We read the news, so that your head won't explode.
There was a lot of media coverage when it was announced that Ruth Bader Ginsburg would become the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate a same-sex wedding, She will officiate at the wedding of Michael M. Kaiser (Kennedy Center President) and economist John Roberts.
While I completely understand why this made news, personally I think the reason she did it was not to be cutting edge, but rather as a ridiculing dig at Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts....
Yesterday, former crazy congressman Allen West (R-Mars) blasted President Obama when he said...oh, who cares? I didn't care what lunatic things Mr. West ranted about when he was an elected official, I can't understand why anyone on Earth or back on his home planet would care what he says now that he no longer has the authority of a Congressman.
Sports reporters have been working overtime for the past several weeks, writing about Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who last year became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy. The controversy over Manziel has been over whether or not he took any money for signing football paraphernalia, which is against NCAA rules. The NCAA has been investigating if any money changed hands, and the best they can determine is that he may have broken the spirit of the rule about money payment, and so suspended him with a slap on the wrist, prohibiting him from playing in the first half of Texas A&M's first game.
I'm really not sure what all the dispute and concern is about, and most especially the shock if such a thing actually happened, that money might have changed hands.
I mean, seriously. Look at the school's logo. It's freaking "ATM"!
And people are actually wondering if money changed hands??!!
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) said on Thursday he has a "gut feeling" that Syria possesses chemical weapons which it got from Iraq. It should be noted that in 2003, Mr. Terry supported the invasion of Iraq, no doubt based on his "gut feeling" at the time that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's impressive how someone with such hyper-active gut feelings can be so gutless.
Liz Cheney, running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator in Wyoming; daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, and whose sister is very famously gay, commented yesterday that "I am not pro-gay marriage." I was going to say, "Hey, now that's a family dinner table I don't want to be at for Thanksgiving..." when I realized that that's a family dinner table I don't want to be at for any meal.
For decades, the gun manufacturer-owned fringe outlier group, the NRA has helped build up its membership by ginning their fears of a massive database of gun owners kept by the government. In fact, as Buzzfeed reports here, "the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners."
In a twist of whimsy worthy of George Orwell, if George Orwell had any whimsy, it's turned out that that database is collected and kept by the NRA itself. It's the country’s "largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners."
I don't know if this falls under the Law of Unintended Consequences, or "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it," or -- "Geez, what did you expect from a far-right wing, radical, paramilitary, vigilante, hate organization"?
So, you remember that fake, supposed-scandal about the IRS "targeting" far right political groups? Not only has that already be debunked with reports of liberal groups being scrutinized, as well -- as the IRS should, for both sides -- but documents were released today by members of the House Ways and Means Committee that the Internal Revenue Service encouraged investigators to single-out groups that had the left-leaning word "emerge" in their names, as well as groups that could be seen as successors to the now-defunct, GOP-hated ACORN.
In fact, the only thing that Republicans seemingly hate more than the non-existent ACORN is that the clearly aren't being persecuted for being Republicans. Just ridiculed.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the NSA has developed a surveillance network that can reach 75% of Internet traffic.
While most Americans responded with outrage, officials at the service provider AT&T have sent a team to the NSA to inquire "So, what's your trick?" They called the home office with updates, but couldn't get a signal.
One of the funniest hypocritical arguments in many decades has been the far right defense that Tea Party corporation love child Ted Cruz (R-TX) is eligible to run for president as a natural-born American because his mother was a U.S. citizen, even though his father was Cuban and he was born in Canada and lived there for four years. Given that almost exactly overlaps the "birther" charges against Barack Obama (were they remotely true), it is literally impossible for them to argue that Ted Cruz is an American Citizen but the president is not.
But the funniest part of the story is that it now turns out that the one aspect of all this that is indisputable is that Ted Cruz is eligible to be Prime Minister of Canada. Under Canada's Citizenship Act of 1947, anyone born on Canadian soil is Canadian. “He’s a Canadian,” said Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section.
The big problem for the fiery Cruz though, now that it turns out he is Canadian, is not whether he's eligible to run for president, it's whether or not he can now suddenly become incredibly polite.
Supreme Court Justie Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a rare interview. Among the topics she touched on was the Court's decision to gut part of the Voting Rights Act. She had some pointed thoughts. "The notion that because the Voting Rights Act had been so tremendously effective we had to stop it didn't make any sense to me. And one really could have predicted what was going to happen."
