Friday, May 31, 2013

Today In Atheism

Rotten Kid

14-year-old Tremaine McMillian stared at a police officer in a dehumanizing way, clenching his fists and flaring his nostrils - looking all mean and threatening and shit - while holding a puppy.

So of course, the cops had no choice but to body-slam the kid and choke him out til he stop resisting.

hat tip = Wonkette

Picture This

The Repubs are known far and wide as the Party Of No.  But I have to wonder - since my default position is that "it's never really about what they say it's about", and since the GOP doesn't ever really do anything to push back against that perception - well, what's up widdat?

It's not so much that they wanna take the really stoopid ideas of the wingnuts and turn 'em into law (in spite of what seems obviously contrary to that statement - cuz you can dip me in shit and call me lonesome but there's a buncha Monumental Stoopid goin' on over there).  I'm just thinking the wingnut agenda is diversionary. It's there to keep everybody yappin' along about stuff that's never gonna happen.  The wingnuts are forever  being encouraged to get nuttier and nuttier, and "the left" / "the public" / "the rest of us" - the big squishy middle is always being pinged with all this nuttier and nuttier shit that we're supposed to think about / talk about / be upset about - but mostly send-money-to-somebody about.

Sump'm ain't right.

Crazy Theory Alert - proceed only if adequately equipped with NaCl.

It is my considered opinion that we're living in a time of transition (I am, if nothing else, a regular genius, eh?).  My guess is that what we're watching now in 2013 is more or less what is fairly easy to imagine was going on maybe 20 years before the opening scenes of Rollerball (the original - not that pocket lint remake).

But anyway - wanna see what that diversion looks like?  Here ya go:

Bachmann's been in office for 8 years, and the US has nothing to show for it.  She's raked in over $1 Million in salary, plus close to another 40% in Federal Bennies, plus Farm Subsidies (estimated at another $1 Million), plus whatever she's made in "Honoraria" and perks and what she's managed to "earn" trading on the inside info she gets because of her position in government.

And now, of course, we'll be further amused (ie: distracted) as we watch Ms Bachmann's excellent adventure with the Ethics Investigation.

And maybe it's just a good grift, but it seems like we watch the fluttering birds and the glitter showers and the crash scenes while everything we need to make life workable is either stolen outright or co-opted, commoditized, processed, repackaged and sold back to us at a price just slightly higher than what we're allowed to make in wages.

Welcome to the World Wide Company Store. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Pal, Charley

I wish.

Marco Rubio Is Still Not Ready For Prime Time

Every few months, Senator Marco Rubio reminds us that, in his case, the goblet of victory comes with a sippy-cup lid.

"So the only answer to this is to repeal Obamacare," Rubio said in response to an email from a man in Orlando, Fla. "It's just one more reason why this law is going to be a disaster for our country. And in the months to come, I'm really going to focus on the issue of repealing Obamacare because in addition to the IRS's role there is all sorts of other problems with regards to Obamacare that we need to answer." 

What in the climate-controlled hell is this man talking about? We have a situation with some IRS dumbassery in which inappropriate criteria were used to evaluate the claims of thousands of groups attempting to get in on an embarrassing scam made possible by a lint-headed Supreme Court decision that handed the job of regulating the insane way we run elections to the federal agency least qualified to do the job. So, naturally, the solution is to...repeal Obamacare! Because...IRS! This leads me to the completely cynical conclusion that Rubio is now trying to suck up to the crazoid Republican House caucus in the hopes that its members will vote for something they wouldn't vote for if you took out their fingernails with tractor-trailer trucks — namely, whatever immigration bill he and his Senate colleagues produce. Remember, Marco Rubio is the young man who can get...things...done. He is the face of the rebranded GOP. Good luck with that.

