Saturday, March 31, 2012



Pictured: Parker, with hood up in solidarity, contemplating whether stenciled admonitions are trumped by his state’s controversial “Squat and Poop on Your Ground” law.

BTW, that’s not a “grill,” he just has a lot of tartar build-up.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/31/12 at 08:27 PM

Categories: Critters

Saturday Afternoon Critters: Les Chats Ninjas


Ours is currently examining the inside of his eyeballs in a Ninja stylee, in preparation for another Saturday night stalking punters hanging round outside the pub down the hill.

Posted by YAFB on 03/31/12 at 01:12 PM

Newsflash: Dan Riehl is failing again [Updated]

The Breitbartless Breitbartians continue to explore the boundaries of irony over at the spectacularly misnamed BIG Journalism, where Dan “Oh, Really?” Riehl is taking a break from the racebaiting and harrassing people on Twitter to gin up another fact-free conspiracy theory buffered by the usual headline question mark:


Riehl’s deeply concerned about the values of Pinnochios, as can be gauged by the startling point size of his lede:

On March 27, Josh Hicks of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave White House regulation czar Cass Sunstein one “Pinocchio” for his defense of the Obama administration’s regulatory record. However, the same article, a day earlier, was far more critical of the administration, giving Sunstein a total of three Pinocchios.

It Depends What You Mean By “Facts”

Before you get too excited, lay down those clutching pearls and rest assured that Riehl offers precisely no evidence whatsoever of behind-the-scenes shenanigans, instead relying on the customary paranoia that feeds the benighted BIG comment streams and keeps the rubes clicking. Riehl’s been driven to exploiting MS Word’s wonderful Compare Files feature to track the rewriting of two successive versions of the “factchecking” article, and supplies a handy screenshot to fuel the speculation:


I don’t expect his menagerie of regular readers to bother perusing any of this in any detail, but I’m not infrequently paid to do this sort of thing, so here’s a freebie, Dan.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 03/31/12 at 11:14 AM

Pullet Surprise

Remember that backyard chicken project I mentioned awhile back? Yeah, well, look who’s on my writing desk:


She’s an Australorp chick. We have three of them and four Rhode Island Reds. They are living in my home office until they get big enough to reside outdoors in the magnificent coop my husband constructed for them, which I call the Taj MaHen.

The chicks are in a huge plastic tub with a heat lamp right next to my desk. Despite the 95-degree heat and constant rustling and chirping, I’ve got to say they are the most delightful co-workers I’ve ever had.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/31/12 at 07:53 AM

Categories: Critters

Friday, March 30, 2012

Veepstakes 2012: Some Just Come Out and Say “No.”

There’s a pretty good article I just read regarding the Veepstakes that reminded me of one of the bigger issues Romney might face in picking a running mate—some of the better picks just don’t want the job.  Among people who’ve indicated they aren’t interested in being a running mate: IN Gov. Mitch Daniels, former FL Governor Jeb Bush, NJ Governor Chris Christie, and FL Sen. Marco Rubio.  That’s an interesting collection of “no’s”, having a pretty good overlap with the pool of people that GOP voters kinda-sorta wanted to run in this primary instead of the choices they got.

The reason for all these “no’s”? My guess is because they are plausible candidates who simply like the odds of going anywhere with a run better in 2016, and don’t want a disaster of a run this year to mar their reputation. There’s something to be said for waiting. This is especially true for Sen. Rubio, the youngster in the group, who not only has plenty of time but reason to believe his chances are better once he has more experience.  But also, I note that endorsements of Romney are less-than-enthusiastic—running with him might also sound like a huge bummer to anyone interested in successful campaign. 

Some of these politicians might be interesting to check out anyway, since we’ll probably be looking at their mugs in August 2015, somewhere in a diner in Podunk, Iowa, trying to look their electable best into a crowd of cameras and at jaded corn farmers—but they said “No.” And really, I don’t want to explain all the issues I have with the seriousness that Serious People treat Mitch Daniels, or speculate about Gov. Christie’s need to translate his personality better to people outside the Garden State. There will be time for that.