My favorite comment, though, was when discussing her dissent in the 5-4 decision on the voting law. In writing her dissent, she said that getting rid of that part of the law was "like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."
She also noted that, even just a mere month from the law being overturned, having seen all the newly proposed laws in Southern states about voter ID cards, "I didn't want to be right, but sadly I am."
The good news about all this is that there are aspects of the law that remain unchanged which allow the Justic Department to challenge some of the laws, and apparently they are looking into doing that.
The brother of acquitted killer George Zimmerman was quoted as saying that any civil lawsuit against his brother "Might Not Be Very Flattering' To Trayvon Martin's Family"
Right. Because up to now the news has been really great for them...
Let's see: their son was killed. He was dragged through the mud as supposed a drug-dealing gang member thug. And his killer was acquitted.
Sarah Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska, returned to her whining mode, and claimed that "I was banned from talking about Jeremiah Wright" when running as John McCain's VP candidate.
Personally, I think that rather than complaining about that, she should be upset that they hadn't also banned her from talking about foreign policy.
Or newspapers, the economy, science, the environment, and pretty much anything.
There is a report that the Reuters' news service climate change coverage fell by nearly 50% not long after hiring a climate skeptic as their senior editor.
I'm not sure that it's fair to blame the drop in climate change coverage on this hiring. I could be that their climate change coverage dropped because their staff was too physically drained from the excessive heat wave.
Yesterday, maniacally out-of-control, former semi-popular rock singer Ted Nugent said...oh, honestly, who cares?
Wired magazine announced a new Apple rumor. They then rate Apple rumors from Dumbest to Most Plausible.
I should mention that I myself heard a rumor today that there is a rumor there might be an Apple rumor next week.
And if it was up to me, I would rate Apple rumors from Dumbest to Least Dumb. You see, Apple Rumors are not actual news. They're...rumors. They're meaningless. When something becomes factual, they will at that point be news.
Mark Sanford, the disgraced former governor of South Carolina for egregious marriage infidelity, going AWOL while on the job and lying about, won his race for the 1st Congressional District against Elizabeth Colbert Busch.
It's nice to see that the very Red, family values state has shown how important family values actually are to them. At least when the other person is a liberal.
Also, after being down 9 point in a PPP poll just two weeks ago, he was up by one point in a Sunday poll, and won the election two days later by nine points. PPP is a very good polling outfit. Not here. Gots to work on those metrics, folks.
The stock market closed over 15,000 for the first time in history. Just imagine how high it would be if there was a real president in office who supported big business.
To be clear, the stock market is not an indication of the economic conditions in the country. But it is an indication of importance to the finances of big big business. What wonders when corporations will begin to realize that Republicans are not inherently good for them, and Democrats bad. And when the public grasps that, as well. History has shown this time and again.
The Huffington Post just announced that they are opening a bureau in Japan. No word yet if the Japanese are aware that they won't get be getting paid.
In related news, the dollar hit a four-year high against the yen last month. So, with the conversation rate, Japanese bloggers won't be hurt as much as if they were actually receiving income.
Yesterday, Texas lawmakers spent their first full day debating House Bill 650. The bill would require that all presidential candidates prove that they are natural born citizens before being allowed on the Texas ballot. Not surprisingly, it has drawn great support from "birthers" who still think that President Obama was born in Kenyan.
The bill was first introduced in January, which as whimsy would have it, is when Ted Cruz was elected to the senate to represent Texas, long before the far right has decided he is already their beloved choice (after just four months in office) to be president in 2016. Given that Barack Obama is not eligible to ever run for president again -- and that Ted Cruz was born in Canada and lived there for the first four years of his life -- I'm going to guess that this is a really good example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Sometimes when you're really screwed up, you end up screwing yourself.
The swami Mike Huckabee predicted on his "Fox News" show that President Obama would be impeached over Benghazi. Forgetting for a moment all his non-existence reasons, other than that havng something to do with lying to the American public -- because, y'know, no president has ever done that -- his faux-outrage culminated in declaring Benghazi as worse than Watergate (which, let's be clear, was about subverting the Constitution and abuse of power) because, "as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die.”
I believe the polite response is, "Spare me."
