Friday, April 29, 2011

Bob Hope Had His Own Comic...

...and's seanbaby gives it his own special spin.

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No Main Topic

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Washington Picks Ryan Kerrigan

Political Cartoonists Vs. Birthers

Yoo Gotta Be Kiddin' Me

So the (Republican) President can order a person's testicles to be crushed, but he (as a Democrat) can't force political donors to reveal themselves?

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CPC Budget Promotion Watch, 4/28/11

The Congressional Black Caucus backs the plan.

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No Main Topic

  1. “It’s an opportunity we are going to take,” Ms. Zanella said in a telephone interview from Dallas. “It’s better than being in the shadows.”
  2. "We lost the leader of our family," said her son Dicky Eklund, who was portrayed by Christian Bale in the film. "She was a great woman, a strong woman. She taught us all what it means to be strong because she never gave up on any of us," he added.

  3. "An awful, terrible, disturbing and deadly day of tornadoes unfolded on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 with more than 100 reported tornadoes striking several states in the South and even a few areas in the Mid-Atlantic," the Weather Channel said.
  4. "We maintain his innocence, and now the fight begins," Bolden said.
  5. “Even though it will be sad to say goodbye to House of Payne, I’m really looking forward to exploring new territory with For Better or Worse,” Tyler Perry said in a statement. “Working on House of Payne taught me a lot about what it takes to make a successful television series and I’m looking forward to applying that experience to For Better or Worse.”
  6. “The claim that Gilbert or any of his representatives authorized the moving company to transport the contents of his home to California is false.”


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Left-Leaning Opinion/News Hosts Try To Have a Dialogue With Right-Leaning Nutjobs; Goes About As Well As One Would Expect

Via Democratic Underground:

Lawrence O'Donnell asks Orly Taitz about Obama's birth certificate release, she tries to talk about Obama's social security number, Lawrence kicks her ass off.

Cenk Uygar asks Joseph Farah if he's satisfied now; Farah says no because "the government" released the document and Obama's father was not a US citizen, Cenk puts him on the crazy train.

I hate to say this, but on top of the blatant racism of pressuring a black man to prove his legitimacy in this day an age, this modern day racist witch hunt has, for one day, allowed the MSNBC haters to compare O'Donnell to (serial mic-cutter) Bill O'Reilly and Uygar to (Mr. If-You-Don't-Agree-With-Me-You-Suck) Sean Hannity. I will not be surprised to see any "Both sides do it!" posts over the next few days. Again, it's neither of these guys' fault, but you can't engage crazy without consequences to your own image and/or well-being.

I hope that Cenk and Lawrence only invite sane people for engaging debates from now on, and leave the nuts for Arkham Asylum.

UPDATE: Thom Hartmann tries his hand at getting something useful out of Taitz, and has just about as much luck as O'Donnell did. And while Thom did let her ramble on, he (similar Lawrence and Cenk) made sure to close the segment by explaining what this is really about.

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Superman Makes a Big Decision...

Now Trump Wants To See Obama's Grades

Of course. Next, he'll want proof that Obama campaigned for president in 2008. I mean, it was soooo long ago!

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CPC Budget Promotion Watch, 4/27/11

The GOP Don't Want Anyone To Vote For The Democrats...

...but instead of fighting it out based on the issues and political differences, they've decided to just derail any chances the Democrats have at getting new voters (the union-busting things was the first step, apparently):

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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From Seek Wisdom, Find Wealth: 5 Scams That Ruin The Black Community

Voters Fear Losing Medicare, Blame GOP

No Main Topic

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

David Brooks' Bottom Line

"Man On Fire" + "Taken" Equals...

...what's apparently going on in Mexico right now:

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AFP) – Locals call them "merchandise" and that is how criminal gangs treat the Central American youths they force into prostitution near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala.

Victims recount being tricked into making the dangerous journey across Central America in the hope of a better life before being stopped en route in southern Mexico and forced to work for nothing.

