Stories to Watch: 4/15/14.
Republicans are clawing their own eyes out in fake outrage over news that the Obama administration is adjusting census healthcare tracking. “They’[re trying to cover up what a trainwreck Obamacare has become!!!” the right is shrieking with ear-piercing hysteria. Sarah Kliff points out a big, big problem with this argument: “What’s being missed here is that the Obama administration will use the new survey questions to collect data for 2013, the year prior to Obamacare’s health insurance expansion,” she writes. In other words, the Republican Outrage of the Day is the same as what every other Republican Outrage of the Day — carefully packaged horseshit.
If Republicans were really interested in convincing people there is no War on Women, they’d actually wage war on women like Phyllis Schlafly, who inexplicably seems to despise her own gender.
The situation in Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating.
Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho tells an African-American constituent that he’s not “100 percent” sure the Civil Rights Act is constitutional. I’m not 100 percent sure Ted Yoho has a functional frontal lobe.
This one’s sure to generate an avalanche of victim cards: following an antisemitic mass shooting in Kansas, CNN crunches the numbers and finds that rightwing extremists have been more dangerous and deadly post-9/11 than Islamic jihadists. We told you so.
Finally, a few tax day facts from ThinkProgress.
[Cartoon via Truthdig]
Delegate Robert G. Marshall has said that disabled children can be God’s vengeance against women who have had abortions. He has described incest as sometimes voluntary, and he has questioned the sexuality of a Supreme Court justice who has favored marriage equality.
But unlike W. Todd Akin, whose offhanded reference to “legitimate rape” cost the GOP a winnable Senate seat from Missouri in 2012, Mr. Marshall is unbowed over his history of controversial rhetoric as he seeks a seat in Congress representing Northern Virginia.
“I don’t care. I mean, if I say something in public, I say it in public,” Mr. Marshall said Thursday.
Stories to Watch: 3/20/14.
News from the Republican War on Women: top McConnell fundraiser and talk radio blowhard Dennis Prager says that wives have a duty to have sex with their husbands on demand, whether they want to or not. Mitch’s inevitable silence on this matter will speak volumes.
The consistently hackish Tucker Carlson really hires class acts to work on his Daily Caller website. This is proved when Carlson is forced to apologize for gratuitous twitter smears from one of his minions. Good news for other hacks, though; apparently there’s nothing you can do or say that’s so deliberately offensive that it gets you fired from Tucker’s blog. If there are barrels under the bottomfeeders, Carlson and company are in the bottoms of those barrels.
Obamacare is actually four years old now and it’s still failing to destroy America. These commie plots must really take a long time.
Related: PolitiFact calls Los Koch Bros. claims about Obamacare false. Seriously, you can save a lot of time by assuming that anything from Americans For Prosperity is horseshit. You’ll never be wrong.
How sports journalists approach black players vs. white players: black players are just good, while white players work hard and have an inspiring backstory — even when they don’t.
A gay Arkansas high school student has been bullied by his classmates — and a teacher.
Finally, a news anchor makes a false claim about White House press secretary Jay Carney and then retracts it. This is how rightwing “scandals” work — they all freak out over the bullshit, then fail to report when it all falls apart. If the rightwing blogosphere were forced to operate within reality, all of their outrage and scandal narratives would have the lifespans of fruitflies.
[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]
Think maybe there might be a connection between how much they get paid and how much they have to work?
BONUS FUN: everything conservatives think they know about Sandra Fluke is wrong.
Rand Paul’s Answer to Poverty: Wage More War on Women.
I’ve never been extremely impressed with Kentucky’s freshman Senator Rand Paul. He seems keenly proud of his own brilliance — despite the fact that few people other than himself can manage to find any evidence of it. His desire to be a Senator seems to stem more from his need to be a Very Important Person than his desire to serve his country. And you don’t take it upon yourself to respond to the President’s State of the Union Address — in no official capacity whatsoever — unless you think people need to appreciate the beneficent fruits of your towering intellect.
In short, Rand Paul is an incredible egotist, made even more insufferable by the fact that he’s not actually all that smart. He’s five gallons of smart in a 50 gallon drum — and the rest of the barrel is filled up by bullcrap. That’s my impression. And it’s an impression he recently did very little to dispell.
ThinkProgress: At a luncheon for the Chamber of Commerce in Lexington, KY, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) floated the idea of capping government benefits for women who have children out of wedlock, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.Want to take a guess at how good this policy is at eliminating poverty? ThinkProgress goes on to report that it doesn’t make a dent in poverty at all, because duh. In fact, many of the states that had implemented such a cap are in the process of undoing it.
While he said that preventing unplanned pregnancies should be in the hands of communities and families, he added, “Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount.”‘ He went on to say, “I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer.”
The idea of withholding benefits from women who have more than a certain number of children is actually current policy in many states. While most programs through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or welfare) give families more money if they have more children, 16 states cap the assistance and don’t give any extra money for new children if someone in the household is already receiving aid.
But worse than Paul’s ignorance of the consequence of his proposal is his complete unawareness that Republican policies could possibly be contributing to any of this. Your party reduces the number of abortion clinics by regulating them out of business and fights to keep women from getting contraceptive coverage in their health insurance — both of which affect women in poverty to a far greater degree than anyone else — and then you complain that poor women have too many children?
Seriously, how stupid do you actually have to be? And Tea Party darling Rand Paul can STFU about “individual liberty” now, because you know who else thinks having the government limit the size of families is a good idea? China. For someone who claims to be on the side of freedom, Rand Paul — like pretty much ever Republican official out there — sure spends a lot of time thinking up new ways to micromanage women’s lives. The word these guys are looking for here isn’t “liberty,” it’s “totalitarianism.”
The whole thing is idiotic beyond words and Sen. Poodlehair here seems to be convinced that it’s the most common sense thing in the world. Why? Because he’s a Republican, that’s why. For Republicans, the solution to every problem is to find the right person to punish, then you punish them hard and punish them long — unless they’re wealthy. That’s why they don’t believe in global warming; they can’t figure out how beating poor people, women, and minorities with ax handles would solve the problem. So it must not exist.
For them, it’s create a problem, then complain about the people the problem affects. That’s how geniuses like Rand Paul operate.
You really wish those geniuses were rare.
[photo by Gage Skidmore]