Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy: Rep. Mike Stone Edition

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Yes, North Carolina, there really is a First Amendment . . .

Anyone who has raised a child knows that one of the hardest life lessons to teach is that not everyone will always agree with one’s most cherished beliefs, or even opinions.  And that other’s will sometimes question one’s motives, criticize one’s approach and even try to thwart one’s actions. 

The hardest part, of course, is to teach the child that even the wildly different opinions and adverse reactions of others must still be respected.  We call it the “Golden Rule” (ie, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and it is one of those universal truths, found in some form, in all human societies.  It is key to our wildly successful survival and progress as a species.

Admittedly, some humans teach and learn better than others and, indeed, that Golden Rule is so important that we humans have codified the concept into law.  In law, we recognize certain aspects of our daily lives as inalienable human rights.  Freedom of speech, and it’s sibling, freedom of the press is a perfect example of a right that humans consider so essential to their being and their success that it generally tops all lists in free societies.

The downside to human rights is that they are very attractive cudgels for bullies to use to get their way and exert their dominance—say something I don’t like? I’ll find a way to shut you up;  threaten my life or livelihood?  I’ll kill you, or make you my slave, or, better yet, I’ll take away your vote; want to regulate my behavior, I’ll act out.  You get the idea.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/23/13 at 10:25 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Sunday, April 21, 2013

DIY Political Solutions From The Toothpick State*

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[* The “Toothpick State” referenced the early custom of men carrying large sheath or belt knives, often double-edged dirks or daggers. The “toothpick” served as a common inexpensive sidearm and soon became fixed in the public imagination. The messy dispatching by knife of one Arkansas state representative by another in 1837 cemented the new state’s renown as a violent place.]

UPDATED 4/22 (see below)

UPDATED 4/23 (see below)

Yesterday’s post on the “ill-timed” comments of Rep. Nate Bell of the Arkansas state legislature kicked off a predictable Second Amendment shit-storm of comments.

Today, believe it or not, another Arkansas Neanderthal Republican, in an entirely different context, is advocating a “2nd Amendment Solution” to thinning the herd of Arkansas Republicans.

Chris Nogy, husband of Leigh Nogy, the secretary of the Benton County (Arkansas) Republican Party, submitted a diatribe to the party’s official newsletter which was subsequently published on the official Benton County GOP website.  The issue that set Mr Nogy off was the Arkansas state legislature’s vote approving expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under . . . OBAMASCARE!!1!.

If you care to read the whole crazy-ass rant, be my guest, but, for this post, I’ll just cherry pick a few highlights:

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/21/13 at 02:11 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14Nutters

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Heedless Booby Wound In Tabloid War

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Oh. So it was the FBI’s fault that Rupe’s failing fish-wrapper condemned two innocent men to everlasting Google-image infamy. Front-paging the FBI’s internally-distributed email depicting possible persons of interest is just the sort of sound journalistic judgement the Post is famous for
It’s not surprising, though, that Rupert might already be feeling some resentment for the FBI. .The way they intrude into his business is simply appalling! Who do they think they are, Rupert Murdoch?

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 04/20/13 at 05:28 PM
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Categories: ImagesNewsPoliticsOur Stupid MediaSkull Hampers

Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy: The Moron of Mena

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While most of the nation has been glued to their TVs, computers, iPhones and 2-Way Wrist Radios (kidding) for the past week gleaning the bits and pieces of information that help us make sense of the sometimes inexplicable tragedies that befall society, a few of us had visions of payback and ways to score tacky political points dancing in our heads.

One such Biggest Loser is Rep. Nate Bell (R-Dogpatch), a public mistake servant serving in the Arkansas legislature who just couldn’t resist tweeting this little gem during the height of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect:

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Who knew that one ignorant cracker with an iPhone would be able to distill the angst of 21st century American society down to 132 characters, and remind the vast majority of us, who were experiencing one of those rare moments of absolute fellowship, that we are a people with grave political problems.

Of course, condemnation and appalled disapproval swiftly ensued in the Twittersphere and a shocked Nate Bell told reporters that:

I really didn’t think about it going to Boston . . .

suggesting that our man, Nate, suffers from some intellectual challenges totally apart from his utter lack of class.  Does anyone out there really believe that their tweets are like drunken statements at a private party?  Forgiven in the morning and chuckled about for a week or two?  If so, I suspect Bell is about to learn the hard lesson that the internet never forgets.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/20/13 at 10:33 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14Nutters

Friday, April 19, 2013

So Very Not Here, So Very Not Now

In a grim time, here are a few minutes of grace.