George Bush lied not only to the American public but also Congress -- and as a result of the latter got the United States into war with Iraq, where 4,500 Americans did, in fact, die. And he additionally ignored a Presidential Daily Briefing that resulted in the Twin Towers being destroyed on 9/11 and 3,000 deaths.
So, we've got 7,500 deaths and not a single peep of a hiccup of criticism from one of the most gut-wrenchingly hypocritical people in America.
And Mike Huckabee says...the Black guy is worse. Worse than them all. Well...to the Mike Huckabees of the world, he probably is. But then, that's why they're the Mike Huckabees of the world.
Reuters reported that the Wall Street analysts have separately released studies each of which suggest that if the biggest investment banks broke themselves up in to smaller entities, it would make them more profitable. Part of the reason is that new regulations makes the big banks "un-investable," according to Kian Abouhossein, an analyst for JPMorgan. An analyst for Wells Fargo, Matthew Burnell, the value of the smaller companies "would likely be greater than the current whole."
Apparently, breaking up isn't hard to do.
Democrats in the House put a motion forward that would have allowed the House to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is an equal pay for women piece of legislation. However Republicans voted the motion down, 226 to 192.
This is the part where I absolutely love watching all the Republicans get sooo pissed off when Democrats claim that the GOP has a War on Women and insist that it's just not, not, not true. It's more like a crusade.
In her column, Ann Coulter wrote, "MSNBC's Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals. (Let's start with Meghan McCain!)"
This is a standard mantra of Ms. Coulter, who loves to suggest that people she doesn't like should get killed. (Among others, she said that Rep. John Murtha should be "fragged", which is when soldiers kill one of their own. She also suggested that someone should put rat poison in Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens's creme brulee.) And then she tries to dismiss it as a joke. [Note: in an earlier version, I mistyped "fragged" as "fracked," the problematic process for extracting gas from shale. Thanks to David Rich for catching it.]
And once again, on cue, this time she says it's all okay because -- "I was making a joke," she told Sean Hannity on Fox, saying it was just "hyperbole" -- before she then slammed Martin Bashir's "heinous" comment. Now, either she thinks Martin Bashir was actually suggesting people be actually killed, which would make her an idiot, or she's suggesting that her hyperbole is okay, but his is heinous. Which would make her an idiot. It's a win-win.
The reality is that it will not come as a shock that Ms. Coulter twisted what Martin Bashir said -- which was, in fact, not a suggestion at all, but a question, in response to a guest. Along with a follow-up statement to make his feelings clear. Bashir had been talking with Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-MD) who told a heartbreaking story of his nephew being killed. Bashir then said, "But Congressman, is that what needs to happen to move these senators to stop threatening a filibuster? Is that really what needs to happen? That you need to have a member of your family killed in order for you to do what the American people want you to do?”
Rep. Cummings replied, “I hope not. I don’t wish this pain on anybody.” To which Bashir answered, “None of us does."
"None of us does." Gee, who would have guessed that he said that after reading Ms. Coulter's "joke."
Mind you, the very best part of her whining "defense" came later. That was when she said, "I think the exclamation point made it clear. And the fact that everyone laughed when they read it."
Okay, speaking as someone who actually does write comedy professionally, a few tips for Ms. Coulter. 1) Putting an exclamation point at the end of a sentence doesn't make it a joke. What it does is give what you just wrote more emphasis. 2) When you write something in a column, you really, honestly don't have any idea whether or not "everyone laughed" at it. Or if anyone did. 3) Sometimes people make a joke about things that they believe. 4) It's generally not good to keep repeating the same joke. 5) If you're going to dance on the line of bad taste when you make a joke, you'd better do everything to make it incredibly well-crafted so that everyone actually knows it's a really great joke. And 4) most importantly, just because you tell a joke doesn't mean it's funny.
By the way, to be clear, I don't think Ann Coulter wants all these people "dead." What I do think, though, is that in today's culture it's seriously dangerous and in horrific taste to joke about killing people, and keep joking about killing people, because as we've too often seen, there are sick human beings who can't tell what a joke is or isn't. And what I also think is that Ann Coulter is an idiot.
Sorry, I mean, what I also think is that Ann Coulter is an idiot!
There. The exclamation point made it clear. And everyone laughed when they read it.
