Stories to Watch: 5/5/13.
Keystone Sporting Arms, the firearms manufacturer behind the accidental killing of a two year-old girl by her five year-old brother, shuts down their “kids’ corner” on the web.
Ed Kilgore is right to point out that a proposed armed march on Washington by gun nuts may be billed as nonviolent, but that the argument behind it — that the Second Amendment is a tyrant-hunting license —is most definitely a threat of violence. “Do what we say or we’ll kill you” isn’t the argument of a patriot, it’s the bullying of a terrorist. And it sure as hell has jack all to do with freedom.
Related: an Ohio man used his God-given AK-47 to protect himself from Government Tyranny and wound up like all such Second Amendment heroes — shot dead by police for being a dangerous criminal with a firearm. James Gilkerson fired 37 rounds into a squad car during a routine traffic stop, causing “relatively minor injuries” to the two officers who managed to gun him down. In his car, investigators found eight 40-round magazines, and rightwing “militia and terrorist related literature.” Today’s Responsible Gun Owner.
Republicans are freaking out so hard over Benghazi that they aren’t realizing that 1) no one cares and 2) their arguments for why anyone should care no longer make any sense.
Red state dems up for reelection run to Obama’s left on Social Security by rejecting chained CPI.
Mediaite reports that a “vast majority of national advertisers now refuse to air their ads during Rush Limbaugh’s show.” It seems that his “slut” slander of Sandra Fluke is a little harder to ride out than Rush had at first assumed.
Republicans still can’t stop saying stupid shit about rape. It’s like some specialized kind of Tourrette’s that only anti-choice nutjobs get.
The Pentagon and the White House are unconvinced that Syrian rebels used sarin gas. They don’t give any evidence why they think so, other than to say they had no evidence that the rebels had chemical weapons in the first place. I’m sorry, but that reasoning smells like sophistry.
Finally, an actual headline: “Air Force sexual assault prevention officer arrested for fondling woman.” I’m at a loss for words.
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Stories to Watch: 5/3/13.
Republicans sure do love their pointless and unconstitutional gun laws, don’t they? In this episode, KS Gov. Sam Brownback defends a state law exempting guns made in Kansas from federal gun laws. Things is, Kansas doesn’t get to write exceptions to federal law. This thing is dead the moment it hits a court. It’s just a political stunt and a waste of everyone’s time.
Francine Wheeler, whose six year-old son Ben was killed in the Sandy Hook Massacre, tells Bill Moyers, “Our hearts are broken, our spirit is not.” It’s over when we win.
Rush transcript of speakers from the NRA’s big convention so far: “We’re victims! Pity us! WAAAAH!” You’d think they were the ones getting shot and killed all over America, instead of just rolling through with their tinted limo windows rolled up, counting blood money.
Also, the NRA has apparently decided that too few children are being shot these days.
The Kermit Gosnell abortion/murder case may not be as cut and dried as the right would like you to believe. Jurors are in their fourth day of deliberations. Clearly, at least one of the charges is not at all a slam dunk.
Rush Limbaugh has the sads because people who talk about tolerance won’t tolerate his intolerance and are, therefore, intolerant themselves. I’d try to rearrange that sentence so it made a little more sense, but unfortunately it can’t be done. It’s complete nonsense. It’s the biggest stretch in reaching for the victim card I’ve seen this week.
Steve Benen calls the relentless search for some sort of scandal in Benghazi the “Republicans’ white whale.” You’d think they get tired of freaking out, then looking around and seeing that everyone else has moved on and no one cares. They keep insisting there’s some sort of scandal there, but they never seem to come up with one. It’s actually a little pathetic.
Here’s a surprise: Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is a terrible person, as well as a liar.
Finally, a California rising star Republican op has spent years pretending to be a Jewish Holocaust expert named David Stein. In reality, he is very much the opposite — David Cole, a once-notorious anti-Semite and holocaust denier who used to troll daytime talk shows back in the ’90s. Does anyone in the GOP check resumes and references?
[cartoon via US News]
Stories to Watch: 5/2/13.
(As always, hover your cursor over the links to view the headlines. )
A guy walked into Bush International Airport in Houston today, fired an AR-15 seemingly at random, then shot himself dead before he could be arrested. This is something we’re all supposed to be fine with, because doing nothing about things like this is supposedly the absolute best America can do when it comes to gun violence. Nothing to see here, move along. Please refer to your official NRA talking points.
The President promises to revisit gun regulation.
Related:new polling shows two red state dems, Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan, seeing their poll numbers rise after voting for expanding background checks, while Democratic Alaska Senator Mark Begich saw his numbers drop after voting no. Clearly, there’s not a lot of risk in casting the pro-check vote here, since even conservative voters support strengthening enforcement. But there is a cost in voting no. If the vote comes up again, the soft-on-crime gun lobby can expect a few defectors.