Also, part of me doubts we’ll really ever hear from Jeb Bush again as a candidate—if he were the smarter brother, he’d have done his damnedest to run for President before W.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/30/12 at 11:37 PM

Categories: PoliticsElection '12Mittens

I have committed cockpunchery in my heart

Pre-vitriol-spewing disclosure: I’ve had it in for Jimmy Carter for over a week now, ever since he said this on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC show:

Well, I think an atheist can live a moral life, because most of the standards of society—as encompassed in our laws and in our American constitution and other laws around the world—are based in religious faith, and I don’t think that those laws are much different between Christianity and Judaism, for instance, or Islam, and [long pause in which the listener has no choice but to mentally insert audio of Reverend Lovejoy saying “and miscellaneous!” -ed.] Hinduism. y’know, they all have basic principles as far as moral values are concerned. For instance peace, we worship Jesus as the prince of peace, and it would be good if everybody did comply with that mandate to resolve differences among ourselves peacefully. We’ve already mentioned some of the others, like humility and service to others, the alleviation of suffering… but I think that moral values can be applicable to an atheist who looks at Christian values and says “I don’t believe in those, but I adopt the basic principles that Christ espoused.” Whether they say that or not, I think that’s what they’re doing.

I actually transcribed that myself, which means I was annoyed enough to work for free. Now, I trust that you, the reader, are akin to my family, friends, coworkers, and anyone within a ten-yard radius of me when church bells sound in that you’d rather not hear me launch into a diatribe about how religion has, among many odious tendencies, a penchant for gathering up everything good in the world and claiming credit, so I won’t launch into that diatribe. It is, however, available upon request (or a two-second lull in the conversation), and it’s diatribe 16C if you’ve purchased a copy of my collected diatribes, The Hejustgoesonandonicon.

Anyway, apparently teaching the Republicans how to mobilize Evangelicals as a voting bloc in the late 70s wasn’t enough, now history’s greatest monster wants to provide the GOP further assistance! No, sorry, he wants to help the Democrats, which is, of course, the only reason anybody would agree to appear on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. His quiescence as she repeatedly refers to it as “the Democrat party” is some sort of rope-a-dope, surely.

read the whole post »

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/30/12 at 11:46 AM

Categories: NewsPoliticsNuttersRelijun

Would you take advice from this person?

Nicolle Wallace discusses running mates and Palin:

Nicolle Wallace, the former McCain adviser who handled — and clashed with — Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign, told BuzzFeed on Wednesday that the Palin debacle will play into female politicians’ shot at getting picked for the vice presidential slot this year.

“I think it’ll affect it because I think in the post-Palin era you can’t go back. That happened,” said Wallace, who is portrayed as a hero in the recent film about the race, Game Change.
Wallace said thinks it “cuts both ways.”

“There will be pressure to elevate a woman but there will be an equal amount of pressure to pick someone who is prepared,” Wallace said. “I think preparedness is the kind of undercurrent of the critics of Palin’s candidacy.”

Her suggestion?  Nikki Haley. Really? Nikki Haley? Okay, whatever—Nikki Haley

But she is right that preparedness is key—or else you get this:


That’s right—an HBO movie. You don’t want that to be your campaign.

With that in mind, I’m going to do a series regarding possible running mate picks and why they suck so very much—and I’m going to start with Romney’s current rivals, and why they aren’t even close to being proper VP material.

read the whole post »

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/30/12 at 12:04 AM

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Patriarch of History is Long and Hard

(RRNN) Former president and ultramasculine smooth-talker by comparison George H.W. Bush plans to endorse Mitt Romney at an event Thursday in Houston.

Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho says the candidate will appear and speak to reporters with the former president, who will seem like a gifted extemporaneous speaker and he-man for the length of the appearance.

Formal backing from the 41st president, who will briefly exude virility and a way with words, is another sign that the Republican Party is uniting behind Romney as pressure builds on challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to leave the race. The onetime chief executive is not planning on giving an inspiring barnburner of a speech or making female attendees swoon with his rugged manliness, but will, due to relativity.

The elder Bush has offered encouraging words to Romney throughout the primary season but had withheld a formal endorsement. Former first lady Barbara Bush has formally backed Romney. She recorded automated telephone calls for him during the primary in Ohio before turning to her husband and.breathlessly intoning “hey, lover, I forgot how sexy that voice of yours can be… you can take that shirt off or I can rip it off, your choice.”

Their son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, endorsed Romney last week, then called his brother, 43rd president George W. Bush, to give him long-overdue credit for taking a swing at their lionhearted, machismo-dripping father and living to tell the tale.


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/29/12 at 11:03 AM

Categories: NewsPoliticsBushCoElection '12Mittens

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I guess I have to start blogging about Mitt Romney, now.

