Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Could Ebola Teach US Americans Geography?

The late journalist Ambrose Bierce commented that “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” Yeah. As if Americans ever learn geography. Truth of the matter is, that picture to the left probably is where a disturbing number of Americans (well, nortemericanos, anyway) stand with respects to understanding our planet and how she is laid out. (More knucklehead geography is on view at Buzzfeed.)

Basically, even our most elite Americans are totally having Caitlin Upton moments—but particularly about the whole Africa and ebola thing.

No, really:

For instance, at a school in New Burlington, New Jersey, two Rwandan students are staying at home due to other parents’ fear that they will infect other children with Ebola. Rwanda is as close to the Ebola outbreak as New York City is to Seattle.
In Hazlehurst, Mississippi, a school principal’s recent visit to Zambia has led to a lot of parents choosing to keep their kids at home. But Zambia is in Southern Africa, over 3,000 miles away from the Ebola outbreak — the same distance between New Hampshire and Los Angeles. 

A school bus driver in Poplarville, Mississippi who recently visited Ghana is being prevented from returning to work. Meanwhile, in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, some parents kept their kids home when their school hosted two visitors from Uganda.

Seriously? People aren’t even Google-mapping where people are from? Can’t even do the most basic Wiki research into where folks are and how ebola works and then front that they are concerned? They have the maps—because they have the cell phones. Maps are even on cell phones, now. They have the gateway to non-stupid in their pockets.

So I am thinking the answer is “Nope.” Americans will learn geography when the stupid is pried from their cold, dead hands. Or possibly in the case of zombie apocalypse.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/21/14 at 11:19 PM
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Legislator Proposes Imaginary Solution For Imaginary Problem

Rep Dennis Ross (R-Round the Bend) is a man of action.  And he has the toolbox to make things happen.  So, the minute this here election is over, he’s returning to Congress with an emergency bill in his briefcase to save Americans from Ebola.

Rep Ross agrees with his colleagues that a travel ban is the way to go (because a big plastic bubble over the country would take too much time to roll out).  Doctors, epidemiologists and international experts have traveled to Congress to give their advice—that travel bans won’t help and could make things worse—but, Republicans, being Republicans aren’t buying it because . . . . well, aren’t doctors and experts usually elites trained in liberal universities? and doesn’t Obama hope that we’re all too sick to stop his world conquest?

For whatever reason, Republicans have decided that they know best and should therefore take charge.  So, they wrote a letter to the President to apprise him of the fact that they are taking the lead on Ebola—as soon as the election is over.  So far, 53 Republicans and six Democrats, who might as well be, have joined up.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/18/14 at 07:51 AM
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Categories: PoliticsNuttersTeabaggery

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Schadenfreude: Not Just For Winners Anymore

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Heads are exploding all over the Conserva-sphere, today.  Mostly because the owners of those heads don’t read very carefully. 

CJ Chivers broke a story, in The New York Times, exposing a Bush administration and Pentagon coverup of the fact that US military troops were, with some frequency, stumbling upon, and in some cases being wounded by, chemical agents while deployed in Iraq.

Just the media source and a little bit of introductory information were enough to get the Right cackling with glee and spewing out delirious Bush Vindication blurbs.  They were not all that troubled by the fact that some US soldiers have been damaged for life by their exposure to chemicals, or that those soldiers were sent into harm’s way without adequate training and protection against what the military knew was there.  They were just so danged delighted to be able to say “See! Libtards, this is your own lamestream media spilling the story that our princeling was right all along.  So bite me!”

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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/16/14 at 07:04 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBushCoNuttersOur Stupid Media

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stumping Through Arkansas With Tom Terrific

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As others before me have noted, Tom Cotton (R-AR) is just about the perfect Republican candidate for the 21st century, which should put us sane people on guard.  Cotton’s a telegenic “aw, shucks” Arkansas farmboy, an Iraq-Afghanistan military vet, with a Harvard Law degree on top, who is more than willing to make an utter fool of himself saying any damned ignorant thing that will keep the GOP’s fun-house audience in a state of arousal.

