Thursday, October 09, 2014
ISIS Gonna Get You If You Don’t Watch Out
It’s apropos that Rep Duncan Hunter’s (R-Hell, Yeah!) official website banner features a California skyscape dotted with hot air balloons . . . just sayin’.
In case you’re not that familiar with Hunter he’s the son of Duncan L Hunter (R-CA), former US congressman (1981-2009) and Republican presidential hopeful, for about two straw polls, in 2008. Hunter, Sr., a former Army Ranger who served in Vietnam, rose to chairman of the House Armed Services Committee during the 108th and 109th Congress.
Hunter, Jr. slid right into Dad’s seat, in 2009—House Armed Services Committee assignment and all—and has taken up many of Dad’s causes, as well—things like fetal person-hood, walling in the southern border, voting down international trade agreements and keeping the Military-Industrial Complex humming.
Hunter, Jr. has only been in Congress for five years but recognizes the value of the sound byte and appears to be Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s go-to-guy on things military or national security-ish. Hunter is equally comfortable, though, with others much further to the right like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Hunter has had quite a few chinwags with Perkins over issues homosexual like the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and marriage equality.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 10/09/14 at 04:55 PM
Monday, October 06, 2014
Anatomy Of A Pedagogical Clustrf*k
By now, most news-watchers are at least aware of a bit of Americana being played out in the streets of Jefferson County Colorado, an affluent collection of bedroom communities adjacent to the Denver metro area and home of the Coors Brewing Company.
Jeffco, as it’s known to locals, is probably one of the least likely spots in the country to be host to large student protests, citizen activism and civil disobedience but America is nothing if not unpredictable. News coverage has focused on students’ complaints that the county school board intends to tinker with the content of their Advanced Placement History courses to de-emphasize critical thinking and debate and better prepare them to be Exceptional Americans if not necessarily competitive college entrance candidates.
After weeks of news coverage, there are miles of references on Google to fill in the “who, what, when, where and why” of what’s going down in Jeffco but most are missing, by a mile, the most timely and relevant object lesson embedded in the Jeffco kerfuffle—the importance of voting, always and whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Students, parents and teachers in Jeffco are up in arms because things threaten to go terribly awry with the quality of their children’s education and future success. It is commendable that they have recognized the threat and mobilized, effectively, against it. On the other hand, it might all have been avoided if the good people of Jeffco understood that elections—even at the most local level—have consequences. Something tells me that they will, going forward.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/06/14 at 09:40 AM
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”
Has a sitting governor ever taken it upon herself to absolve her constituents of murder most foul? Maybe, but I don’t recall it.
Here’s a remarkable statement by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R-Edrum) in a column published yesterday that addressed the recent botched execution:
“Justice was served. The people of Oklahoma do not have blood on their hands.”
If you say so, Lady MacBeth. Fucking sociopath. I wish I thought the horror and absurdity of this would make a damn bit of difference.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 05/06/14 at 10:48 AM
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Postphoning the Goperdammurung?
It seems that whenever there is a Republican setback lately, whether electoral or politically in general, there are a spate of thinky pieces about what’s going wrong in the Republican Party and how they might fix it. I don’t despise the impulse, even while I find it overly optimistic and paradoxical. Many of the premature postmortem-writers aren’t ostensibly fans of the Republican party, to begin with. And rather than consider how whatever rupture between the party and the mainstream can be repaired, I know my gut instinct is to reach for a lever and pull like a mad mother. Political writers are, for the most part, I think, bright people and problem-solvers at heart. We are generally not rooting for armageddon. There is a code of honoring bar tabs and not kicking even bastards in the slats when they are down.
And I am a political writer and not immune to the zeitgeist, so why don’t I carve into this still-wriggling corpus and see what political wisdom may be extracted? (Let’s get it down first. And maybe a kick to the slats? And while we are here, a shiv and that lever. Thank you.)
