Monday, September 30, 2013

Huntsman Makes Sense Again

This Republican Wants Obamacare To Go Forward, Mandate GOP Idea(VIDEO):
Back in 2012 Jon Huntsman was likely the only Republican Democrats feared as being able to beat President Obama. The reason is that he is a pragmatic moral Conservative that does care about the working middle class.

During the 2012 election he simply did not fit in with the irresponsible candidates running for the Republican nomination. They were all running for President as if they were in an alternate state of reality. Remember these were the characters whose audience booed a gay soldier defending the country and cheered when Rick Perry was acknowledged as the governor of the state that executes the most. Most importantly were the intrinsic beliefs of Republicans towards those unable to purchase insurance. They cheered when asked if they should be allowed to die...

Beaver's Boehner

I cannot think of a better put-down nickname I've ever heard than the one I just heard for John Boehner: The Weeping Cheeto.

GOPers Will Get The Blame

From The Can't Fool Everybody Every Time Department:
CNN Poll: Republicans would bear the brunt of shutdown blame -
...A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday morning, hours before funding for the government is scheduled to run out, also indicates that most Americans think Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children in this fiscal fight, with the public divided on whether the president is acting like a spoiled child or a responsible adult...

Feds Vs. NC ID

Feds challenge N.C.'s new voter ID law:
The Obama administration is going to court Monday to challenge what it described as "highly restrictive" voting laws in North Carolina that limit early balloting and require voters to present photo identification.

The move is an extension of the Justice Department campaign to rein in new statutes in wake of a Supreme Court's decision earlier this year to strike down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Truth From Bob

Wisdom From Bill

B. Clinton: Hillary's next campaign would be different:
...The former president added: "The main thing you can't do, the great trick in any human endeavor, including politics, is you must learn the lessons of your mistakes and your failures without becoming a general who fights the last war, because every new encounter will be shaped by different forces..."

The Daily Flashback: Lunacy Raygun Edition

Ronald Reagan’s shameful legacy: Violence, the homeless, mental illness -
...President Reagan never understood mental illness. Like Richard Nixon, he was a product of the Southern California culture that associated psychiatry with Communism. Two months after taking office, Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, a young man with untreated schizophrenia. Two years later, Reagan called Dr. Roger Peele, then director of St. Elizabeths Hospital, where Hinckley was being treated, and tried to arrange to meet with Hinckley, so that Reagan could forgive him. Peele tactfully told the president that this was not a good idea. Reagan was also exposed to the consequences of untreated mental illness through the two sons of Roy Miller, his personal tax advisor. Both sons developed schizophrenia; one committed suicide in 1981, and the other killed his mother in 1983. Despite such personal exposure, Reagan never exhibited any interest in the need for research or better treatment for serious mental illness...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Democratic Error

Government Shutdown Not A Good Idea - A Stupid Argument Made By Smart People - Esquire:
...Moreover, have the Democrats ever shown any inclination to make a meal of the simple, self-evident fact that the other party has gone completely out of its mind? It's not enough to decry the ongoing vandalism. The nihilism behind it has to be brought out and hammered home, day after day, election after election. Letting the crazy people work their crazy will while the rest of us suffer in the vain hope that voters will figure out on their own what happened to them, and why, is a fool's errand.

Blitzer Has A Backbone?

For the first time in ages, a major media figure has challenged a GOPer over facts, or rather the lack thereof. Could this signal a media turn back toward actual journalism?
Must Watch: Wolf Blitzer and Michele Bachmann Brawl Over the Benefits of Obamacare | Mediaite:
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer engaged in a tense and heated exchange with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Friday over a House GOP effort to defund the Affordable Care Act or force the government into a shutdown. The argument became animated over a variety of assertions Bachmann made, at one point prompting Blitzer to insist that what she asserted was flatly “not true...”

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shutting Off Comments

Why We're Shutting Off Our Comments | Popular Science:
Comments can be bad for science. That's why, here at, we're shutting them off...
And I don't blame them.

O Pitches ACA

Modern Slave Labor

Will Work for Free: How Unpaid Internships Cheapen Workers of All Ages | The Business Desk with Paul Solman | PBS NewsHour | PBS:
...But increasingly, what interns face now is that there are no jobs, and no prospects of a job waiting at the end, no matter how well they do. Indeed, they're going to have to do multiple internships, become serial interns, and even at the end of that, they may be in a very precarious position. So it's really something that sounds good for a lot of people but increasingly is not working out. Since 2008, rising college tuition, record levels of student debt and high levels of youth unemployment have exacerbated the dismal prospects for unpaid internships. Unpaid internships have become a straw that breaks the camel's back for many people....
One of the reasons I got out of the degree-earning business and one of the reasons I discourage undergraduate students from seeking advanced degrees. Several good undergraduate programs have ruined their recruitment prospects via internships and "clinical" hours.