Guys like this (looking at you, Ted Cruz) always fascinate me because they are, by all standards, smart, disciplined and well-educated.  So how is it that they can allow themselves to be completely sucked in by crackpot gibberish that wouldn’t fool most twelve year olds?  Where is their self-respect, if nothing else, when they stand up and soberly spout completely unfounded gibberish that 80% of the world is tittering over?

So far, during his brief tenure in Congress, Cotton has signed on with the “Hell, No! caucus” and shared these pearls of legislative wisdom:

“I don’t think Arkansas needs to bail out the Northeast,” Cotton once said of his vote against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

He has dismissed the potential for default if the debt ceiling was not raised as a desirable “short-term market correction.”

He said food stamps should be cut because too many recipients live high on the hog: “They have steak in their basket, and they have a brand-new iPhone, and they have a brand-new SUV.”

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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/14/14 at 08:54 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Thursday, October 09, 2014

ISIS Gonna Get You If You Don’t Watch Out

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It’s apropos that Rep Duncan Hunter’s (R-Hell, Yeah!) official website banner features a California skyscape dotted with hot air balloons . . . just sayin’.

In case you’re not that familiar with Hunter he’s the son of Duncan L Hunter (R-CA), former US congressman (1981-2009) and Republican presidential hopeful, for about two straw polls, in 2008. Hunter, Sr., a former Army Ranger who served in Vietnam, rose to chairman of the House Armed Services Committee during the 108th and 109th Congress.

Hunter, Jr. slid right into Dad’s seat, in 2009—House Armed Services Committee assignment and all—and has taken up many of Dad’s causes, as well—things like fetal person-hood, walling in the southern border, voting down international trade agreements and keeping the Military-Industrial Complex humming.

Hunter, Jr. has only been in Congress for five years but recognizes the value of the sound byte and appears to be Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s go-to-guy on things military or national security-ish.  Hunter is equally comfortable, though, with others much further to the right like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.  Hunter has had quite a few chinwags with Perkins over issues homosexual like the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and marriage equality.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/09/14 at 04:55 PM
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Monday, October 06, 2014

Anatomy Of A Pedagogical Clustrf*k

By now, most news-watchers are at least aware of a bit of Americana being played out in the streets of Jefferson County Colorado, an affluent collection of bedroom communities adjacent to the Denver metro area and home of the Coors Brewing Company.

Jeffco, as it’s known to locals, is probably one of the least likely spots in the country to be host to large student protests, citizen activism and civil disobedience but America is nothing if not unpredictable.  News coverage has focused on students’ complaints that the county school board intends to tinker with the content of their Advanced Placement History courses to de-emphasize critical thinking and debate and better prepare them to be Exceptional Americans if not necessarily competitive college entrance candidates.

After weeks of news coverage, there are miles of references on Google to fill in the “who, what, when, where and why” of what’s going down in Jeffco but most are missing, by a mile, the most timely and relevant object lesson embedded in the Jeffco kerfuffle—the importance of voting, always and whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Students, parents and teachers in Jeffco are up in arms because things threaten to go terribly awry with the quality of their children’s education and future success.  It is commendable that they have recognized the threat and mobilized, effectively, against it.  On the other hand, it might all have been avoided if the good people of Jeffco understood that elections—even at the most local level—have consequences.  Something tells me that they will, going forward.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/06/14 at 09:40 AM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsNuttersSkull Hampers

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Say “Yes” to This Mess?

The above ad from the College Republican National Committee kind of looks like an attempt at outreach to women, doesn’t it? The actors in the ad are all women. It covers things women really care about, like the budget and pretty dresses!

Seriously? The Rick Scott “dress” wanted to piss-test welfare recipients at a cost to the taxpayers of a bunch of money that companies he was associated with would collect on.  Dresses are very rarely associated with Medicare fraud.  If Rick Scott were a dress, he might not look all that pretty. Particularly not to women voters. But let’s just be silly and ask—why is a gender essentialist and condescending ad like this the way the College Republicans decided to support their guy? Is this one of those tone-deaf deals like the “Diversity Bake Sales” where they kind of thought more people would be in on the joke?