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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/19/13 at 04:30 PM
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
This Week in Florida Justice
As we all now know, George Zimmerman was questioned by police for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife’s father and threatening the father and soon-to-be-ex with a gun. But he wasn’t arrested, and the gun wasn’t confiscated:
Zimmerman [the wife] told officers who responded to her call that she never saw a weapon, police Chief Steve Bracknell said. Zimmerman and her father, David Dean, decided not to press charges, Bracknell said.
“We have no victim, no crime,” Bracknell said.
So, just a misunderstanding between responsible gun owners. Mrs. Zimmerman’s brother had an interesting comment though:
George Zimmerman has changed a great deal since he killed Trayvon, his brother-in-law said.
“Before the incident, he was probably the nicest person I ever met,” DJ Dean said. “I think the guilt and self-hatred got to him.”
I’ve been skeptical of the assumption that Zimmerman has a soul to corrode ever since his post-acquittal victory lap at the gun manufacturer’s. Still, I wouldn’t want to deal with the demons shooting an unarmed kid must raise.
Speaking of hell-spawn, Governor He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his photogenic wingnut AG delayed an execution because of a fundraising event scheduling conflict. No, really:
Attorney General Pam Bondi persuaded Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution scheduled for tonight because it conflicted with her re-election kick-off reception.
When questioned about it, Scott pretended not to know why Bondi’s office requested the delay, which is absurd. Bondi at least apologized for it, not that any expression of regret could possibly mitigate the breathtaking arrogance she and Scott displayed in this matter.
So an inmate who raped and strangled two women gets another 21 days on the planet. I’m opposed to the death penalty in all cases, so I’m not complaining about taxpayer dollars going toward his three hots and a cot for the next three weeks.
But here’s hoping Bondi and Scott come in for some righteous blowback from the addled tea party loons who swept them to power. They couldn’t have demonstrated more clearly that they don’t give a rat’s ass about so-called justice for victim’s families or anything else besides money and power.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 09/10/13 at 07:17 AM
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
This weekend, President Obama partially convinced John “Bomb-Bomb-Bomb” McCain and his zany sidekick, Lindsey “More Butch than 10,000 Teabaggers” Graham, of the wisdom of his Syria intervention policy. The hotheaded duo imply they were lured onboard by assurances of extra ka-booms, covert operations and other cool war-stuff executed by not-their-kids.
Good for Obama for passing the Syria hot potato to Congress, as is right and proper. But this Obama supporter will be rooting for Congress to say no. Having McCain on the “other side” makes that a little easier.
McCain, who had previously rejected the administration’s Syria intervention proposals because he deemed them too soft, and who surely knows that the public will reject a full-blown war as too hard, requires a war footing that his Goldilocks sense gauges as “just right.” McCain and Graham’s comments after their weekend meeting with the president signaled their tentative willingness to climb into the sack: McCain said a vote against the authorization of force resolution “would be catastrophic” and “undermine the credibility of the United States.”
But as Steve Benen notes, that rationale doesn’t make much sense:
By his reasoning, any time any president prepares to use military force abroad, Congress must agree or risk undermining the credibility of the United States. But what if lawmakers have sincere policy differences with an administration and they’re right to oppose intervention abroad? To hear McCain tell it, that wouldn’t much matter—lawmakers should feel an obligation to approve a resolution anyway.
And, as Benen also noted, McCain and his South Carolina appendage appear poised to withdraw their support if they deem the strike plans insufficiently warlike after the details emerge. Sadly, this pair of Klingon wannabes is what passes for foreign policy “wise men” in the Republican Party.