The KrugMan Speaks

Paul Krugman tells about Taxing The Rich:
First, over the past three decades we’ve seen a soaring share of income going to the very top of the income distribution (right scale) even as tax rates on high incomes have fallen sharply, with the recent Obama increases clawing back only a fraction of the previous cuts:
Second, there is now a lot of hard empirical work on the incentive effects of high top tax rates. None of it shows the kind of huge negative effects that figure so prominently in right-wing rhetoric. In particular, none of it suggests that we are anywhere close to the point where raising taxes on the rich would reduce revenue as opposed to increasing it.
Here're the bullet points from the article at Economic Policy Institute:
The top U.S. income tax rate is currently well below best estimates of the optimal rate for revenue maximization.
Recent research implies a revenue-maximizing top effective federal income tax rate of roughly 68.7 percent. This is nearly twice the top 35 percent effective marginal ordinary income tax rate that prevailed at the end of 2012, and 27.5 percentage points higher than the 41.2 percent rate in 2013.2 This would mean a top statutory income tax rate of 66.1 percent, 26.5 percentage points above the prevailing 39.6 percent top statutory rate.
Tax reform that broadens the tax base and minimizes tax avoidance opportunities actuallyincreases the revenue-maximizing top marginal tax rate.
This means that base-broadening tax reform and higher marginal rates should be seen as complements, not substitutes. Analyses of top tax rate changes since World War II show that higher rates have no statistically significant impact on factors driving economic growth—private saving, investment levels, labor participation rates, and labor productivity—nor on overall economic growth rates.
Both short-run demand-side and long-run supply-side growth effects stemming from top tax rate changes are extremely modest. Thus, related “dynamic” revenue “leakages” stemming from reduced economic activity following top rate increases are small as well. Indeed, the net revenue feedback of the 2001–2004 tax cuts was recently estimated at recouping just 1 percent of their scored cost.
Historically, decreases in top marginal tax rates have widened inequality of both pre- and post-tax income. This has been interpreted by some economists as marginal rate reductions providing a higher payoff to rent-seeking (i.e., using influence to “bargain” a higher share of income at the expense of other workers).
Today’s economic context of a depressed U.S. economy, political pressure to prematurely reduce near-term budget deficits, and ever-widening income inequality actually strengthens the case for raising top marginal tax rates. There remains substantial scope for further raising top rates toward the revenue-maximizing levels estimated by the best economic research.
I'm all for letting your Freak Fly.  You feel a deep driving need to get rich? Go for it. It's mostly a lotta fun to watch, and you should get to hang onto the bulk of it.  But let's make sure the things that need to be taken care of are getting taken care of - 'cuz those are the things that everybody's responsible for; the things you get the biggest benefits from; and the things that make it possible for you to continue making your zillions.  But mostly, let's make sure the disparity and inequalities are kept to reasonable levels - 'cuz that's what keeps the wait staff from takin' a giant shit in your punch bowl.

Today's Pix


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today's Eternal Sadness

15-year-old Saylor Slone Martine died this weekend after an accidental shooting in her home. 5NewsOnline reports that the Leflore County, Oklahoma teen and her 12-year-old sister, Savannah, had been “handling a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun,” and then “put it down on the counter.” When Martine reached for her cell phone, which had also been placed on the counter, the gun fired. LeFlore County Sheriff Rob Seale told reporters that the girl had “sustained life-threatening injuries” and was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Tulsa, where she died. He added that the girls’ mother was outside when the shooting occurred and that it “looks pretty clear-cut accidental.” Neither sister was holding the gun when it unexpectedly fired. Seale suspects that the gun had a “manufacturing defect.”
hat tip = Addicting Info

And let's not forget - we need Tort Reform to make sure the family of this teenager can't possibly go suckin' around for a big fat payday at the expense of that poor defenseless Gun Maker.

3,820 Americans killed with guns - so far this year - and just according to Slate's DIY database.  The official number is likely to be higher.

This is a partial screen capture from Slate - which doesn't even show all of May:

Project Much?

Reporting on a study out of Geo Mason Univ (not exactly El Centro dela Librulisimo), from Addicting Info:
The study reveals that 32% of Republican statements have been rated ‘false’ or ‘pants on fire’ by Politifact, an organization that fact checks claims made by politicians and others. In stark contrast, only 11% of statements made by Democrats received the same ratings.
According to CMPA President Dr. Robert Lichter“While Republicans see a credibility gap in the Obama administration, PolitiFact rates Republicans as the less credible party.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fat Bottom Girls make the rockin' world go 'round.

