Friday, March 15, 2013

Today in CPAC - UPDATED

The crazy was on at CPAC today.  Some of the more bizarre doings for your reading, ah, pleasure, I guess:

Because the Tea Party is so totally not racist, the Tea Party Patriots group put on a session called “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?”  Well, after all, who wouldn’t be?  The session was led by a black conservative named Carl Smith who urged attendees accused of racism to refer to themselves as “Frederick Douglass Republicans”.  Unfortunately things went downhill when the audience started shouting back with accusations of “white disenfranchisement” (because nobody is discriminalized against as much as white males!) and support for slavery because, hey, free food & shelter and stuff.  So we know for sure now that Tea Partiers are totally NOT racist.

Even a little crazier was a speech given by none other than The Donald.  Apparently the crazed ramblings were so epic even his audience left scratching their heads.  I, for one, am certainly looking forward to seeing that great ballroom addition to the White House that Trump’s completely gonna build!

Last, but not least, Rick Santorum (and to paraphrase Charlie Pierce, have we mentioned recently what a colossal dick the guy is?) chose to politicize the tragic death of his nephew the day before from an unnamed disease.

“Yesterday he was not the one in pain,” Santorum said, describing the “surreal” scene at the hospital. “Medicines were effectively blocking all his physical pain — we were the ones in pain.”

And he considers this an effective segue into a condemnation of gummint for wanting to block the pain of ordinary citizens who are just trying to get by in this world.  In fact big gummint has robbed us of so much suffering and pain that we are in greater suffering and pain because of it!  Because we have been robbed of the “why” of America.  And so in conclusion government must . . . give us more pain?

I sympathize fully with his family.  I too lost a family member to a disease that caused him a lot of pain and I was also grateful that, thanks to Medicare, he had the pain medications that kept him from suffering.  I simply can’t conceive of using this as a platform to say other people should suffer pain.  And that Medicare and Medicaid should not be there for them, that they should not have the safety net that keeps people from sleeping in the gutters and begging for a living.  But I guess that’s why Santorum is a colossal dick and I am not.

Stay tooned folks.  The crazy can only accelerate from here.  Klondike Barbie is coming up!

UPDATE:  Jim Newell chronicles the crazy today.  Highlights include Sarah Palin’s boobs joke and Breitbart’s panel of the uninvited - those so far out there that even CPAC doesn’t want to be associated with them, famously including Pammy Shrugs.

Posted by marindenver on 03/15/13 at 06:45 PM
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DIY Blog Post

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Help me out here.

If, as Mitch McConnell claimed at CPAC today, the Democrats’ 2016 “presidential ticket looks like a rerun of the Golden Girls,” given that the all-star lineup at CPAC 2013 includes in its cast Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor, Steven Crowder, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Ron Johnson, Wayne LaPierre, Dana Loesch, Reince Preibus, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Wayne Allyn Root, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Ben Shapiro, Allen West, the ghost of Andrew Breitbart, and Mitch himself, what rerun shows would best encapsulate:

(a) CPAC 2013?
(b) the Republicans’ prospective 2016 presidential ticket?

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 03/15/13 at 11:30 AM
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy: Rep. Kris Crawford Edition

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Meet Kris Crawford, a Republican representative in the South Carolina State House, an emergency room doc, a convicted tax evader and political pragmatist of the confederate persuasion.  That’s him in the mugshot which was taken at his graduation from the South Carolina School of Political Hard Knocks [more about that, later].

Rep Kris Crawford (R- Land o’ Cotton) recently covered himself with glory when it came time to consider South Carolina’s decision to expand their Medicaid program, under the Affordable Care Act.  Now, Kris Crawford knew a little bit more about the subject than most of his colleagues because he is a practicing physician. 

He knows, for example, that, in South Carolina, a child must be living below 200% of the poverty level [$24,650 for a family of three] to qualify for Medicaid coverage.  A pregnant woman must be living at 185% below that level and the elderly, blind or disabled below 100% of the limit.