With Boehner now signaling his willingness to go along, it’s clear that Obama has dialed the correct sleep number into the GOPosturepedic—so far. How far rightward is he willing to be dragged to keep their support, if at all? Launching an attack on another country invites all sorts of unpredictable outcomes, which is one reason it truly should be a last resort. Aligning an agenda with the likes of McCain, Graham, Boehner, etc., also has all kinds of potential for blow-back. Still thinking this is a mistake.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 09/03/13 at 11:04 AM
Friday, August 02, 2013
Putin and the Patriarch
Interesting article at Buzzfeed (yes, I know) on why Putin is transforming Russia into a homophobia hub. Putin’s fondness for orchestrating shirtless, macho photo-ops that would be ideal for the cover of a romance novel (if you Photoshopped a more handsome head onto that ripped, well-preserved body) has led to speculation that Putin has latency issues.
But the Buzzfeed article makes a pretty solid case for a more prosaic motivation: Just like a common American wingnut, Putin is leveraging heartland fundamentalism, bigotry and provincialism to improve his political fortunes. Maybe that’s what George W. Bush saw when he famously looked into Putin’s eyes and found a kindred spirit.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 08/02/13 at 07:27 AM
Categories: LGBT • News • Politics • Nutters •
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Throwing-Stone Concessions Rebound on Publication of Sally Quinn Column
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON DC—July 30, 2013— With millions of consumers making the move to glass houses, stone concessions—kiosks that dispense hefty rocks suitable for hurling through plate glass—were thought to be part of a dying industry, a relic like typewriter ribbon production plants and “Wite-Out” factories. But a new piece by WashingtonPost.com “On Faith” columnist Sally Quinn has unexpectedly breathed life into a waning economic sector.
In a column entitled “Blaming Huma Abedin,” Quinn outlines her objections to Anthony Wiener’s wife’s decision to stand by the pixyish peen-pix purveyor rather than doing something more dignified, such as finding a rich, married managing editor to hump and then parlaying that opportunity into a lofty nepotism perch from which to lord it over the Beltway social scene for the next 50 years.
“I’m telling you, this industry was on its last legs, what with the loss of privacy thanks to the Internet and people’s growing sense that they could attract an incoming barrage if they let stones fly at a neighbor’s glass house in a particularly hypocritical manner,” said Bash Brickbat, proprietor of Ye Olde Stone Shoppe, a colorfully painted pushcart on K Street.
“I mean, everyone is a little hypocritical, but come on. Sally’s column landed like a meteor in the side of the Hoover Dam, just sending hypocrisy gushing through the wall and flooding the valley,” Brickbat continued. “This is emboldening a whole new bunch of eye-mote removers with beams of their own. It’s like that time Bill Kristol accused someone of being wrong about Iraq.”
When read the following excerpt from Quinn’s column, several throwing-stone industry analysts responded with incredulity and terminated a reporter’s call, concluding that they were victims of a prank:
I have nothing against Abedin. I like her: She is a lovely, gracious, intelligent woman. I ache for her need to come to the rescue of this man who has betrayed her so often and will likely do it again. I ache for all women who find themselves in this position. And yet, there she stood in front of the cameras, this modern American career woman, by her man, saying she had forgiven him, loved him and believed in him. Just what exactly does she believe in? The only thing she can believe in for sure is that he will continue his infidelity.
Though her friends say she is strong and resolute and defiant, sadly she makes all women look like weak and helpless victims. She was not standing there in a position of strength. It was such a setback for women everywhere.
Other analysts urged caution at the prospect of a tossing-stone industry resurgence sparked by Quinn’s column:
“Look, the Washington Post shunted Quinn off to their online edition years ago because she’s such an embarrassment,” said one analyst, under the condition of anonymity. “You can think Wiener’s an eFlasher who would make a terrible mayor, and you can believe Abedin’s an idiot for putting up with his bullshit.
You can even imagine that Abedin’s choice somehow reflects badly on every other woman on the planet, though to make that leap, it helps if you’re psychotic. But you don’t publicly tut-tut ‘infidelity,’ not if you’re Sally Fucking Quinn.”
Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/30/13 at 02:42 PM
Friday, July 26, 2013
Walking on Gunshine
Zimmerman trial juror B29 is muddying the waters for those who claimed the proceedings should have never happened in the first place since Zimmerman was clearly justified in shooting Trayvon Martin. B29’s comments reveal her own conflicts about the case, but more importantly, they make plain the fundamental flaw with Florida’s version of “Stand Your Ground”—that it shifts the burden of proof from the living to the dead and leaves jurors who clearly perceive an injustice no remedy under the law to address it.
Via valued commenter Rikyrah, here’s a link to a piece published this week by Joy-Ann Reid, current MSNBC analyst and former Miami Herald reporter, about why she’s avoiding Florida because of the “Stand Your Ground” law. The whole thing is worth reading, but here are a few excerpts:
But right now, I’m giving Florida a rest. I’m not joining a mass boycott, just a personal one. And it’s not because I simply don’t like the outcome of a particular second-degree murder trial… I’m quitting Florida tourism for now, because my conscience won’t let me travel to a state that I love, but where it’s not safe for my sons to walk the streets…
In Florida, and 22 other states with similar laws, but particularly in Florida because of how Stand Your Ground was written, anyone who finds you threatening has a license to shoot you, based solely on the perception in their mind that you were threatening to hurt them. You don’t even have to actually hurt them. As long as a jury of as few as six people believe it was reasonable for them to fear you, they will walk…
Since the law passed, the number of “justifiable homicides” in Florida has tripled, and the number of concealed-carry permits has ballooned to 1.5 million people. That’s one in 17 adults. Police organizations vociferously opposed the law, but their voices were nothing compared with Pistol-Packing Marion [Hammer, NRA lobbyist] and her bottomless pocket full of ideas for laws that make carrying guns less legally risky for gun owners, and more risky for anyone unfortunate enough to freak them out…
That last line demonstrates how a stupid law like SYG cheapens and degrades the quality of life in a very real way. Zimmerman has already rearmed himself, and the state is crawling with paranoid gun-toters who now have even less incentive to allow the cops to handle “suspicious” persons or avoid or deescalate confrontations.
But nothing will change. As Reid notes, the politicians down here are too cowardly to stand up to the NRA, which makes them a lot like the US Congress. The crooked greed-head who purchased the Florida governorship for $77 million in 2010 has refused to call a special session of the wingnut-majority legislature to review SYG, and even if they did, they’d reaffirm it.
It is delivering on its original objective, after all: It is generating profits for gun manufacturers.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/26/13 at 10:17 AM
Monday, July 15, 2013
Can a too-tight hatband cut off circulation to the brain, causing the wearer to babble stupid things uncontrollably? Two influential wingnut race-baiters may need to adjust the fit of their trademark fedoras. Here’s a screen shot of the current front page of The Drudge Report:
These assholes have such a boner for racially tinged violence that they’ll just flat make shit up if protests are mostly peaceful, and from what I gather on legitimate news sites, they were, aside from a handful of arrests here and there. It’s hardly “America in Flames!”—to the palpable disappointment of many.
Here is Roger L. Simon, another fedora-sporting douche-barge:
By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a onetime law lecturer, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years. This is the work of a reactionary, someone who consciously/unconsciously wants to push our nation back to the 1950s.
Yeah, I’m sure Barack Obama wants to go back to the 1950s so his parents can get arrested for miscegenation, he can use the separate bathroom facilities and not eat at the Woolworth’s lunch counter. Simon probably tries to fit the fedora on his ass and elbows every morning before remembering that it goes on his empty head.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/15/13 at 11:51 AM
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Snowden’s Big Mistake
Yesterday, Edward Snowden allegedly released a new statement. Here’s an excerpt:
For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person.
First of all, the use of the plural verb highlighted above: Americans use the singular form when referring to the United States, while those who speak the Queen’s English use “are.” Either Snowden didn’t write that statement himself, or he wrote it and then allowed Julian Assange or his UK-based WikiLeaks handler in Russia to edit it.
Secondly, the US government or local authorities routinely compel citizens to surrender passports if they’re accused (not convicted, but accused) of a crime and deemed a flight risk, right? Snowden isn’t stateless—he’s just in hot water with his state.
