Wednesday, April 30, 2014

God Tells Me Stuff, Too

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Sometimes, “when the world’s too full of weeping for [me] to understand,” (WB Yeats) I go, like Carole King, “up on the roof” and and make like Sister Boogeywoman, to have a convo with my kinka-licious goddess for all seasons. 

My goddess is an old hippie lesbian who smokes and drinks and loves her children enough to break ribs no matter what awful shit they get up to.  Her belly laugh can, and sometimes does, rock the Casbah and, when I ask real nice, she sends me waves of comic relief.

And, yes! I get to have this awesome goddess because . . . AMERICA!!  ‘nuff said?

At any rate, whatever I said to YumYum (my god’s name) this last session, she has sent me a sidesplitting cosmic extravaganza of mirth in those areas where I needed it most.  And, at the risk of sounding like a stoner evangelista, I’m going to share some.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/30/14 at 11:15 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16Nutters

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Game of Drones:  Paranoid Patriots About To Scare Themselves To Death

What happens when you put a bunch of unemployed conspiracy theorists, low-info vigilantes and well-armed paranoiacs out in the desert sun to dry-roast for a couple of weeks?

SHIT! happens!  that’s what.

The Fantasy Justice League members that have #occupiedcowtown this month to protect Cliven Bundy’s inalienable right to suck the government teat dry, are starting to show obvious signs of PTSD following the anticlimactic Battle of Bundy Ranch.

The Battle itself took place a few weeks ago, without a shot being fired, but militia-types from all over these great United States were having so much fun on maneuvers, using soldier lingo and walkie-talkies, that they decided to hang out with the Bundy family indefinitely, to make sure that Bunkerville, NV is rendered safe for democracy.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/29/14 at 12:29 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBedwettersNuttersSports

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rupture, Not Rapture

Via Tengrain, we have the tale of Alex Jones calling out Glenn Beck for insufficiently supporting deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy.  Jones believes that Beck is working for the Kenyan Usurper, setting up the right-wing loons up for the jackbooted thuggery of the latte-sippin’ lefties:

“They’re positioning him as a Judas goat to lead the liberty movement. It all just clicked. He is actually Benedict Arnold, he actually works for Obama. And I’m sorry I have to say that. He really does!”

Poor Beck, he steals Alex Jones’ schtick, then backpedals in one instance, and now he’s Benedict Arnold.  On his end, perhaps because he sees the coming backlash and his getting drummed out of the loonbertarian fringe, Beck is seeking the refuge of religious whackaloonery... because religion is the last good refuge for an utter scoundrel.  Addressing the commencement of Liberty University’s graduating class, he’s gone full-on “Rapture Ready” fundagelical millennialist, claiming that God is coming back “to settle scores”.

One could chalk up Glenn’s latest “Road to Dumbasscus” moment as an example of Jerusalem syndrome, but I have a more cynical view.  I suspect that Beck sees the coming Rupture among the far-righties, so he’s going to switch gears and talk about the Rapture to reinvent himself as a religious figure, having failed as a political pundit.  Unluckily for him, Glenn is a couple of horsemen short of an apocalypse.

Cross-posted at my eponymous blog.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 04/28/14 at 11:05 PM
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Categories: PoliticsNuttersTeabaggeryRelijun

Hey Bro, Your Cunning Disguise is Slipping

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I remember the day that it dawned on my nine-year-old self that yelling “I’m rubber, you’re glue” was a pretty ineffective defense.  And it was somewhere around the tenth grade that I realized that turning an argument inside out, while a good trick, wasn’t the same as winning it.  That probably explains America’s recent impatience with the “both sides do it” school of partisan political debate.

At 64, I have lived through some of America’s most fraught historical decades, I won’t get into listing milestones—everyone here can count backward and figure that out.  Suffice it to say that I have lived through enough to develop some amount of perspective regarding what counts and what fades away.

There are times when I despair that our national discourse has become so thoroughly dumbed-down that it’s barely worth participating.  Maybe sending men to the moon, and technological advances that we never dreamed of, and a few that we did, have exhausted us and resulted in the current backlash against science, history and facts. 

We are now in the process of banning books that mention masturbation, in high schools, [maybe they won’t find out?], teaching children that evolution is debatable, that history isn’t true and, more seriously, denying that our actions are destroying the environment that we depend on.

We are slipping inexorably into a slough of silliness, while life is still just as seriously life-or-death as it ever was for some.  But, the most disturbing trend, in my opinion, is the tendency to disown our reality.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/28/14 at 10:56 AM
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Saturday, April 26, 2014

And Let Me Tell You One More Thing About The Wingnut, Mr Spicer

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Sean Spicer is pissed, PISSED!! I tell you, that, somehow or other, the public have identified racist old right-wing desert moocher, Cliven Bundy, with The Party of Lincoln-Inside-the-Beltway.  Sacré Bleu!

