly, I was feeling very, very good about my lunch, looking very healthy but still getting dessert—and a lot of it. As I sat down, I mentally complimented myself for the ingeniousness of what I was about to pull off. I was about to pull it off and still smiling at that thought, I took a big bite of the chocolate pudding, only to discover that it was completely rancid. Rotten and spoiled—it was awful.

I immediately decided that I needed to go and find an employee of the restaurant, you know, so that I could alert the restaurant of the spoiled pudding. I approached one young lady who worked there, and I said, "Excuse me." You know, in a soft voice. "Excuse me, I just want to let you know that the pudding at the salad bar is spoiled. You need to replace it." She gave me a deer-in-the-headlights sort of blank stare. I clarified. "The pudding. It's rancid. It's bad. It's spoiled. You've got to get rid of it before someone eats it and gets sick."

She proceeded to roll her eyes and deliver that deep, soul-crushing sigh that America's teenagers have so perfected and simply said, "I'm not on salad." And then she walked away.

I'm not on salad. Instead of that type of shoulder-shrugging, what we need in this nation, and especially in this town, in Washington, is some serious shoulder-squaring in the spirit of civil society. You see, in that sense, we're all on salad.

So, to summarize the lessons of CPAC thus far: We don't need new ideas. We have pudding. And it's called America, and it still works. Even if it is rancid. Oh, and Mike Lee really hates vegetables.




Midday open thread

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 19:10:09 +0000

Today's comic is Judge Scalia, in "Legislative Soul Search!" by Ruben Bolling: Congratulations: Chris Hayes will take over the 8 p.m. time slot on MSNBC in the next month, the channel is expected to announce on Thursday morning, the day after the current host of that hour, Ed Schultz, said he was moving from the weekdays to the weekends. Congratulations of a different sort: A Wisconsin Gouda won top honors Wednesday night at the 2013 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, edging out entries from Vermont and Illinois. Marieke Penterman, of Holland's Family Cheese in Thorp, Wis., won the two-day competition in Green Bay with her Marieke Mature Gouda. Out of a possible 100 points, Marieke Gouda scored 98.31 in the final round of judging. Quote of the day: "The politics are going to overwhelm the policy. It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party." Couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch of bigots. America! A Montana man accused of waterboarding four children as a learning experience for them has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in which he will receive probation. The children were the Jefferson County man's 9- and 12-year-old sons and two neighbor kids, ages 13 and 15, according to court documents filed by prosecutors. The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors dropped felony charges that included making threats against public officials and others. [...] His girlfriend at the time said he broke her wrist and some fingers Dec. 5 when she tried to stop him from waterboarding his sons, court documents said. She said the man straddled each boy with his hands over the child's face and mouth, and dumped water on their faces to simulate drowning, the records said. The woman told investigators that the man described it as a learning experience for the boys. Um, no. Just ... just no. Offered without comment: Wow. Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of @SenJohnMcCain's release as a prisoner-of-war in North Vietnam. — @OKnox via Twitter for iPhone On today's Kagro in the Morning show, let's connect all the dots! Rs are busting out everywhere, saying the Supreme Court doesn't actually get to decide what laws are constitutional, Rs do best by opposing the black guy in the White House, everything you think you know about the Constitution is wrong if it disagrees with what we think we know about it, continuing their abuse of the filibuster, etc. Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss all this, give (important!) context to that quote about opposing the black guy, and remind us that despite the surface crazy, Republicans are playing a patient long game here. And winning. [...]



CPAC: America is perfect. And it sucks. And it's perfect.

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 18:04:15 +0000

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Poor conservatives—they just can't keep their talking points straight. Here's Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:
We don't need new ideas. The idea is called America and it still works.
And here's Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, about five minutes after that:
The Republican Party has to change.
So ... we don't need to change. Except for how we do. Except for how we don't. Except for how we do ...

Unskew America!




CPAC: Marco Rubio scoffs at 'freeloaders' because it worked so well for Mitt Romney

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 17:41:45 +0000

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Since smack-talking freeloaders and moochers and takers worked so well for Republicans in the 2012 election, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, speaking at CPAC, continues on that theme:
We have too many people in America that want too much from government.
His speech is also peppered with other winning Republican talking points:
  • "Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me a bigot."
  • "Not everyone needs to go to a four year liberal arts college."
  • "They're not freeloaders. They're not liberals."
  • "We don't need new ideas. The idea is called America and it still works."
  • Oh, and something about how stupid liberals believe "science" about "climate change," but that very same science "proves" that "life begins at conception."

And of course Rubio offered up half a dozen poorly crafted jokes about water because, you know, of that one time he totally embarrassed himself on national TV with his gulp heard 'round the world.

So, in other words, Rubio offered up a generic Republican speech about how liberals have destroyed America, except for how it's still awesome and perfect, but we have to fill the government with conservatives before the Obamapocalypse destroys America, which is perfect. Ah, Republican logic.

Video of the entire speech is below the fold—if you dare.




GOP tent not big enough for Chris Christie, says CPAC chair

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 15:45:41 +0000

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Hey, Republicans, nice tent you got there:
American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas spoke briefly with reporters ahead of the beginning of the CPAC conference -- explaining why he didn't invite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and insisting that the GOP is "not a home for everybody." [...]

"I'm a firm believer that if the Republican Party's going to have success, it's going to do so by being a conservative party and not a home for ah, for everybody," Cardenas said. "And that's how you grow. I mean, look, you grow your tent by convincing others, and persuading others, that yours is the way, and you build your tent by reaching out to the new demographics of America not with a watered down version of who we ought to be but with a true, real, solid version of who we are."

Hmmm. What was it former first lady Laura Bush said about the Republican Party, like, five minutes ago? Oh yeah:
There were obvious examples of candidates [in the 2012 election] that I think frightened some women, but they were the exception rather than the norm in the party.

All of those social issues are very, very heartfelt by people. And I understand that. There are differences. There just will be. And I’m glad that in our party we have room for all of them. I think that's important too.

It's swell the Republican Party has room for people like ex-Rep. Todd Akin, proponent of the magic lady parts theory, or wannabe Sen. Richard Mourdock, who believes rape babies are a gift from God. And of course CPAC is extra-special featuring the kind of uber-relevant Republicans who really do belong there:
The biggest winners in the time lottery are Sarah Palin (16 minutes) and Donald Trump (14 minutes). Palin and Trump are expected to be crowd-pleasers at CPAC: News of their respective appearances caused ticket sales to spike, according to a source.
But as for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was once upon a time the New Great Hope of the Republican PartyTM, well, apparently the tent ain't quite that big:
Cardenas also repeated explanations for why the conference hadn't invited New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to speak at the event.

"This year, for better or for worse, we felt like, ah, like he didn't deserve to be on the all-star selection, ah, and, for decisions that he made. And so hopefully next year he's back on the right track and being a conservative," Cardenas said. "He's a popular figure, but everyone needs to live by the parameters of the movement."

So, to sum up: The GOP is big enough for the pro-rape guys and the failed half-term governor turned failed reality TV star, but they've got to draw the line somewhere, so the party's most popular governor? Not this year, pal. Maybe next year—if you can figure out how to beef up your crackpot credentials.



The GOP admits it has a 'female challenge'

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 15:44:41 +0000

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Chicks, man. How the fuck do they work?
Well, this is progress, sort of:
“The first step is admitting we have a problem,” said Bob Honold, a partner with Revolution and a former senior aide at the National Republican Congressional Committee, explaing why his company put together the presentation.
The presentation—which is titled, I shit you not, "The GOP's Female Challenge"—is a series of charts and maps showing just how badly Republicans did with women voters in the 2012 election. To summarize: very badly.
This infographic shows that while Republicans did well among married women in 2012, there is a huge gap when it comes to single women, as well as minority women. They have included proven ways to reach this important demographic as a first step in bridging that gap.
See, Republicans wouldn't have a female challenge if they could just ignore those pesky not-married and/or not-white ladies. But alas, since the gerrymandering and vote rigging plan has yet to be perfected, they've got to think of ... something:
The solution to what ails Republicans among women? According to Revolution, it’s consolidating their strengths among married white women and trying to broaden their appeal among Hispanic and black married women.
Republicans spent the better part of 2012 insisting that there was no War on Women, or if there was, the Democrats started it, or maybe the Democrats just invented it to make Republicans look bad—even though, ahem, Republicans don't need any help looking bad, when they write anti-woman policies into their platform, pick a presidential candidate who wasn't sure he supported equal pay for equal work, and run a whole slew of candidates who can't avoid saying stupid shit about rape. All the while, Republicans continued to insist they didn't have a problem with women and if women would just stop being so dumb and fickle and caring about things that don't matter, they'd wake up and realize they should be voting for the GOP. Shockingly, that plan didn't work, so now conservative groups and consultants and strategists keep trying to figure out the secret to wooing the lady voters.

