Showing posts from May, 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…

My Pal, Charley

I wish.

Marco Rubio Is Still Not Ready For Prime Time

By Charles P. Pierce at 2:00pm 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…

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 …

Today's Pix


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 po…

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.”

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.

And God Said


The Big Bamboozle

...part ∞

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 …

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, America…

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".   Bullshit.

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.

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 Busine…


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…

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 i…

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. Thei…

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


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. --and--
Rep. Stephen F…

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?

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&…

Today's Pix