Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oy.

It's that darn Nazi analogy again!

A Massachusetts state representative has apologized for comparing lobbyists with Holocaust victims when he was commenting on a proposal to require lobbyists to wear badges.

“The idea of the badge by lobbyists to me, I kind of find that revolting,” Binienda told the State House News Service in article posted this morning. “Hitler during the concentration camps tattooed all of the Jewish people so he would know who was a Jew and who wasn’t, and that’s something that I just don’t go along with.”

Representative John Binienda, a Worcester Democrat, said he had made an “inappropriate analogy” on Wednesday when he criticized the badge proposal.

“No comparison can be made between the Nazi regime and a rules proposal made by members in good faith. I apologize to the sponsors as well as the people of Massachusetts for my words,” he said.

“The idea of the badge by lobbyists to me, I kind of find that revolting,” Binienda told the State House News Service in article posted this morning. “Hitler during the concentration camps tattooed all of the Jewish people so he would know who was a Jew and who wasn’t, and that’s something that I just don’t go along with.”
So A: defending lobbyists. B: Comparing the treatment of lobbyists to the treatment of holocaust victims. Let us hope that this guy doesn't make it onto the national stage again, unless it's by saying something else at the state level that's entertainingly awful. And then, let's hope he goes into the private sector and has no more access to politics.

Aloha Glenn

Today marks Glenn Beck's final broadcast on lamestream media outlet Fox News - after it's over (I mean RIGHT AFTER) he fires up GBTV, his online media empire. Online media empires are fun! I have one.

Anyway, Beck was so astute it's amazing Fox is letting him go. Who can forget last year's "summer of rage?"


Where were you when it broke out? I stayed indoors and missed it. Glad they didn't set MY building on fire!
And wow, that hyperinflation has really hurt us since Obama came into office huh?


Goodness now that my paper money is useless scrip, I had to sell my fillings just to get in line for a loaf of bread!

Of course, it's even worse now that we're under Sharia Law.


Glenn says GBTV is going to take off like a rocket! Keep your eyes slightly over the horizon for that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Michele Bachmann - So Far Right, She Can't Be Wrong

Long dead serial killer John Wayne Gacy weighed in last night, attempting to defend Michele Bachmann!

Hey, I wasn't really ever "from" Iowa. I spent a year there, got arrested for the first time, then went back to Chicago (where I was born). Did you know that I also used to be a Democratic Party precinct captain? And that I shook hands with Rosalyn Carter?
The Clown/molester may have misjudged his effect here - what he's saying is that Michele Bachmann not only admires a serial killer, but a DEMOCRAT serial killer.

In any event, he needn't have bothered. There are better ways to deal when your candidate makes a statement that diverges from the facts. Melt the facts down and forge new ones. Yes, that pun is intended.
Several strange edits have shown up on Wikipedia entries pertaining to famed Americans referenced by Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann -- specifically, it appears that her fans have attempted to rewrite the lives of actor John Wayne and President John Quincy Adams to fit her woefully inaccurate retellings of history.

Bachmann, who officially launched her campaign yesterday in Waterloo, Iowa, told a Fox News reporter that she was proud to be in the town where John Wayne was from, because she embodies his ideals. Unfortunately for her, it turns out that the actor John Wayne was not from Waterloo, but serial killer John Wayne Gacy was.

Shortly after the gaffe, the Wikipedia page for actor John Wayne was altered to change his birthplace from Winterset, Iowa to Waterloo, apparently as an effort to cover for the misguided politician.

Another edit came after she declared Tuesday morning that the nation's sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was a "founding father," even though he was just a child when his father, the nation's second president, signed the Declaration of Independence.

