The Louisiana legislature, whilst clenched in the embrace of the fundie christians, deal a low blow:
The Louisiana House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly — 27–67 — to retain a law banning “crimes against nature,” including oral sex and all forms of same-sex sexual contact. The law has been unenforceable for over ten years, since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that laws criminalizing consensual private sexual behavior are unconstitutional. The 67 lawmakers who opposed the repeal thus violated their oath of office, in which they swore to support the Constitution of the United States.
Fucking a human corpse? Legal in Louisiana. A blowjob from a consenting adult? Technically a felony and punishable by five years in prison. Praise! Glory!
It's less interesting what the fundies disapprove of than what they do approve of.
posted by gyma
This would not be a good idea in Denver. There were 3 hit-and-run accidents on Sunday alone.
This one's truly terrifying:
Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its numerous affiliates intend to carry out a massive, coordinated plan to stand aside and watch America’s increasingly rapid decline, with terrorist operatives across the globe reportedly mobilizing to take it easy, relax, and savor the spectacle as it unfolds.
“We have intercepted electronic communication indicating that al-Qaeda members are actively plotting to stay out of the way while America as we know it gradually crumbles under the weight of its own self-inflicted debt and disrepair,” FBI Deputy Director Mark F. Giuliano told the assembled press corps. “If this plan succeeds, it will leave behind a nation with a completely dysfunctional economy, collapsing infrastructure, and a catastrophic health crisis afflicting millions across the nation. We want to emphasize that this danger is very real.”
Pierce eviscerates the BezosPost's Chris Cillizza and the courtier press in general but allow me to highlight this gem from Cillizza:
After it was pointed out to Cillizza that his piece got a number of things wrong (the CBO said Obamacare would reduce workforce participation by the equivalent of 2 million workers, not that it would cost 2 million jobs) he nonetheless stuck to his original analysis. "The CBO report means political trouble for Democrats this fall," Cillizza wrote the following day, arguing that the guts of the matter are secondary to how people perceive the law. "My job is to assess not the rightness of each argument but to deal in the real world of campaign politics in which perception often (if not always) trumps reality. I deal in the world as voters believe it is, not as I (or anyone else) thinks it should be. And, I'm far from the only one."
It should go without saying that what voters believe is often, usually, shaped by what is being reported. Or, to use a geek term, GIGO ("Garbage In, Garbage Out").
The only part of Cillizza's blather that can be defended is "I'm far from to only one" because the obvious truth of it. And I don't mean that in a good way.
Which brings up the inevitable mention of Cokie's Law:
"At this point," said Roberts, "it doesn't much matter whether she said it or not because it's become part of the culture. I was at the beauty parlor yesterday and this was all anyone was talking about."
If you want to know who's playing a major part in wrecking the country look no further and Chris Cillizza, Cokie Roberts, and their ilk.
As an aside, I wonder if Cillizza is still hawking Mad Bitch Beer, or is he waiting for the next presidential campaign to bring that back?
posted by gyma
Unlike most people, I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes because I want to live in a civilized society. When people start griping about paying money to the government I have to suppress an eyeroll every time.
On the other hand, *how* that many is spent is what I'd rather talk about.
I hate that 27¢ of every tax dollar paid goes to the military, but only 2¢ goes to education. Even less, 1.1¢, is earmarked for science. This is also a good reminder to those people who believe we give all our money to foreign countries!
If you're interested in seeing how much of your tax bill went to the military, you can find out here.
The not-at-all peace-loving, well-armed, potentially violent folk who flocked to taxpayer money-leech Cliven (Not Ted) Bundy's criminal cow operation devised a plan in case people started making with the bang-bang:
“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front,” [Richard] Mack said in a Fox News clip pulled by The Blaze. “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”
"Rogue federal officers" being, of course, federal agents attempting to carry out a court order against a thief.
As much a critic of law enforcement overreach and overreaction as I am, the feds are in the right on this one and backing down permanently will only lead to more like Bundy and his decidedly not-well regulated "militia" fetishists.
Would-be President Mike Huckabee:
My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.
As far as conservatives are concerned the United States in 2014 is the carbon copy of Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, and North Korea under the various Kims.