The “most racist commercial in history,” brought to you courtesy of Mountain Dew. Naturally, the whole thing is liberals’ fault.
A Quinnipiac poll finds that 2016 looks good for Hillary Clinton. If she decides not to run, then things look good for Joe Biden.
While we’re on the subject of VP Joe, he endorsed home rule for DC today, saying “there should be two senators from the state of D.C.” There’s a little grammatical error there, but it’s hard to argue with the sentiment. After all, aren’t we supposed to be opposed to taxation without representation?
There seems to be a sea change going on when it comes to “too big to fail.”
Rhode Island becomes the latest state to fall to the Homosexual Menace. America is clearly doomed. If any of you religious conservative types want to get while the getting’s good, I’d start packing. Also, no way the Rhode Island-centered Family Guy isn’t going to do an episode about this. Seriously rgihtwing Christians, run. You can’t vamoose quickly enough.
Finally, the white supremacist White Students Union (you remember them) attended a May Day Workers’ rally. It did not go well.
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Stories to Watch: 5/1/13.
Alabama passes a bill making all federal firearms regulations illegal in the state — even the ones about keeping guns out the hands of criminals. The hilarious part is that it’s being put across like it’s some defense of the Constitution. It is, in fact, itself unconstitutional because of the Supremacy Clause. What would the Republican Party be without all the jawdropping hypocrisy?
Cold: the RNC releases an ad that “uses a black and white photo of the president reaching to embrace the mother of a Sandy Hook shooting victim” to mock him for failing to get legislation around Republican obstructionism. Wow, that is dickish. If there was some sort of Oscar award for Shameless Assholery, it would be a shoe-in. “HAHA! We tore your heart out and stomped on it, Sandy Hook Mom! In your face, Obama-lover!”
It’s a convergence of self-destructive Republican obstinance: immigration reform may fail because the bill is getting too gay-friendly. If they could only figure out how to piss off blacks and women on this, it’d be a perfect example of why the GOP is having a demographic crisis. As it is, it’s just nearly perfect.
A new Time/CNN poll finds that a significant majority (61%) are more concerned with civil liberties than with terrorism following the Boston bomb attack. Only 31% “say they are more concerned about the government failing to enact strong new anti-terrorism policies.” Looks like America’s learned something from the Bush years after all. Somewhere, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte are feeling pretty down. The prospects of exploiting this one to promote another round of neocon stupidity look pretty dim.
In less fun polling, 44% of Republicans believe that “in the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” Needless to say, this is way out of whack with the mainstream. The GOP slides closer and closer to open terrorism and anti-Americanism.
In news that will come as a shock only to very stupid or ignorant people, the fed says that austerity is “restraining economic growth.”
Ted Cruz may be considering humiliating himself with a 2016 presidential run. The guy even looks like McCarthy. It’d be a rout.
The White House says the president hasn’t given up on closing Gitmo, but acknowledge that with GOP obstructionism, there’s not a lot they can do.
Stories to Watch: 4/29/13.
Hindsight is 20/20; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor thinks maybe that the Supreme Court shouldn’t have taken up Bush v. Gore. If the court — which O’Connor served on at the time — hadn’t have stepped in, we might never have had a Pres. Bush II. So yeah, maybe that wasn’t such a terribly good idea.
Joe Biden supports releasing a Senate report on Bush era torture.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz really is a complete dickweed. He seems to be busy making enemies of everybody. And so the GOP Civil War broadens yet again.
So far, the Republican plan to take hostages in the coming debt ceiling fight makes no sense at all. They seem to want tax reform without raising revenues, which means they’ll be demanding that Democrats give in on a plan that will lead to bigger deficits. I guess because that’s fiscal responsibility.
The world is on pace to reach an atmospheric CO2 level of 400 parts per million “in the next few days.” This is a drastically unsustainable number. “The 400ppm threshold is a sobering milestone, and should serve as a wake up call for all of us to support clean energy technology and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, before it’s too late for our children and grandchildren,” said Tim Lueker, an oceanographer and carbon cycle researcher with Scripps CO2 Group.
Members of the American Academy of Pediatrics will head for the capitol tomorrow to urge lawmakers to do something to keep kids safe from gun violence.
Sen. James Inhofe promotes a popular wingnut conspiracy theory.
Ron Paul joins the rest of the lunatic right in trying to exploit the Boston bombings for political advantage.
Austerity is literally killing people. When your economic policy isn’t working and you still insist on “staying the course,” you’re just an idiot. When it has a death toll and you don’t want to change, you’re a monster. Economic policies should not have body counts.