Sure enough, in short order Adams's Wikipedia entry was changed to call him a "founding father." The page's administrator quickly struck down the revision, insisting that users not make edits "based on current events."
Michele Bachmann could have avoided this kind of brute historical revisionism had she simply said, "I misspoke. I obviously meant John Adams, not John Quincy Adams." It's an easy and harmless thing to say you were wrong about. But SHE CAN'T DO THAT. Therefore, she has trapped herself into claiming that a 9-year-old boy helped draft the Declaration of Independence, and her followers into pretending that they believe it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quote of the Day - We Can't Trust Americans With America Edition

Stephanopoulos: In your announcement you said 'my voice is part of a movement to take back our country.' From whom?

Bachmann: Well, from the people all across the nation.
-Michele Bachmann, on ABC's This Morning

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Tea Party Wish Is Granted

Georgia has achieved something conservatives have long dreamed of - they've chased their illegal immigrants away! How's that working out, Georgia?

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

...Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

...According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.

In response, (Gov. Nathan) Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia.
I'm always leary of editorials used as reportage, so you might want to check this story with other sources. Still let's assume the facts are accurate - farmers complain of a labor shortage, Governor suggests that farmers hire ex-cons. What about the other 10,000 or so workers? Assuming they can find enough of them, it's an employee's market and they can negotiate higher than minimum wage for their services. Therefore, expect the price of sugar beets and peanuts to really shoot up next year. And whatever else they grow in Georgia. Coca Cola? I can't wikipedia everything for you people!

On the other hand, this could result in an influx of desperate unemployed from other states, which would bring down the general per capita income in GA but on the whole benefit the economy. I'm no psychic. Most likely the whole thing will bring on bad results and good, with a net result of less miserable immigrant farm workers and more miserable white trash farm workers. And higher grocery bills for all.

Keep an eye on sugar beet futures.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How MUCH Do You Love State's Rights?

I'm dying to see how this plays out.

Congressmen Ron Paul, Barney Frank and others will introduce legislature Thursday that aims to end a major part of the war on drugs -- namely the battle against marijuana.

Reps. Paul (R-Texas) and Frank (D-Mass.), though technically on opposite sides of the aisle, have often spoken out against the war on drugs and will propose a bill "tomorrow ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference," according to a statement from the Marijuana Policy Project via Reason.

The bill would allow the individual states to decide how they want to deal with pot. Currently the federal government bogarts U.S. law, oftentimes arresting owners and employees of medical marijuana facilities, for example, who thought they were operating legally under city, county and/or state laws.

"The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal," according to the MPP statement.
So in summary, pot would still be illegal if your state lawmakers deem it so but this keeps the Feds out of it.

I know that the right of states to regulate themselves is cherished by Republicans, unless it involves choosing reproductive rights (they want a federal law forbidding it) or insurance regulation (they want to stop states from blocking competition) so this one could go either way. I'm predicting that the pundits on the right will ignore this one, because it's too difficult to navigate. So will it pass? Probably not. Who wants to be labeled the pro-joint candidate?

By the way, for the record, I'm for it. I never touch the stuff myself but I also don't drink Rye, and I don't see any reason to Federally regulate that.

Herman Cain Makes A Couple of Tactical Errors



1. "Some of these idiotic reporters thought I was serious. The joke’s on them. The message was short bills. Understandable bills. No it’s not literally going to be three pages." So from now on, any Cain press conference must be re-vetted by reporters. "When you said X at the beginning, was that literal or a joke? Then in the next sentence, serious? What about sentence 3?"

2. If I followed the argument correctly, the basis for believing Obama is a racist is that he says that some white people harbored racist feelings towards him. So, isn't Cain delivering a racist screed here against John Stewart? Who's not only white, but Jewish?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Labeling Matters

This is what drives me nuts about right wing talking points. I'm going to quote the redoubtable WAMK, who is echoing a (presumably right-wing) radio personality in El Paso.

...one of the local radio guys was talking about taxes on California businesses, and the mass exodus of residents from the State.
Italics mine, of course. The radio guy's point was prefaced on this exodus of people moving from Calfornia. They're being driven out by high taxes! It's a difficult point to argue because unless you interview all those people leaving the State, how do you prove they left because of taxes? But you'd be missing a more important point, which is what does a "mass exodus" look like exactly?