That our friends on the right aren't being universally ridiculed and then ignored bespeaks of a major flaw in our political life.
Spotted a mere 3 miles from GCHQ - Britain's NSA:
I figured Russia would manufacture some trouble in eastern Ukraine as a pretext to eventually move in and "restore order".
Short of a potentially very, very dangerous war I don't see how the US and NATO can really do anything about it. Invading western Ukraine would be another matter entirely, of course.
A man who stepped out of his car in Alligator Alley to view one of the deadly reptiles was bitten by a poisonous snake.
posted by gyma
I know I shouldn't laugh, but is it OK to chuckle?
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
A California man was feared dead after he was swept out to sea during a beach baptism on Sunday, officials said.
The name of the church? Jesus Christ Light of the Sky.
Cripes, Monsanto will be genetically engineering our houses next?
The White House and US intelligence agencies said on Friday that neither the National Security Agency nor any other part of the government were aware before this month of the "Heartbleed" bug, denying a report that the spy agency exploited the glitch in widely used web encryption technology to gather intelligence.
Perhaps. Or perhaps not. At this point they don't merit the benefit of doubt.
You know, I'm honestly not sure which would be worse. That the NSA knew about this massive bug that threatened havoc for millions of Americans and did nothing about it for two years. Or that the NSA's vaunted—and lavishly funded—cybersecurity team was completely in the dark about a gaping and highly-exploitable hole in the operational security of the internet for two years.
Either way, heads should roll and the NSA should be cripples, if not put out of business entirely.
In the process of changing passwords thanks to Heartbleed and the National Security Agency (Motto: Making Sure American Citizens and Businesses are as Insecure as Possible).
James Fallows provides some advice.
At the very least you should change passwords for e-mail accounts and financial institutions, if only to be safe.
Can anyone be surprised?
The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.
The NSA’s decision to keep the bug secret in pursuit of national security interests threatens to renew the rancorous debate over the role of the government’s top computer experts.
One has to wonder if the NSA isn't intent on actually destroying the internet. That certainly wouldn't be surprising, either.
Any reining in of the NSA and other arms of the National Security State will be at the behest Big Business and Big Money trying to protect their profits, not out of any concern for Joe and Jane Average.
Again, they aim to restrict democracy to the chosen few:
Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department quietly implemented a policy to close the bathrooms at all polling facilities, according to disability rights lawyer Marc Dubin. Dubin said the policy change was in “direct response” to an inquiry to the Elections Department about whether they had assessed accessibility of polling place bathrooms to those with disabilities.
“I was expecting them to say either yes we have or yes we will,” Dubin said.
Instead, he received a written response announcing that the county would close all restrooms at polling places “to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly,” a January email stated. “[T]he Department’s policy is not to permit access to restrooms at polling sites on election days,” Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves said in a Feb. 14 email. Elections Department officials did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress inquiries.
Again again, a Latin America-style oligarchy is the aim. Rightist death squads would be the icing on the oppression.
To protect and serve:
An aspiring TV producer who was being held captive by a knife-wielding man in West Hollywood was mistakenly shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as he tried to escape his assailant, the sheriff's department said on Thursday.
Society without police would be pretty goddamned scary and dangerous. But society with trigger-happy, militarized cops is becoming pretty goddamned scary and dangerous.
I'd say these sheriff's deputies should be up on manslaughter charges but juries seem to believe cops regardless of anything else. And even some high-ranking judges contend that the word of a law-enforcement officer is more reliable than actual video evidence.
I'd heard the rumors but I didn't really expect Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman.
I don't see how Colbert would be able to continue his brilliant pseudo-conservative character and I'd imagine his new show will have to be a bit softer given network/time slot/audience.
ADDED: And of course:
"CBS has just declared war on the Heartland of America," Limbaugh said Thursday on his radio show. "No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values. Now it's just wide out in the open."
"What this hire means is a redefinition of what is "funny" and a redefinition of what is comedy," he continued. "It's the media planting a flag here. I think it's maybe the media's last stand, but it's a declaration. There's no unity in this hire. They've hired a partisan, so-called comedian to run a comedy show."