Ph.Ds In Public Schools

Why Aren’t More Ph.D.s Teaching in Public Schools? - Laura McKenna - The Atlantic:
...American universities award more than 60,000 doctoral degrees every year. However, there are not enough academic jobs for all those graduates. One study asserts that only 41 percent of Ph.D.s will find tenure-track positions. Some studies are slightly more optimistic. In a report for the academic journal PS, Jennifer Seagal Diascro reported that 49 percent of the 816 Ph.D.s who graduated from political science programs between 2009 and 2010 found permanent academic positions.
I'll offer a reason not mentioned in the article: lack of respect. People who earn terminal degrees typically are highly motivated and very intelligent, thus they are less likely to develop the patience and philosophical inclination that teachers need to thrive in K-12 and far less likely to suffer fools kindly-- they expect people to listen to them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Reporting Celebrity Visit

I wonder if he heard the banjos...

The Joys of North Carolina - Dan Rather's Official Website:
Finished a reporting and interviewing trip to Charlotte, Asheville, Franklin and a few other places in North Carolina. Is there a friendlier place in the country than the Smoky Mountain area? Doubt it. Texas is the only place I can think of that might--just might--edge it. But if so, only by a tad. The Smoky Mountain region is well known for its beauty, and rightly so. But anyone who goes there and doesn't recognize the just plain decency and exceptionally warm friendliness of the folks has to be either not paying attention or brain-dead...

Who's Where On ACA

The Morning Plum: Ted Cruz’s stance on Obamacare is the GOP’s stance on Obamacare:
...* Eighty percent of Americans, including 82 percent of independents and 75 percent of Republicans, say threatening a government shutdown is not an acceptable way to negotiate.

* Americans say overwhelmingly that Republicans are not trying to work with Obama by 70-23. By contrast, 51 percent say Obama is trying to work with Republicans...

GOPers Continue Extortion

House Republicans open two-front war on ObamaCare | Fox News:
House Republicans are poised to open a two-front war on ObamaCare, pushing for a vote this weekend on a bill that would delay the health care law in exchange for raising the debt ceiling -- a week after handing the Senate a separate bill that would defund the law...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Daily Flashback: Iran Hostage Edition

October Surprise News Coverage(House of Representatives - February 05, 1992):
Suspicions about a deal between the Reagan campaign and Iran over the hostages have circulated since the day of President Reagan's inaugural, when Iran agreed to release the 52 American hostages exactly five minutes after Mr. Reagan took the oath of office. Later, as it became known that arms started to flow to Iran via Israel only a few days after the inauguration, suspicions deepened that a secret arms-for-hostages deal had been concluded.

Five years later, when the Iran-contra affair revealed what seemed to be a similar swap of hostages for arms delivered through Israel, questions were revived about the 1980 election. In a nice, ironic twist, the phrase `October surprise,' which Vice Presidential candidate George Bush had coined to warn of possible political manipulation of the hostages by Jimmy Carter, began to be applied to the suspected secret activities of the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign...

The Double Fake Secession

It's a Great Media Stunt to Try to Secede from Colorado | Jason Salzman:
...But don't take it seriously, except as a novel way right-wingers are manipulating the media to promote their unpopular attacks on common-sense gun-safety, clean-energy laws, and other progressive legislation at the state level.

Murderers Targets Non-Muslims

Al-Shabab: Foreigners in Kenya were a 'legitimate target':
Al-Shabab, the armed Somali Islamic extremist group that attacked a shopping mall in Kenya, said Wednesday that foreigners were a "legitimate target" and confirmed witness accounts that gunmen tried to let Muslims go free while killing or taking the others captive.

In an email exchange Wednesday with The Associated Press, al-Shabab said the jihadis "carried out a meticulous vetting process" so the Muslims would not be harmed. According to published accounts, witnesses have said the gunmen rounded up people, asked questions about Islam that a Muslim would know and told the Muslims to leave the mall...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Management Underbelly