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 04/19/13 at 05:34 PM
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Categories: MusicPoliticsHealth Care

The Separatist Republic Of Xenophobia

Sorry, Uncle Ruslan. You may have lived peacefully and productively in this country for decades, but since your nephews went terribly awry for reasons not yet, and perhaps never to be, entirely clear, your Mooslin kind is not wanted here, immigration reform is hereby declared over, and Pam Gellar’s stiffie over your ethnicity will last as long as her sundried corpus draws breath.

Meanwhile, in non-terror-related news, 30,000 Americans are still dying of gun violence a year.

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 04/19/13 at 12:50 PM
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Categories: News

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dumber, Strike That, Crazier MFer Than Hank Williams Jr. Discovered, Updated With Moar F’d Uppedness

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Bocephus may think the Kenyan Usurper is 50 shades of Hitler, but at least he never sent him Ricin, unlike, allegedly, “Master Of Impressions” Kevin Paul Curtis. Yes, the “Master Of Impressions,” a particularly disgruntled Elvis impersonator, is believed to have posted the castor bean-flecked envelopes that might have tainted the inboxes of a more than a few targets of his ire.

The more I checked out the versatile performer’s YouTube channel, the less I wanted to believe it myself. Really, who would want even fake Johnny Cash (below the jump) really languishing behind bars?

**UPDATE: Can this girl pick’em? via TPM:

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Posted by Mrs. Polly on 04/18/13 at 04:46 PM
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Categories: ImagesMessylaneousMusicMusic NewsPoliticsNuttersSkull Hampers

Inglorious Bastards

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Theoretically, Americans in each of the fifty states elect two people to represent their interests in the US Senate, sometimes called the “world’s greatest deliberative body.”  Today, not so much.

When an issue of national interest garners 90% support of the electorate that’s noteworthy.  The Washington Post researched their polling archives and surveys by other organizations and found that Americans almost never voice this level of consensus on issues, and when they do, they often get what they want.

When an issue of national interest garners 90% support of the electorate, but only 45% of senators vote along with their constituency on that issue, I think it’s safe to say that the system is officially broken.

As noted on ThinkProgress.com:

Indeed, the senators voting for the gun violence prevention measure represent 194 million people, roughly 65 percent of the entire American population, yet were defeated by a minority representing just 118 million people.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/18/13 at 12:14 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14Nutters

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

McConnell Extends Himself

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Oh parts and guns, parts and guns, it’s a sort of theme day here at Rumproast. But what with the ole saltpeter pouch up there, celebrated humorist Mitch “Cuddles” McConnell, taking to Facebook to harry Harry Reid over his failure to pass the background-check gun bill, how can one not notice how inextricably, amongst the ‘Baggy crowd, parts and guns are entwined?

Naturally, with Newtown families in the Senate chamber (or, “props,” as the GOPs like to style sentient beings with legitimate grievances against the reign of Senator Yertle), the testudinous Kentuckian was unable to pump his claw in the air, but once he repaired to the Cloakroom, it was Katie bar the Iphone! What more hilarity could ensue than MitchMemes’ (take note, Rep. Hansen) LOLguns?

What a synecdouche. (Hat tipped respectively to Lowkey and mainmati. All glory, or blame, properly punctuated hate mail etc, to them.)

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 04/17/13 at 06:28 PM
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Categories: ImagesNewsPoliticsNuttersTeabaggerySkull Hampers

Psst! TPM! A Little Lower, Thnx!

          Shut Up, It's DaVinci

Bqwhatevr O evr’s the matter with you pissy-pants oversensitive lady Liberals? Soon-to-be-formerly Amherst Representative Peter Hansen (You-had-to-ask?-New Hampshire) was only referring to women as “Vagina’s” for effect:

My point in the choice of words was twofold: One was shock content and the other was to try to get into the mind of the perpetrator.

“Try to get into” is an interesting construction, there, Peter, but I’d say you did it! You got deep into the Perpetrator’s Mind. So dark in there, isn’t it?  Dark and warm, and ungrammatical.

Rep. Hansen was merely responding via email to detractors of the “Stand Your Ground Law”:

There were two critical ingredients missing in the illustrious stories purporting to demonstrate the practical side of retreat. Not that retreat may not be possible mind you. What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina’s of course.

After getting a lot of lip from Democrats and Republicans alike, the Representative stood his ground: “Having a fairly well educated mind I do not need self appointed wardens…”

There was more, but yr. editrix stopped reading and had a nice lie-down with some Creme De Cassi’s.