The Honduran consul in Mexico's southern Chiapas state, Patricia Villamil, alerted local authorities to several cases when she took on her job last November. When they failed to respond, she spoke out.

"They bring women from Honduras, preferably under 18," said Villamil, who has already recorded a dozen cases of minors between 14 and 17 years old being forced into prostitution.

"They steal their innocence. They hit them, mistreat them, humiliate and rape them," she said.

It amazes me that we (aka the US and/or the UN) go after people guns-a-blazing (in the UN's case, by asking other countries to fight on their behalf) once "rogue nations" start using tanks or bombs or biological/chemical weapons, but when a country just up and allows the kidnapping and raping and prostituting of children, we hold back like it's no big thing.

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April O'Neil Apparently Had An Eating Disorder

Which is strange, considering she spent so much time hanging around four pizza-loving turtles.

And I don't care what anyone says; the line of toys were geared toward little boys, so Ms. O'Neil's..."evolution" as it were should have raised some eyebrows. What if Hasbro had decided that the Baroness needed to be a D-cup?

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No Main Topic

  1. Rihanna wastes UNICEF's time...and money.
  2. Like Cujo, only he had help.
  3. Ford tough.
  4. Interesting comments from a guy known for crying a lot.
  5. Arkansas gets hit hard.


CPC Budget Promotion Watch, 4/26/11

Lawrence O'Donnell highlighted the CPC Budget last night:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Monday, April 25, 2011

No Main Topic

  1. "The oil market remains fraught with uncertainty," the Vienna-based analysts said. "Most of it is related to possibilities in the future, including the developments in all the geopolitical hotspots, the inflation threat and its impact on the economy," as well as a possible decrease in demand due to high prices.
  2. ''Jamal is playing with unbelievable confidence. Everything he throws up, he knows it's going in,'' Van Gundy said. ''We're at the opposite end of the spectrum. We have a lot of guys throwing it up, and they have no idea if it's going in.''
  3. "This is a very difficult time for Brandon and family, thankfully he will make a full recovery," Marshall's agent, Kennard McGuire, said in a statement.
  4. “I’m enjoying this because it’s been a rough year,” O’Neal said after yesterday’s series-clinching 101-89 win. “It’s been a rough year for me personally, and it was good to get out there and feel comfortable late in games. It may not always show up on the stat sheet, but I feel that I can really help this team on the defensive end. I can make guys guess when they go to the cup. You almost see guys just looking. But it’s a great group of guys — a brotherhood.”
  5. The Wii's being phased out, and Playstation has been down for the 5th day.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Around the Internets

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Answer Is, "Because It's Financially & Politically Cheaper"

The question is, "Why is Rick Perry calling for a 'three day of prayer' for rain?"

I have one of my own: why doesn't Perry call for a prayer for fiscal salvation?

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Huckabee vs Beck

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thom Hartmann: Thomas Jefferson Saw This Coming

No Main Topic

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Around The Internets

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thom Hartmann: Secrets the Rich Don't Want You to Know


Friday, April 15, 2011

Deficit Breakdown by

R.I.P., Walter Breuning

The world's oldest man (who had a simple-yet-awesome life philosophy) was 114.


Quote Of The Day

Facts that trolls don't know and their masters won't allow them to see:

National Debt Increased by 75% under Bush:

2001 - $5.871 trillion

2008 - $10.640 trillion

National Debt Increased 25% Under Obama:

Jan 31st 2009 = $10.569-Tr­­­­­­­­­­­­­­i­l­l­i­­o­­n

Jan 31st 2011 = $14.131-Tr­­­­­­­­­­­­­­i­l­l­i­­o­­n

But of the $3.56-tril­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­i­o­n increase, 98% was carry over from Bush programs:

Bush: $910-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = Interest on Debt 2009/2011