Some people will make much of this as a failing in education, but these two nabods were not in education, though that's what their paycheck says. They were in management. I have observed that when you hire a teacher you are going to get one of two kinds of people: those who will have their markers pried from their cold, dead fingers, and those who discover that teaching is work and immediately start scheming to escape the classroom by getting into management. Don't by surprised when these frustrated 1%ers turnout to be bullies, liars, and hypocrites
A school official’s unbelievably racist texts -
...There is so much that’s contemptible about the exchanges between Como and Donato – the simmering, near constant anger they display, the grotesque, dehumanizing way they view pretty much anybody who isn’t a white man (to their credit, though, I didn’t notice any gay slurs in the lot) and the jaw-dropping amount of arrogance and privilege it takes to speak that hatefully, that freely. But what stinks most is the betrayal it represents, the lie that their jobs were. The disgust they had for their own kids. “They were friendly to our faces,” Zhaqweyza Armstrong, a 16 year-old Coatesville High junior, told the Inquirer Monday, “and then they talked about us behind our backs.”
Right on cue to back me up, Salon posts another essay on teaching:

GOPers Groping Toward Budget

U.S. Senate Republicans start closing ranks on spending bill | Reuters:
U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday appeared to fall in line with their leaders who want to pass an emergency spending bill by September 30 and avoid government shutdowns, even if it means failing in a drive to destroy "Obamacare..."

The Great Flushing Sound

American Bile -
...Put simply, most people are on a downward escalator. Although jobs are slowly returning, pay is not. Most jobs created since the start of the recovery, in 2009, pay less than the jobs that were lost during the Great Recession. This means many people are working harder than ever, but still getting nowhere. They’re increasingly pessimistic about their chances of ever doing better.

As their wages and benefits shrink, though, they see corporate executives and Wall Street bankers doing far better than ever before. And they are keenly aware of bailouts and special subsidies for agribusinesses, pharma, oil and gas, military contractors, finance and every other well-connected industry...

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Freedom's Just Another Word For Not Enough To Eat"

Krugman rages.Free to Be Hungry -
...Hence the war on food stamps, which House Republicans have just voted to cut sharply even while voting to increase farm subsidies...

Comment Of The Day: Skippy Flashback Edition

Qassem Suleimani New Yorker Piece - The Limitless Bungling Of George W. Bush And Company - Esquire
Sean Mitts · Top Commenter
Honestly, I could never figure out WTF we were doing back then. Iraq was run by the Baathists, the most secular of them all. Iran by the Shiites. The Taliban was fundamentalist Muslim. None of them could stand each other. The idea that Saddam was in cahoots with al Qaeda never made any sense. The same was true for Iran. And Iran and Iraq had fought a bloody war for 8 years where a million people died (and yes, we were helping both sides). Suddenly 4 years later they're an "Axis" and responsible for 9-11??

The lengths to which these people went to deceive the American people were astonishing. No doubt the American people bear some of the blame for being so easily snookered (although it's kind of understandable after 9-11). But the depths of the deceit these guys sank to whip up the country into a war frenzy is simply unforgivable.

This Was Not The South

Police: NYC mob attacks Sikh professor, thinking he's Muslim:
In what police are investigating as a hate crime, a Columbia University professor was badly beaten on a New York City street Saturday by a mob that apparently believed he was a Muslim...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Exalting The Danes

“Countrymen”: How Denmark saved its Jews -
...Lidegaard attributes this miracle to “politics” — not just the politics of international and wartime diplomacy but the ideology of nationalism. Specifically, it was the ability of Denmark’s Social Democratic leaders “to link ‘the Danish’ with ‘the democratic’ — using the two synonymously. Hence, to be a good, patriotic Dane was tantamount to resisting totalitarian ideas and defending representative government, democracy and humanism.” This is the sort of wholesome, right-thinking mentality that often leads outsiders to call Scandinavians boring, but in 1943 it achieved a transcendent beauty, as ordinary Danes in great numbers responded to the German action against their fellow citizens with indignation and reflexive efforts to help. Lidegaard offers countless examples of farmers, white-collar workers, laborers — people from every walk of life, including the Danish police — opening their homes, offering rides, misdirecting German soldiers, carrying messages, protecting personal property, concealing fugitives in hospitals and so on, to help the Danish Jews escape to Sweden, where they were welcomed without reserve...

Selling Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera America Review: Why Fox and MSNBC Should Worry | New Republic:
...Of course, Al Jazeera had for months been pitching itself as an antidote to the media landscape at large. The channel’s chief executive, Ehab Al Shihabi, described his goal as “fact-based, unbiased and in-depth news,” with “less opinion, less yelling and fewer celebrity sightings.” The network made a show of luring anchors away from other networks—some even out of TV news retirement—with promises of a new frontier in balanced, thorough reporting. And as the station kicked off its first day of broadcasts, it mostly delivered on these promises. The evening’s programming featured hours of Egypt coverage that included a report on church burnings and another about how the protests are morphing from massive town-square demonstrations to small, spontaneous ones. The push to contextualize was apparent in every segment: one anchor offered a breakdown of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood that was unprecedented in its straightforwardness and clarity. The coverage is calm, comprehensive, and far-reaching. But somehow, the overall effect is not quite as different from the rest of cable news as Al Jazeera imagines it...