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Posted by Mrs. Polly on 04/17/13 at 10:16 AM
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Categories: ImagesPoliticsBqhatevwrNuttersTeabaggeryWar On WomenSkull Hampers

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fuzzy Chicks (Open Thread)

I dropped the kiddo off at school this morning, like I do most weekdays when it’s not summer. I was driving away, reeling from the teenage-pheromones contact buzz and listening to NPR’s breathless coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, and it occurred to me for the millionth time that we—all of us—are generally able to ignore the specter of death due to a lifelong practice of internal terror management, using whatever ways work best for us.

None get out alive, and the unlucky are separated forever from those they love in an instant by extraordinarily violent means. Sometimes it makes screaming headlines; more often it goes unnoticed by all except those directly affected. But the pain and despair are the same.

I saw this crane family in a median strip on the highway, two fuzzy hatchlings and their parents:

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Of course, it all looks fuzzy because I suck as a photographer and was using a camera phone while stopped on the highway and watching for oncoming traffic in my rearview mirror. But trust me—the babies are adorable fuzz balls on stalky legs following sleek, elegant, purposeful parents who stand more than three feet tall:

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Did seeing this lovely crane family turn my morbid thoughts to life and spring and hope? Well hell no, actually: For one thing, the damn cranes were on the median strip of a highway with a 45 MPH speed limit, so I worried that they’d be flattened by a school bus or dump truck.

But the cranes were focused on the moment, attentive to the task of finding the next juicy bug, with the adults helping the chicks learn to ruin flowerbeds and putting greens while navigating swampy landscapes with all the attendant hazards. Their kind—and ours—will continue about the business of daily life until the earth chokes to death on emissions, is rendered barren by an asteroid or is incinerated by the sun, whichever comes first. There’s some comfort in that, I suppose.

Please consider this an open thread.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 04/16/13 at 02:10 PM
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Categories: Critters

Monday, April 15, 2013

Alas, A New Ground Zero

We don’t know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this, we’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.

—President Obama (via TPM)

The terrible devices which exploded in Boston today have forced not just horror, fear and suffering on innocents, but, depending on the perpetrator(s),  uncertainty and vulnerability on a new generation of Americans.  We still have no word on who may be responsible; the New York Post’s rumor of an Arab suspect in custody was denied by the Boston Police Department.

As in the case of the disgruntled Texas judge who may have gunned down his fellow lawmen rather than the Aryan Nation, there are better and worse scenarios for who is culpable, for the psychological sake of the society involved, though the victims’ pain is undiminished.

The President’s measured response will naturally incur wrath among his detractors, but let us hope that the right people are now at work bringing the right people to justice this time. And send our prayers, those who do, and wishes for comfort for the families of the victims.

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 04/15/13 at 06:31 PM
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Categories: News

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Iceberg Cometh

Granted, it wasn’t as much fun as Billy Zane, Leo DiCaprio, The Heart Of The Ocean and that slinky flapper who was Claude Rains’ girlfriend in The Invisible Man… but this tuneful memorial to the sinking Titanic remains a wonderful tribute to the April 15th birthday of America’s colossal maritime tragedy.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 04/14/13 at 06:33 PM
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Winters’ End

This is Polly posting for Strange, who could not let Jonathan Winters’ passing go unremarked. Winters’ brilliance is perhaps no more perfectly illustrated than by the wild, multitudinous and instant characterizations he created, particularly the ones he wasn’t supposed to create while filming ads for products he was supposedly pitching, like the out-takes for Good Humor bars here.

One of Strange’s old flames was the daughter of the director who filmed Winters’ Hefty ads, and had a reel of such out-takes which so far seem not to have made it to You-tube, but which Strange was lucky enough to see.  One sample line, from a rueful coach:  “Fifty-six to nothin’ in the first quarter——somebody’s not doin’ their job!”

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 04/13/13 at 01:34 PM
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Can You Dig It?

The whackaloon political story of the day has to be Rand Paul’s bizarre, mendacious speech at Howard University.  Of course, Paul lied about his stated position on the Civil Rights Act, and claimed that free markets would equalize opportunity in African-American communities while ignoring the historical reality that African-American communities which succeeded due to market forces faced white backlash.  It’s hard to push a “states’ rights limited government message to an audience which knows what such policies really entail, a population that had to rely on the federal government to counteract the bad policies of local authorities.  Of course, the righty blogosphere is going to whine about how those blackity-black-blacks were rude to Rand Paul, and claim that liberals are the real racists and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are the real slavemasters on the Democratic plantation.  Why, oh why, can’t African-Americans truly dig what Rand Paul is trying to tell them?

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Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 04/10/13 at 03:20 PM
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Categories: PoliticsPolisnark

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