This, apparently.

Of course, this only goes up to 2009 and in fact population growth is slowing.
Between July 2009 and July 2010, there were 72,000 more people who left California for other states than came here. Those losses were outweighed, however, by people coming from other countries - both legally and illegally - and by births in the state. Overall, the California population increased by about 350,000 in the past year, with 81 percent of that growth new births.

Demographers studying population trends in California say the state will not return to the days when large numbers of people move here from other states and said that policy makers have yet to adjust to that. They point to the cost of housing, along with the state's 12.4 percent unemployment rate, as factors contributing to the change.
When you consider what housing costs in this place, it's amazing the millionaires can find locals to make their iced tea for them. So there is a point to be made about the State's shaky economy driving people away, but to call growth a mass exodus is just plain lying. And who lies while they're arguing? People who don't believe their own arguments.

ADDENDUM - I don't want WAMK to think I'm accusing him of lying, because I sincerely am not. I'm accusing him of taking the word of radio talk show hosts without questioning it. If you're the kind of person who worries about media bias, this is the worst kind of trust.

Governor Rick Scott Invites You To Write To The Editor

Dear Editor!

When Rick Scott ran for Governor he promised to create jobs and kill off the olds. I voted for Rick because he’s always been a hideous demon of death, not a politician. While politicians usually disappoint us and rarely keep their promises, Rick is refreshing because he bulldozes ahead with crazy solutions to problems that don't exist. His policies are helping to attract hurricanes to our state and get millionaires back to paying absolutely no taxes under any circumstances. Some of the special interests are attacking the Governor for making tough decisions, showing leadership, and doing what he told us he would do such as dismantling government and installing anarchy. Rick Scott deserves our blind, unthinking support. How can we expect to elect leaders who will keep their word and do what’s right for our state if we don’t stand up for those with the courage to set priorities, make difficult choices, and actually deliver on their promises made? And how can we make people forget that Rick Scott is polling lower than almost any Governor who has ever existed? Pretend it's a good thing, that's how.

Memo to Gay Activists

Stop with the glitter bombs already. It's scary to throw things at politicians, and Republicans will freak out if you show up with a handful of glitter. Next time, just bring guns to the rallies. THAT'S acceptable free speech.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quote Of The Day - Buried Lead Department

"That is why I'm leaving television. There's no honor in it. No one is honorable."


-Glenn Beck. Who knew? I'd heard it was because Fox wasn't renewing his contract!

Fighting For Your Right to Shovel Crap Down Your Gullet

Where in the constitution does it say government should promote the general welfare? Preamble? Oh, whatever.

Arguing that the U.S. food supply is 99 percent safe, House Republicans cut millions of dollars Thursday from the Food and Drug Administration’s budget, denying the agency money to implement landmark food safety laws approved by the last Congress.

Saying the cuts were needed to lower the national deficit, the House also reduced funding to the Agriculture Department’s food safety inspection service, which oversees meat, poultry and some egg products. And lawmakers chopped $832 million from an emergency feeding program for poor mothers, infants and children. Hunger groups said that change would deny emergency nutrition to about 325,000 mothers and children.

...“Do we believe that McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Safeway and Kraft Food and any brand name that you think of, that these people aren’t concerned about food safety?” Kingston said on the House floor. “The food supply in America is very safe because the private sector self-polices, because they have the highest motivation. They don’t want to be sued, they don’t want to go broke. They want their customers to be healthy and happy.”
Next on the agenda: blocking your ability to sue McDonalds and KFC and Safeway and Kraft Food. Then deregulating food companies so they can start using horsemeat and human flesh from industrial accidents again, like in the good old days. And getting the unions out, so we can start hiring less-skilled people for important production jobs.  And eliminating those troublesome truth in labeling laws!

Taking the broader view, it's pretty clear why the insurance companies love these guys so much.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Congratulations to the Democratic Leadership

You got Anthony Weiner to resign! It's almost impossible to get a Democrat out when there's a scandal attached to them!

