The rightwing outrage machine fires up in reaction to University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam’s revelation that he is gay. As usual, Rush Limbaugh is especially stupid and panic stricken. These people get more and more ridiculous and clownish on a daily basis.
Wall Street Journal editor James Taranto believes that in cases of “‘sexual assault’ on campus” (note his scare quotes around ‘sexual assault,’ as if it’s some crazy made-up thing), both assailant and victim are equally to blame if the victim is drunk.
Ed Kilgore points out that supposedly “explosive new revelations” about Hillary Clinton are not explosive, new, nor revelations.
Don’t look now, but the Benghazi!!! hoax just died again.
A rightwing religious fanatic and anti-abortion terrorist is apparently also a child molester. Family values, everyone.
Immigration reform advocates announce they’re going to play hardball against the GOP for abandoning their cause. The Politico story warns that it may backfire — but that’s because it’s Politico and they like to pretend that everything is always equally bad for everyone. What it will really do is give Republican candidates plenty of opportunity to say incredibly racist things in public. And you just know a few of them will take the bait.
In a post-Breaking Bad world, HBO’s True Detective fits the “best drama on TV" bill. It also proves all the "end of the anti-hero" types wrong. Not politics, I know. But if you didn’t know about it, you’ll thank me for pointing you to it.
Finally, expect a big document dump next Wednesday, as “thousands of emails and other documents” from a probe into one of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s aides are released to the public. For the record, these aren’t documents from the current probe and Scooter walked on the last one; so I wouldn’t expect anything too earth-shattering. Still, there could be a few gold nuggets in there.
[cartoon via USA Today]
Stories to Watch: 2/10/14.
By throwing immigration reform aside, Republican may have blown the best chance they’ll get at taking over the Senate for a very long time.
On the flip side of that debate; newly-minted NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced his city will issue “identity papers” to undocumented people, allowing them to more fully engage in daily life. “To all of my fellow New Yorkers who are undocumented, I say: New York City is your home too, and we will not force ANY of our residents to live their lives in the shadows,” de Blasio said. Expect the usual bigoted nativist suspects to go absolutely apecrap over the news.
Rand Paul is endorsing his fellow Republican Kentuckian Mitch McConnell — although he’s not very good at explaining why.
A Michigan Second Amendment Hero shoots up a Grand Rapids McDonald’s because the staff didn’t get her order right. Two lessons present themselves here: 1.) this is another example of way too many people having guns in the United States, and 2.) minimum wage isn’t enough to put up with the sort of jackass customers fast food workers have to deal with. More money, fewer guns.
Also in tales of Second Amendent Heroism: celebrity NRA board member R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey (trust me, you’ll recognize him when you see him) tells an interviewer that bullied teens commit suicide because they’ve been “neutered” by society and when worse comes to worse, they should “resort to force” to deal with bullies. Did I mention that the interview took place with NRA News? Yeah, the guy’s practically instructing kids to grab a gun and do yourself one of them there school shootings if you’re bullied, because otherwise you’re a pansy. Where does the NRA find these celebrity lunatics?
The head of the company that created the West Virginia water crisis was invited to testify before congress, but was a no-show. “I find that extremely telling,” said WV Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. “Freedom Industries’ decision not to testify today compounds its gross misconduct, and is an absolute affront to every person impacted by its spill.” Can you imagine if Tony Hayward, BP’s CEO during the Deepwater Horizon spill, had been invited to testify before congress and said, “Yeah, screw that…” It’s like they’re begging to be subpoenaed. The arrogance is flabbergasting.
Hey, remember Gary James, the Oklahoma restaurant owner who refuses to serve minorities, the disabled, and members of the LGBT community? Yeah, people are going on Yelp to get his place labeled the “Best Gay Bar” in Oklahoma City. “Gary doesn’t serve tube steak,” writes one reviewer. “He asks for yours when you walk in the door. But don’t ask to use his backdoor, he saves that for minorities.”
Finally, Boehner still wants a ransom in return for raising the debt ceiling and not creating a massive — and totally needless — financial crisis. The problem is, he has absolutely no idea what exactly it is he wants — he just wants something.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Stories to Watch: 2/6/14.
Got sidetracked with what I thought would be a minor project today, so this one may be short. As always, hover your cursor over the links to preview the headlines.