Considering, though, that House Republicans are still furiously introducing bill after bill to defund and restrict access to women's health care and could barely bring themselves to reauthorize the Violence Against Women's Act, they certainly have a long way to go if they think they're going to be able to close that gaping gender gap any time soon. Sure, they might admit they have a problem—but they still don't have the first clue what it is or how to fix it.




CPAC dress code: Leave your whore clothes at home, ladies

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:46:08 +0000

Are you busily packing for your big exciting trip to Washington D.C. for the conservative circle jerk convention known as CPAC, but you're all kinds of stumped on what to wear? Well, via Wonkette, there is a super helpful lady on the interwebs who has just what you need to avoid an awkward fashion faux pax:
Ladies, what should you wear? Cardigans, blouses, blazers and pumps! What shouldn’t you wear? Oh, just a laundry list of things: rompers, halters, shorts, strapless necklines, low-cut tops, miniskirts, leggings. The publicist lady has created an entire fucking Pinterest page of her favorite CPAC-appropriate outfits! Fun!
Publicist Adrienne Royer, aka helpful lady on the interwebs, has provided this infographic so there will be no misunderstandings about appropriate attire for these upstanding conservative boys and girls, for whom there has apparently been some confusion in the past because they misunderstood the gathering to be an awesome place for sex, drugs and halter tops. But it is not, boys and girls! Conservatism is serious business. That's why Donald Trump and the half-term idiot governor herself will be extra-special featured speakers at the convention, with more time to talk about freedom 'n stuff than any other speaker who's batshit crazy enough, and also politically irrelevant enough, to score a speaking slot.

So have fun, conservative boys and girls, but remember to leave your rompers at home.




Laura Bush welcomes the pro-rape crowd into the Republican tent

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:11:06 +0000

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Laura Bush says there's room enough for everyone
In what apparently was an extraordinarily slow news day at CNN, former first lady Laura Bush sat down with Erin Burnett to share her deep thoughts on how Republican men sort of scare the bejesus out of women. And no, she's not even talking about her husband emailing bizarre nude self-portraits to his sister. This is actually about the 2012 election.
EB: Some of the issues with women in the country, obviously, you know last time more than half the women voted for President Obama, in part because of abortion, gay marriage, issues like that. Do you think the Republican Party has made a mistake in doubling down on those issues and making social issues so central to the platform?

LB: Well, no, I mean, I wouldn't say that necessarily. And every candidate was different, each one of them. There were obvious examples of candidates that I think frightened some women, but they were the exception rather than the norm in the party.

All of those social issues are very, very heartfelt by people. And I understand that. There are differences. There just will be. And I’m glad that in our party we have room for all of them. I think that's important too.

   

Well, thanks for that political insight, Mrs. Bush. Obviously, it was only a few examples of the Republican Party who explained the virtues and "science" of rape, threatened to defund women's health care, and scoffed at such radical ideas as equal pay for equal work and trying to reduce violence against women. It's not like Republicans wrote their extremist "social issues" agenda into their party platform or anything. Except for how they did.

But that's just the kind of all-inclusiveness we've come to expect from the party that kicked out Arlen Specter, chased out Olympia Snowe, and teabagged Lisa Murkowski—all Republican senators who had the audacity to not make hating women their whole raison d'être (translation: freedom reason). So you see? The Republican Party is its own big tent, with room enough for everyone—the old white dudes who think rape isn't that bad, so just lay back and enjoy it, and the old white dudes who think rape is a gift from God.




Midday open thread

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:00:09 +0000

Today's comic is Dow soars, none for poors by Matt Bors: Worst temp job ever. If it's a day that ends in "y," it's time to compare stuff you don't like to slavery and/or Hitler: Well, great – a lady compared a thing to slavery! And it wasn’t abortion this time! Abortion is slavery a lot with some people, you ever notice that? So, what was it now you ask? Yes, yes, it was the homosexuals, of course. They are now apparently “ripping apart people’s lives and families” and we are now wondering what gay dude this chick has been in love with and or married to? Because “Mission America” radio host Linda Harvey is fighting words mad[.] The residents of Byron, Maine, have decided that no, actually, they would not like to require themselves to have a gun in every home, thank you very much. Christmas comes early—and it IS a Merry Christmas, you godless America-haters: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has signed a contract to write another book — this one about Christmas. HarperCollins has announced Palin’s book, titled “A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas,” will be released in November, according to the Associated Press. [...] “This will be a fun, festive, thought-provoking book, which will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas,” Palin said in a statement release to AP. Congratulations on the celebration of the anniversary of the day you were born, Mr. Romney: Happy birthday, @MittRomney. If I'm not mistaken, that means meatloaf cakes. — @samyoungman via Mobile Web (M5) Bradley Manning, in his own voice. If you're into that sort of thing. On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin with a Team 26 update, and more on guns as a public health issue. Conservative backlash against departure from the "Hastert Rule." Peggy Noonan's profoundly stupid article. Which one? The one about how she had a sad because her hotel had no footmen. Mother Jones explains in "All Work and No Pay." Armando joined to discuss NRO crying foul over conservatives being called out as Calhounists, and give some poignant examples. Finally, we began on Robert Parry's "Rethinking Watergate/Iran-Contra." [...]



Rep. Gingrey, MD: 'Recent data' suggests the Akin magic lady parts theory is wrong after all

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 18:25:56 +0000

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They actually gave this man a medical degree
Hey, kids, have you recovered yet from that time in January when Rep. Phil Gingrey—who is an OB/GYN (that's fancy talk for lady parts doctor) and co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus (because yes, that actually exists)—explained that Todd Akin was actually "partly right" about his theory that in cases of "legitimate rape," women's mysteriously magical lady parts can detect and deflect rape sperm? And Rep. Gingrey MD had the science to back it up:
We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he?
Well ... Now that Gingrey is considering a Senate run in Georgia, he's trying to clean up his record a bit. And since the Republican talking point du jour is that candidates should avoid these awkward "Todd Akin" moments and stop saying stupid shit about rape, he's had a change of medical opinion. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
“I made a very awkward attempt to explain the unexplainable,” he said, admitting the resulting political damage has been self-inflicted. [...]

Gingrey said he has had conversations with James Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “We went over articles and more recent journals,” the congressman said.

“Whereas Todd said the panic would cause a body to shut down and prevent ovulation, more recent data suggests just the opposite is probably true,” the physician-congressman said. Adrenaline is more likely to spur ovulation, he said.

“So you learn,” Gingrey said.

Damnit! Don't you just hate when "more recent data" completely contradicts what you insisted, in your medical opinion, was true? How shocked will he be to learn that illness is not caused by tiny demons living inside your body? Or that Jesus did not actually ride a dinosaur? Or that the Earth is not, in fact, the center of the universe, as the Catholic Church discovered in the '90s. The 1990s. Oops! Sorry, Galileo.

Still, nice to know Gingrey's at least willing to learn—which is more than can be said for most of his party.




The new GOP: Now with slightly—very slightly—more women

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:56:38 +0000

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When Paul Ryan introduced his new-but-pretty-much-exactly-the-same-budget, he surrounded himself with a wide range of Republicans, from old white men to old white—

Wait! Hold the phone, there's a woman there. There's even sort of another woman, standing behind Paul Ryan, and if you squint and stand on one leg and do the hokey pokey you can almost see her!

Apparently, having two (okay, one and a half) women is a part of that whole rebranding effort by the GOP. What war on women?




Great quotes from history (or something to that effect)

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:23:25 +0000

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Like, Thomas Jefferson 'n stuff
Thomas Jefferson, as interpreted by loser ex-congressman and perpetual deadbeat dad Joe Walsh:
The American people have grown stupid, we’ve grown uninterested, we’ve gotten busy, we’re distracted, we’re lazy, and we’re easily manipulated. Again, I can sit with you and have a beer and I can tell you about how idiotic most of our politicians are. That’s boring to me. It’s on us. Jefferson said something to the effect of, when a people becomes uninformed or uneducated — stupid — they’re going to lose their republic, they’re going to lose this democracy. And folks, I’m here to tell ya with a big old smile, we’re there. We’re losing.
Discuss.

(Via)




CPAC recommits to irrelevance, gives top booking to Trump and Palin

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 22:30:00 +0000

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These are the most important people EVER!
Awesome:
According to an internal draft of the minute-by-minute schedule at CPAC, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Scott Walker are each slated to give 13-minute remarks on the main stage. Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, however, get eleven minutes to deliver their comments. Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum is scheduled for a mere seven minutes.

The biggest winners in the time lottery are Sarah Palin (16 minutes) and Donald Trump (14 minutes). Palin and Trump are expected to be crowd-pleasers at CPAC: News of their respective appearances caused ticket sales to spike, according to a source.

Let's put aside that the "source" is, more likely than not, Trump himself, and let's instead focus on having a good hearty chuckle about how the annual conservative circle jerk sure is promising to be extra circle jerky this year. Chris Christie, one of the Republican Party's more popular members (though, admittedly, not popular with his own party), is not invited because who cares what a sitting governor and potential presidential candidate might have to say? Obviously, this is a serious conference for serious conservatives, so half-time ex-governors only, please. Oh, plus the guy who was gonna send his own experts to Hawaii to prove once and for all that Hawaii is actually in Kenya. Or that Kenya is secretly Muslim. Or that Muslims are—oh hell, who knows what he was going to prove? Point is, he's clearly a serious person who deserves as much time as possible at CPAC to help spread his message of ... well, whatever his message is these days.