Add Now - Mrs Betty Bowers

Today's Market Opportunity

...with a large side of What The Fuck.  From Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Guns weren't the only thing people raced to buy after 20 students and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Some parents bought school gear that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago: bulletproof backpacks.
Impact Armor Technologies in Cleveland is among a small but growing number of U.S. companies marketing backpack shields and other bulletproof school products.
The movement to steel children against the extremely rare chance they'll encounter a school shooter is controversial. Opponents say bulletproof backpacks feed children's fear and suspicion of their peers, adults and the world at large.
So basically, we've got Wayne LaPierre pissin' on our heads, and Impact Armor sellin' us umbrellas.  That's pretty fucked up right there.

From Around The Intertubes

Some things just never change.  The sun's gonna come up somewhere east of here tomorrow.  The mockingbird that nests in my crabapple tree is gonna shit all over my windshield every spring.  And the bacchanal at UVa is pretty much 24/7, slowing only occasionally when a legitimate distraction comes along.

Congratulations.  I'm glad you finally made it.  Now go home so I can experience the joy of finding a decent parking space for a coupla months.

Monday, May 27, 2013

And God Said

The Big Bamboozle


Seems like politicians never stop campaigning.  Well, guess what - it seems that way because it is that way.  People get riled up during a political campaign, so campaigning is a good way to keep 'em riled up enough to get 'em to send you lots and lotsa money.  The more riled up they are, the bigger the fuckloads of money they send in, and you have practically no obligation to account to them for any of it.  You can fail over and over again, and they'll still pony up the next time you ask.

It's an astounding racket - and it's one of the big objections most people have when it comes to griping about "the system", but we've become almost completely conditioned to hate The Gubmint, so even when the IRS (eg) tries to get to some simple truth about who's buying our elections this time around, we lose our shit and start screaming about tyranny.

(yes, Dub, I know - using the IRS as an attack dog against your political opponents is a rotten thing to do.  I don't think that's exactly what happened in Cincinnati, but if there really was an element of intimidation to it, then it was low-level and weak.  Remember now, these are The Democrats we're talkin' about; the very same Librul Bureaucrats that you claim can't find their own asses with GPS and a bloodhound at noon on a clear day.  If you can't bring yourself to read any history, at least try to remember some of the shit that fell outa your own gob yesterday - you deliberately ignorant puke)

But take a peek here:

I haven't done much research on it, so please, can somebody point me to a "growth industry" in America that's done a lot better than this?

And if you took this graph and added the growth curves of the campaign contributions of Big Corp, along with the growth curves of the profitabilities of Big Corp - what do you think that might look like?

Cutting to the chase - this stinks of Government-as-Private-Enterprise.  We make a lot of noise about what a great thing The American Revolution was; and about the great sacrifice our uniformed services continue to make to ensure the life and health of our little experiment in democratic self-governance - especially on Memorial Day.  So, in addition to planting flags and going to parades and bowing our heads between the 3rd and 4th Budweisers at the neighbors' BBQ, and generally trying to "Out-Patriotic" each other the whole fucking day, maybe we could best honor those heroes by pushing back against the small minds with the big ambitions of returning us to the glories of the 18th century.

Just sayin'.

hat tip = MoJo

Economic Climate Change

There are more hints every day that s storm of a slightly different variety is headed our way, but this one is something we can actually do something about - not that we will, but we could.

From truthout, a glimpse of things to come:
The incomes of 100 people out of the seven billion on the planet could fix that, and then fix it again, and then fix it again, and then fix it again. The exact total of the wealth of these individuals is actually something of a mystery, thanks to the tax havens they use to hide their fortunes. There are trillions of dollars squirrelled away in those havens - no one knows quite how much - and the subtraction of that money from the global economy has a direct and debilitating effect on the people not fortunate enough to be part of that elite 100.
In America alone, some $150 billion in tax revenue is lost each year because of these havens, money that could be used for education, food assistance programs, infrastructure repair and health care. Instead, Americans are told the country is going broke, and are force-fed austerity measures by the same politicians who passed the laws allowing the wealthy and corporations to wallow in treasure like Tolkien's dwarves hiding under their mountain.
Call it whatever ya wanna call it - I'll call it a storm because I think it's a very natural thing, and pretty much the standard scenario that's been replayed somewhere in the world every few generations since forever.

More and more power and wealth gets concentrated into fewer and fewer hands; while more and more people get pushed down towards the bottom, having less and less.  At some point, so many people have been left with nothing more to lose, all it takes to start some real shit is for some eloquent ambitious bastard to stir their resentment, and "suddenly" the mob rises up; they smash your gated community, and they take what they want.  And then of course, the whole thing starts over.