Bush: $360-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = Iraq War Spending 2009/2011
Bush: $319-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = TARP/Bailo­­­­­­­­­­­­­­u­t Balance from 2008 (as of May 2010)
Bush: $419-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = Bush Recession Caused Drop in taxes
Bush: $190-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = Bush Medicare Drug Program 2009/2011
Bush: $211-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = Bush Meicare Part-D 2009/2011
Bush: $771-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = Bush Tax Cuts 2009/2011

Bush's contributi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n­s­:

2001 to 2008: $4.769-tri­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­l­i­o­­n

2009 to 2010: $3.181-tri­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­l­i­o­­n

Total: $7.950-tri­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­l­i­o­­n

Increase Since 2001 = $14.131 - $5.871 = $8.26-Tril­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­i­o­n

Bush's contributi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n­: $7.950-tri­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­l­i­o­­n / $8.26-Tril­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­i­o­n = 96%

Obama only contributi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n­: $580-billi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­o­n = Stimulus Spending (as of Dec 2010).

Increase caused By Bush's Programs: 96%

Increase caused by Obama's Programs: 4%

-- "pete,"addressing the House GOP phase-out Medicare Plan.

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CPC Budget Promotion Watch, 4/15/11

Rachel Maddow + Transformers = AWESOME

Thursday, April 14, 2011

House Speaker Boehner Needed The House Democrats to Pass The "Agreed To" Spending Bill

Make no mistake: they saved his ass, and financially-speaking, the country as well. The Tea Party Caucus is cooling off of him, Eric Cantor is eying his job, and if he keeps playing to his base he'll be going the way of Bill Frist.

(If you just said, "Who's Bill Frist?" that's the point.)

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GOP Congressman Labels FDR As A Communist

Politico Is Dumb

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shorter CBO: Obama Punk'd House GOP

Mitch McConnell: The Opinion of Foreign Countries and Wall Street Is Just as Important As Important As The American People

Here was his response on dealing with the debt ceiling:

“In order to get my vote for raising the debt ceiling, we would need to do something significant about the deficit and let me define what I would view as significant: something that the markets would view as significant, something the American people would view as significant, something foreign countries would view as significant. Obviously that means no window dressing, no blue smoke and mirrors – something real, something measurable, that clearly will begin to reduce our debt.”

Funny how when the issue are about laws the GOP could care less about what "foreign countries" think. Also funny that now the banks (aka Wall Street) have been bailed out -over the objection of the American People- he suddenly wants to hear what they have to say.

When did Foreign Countries = Wall Street = American People?

(Of course, we all know GOP support for raising the ceiling ended with the election of President Obama)

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Birther Nation

Someone please tell Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and others that the "Obama birth certificate" issue has been settled.

One More Thing: According to the Constitution,

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

- meaning, that as a citizen of the United States Obama was and still is eligible.

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No Main Topic

CPC Budget Promotion Watch, 4/13/11

I did a Google search this morning, and who's been talking about the CPC Budget?
  1. The Hill.
  2. The Washington Examiner.
  4. Reuters.

UPDATE: The CPC is now on Daily Kos.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CPC Budget Promotion Watch, 4/12/11

An update from the previous entry: Oliver Willis highlights the CPC Budget, and reminds us that it all be for naught if they don't push this thing.

Update: Cenk Uygur also mentioned the Budget on his TV show, but I haven't found a link yet (it doesn't help that MSNBC does not have his show on their official programs schedule). He said it was the best option out there, but also talked a little bit about the (lack of) PR effort.

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Rashomon Politics: The Budget Edition

  1. This story makes President Obama looks like a progressive budget savior...
  2. ...while this one makes him look like a pragmatic sell-out.

And here's the Paul Ryan Budget in all of its glory.

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No Main Topic

  1. "One step at a time."
  2. "Any kind of bar on observance of the veil means a lack of freedom and rights of Muslim women."
  3. "What we are bringing to the world is the best archaeological argument ever made that two of the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been found."
  4. "The point of the project is not that pigeons perceive faces just as we do or that people do not have specialized processes for face perception. Rather, the point is that both specialized and general processes are likely to be involved in peoples' recognition of faces and that the contributions of each should be carefully determined empirically."