David Vitter and John Ensign could tell you stories about how impossible it is to get scandal-ridden Democrats to resign. It might have been even harder if that law to keep Tom DeLay in had passed! That was close! Anyway, now that Weiner's out the house is scandal-free, so congratulations Democrats.

A Loose End From Minnesota

I forgot to tie this one up the other day - Godspeed, Michele Bachmann! I'm rooting for you to sail past the primaries and get the nomination! You're the Republican candidate this country needs.

PS, Please please please pick Herman Cain as your VP.

This Ad Also Goes Too Far



Strictly speaking, Republicans aren't trying to push old people off a cliff. They're trying to persuade them to wheel themselves.

Weirdly, the argument being made by some is that the Paul Ryan plan not eliminating Medicare. It's merely putting tax money into the hands of seniors so they can choose their own plan. If this sounds familiar it's because it's the part of "Obamacare" that they insist is SOCIALISM!!!!111!!! Seniors would then, because the money is capped in a way that it isn't now, would be forced to shop around and therefore, market prices would drive down the price of medical care.

Much in the same way that Medical Prices are low now because people can shop around. Oh, they aren't low? Well, they would be. And seniors would have the upper hand in the deal because if they can't get a deal they like, they can just walk away from the negotiation.

(descending slide whistle; CRASH)

Well, I hope the Republicans keep pushing the plan right up to the edge of the next presidential election.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Political Advertising As Litmus Test **update**



Don't get too worked up about this ad. It's produced by crazy racists. Good quote of the day though, via Huffpo:

"The treasurer for Turn Right USA, Claude Todoroff, confirmed the group is real, but declined to talk about it. "I don't know about the ad but I wouldn't talk to The Huffington Post, anyway. You're a bunch of liberal idiots," Todoroff said, before hanging up.
Haha! So like I say, this ad wasn't the work of the mainstream Republican party.

Its use though, is as a litmus test. Ask Republicans to "refudiate" it. If they do, they're still interested in the black vote. For that matter, the human being vote.

**update** In his parody of this post (wow, the sincerest form of flattery!) WAMK goes out of his way to avoid addressing whether he thinks it's an accurate depiction of African Americans, or if it's even appropriate political speech. So I'll put him in the totally down with it column.

Early Shots in the War On Jews

(CNN) – One of the nation’s most prominent evangelicals has entered the debate over whether Anthony Weiner will benefit from therapy, encouraging the embattled Jewish New York congressman to try Jesus instead.

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tweeted this message of the weekend: “Dear Congressman Weiner: There is no effective ‘treatment’ for sin. Only atonement, found only in Jesus Christ."

The tweet set some tongues a wagging, especially because Weiner is Jewish.

USA Today said the remark echoed Fox News' Brit Hume comment that golfer Tiger Woods, a Buddhist, should try Christianity after he became embroiled in a sex scandal last year.

Mohler, who leads the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention - the nation's largest evangelical denomination – took to his blog Tuesday to defend himself amid the controversy, noting that his tweet “never mentioned Judaism.”
Remember, every time they say America is a "Christian Nation" and there's a "war on Christmas" this is what they really mean - convert now! This is why I can never be a Republican - I'm an atheist. They won't even let me in the tent.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Stupid Restrictive Law Sponsored by a Democrat

(Title engineered to appease Warner Todd Huston)

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to "transmit or display an image" online that is likely to "frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress" to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines.

...The ban on distressing images, which was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, is also an update to existing law. Tennessee law already made it a crime to make phone calls, send emails, or otherwise communicate directly with someone in a manner the sender "reasonably should know" would "cause emotional distress" to the recipient. If the communication lacked a "legitimate purpose," the sender faced jail time.

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But for image postings, the "emotionally distressed" individual need not be the intended recipient. Anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court decides you "should have known" that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Obviously ANY image is potentially offensive to SOMEONE. I, for example, am upset by a chimpanzee riding on a Segway.