In his own words:

The issue with Cliven Bundy has absolutely nothing to do with his party, zero.  He is a Nevada rancher that had a beef with the federal government’s continued overreach and suddenly this became a question when he made some inappropriate comments about what every Republican needs to answer for. That’s absolutely ridiculous. [Full video rant here]

Now, I truly don’t believe that all Republicans are racists, homophobes, conspiracy theorists, junk-scientists, theocrats, revisionists or misogynists.  They just pander to those groups for votes.  And those groups vote for Republicans because a) Republicans pander to them and b) Republican policies more closely comport with said groups’ respective ideologies than other parties.

Additionally, Fox News has carved out a media niche specializing in dog-whistling for conservative votes based on the neuroses listed above.  For their part, Republican Party leadership say nary a discouraging word no matter how Fox News skews and screws with news events to keep their far-right audience in a “let-me-at-that-ballot” lather.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/26/14 at 10:28 AM
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Categories: PoliticsNuttersOur Stupid Media

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy: “Cincy” Seitz Edition

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Meet State Senator Bill “Cincy” Seitz who is fighting the good fight to save Ohioans from being crushed under the jackboots of what he calls “enviro-socialist rent-seekers” pushing renewable power sources. [rent-seekers??]

Five years ago, Cincy Seitz, and just about every other man-Jack in the Ohio legislature, voted to approve a forward-looking, long-term clean air standard for the state of Ohio.  That was probably a very good idea since Ohio, at that time, was fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the nation.

The enacted standard requires that utility companies institute energy efficiency measures including drawing at least 12.5 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2025.  And, oh what a success story that clean air implementation has been in Ohio. 

According to a Union of Concerned Scientists study:

. . . the state’s clean energy standards are driving job creation and investment, reducing air pollutant emissions and setting a foundation for Ohio’s transition to cheaper, cleaner, and more stable energy sources.

According to Ohio Public Utilities Commission documents, more than 1,000 renewable energy projects have been built so far to meet Ohio’s renewable energy standard. This represents hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Ohio communities. Wind and solar companies alone comprise more than 300 businesses that employ almost 8,000 people, according to industry reporting. At the same time, utilities’ energy efficiency programs have generated almost $1 billion in net savings for Ohio ratepayers – almost three dollars in savings for every dollar invested.

These projects create real, well-paying jobs that contribute to the economic growth of communities across the state.  Together, Ohio’s clean energy standards are doing what they were intended to do – spur investment, create jobs and begin transitioning Ohio to a cleaner energy future.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/25/14 at 10:58 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrNuttersTeabaggery

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ALEC:  A Legislator for Every Corporation

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Ever notice how when something particularly butt-headed, laughable or creepy happens out in the state “laboratories of democracy,” it is usually accompanied by the unsettling sound of ALEC flapping its leathery wings overhead?

For those of you who are blissfully ignorant of ALEC and its doings, ALEC is a corporate-sponsored lobby shop and “bill mill” dressed up as a non-profit charitable organization.  Corporations pay huge annual dues to sit on ALEC task forces, in each state, and hold state legislators hands throughout the law-making process.  So, it is far from surprising that the resulting state laws are exceedingly corporate-friendly.

And the reason this happens on a state level rather than the federal level? because it CAN.  Here’s a good explanation of how this works from progressivestates.org:

Even as state legislatures make spending decisions of the same order as federal legislators, they generally lack any comparable staffing or support. Most state legislatures are made up of poorly paid, part-time lawmakers with few if any staff to research or evaluate the laws they are asked to approve.

So when ALEC delivers “model legislation” to its legislative allies to promote, there are few staff members in the legislature to challenge the expertise presented or uncover the hidden payoffs for corporate interests contained in the legislation.

Moderate legislators appreciate the attention to their needs served by ALEC, so in times of political crisis (“crises” often created by the drumbeat of local media stories generated by ALEC corporate allies), they often feel they need to sign onto some legislation to solve the crisis.

And if there is no alternative legislation available, ALEC can create majority support for its legislation just by being the only serious legislation being discussed on the matter. Since states have little or no public reporting requirements that would require disclosure of junkets and gifts awarded to legislators, ALEC can spirit key state legislators off to luxury “conferences” to win them over to their legislation. And the lack in most states of public disclosure laws for lobbying means that ALEC and its allies can usually operate under the radar of any serious media or political scrutiny.

SWEET!

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/24/14 at 12:16 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrOur Stupid Media

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don’t Fence Me In

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Looks like the jig might be just about up for Cliven Bundy.  As it turns out, rather than a Noble Patriot deserving a place of honor in the How The West Was Won Hall of Fame, old Cliven is just a pretty pathetic garden variety liar.  Or, if you prefer, a high plains grifter . . .  in keeping with the western motif.