Finally, Republicans aren’t going to get anywhere with minority voters by lying about their racist, segregationist past. It doesn’t matter how often they tell the lie. The oppressed remember their pasts much more vividly than the oppressor, who has incentive to forget. You can get white Republicans to believe it, because they haven’t been told over and over and over in family histories how things used to be and how it compares with how things still are. But you can’t fool black voters, because they know those stories too well.
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Stories to Watch: 4/25/13.
Barbara Bush has a terrible habit of saying the exact wrong thing. You’d think the family would know when to chase her away from microphones.
Also not helping; rightwing radio shriekers, according to GOP messaging guru Frank Luntz.
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly “reveals” that a judge “may have prematurely stopped” the investigation into confessed bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. As bullshit goes, this is the obvious kind. First, what part of “he confessed” is such an impenetrable mystery here? Likewise, we know his brother was his partner in crime and that the two acted alone. What was left to investigate? What is it, exactly, that we don’t know?
Needless to say, the rightwing blogosphere is going absolutely crazy with Kelly’s story, because they seem to have a sort of mad glee for buying ridiculous bullshit. Unfortunately, Republican House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers seems ready to waste everyone’s time with this crap too.
Defense Secretary Hagel says the intelligence community believes Syria used chemical weapons against rebels. The evidence seems to come from Syrian blood samples which show positive for traces of the nerve agent sarin. This is all very bad news, because it could make war likely. Seriously.
Mark Sanford’s campaign is in a tailspin and his panic is not helping. Now he’s published the phone numbers of people who have called him in response to a Democratic ad. Not sure how this is helping him overcome his stalker trouble, since it shows a complete lack of respect for voters’ privacy.
John McCain says that immigration reform is dead on arrival unless it includes a path to citizenship. Greg Sargent explains how this screws House Republicans.
The Koch brothers get incoherent on the sequester cuts and federal spending.
Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity stands up to its toughest test yet, as light from a white dwarf was shown to be bent by the force of gravity. However, it’s still just an unproven theory — like evolution or global warming — so it would be silly to assume that things like nuclear reactors actually work. Because, as any rightwing super-scientist will tell you, “theory” is just a synonym for “wild guess that is wrong.”
Newest twist in the GOP Civil War: rightwing nutjobs are accusing rightwing nutjobs of having ties to the Boston bombings.
Finally, Marco Rubio wonders if maybe we shouldn’t stop issuing student visas to kids from “Muslim nations” — because of a terrorist bombing committed by two people who didn’t need student visas. You know that Kipling thing about keeping your head when all around you are losing theirs? Yeah, he wouldn’t have applied that to Republicans. They’re always the first to fly off into a mad, irrational panic. You will never hear a Republican call upon the nation’s courage. All they do is appeal to cowardice and pander to bigots .
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Stories to Watch: 4/23/13.
A Pew poll finds that most Americans expect “occasional acts of terrorism” — with remarkably little partisan difference in opinion on the subject. Ed Kilgore looks at the numbers and finds no evidence of public panic over terrorism, which takes the wind out of Republicans’ fearmongering sails.
Here’s hoping Ed’s right, because Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte think that the answer to domestic terrorism is to invade America. Don’t think I’m kidding.
It begins: a Republican state Rep. from New Hampshire says the Boston Marathon bombing was carried out by the government. Coincidentally, Tamerlan Tsarnaev himself was also an aficionado of conspiracy theories — including those of gun nut and conspiracy crank Alex Jones, presently a hero of the right. Not surprisingly, Jones says that this revelation is in itself a conspiracy to make him look bad.
The open seat left by retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is looking a bit safer for Democrats. Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she won’t seek the seat and according to the report, this “leaves the GOP still struggling to find a candidate to enter the hotly competitive race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who declared in early February he’d seek Harkin’s seat.”
During a vote to begin the process of repealing Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage, a Democratic lawmaker came out of the closet. The measure passed.
Related: the Delaware House passes marriage equality.
Related again: there is no Republican state Senator in Rhode Island who opposes marriage equality.
Novelist Stephen King makes “a substantial donation” to a Maine gun control group. Here’s hoping other wealthy liberals nationwide likewise step up to the plate.
Researchers say preventing gunshots wounds in kids should be a priority, since children are less likely than adults to survive such injuries. Needless to say, this idea won’t go far with Republicans, whose concern with protecting children from firearms was so recently proven to be almost nonexistent. Walk it off and quit whining, kid. Do it for freedom.
Save us. CNN reportedly talking with former Obama spokesperson Stephanie Cutter and former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to host a resurrected version of Crossfire, their once-canceled and always pointless shouting match of a non-show. Please, someone save us.
Finally, Tulsa Police Capt. Paul Fields is one shitty cop.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Stories to Watch: 4/22/13.
Newtown families would very much like to know why soft-on-crime Senators care more about gun manufacturers’ profits than their children’s lives.