Maybe former Dubya adviser Matthew Dowd had a point when he said a week ago that CPAC has "has totally diminished its credibility as an organization." Or maybe CPAC has always been a joke, and now everyone—even not-completely-batshit-crazy conservatives—knows it.




Catholic Church accidentally buys a gay sauna

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 20:49:17 +0000

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What kind of gay sauna would Jesus buy?
Don't you just hate when this happens?
A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna.
Oh, how very awkward. While the Church is busy spending so much of its time shaking its bejeweled fist at The Gays, turns out the Church accidentally—accidentally, you guys, accidentally!—invested in some fabulous gay real estate. So how did this happen?
The senior Vatican figure sweating the most due to the unlikely proximity of the gay Europa Multiclub is probably Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, who is due to participate in tomorrow’s election at the Sistine Chapel.

This 76-year-old “prince of the church” enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.

A 12-room apartment for one dude sure seems pretty posh, doesn't it? Especially a dude who supposedly took a vow of poverty? Guess if he hadn't, it would be a 24-room apartment, eh? At least it sounds like the perfect investment for the Church:
The sauna’s website promotes one of its special “bear nights”, with a video in which a rotund, hairy man strips down before changing into a priest’s outfit. It says Bruno, “a hairy, overweight pastor of souls, is free to the music of his clergyman, remaining in a thong, because he wants to expose body and soul”.
What a fortuitous accident.



RNC head does major outreach to the not-white voters, makes bold assessment of 2012 election

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 19:54:13 +0000

This will work:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is headed to Brooklyn, New York, on Monday as part of an effort to reach out to African American voters.
Guess Reince "You can't spell my name without 'RNC PR BS'" Priebus took some good notes at the "Successful Communication with Minorities and Women" course offered in the Burwell Plantation room, at what used to be the Kingsmill Plantation, where Republicans held their annual retreat earlier this year, so he felt prepared to talk to the not-whites directly. And what bold statement did he offer in his big outreach?

(image) .@Reince: "I would say that Gov. Romney's unscripted moments were't helpful" in winning over minorities.
@mckaycoppins via web
Gee, ya think?



Sen. Cornyn didn't vote for the Violence Against Women Act, but he still wants credit for it

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:34:06 +0000

(image)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Areyoukiddingmestan)
File this press release from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) under "chutzpah":
“An unacceptable national backlog of untested rape kits has compounded the pain for too many victims of sexual assault over the years. Today, we take a significant step toward reducing that backlog.

“I’m pleased with the wide bipartisan support the SAFER Act received and with the President’s signature today, law enforcement can begin working immediately to test outstanding kits and see that justice is served.”

Wow, you're probably thinking to yourself, this SAFER Act sounds like good stuff. Funny, I don't remember reading any recent headlines about the president signing it into law. And it had the support of Republican Sen. Cornyn? Wow! That's terrific. Maybe that Republican Party isn't quite so anti-woman after all! Good for you, Sen. Cornyn, for standing against your party and for women. In fact, let's throw you a ticker tape parade and have a medal engraved and—

Well, not so fast, sucker. Because while Cornyn may have once upon a time supported the SAFER Act, it is merely one element of the Violence Against Women Act that President Barack Obama signed into law once the House finally got around to passing the full, comprehensive, yes-even-women-who-aren't-straight-or-white-can-be-abused version. And that would be the version Sen. Oh So Proud of Himself didn't vote for. But seeking credit for passing legislation he voted against is all the rage among Republicans these days. Several Republicans in the House have recently applauded themselves for supporting the Violence Against Women Act—even though they voted for the fake Republican version and voted against the real version that was signed into law.

But that's what it means to be a Republican these days. When you have the opportunity to do the right thing, and you choose not to, and that choice makes you look like, oh, like maybe you don't give half a damn about women who are raped and abused, well, just lie and pretend you did the right thing anyway. Problem solved.

(Via)




Brother of worst president in history is 'proud to be a Bush'

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:15:08 +0000

(image)
Jeb hopes we've all forgotten by now how much his brother sucked that one time for eight years.
Okay, Jeb, you just keep telling yourself this, as you decide whether America is ready for yet another Bush in the White House:
“I don’t think there’s any Bush baggage at all. I love my brother. I’m proud of his accomplishments. I love my dad. I’m proud to be a Bush and if I run for president it’s not because of something in my DNA that compels me to do it,” Bush said on “Fox News Sunday” after host Chris Wallace cited a poll showing the former president with a 49 percent unfavorable rating.
This comes on the heels of Bush's attempt to channel another Republican loser, Mitt Romney, as he flip-flopped all over himself on immigration reform. It was just around the time of last year's Republican National Convention when Jeb first tried to rehabilitate his brother's reputation by insisting that President Barack Obama needs a spanking for saying mean things about his brother George. And yet, somehow, that was not quite persuasive enough, since as far as the party was concerned, Republicans had never even heard of the guy, let alone elected him president twice. (Well, okay, once.)

But then, after Romney humiliated himself and his party with that shellshocking defeat he suffered in November, a few conservatives crept out of the shadows to fondly remember Dubya because at least he wasn't as bad as Romney, so who knows? Maybe if Republicans can sustain their loser record through a few more elections, Dubya will look good enough in retrospect that Jeb might have a chance after all.




Texas would like its horrible teen pregnancy rate to be even more horrible

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:40:15 +0000

(image)
Everything's bigger in Texas ...
including the teen pregnancy rate
Texas already has one of the worst teen pregnancy rate in the nation. Yea, Texas, for doing slightly better than Mississippi and New Mexico. Great job!

But everything's bigger in Texas, including dreams of being No. 1 (or 50, depending on whether you think a state of knocked up teens is an achievement), so of course social conservatives are working on a genius new plan for that. Dallas News reports:

Social conservatives are now getting behind a bill that would ensure that all schools become Planned Parenthood-free zones. And the bills would add an extra step, to already arduous reviews, before any experts present materials to encourage students to abstain from sex.

This in a state where already half of the state’s 1,028 school districts don’t have sex ed instruction, and many of the rest teach abstinence-only. [...]

The latest statistics show that Texas in 2010 had the largest number of teen births in the country — 47,751. In surveys, between 52 and 70 percent of high school seniors in Texas say they have engaged in sex.

Now, a fella—a thinking fella—might look at the lack of sex education in half of Texas schools and think that might have something to do with the preponderance of teens ending up pregnant. But there's no thinking allowed in social conservatism, so of course they look at those numbers and think the problem, the real problem, is Planned Parenthood. It's the mere existence of Planned Parenthood—which Texas has already done its college-dropout best to defund—that is making those teens have The Sex and end up with The Pregnancy. Just eliminate from the schools the organization that provides the education and resources to teach teens how to prevent pregnancy, and that will totally eliminate teen pregnancy.

Or not. As I wrote on Sunday (and about a million times before that), abstinence-only education not only doesn't prevent teens from having sex, getting pregnant, and spreading sexually transmitted diseases—it actually makes things worse. Teens have sex no matter how many times they're told not to, so the only way to reduce rates of pregnancy and disease is to provide them with comprehensive, honest, science-based education so they'll know how to protect themselves. Because when all they're offered is "Just say no" and "Planned Parenthood is bad," well, that's how you end up with the the worst rates of teen pregnancy in the nation. Like in Texas.

 




Telling teens to just say no to sex doesn't work, so let's waste half a billion dollars doing that

Sun, 10 Mar 2013 17:00:10 +0000

(image)
This never actually works
In case you were worried that House Republicans haven't come up with any ingenious new ways to waste a whole bunch of your money, worry no more:
Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) on Monday called for the creation of a new federal grant program that would spend half a billion dollars to educate teenagers about why they should not have sex before marriage.

In a speech on the House floor, Hultgren cited a Centers for Disease Control report from mid-February that said young adults account for 50 percent of all sexually transmitted disease infections.

It's almost too easy, right? If teens are spreading diseases by having sex, we'll just create some government programs—we all know how much Republicans love creating government programs—to tell them to stop doing that. And because teenagers are known as the most obedient and compliant people on the planet, that should fix that problem double-quick. Who can forget how Nancy Reagan singlehandedly eradicated drug use with her super effective "Just Say No" program?

There's just one little problem with abstinence-only education. It doesn't work. In fact, it makes things worse. Head below the fold to find out why.




Open thread: Happy International Women's Day

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 23:00:07 +0000




Sorry, haters, but Minnesota's about to oppress your right to oppress people

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 17:36:52 +0000

(image)
The big scary gay agenda:
coming to a state near you.
It sure is a bad time to be the kind of bigot who thinks marriage equality laws oppress your God-and-Thomas-Jefferson-given right to oppress people.