Since former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is definitely the person who is going to get the GOP nomination, I know I’m supposed to start blogging about him, but good grief he tires me. Gingrich, at least, is a scoundrel and a grifter. Santorum is a prig and a theocrat.  Ron Paul is a gold-bug and quite possibly has no earthly idea how social contracts work. But the same problem that prevents many conservatives from truly liking him, prevents me from figuring out how to really dislike him. Oh, don’t get me wrong--I do.  I think he’s a privileged phony who doesn’t even know that he’s both privileged and phony. But I can’t penetrate the surface of MittBot 2.0 to pick at his software bugs. All I get is “awkward”.

There’s something about him that is merely anecdotal. Take the past 24 hours. He went on Leno and demonstrated that, contrary to his record, he doesn’t actually care how health care works:

“People with preexisting conditions — as long as they’ve been insured before, they’re going to continue to have insurance,” Romney explained.

“Suppose they were never insured?” Leno asked.

“Well, if they’re 45 years old, and they show up, and they say, I want insurance, because I’ve got a heart disease, it’s like, `Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that. You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered,’” Romney replied.

“I know guys that work in the auto industry and they’re just not covered because they work in brake dust,” Leno pressed. “And then they get to be 30, 35, and were never able to get insurance before. Now they have it. That seems like a good thing.”

“But people who have had the chance to be insured — if you’re working in an auto business for instance, the companies carry insurance, they insure all their employees — you look at the circumstances that exist,” the candidate explained. “But you don’t want everyone saying, `I’m going to sit back until I get sick and then go buy insurance.’ That doesn’t make sense. But you have to find rules that get people in that are playing by the rules.”

When Jay Leno makes more sense than you regarding policy—quit.  Romney is assuming an awful lot of stupid things: that people can always afford health insurance, that there is always a “before” for a pre-existing condition, and that people “wait” until they are sick to get insurance coverage.  But there are many people who work low-paying jobs right now that don’t have employer-provided benefits, and also can’t afford to get their own—in the service industries like hospitality and retail.  Also, some conditions do exist from birth—it’s like he has no grasp of what the human condition is. Also—do people time their illnesses? Could a person really decide “I’ll just get insurance coverage when I get sick”—then get sick (the bastards, as if on purpose!) and then try to get coverage?

His reasoning seems wrong to me—worse, I think he knows it’s wrong. Can’t prove that he knows it, though. Again—I can’t penetrate the surface.

And what about his remarks today in Wisconsin about how his dad closed the Michigan plant for American Motors? Ha ha ha, his Dad sometimes liked to fire people too, and sometimes people resented it, but he and Romney fils laughed….

I have nothing to work with there. I protest. He’s making my point about him being a privileged phony for me. He’s got an elevator for his cars. How am I supposed to work with that? Hur hur, because cars can’t climb stairs—THAT’S TOO EASY! I should have to work to make this asshole look like a privileged clueless boob living on an alien planet of privilegitude,  Which isn’t a word—I know. He jokes about being unemployed. (Difference between unemployed and independently wealthy? Considerable.)

His awfulness is too obvious. His own party doesn’t like him.  The Etch-A-Sketch thing is also too easy.

I ask you—how can I hate a GOP candidate who writes my own unfunny jokes for me? Well, I can’t love him either! All that I have left is corny photo-manips and pointing out his obvious fails. It feels lazy and cheap.

I’m not even Republican and I want a better Republican candidate—for the sake of political humor,everywhere.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/28/12 at 10:39 PM

Categories: PoliticsElection '12MittensSkull Hampers

Really Dumb Marketing Idea (Open Thread)

Really, Living Social and Yacht StarShip?


I eagerly await the Donner Party-themed mountain trek and picnic, the Hindenburg zeppelin tour, etc.

(Please consider this an open thread.)

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/28/12 at 01:53 PM

Categories: Booze

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Comfortably NOM?

So, when I was reading about the internal documents that were brought to light recently about NOM’s strategy to influence the marriage equality debate—you all know what jumped out at me:

“A pro-marriage president must be elected in 2012,” the document says, although Obama has offered tepid opposition to same-sex marriage.

The same document, an update to the group’s board, described a $1 million plan through the conservative American Principles Project to “expose Obama as a social radical.”

The section, headed “Sideswiping Obama,” suggests raising “side issues” including pornography to attack Democrats’ flanks.