...W. "Mitt" Romney knows you don't put Miracle Whip™ and Lime Jello™ on matzoh.
But as a Mormon bishop he'll probably just secretly convert the matzoh and gefilte fish to his faith.
“Hitler was trying to create a race of super gay male soldiers,” Wiles said, predicting that gay people in the US will realize Hitler’s goal and launch a mass “slaughter” of Christians.
The death camps will be impeccably decorated, no doubt. Just watch out for the female guards sporting roller derby garb: they just might hip-check you into the showers!
It would appear that the DRONES are now going after competetive runners:
Competitor Raiji Ogden told Australian news outlet ABC that the drone hit her in the back of the head and knocked her to the ground early on in the running portion of the race. She said she sustained a number of injuries requiring stitches for which she was taken to the hospital.
As a competitive runner myself, I have enough to worry about - speeding gasoline trucks! plantar fasciitis! - without needing to keep watching the skies.
I don't find this to be the least bit surprising:
he further our respondents thought that Ukraine was from its actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene militarily. Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants’ general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests; all of these effects are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level. Our results are clear, but also somewhat disconcerting: The less people know about where Ukraine is located on a map, the more they want the U.S. to intervene militarily.
Certitude arising from ignorance is an all-too-real phenomenon and is visible in many, probably most, maybe even all, subjects of public concern. See, for example, opinions concerning how much we spend on foreign aid.
It's an unfortunate fact that ignorance can have profound negative effects in a democracy, and even more so when there's a determined disinformation campaign at work.
The Supremes are doing a bang-up job of legalizing many of those criminal acts perpetrated by Richard Nixon that are generally lost in the haze of "Watergate":
Under Roberts’ definition of “corruption” most of the corrupt activities of the Nixon era would be viewed as completely benign. Though an isolated incident, where a Nixon fundraiser promised that the president would make a donor Ambassador to Trinidad in return for $100,000, would qualify as an explicit “dollars for political favors,” arrangement, politicians who give greater access to their donors are not “corrupt” under McCutcheon and Citizens United unless they offer to exchange votes or similar favors in return for campaign donations. Indeed, even the dairy industry’s $2 million bid for a meeting with President Nixon may not qualify as “corruption,” as Roberts understands the word, because there is some uncertainty as to whether the $2 million donation was “conditioned upon or ‘linked’ to” the President agreeing to make specific changes to the administration’s policies.
Of course, the Court is also doing a bang-up job of making is easier to prevent citizens from exercising their vote. That both of these things end up benefiting the few at the top is not coincidental.
posted by gyma
Love Thy Neighbor is for pussies! Watch the trailer.
The other remarkable thing is the instant escalation of hurt feelings into a Godwin’s Law violation. You see, liberals criticize the Kochs; that makes them just like Hitler and Stalin, who murdered their opponents.
The thing is, I don’t think the crybaby thing is an act, put on for strategic purposes. I think it’s real. Billionaires really are feeling vulnerable despite their wealth and power, or perhaps because of it. And the apparatchiks serving the .01 percent are deeply insecure, culturally and intellectually, so that ridicule cuts deep.
It’s kind of sad, really – but also more than a bit scary: When great power goes along with fragile egos, seriously bad things can happen.
Augusto Pinochet's Chile is the model to which they aspire and they're well-positioned to achieve it.
Charles Koch has something to say:
"Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination," he added, saying he was the target of "almost daily" attacks.
He'll need to flog the servants extra hard tonight to work out his sad.
Note, too, "collectivists". He's equating standard-issue liberals, and even conservative Democrats like Harry Reid, with (let's say) Bolsheviks. This must be an example of the "free and open debate" he so desires.
If I thought for a moment there was a chance of a revolution from the left I'd probably say something about guillotines here, but as the former is highly unlikely the latter would be superfluous.
Is anyone actually dumb enough to believe that the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers, the Rothschilds (a/k/a "The Jews"), the Free Masons, the Jesuits, the Bohemian Grovers, the Rosicrucians, the Knights Templar, and Angelina Jolie would allow a mere President of the United States to know what really goes on in Area 51?
We're not fools, after all.
Most people find prison rape to be:
I don't know how that can be changed but it's another thing that makes me lose a little more faith in humanity.