Almost everyone with a pen, including the president of these United States, has filed a brief in support of the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. A study released Thursday shows that except for an ever-shrinking group of angry old white dudes clinging to their Bibles, Americans are embracing marriage equality. Three states legalized it in the 2012 election, and Illinois is just a state House vote away from doing the same. Activists in Oregon are collecting signatures now to put equality on the 2014 ballot.

And now this news from Minnesota, the very state that voted down a ban on marriage equality in 2012:

A bill to make gay marriage legal in Minnesota has the votes to clear one of its first major legislative hurdles, despite loud protests from opponents at a rally Thursday at the Capitol.

Hundreds of gay marriage opponents crowded the Capitol's rotunda, trying to slow momentum on the effort to repeal the state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. "We believe it's a perversion of God's best intentions for his people," said Carolyn Alm, a demonstrator from Chisago City. (image)

But the bill was already headed for a key boost in the House Civil Law Committee: nine of 17 members on that committee told The Associated Press they would vote for the bill, enough to send it on to the full House.

So scream and protest and march all you want, haters, but equality is coming. No matter how much you believe that gays and lesbians getting married will undermine your own marriage, an ever-growing number of Americans disagree. An ever-growing number of Republicans disagree. Marriage equality is no longer a matter of if; it is simply a matter of when.

Donate here to help make Oregon next.




Kansas will let you have your abortion cupcakes, but you're still going to get cancer

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 17:00:12 +0000

Say this for the anti-choicers: They sure are creative. And they never stop looking for new and inventive ways to try to strip women of their basic rights. Half the time, they propose things they know will never pass, just to test the waters. Just to see how extreme they can get without facing too much national outrage that forces them to back down. The point is to keep moving the dialogue about women's health care further and further to the fringiest edges, pushing the boundaries until what was once considered absurd (and unconstitutional) becomes acceptable. Reasonable. Legal. Like the bill in Oklahoma that would ban "the manufacture or sale of food or products which use aborted human fetuses." You know, to protect the state from the cream of fetus sensation that was sweeping the nation a year ago. Or the the "pro-life" bill to legalize murder in South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska, giving "pro-lifers" the right to use "reasonable force, including deadly force" if they believed it was "necessary under the circumstances to prevent death or serious injury to oneself or a third party." In other words, to gun down doctors to prevent them from performing abortions. Then there was the bill in Indiana requiring women to have not one but two unnecessary ultrasounds—before and after having a non-surgical abortion. Being oh so reasonable, Republicans removed the second required ultrasound from the bill. Compromise! So now the Republican-controlled Kansas legislature is once again attempting to move the goal posts with yet another new anti-choice bill. H.B. 2253 is 70 pages long and would, among other things, "tax abortions, establish life beginning at fertilization, require doctors to say that abortion causes breast cancer and prohibit state employees from performing abortions during the workday." So the bill would impose a tax on one specific kind of medical procedure and require doctors to lie to their patients by telling them, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary, that the safest medical procedure in America may cause cancer. But one thing the bill will no longer do? The committee removed a provision that would have banned abortion clinic workers from volunteering in their children's schools. The measure would have banned such activities as chaperoning field trips, serving as PTA officers and baking cupcakes for school activities. Oh no! How could the Kansas legislature abandon our children and leave them vulnerable and exposed to the possibility of eating cupcakes made by women's health care providers? Don't they know how dangerous abortion food can be? Haven't they followed the news in Oklahoma? Well, once this bill passes, as it is expected to, and Gov. Sam "He blows a lot" Brownback signs it, as he has promised to with every anti-choice bill that lands on his desk, the legislators will no doubt work on getting the abortion cupcake ban into some new bill. They must. For the children. [...]



Islamaphobic crackpot accuses CPAC crackpots of 'enforcing the Sharia' because she's a crackpot

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 23:52:19 +0000

(image)
Pamela Geller, obviously.
Oooh, boy howdy, now this is some tasty crackpot soufflé. Here, have a taste:
“What are they doing at CPAC? Essentially, they are enforcing the Sharia,” said anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller. “Under the Sharia, the blasphemy laws, you cannot say, you cannot offend, you cannot criticize and you cannot insult Islam. That is effectively what they’re doing, they are enforcing the Sharia.”
For those of you who don't have your Who's Who Guide to Crackpots handy, CPAC is the conservative convention where celebrity crackpots of the right-wing persuasion get together to listen to each other talk about how the problem with America is, you guessed it, not enough crackpots. Pamela Geller, who is a carrier of the crackpot gene on both sides of her family, spends most of her keyboard-pounding time hateblogging on the evils of The Sharia and how it's coming to get you, your kids, and your little dog too. She's also the co-founder of Stop Islamization of America, labeled a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, so you'd think she'd be a shoo-in at CPAC, like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump and Allen West, who are all cordially invited.

But Geller isn't. She's that god-freakin'-awful that even her fellow crackpots don't want to let her into their conservative circle jerk. So obviously, the only possible explanation is that CPAC, like the rest of America, has been taken over by The Islam and The Sharia. I mean, obviously, right? Not that you need any further proof, but of course she's got it:

"This year I could not get an event, I was banned,” she said, though also noted that in the past, “I wasn’t warmly welcomed because of the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like [ex-Bush staffer and Muslim] Suhail Khan and [anti-tax conservative ] Grover Norquist.”
Oh my stars, Grover Norquist? Grover "radical Islamic proponent of The Sharia" Norquist, who wants to shrink the government down so he can drown it in a bathtub—but only after he coverts it to The Islam? Guess Geller's right. Case closed.



Rush Limbaugh says Violence Against Women Act just a mean plot by Obama and the Democrats

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 21:54:27 +0000

He's an expert on ... stuff While we here in the civilized world were happy to see President Barack Obama sign into law the Violence Against Women Act, Rush Limbaugh—who is certainly the nation's foremost expert on, um .... no, not that ... not that ... um ... Oh! On Dominican prostitutes and illegal use of pills for limp dicks—reported on his show that it's all a big scam. The president of the United States has just signed another law, and this law is the Violence Against Women Act. No, no, it means you can't. It's not—it doesn't permit it. It's against violence. You can't, you can't be violent. I guess you could, up until the law was—I guess it used to be okay to be violent against women, but now we've fixed it. Because now we have a law. Because Obama just signed it. The Violence Against Women law. I don't have the act right in front of me, but I can guarantee you, it's about much more than violence against women. You see, it's classic. It's classic. Somebody proposes this thing, under the guise that women are being beat to a pulp in this country because of the Republican War on Women. Women are being beat up, they're being creamed, they're being mistreated all over the place. So we need a federal law saying you can't do it anymore. So now the Democrats get all of this credit for being compassionate, tolerant, understanding, protective of women. The whole idea is to create the notion that there's some people out there that are violent toward women, and they're obviously a bunch of neanderthal Republicans, and we're going to now be able to punish them. And Obama [unintelligible] this law will help bring more offenders to justice. So I guess there were outs, so you go out and be violent toward women, I guess there were ways you could get away with it that now you can't. Cause we've really gotten serious about it now. Sigh. Where to begin? Maybe with a quick history lesson. See, President Obama and the Democrats didn't cook up this bill to humiliate the Republicans for their ongoing War on Women. Republicans do that just fine on their own. This act has been law for nearly two decades and, except for the latest obstructionist hissy-fit from Republicans, it has always been reauthorized with broad bipartisan support. Second, while it obviously really chaps Rush's pill-popping ass that Democrats might "get credit for being compassionate, tolerant, understanding, protective of women," House Republicans are trying like hell to give themselves credit too. Many of them—27 to be exact—have even gone so far as to claim they supported and voted for the Violence Against Women Act, when they voted against it. And while we could spend all day—heck, all year—fact-checking the bile that spews out of Rush's mouth, let's just look at one more little inconvenient fact he apparently isn't aware of, as he so casually mocks victims of violence and insists there is just no way women are being victimized, you know, regularly, so we obviously don't really need this law. Here, here's something right out of today's headlines: The Justice Department says the rate of sexual violence against women and girls age 12 or older fell 64 percent in a decade and has remained stable for five years. In 2010, women and girls nationwide experienced about 270,000 rapes or sexual assaults, compared with 556,000 in 1995, according to a Bureau of Jus[...]