I just think it’s dickish. You wear a wedding dress one time on one special day. The policies of a governor can last for a long time. A politician isn’t a “brand” or a “pricetag”, and the analogy is insultingly reductionist.

But this kind of “relating to women via women things” instead of actually boasting policies that women can feel good about isn’t startling or new. Just recently, a Florida politician tried to explain away his decision to hold a men’s only fundraiser by likening it to “women stuff”—a lingerie party! (Goodness knows I would only wear underwires and itchy lace to bed just for me because it feels so good—how I am not incorporating babydoll teddies into my day-to-day regime is beyond me—you know how us hens do get together and just for some reason select to spend large money on small garments that seem to have been put together by a team of engineers with cleavage rehabilitation in mind because sisterhood and chardonnay. I challenge all of his assumptions, I do!)

Another brilliant mind in the women’s outreach vein did an ad that likened Obama to a very bad boyfriend because us sisters have all been there, haven’t we? (Everything about that message is kind of lying and wrong, on so, so many levels.)  So been there and done with that “boyfriend thing” though, GOP.

Honestly, maybe the GOP should just try and outreach caterpillars. They could hardly do worse than they have been doing with women.

But in case you were confused—the Republican Party is still made up of a diverse bunch of stock photo people. Of which some are even women. Because they care.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/01/14 at 10:27 PM
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Categories: MessylaneousPoliticsElection '14NuttersWar On Women

Judge Jeanine Is Tired Of Charades

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Judge Jeanine Pirro is a very smart, well-educated lady who has recently lost her marbles.  But, thanks to the safety net provided by wingnut welfare—Fox News and assorted other cable producers of “reality” fare—the lady has landed on her feet.

Pirro’s Fox soapbox, the ambitiously named Justice with Judge Jeanine, certainly got Bob Cesca‘s attention in June 2014:

Frankly, we hadn’t heard of her until this past weekend when she delivered a rant about President Obama and the fiasco in Iraq. Based on the reactions online and in social media, the segment has elevated her within the hierarchy of sociopathic rogues, screechers and former morning zoo deejays in the far-right media.

Pirro’s five-minute tirade had everything: finger-wagging, fear-mongering, misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, the phrase “cut and run” and, naturally, ball-shaming. It’s a cocktail of Obama Derangement Syndrome delivered with laser-like precision directly into the outrage cortexes of typical Fox News viewers, likely inducing octogenarian white-guy erections with tensile strengths not experienced since Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley and Hume Cronyn splashed around in that magical pool in Cocoon.

Clearly that was not an isolated incident.  Ms Pirro’s got game in the unhinged rant department and is quickly becoming something of a rock-star in the anti-Obama and ShariaPanic genres.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/01/14 at 08:15 AM
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Categories: PoliticsNuttersOur Stupid Media

Monday, September 29, 2014

Values Voter Summit: Annual Gathering Of Tools And Fools

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My how time flies! it seems like just yesterday that Values Voter Summit 2013 was underway. For the uninitiated, the Values Voter Summit is a festival of political oratory aimed at Values Voters—aka Social Conservatives—who distinguish themselves from the majority of voters who have no values. Or the wrong values.  Or something . . .

VVS is an annual shindig, hosted by the Family Research Council, that started in 2006 around about the time that social conservatives decided that America was “going to hell in a handbasket.”  It takes place over a weekend in September-October, in Washington, DC, and is a decidedly hyper-partisan affair featuring far-right pundits and Republican politicians competitively blazing new trails to the rightmost extremities of the political spectrum.

VVS also happens to be Blogger’s Gold for, sane people targeting other sane people, for sheer entertainment value, it never, ever disappoints.  I’ve always intended to go and see it for myself but something always comes up.  This year, it was cleaning out the garage, so, once again, I’m relying on embedded reporters who, so far, indicate that a blessed time was had by all.