We have to do something to get some kind of balance back into the system, and the first thing we have to do is to learn (re-learn?) how to have a calm conversation about things like Economic Justice, and how we go about trying to fix the disparity problems, without all the knee-jerk reactions and overheated partisan rhetoric.*

So maybe we could tap into some of that American Exceptionalism we hear so much about.

*ed note: if you bring the standard crap that passes for "conservative" ideology these days, and I slam you for it - that's not what qualifies as overheated rhetoric.  That's just callin' it what it is.  Some people are stubborn, and really - about all you can do is hit 'em with a shovel til they loosen their grip on The Stoopid.

For Memorial Day

Anticipating that special feeling of sappy desperation from all the Facebookers and emailers who get really geared up to send and/or post all that drippy maudlin crap that often takes honest-to-god people in uniform and turns them into fetishized plastic effigies that resemble real human beings in practically no way at all:

And just as a reminder:  Way too many of us are way too fond of saying something like this:
"The warriors are not to blame for the war".  

The ultimate responsibility for every war is borne by the individual soldier.

You don't have much of a war 
if nobody shows up to fight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Today's Stoopid

On the collapse of the I-5 bridge in Skagit, from Addicting Info:
Now, instead of the $7 million in renovations and upgrades, the cost to replace the collapsed bridge will run $15 million and take up to a year. The collapse will cost an estimated $47 million in reduced productivity and trade. With the current average tax revenue from this total for trade and productivity in dealing with trade to Canada to be around 22%, the result is that this bridge collapse will cost the federal government $10 million in revenue for the period of repair, which when added to the $15 million pricetag means that we are looking at a total impact of $25 million. All in order to save $7 million.
"Conservatives" are anything but conservative in way too many cases.  Anybody who has ever actually worked for (much less owned) a properly functioning business of any kind who doesn't understand the fundamental Cost-Effeciency concept of Prevention vs Remedy is unworthy of any label connoting Business Savvy or Common Sense or Entrepreneurship - they've earned nothing but contempt and disrespect.  And if any of them then try to pass themselves off as clear-eyed serious-minded adult realists, they need to be mocked and ridiculed for the Stoopid Fucking Rubes they are.


We hear all manner of blather about what "the immigration issue" does or will mean to this party and/or that candidate, but what about the people who're most likely to be impacted?

What about the 40 million immigrants (aka human-type people, regardless of their "status") who work and pay taxes and help move the whole thing forward?  Which means BTW, wow, look at that - they only wanna do their thing and be left alone, just like everybody else, so maybe "conservatives" could stop indulging in their High School Fuck Around Name-Calling and start acknowledging them as neighbors, even if they can't quite bring themselves to see them as equals (cuz, you know - what's the point of pretending we're in the Richie Rich Club if we can't shit on somebody and keep 'em out for no good reason).

Anyhoo - from Andrea Seabrooke's DecodeDC:

And as a fair example of how fucked up our political system is, look no further than Lindsay Graham (aka Huckleberry Closetcase).  Graham wants desperately to support Immigration Reform - partly because he's really not quite the same kinda complete asshole that his TeaBagger constituents seem to be, but also not just because he wants to be fair about it.  He knows the GOP has to start moving away from the basic Mitch McConnell approach of Block-Everything-Hate-Everybody-Stop-All-Progress-At-Any-Cost-Make-Gubmint-So-Rotten-The-Rubes-Will-Beg-For-Mercy.  The only reason they didn't get their asses totally handed to them in a soggy paper bag last November is that so many of the districts have been Gerrymandered that only a few of the seats in The House ever flip anymore - which of course allows us to maintain our illusion of Democracy for a while longer (but that's a different rant).

If Graham wants to "lead" on something like immigration, he first has to reassert his street cred by bashing Obama and screaming "Scandal" at every serviceable video camera.  It's a pretty simple trade-off.  You make a big stink about Benghazi and ObamaCare and the IRS etc (ie: you take every opportunity to stroke the Tea Peckers), and then it doesn't seem quite so bad when you vote in favor of letting the Brown Hordes overwhelm us and violate the Sacred American Maidenhead - or whatever the fuck the rubes are swallowing right at the moment.