Conversely, under the ACA, states can expand coverage to anyone at or below 138% of the national poverty level.  The cost to the state? $0, until 2020, when the states will have to pick up 10% of the program’s cost, while the federal government picks up the other 90%—forever.

read the whole post »

Posted by Bette Noir on 03/14/13 at 12:27 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaHealth CareNutters

Chris Hayes Gets 8 PM Show at MSNBC

So says the NYT Media Decoder blog. Ed Schultz will get a weekend slot, presumably between prison documentaries. Huzzah, I say. I agree with Schultz on most things but find his schtick irritating. Hayes is thoughtful and informative.

Now if MSNBC would only shit-can Reverend Al and replace him with Joy Reid! And dropkick Tweety in favor of someone who can get through a paragraph without mentioning his stint in the Peace Corps, obsession with JFK or the Camelot of Comity that existed when Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan broke bread. Then, the network would actually have a watchable lineup instead of just the fabulous Rachel and the Not-Rachels.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/14/13 at 10:46 AM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsOur Stupid MediaTelevision

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cheers: 47% Taper to Reveal Himself, 100% Chance of RW Tantrums

The source of the sensation of the 2012 election campaign, the Romney 47% video, is set to reveal himself to the world this evening, according to HuffPo. To blow further sand up Mitt’s underoos, it appears his offhand attitude to the waitstaff bit him in the ass:

The man, who tended bar for a company that catered to a high-end clientele, had previously worked at a fundraiser at a home where [Bill] Clinton spoke. After Clinton addressed guests, the man recalled, the former president came back to the kitchen and thanked the staff, the waiters, the bartenders, the busboys, and everyone else involved in putting the event together. He shook hands, took photos, signed autographs, and praised the meal—all characteristic of the former president.

When the bartender learned he would be working at Romney’s fundraiser, his first thought was to bring his camera, in case he had a chance to get a photo with the presidential candidate.

Romney, of course, did not speak to any of the staff, bussers or waiters. He was late to the event, and rushed out. He told his dinner guests that the event was off the record, but never bothered to repeat the admonition to the people working there.
...
The bartender said he never planned to distribute the video. But after Romney spoke, the man said he felt he had no choice.

“I felt it was a civic duty. I couldn’t sleep after I watched it,” he said. “I felt like I had a duty to expose it.”

HuffPo—which, like Mother Jones, whose David Corn played the crucial role in standing the story up after snippets of unattributed tape had appeared on YouTube (not to forget the contribution of James Carter, of course), has shown admirable restraint in protecting its source—ran some more background on him earlier today:

Once the full tape aired, he said he knew he’d have to quit his bartending job. “I knew I was forfeiting the right to work there,” he explained. He said he had bartended events for half the guests at the Romney speech. They all knew him and probably suspected what he had done, he said. He felt like he couldn’t just go back to work. “I was worried I was going to end up dead.”

“I was the only person in that specific spot,” he said of where he positioned his camera that night. “There was no real doubt. I could say that they know. My employers knew and the people I worked with knew that I did it.”

No one fingered him.

Releasing the video was worth risk to his wallet, he said. “It’s a bigger issue than a part-time catering job,” he explained. “I felt like it was my duty. I felt the guy was dangerous, to be honest. ... The one thing I didn’t hear in his voice—I didn’t hear an ounce of empathy whatsoever. ... That kind of scared me a little bit.”

I hope this guy is truly prepared for the backlash he’s likely to face from the vengeful RW thuggerati. Better polish those countertops. He’s no doubt had plenty of practice.

More: The big reveal happens on MSNBC’s The Ed Show at 8pm ET tonight (followed by a slot on HuffPo Live tomorrow morning):

The ’47% tape’ and the man who revealed the real Mitt Romney

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


I like the fact that when I first played it, the trailer was prefaced by an ad for a heartburn remedy.