That toxic coal ash spill in North Carolina is very, very bad. This has not been a good few weeks for the coal industry and drinking water. Here’s one reason why.
An Oklahoman plan to fight the rising tide of marriage equality is exploring brand new kinds of stupid.
No one will ever accuse Bill O’Reilly of being too humble. He’s totally sure his Super Bowl Sunday interview with Barack Obama “is going to go down in journalistic history as what should be done.”
Greg Sargent looks at a Gallup poll that shows that only 19% of respondents have been adversely affected by Obamacare and finds something hinky: the people who say Obamacare is screwing them over are — by a very wide margin — most likely to self identify as conservative. So it seems likely that this small percentage is even smaller, because Republican voters aren’t being too awfully honest.
Headlines it really makes you sick to see: “Calif. school sorry for honoring Black History Month with watermelon and fried chicken.” I’m speechless.
Once again, Republicans block renewal of jobless benefits. Anyone who doesn’t think these guys aren’t actively trying to hurt the economy just plain hasn’t been paying attention.
Finally, ahead of the Sochi Olympics, Russian authorities organize the most hilariously appalling press conference ever. It’s at this point that I’d like to point out that the games could’ve been held in Chicago — and that conservatives rooted against America on that one. They haven’t stopped cheering against the US since. Patriots my ass.
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Stories to Watch: 2/5/14.
The bilingual girls who sang America the Beautiful in a Super Bowl ad for Coke explain the meaning of the ad — and in the process, demonstrate that they’re much better people than the psychos in full melt-down over it.
Cities are taking the lead in fighting climate change, because nations are really dropping the ball.
Florida’s idiotic and cowardly “stand your ground” law is basically just open season on kids.
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf confirms that GOP talking points about his office’s Obamacare report are way wide of the truth. The Affordable Care Act will not cost American jobs, but instead it “spurs employment and would reduce unemployment over the next few years.” The exact freakin’ opposite of what Republicans have been saying. Told ya so.
And it wasn’t just Republicans: most of the media completely botched the CBO report story. They all got it so wrong that it should be a scandal. It won’t be though, because scandals become scandals when the media reports them. “This is easy stuff,” says Kevin Drum. “How is that so many folks blew it? Obviously Fox News deliberately wanted to put the worst spin possible on this report. But why did everyone else go along? What’s the deal here?” I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for an answer.
The outrage over a Utah school taking lunches away from kids because their parents had a negative balance on their school lunch accounts raising an interesting question; why aren’t we just as freaked out that kids and their families are going hungry at home?
Republicans say that immigration reform is really and truly dead. At least, dead until 2015, when they swear they’re going to bring it up again. Then they’ll say they can’t agree on anything and declare it dead until 2016. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Finally, a Texas teen who used an “affluenza” defense — a phony psychological condition where being a rich kid supposedly makes it so you just can’t help but be a selfish asshole — in a drunk driving case gets off again with only one year probation and a turn through a posh rehab center. Prosecutors had pursued a 20 year sentece for two injured victims. He had previously dodged jail time in the same incident for the deaths of four. Justice in America, ladies and gentlemen. If you’ve got the money, you’re pretty much literally above the law. And when we complain about it, we’re told we’re engaging in “class warfare.”
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Stories to Watch: 2/3/14.
Noted Science Guy Bill Nye is debating creationist cultist Ken Ham tonight on whether evolutionary biology — an applied science — is correct in explaining speciation or whether, as Ham believes, the early days of man were practically identical to an episode of The Flintsones. Some worry that debating nuts like Ham gives them credibility, but the fact is that not engaging them leaves them free to spread their horseshit unchecked and unchallenged. No one expects Nye to convert Ham to the acceptance of reality and no one expects Ham’s followers to be convinced either. But the fact is there are people out there yet to be persuaded either way. And if we abandon those minds to charlatans, faith-healers, and snake oil salesmen, then we risk the further rise of right wing anti-science and a further retreat to a society that believes in things like sorcery and exorcism, instead of science and medicine. Ask any climate scientist: these clowns have fucked up enough people’s heads already — and it’s causing real damage. Thinking you’re above the fray is a invitation to disaster.
Nye said it best himself: “I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that’s completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it. Because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems.”
We need to save kids from their own parents and if we appeal to their natural curiosity, we can. The future depends on it.
The harsh brutality of being gay in Russia.