Floating Clintons

Hillary Clinton’s Two Decades in the Political Spotlight -- New York Magazine:
...There’s a weightlessness about Hillary Clinton these days. She’s in midair, launched from the State Department toward … what? For the first time since 1992, unencumbered by the demands of a national political campaign or public office, she is saddled only with expectations about what she’s going to do next. And she is clearly enjoying it...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nuking NC

Report: Nuke that fell on N.C. in 1961 almost exploded:
One of two hydrogen bombs that a doomed B-52 accidentally dropped on North Carolina in 1961 came perilously close to exploding, according to a recently declassified report...
One wonders how large the crowd of revelers would have been in the North.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bigfooting Bigfoot (And Rodents)

Looking for Bigfoot? Follow this map�—�others have seen 'em there - NBC
...All alleged samples of Bigfoot hair, for example, have turned out to be from elk, bears or cows. Photos, audio and film footage have been determined to be inconclusive or hoaxes, and no bodily remains have ever been found — despite the fact that there would have to be hundreds or thousands of the creatures in existence in order to maintain the "species."

But Bigfoot enthusiasts will no doubt continue their search undaunted — and now, thanks to Stevens' map, they know where to look.
There are several billion people on this planet. How many bodies have you found? So are there thousands of Bigfootses hiding out there? Seems impossible as long as you operate under the assumption that humans are the smartest kids on the block. What if we're not? Say our IQ compares to Bigfoot like humans to, say, squirrels. Could you successfully hid from a squirrel?

Here We Go Again

13 Wounded in Barrage of Gunfire at Chicago Park -
A gunman who shot and wounded 13 people at a South Side park on Thursday night was armed with an assault-style rifle equipped with a high-capacity magazine, the police said on Friday...

Home School Horrors

The Sinister Side of Homeschooling - The Daily Beast:
...Indeed, when kids are homeschooled, it’s easy for the world to forget that they exist. In August, Erica Lynn Parsons, a 15-year-old girl ostensibly being homeschooled in North Carolina by her adoptive parents, was reported missing by her stepbrother; it soon emerged that she hadn’t been seen since 2011. Her birth mother is now calling for an “Erica’s law” that would provide greater oversight of homeschooling...

Beware The Open Hand Of The Forked Tongued

Congress Seeing Dollar Signs When Tribal Leaders Visit DC

This site makes it extremely difficult to copy & paste for some reason.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bengahzi Will Never Die!

Darrell Issa’s pathetic, error-laden obsession continues -
...So far, the hearing seems to be answering one question I’ve had about Issa’s crusade: Why did he wait so long to interview Pickering and Mullen in public? Back in May, both men volunteered to give public testimony to the committee about the ARB process. But Issa declined; he insisted they testify privately. From their private testimony, the GOP majority produced the myth- and error-ridden report they leaked earlier this week. Now, so far in public testimony, Issa has been embarrassed twice – and it’s still early. No wonder he hoped to take his first crack at Pickering and Mullen out of camera range.

The ranking Democrat on the committee, Elijah Cummings, produced a counterreport that documented the distortion of Mullen’s testimony about Cheryl Mills and other such factual errors and leaps of illogic in Issa’s IRB review. (It’s here.) Among Cummings’ findings: There was no “stand down” order to the military; Clinton did not personally sign a cable authorizing security reductions to the temporary facility; in fact, officials have been removed from their posts for bad judgment on Benghazi security...

CO Flooding And Secession

Private businesses flew no rescue missions even though they had choppers available. So do the gun nut secessionist Koch stooges want to swap some extra mags for a helicopter ride?

In the Midst of Historic Flooding Colorado Secessionists Deny Climate Change:
...The secession-minded Coloradan’s are angry over new renewable energy standards one county commissioner said were “an attack on oil and gas,” and another claimed “The whole purpose of doing this (secession) is to protect the energy sector that we feel is very much under assault.” The energy sector they are protecting is under the control of the Koch brothers who have spent hundreds-of-millions of dollars to promote climate change denial, and according to the National Weather Service (NWS) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Colorado’s ‘biblical‘ flooding is in line with climate trends projected to occur due to the effects of manmade global warming...

Bug Man Squirms Loose

DeLay appellate lawyer: ‘We won the Super Bowl’ |
A 3rd Court of Appeals panel, split 2-to-1 along partisan lines, on Thursday reversed the money-laundering and conspiracy convictions that ended the political career of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay seven years ago.