A local Nevada TV station was inspired by Bundy’s stirring personal history to do a little digging into his background and found that the details differ significantly from the King James Version elicited by BundyBooster, Sean Hannity, et al.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/23/14 at 10:27 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrNuttersTeabaggeryOur Stupid Media

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Burning Man Walking

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Americans just seem to have a soft spot for cranks, especially if they wear cowboy hats, sidearms and talk reeeaaaal sloooooow, like Mitch McConnell. 

And, for a certain cross-section of American society, it’s even more attractive if that crank is ignorantly eloquent about flouting any and all authority, from crossing guards to POTUS, because . . . . U.S.A. RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, Yo? seasoned with a dash of arrested development.

Cliven Bundy is one such “Give Me Liberty or I’ll Take It,” kind of guy.  It takes a special kind of man to raise cattle in the desert and it “takes a village” to feed those suckers.  Our village.  That our taxes pay for.  But, unless you show up combat-ready, Cliven’s going to take whatever he can get his hands on.  Because he’s pretty convinced that that kind of behavior is what made America exceptional.  Plus he has a fairly unregulated militia to cover his back while he’s stealing . . . think Prairie Mafia.

Those are the makings for some tense stand-offs because no one really wants to shoot the old bugger, they just want him to pay his grazing fees . . . maybe out of the farm subsidies he collects
from the federal government that he refuses to recognize?

Still at an impasse, though, along comes creative life-affirming genius, and old hippie Sean Shealy, of Burning Man fame to offer a workshop in radical, yet peaceful land management practices that he calls—BUNDYFEST!

And since he’s so good at marketing these things and so passionate about celebrating Cliven Bundy’s contribution to our understanding of our fine American selves, let’s let Sean pitch it:

Last year’s Burning Man attendance was 61,000.  And, so, how big is Bundy’s Army, again?  And how likely are they to open fire on unarmed, naked stoners dancing in the mud?  Or the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Choir? 

As Farmer Bundy would say, sometimes you just have to face ‘em down.

Posted by Bette Noir on 04/22/14 at 11:28 AM
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet The Press Hosts Panel of Dicks To Discuss Presidential Low-T

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David Brooks must be pining for his lost youth now that he’s a newly-single balding, middle-aged guy tending toward paunch.  That’s the only good explanation for the sophomoric little round-robin that took place on Meet the Press yesterday, during which Brooks questioned President Obama’s testosterone levels, while the rest of the bobbleheads nodded and grinned:

Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders, and once that comes into question, if in Ukraine or in Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world … all bets are off . . .

… And let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely — but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair, but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough.

How insipid is that?  Let me count the ways . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/21/14 at 08:19 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersOur Stupid Media

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Chocolate War

I hope those of you who celebrated Easter today have gotten over your sugar hangover, because battle has been joined.  There is now an, admittedly half-hearted/half-assed, War on Easter, declared by Fox News. 

The “war” stems from a display erected in Daley Plaza by The Freedom from Religion Foundation, extolling **GASP** reason and the separation of church and state.  Even worse, this “War on Easter” is **HORRORS!** unholy.  What kind of unholy monsters would advocate for reason and the separation of church and state?  What sort of monsters, indeed? 

Those who would undermine the separation of church and state make the dubious assumption that their particular brand of church would be the established one.  The Founders, with the horrors of the Thirty Years’ War still scarring the European psyche, well knew the tyranny of established religion.

As an aside, I have to laugh at the use of the word “unholy”... almost everything on the planet is “unholy”.  For example, with one notable exception, hand grenades are unholy.

I think the real issue is that, for most people, the Easter eggs and bunnies, and the baskets full of candy have supplanted the religious festival to a large extent.  The fundies have lost The Chocolate War so now they’re throwing a temper tantrum:


Cross-posted at my eponymous blog.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 04/20/14 at 08:19 PM
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Categories: PoliticsPolisnarkRelijun

Friday, April 18, 2014

We Got Trouble.  Right Here in Latta . . .

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*****************UPDATE****************

Since this story broke there has been a huge international out pouring of support for Chief Crystal Moore.  There is an active petition on change.org calling for the South Carolina State Ethics Commission to investigate Mayor Bullard’s firing of Crystal Moore.

There’s a twitter campaign #StandWithChiefMoore and a gofundme.com donation page to help Chief Moore with legal costs and to tide her over while she’s off the Latta payroll.

Townspeople are gathering for prayer vigils and flooding Mayor Bullard’s phone lines [843.752.5115] with protest calls.

Bring it, Roasters.