Monday, April 11, 2011

CPC Budget Promotion Watch, 4/11/11

Who is pushing the Congressional Progressive Caucus' Budget? I want to know; in theory the progressive/liberal blogs/websites and the left-leaning TV and radio programs should be on board. After all, if they don't push this plan, the mainstream media will have not alternative to uber-deficit hypocrite Paul Ryan's Conservative Wet Dream Budget.

On 4/11/11, we have Crooks & Liars making a mention. Good Start; let's hope they keep talking this up.

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Nip It In The Budget

For those who complain that Obama didn't fight hard enough on last week's budget shutdown showdown, let's talk about two things:
  1. This was a lose-lose situation for Obama PR-wise. If he didn't put out and push for his own plan, then he's not leading. If he did put and and push for his own plan, he'd be attacked as being unrealistic. Again: votes aside, Obama just doesn't have the press and media behind him to the same degree the GOP does, and that gives him another obstacle (especially in regards to gaining the support of the independent voters). And now that Obama has put together a plan and begun to promote it a little, what has happened? The "media" is claiming that he's targeting the poor rich people.
  2. The Congressional Progressive Caucus - the only group in Congress that can be called liberal at this point - has put out their own budget. Keep in mind that this was done on April 6, 2011, as in, "right in the middle of this mess." Just like the reaction to the Health Care Protests, this was a good response, just not timely enough. But that aside, who in the CPC is going to make sure that the President incorporates their budget idea in his proposal? How many liberal, progressive and pro-Democrat websites and blogs will push this alternative to Paul Ryan's batshit crazy budget? When will we see the CPC's plan on Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Cenk Uygu, or Lawrence O'Donnell's respective shows?
It's painfully obvious to anyone who doesn't believe in everything that Fox News says that the GOP leaders are lying about who this budget actually helps and who it actually hurts. A budget can't work unless there's a plan to generate more revenue; cutting expenses is just one side of the equation. To that end, there needs to be a tax increase somewhere, it the rich is the only demographic that can take a hit. Also, until someone makes defense spending one of the areas what funding gets cut, any talk about reducing deficits is just that: talk.

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17-Year Old Tries to Kill Girl After She Tell's Him She Is Pregnant With His Child

Expect more stories like this if abortion is ever banned:

A 17-year-old is in custody, after allegedly stabbing a girl repeatedly when she told him that she was pregnant. Cortae Diaz Kelly, a student at Ypsilanti High School in Michigan, is accused of stabbing the girl in a nearby wooded area. The girl is now in intensive care, after getting surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

County Assistant Prosecutor Arianne Slay is saying that Kelly stabbed the girl 12 times in her head, back and hands. She played dead to get him to stop the attack. She also says that Kelly confessed to trying to kill her. He is being charged with assault with intent to murder and being held on a $1 million bond.

The girl was found on the trail by a passerby, who then called 911. Kelly allegedly told police that he not only intended to kill the girl, but that he thought she was dead.

"I am extremely concerned about the danger to the community," Magistrate Thomas Truesdell said before ordering that Kelly be held without bail.

True, and for those who are emotionally and financially incapable of raising a child, abortion should be an option. But even more to the point, education about sex, pregnancy and childbirth should be readily available. Educating our youth will go along way toward preventing these type of tragedies from occurring.

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Riddle Me This...

How will Paul Ryan's budget help this demographic?

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No Main Topic

  1. John Legend chimes in on Donald Trump.
  2. The bad guy for the new Superman movie is...not Lex Luthor.
  3. Japan's still dealing with that nuclear thing.
  4. Brittany Spears + Nicki Minaj = ?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Around the Internets

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Oliver Willis Nails It

I agree with him in that some people forgot that the 2010 midterm election gave the GOP the House of Representatives, and there were consequences for that. One of those consequences was this wacky week of an almost shutdown.