If only I knew of an anti-gay presidential candidate who raised side issues like pornography.  (Or for that matter, knew of any conservatives who were—let’s call it “vetting”—Obama and his administration with the spin that he’s radical.)

Oh. Wait.  Those are real things. It isn’t just a NOM agenda.

I’ve long pondered what kind of people get up in the morning and actually make a job of trying to oppress other people. I don’t mean casual oppression, checkbook oppression, slacktivist/petition-signing oppression.  I mean people like Brian Brown or Maggie Gallagher, who actually roll up their sleeves and think “I’m going to label ‘denying marriage to other people’ as ‘protecting marriage’” or “I’m going to divide communities that have experienced civil rights denials—so that they in turn will deny others civil rights’”. 

If I ever had any doubt, I’m pretty much persuaded now that they aren’t just mistaken or confused by religion.  I used to wonder if they were conflicted by the discrepancy between the objective reality of LGBT people as people, versus their own horrible propaganda.  Now I don’t wonder. I just think they are bad people now. It’s kind of nice to get that out of the way.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/27/12 at 08:55 PM


On the tape, Zimmerman clearly says “f*cking toons”


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/27/12 at 04:58 PM

Monday, March 26, 2012

Almost Goodbye to Newt?

The last two print reporters have been pulled from the fundamentally finished campaign of one Newt Gingrich. I don’t think it’s because Gingrich’s campaign is entirely over, but nothing that gets said or done from here on in will be particularly good. If only there was a way to steal the ball bearing out of his dog-whistle as he sorts out whether he wants his campaign to end with a bang or a whimper.  Or a bang and a whimper.  Bets may be placed now for how he winds it up.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/26/12 at 09:11 PM

Categories: PoliticsElection '12

Get Whitey!

It’s a good thing this poorly camouflaged critter lives in my oak tree instead of the fictional setting of the Hunger Games, where he might have fallen under the pitiless gaze of movie huntress Katniss Everdeen. She would have put an arrow right through his little eyeball.


Speaking of those who are hard on the little things—the gentle, helpless creatures—it appears Herman Cain is still pretending to be relevant in the public arena (possibly as an excuse to get out of the house and escape the baleful gaze of Mrs. Cain). He has ads out that depict an adorable bunny being hurled upward and shot-gunned out of the sky and a fish being slowly suffocated to death to protest the stimulus. It’s such a pressing issue these days, you know.

Also, according to a CNN breaking news alert, a CNN/ORC poll finds that “nearly 75% of Americans” think George Zimmerman should be arrested for shooting unarmed teen Trayvon Martin to death. I’m guessing the precise number will turn out to be 73%. Maybe the 27% are the Orcs who were polled?

Please consider this an open thread.

[Cross-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/26/12 at 11:39 AM

Categories: CrittersPoliticsElection '12NuttersOur Stupid Media

Sunday, March 25, 2012

If We Could Convert Stupid To Electricity,  We’d Be Set [Updated]

Given how much energy the Breitbartians are devoting at the moment to stretching the bounds of idiocy (no links or I’d just fill the page) while still keeping a hand free for the old racebaiting, the rest of the pack is having to up its game.

Bob Cesca just nominated Town Hall’s David Hoyt (“Hoyt?! I’ll show you Hoyt!”) for “Stupid Quote of the Day” thanks to a little gem I’ll share in a minute that deserves wider celebration, but first there’s the rest of Hoyt’s screed that isn’t much less daft.

David sets out to review Sen. Jim Inhofe’s new book, The Greatest Hoax. If I tell you it’s a diatribe about environmentalism, you can probably imagine its gist just from the title. And it certainly seems to have fired young David up. Kermie’s comin’ for ya, gas-guzzlin’ Americans:

... the greenies on the left are relentless in their pursuit of global control of everything related to the environment. Which is to say, everything.

Well, yeah. The thing about the environment is its kind of everythingness, David. You’re surrounded.

David’s obviously easily impressed:

It features no less than 408 footnotes and a useful index.

Woo—408 footnotes! That’s almost as impressive as that time Al Franken demolished Ann Coulter for her “extensive footnoting” onstage via the dastardly liberal ploy of actually checking them out, then illustrating that “never mind the quality, feel the width” is a maxim that applies to mendacious rightwing demagogic screeds as much as tailoring.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 03/25/12 at 09:10 PM

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