So yeah - it's pretty fucked up.  And at the risk of sounding a little too Centrist, this is the game Obama plays too.  It's just that Obama and The Dems play it way more low-key and up-front, IMHO.  It seems far less likely (even for the "far left") for the Dems just to make shit up.  Facts are facts.  Good policy can't come from bullshit like Bible verses or Lord Monkton's "opinions" or the latest Alex Jones podcast about Weather Weapons or how SCOTUS was intimidated by Chicago-style thuggery into upholding ObamaCare or or or.

Get a fuckin' grip, rubes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nooners With Peggy


At the confluence of Free Market and Privatized Government:
Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.

Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution.

His "kids for cash" program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary.
Expand your thought patterns a bit, and think about the hundreds of "terrorists" being held in Gitmo because they had neighbors in Kabul who maybe held a grudge and figured it was OK to sell them out to the CIA for the reward.

And then maybe we could throw this one in for good measure, now that we're being all expansive and all:

Now go ahead and tell me how different it is here in #1 USA; let's hear all about American Exceptionalism, and how much better we are than everybody else in the world.  Yay us.  C'mon - let's hear it.

But y'know what?  We are better than this shit.  Maybe we could start acting like it again.

Rejecting The False Premise

If we're convinced that there are actual and measurable differences between "the races" then we can be more easily manipulated into going along with cynical politicians who try to put up all manner of policies that just turn out to be weird and/or silly and/or dangerous.

We see "differences" like skin color and eye shape etc, and we generalize those observations (ie: a frame is set in our minds) in a way that makes it easier for us to accept something that sounds reasonable and logical, but turns out to be a load of specious nonsense - aka Scientific Racism.

An illustration from the influential American magazine Harper's Weekly shows an alleged similarity between "Irish Iberian" and "Negro" features in contrast to the higher "Anglo-Teutonic." The accompanying caption reads "The Iberians are believed to have been originally an African race, who thousands of years ago spread themselves through Spain over Western Europe. Their remains are found in the barrows, or burying places, in sundry parts of these countries. The skulls are of low prognathous type. They came to Ireland and mixed with the natives of the South and West, who themselves are supposed to have been of low type and descendants of savages of the Stone Age, who, in consequence of isolation from the rest of the world, had never been out-competed in the healthy struggle of life, and thus made way, according to the laws of nature, for superior races."
And so we get "theories" about Miscegenation and Genetic Hygiene, and then Eugenics and The Bell Curve, and then this recent and most un-excellent crap from Jason Richwine about how immigrants are dumb and so we need to shut down immigration of "all those people" because we'll never get a good bang for the buck because dumb immigrants have dumb children so we have to do something to keep from being overrun by dumb brown people blah blah blah.

Lots of push-back of course from the usual "librul" positions, but this guy sounds like the quiet voice of reason - Merlin Chowkwanyun at The Atlantic:
But the attacks on Richwine are missing something far more insidious than neo-eugenic claims about innately inferior intelligence between races. The backlash against Richwine and Murray, after all, gives some indication that their views are widely considered beyond the respectable pale in the post- Bell Curve era. Richwine and Murray are really extreme branches of a core assumption that is much more pervasive and dangerous because it isn't necessarily racist on the surface: the belief in biological "races." This first assumption is required to get to claims like Richwine's, which argue that between Race A and Race B, differences exist (in "intelligence" or whatever else) that are grounded in the biological characteristics of the races themselves. Public outcry always greets the second Richwine-Murray-esque claim. But the first assumption required to reach it is more common and based on as shaky an intellectual foundation, even as it continues to escape equal scorn.
There is no real problem "between the races" because there is really only one race.  There are superficial differences that superficial assholes can and do exploit for political and commercial advantage.

But wait - Chowkwanyun?  Yikes, he must be one of those people.  It's clearly another Conspiracy!!!  Send me your donations right now and help me fight the onslaught!!!

And Jesus wept.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

EW Jackson

Cheap Shot Alert:
A better name for a 'conservative' politician would be hard to find - ew indeed, sir.

Anyway, this guy's running for Lt Gov.

I know it's just a quickie - a little rally with a few of the local rubes - and the main point is to be a cheerleader for Kenny the Kooch, but damn, son - the guy spoke for a good 4 or 5 minutes straight without saying anything except for the usual coded crap about getting rid of government.  And why does that message resonate so well in a state that would shrivel and die without federal spending?  Langley, The Pentagon, Norfolk, Quantico, Ft Lee, and god knows how many of the 1100 "Nat'l Security" agencies that collect hundreds of billions of tax dollars every fucking year.