As one Democratic Congressman put it: the GOP controls one third of the government right now, and that fact can't be ignored. And yes, the Democrats are afraid that if they stall and obstruct like the GOP did they'll loose more seats in Congress and maybe even the White House. Why? Because honestly, whatever goes on in DC is viewed through a conservative prism. As much as liberals and progressives complain about the wishy-washiness of the Democrats (and they have conceded things they didn't need to) the fact is the media has been and will continue to spin it as if the GOP deserves a voice and the benefit of the doubt. Which considering that the GOP is responsible for much of our current financial and economical problems is amazing.

That being said, as long as the GOP hold onto the House, they will have some power and influence. They only way to change that is to get more Democrats in Congress, and unlike last time, how about some that are actually liberal/progressive?

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Hugh Grant To The Rescue?

The actor taping of a conversation with an annoying reporter that turns out to play a major role in the "Rupert Murdoch British newspapers are hacking phones" story.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

What Does Planned Parenthood Do?

Glad you asked:

But wait; there's more!

Fun facts that you should have heard elsewhere but probably haven't: Federal funding of Planned Parenthood was started by President Richard Nixon with the support of Congressman George H.W. Bush. The rumor is that they were once considered Republicans. Conservatives supported it because contraception kept women from having more babies and kept them all off welfare. An ounce of prevention, you know. But that's when "conservative" didn't simply mean "bugnuts." History is awesome.

Yes, Rude; yes it is.

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Did the Democrats Really Leave The Troops Hanging In The Budget Battle

Undercover Scamming

Here's a Good Samaritan-like story about a women publicly scamming an old guy out of his house. The reader is supposed to answer the question, "Would you intervene?" but I think the better question is, "Would you or any old person you know fall victim to such a scam?"

I like the second question because the "intervene" question can be applied to any scenario where one person is taking advantage of another: a mugging, a kidnapping, a murder. Hell, it could be an overheard conversation about someone admitting that they're having an affair. Is the "the old man is gonna get tricked out of his house" scam any dire?

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Quote Of The Day

Trans-Ocean is not a person, they do not have hearts they have profits, and Trans Ocean is not a human so they can not be expected to have human decency.

-- Rachel Maddow, on Trans-Ocean's decision to give their executives bonuses.

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No Main Topic

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Here We Go Again...Again....Again!

OK; about a month ago in Wisconsin the Democrats there basically said, "We'll concede on some of the financial/budget stuff we originally didn't want to, but at least let the unions keep their ability to bargain." The GOP in Wisconsin, who are basically in charge, said, "No." It was then we learned that what started as a "budget crisis" was really about political ideology.

Fast forward to now: In the US Congress, Democrats in the House of Representatives and in the Senate are saying to the GOP (who control the House but not the Senate), "We'll agree to cuts in a dollar amount closer to what you want than what we want, but take out these extra amendments regarding abortion and the environment." The GOP leadership has gone on record as saying, "No." We now see that the GOP in the US Congress, like in Wisconsin, are using the scenario of a "budget crisis" to push a political ideology.

Personally, I have no problem with pushing a political ideology, but it should be separate from pure fiscal matters. If you don't like unions, or abortions, or EPA regulations, than write a separate piece of legislation addressing that that issue/topic and have that issue/topic debated. Don't mix it in with budget concerns that everyone generally supports. Doing this gives the impression that such a bill wouldn't pass on its own; and if that's the case, why bring it up now?

If I were the Democrats, I'd add some massive cuts to military projects and programs (but not salaries and benefits) and see how these so-called "fiscally conservatives" react.

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DADT Transition Going Smoothly

Gazillionare Donald Trump Says He's One Of The People

Specifically the Tea Party, who (at one point) cast themselves as being some kind of pseudo-conservative populist group. At least before they started to back a budget bill that would end Medicare.