If you’ve never heard of Latta, SC, you’re not alone.  Latta is home to 1,410 souls (8 more than Mayberry), Catfish Creek Baptist Church and a brand new homophobic mayor, Earl Bullard.

Meet Mayor Bullard:

WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Bullard ran uncontested last year and was installed in office in January, 2014.  And Latta hasn’t been the same since then.  Many elected officials are motivated to run for office because they believe that they have some good ideas for improving things and it was pretty clear, even before he took office, that Bullard wanted to make a few changes immediately.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/18/14 at 11:47 AM
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Categories: PoliticsWar On WomenRelijun

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oh. What a Tangled Web . . .

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The most recent salvo in the Right’s [totally imaginary] War on Women is a bill that landed on Gov. Bill Haslam’s (R-TN) desk yesterday for signature.  That would be SB 1391, the Pregnancy Criminalization Law.  Unless the governor vetoes it, Tennessee will become the first state in the nation with a law requiring criminal prosecution of pregnant women if they harm their unborn children by taking illegal drugs.

Miscarriages, stillbirths, and infants born with birth defects would be grounds for police investigation and charges that could put the mother behind bars for up to 15 years.

Critics of the bill, and there are many, argue that this type of law scares at risk mothers away from pre-natal care and drug treatment and ends up costing states more for incarceration and disrupted families than they would spend on effective pre-natal support and access to family health services aimed at keeping families together.

It’s bad medicine and it’s spectacularly sloppy, mean-spirited law as the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out in their petition-to-veto sent to Gov. Haslam, yesterday.  The ACLU presents a laundry list of the reasons the law is unconstitutional, strewing case law as they go; cite expert opinion from the American Academy of Pediatrics and wind up labeling SB 1391 “constitutionally unsound” and “threatening to the health and well-being of Tennessee women and their families.”

So who writes laws like this?

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/16/14 at 03:11 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrWar On Women

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nope-Got No Sole

Okay—that title is lifted from a tweet from Jonathan Capehart, who documents the silliness of the “Shoe Truthers” with a trace of the exasperation any sane person might feel when examining the actual serious thought processes of people who might be a wee bit paranoid a lot.

I’m kind of an uptight thinker who seldom strays into the fanciful except to atomize a yet-more out-there notion—so let me boringly put a damper on this thing: there is obviously no way for any person to aim a shoe that they were wearing at a public figure and then hobble off scot-free. They are certain to be apprehended—any fancy of flight would prove, well, bootless.  Any collusion to plant a person in an audience to launch a shoe would involve some connecting factor, because once charged with a federal offense (and a savvy lawyer like Hillary Clinton would have known this much) any stooge paid off to, for some kind of reason, launch a shoe at her, would roll like the mighty Mississippi. Who would bargain away their freedom for X-untraceable amount of funds for a PR scheme? The sane folks who’d go for that are few and far between, and there are many limiting factors involved in employing someone who would not be classified as mentally fit.

And let’s consider the PR downsides, which are numerous. Getting smacked upside the old bean with a sneaker would be ungraceful, so one might study to avoid head to tennie contact. Ducking is, itself, a kind of submissive posture. The actual fact of anyone launching an athletic shoe at one implies unpopularity—there is no good reason anyone would want to portray that level of unpopularity. A “lone shoe-er” is a poor representative of anything like a “vast, right-wing conspiracy”, so activating sympathetic historical memes is out…leaving what exactly? A footwear fetish?

So fine, you are left with the spectacle of a former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State ducking and covering from a podalic projectile because that’s the way she likes it. Uh huh? Uh huh. That is some serious stupid.  I do not know what to make of anyone who would stupid that hard.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/15/14 at 11:37 PM
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There Goes The Neighborhood!

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Okay, Reince, now we’re talking!  Looks like the RNC is getting its ground game going and bringing it to a neighborhood near you.

The Republican National Committee announced its “14 in ‘14” program in Charleston on Monday, calling for GOP female volunteers in the 14 weeks before the November midterm elections. The volunteers will recruit other women who are 21 to 40 years old to vote Republican and become involved in election season.

Republicans are asking the women to spend 30 minutes a week on election season outreach.

RNC Co-Chair, Sharon Day, unveiled the program Monday targetting purple-ish counties in West Virginia, Florida, Montana, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania with large numbers of independent and female swing voters.

According to Ms. Day:

You can see time and time again, it was no surprise that we didn’t win the Hispanic vote, we didn’t win the African American, Asian, women because we didn’t engage.

Bless their hearts . . . if only they had engaged?  Who could have known?

And then what? volunteers are going to describe the GOP’s brand-new totally pro-woman policy platform?  Better let the folks at the American Legislative Executive Council know—their hopper is still full of a list of horribles designed to make women and children’s lives a living hell.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/15/14 at 12:41 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14War On Women

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