The Sugar Land Republican was facing a three-year prison sentence before the court’s majority opinion ruled that there was “legally insufficient evidence” at DeLay’s 2010 trial before a Travis County jury...
Update: Bug Man's Greatest Hits! Here, here.

The NRA Coup

Response To 12 Killed Americans An NRA Coup And Media Disgrace (VIDEO):
...There is a hidden danger here. Many have seen news reports in places like Iraq and Afghanistan where a reported is interviewing one of the locals when shots and bombs are going off. The reported would be flinching and to the locals, it is like nothing is happening. They are desensitized. America has already become desensitized to the gang killings in our urban areas. They see it as something that won’t happen in their neighborhoods. The danger now is that inaction from Congress and a derelict media is widening that desensitization. This is a coup for the NRA.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Killing The Poor

Republicans ramp up war on poor people -
...Now it’s not clear what the impact of all this will be on the size of the uninsured population. The Associated Press sees a sizable coverage gap forming. By contrast, a Health Affairs analysis earlier this year estimated that about a million people will actually go uninsured as a result of states opting out of Medicaid. And, as we’ve already seen in a several states, the pressure on GOP governors and legislatures to relent will be intense. Over time, this problem will shrink.

But next year millions of poor people’s lives will be made worse than they have to be because of this particular tactic. By no coincidence, poor voters are hard to mobilize. And since this benefit will only exist in the abstract (it’s being withheld, not rescinded) turning it into a liability for Republicans will be a huge challenge. But 9 million people is a lot of people. There’s no reason not to give it a try.

Comment Of The Day: Rube Edition

Great Historical Figures Of The Moment - Esquire
Kurt Weldon · Top Commenter · Los Angeles, California
Atrios summed it up beautifully: The Republican Party used to be run by people who were good at conning the rubes. Now it's being run by the rubes.

Pass it on...

Iran Says No To Nukes

Nightly News: Iran’s president vows to never develop nuclear weapons:
In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Ann Curry, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country is asking for peace, stability and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction...

More UnAmerican Activities

House Bill Cuts Health Funds, Raising Odds of U.S. Shutdown -
House Republican leaders — bowing to the demands of their conservative wing — will put to a vote on Friday a stopgap spending measure that would strip all funding from President Obama’s signature health care law, increasing the likelihood that the government will shut down in two weeks...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crazy In NC: UNC-TV Edition

Progressive group aims to oust Orson Scott Card from new position at UNC -
A “silly thought experiment” has made “Ender’s Game” author and homophobe Orson Scott Card very unpopular in his new position as a board member of the University of North Carolina public television, reports The Huffington Post.

Responding to a column Card wrote in May, in which he compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler, Progress North Carolina Action has launched an online petition for Card’s removal from the two-year term advisory role:...

Clinton Has Solid Lead

Opinion: For 2016, Hillary Clinton's big lead; GOP's big zero -
...Tough and experienced, Clinton is now positioned as a candidate who rivals Obama's 2007 surge. She will also be positioned as the candidate of the 51%, compelling to women of all ages and even possibly competitive among Republican women in this incarnation...

No Science For The Right

Fearing Witchcraft, House Republicans Pull Proposal For National Science Laureate:
Thanks to the efforts of global warming deniers, House leadership has quietly pulled a bill that would have created an honorary, unpaid position of “American Science Laureate,” saving the nation’s schoolchildren from the specter of encountering dangerous pro-science messages. Science magazine explains that the bill was expected to pass easily until Larry Hart of the American Conservative Union complained that an official Science Laureate would allow President Obama to appoint some wild-eyed freak in a lab coat...

Irish Bank Thieves

Ireland Bank Tapes Leaked - The Snowden Effect: Ireland Edition - Esquire:
...I think "Forget about reality because it's not working" should be tattooed on the forehead of every major banker from Jamie Dimon to these thieves over here. The tapes also are fairly clear evidence that complete amorality among the financial services industry remains far from an American phenomenon. It's important to remember that, not long ago, as the bubble was building, Ireland was Exhibit A for the case being made by the master thieves that a combination of deregulation and cowboy banking was the golden staircase. The Celtic Tiger, remember? In point of fact, the Irish bubble was even bigger and more fragile than ours was, and when it popped, it did so with a far louder bang. In the aftermath, however, there was even less transparency as to the causes of the crash than there was in the United States...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Shooter Had Troubles In Navy

Live updates: Navy Yard shooter 'had a pattern of misconduct' -
The 34-year-old former Navy electrician’s mate identified as the gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard had been discharged from the service in 2011 after multiple disciplinary infractions, a Navy officer said Monday.