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Fox & Friends Has a New Enemy: Crayons

I guess this answers my earlier question.

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No Main Topic

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Budget Shutdown Would Put IRS On "Pause"

Just another casualty of this joke of a "budget": a hold-off on tax refunds.

Little known fact: the IRS is still recovering from previous budget-based attacks on them:

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The Peanuts Are Now a Graphic Novel

That's My Story & I'm Sticking To It

Fake Christian Senator Supports Fake Christian Dictator

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Is Fox News Run By Children?

I mean, look at this thing:

Oh yeah. The IRS is really out there, with hunting rifles and hound-dogs, looking for those sympathetic rich people. Maybe it's because some of them have decided not to to pay taxes?

(H/t to MMFA)

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Welcome Back to Pottersville and The Rude Pundit Take On Terry Jones' Book Burning Bruhaha

Which is like Batman and Wolverine teaming up to take on Mrs. Carmody.

From JP (Note: by Mike Flannigan, but it's on JP's site, so...):

This is a typical reaction from evangelical, knuckle-dragging, post-apocalyptic yahoos who have delusions of speaking for all Christianity (the Youtube video of the Quran's burning earned a whopping 1500 views and the attitude of other parishes in Florida was to ignore it). But we can't afford to ignore or laugh off the End of Days dickheads on account of one thing: The mainstream media. The MSM had, starting with Sean Hannity and Fox "News", and continuing with the NY Times, the LA Times and a whole host of major media outlets, turned this smalltime asshole whose congregation makes Fred Phelps' at Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas look like the Roman Catholic Church in comparison, into a rock star for every mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Islamophobe in Sarah Palin's "Real America." The actual trial and "execution" of the Quran may have been largely ignored by the other parishes in north Florida but it was quickly picked up on by the MSM that is ever ready to sow the seeds of post-911 bigotry as long as post-911 bigotry is a sexy lead story. We should've relegated this lunatic to the dustbin of history and denied him even his 15 minutes. After all, this congregation that can be counted in the dozens does not speak for all Christianity any more than Sunnis, Shi'ites or Sufis speak for all Muslims. This man is the hideous side of the Butterfly effect, someone who burns a single Quran as an empty, symbolic gesture and eventually got a dozen people, UN air workers, killed half a world away.

From TRP:

Now that phony Christian mustache-fetishist Rev. Terry Jones has discovered that he can suck his own dick, the rest of us just have to shake our heads at his pretzeled limbs and say, "Dude, just 'cause you can do it doesn't mean you should." That said, being American gives us the unique burden of defending Jones's right to self-fellation. So, fuck, sure, if Yosemite Sam wants to go to the Books-a-Million and purchase a cut-rate Koran, put it on trial like it's not a mass-produced, inanimate object, and then sentence it to death by burning while wearing a judge's robe (no, really), well, playing dress-up ain't just for little girls. It was a total dick move, but, then again, so is burning an American flag in a protest here. And, if you get down to it, so was the Declaration of Independence, if you were a loyalist. That's why "free speech" doesn't get rated on a scale of benign-to-dickish, no matter what Republican Lindsey Graham whines about needing to cut back on all that freedom during "a war" (or three). You guarantee in the most tempestuous times or you risk losing it altogether.

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Republic Enemy

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) on MSNBC recently:

"Well, look, I think that really is, Contessa -- I think that really is the important question. I think if liberals in the Senate are unwilling to embrace even this modest step toward fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C., then I say shut it down," Pence said. "You know, look, I think the American people sent this historic new majority to Congress to see the change in this direction."

They make it so easy, don't they?