New study shows pretty much everyone supports marriage equality now except old white Bible-humpers

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 20:55:00 +0000

America loves marriage equality In case you needed yet more evidence that Americans are embracing marriage equality, you're in luck. Freedom to Marry has released a new study confirming what most of us already knew: [N]ational support for marriage for same-sex couples is broadening and diversifying while resistance to the freedom to marry is diminishing and becoming isolated to just a few narrow demographic groups. Those narrow demographic groups, according to the study conducted by Democratic pollster Joel Benenson and Republican pollster Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, are just whom you'd expect: old white people who cling to their Bibles. But as for everyone else: A majority of voters under the age of 65 support the freedom to marry by a margin of 8 points - 52 percent support and 44 percent opposed. There is also widespread consensus among racial groups of voters under the age of 65 that it's Time for Marriage. 60% of Latinos, 51% of African-Americans, and 50% of white voters under the age of 65 support the freedom to marry. Support has also swelled for young conservatives and mainstream Republicans. 47% of voters who oppose the Tea Party support marriage for same-sex couples, while 51% of Republicans under the age of 30 support the freedom to marry. [...] Even more dramatically, exit polls show that all voters besides white evangelical Christians support the freedom to marry (58% support, just 36% oppose). By contrast, white evangelical Christians reject the freedom to marry by overwhelming margins (24% support/73% oppose). The pro-bigotry movement, like the Republican Party, cannot sustain itself on bitter old white people alone. So even while groups like National Organization for Marriage and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are organizing marches and protests to affirm their opposition to equality, as Benenson notes, "It's clear now that support for the freedom to marry has a broad base of support from a diverse cross-section of America." Nine states have legalized marriage equality, and Illinois may well be next. The circuit court in Michigan may overturn the state's constitutional ban on marriage equality. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on California's Proposition 8, with almost everyone, including the Obama administration, filing briefs in support of overturning the ban. And in Oregon, activists are collecting signatures to put marriage equality on the 2014 ballot. You can help make marriage equality a reality in Oregon by donating here. [...]



Midday open thread

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 20:00:12 +0000

Today's comic is Captain Obama, in STAR SE-TREK-STER by Ruben Bolling: Justice delayed: A U.S. Circuit Court judge has delayed his decision in a shocking case that could overturn Michigan‘s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and make marriage equality the law of the land. U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman today announced he is postponing his decision — which some were expecting today — and waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the Prop 8 and DOMA cases it will hear later this month. Will Sommer tells us the Washington Post has a new ombudsman ... sort of: As of this month, the Washington Post ombudsman position is no more, replaced by a saccharine-sounding "reader representative" to be named later. It's the end of a 43-year tradition...or is it? [...] As a service to Post readers and the District at large, then, Washington City Paper is happy to take up Weymouth's invitation and announce that we will be providing our own ombudsman for the area's newspaper of record: me. Offered without comment: Rep. Peter King of New York is lacing up his boxing gloves for a fight that has nothing to do with budget cuts. The 68-year-old Republican is known more for his bare-knuckle politics than his pugilistic skills. He said Wednesday he plans to step into the ring Saturday for a two-round exhibition bout against a New York state kickboxing champion, "Irish" Josh Foley, at a pub in Wantagh, N.Y. A Texas Supreme Court justice thinks that maybe they should investigate all those wrongful convictions. Ya think? How dare Elizabeth Colbert Busch not be funny like her brother! Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D), better known as the sister of Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, is out with her first ad in the South Carolina special election for the state’s 1st U.S. House district. [...] It’s a sober spot, with no sign of her brother’s absurdist humor. Noooooooooooooooooo! I am a Sesame Street loyalist, but I must tell you some sad news: Count von Count, endearing lover of all things numeric, has made a mistake in his math. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! The Great Dishwasher Installation of 2013 is over, and so is Rand Paul's sorta-kinda filibuster. Greg Dworkin reviewed new Q-Poll national numbers on gun policy issues and updated us on the "Team 26" ride from Newtown to DC. Armando took the reins to discuss issues surrounding drone policy, the fatally-flawed AUMF, and encroachment on Congressional power both on war powers and in the Voting Rights Act case. Then, the dynamics of the Paul filibuster, a listener question about how party leaders are selected and challenged in the Senate, and a wrap up with two egregious tales of Wild West#GunFAIL. [...]



Deadbeat dad and loser ex-congressman finally gets a job so maybe he can stop being a deadbeat again

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 17:51:05 +0000

Ex-Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Deadbeat) Well, this is some very exciting news. Joe Walsh, the former Illinois congressman and perpetual deadbeat dad, has finally landed himself a shiny new job: While the ink's not quite dry yet, Walsh told the Daily Herald Wednesday that he will sign on as a Monday-through-Friday talk show host at Rolling Meadows-based WIND 560 AM beginning March 18. The McHenry Tea Party firebrand will have a 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot, following the Steve Cochran show. [...] "I'm focused on growing the freedom based movement. Whether that leads to another run down the road, in the short term or long term, I don't know. This radio show, is going to be another platform right now for me being a voice for freedom." Walsh is no doubt very happy to have the opportunity to spread his deep thoughts about freedom 'n stuff on the airwaves, but the best part is that now he can go back to paying all that child support he owes and always seem to have such a hard time paying. Yes, there was that brief time, back in April 2012, when Walsh and his ex-wife reached an agreement on the six figures of outstanding, unpaid child support he owed, and then they released a joint statement about how they "regret this public misunderstanding and the effect it has had on our children." But old habits are hard to break—like, you know, not paying your child support because you are a deadbeat dad, and it's dads like Joe who are undermining the family, which is the very bedrock of America and civilization and why, Joe, why do you hate America? After insisting he wasn’t a “deadbeat dad” throughout his failed campaign for re-election, ex-U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh skipped last month’s child support payment and has asked to stop paying altogether. […] “Joe’s employment has been terminated through no voluntary act of his own and he is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation,” the filing states. “Due to substantial change of circumstances, Joe requests that his child support obligation be terminated based on his present income and circumstances.” Well, actually, it kind of was Joe's fault that his employment was terminated because voters in Illinois's 8th Congressional District decided they really didn't like him very much after all. Hard to imagine why, of course. Just because he doesn't like minorities and how easily they get suckered by Democrats into depending on government. Or how women are always tricking people like him into looking "unreasonable" on matters of reproductive rights just because he says "science and technology" have made it so women don't ever need to have abortions, even to save their own lives. Or veterans, and they way they are always blabbing on and on and on about their service and that time they lost a few limbs fighting to protect Joe Walsh's right to be an asshat. He hates that. But now Joe has a job that will allow him to tell you, Monday through Friday, just how much he hates that—and, more importantly, he can start supporting his family again. After all, this is the guy who was honored by the Family Research Council for his "unwavering support of the family." Not his family, of course, just the family. Congratulations, Joe. And congratulations to Joe's long-suffering a[...]



Democrats re-re-re-reintroduce Equal Rights Amendment ... but shhhh, don't tell anyone

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 16:28:55 +0000

This week, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez introduced S.J.RES.10: "A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women." In case you missed it, that's the Equal Rights Amendment—the utterly simple, overwhelmingly popular proposition that the Constitution should guarantee: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. It is a completely uncontroversial amendment. In a poll conducted for Daily Kos in 2012, Public Policy Polling found that 91 percent of respondents believe "the Constitution should guarantee equal rights for men and women." You'd be hard-pressed, in fact, to find legislation with greater support. And yet, every congressional session, a handful of Democrats half-heartedly reintroduce it, where it is promptly sent off to committee to once again die a quiet death. So it's not surprising that Sen. Menendez and his 10 fellow cosponsors once again introduced this bill with as little fanfare as possible. No big news conference; no senators making the rounds on television advocating for its passage; not even a Twitter campaign from Senate Democrats. Nothing but a press release from Menendez's office. Almost as if he and his cosponsors are trying to keep it a secret. And where are the rest of the Democrats? Kudos to Sens. Mark Begich, Richard Blumenthal, Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Tom Harkin, Mazie Hirono, Frank Lautenberg, Carl Levin, Debbie Stabenow, and Elizabeth Warren—but what about the rest of them? What about the rest of the record-setting number of women whom Democrats sent to the Senate in 2012? After Democratic women played such a critical role in last year's election—delivering an historic gender gap in the presidential race, not to mention shrinking the Republican rape caucus in Congress—you'd think elected Democrats would be eager to show their appreciation, especially when it's as simple as supporting a long overdue bill that has such broad support. We'd never expect Republicans to have the decency to support equality; after all, they went to great lengths to try to prevent the Violence Against Women Act from providing protection for all women. But this is the Democratic Party we're talking about. The pro-choice, pro-woman party. The party that so successfully ran on the distinction that Democrats, unlike Republicans, believe in women's rights. Now is their chance to prove it. Tell Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. [...]



Need a laugh? Former Dubya adviser says Sarah Palin is not 'competent enough' for Fox 'News'

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 23:47:14 +0000

(image)
Anyone who worked for this guy certainly understands incompetence
I don't have enough fingers to count all the different kinds of funny in this story:
Matthew Dowd, a chief strategist for George W. Bush's reelection, slammed CPAC (scheduled to kick off in mid-March) for inviting the one-time vice presidential candidate to the popular conference, while passing over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).

"CPAC, to me, has totally diminished its credibility as an organization,” Dowd said. “And you invite Sarah Palin, who wasn’t competent enough to keep a Fox News contract? But she’s invited to a CPAC meeting?”

Of course, if you've been an adviser to George Dubya, you are perhaps uniquely qualified to spot incompetence from your house. And we can all agree that the half-term governor, who could not even handle an interview with Katie Couric—Katie freakin' Couric, ladies and gentlemen—is certainly incompetent. But Fox's decision to pay her a whopping $15.85 per word does not exactly speak to Fox's competence either. And then, lest we forget, there's the convention itself, where the universal incompetence of the conservative movement will be suited up and on full display later this month.