Aaron Alexis “had a pattern of misconduct,” the official said...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Clinton's Knee

How Obama is Setting the Stage for Hillary in 2016 - The Daily Beast:
...Five years ago, Hillary Clinton sparked controversy by remarking that Martin Luther King's dream only became a reality when Lyndon Johnson forced the Civil Rights bill of 1964 through Congress. "It took a president to get it done." Obama supporters seized on Clinton's words as a slight against Martin Luther King. A political cycle later, progressive Democrats may feel new respect for LBJ's ability to get things done.

Peter Beinart's analysis of the cultural moment is astute. But be careful about over-predicting big sweeping new political changes. Democrats tried that in 2008. And what they'll be looking for in their next leader will be much less the ability to touch the nation's heart, and much more the ability to apply the knee to her Republican opponents' groins.

The Privatization Scam

Diane Ravitch: School privatization is a hoax, “reformers” aim to destroy public schools -
...The central premise of this movement is that our public schools are in decline. But this is not true. The public schools are working very well for most students. Contrary to popular myth, the scores on the no-stakes federal tests— the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — are at an all-time high for students who are white, black, Hispanic, and Asian. Graduation rates are also at an all-time high...

Wishful Thinking

Obama May Have Played Us All And Won - That Is Leadership:
...Here is the reality; the only ones that weren’t played in this whole scheme were the President and his administration. This President is so self-assured that unlike many he is capable of taking a barrage of incoming missiles without responding. He keeps his eye on the ball. That is real leadership. One hopes that as he approaches the twilight months of his presidency, he will use this same technique for middle class centric issues, immigration issues, and other Plutocrat busting issues.

Running Will Get You Shot In NC

Man seeking help after North Carolina car crash shot by police | Reuters:
An unarmed man who was shot dead after running toward police officers in Charlotte, North Caroline, may have been just trying to get help after crashing his car, police said...
Update: here.

Pointing Will Get You Shot

NYPD Officers Shoot Bystanders in Midtown -
...The man was able to get away from the officers, and as additional officers arrived, allegedly put his hand into his pocket and then took it out, making a motion as if he was shooting in the direction of the police officers, police said...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Noonan Flogs Putin

Peggy Noonan Does Not Care For This Impertinent Cossack Vladimir Putin:
...Our Lady is very big on grace and patience, and has been known to excoriate President Obama for his supposed lack of such. To be fair, she would excoriate Obama for doing anything besides putting on a dinner jacket and white gloves and refilling her drink glass every time she daintily rings the little silver bell she keeps nearby at all times.

Mr. Putin’s challenge to the idea to American exceptionalism was ignorant and tone-deaf. The president had thrown in a reference to it at the end of his speech. Mr. Putin, in his essay, responded: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.” After all, he said, God made us all equal.

My goodness, that argument won’t get you very far in America, and it’s a little worrying that Mr. Putin either wouldn’t know this or wouldn’t care...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Boner, Ahem, Beat-Down

John Boehner's Cry For Help - Esquire:
There are brief, fleeting moments in which I feel something akin to sadness regarding John Boehner, the orange-hued political castrato currently engaged as The Maitre d' In Bedlam. It is not his fault that he is so terrible at the job of wrangling the insane. Not everyone has that peciuliar gift. He was handed the gavel in 2010 as leader of the worst Congress elected in the history of the Republic. In return, he placed his balls snugly in a Mason jar that is buried somewhere on the grounds of the Heritage Foundation, and then a substantial portion of his Congress threw a hooley and burned the map that showed where the jar was...


11 questions to see if libertarians are hypocrites -
...There was a good reason for that. Randian libertarianism is an illogical, impractical, inhumane, unpopular set of Utopian ravings which lacks internal coherence and has never predicted real-world behavior anywhere. That’s why, reasonably enough, the libertarian movement evaporated in the late 20th century, its followers scattered like the wind...

Right When He Says "Outrageous"

Biden hits GOP 'Neanderthal crowd':
...Biden described some House Republicans as a "Neanderthal crowd" on Thursday night for seeking to oppose re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Killers Kill Their Own

American jihadi rapper Omar Hammami reportedly killed in Somalia - World News:
A jihadi rapper from Alabama who had a $5 million bounty put on his head by the FBI after he climbed the ranks of an al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group has reportedly been killed by members of his own organization....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The American Decline

10 ways America has come to resemble a banana republic -
...Saying that the U.S. had a robust middle-class in the 1950s and ’60s is not to say it was devoid of poverty, which was one of the things Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was vehemently outspoken about. King realized that the economic gains of the post-World War II era need to be expanded to those who were still on the outside of the American Dream looking in. But 50 years after King’s “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963, poverty has become much more widespread in the U.S.—and the country has seriously declined not only economically, but also in terms of civil liberties and constitutional rights.