The bill is sponsored by Rep Charles Curtiss, who should know better than to attempt to throttle the First Amendment. It's most people's favorite, dude!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Hope They Got A Plan B



Because plan A is based on a projection of growth that has literally never happened before.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Loose End

I was having an interminable twitter argument with WAMK about this Weiner fellah, and at some point the subject of Chris Lee came up. I remembered him as being a Democrat who resigned almost instantly when a scandal hit, but he was a Republican. Democrats, said WAMK, never do.

In order to research this more fully, I'm sending emails to the offices of David Vitter and John Ensign, who are said to be in the know about such things.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Scott Walker Hates This Picture


Why did he have it removed from the Governor's mansion and replace it with a generic bald eagle picture? He's not talking. Is he afraid that one of the children might be a member of a union? Are the bubbles made of a liquid from a Koch competitor? He did use public money to remove the painting and put in the new one, after all. They can't afford an expense like that in Milwaukee.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Win!

I just barely made it, but I stopped trusting Weiner before he admitted wrongdoing. I win!

Having watched the press conference even I think that if the dude doesn't resign then investigations need to be commenced. As long as this was all between consenting adults using his own private accounts, I don't care. Voters may feel otherwise on that one, but they should feel free to vote for someone else. However, if laws were broken I'm not down with that. And we really need to know.

Mea Maxima Culpa: Blinded By the Weiner

I spent the better part of last week insisting that there was no proof that DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY WEINER had tweeted an underwear pic to an underage fan. And while what's out there isn't exactly proof, there's certainly a lot of convincing hearsay. So much so that I'm rolling with the mob from here on in and saying yes, he's probably the scumbag that he appears to be.

This is, as you might expect, tremendously galling to me personally. For one thing, no one likes to admit they're wrong. Secondly, this kinda flies in the face of my opinion that politicians' personal lives should be off limits. Because if Weiner was sexting the underaged, then I'm pretty sure he was breaking the law and people who break laws shouldn't be making them.

Sigh. The worst thing about this is now when WAMK insists that Paul Revere IS famous for warning the British that the government was going to take their guns, it will be impossible to correct him. He'll say that ACORN helped a couple of people dressed as Starsky and Hutch era pimps, and there'll be no stopping him. Shirley Shirrod made a speech where she said she hates white people? Sure. Obama called Palin a pig? Of course he did.

I suppose THIS is why politicians personal lives are a big deal.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Next President of the United States


I'm starting to think the Weiner thing was whipped up to distract the nation from Sarah Palin's road trip.

Mea Culpa: It's More Complicated Than I Said

Yesterday for the sake of brevity, I wrote this:

Here's my prediction: Weiner's telling the truth, Breitbart is lying.
That is inaccurate. Breitbart does not say that he knows that famous (though kinda lame) underwear shot is really of Anthony Weiner. First of all, the story didn't originate with Breitbart. It's bylined by P.J. Salvatore, though Breitbart did some background work. He made a few calls.

In any event, he didn't fake the picture himself. I believe that. I can't say for sure it's true, but I think the picture was faked by @patriotusa76 and Breitbart's organization shrugged and ran with it, despite having serious reservations about the source.

Do I know the picture is faked? I do not. That's why I framed it as a prediction.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Quote of the Day: Don't Listen To This Quote Edition

"...if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison."
- Rand Paul, on Hannity's Radio Show

Yeah, where in the constitution does it say you can have freedom of speech or freedom of assembly? Huh?

Mitt's Off!

If I'm not mistaken, Mitt Romney announced his plan to run for the presidency today. He's polling higher than any other republican candidate right now.  Except "no opinion" of course, which beats him by 5 points. Still he would be a formidable opponent to President Obama, who famously supports a health plan requiring all citizens to buy insurance.

Anyway, he shouldn't have any trouble getting the nomination, because he's a moderate who appeals to all sides.

Weiner Prophecy

Here's my prediction: Weiner's telling the truth, Breitbart is lying. Again.