Best part of all? Pretty sure Matthew Dowd was serious when he said that.




Shocking! Catholics don't care what their Church says about ... anything

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 20:42:10 +0000

No one really listened to him anyway No one could have imagined that an institution that took three and a half centuries to admit Galileo was right about the Earth not being the center of the universe might not have its finger on the pulse of its people. But a new New York Times/CBS News poll shows that's exactly what American Catholics think. The poll has all sorts of interesting findings, all of which make it pretty clear that Catholics—even devout, practicing Catholics—don't share the views of their Church and don't follow its edicts. And while the Church would obviously like everyone to forget about the decades it has spent protecting its pedophile priests from the law, the laity hasn't exactly gotten over that yet: Seven out of 10 say Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican have done a poor job of handling sexual abuse, a significant rise from three years ago. A majority said that the issue had led them to question the Vatican’s authority. The sexual abuse of children by priests is the largest problem facing the church, Catholics in the poll said. In fact, 69 percent of respondents said the Vatican has done a poor job of dealing with its abuse problems. That's not very surprising, considering the recently resigned pope spent his pre-papal years directing the cover-up. It's not just the Church's refusal to deal with its widespread abuse problem, though, that has made American Catholics cover their ears and sing, "Lalalalala, we can't hear you." Even Catholics who frequently attend Mass said they were not following the bishops’ lead on issues that the church had recently invested much energy, money and credibility in fighting — artificial birth control and same-sex marriage. We already know that the majority of Catholic women, like the majority of all American women, have used birth control. When it comes to the Catholic bishops' all-out war on the Obama administration, with outrageous claims and coordinated lawsuits declaring that insurance coverage of birth control is a major and unprecedented attack on their religious liberty, well, once again, that's not how the laity sees it: But when asked what the debate is about, only 40 percent of Catholics polled said “religious freedom,” while 50 percent said “women’s health and their rights” — an indication that Mr. Obama’s framing of the issue is holding sway even among many Catholics. The other big organizing principle for the Catholic bishops has been its opposition to marriage equality. Just last week, the bishops officially endorsed the "March for Marriage," organized by the hate group National Organization for Marriage, to protest outside of the Supreme Court on the day it hears oral arguments on California's Proposition 8. Once again, though, the Church is way out of step with its followers, with 62 percent favoring marriage equality—which is actually higher than the 53 percent of all Americans who now support it. But of course the leadership isn't listening to the laity, which might have something to do with why they don't really listen to the leadership. They don't even hold much reverence for the papacy anymore. Almost 80 percent said when it comes to "difficult moral questions," the[...]



Sorry, ladies, but fetus-worshippers would still like eggs to have more rights than you

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 18:34:12 +0000

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Nope, still not a person
In 2011, the fetus-worshipping cult known as Personhood USA tried to get Mississippians to vote on Amendment 26, which would have, through the miracle of modern anti-science, turned a fertilized egg into a full-grown person, with more rights and protections than the woman carrying it.

Fortunately for women, science and the dignity of the state of Mississippi, voters told the cultists to suck it, and the measure was defeated. Just like it was defeated in Colorado—twice. So of course the cultists are back to try again, as Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones reports:

On Tuesday, the group's Mississippi chapter announced that it is working to get personhood back on the ballot. The Associated Press reports that the group filed paperwork with the secretary of state's office on Tuesday in hopes of getting it on the 2015 ballot[.]
When these nuts can't even get their dream legislation passed in Mississippi, a state that is plenty hostile to women's reproductive rights, you'd think they might take the hint and realize it just ain't gonna happen. But these people are crazy and stupid, so lucky you, Mississippi, you might get your chance to tell them to suck it all over again.



Fox 'News' chief Roger Ailes says media sucks for not reporting the truth about 'lazy' Obama

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 17:57:49 +0000

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President Barack Obama, with his team, being lazy
It's been at least five minutes since we reported on something stupid from Fox "News," so for those of you needing a fix, please enjoy this little gem from the head of the asylum himself, Roger Ailes:
“Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life," Ailes reportedly told his spokesperson, Brian Lewis. "He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that.”
Ah yes. If there's anyone who can spot lazy from a mile away, it's the guy who runs the "news" channel that can't be bothered to figure out whether a politician in the middle of a scandal is a Republican or Democrat—so they just assume and stick a D by the name anyway. This would be the same "news" outfit that spent eight years fluffing President Dubya, the guy who was too lazy to cut short his brush-clearing vacation when he was warned of an imminent terrorist attack. And then continued to spend most of his presidency on vacation. Yes, let's definitely have the head of that institution of stellar judgment explain to us how "lazy" the president is because he sometimes plays a round of golf—like every other president before him has done. But, you know, while white. Which, at Fox "News," seems to make all the difference.



Republicans introduce new bill to protect their freedom to restrict yours

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 17:09:37 +0000

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Religious freedom means these guys should get to make your health care decisions for you
No one really believes religious freedom is under attack. No one thinks we must act NOW—right now!—before the anti-freedomists destroy America. In fact, countless polls have shown that Americans would rather Congress focus its attention on real issues, like, say, job creation or maybe that whole sequester thing or any of a number of problems that actually exist.

But that doesn't mean House Republicans intend to stop introducing pointless bills to protect horrible people from non-existent threats to their imaginary freedoms. Like the imaginary freedom to refuse to do your job if you think God thinks it's icky. (That's not actually in the Constitution. Trust me, I double-checked.)

So here is, yes, another ridiculous bill brought to you by some of the most prominent members of the ridiculous caucus: Tennessee Rep. Diane Black, who also recently introduced a bill to investigate Planned Parenthood just 'cause, and Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, M.D., who gets his news from The Onion. Head below the fold for the latest absurdity.




Arkansas Republicans to ban abortion some more. And some more. And some more ...

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 20:41:14 +0000

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Just found out you're pregnant?
It's already too late for you in Arkansas.
Did you know that absolutely everything in Arkansas is absolutely perfect? It's true! Legislators there have solved every single problem the state has, so, because they're dying of boredom and have nothing else to do, they're just going to sit around and ban abortion over and and over and over again.

Last week, the Republican-riddled state Senate voted to override the governor's veto on a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks, in blatant violation of Roe v. Wade. But hey, Arkansas Republicans have nothing better to do, so why not spend a ton of the state's money defending an unconstitutional bill in the courts, right?

Banning 20-week abortions—which are incredibly rare, since 88 percent of abortions take place during the first trimester—is so last week, though, so now, as Sarah Kliff reports:

The Arkansas legislature has the votes to override a governor’s veto, and become the first state to ban abortions after as early as 12 weeks of pregnancy. [...]

A 20-week ban would have little effect in Arkansas, a state where no such later-term abortions occurred in 2009. Bringing that ban forward to 12 weeks, however, would hugely increase the scope of abortion cases effected.

So now that they've wasted time banning non-existent abortions, they've decided to enact legislation that is still just as unconstitutional, but will actually have an impact—a bad one—on the women of Arkansas who would like to exercise their right to obtain a legal medical procedure. And then next week, they can ban abortions at six weeks. And then they can ban abortions at six days. And then they can ban the word "abortion." And then ... well, you get the idea.



Midday open thread

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 20:10:09 +0000

Today's comic is Racial Entitlements by Matt Bors: How much should a 1.5 cent Tylenol cost an uninsured cancer patient? Secretary of State John Kerry is getting his diplomacy on: Secretary of State John Kerry looks to be scoring early points for diplomatic gift-giving with what we hear was a hit of a present to his counterpart, U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague, during a stop in London last week. Kerry presented Hague with a pair of fine tan Western-style leather boots purchased from Silver Creek Outfitters in Ketchum, Idaho. Veeeerrrrrrrry interesting: Twitchy is owned by right-wing darling Michelle Malkin. As we all know, Malkin is also a contributor to Fox News. Also, Fox News has seen a huge loss in ratings to (you guessed it) MSNBC over the past couple of months. I think of that and I can't help but wonder if Malkin went out and had her people create some fake twitter accounts, use them to spam for MSNBC shows and create a fake company just so she could help out one of her employers? Well, you can ask a bigot to apologize for being a bigot, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Sinead O'Connoring: An Italian priest burned a photo of the pope in a church during Sunday Mass. The act was done in protest of Pope Benedict’s resignation--not because of the scandals that plagued Benedict’s tenure. Please note: Batman is real. Here's a cool thing happening in response to 12/14: Team 26 is a group of 26 elite cyclists who will ride from Newtown, CT to Washington, DC beginning on March 9 and arriving on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol on March 12.  Along the way, we will stop in Ridgefield, CT, Frenchtown, NJ and Baltimore, MD.  Our goal: to bring Newtown's message to Washington in support of common sense gun legislation. —Greg Dworkin On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin points out the latest to fall into the trap of blaming Obama for not doing what he's done: Bill Keller of the NYT. Which just brings us back Greg's favorite Upton Sinclair observation that it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. We also talked a bit about Mark Sanford's comeback bid, and were reminded we ought to be talking about Elizabeth Colbert Busch. So we did! Next: the latest & greatest in Republican Crazy: the missing "original Thirteenth Amendment." Finally, more on corporate profits eating the economy. [...]