Posted by YAFB on 03/13/13 at 09:02 AM
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Same Old Sameyness

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It would appear that the Republican Party’s “dark night of the soul” is finally over with the dawning realization that better marketing is the answer.  And what a relief that is to the GOP because . . . EASY TO FIX!  With just a little word-smithing and outreach, the masses will discover the heretofore esoteric beauty and humanism of the Republican Platform.

That’s when your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to become makers rather than takers will discover their inner conservative; and when the wretched refuse of someone else’s teeming shore, the homeless, tempest-tost will learn that the “path to citizenship” is a torture-test unless one has an advanced degree.

That’s when the masses will rip off their Obama bumper stickers and stand in long lines for hours to vote, in multiple precincts, for the candidates who found just the right words to explain how un-American it is to be poor and/or old.

It’s really, really stupid.  I know . . . but its what they believe, so what are you going to do?  For the last three months or so, all sorts of folks, including some of their own persuasion, have told them “look you pathetic chuckleheads, it’s not “branding,” it’s not merchandising.  Your policies absolutely suck, not to mention the fact that you lie and cheat and live in a fantasy world.”

read the whole post »

Posted by Bette Noir on 03/12/13 at 10:59 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '14Nutters

Made-Up Names

Last night my daughter was texting a friend and accidentally exposed herself to ridicule while complaining about chores by referring to our vacuum cleaner as “R2.” She then had to explain that we’ve always called our vaguely droid-shaped, canister model after the Star Wars bot.

When I was a teenage pothead, I was a sort of MacGyver of bong and pipe-making, fashioning smoking implements out of such diverse materials as sweet potatoes, empty cigarette packs, shampoo bottles, etc. Once, while casting about for pipe-making materials at a friend’s house, I asked if there was a “goodle” available:

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From the gaping incomprehension that greeted this request followed by a mortifying outburst of laughter when I explained what I meant, I learned that no one else calls the cardboard tubes that form the structure of paper towel or toilet paper rolls “goodles.”

My siblings and I grew up thinking “goodle” was an honest-to-god, dictionary-certified word for an everyday item. Everyone in our family calls them that – aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. But it turns out my grandmother just made the term up because, as far as she knew, there wasn’t a proper name for it, and she thought it should have one.

Do you use made-up words for nameless items or have nicknames for household things that occasionally slip into everyday conversation? Just wondering how widespread a phenomenon it is. Feel free to treat this as an open thread, even though it may qualify as serious research.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/12/13 at 06:47 AM
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Categories: Messylaneous

Monday, March 11, 2013

That Would be Bqhatevwr, Esq., Actually

A regular favorite of the blog, former Senator Scott Brown, has become gainfully employed after the manner of non-politicians, in the field of law. And this sounds like such a good thing, after all. After being in the US Senate, lawyering is an excellent trade, practically a form of rehabilition…

Although it kind of looks like they are a connected sort of firm.  Sort of your lobbying lite and let’s do lunch sort of deal. But let’s be clear, Scott Brown is there to be a lawyer, in between FOX News appearances. Because to do otherwise would be unseemly

In other news, Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl are at AEI, because of bipartisanship. (For a quick reference: Jim DeMint’s at Heritage, because of partisanship.)

There’s days I wouldn’t mind being an ex-senator. The US Senate is a stepping stone to interesting opportunities.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/11/13 at 11:54 PM
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jeb, This is Awkward

You know, I really don’t want to be back talking about 2016, but Jeb was all over the Sunday shows, and it was hard not to look at it as being possibly just as much about 2016 as about peddling his book. And yes, maybe it’s a little bit like being a “crack addict” to speculate about this—but really? Are we going to shrug off the legacy of big bro’ as “not baggage”?

Heavy sigh. The last quarter-century is all about Bushes. There is no escape here. How to explain?