Today's Best Comment

Spotted in the comments section of a story in WaPo about another steaming pile of Christian Putrescence running for public office.

(I've exercised a bit of license with this):

The Virginia GOP has nominated candidates this year (Cuccinelli=Gov, Jackson=Lt Gov, and Obenshain=AG) who shall henceforth and forever be referred to as The CuJO Ticket:  'cuz they're a buncha rabid slaverin' dogs.

Today's Pix

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Today's Douchey Congresscritter

Mr Stephen Fincher (R-TN08).

A seventh generation farmer, Fincher is a managing partner in Fincher Farms, a family business that grows cotton, corn, soybeans, and wheat on more than 2,500 acres in western Tennessee. The company has received $8.9 million in farm subsidies over the past decade, mostly from the cotton program, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.[6][7][8] Fincher received a $13,650 grant to help buy grain hauling and storage equipment from the state Department of Agriculture in 2009 as part of the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program.[9]
Barre Montpelier Times Argus:
The House bill cuts projected spending in farm and nutrition programs by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years. Just over half, $20.5 billion, would come from cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps. The Senate voted to cut spending by $23 billion, with $4.1 billion of the cuts coming from the food stamp program.
Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., then quoted a verse from the 26th chapter of Matthew, saying the “poor will always be with us” in his defense of cuts to the food stamps program.
Fincher said obligations to take care of the poor should be left to churches, not the government.
A report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan Washington research group, said the cuts in the food stamp program would eliminate 2 million people from the program, most of them children and older people. The report said the cuts would come in addition to a reduction that food stamp recipients would experience starting Nov. 1, when benefits that were increased under the 2008 economic stimulus expire.

“Placing the SNAP cuts in this farm bill on top of the benefit cuts that will take effect in November is likely to put substantial numbers of poor families at risk of food insecurity,” the report said.
I had to look up the bible quote, thinking the full text would say something to contradict Mr Felcher Fincher.  But it didn't, and I admit to being a bit surprised.

Matthew 26:
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

So now it occurs to me that while quoting the bible out of context is a useful thing for guys like Fincher, sometimes they can get an even bigger boost from the passages that reveal the simple fact that Jesus could be just as douchebaggily self-centered and prickish as they are.

Well played, sir.

hat tip = Wonkette

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today's Irony Lesson

Today's Wingnut Media Bite

Ben Shapiro (of the epic fail "Friends of Hamas" incident) runs this:

...which leads Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs to ponder: "I think young Ben is honestly intimidated. Cowed, even. His dissent is being chilled. You can tell by the giant 73-pixel all-caps screaming headline."

That's the game these deep-fried-guano-for-brains-whiney-butt pussies play all the time.  Shapiro is so intimidated; Obama has everybody so flummoxed and shivery that...what, exactly?  If they weren't so afraid - so intimidated - they'd do something more than run their horseshit headlines in the eleventy-seven point fonts they're using now?  Like what?  What're they calling on people to do?

And when might we expect the Press Poodles to fucking call 'em on this?

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Certain Lesson

Totally unfettered Free Market Capitalism at it's finest:

A California doctor who duped patients out of more than $1 million after claiming her herbal supplements could cure cancer has been jailed for 14 years.

Christine Daniel charged patients up to $100,000 for six months of treatment, which she claimed could also cure diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
'Daniel robbed victims of more than money – she also stole their hopes and dreams for a cure,' U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said after the doctor was sentenced.
A little interference from an oppressive gubmint might've come in right handy for somebody like Paula Middlebrooks.  The good doctor charged her $60,000 for "treatment" with a concoction consisting mainly of Beef Flavoring Extract and a Sunscreen Preservative.  And then, not long after "Dr" Daniel triumphantly declared she'd been cured, Middlebrooks died - her breast cancer having spread through her body unchecked.

Christine Daniel doesn't get any more paydays for ruining any more lives - not for the 15 years of her prison sentence anyway.  But what stopped her was the criminal justice system.  It wasn't the market; it wasn't the invisible hand; and it sure as fuck wasn't Angie's List.