Iowa Republican wants to ban divorce so his granddaughter doesn't become a slut

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 19:02:38 +0000

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Iowa state Rep. Tedd Gassman, who is VERY interested
in his teen granddaughter's raging hormones.
(Note: Not a mugshot. That's just how he looks.)
Erm, uh, WHAT?!?!?
A bill making it harder for couples to divorce was approved by an Iowa state House subcommittee on Monday, with a supporter of the legislation arguing it is necessary to prevent young girls from being more "promiscuous."
State Rep. Tedd "I shit you not this is his real name" Gassman is one of the seven Republican sponsors of this bill who believes government has a vested interest in forcing married couples stay together—except in cases of "adultery, physical or sexual abuse, imprisonment or if one partner is missing for more than a year or the couple has lived apart for more than two years"—because "[i]f our families break up, so will this nation." Also, because it might make his granddaughter a slut:
Gassman also suggested that divorce can affect children's behavior, specifically that it can make teenage girls more likely to engage in sexual activity than children of parents who are not divorced.

Speaking about his granddaughter, whose parents recently divorced, Gassman said, "There's a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous? What are the possibilities of all these other things surrounding her life that a 16-year-old girl, with hormones raging, can get herself into?"

While we're all very sorry that Rep. Gassman's family is personally responsible for destroying America, it isn't clear how banning divorce would keep Gassman's granddaughter's raging hormones at bay. And she's no doubt very grateful that her hormones and her practically carved-in-stone hobag destiny are now part of the Iowa House record. Thanks, Grandpa!

But then, we all know when it comes to science, especially ladyparts science, Republicans tend to get a little confused.




Republicans have awesome new plan to avoid those awkward 'Todd Akin moments'

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 17:24:50 +0000

If only there were a way to fix the stupid If only Republicans could unlock the secret to not saying stupid shit about rape. Over and over again. For years and years. But gosh, it is just so tricky! How are you supposed to keep candidates from espousing the virtues and/or scientific impossibility of rape babies—especially when it's right there in the party platform? Oh, if only there were some way. They held the "Discussion on Successful Communication with Minorities and Women" at a slave plantation. Lady Republicans had their own panel about how they think the menfolk should maybe stop saying stupid shit about rape—and also something about putting "We Like Sex Too" on bumper stickers. Not clear how that's supposed to help. The Susan B. Anthony List, a faux feminist group devoted to stripping women of their reproductive rights because that is totally the point of feminism, has even discussed offering sensitivity training to Republican candidates to help them avoid getting tricked by the gotcha media into saying stupid shit about rape. And now the National Republican Senatorial Committee also has a plan: The goal? To avoid what’s become known in GOP circles as "Todd Akin moments." "The campaigns that jumped off message not only infected themselves, they infected all the rest of the campaigns," said Rob Collins, the new NRSC executive director, in his first extensive interview on the job. "So in this age of fractured but continuous, three-dimensional communication, we have to constantly plan for that and train for that and build for that." Ah. So the plan is to plan for candidates infecting themselves, and the entire party, with their own stupidity by expressing exactly what the Republican Party believes, puts in its platform, and wastes countless hours—on the taxpayers' dime—trying to enact through blatantly unconstitutional legislation. If only there were a vaccine for Republicanism—but then, Republicans would refuse to take it anyway, for fear that, according to Michele Bachmann's seven-foot doctor, it would cause instant retardation. But it's not as if the NRSC came up with this plan to plan out of thin air. These are professionals, after all! The committee's brain trust did a survey (ooh, fancy!) of the winners and losers of the last two election cycles and "discovered its party lacked talented communications professionals in the field able to capably run a campaign press operation that could handle such situations." Really? The Republican Party lacks people who are capable of communicating effectively? Ya don't say? But this Collins fellow really knows what he's talking about, because he used to work for House Majority Whip Eric Cantor, where he successfully helped Cantor achieve "his first major goal as whip — ensuring that every House Republican voted against the popular young president’s stimulus." Helping your party block popular legislation to try to save America's economy? Yeah, that's definitely something to be proud of. Collins also realizes Rep[...]



Chuck Grassley mad President 'this guy' won't work with Congress to do socialism to America

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 16:15:15 +0000

Assume Chuck Grassley nuts Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Twitter) is very mad that President Barack Obama wants to do socialism to America—and he won't even work with Congress to help make that happen. "You know, I served with this guy in the Senate and had a few interactions with him as president, and I don't understand him," Sen. Chuck Grassley told BuzzFeed in an interview, adding, "I think his policies are leading towards the Europeanization of our economy. But I don't know if that's coming because it's his over all goal and he really wants us to become more socialist, or just the cumulative effect of a policy here and a policy there. But he's sure heading in that direction." [...] "You'd think [because] he served in the Senate, it'd be different. But he evidently doesn't like to interact with members of Congress." Why does Obama hate America? I mean, Congress? I mean, besides the fact that when he tries to work with Congress, Republican leaders get 98 percent of what they want and still can't be bothered to return phone calls. And just just look at what the president's policies have already done to lead us toward Europeanization: More: Dow Jones industrial average surpasses all-time high - @AP — @BreakingNews via breakingnews.com Grassley has some other grievances too. Instead of begging Republicans to work with him on his evil agenda, the president has instead chosen to "fly around and waste a lot of time flying around," when he "could have put a few Republicans on the plane with him and negotiate with all those lost hours on that airplane." If this guy didn't hate Congress so much, he'd have Grassley jet around the country so they can negotiate, like civilized adults, just how socialistical the president's policies really are. Sheesh, Obama, how could you pass up an opportunity like that? Were the in-flight movies on Air Force One just too good to miss? Or maybe Grassley is a nutjob and should just stick to killing deer with his car. [...]



Republicans in disarray on just about everything—except screwing over America

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 22:50:27 +0000

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Today's Republican Party
Republicans don't even know who they are anymore. Should they attend sensitivity training to learn how to stop saying stupid things about minorities and women and rape—or just say "screw it" and figure out how to get better at rigging elections? Should they become more conservative or even more conservative than that? After the "shellshocking" results of the 2012 election, Republicans just don't know which way is up anymore and are having themselves a full-blown identity crisis.

That's why they know they have to hold the line on their one remaining principle— screwing over most of America to preserve tax cuts for the rich and the Pentagon's endless supply of blank checks:

Four months after Mr. Obama won a second term, the only issue that truly unites Republicans is a commitment to shrinking the federal government through spending cuts, low taxes and less regulation. To have compromised again and agreed to further increase taxes or roll back spending cuts would have left Republicans deeply split and, many of them say, at risk of losing the core of the party’s identity.

“If the voters can’t rely on us to stand up to the runaway train of entitlements and deficits and federal debt, what can they count on us for?” said David Kochel, a Republican consultant in Iowa. “We’re going to have disagreements on other issues. This is one we have to agree on.”

Okay. Sure. Go with that, Republicans. You may not know whether hating gay people should still define you as a party (it shouldn't), but at least sticking it to America is and will always remain a core Republican value.



Won't someone PLEASE think of the 'poor rich' people?

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 20:04:19 +0000

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It's really hard to be rich. Just ask these people.
This is why we can't have nice things:
The poor rich.
So begins this long, plaintive whine from Associated Press writer Stephen Ohlemacher, who uses lots of numbers and stuff to explain why Democrats (and lots of wealthy people and every economist who can use an abacus) are wrong for saying the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes:
For 2013, families with incomes in the top 20 percent of the nation will pay an average of 27.2 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a research organization based in Washington. The top 1 percent of households, those with incomes averaging $1.4 million, will pay an average of 35.5 percent.

Those tax rates, which include income, payroll, corporate and estate taxes, are among the highest since 1979.

The average family in the bottom 20 percent of households won't pay any federal taxes. Instead, many families in this group will get payments from the federal government by claiming more in credits than they owe in taxes, including payroll taxes. That will give them a negative tax rate.

Yes, pity the "poor rich," parting with a few dollars of their millions to pick up the slack for those bottom 20 percenters who are living at or below the poverty level. Bunch of moochers. It's just so unfair. It's practically abusive!
"My sense is that high-income people feel abused by being targeted always for more taxes," Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said. "You can understand why they feel that way."
Those poor, abused high-income people. Weep for them, people, for you—struggling to pay your rent, feed your children, manage your medical expenses without declaring bankruptcy, and, oh yes, pay your taxes—cannot imagine how hard it is to be them.



Republicans who didn't vote for Violence Against Women Act say they did anyway because why not?