That outsider artist reinventing himself as a premier puppy painter?  Is forever linked with an Administration that oversaw a war in Iraq that will always be associated with gross abuse. (I wonder if there isn’t something in W that makes him uniquely suited to capturing the soul of puppies. They, too, are scolded for making messes they don’t entirely understand and aren’t sure what they should do to fix.)

But Jeb himself isn’t quite ready to articulate a vision for the future, at odds with his book, at odds with interviews of mere days ago.  He can invoke the Reagan Administration of which his own father was a part as a time of less partisanship—but it doesn’t help him begin to explain how to arrive at a less-partisan future—anymore than his brother’s “compassionate conservatism” did. Not when the 1988 campaign of his father against Dukakis was one of the most wedge-issue-tainted smear-jobs. Not when the first Gulf War has so much to do with a very specific vision of power and patriotism. That is what W inherited—and it’s Jeb’s legacy, too, like it or not. Which is why he’s spinning like a tire in a damp rut over immigration. Does he, like his father, supposedly lack “the vision thing”? Or has he only seen too much?

No matter. Na’gonna happen. Not even if folks in the Beltway bubble want to make it happen.

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/10/13 at 10:24 PM
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Categories: Knee SlappersPoliticsBqhatevwrBushCoElection '16NuttersSkull Hampers

NotSerious Paul Ryan Still NotSerious

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Where’s a laughing Biden when you need one?

Paul Ryan, the very, very serious thinker of the Republican Party, the numbers guy who puts together oh-so-serious budgets designed to throw the Olds and the Poors off their Medicare and Medicaids becauz that’s what serious people do, went on Fox News Sunday to discuss his newest veryserious budget which will be officially unveiled next Tuesday.  Unfortunately he discussed it with Chris Wallace, one of the people at Fox who actually has thinkingskillz.  Here is the exchange:

On Sunday morning, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) stopped by Fox News Sunday to preview his new budget, which will be released in full on Tuesday. As it had the past two years, this year’s version will call for massive cuts to social service programs, including food stamps, job training, Medicaid, and Medicare. Host Chris Wallace challenged Ryan on the viability of his plan, pointing out that he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, and, “that’s not going to happen.”

Still, Ryan insisted that he and then-running mate Mitt Romney won the election on this issue because they “won the senior vote”:

 

  WALLACE: Are you saying that as part of your budget you would repeal — you assume the repeal of Obamacare?

  RYAN: Yes.

  WALLACE: Well that’s not going to happen.

  RYAN: Well, we believe it should. [...] 

Yes, and since we believe it should happen magical Repeal Fairies will make Obamacare go away between now and when this Budget *goes into effect*.

Hmmm.  I’m just imagining this scenario in a corporate conference room with the controller presenting the budget to the CEO.

CEO:  “Ryan, this budget assumes that revenues will triple when we introduce our new product line of flying pigs.  Are you assuming we can create flying pigs?” 

RYAN: “Yes”

CEO:  “Well that’s not going to happen!”

RYAN:  “Well we believe it should happen.”

How long between the end of that conversation and the issuance of the pink slip to young Ryan?

Ryan also says, after reiterating that wishing Obamacare away can make it so, that the purpose of budgets is to make hard choices.  Um, no Paul.  Budgets sometimes require you to make hard choices but that is not their purpose.  The purpose of a budget is to make the most realistic assessment possible, based on known facts, of what your revenues and expenses for the coming fiscal period will look like.  Pretending that things will happen that are not going to happen and using the budget to further right wing ideology and destroy programs that you don’t support is *not* the purpose of a budget.

You can definitely see why this oh-so-serious thinker had to scramble his way into gummint welfare for a living - he wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the real world.

Posted by marindenver on 03/10/13 at 04:41 PM
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Friday, March 08, 2013

Rand Paul Is Dreamy

Rand Paul is a smarmy douchenozzle who doesn’t give a flying fuck about US drone policy except when it serves as a handy stick to beat the Obama administration and rile up the wingnut militia crowd. His remarks on the program of notable civil liberties guru Rush Limbaugh yesterday made this pretty clear.