Some highlights . . . below the fold

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/29/14 at 12:22 PM
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Categories: PoliticsNuttersTeabaggeryRelijun

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rarely Has A U.S. Veep Been So Wrong About So Much At The Expense Of So Many

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I try to ignore the Cheneys—Dick and, now God help us, Mini-Me—as much as possible because, to me, they smell strongly of sociopathy and I try to avoid that sort of thing.  I blame the dumbing down of the Republican party for its current abysmal lack of political talent which, in turn, means that we Americans are being subjected to extra innings of their Senior League—looking at you, Dick, Mitt, and is that really you? Tom Tancredo?

Clearly, no one in authority is ever going to prosecute Dick Cheney for the criminal damage he has done to mankind and, since the First Amendment sets no requirements for sanity, civility or integrity tempering one’s public utterances, Cheney is free to spout his neocon chickenhawk ravings for as long as his new heart holds out and Republicans and their proxies are stupid enough to give him airtime.

So.  Where is it that washed-up, bitter old Republicans go to vent?  Hannity, of course. Because Sean Hannity can be counted on to ask moronic questions like this:

. . . how could Obama have been so wrong on so many issues when it comes to ISIS?

Creating the perfect opening for Cheney to say something Cheney-esque like:

I think it’s deliberate. I think [Obama] has a world view, and increasingly what he’s found is that it isn’t consistent with reality.

Whereupon Mini-Me pipes up with:

The president has laid out a fantasy for the American people, and is trying to disguise it as a strategy, but it’s not going to keep us safe.

Which is the cue for people like me to say: But please, Cheney’s, what WILL make us safe?  We are so afraid . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/26/14 at 07:08 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBushCoNuttersOur Stupid Media

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

National Review Online: Climate Activists Are Hysterical Losers

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On Sunday some 400,000 Americans took to the streets of New York City and paraded their concern over global warming.  As a result, National Review Online‘s John Fund took to his escritoire to pronounce them hysterical followers of raving Liberals like Al Gore and Mayor DiBlasio “and various Hollywood actors” which we know is conserva-speak for high-profile raving Liberals.

Fund would have us believe that he was “our man in the street” running alongside environmental activists, as they marched, gauging the mood and motivation that brought them there. Whatever . . . he claims to have spoken with “many” and, lo and behold, these are his surprising findings:

. . . they certainly didn’t act like a movement that was winning. There was a tone of fatalism in the comments of many with whom I spoke; they despair that the kind of radical change they advocate probably won’t result from the normal democratic process. It’s no surprise then that the rhetoric of climate-change activists has become increasingly hysterical.

He then goes on to tell us that he is in no way surprised by climate activists’ devolution into hysteria because they’re influenced by people like bestselling author Naomi Klein who recently released a book on climate change called This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Fund trashes Klein’s work in a short paragraph of cherry-picked excerpts, devoid of context, more befitting a college newsletter than the pages of National Review.

Mr Fund goes on from there to cite the unsavory impact of Liberal arch-fiend Leonardo DiCaprio, who is releasing a new film [which is DiCaprio’s day job] that Fund just knows he’s going to hate because it contains a Godzilla-like “carbon monster.” Or something.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/23/14 at 06:37 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBedwettersOur Stupid Media

Friday, September 19, 2014

One Rather Expected More—Or Not

Josh Marshall says “You kind of have to see this video.” And he’s exactly right. James O’Keefe has, I am afraid to say, completely descended into farce. And there were such hopes for him, too, weren’t there? But anyhow:

You know, when young James took it upon himself to manufacture an essentially fallacious narrative about ACORN that ultimately resulted in the disbanding of the group, I thought he’d got his foot in the door for star treatment on the wingnut welfare circuit but would need to up his game to remain viable for long. His output since has been hit or miss, mostly miss. Probably because he makes things up. And then there are the occasional civil prices paid. He’s a damn liability to any credible journalism outfit, and even conservative media seems a little tired of him. That why I guess he’s on this topical tip—one could hope for his sake he’s trolling to fund some bigger project, but it looks mostly like performance art and bottom-feeding.