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:29:23 +0000

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Let's say you're a Republican. (Sorry, I know there's no greater insult, but stick with me here.) So you're a Republican, and you've just voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act—which has always, in its two-decade history, enjoyed broad bipartisan support because, until your party was hijacked by the uber-wingnuts, combatting violence against women was considered uncontroversial and, you know, good. Despite your best efforts to exclude not-white, not-straight women from the bill, it finally passes anyway.

So what do you do? You just lie and say you voted for it anyway. Hey, Michele Bachmann, why don't you show us how it's done?

"Rep. Bachmann recognizes the importance of giving local law enforcement and nonprofit programs the resources they need to fight against domestic violence and sexual assault, which is why she supported the stronger House version of the Violence Against Women Act," said Bachmann spokesman Dan Kotman.
Well, no. The "stronger" House version of VAWA was the one that actually passed. The one that provided protection for all women. The one Bachmann voted against.

And she's not the only one who's trying to get credit for supporting a bill she voted against. Apparently, several of her colleagues in the House got the same genius idea. Just boast of supporting the amendment proposed by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the one that only covered some women, the one that was never going to get through the Senate, the one the president said he would not sign—and ignore those pesky "no" votes they cast when the House voted on the real bill. Who will know the difference, right?

Head below the fold for more Republicans patting themselves on the back for votes they didn't actually cast.




Mark Sanford is now willing to pay ... no, not for hiking the Appalachian Trail

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 17:27:30 +0000

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Mark Sanford, hardcore hiking enthusiast
Ah, who can ever forget Mark Sanford? Who would ever want to? Disgraced ex-governor of South Carolina; formerly potential Republican presidential candidate; staunch advocate for family values, who once called Bill Clinton a "rascal" for his extramarital activities; tragic victim of circumstance, who had the misfortune of falling madly in love with a curvy "erotic beauty" in Argentina who just happened to not be his wife; and inventor of the greatest euphemism of all time.

Sanford hasn't finished disgracing himself though. Oh no. He misses elected office, and with the special election this year to fill the House seat in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, well, that's practically like an engraved invitation from God himself, isn't it? So after confirming that his scorned ex-wife is not considering running against him just to exact further revenge—on top of the revenge memoir she wrote—Sanford had himself yet another gem of an idea:

So when Mark came to visit [his ex-wife], he arrived with a proposal.

“Since you’re not running, I want to know if you’ll run my campaign,” he said. “We could put the team back together.”

Jenny told him, in so many words, that wasn’t going to happen. Mark made one last appeal.

“I could pay you this time,” he said.

Sure, he humiliated his wife in front of the whole world and now plans to marry his mistress, but hey, how could Jenny turn down the opportunity to make a few bucks helping her ex restore his political career, right?

Actually, on second thought, she'll probably find a way.




Romneys give Fox 'News' interview to remind us why we're all glad they're not in the White House

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 16:15:08 +0000

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They still don't understand what the hell is wrong with you people
Thank whatever deity you pray to, or none at all, that these wretched people are nowhere near the White House.

In their first interview since the Great Shellshocking of 2012, Mitt and Ann allow Chris Wallace into one of their many homes so they can wax philosophical about the defeat everyone outside of their delusional bubble knew was coming, and Ann takes this opportunity to assure us that yes, she's still quite disappointed in you people for not seizing the great opportunity to let her husband regularly insult you from the Oval Office.

Wallace joins them in La Jolla, which is in California, which is, as Mitt informed us during the election, almost as much of a hellhole as Europe because taxes. Which is why he owns a beach front mansion there, of course. That would be the beach front mansion they're turning into a bigger beach front mansion, complete with car elevator, with the assistance of the private lobbyist they hired to fast-track their construction plans, like all totally normal average Americans do.

Yeah, don't you miss these people so much? If you do, head below the fold for lots of delusions, plus Ann's tear of sorrow for you people.




Abortion is just like the Holocaust, says death penalty lover, because he's a schmuck

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 21:00:08 +0000

In his keynote address to the Republican Party of Iowa's Celebrate Life event last month, Mike Huckabee—former governor of Arkansas, failed candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and now a host of his own talk show on Fox "News"—compared abortion to the Holocaust.

It's not remarkable that he did so; forced-birthers have long been fond of oh-so-casually comparing a legal medical procedure to the religious genocide of millions. In fact, there is absolutely nothing remarkable about his speech, filled with standard anti-choice bile and nonsense—which is precisely what makes it remarkable. This is the "pro-life" movement, and Huckabee, who has for far too long been given a pass by the media as one of the "nicer" conservatives because he delivers his hate with a jolly smile, is one of its most prominent leaders. If you want to understand just how twisted, how hateful, how blatantly wrong and downright evil this movement really is, you need look no further than Huckabee's speech. Just be sure to keep Huckabee's own words in mind:

I actually carried out the death penalty 16 times more than any governor in my state's history.

Now head below the fold for Huckabee's impassioned plea for "life."




Catholic bishops officially endorse gay hate orgy 'to stand in solidarity with people of good will'

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 21:21:49 +0000

Which part talks about hating people? Nothing says "love thy neighbor" like joining a big ol' hate orgy outside of the Supreme Court to protest equality. But on March 26, when the Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, bigots devoted to upholding the sanctity of Newt Gingrich's three marriages will convene to wave signs and shout things and cry a lot about how consenting adults loving each other makes them really sad. In February, the archbishop of Philadelphia announced his support for the "March for Marriage," and now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued its own endorsement: We are grateful for this opportunity to express support for the Marriage March and to encourage participation in this event. We realize that the march will occur during the solemn days of Holy Week, but we ask that you consider promoting this event in your diocese and parishes and encourage participation where possible. The march will be a significant opportunity to promote and defend marriage and the good of our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will. It also complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty that was approved last November[.] Yes, the steps of the Supreme Court will no doubt be swarming with "people of good will." You know, those people who think gays and lesbians should be specifically excluded from the Constitution so they can spend more time burning in everlasting hell because they think the Bible says so. Sure, it's the holiest week of the Catholic calendar, but hating gay people is just that important. Priorities, people! Here's a truly worthwhile priority: Help fight back against the agenda of hate by helping to make marriage equality a reality in Oregon. (Via) [...]



Women are fat because they don't do enough housework anymore. No, really, it's science!

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 19:42:26 +0000

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Women are fat and lazy. Science!
Because no intrepid reporter at the New York Times was able to track down Generic Successful Career WomanTM to share her personal anecdote of woe about how hard it is to find a man, in order to meet the newspaper of record's monthly lady-bashing quota, we get this:
One reason so many American women are overweight may be that we are vacuuming and doing laundry less often, according to a new study that, while scrupulously even-handed, is likely to stir controversy and emotions.
Well, of course telling women they've really packed on the pounds since they stopped doing the housework with that good old-fashioned 1950s vigor is going to stir emotions. Everyone knows how hysterical ladies get. Even though it's a fact, a scientific fact, from a study. A published study.
The study, published this month in PLoS One, is a follow-up to an influential 2011 report which used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine that, during the past 50 years, most American workers began sitting down on the job. Physical activity at work, such as walking or lifting, almost vanished, according to the data, with workers now spending most of their time seated before a computer or talking on the phone. Consequently, the authors found, the average American worker was burning almost 150 fewer calories daily at work than his or her employed parents had, a change that had materially contributed to the rise in obesity during the same time frame, especially among men, the authors concluded.
Right. So Americans have more desk jobs now and burn fewer calories, which is the same thing as women being fat because they don't do the laundry anymore because ... um ... because that's why. Head below the fold for more of this riveting "research."



Republicans suck because Obama is mean to them, says sore loser who is mean to everyone

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 18:33:57 +0000

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Totally not bitter
Okay, the interview with Mitt and Ann Romney, airing this weekend on Fox News Sunday, is promising to be the best Republican tragicomedy since Marco Rubio's Gulp Heard 'Round the World. Or that time Clint Eastwood lost a debate to an empty chair. Or ... well, take your pick.

Here's another fun sneak peak of Mitt's big comeback:

Romney criticized Obama for being caught off guard by the sequestration deadline and for "berating" Republicans during the budget debate.

"Well, no one can think that's been a success for the President. He didn't think the sequester would happen. It is happening," Romney said. "But to date, what we've seen is the President out campaigning to the American people, doing rallies around the country, flying around the country, and berating Republicans. And blaming and pointing. Now what does that do? That causes the Republicans to retrench and then put up a wall and fight back. It's a very natural human emotion."

Erm, uh, okay. The Republicans are again playing chicken with the president—and, oh yeah, the whole country—because Obama goes to rallies and says mean things about Republicans. Oh, the horror! It's not that Republicans want to see programs like, say, Meals on Wheels, get cut—it's just that mean ol' Obama has hurt their delicate little feelings, and deciding to screw over the whole country is simply a "natural human emotion." And if there's anyone who understands natural human emotions, it's definitely the guy who tried to connect with voters by insulting their local baked goods and telling "humorous" stories about that time his dad fired a bunch of people.

Oh, and going on TV to whine about how mean the guy who just kicked your ass in an election is doesn't make you look like a sore loser at all. Just ask John "still licking his wounds from four years ago" McCain.