Related: AT&T calls on other Olympic sponsors to condemn Russia’s human rights abuses of their LGBT community. I’d rather that they not actually be an Olympic sponsor at all, but this is better than nothing.
A Montana GOP congressional candidate thinks Hillary Clinton is the antichrist, because obviously. Ryan Zinke’s campaign finances also seem a little hinky, which is also par for the Republican course.
The state of West Virginia is now a crime scene — finally.
A new poll finds that a majority of Americans back limits on carbon emissions and a huge number think we should be investing more in green energy and renewables.
Republicans have pretty much killed their effort at immigration reform — if you can call it an effort. It was more of a case of handing it over to the Tea Party, so they could take it out back and shoot it.
Finally, House Republican’s latest debt limit hostage scenario is starting to look a lot like grandstanding political theater. He’s got the gun, but Boehner’s telling everyone that he’d never pull the trigger.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Stories to Watch: 1/30/14.
The Wall Street Journal doubles down and says the outrage over a whiny, offensive, and Godwin-violating op-ed by billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins only proves his point that the 1% are about to get Holocausted by Occupy Wall Street Nazis.
Related: when it comes to the amount spent on people’s retirement, most of your share of the taxes paying for it goes to the already stupid-rich.
Further related: talk radio chunkhead and investment adviser Peter Schiff got into some hot water for suggesting in a Daily Show segment that maybe we should only pay people with cognitive disabilities two bucks an hour. So he tries to take the heat off by saying he was totally right, so shut up. Yup, figuring out why people hate Wall Street types is a real Scoody-Doo mystery.
California’s Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman — AKA “the mustache of justice” — says he will not seek reelection and is retiring at the end of the year. In 40 years as a house member, he’s done a lot of good. The seat is likely to remain Democratic.
Related: women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke says she’s “strongly considering" a run at Waxman’s CA-33. This is the woman who nearly sank Rush Limbaugh. And if there’s one thing wingnuts do, it’s hold a grudge. If she does run, they won’t be able to help themselves from yelling "SLUT!!" at every opportunity — while the GOP tries to deny they’ve got a thing against women. You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see how that would work out for them. Plus, she’d make a fine rep. #RunSandraRun.
Here’s a shock: an Obamascare horror story mentioned in the official GOP SOTU response was bullshit.
House GOP put out their immigration “principles,” but still no bill for immigration reform. Still, it’s more than there was yesterday. Greg Sargent has the skinny.
Finally, Democrats will target Republican secretaries of state in the 2016 elections, in order to combat GOP voter suppression efforts.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
The GOP is already working on a way to cave on the debt ceiling. Right now, the puzzle seems to be how to cave without sending the base into a panic. Frankly, I could care less whether they can pull that one off or not. I’m not going to lose a lot of sleep worrying whether Republicans can avoid stepping on their own landmines. Serves them right for laying them in the first place.
Is GOP Rep. Michael Grimm — the guy who threatened to beat up a reporter last night after the SOTU — abusing steroids?
Republican leadership is none too pleased with Rand Paul’s response to the State of the Union last night. According the HuffPo’s Jon Ward, “A Republican leadership aide, speaking without authorization, said that leadership offices were in fact ‘unhappy’ with Paul for ‘such a blatant, self-promoting move’ that lent itself easily to stories that the party remains divided.”
Rising ocean levels force Fijian villagers to relocate — see, because global warming, melting ice caps, and swelling seas are just a big hoax and all.
Former Bush speechwriter and current rightwing hack Marc Thiessen accuses Pres. Obama of plagiarizing his 2014 SOTU address from Dubya’s 2007 address. Saying the words seemed “eerily familiar,” he told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that Obama lifted whole passages from Bush. The problem? It’s all bullshit. “A quick text compare shows that no lines were directly lifted from Bush’s 2007 speech in the one Obama gave on Tuesday,” the report tells us.What Thiessen’s complaining about is that Obama spoke with the same vague optimism as Bush — and every president who ever gave a speech anywhere — used. Thiessen’s hackishness has no bottom.
The new frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination: Mike Huckabee. After his bizarre comments about women’s libidos and contraception, liberals and the media piled on Huckabee. And there’s nothing the wingnut base loves more than a victim, unless it’s a troll. By offending women everywhere and then getting beat up because of it, the former Arkansas governor qualifies as both.