So what’s a boy to do?

It would be neat if he applied himself to knowing the details that make foreign ISIL fighters crossing our borders nearly irrelevant, like the way that ISIL uses propaganda to recruit people right here in the west—even the US. O’Keefe must know how dangerous propaganda can be by now, certainly? He could even bother looking into how threats that ISIL makes regarding potential attacks here are aspirational and reflect the mixed messages ISIL keeps trying to make to project strength. Or even ask what kind of wall would have protected Australia (get a map, if you like, Jimmy) from terror plans. Porous border much?

He’s a disappointment. One wants better targets of one’s loathing, don’t you think?

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)

 

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 09/19/14 at 10:52 PM
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rep Jeff Duncan Gives Obama Failing Grade

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Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) is one of those southern gents who hitched his wagon to the TEA Party Express and woke up one morning a United States Congressman.  And his admiration for himself has only grown over the three years that he’s been in office.

At this point, Rep Duncan is so fluffed up that he has no problem calling a spade a spade and disrespecting the office of the Presidency in the grand old tradition of other Palmetto State greats like Rep. Joe “You Lie” Wilson and former Sen Jim DeMint.

Rep Duncan just wants us all to know that when President Obama recently laid out his strategy for combating ISIS, Obama said the “single dumbest thing an American President has ever said” when he said that “the Islamic State is not Islamic.”

Most grown-ups within the sound of Obama’s voice understood what he meant, but, just in case, the president added:

” . .  . no religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.”

Duncan then went on to rate the president’s speech “JV at best.”  What a clever fellow . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/17/14 at 08:33 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Embrace the Suck:  Midterm Edition

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Following the fiasco of the Romney/Ryan ticket in the 2012 presidential race, the Republican National Committee decided that the time had come for the GOP to face some hard truths and make some changes.  Republican strategists compiled a post-mortem and listed areas in which the GOP needed to improve its strategies and tactics in order to win elections.  It was not a short list, but neither was it a surprising list, at least for anyone existing outside of the conservative echo chamber.

Nor is it surprising, today, that Republicans are heading into the 2014 mid-term elections with less of a clue on how to correct their course than they had in 2013.  There are all sorts of theories about why that is so, both inside and outside the party.  Some blame dark money influence, while others blame ideological rigidity and epistemic closure.

Me?  I’ve recently come to my own conclusion and, it pains me very much to say it—but I think I agree with Gov Bobby Jindal that Republicans have simply become the party of Stupid.  The people who run the party, the people who vote for the party’s candidates and the candidates themselves are disturbingly un-serious people.

And there is no shortage of concrete evidence that Republican politicians have become frivolous, witless, practitioners of sophistry who appeal to the same kinds of voters . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/14/14 at 07:37 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '16Nutters

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ain’t No Cure For The Xenophobe Blues

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Haven’t you always chafed at being one of the unheard herd?  Want to live your beliefs and force two huge nations to bend to your will and deliver on your demands?  Want to make time stand still and force this big old melting pot to put a lid on it?

Well, then—starch your camos, pack up your prepper-packs, Deep Woods Off, and night vision goggles, and jump in the biggest vehicle you can find because on Saturday, September 20, 2014 an army of patriots are going to SHUT ‘ER DOWN!

That’s right folks, evidently the vigilantes, militias and irregulars who betook themselves to the border aren’t having much of an impact on migration patterns because, well, they’re not really allowed to do anything, outside of dressing up like GI Joe and taking infrared selfies in the dark when they stumble upon coyote trash dumps.  One or two have actually come close to being martyred for the cause but, fortunately, the border agent was a rookie and missed.

But now, shrewder strategists seem to be at work and have come up with a real plan . . . 

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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/11/14 at 07:24 AM
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Categories: PoliticsNuttersTeabaggery

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