"As far as I can tell, political leaders are falling all over themselves to endorse your side of the case," Chief Justice Roberts told lawyers arguing on behalf of gay marriage.
The Chief Justice has good eyesight, though it is slightly skewed. Seven senators have come out (yes, okay, pun intended) in support of gay marriage in the past two weeks, though the GOP still stands pretty recalcitrant. So, the fact that political leaders are "falling over themselves" shouldn't be taken as legal evidence that laws don't have to be changed. Leaders may be falling, but they're falling almost exclusively on one side of the aisle. If Republicans aren't careful, they might find themselves without any ballast as the ship tips over on them completely.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told USA Today that in being so intransigent in their moral outrage over gay marriage, the GOP shouldn't "act like Old Testament heretics."
My first reaction was, "But, gee, it's worked so well for them in the past."
My second reaction was -- a heretic is someone who holds religious beliefs that conflict with church dogma. So, in his admonishment of the "heretics," he seems to be suggesting that church dogma supports gay marriage. Gee, first time I've heard that in the debate.
My third reaction was -- "Old Testament"?? Hey, me bucko, don't blame this on the Old Testament. You guys dug your own hole here, don't drag the Old Testament down with you. This is a "Church Thing" with the GOP. If you feel you have to blame someone, blame the sequel.
In an interview with radio station KRBD, Rep. Don Young (R-AL) managed to offend even Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) when using an ethnic slur about Mexicans, latter claiming he meant no offense, though he didn't apologize -- at least until later when clearly someone told him, "Y'know, you didn't apologize." (Mind you, the fact that he didn't think it was offensive to use a slur against Mexican-Americans seems to fit in with the standard attitude of conservatives towards Hispanics.)
In response, Mr. Boehner said, "I don’t care why he said it -- there’s no excuse and it warrants an immediate apology." It's an admirable, blunt statement by Mr. Boehner, so, hat's off. But of course, there is an excuse -- it's that this is close to Standard Operating Procedure for the Republican Party these days, starting with efforts to demean minorities in every way imaginable ever since the first Black president was elected. Only a week or so ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made a major immigration speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and in front of most-especially this group he defended his admiration of Hispanics by referencing a Seinfeld episode and saying, "So it is with trepidation that I express my admiration for the romance of the Latin culture." (Gosh, why would he have any "trepidation" about saying that? It was only a major immigration policy speech. To the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce."
Rule #1 -- When you begin a sentence with "So, it is with trepidation that I express..." -- it's best not to express it. Especially if this is you Big Immigration Policy Speech to Hispanic leaders.
But when this is Standard Operating Procedure for Republicans, it seems okay to say...well, just about anything. Ask the aforementioned Don Young (R-AL).
And all of this comes after the GOP released its Growth & Opportunity Project, which specifically referenced treating minorities with respect. Since all this comes following that admonition, just imagine what the Far Right would be saying about Hispanics and all minorities if they weren't careful to be sensitive."
In his debate with Curtis Bostic for the Republican nomination in South Carolina's 1st congressional district, former Gov. Mark Sanford (you know, the guy who went missing for days and lied about where he went, when he was really cheating on his wife with his Brazilian mistress) slammed Bostic for missing meetings when a councilman. It turns out that Mr. Bostic had a very good, and outraged answer -- he was at home with his wife who had cancer. "My absence is because I was home taking care of her largely, doing what I should've been," Bostic said, "People knew where I was. I did my job just the same."
This is not a mere "oops" moment. This is one of those moments that overlaps with Rand Paul opening a statement with "It is with trepidation that I..." It also falls under the heading of, "People in glass houses should know freaking better than to say something that will shine a Really Big Light on their own idiocy, even if they knew what they were talking about."
In her big speech at CPAC recently, America's Yammering Hypocrite, Sarah Palin, the half-term governor of Alaska, lambasted "the big consultants, the big money men, and the big bad media.” In her recent SarahPAC filings with the Federal Election Committee, it shows that she raised $5.1 million. It also shows that of this amount, $298,500 went to actual candidates. The bulk of the remaining $4.8 million went to -- the big consultants, the big money men, and the big bad media..
In Ms. Palin's case, she shouldn't even concern herself about starting sentences with "It is with trepidation that I..." and just assume that that goes before every word she utters. Or thinks.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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