But in as much as Baby Doc has inspired the Republican Party to start punching itself in the face, I applaud him [warning: PolitiHo link]:

As good a day as this was for Sen. Rand Paul on Twitter, it was at least that bad for Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Laced throughout the thousands of tweets cheering on the filbustering Kentucky Republican was a vicious, visceral anger aimed squarely at the South Carolinian up for reelection next year.

“This very well could be a defining moment in this particular campaign — the moment Lindsey Graham lost his grip on the boots on the ground in South Carolina,” Daniel Encarnacion [warning: YouTube link], state secretary for the Republican Liberty Caucus, said in an interview.

Alexander McQueen crocodile boots, one hopes. And now there’s this:

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A pitched battle between the Beltway hosebags like McCain, Graham, etc. and the tea party loons is exactly what the party needs right now. The Democratic Party, I mean. Rock on, Paultroon.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/08/13 at 12:46 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaNuttersTeabaggeryOur Stupid Media

Rand Paul Has 99 Problems

From the “damn, he’s trying too hard to be relevant” files, Marco Rubio made references to hip-and/or-hop artists in a response to Rand Paul’s fauxlibuster (remember, Harry Reid’s spinelessness ensured that “talking filibusters” were unnecessary).  Here’s Rubio incongruously trying to sound relevant:


Ah, yes, way to woo the kids with references to Jay-Z… I think Rubio’s trying to steal the “youth” vote that Rand is trying to inherit from his old man by speaking with the vocabulary of the street.  Good luck, Marco, Paul didn’t even take a drink until he was about an hour into his speech… no furtive snatches at baby-sized water bottles for this Randian superman. Keep quoting those hippety hop artists, Marco, it won’t change the fact that Rand Paul drank your milkshake (which is sure to bring all the libertarians to the yard).  Oh sure, the kids will be appalled that Rand Paul would have opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he doesn’t support reproductive freedom for women, and he didn’t seem to mind that his “Tea Tea Macoutes” stomped a young woman in his presence, but he pretty much left you in his dust (which may explain your dry mouth).  Regarding his continued appeal until 2016, Rand Paul has 99 Problems, but Marco Rubio isn’t one of ‘em.


Of course, Rand Paul is right about the use of drones in extrajudicial killings of American citizens, but you know what they say about a stopped clock… as an added benefit, his fauxlibuster is deepening the rifts in the Republican Party.

Cross-posted at my eponymous blog.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 03/08/13 at 07:54 AM
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Categories: PoliticsPolisnark

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Left Behind Series: US Economic Recovery Edition

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One of the GOP’s post-modern cottage industries has been inventing, burnishing and broadcasting the Fiscal Conservative Fairy Tale that high corporate taxes and frivolous, onerous regulations have turned the country’s “job creators” into a sad, gibbering mob of paranoid paralytics who won’t hire anybody new until their long night of insecurity is over.

Historians trace the birth of this ideological shiny object back to the Clinton years when every single Republican in the House and Senate voted against Bill Clinton’s 1993 upper-income tax hike calling it a “job-killer” which “would not reduce the deficit.”

Fortunately, nobody paid any attention to their seriously flawed financial theories then because . . . WRONG!  Fabulously, uproariously wrong . . . and the #Bush41Fail was still fresh in everyone’s mind.

read the whole post »

Posted by Bette Noir on 03/06/13 at 01:22 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Just a Bunch of Squirrels Trying to Get a Nut in This World

I’d say I don’t even understand this kind of thing, but actually, I’m kind of afraid I do:

WASHINGTON—A new short-term budget bill introduced on Monday by House Republicans includes a bizarre provision banning federal funding to anti-poverty group ACORN, despite the fact that the group has already been stripped of federal funding—and has been defunct for nearly three years.