Here are 10 ways in which the United States has gone from bad to worse, and is looking more and more like a banana republic in 2013...

Beware Of Idiots With Guns

Watch Daughter Of John Birchers Explain Why Tea Party Idiocy Is No Laughing Matter - Occupy Democrats:
While it’s easy to laughingly dismiss Tea Party fools with their silly hats and misspelled signs, this knowledgeable daughter of some of the founding members of the John Birch Society knows that their mega astro-turf movement is dangerous, growing, well-funded, powerful, and to blame for Washington’s corporatist gridlock...

Enraging The Xians

When the going gets tough, the PR manipulators stir up the Christians | The Confluence:
It’s all over the nytimes front page. A *Christian* village in Syria was attacked. Three *Christian* women are dead, as if that makes it more outrageous. They must be desperate if they’re willing to get the American Christian sector all in a tizzy.

Moslem children dead for two years? Not a peep. But once they worship the right god, well, then they’re worth saving.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rush Down To His Standards

Limbaugh names Obama’s Syria plan “Operation: Shuck & Jive” -
Despite a well-intentioned attempt to keep Rush Limbaugh out of the headlines for more than 48 hours, the conservative talk show host managed to outdo his general level of offensiveness on Monday’s program, in which he used racist term “shuck & jive” to describe President Obama’s plan for Syria:...

Was The Right Right?

This year in WNC. we have tracked 1953 almost exactly. Couple 1953 and its terrible winter with the Arctic ice expansion and we could see the beginning of Little Ice Age II. I hope I am completely wrong but it looks to be a nasty winter. Many in climate change denialist camp will jump on this as an excuse to continue deregulating industrial pollution (i.e. making more money by poisoning and killing the planet and its people), but I wouldn't get too smug. If you look at geologic time and the four billion year history of Terra, we are still in an ice age. Pay close attention to the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age and you'll see that we need to be concerned about climate change, irregardless of which way it is trending.

Global cooling: Arctic ice caps grows by 60% against global warming predictions | Mail Online:
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent...

Monday, September 09, 2013

What's Really Happening With The ACA

The Wonk Gap -
...For the truth is that the good news on costs just keeps coming in. There has been a striking slowdown in overall health costs since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, with many experts giving the law at least partial credit. And we now have a good idea what insurance premiums will be once the law goes fully into effect; a comprehensive survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that on average premiums will be significantly lower than those predicted by the Congressional Budget Office when the law was passed...

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Dems Helping GOPers

How to save the Republican Party, courtesy of two Democrats - The Washington Post:
...But we also believe that our democracy is better off with two healthy political parties willing to debate fiercely — and then reach honorable compromises. A Republican Party dominated by a new generation of reform-minded conservatives who care more about solving problems than scoring points would be a huge step toward restoring a federal government that can govern. So we’d like to pass on to Republicans now some of the advice we offered Democrats then.

The first step is to dispense with the evasion. Our manifesto explored three myths that were prevalent among Democrats in 1989— and that can be seen among Republicans today...

107 Year Old Shot

It's an AP article, so you get no words. Here: SWAT officers kill man, 107, in standoff | The News Star | relevant: here.

Trouble In The Federation

As someone who loathed, despised, hated, and just generally vomited at the Star Trek reboot, being mightly offended by bad science, character illogic, and numerous plot holes, I suspected Abrams were an arrogant lot, since they made an incredibly arrogant movie; the tirade referenced in the article seems to bear out my suspicions. I will never see another Trek movie if Abrams has anything to do with it.

“Star Trek” writer unleashes Khan-like wrath on Trekkies -

...Star Trek is not a democracy. While the franchise may, in the spiritual sense, “belong to the fans,” the people in control are JJ Abrams, Bob Orci, and his co-writers. However, it’s not unfair for fans to criticize or complain when the franchise seems to be dumbing down or moving away from the original ethos of the series. Orci’s repeated assertions that he “listens” to fans seem meaningless when the end result is a movie that inspired widespread disappointment among its intended audience. Particularly when “listening” also seems to be accompanied by cursing, insults, and taunts like “This is why I get to write the movies, and you don’t...”

Saturday, September 07, 2013

England Rules (And Swings)

It’s love, actually: patriotic PM puts Britain back on top of the world | The Times:
 David Cameron launched an impassioned and poetic defence of Britain’s achievements yesterday after claims that a Russian official belittled the UK as a “small island” with no influence.

In a recitation of British achievements that drew praise even from his most rebellious backbenchers, the Prime Minister said that the world had Britain to thank for the abolition of slavery, many of its best inventions and almost every sport worth playing...