Paul Ryan spells out a possible Republican version of immigration reform that does not include a path to citizenship — but doesn’t rule out citizenship, either. Greg Sargent explains how this proposal demonstrates the pickle the GOP finds themselves in on the issue.
The House passes a farm bill with $8 billion in cuts to food assistance. This very bad idea is expected to pass the Senate easily and be signed by the President.
Fox’s Neil Cavuto speaks conservative heresy by criticizing the Republican response to the State of the Union. “[Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers] did a horrible job,” Cavuto told guest Rick Santorum. “She did a horrible job, you know it. And she’s a wonderful person, but it was horrible.”
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is in a lot of hot water over his state’s terrible response to a winter storm that basically shut the place down. Seriously, it was bad. Thousands of people — including kids in school buses — were trapped on icy roadways overnight, because Deal simply did not take the threat at all seriously. When your state is the home to both CNN and the Weather Channel, it’s a good idea to deal with bad weather competently. Otherwise, you’re guaranteed hour after hour after hour of bad press. On more levels than one, Deal is getting criticism he both deserves and invited.
Finally, Michele Bachmann is a ridiculous clown. You probably already knew that, but it pays to remind everyone from time to time.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Stories to Watch: 1/28/14.
House Republicans waste everyone’s time with a doomed bill that would make health insurance coverage of abortion all but illegal. Every7thing about this points to just how useless the Republican Party has become in Washington; not only is it going absolutely nowhere — making it an exercise in futility — but it also puts a stake in the heart of the notion that Republicans are against pointless and burdensome regulation of private commerce. It’s like they found a new way to twiddle their thumbs that somehow also incorporates hypocrisy.
Exhibit A of Republicans’ uselessness, in the form of a headline for a story about GOP Sen. Roy Blunt: “Senator Expresses Outrage That The Government Has Taken Over Government Contracting.” No, seriously.
Exhibit B: 24 House Republicans voted to deny climate change today. Tomorrow, they’ll probably vote aginst the existence of fractions, because they make math too hard to do.
According to one influential conservative activist, Beyoncé is possessed by a “demonic spirit.” Again I have to point out that this was a totally serious argument and is not something from The Onion.
Meanwhile, Glenn Beck says that Katy Perry is practicing witchcraft and “demonic glorification.” I swear I’m not making any of this up.
Louie Gohmert said something stupid again. This one’s got to be in his top ten dumbest.
Rand Paul continues his desperate and doomed quest to get us to hate Bill Clinton, instead of Mike Huckabee and the Republican War on Women.
Democrats plan a new push to extend jobless benefits, no doubt following up on a call the President’s sure to make at the State of the Union tonight.
Finally, a massive, shocking, and sickening rape scandal hits the Alabama Department of Corrections.
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Fox’s Greta Van Susteren realizes that conservative blowhard/Twitter troll Erick Erickson is “a real jerk and is really lousy at being a spokesperson for his views.” You don’t say? ErickErick is a prime example of my working theory that a lot of people become conservatives because it provides them with an excuse to be an asshole. However, that he’s a sexist fool just means he’s a Republican male.
One thing bothers me about Rep. Trey Radel’s resignation today. I think he was probably forced out by the party. And that bothers me — not a lot, just a bit. I’m not going to lose any sleep over seeing him go. He’s a hypocrite. But Radel’s district is so red that he’d have been a shoe-in for reelection regardless of his drug abuse scandal — and the party threw him overboard anyway. I mean, it’s just a misdemeanor; it’s not a major crime. This does not say good things about the GOP’s understanding of addiction or their belief in the possibility of recovery. Just one more way the party is intolerant, I guess.
Contrary to the claims of Republicans and rightwing media, Obamacare hasn’t become a factor in companies’ hiring decisions.
Same-sex weddings on the teevee? America is doomed… DOOMED!
The NSA and “Angry Birds”? Turns out, that’s really a thing.
A new CNN poll gives Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a “slight edge" over his Democratic rival Mary Burke. The breakdown is 47% Waler to 41% Burke, The fact that he can’t crack a majority against a relative unknown does not forecast an easy reelection for Gov. Scooter.
Finally, Republicans come up with a “replacement” for Obamacare — long after it’s become clear that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. Not surprisingly, the GOP alternative sucks.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]