The suspects in the Boston bombings most likely got their guns through the very background check loophole the Senate minority obstructionists refused to close — just as Al Qaeda advises domestic terrorists to do. They had a huge cache of weapons and were likely prepared to carry out some sort of personal war.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona wrote to the mother of a man killed in the Aurora theater shooting that “strengthening background checks is something we agree on.” He then voted against expanded background checks — mostly because he’s a worthless, dishonest waste of space.
It was Chuck v. Chuck today as Sens. Charles Schumer and Charles Grassley went at it over immigration reform. Schumer called out Grassley for exploiting the Boston bombing to advance his anti-immigration agenda and Grassley didn’t like that. The problem is, Schumer’s right. What legal immigrants and a naturalized citizen have to do with undocumented people is a complete mystery to everyone other than anti-immigrant opportunists. Grassley’s pimping tragedy here and it is damned ugly and shameful. He and others like him deserve all the scorn anyone wants to heap on them.
Reddit is very sorry for putting out crazy-assed BS during the Boston bombing crisis. It’s more than we’re getting from the New York Post.
Tsarnaev gets read his rights.
Republicans are horrified to learn that sequestration actually cuts spending.
Mark Sanford’s congressional campaign is looking pretty over.
Conor Friedersdorf reminds us that the “War on Terror hawks” have yet to be right about anything. Yet they’re demanding we let them take the lead post-Boston.
Finally, CNN’s constant race to an “EXCLUSIVE!” label on their stories is killing them.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Stories to Watch: 4/18/13.
Just a reminder, to read the headlines to these stories, hover your cursor over the links.
Gawker practices the same brand of “journalism” on New York Post editor Col Allan as the Post has been practicing in coverage of the Boston bombings. It is beautiful and it is brutal. Sample: “We would not say that [the Post’s editor is incompetent], any more than we would say that Col Allan fucks pigs. He is from Australia; if he were to engage in bestiality, it’s much more likely that it would be with sheep. But we are not saying Col Allan fucks sheep, either. It could be that Col Allan fucks pigs or sheep. We do not know. It would be irresponsible to speculate.”
When you consider the Post’s and other’s records here and you look at rightwing blogs, you really have to conclude that wingnuts are endlessly gullible fools. But what’s most disturbing is the racist glee they display in rushing to each BS report of a scary brown terr’ist.
Meanwhile, the FBI releases photos of the actual suspects.
A white Boston man assaults two women in hijabs. According to one of the women, the man shouted, “‘Fuck you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! Fuck you!” The women had their children with them.
Remember how I said the right was going slip up and start being dicks to survivors of gun violence? It begins.
When the West Fertilizer Company blew up last night in a horrific and deadly explosion, it took the myth of over-regulated industry along with it. The company was fined for unsafe transport of hazardous materials just last year. The penalty for mislabeling cargo tanks and failing to have any plan to deal with the large quantities of anhydrous ammonia they dealt with? Just over five grand. Chump change.
Michele Bachmann’s ethics problems heat up.
As predicted, Twitter launches a music discovery service.
Finally, Maine’s Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage is a very stupid man.
[cartoon via US News]
Stories to Watch: 4/17/13.
I did not have a good day. First, CNN steered me wrong and then I misunderstood a vote cast by Harry Reid. Apologies all around. For my part, I’ve decided not to try to decipher the meaning in Senate votes, since the process is far too arcane, counterintuitive, and just plain crazy for me. CNN, however, is going to have to figure out how to clean up their own mess.
Everyone’s saying that the failure to overcome a filibuster and pass background check legislation is a loss for Pres. Obama. The bill had better than 90% support among voters. Come the midterms, we’ll see what was a loss for whom. For his part, the President says the fight is not over (he sounds pretty pissed off). He is so right — it’s over when we win.
Brian Beutler explains how today’s filibuster was very different from your run-of-the-mill obstructionism.
National Journal wonders, “Can Crowd-Sourcing Catch the Boston Marathon Bomber?” Turns out the answer to that is simple: no.
American Muslims worry about racial profiling and hate crimes after the Boston bombing.
Louie Gohmert said something stupid again.
Nate Silver says Anthony Weiner is a “long shot” in the NYC mayoral race.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is what is commonly known as “your basic crap deal.” It’ll create a whopping 35 permanent jobs, while being a monster polluter. In other words, it fails any cost-benefit analysis spectacularly.
Huffington Post runs a banner shaming Democrats who voted against today’s background check legislation. Dave Weigel finds this perplexing. Even if all these dems had switched, the vote still would’ve failed by one and Republicans are far more responsible for the loss than the four Democrat turncoats, so what gives? The answer is simple. You don’t try to shame Republicans because you can’t shame the shameless. Republicans you scare. They’re all about self-interest. It’s that whole Ayn Rand thing they’re all hopped up about.
Finally, does Nancy Reagan support marriage equality?
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]