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Nightly Nut List

10 weirdest right-wing Christian conspiracy theories -
For the Christian right, having a “faith-based” worldview extends far beyond claims about demons and angels. Unsurprisingly, the world of fundamentalist Christians is absolutely crawling with conspiracy theories, urban legends, and just plain bizarre beliefs about how the world works. Here’s a list of 10 of the weirder ones are currently in circulation...

Bustin' Tax Evaders

Secret Swiss Bank Accounts Have Cover Blown - MainStreet:
The Internal Revenue Service gave the largest whistleblower reward ever to UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld in September 2012. He received $104 million for tipping off the federal government to UBS's secret Swiss bank accounts. UBS paid a fine of $780 million and provided the names of more than 4,900 American taxpayers who held offshore accounts...

A Sad List Of Economic Victims

8 biggest victims of America’s predatory capitalism -
We live in a society that allows one man to make $15 million a day while a low-income mother gets $4.50 a day for food, and much of Congress wants to cut the $4.50.

Are political and corporate leaders even remotely aware of the conditions of society beneath the wealthiest 10% or so?

The following are some of the victims of an economic system that has forgotten the majority of its people...

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Bill Calls On GOP To Help With ACA

Good luck, Mr. President.

Bill Clinton calls for GOP to improve - not repeal — Obamacare - Jason Millman -
Former President Bill Clinton, recruited by the White House to explain the misunderstood health law, is looking to play Obamacare peacemaker.

In a highly-anticipated speech from his presidential library, Clinton challenged Republicans to finally work with Democrats to improve on President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement instead of constantly trying to undermine it...

Crazy In NC: It's Not What You Think Edition

Don't jump to conclusions. Read the whole story.

North Carolina Pastor Wants Only White People At Front Door (VIDEO):
North Carolina has been the center of political turmoil all summer. The Right Wing takeover of their state houses has passed draconian voter ID laws, and draconian laws against women’s rights have been at the forefront. Their citizens have organically risen up with the effecting of Moral Mondays.

Sadly, it seems like all the damage to citizens is not inflicted by politicians taking away their freedom and humanity. Some of it is from within communities least expected. No one in their right mind would believe this story. It baffles the mind...

Another Taser Misuse

Ontario woman, 80, suffers fractured hip after being struck with police Taser | News1130:
Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating an incident in which they say an 80-year-old woman suffered a fractured hip after she was struck by police with a Taser.

Special Investigations Unit spokeswoman Monica Hudon said three Peel region police officers approached the woman around 3:30 a.m. last Wednesday as she was walking along a road in Mississauga...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Stupid Summary

The 8 dumbest things Republicans said — in the past week alone -

O Returns To Constitution

Going to Congress: Obama's Best Syria Decision : The New Yorker:
President Barack Obama announced two decisions today—one his own resolution, the other potentially far more historic. It might not be immediately obvious which was which. He began by saying that, ten days after what very much appears to have been a chemical-weapons attack outside of Damascus, “I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets.” He spoke of the emotional reasons why (the children who died in their sleep) and what he hoped the national-security benefits would be (that part is still muddled). But note the verb: “should take military action”—not will—which set up Obama’s second, more important, and quite correct decision: “I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress...”

Monday, September 02, 2013

How Minimum Is The Minimum?

How America's Minimum Wage Really Stacks Up Globally - Jordan Weissmann - The Atlantic:
By the standards of other rich nations, the U.S. minimum wage, at $7.25 an hour, can look pretty measly. Australia's minimum for full-time adult employees works out to almost $15, these days. France's is around $12. For almost a year now, American fast food workers have been going on strike to demand that kind of pay...

The Texas GOPer Plan

Why America's Political Destiny Hinges On What Happens Next In Texas - Forbes:
...The Texas GOP’s formula, if nationalized, could destroy the progressives’ dreams of permanent political hegemony over America. How sad for the left, so close to victory, to have it snatched away. For those of us, however, who stand in opposition to the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: the Munisteri Model demonstrates how to win the battle … and the war.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Defending Rape

As a teacher in higher ed, I can tell that sexual contact with students will get you fired in most places, regardless of the ages involved. As a human being, I find this reasoning just plain wrong, if not evil.

Washington Post column uses a Louis C.K. joke to defend statutory rape -
...Karasik may say that her position on statutory rape shouldn’t be interpreted as a defense of Judge Todd Baugh’s comment that Rambold’s victim was “as much in control of the situation” as her rapist, but by erasing these crucial power dynamics from her read on the case (and sex between adults and minors more broadly), she effectively argues the same thing. Rambold didn’t rape his 14-year-old student because it wasn’t a “forcible beat-up rape,” Baugh recently remarked. Karasik seems to share this opinion...