The usual suspects on the Supreme Court fire another torpedo into the already sinking hull of campaign finance limits.
Really, the Supremes should simply dispense with the suspense and decide that the standard should be One Dollar, One Vote.
posted by gyma
I like beer and have been eating crickets for lunch recently, but I'm not sure I could go for this:
... Dock Street Walker is an “American Pale Stout brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, organic cranberry, and Smoked Goat Brains!” The cranberries don’t only create a “bloody hue,” but they provide a tart flavor. Much like human flesh.
How 'bout this:
The chainsaw wielder, James Valentine, is expected to make a full recovery. If you can believe it.
If Obama decided to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in an effort to get Netenyahu to play nice he ought to be impeached. It's not just a matter of Pollard passing the keys to the US nuclear submarine fleet to Israel, it's the strong possibility that Israel then passed the secrets to the Soviet Union in exchange for that country allowing Jewish emigration.
This was during the Cold War, remember, and knowing the positions and status of submarines was rather important.
Absolutely fucking right:
There have been numerous cases in recent years when the use of offensive language has been the news story itself. In 1998, Representative Dan Burton referred to President Clinton with an offensive word. In 2000, a microphone picked up George W. Bush using a vulgar term to describe the New York Times reporter Adam Clymer. In 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney insulted Senator Pat Leahy on the Senate floor with yet another vulgarity. In 2007, Isaiah Washington was kicked off the television show “Grey’s Anatomy” for referring to his fellow actor T. R. Knight with a gay slur. This January, Representative Michael Grimm threatened an aggressive reporter, using an obscenity.
These stories were covered widely, but in most cases, the details were obscured. The relevant words were described variously as “an obscenity,” “a vulgarity,” “an antigay epithet”; replaced with rhyming substitutions; printed with some letters omitted; and, most absurdly, in The Washington Times (whose editor confessed this was “an attempt at a little humor”), alluded to as “a vulgar euphemism for a rectal aperture.” We learn from these stories that something important happened, but that it can’t actually be reported.
When a Vice President of the United States stands on the floor of the Senate and tells a Senator "Go fuck yourself" it should be quoted in full and without being coy. The same goes when a different Vice President pronounces something "This is a big fucking deal" (note that the link for this second example leads directly to a mainstream news organization, which provided the quote right in the headline. Note, too, that it isn't an American news organization).
[Via Kevin Drum.]
What obligation does one have to respect the concept and application of justice when it's used to absolve the monstrous crimes of the wealthy and powerful while being used to brutally savage the struggling poor?
posted by gyma
Doesn't understand basic economics:
Sick of world being run by central bankers. Where are some strong democratic political leaders? Let rates float and watch people save.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) March 28, 2014
40 per cent of early deaths caused by life style. Left alone, insurers would soon educate people eating crap, smoking, etc.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) March 28, 2014
posted by gyma
About what you'd expect from a woman named Cameo Crispi:
Cameo Crispi, 31, was busted on a slew of charges after cops say she tried to burn down her ex-boyfriend’s Naples home by leaving a pound of bacon roasting on the stove.
The writer at the NY Daily News had a bit of fun with this one.
For Ronald Reagan to have been our Savior it's necessary that he saved us from something. Mythology demands it.
That said, most of what myth credits Reagan for, often without rational justification, was begun by Carter: the military buildup, deregulation, fiscal conservatism (that Reagan is considered to have been a fiscal conservative demonstrates how we love comforting stories over reality), to name just a few. Carter's fractious relationship with Congressional Democrats was a result of his being to right of the caucus rather than some wild-eyed-yet-craven-and-weak socialist.
There are a great number of deeply stupid people floating among us.
Judge Richard Kopf, a George H.W. Bush appointee to a federal court in Nebraska, offered some strange advice to women litigators in a piece posted to his personal blog on Tuesday: don’t wear clothing that would cause “the female law clerks” to call you “an ignorant slut behind your back.”
Among other things, Kopf’s piece reveals that he has “been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about).” And it includes a description of a “very pretty female lawyer” who practices in his court. “She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes.”
Impeachment and removal from the bench would seem to be called for.