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No Main Topic

  1. Americans like unions.
  2. Some winning to balance the initial losing.
  3. If any radioactive creatures come out of Japan's waters, we'll know why.
  4. Well, if you burn a religion's holy book, I can't blame those people for getting a little pissed.
  5. The irony here is that the amount of cash that is his campaign goal (plus that of his inevitable opponent) would go along way towards helping the economy. His platform should be, "I'm gonna give 90% of this cash back to the people so they can pay some bills."
  6. Today on "Protests We Need To Keep an Eye On": Yemen!
  7. We fought the sea and the sea won.
  8. Shaq comes back from an injury just in time to injure himself.
  9. Meet Ai Weiwei...while he's still around.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Around The Internets

(pic via)
  1. Another reason to like Stan Lee.
  2. The new Jim Crow?
  3. There are some serious issues that comics just can't cover correctly.
  4. Stephen King's "The Stand" is a comic now? Cool.
  5. Yet another reason Republicans and conservatives don't wont Elizabeth Warren to have anything resembling the phrase "political power."
  6. The ten most segregated urban areas in the US.
  7. Can't argue with Rude here.
  8. I would say that the solution to this is healthier food at church functions.


Friday, April 01, 2011

More Americans Working...But Are They Buying More?

First, the Good News:

Nonfarm payrolls rose 216,000 last month, the largest increase since May, the Labor Department said on Friday. January and February employment figures were revised to show 7,000 more jobs than previously reported.

The strong job gains come amid indications the economy suffered a minor setback early in the year as bad weather and rising energy prices dampened activity.

"All the evidence is pointing to a strengthening labor market," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.

Now, the Not-So-Good News (granted, this was written two days ago):

Consumers are 70 percent of the American economy, and consumer confidence is plummeting. It’s weaker today on average than at the lowest point of the Great Recession.

The Reuters/University of Michigan survey shows a 10 point decline in March – the tenth largest drop on record. Part of that drop is attributable to rising fuel and food prices. A separate Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence, just released, shows consumer confidence at a five-month low — and a large part is due to expectations of fewer jobs and lower wages in the months ahead.

Pessimistic consumers buy less. And fewer sales spells economic trouble ahead.

What about the 192,000 jobs added in February? (We’ll know more Friday about how many jobs were added in March.) It’s peanuts compared to what’s needed. Remember, 125,000 new jobs are necessary just to keep up with a growing number of Americans eligible for employment. And the nation has lost so many jobs over the last three years that even at a rate of 200,000 a month we wouldn’t get back to 6 percent unemployment until 2016.

But isn’t the economy growing again – by an estimated 2.5 to 2.9 percent this year? Yes, but that’s even less than peanuts. The deeper the economic hole, the faster the growth needed to get back on track. By this point in the so-called recovery we’d expect growth of 4 to 6 percent.

Bottom Line: We're pass the point where just getting people working again will "make everything better," we need to get people to start buying again as well. Supply and Demand, Employment Rates...they mean little if people are consuming goods and services. People are saving to pay for the essentials (like food and shelter) and they're anticipating another recession (regardless of what they're hearing in the news).

how do we get people to start buying things again? Well, the easiest way is for the prices of gasoline to drop (the less expensive it is to fill your tank, the more likely you are to drive/travel to places other than work and home), but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

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  1. "She was excited and positive but at the same time, serene," said Scharrett, who befriended Rothwell at a group meditation on the beach. "She was telling me how she was looking forward to the change in her life. Leaving Dave and graduating from the police academy."
  2. “It’s almost rocket science to make sure that your storage rooms have healthy food in them,’’ Revere’s superintendent, Paul Dakin, said after yesterday’s call. “My argument is if it says it can be used for three more months, then let’s label it as such. Let’s clear it up and stop messing around with semantics here. Don’t give us an expires on January 2011, but it’s good until July 2011. That’s ridiculous.’’
  3. "We were fairly confident that she would come out and she did," Breheny said.
  4. “What the opposition needs as much as anything right now is some training, some command and control, and some organization,” Mr. Gates told members of the House Armed Services Committee in a morning session. “It’s pretty much a pickup ballgame at this point.”