ACORN leaders announced that the group was disbanding in March 2010, after Congress cut off all federal funding to the organization. The provision in the current GOP budget bill [PDF], buried on page 221 of 269, would duplicate legislation that has already passed, to target an organization that does not exist.

ACORN, also known as the Alliance of Community Organizations for Reform Now, came under heavy fire in the fall of 2009 after conservative provocateur James O’Keefe released a set of selectively edited videos that appeared to show employees of the organization offering advice on tax avoidance related to prostitution and child smuggling. Independent investigations by the California attorney general, the Massachusetts attorney general and the Brooklyn, N.Y. district attorney would later clear ACORN of criminal wrongdoing, and an investigation by the Government Accountability Office would clear ACORN of charges that it mishandled federal funds.

So, in actual “reality-reality”, ACORN was defunded and disbanded three years ago due to a pretty much now-mostly-discredited (I hope!) RW faux journalist who smeared them all over the place. In the mainstream (because these are elected officials, mind you) Republican bubble reality, ACORN is still an ever-present threat that is probably registering legions of zombies to vote in the 2014 mid-term elections even as we speak.

Part of this probably has an awful lot to do with the trust that conservatives still seem to place in what is a genuinely dreadful and dishonest media echo-chamber.  After all, in a world where Jim Hoft, Dumbest Man on the Internet, is going to be awarded for his efforts by a group called “Accuracy in Media” (he was also linked recently at the still-(conservatively-speaking)-relevant Drudge Report, the website that parties like it’s 1999), you can’t lose by appealing to the batshit. And no matter how many times you’re debunked, your bunk will still have currency in some circles.

But I also think it’s about an almost magical need to “repeat often” in order to banish the evil spirits of liberalism. Every now and again, resolutions need to be made to ensure that abortions aren’t federally funded (though they aren’t except in cases of rape and incest) or to ban gay marriage (no matter how many times it’s been resolved, previously) to make damn sure people remember that, while your GOP elected representative might not seem to be doing anything for you in the way of making sure your government works well, or at all, they will reinforce the bejesus out of your biases until the cows come home.

I’m not sure why their base is heartened by these things, but, hell. Maybe they are.

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/05/13 at 10:22 PM
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Marsha Blackburn:  Not Just a Crazy Person But a Terrible Crazy Person

Marsha Blackburn has been giving off the high quality crazy for some time now, minimizing the need for federal emergency assistance with yawnstorms like Katrina; refusing to admit that Romneycare *existed*; arguing against gun control because hammers and hatchets are out there too (!); consorting with Xtianist power seekers and homophobes; birthering here; truthering there; &c &c and all the while we’re having to look at this crazy person on the teevees all the time!

So what has she done now that tops even telling Katrina victims to suck it because PayGO!!??

Saying that she voted against VAWA because it protects women who are not privileged, white, upper middle class Jeebus botherers such as her, that’s what!  Seriously.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday openly admitted that she opposed the latest reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it included protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence.

In an appearance on MSNBC, Blackburn pointed out that the latest iteration of the law protects “different groups” and thus dilutes funding for straight, non-Native American women with the proper documentation:

  When you start to make this about other things it becomes an “against violence act” and not a targeted focus act… I didn’t like the way it was expanded to include other different groups. What you need is something that is focused specifically to help the shelters and to help out law enforcement, who is trying to work with the crimes that have been committed against women and helping them to stand up.

I am honestly at a loss for words here.  And silly me, I never knew it was really the Violence Against Straight White Women Act as opposed to the Violence Against WOMEN Act.  All women who are subjected to violence because they had the nerve to be born women and not able to fight back when a physically stronger guy is hitting them and sexually assaulting them. 

I would not wish on Marsha Blackburn what she deserves for taking this position because I am a better person than she is.  But it is tempting to wish it.  Very tempting indeed.

Posted by marindenver on 03/05/13 at 02:58 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBedwettersNuttersTeabaggeryWar On Women

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