Speaking of Assange, it appears he’s making Ecuador regret its kindness in taking him in:
Mr. Snowden’s case appeared to be causing tensions between the government of Ecuador and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder. Mr. Assange has been in Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than a year, given asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on allegations that he sexually assaulted two women.
“The conduct of Assange has bothered me a little, and this morning I spoke with the foreign minister to tell him not to speak about our country’s situations,” Mr. Correa [Ecuador’s president] said Monday, according to Agence France-Presse.
Mr. Correa was apparently displeased by comments that Mr. Assange made on Sunday on the ABC program “This Week” regarding Mr. Biden’s telephone call. Mr. Assange characterized that call as an effort to pressure Mr. Correa. “What does he know about the call from Joe Biden?” Mr. Correa was quoted as saying by A.F.P. “And he says that he called to pressure me. I have never permitted a call to put pressure on me.”
Now Correa says Snowden is Russia’s problem, and Russia says Snowden has withdrawn his application for asylum there.
I’ve never quite known what to think about WikiLeaks: I can see both sides of the argument on transparency. Moreover, I’m generally suspicious when someone who is causing problems for a government is suddenly (and conveniently) discovered to be a pervert.
But whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual assault, the people who entrust government secrets to him don’t seem to fare so well, and he doesn’t appear competent enough to handle travel arrangements, let alone classified information. Future leakers beware.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/02/13 at 07:00 AM
Categories: News • Politics •
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Putin Steals Snowden’s Laptop During Moscow Layover
MOSCOW – June 23, 2013 – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden left Hong Kong on an Aeroflot flight to Moscow. His ultimate destination is thought to be Venezuela by way of Havana. However, during Snowden’s Moscow stopover, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who stole his laptop.
“He said he wanted to see my laptop, so I showed it to him in the airport lounge,” said Snowden. “Putin picked it up and said, ‘I could kill someone with this.’”
“I reached out to take it back, but his secret service guys surrounded him, and he walked out of the airport with my fucking laptop!” Snowden continued. “Son of a bitch!”
Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald did not immediately respond to a request for comments.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 06/23/13 at 07:37 AM
Categories: News • Skull Hampers •
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Yelling Theater In A Crowded Fire
Self-criticism: any Blingee about hot air and hysteria needs moar Tom “Not Just Bloviating” Friedman:
Imagine how many real restrictions to our beautiful open society we would tolerate if there were another attack on the scale of 9/11.
To be fair, Friedman was without an Iranian cab-driver to help him find his way through his own tightened sphincter at the time.
And from the “Should Know Better” wing of the Department Of Garbage Analysis Department: This country makes the Stasi look like a bunch of Boy Scouts! That comes at 55.23 of this Democracy Now clip, in which Hedges, author of the compelling and possibly all-too-self-descriptive “War Is A Force Which Gives Us Meaning,” also avers that “this is far beyond a reasonable debate,” which Mr. Hedges’ co-guest, reasonable debater, Administration opacity critic and former Obama boss-o-him Professor Geoffrey Stone, might have guessed already, if his comment section at Huffpo is any indication.
TRAITORHEROGOATWORSHIP! The contents of Amy Goodman’s vacuum bag to anyone who can’t guess the civil libertastic subject of this encomium at the charnel house formerly known as the comments section of Talking Points Memo:
It IS what it is; but clearly, most of the posters on this site are more invested in defending their team than being moved by Truth. So they shoot the messenger… it’s like crucifying The Christ, all over again.
(I admit to loving how obnoxious this woman is: to another woman who suggested not letting this scandal keep us home in November: “You’d be more amusing as a cheerleader if you wore pom poms on your breasts and bounced around.” Superciliousness, implacable belief in her own infallibility, allegiance to No Mere Human, reminds me of something..P….PU….what could it be? It’s so familiar…sounds like PURE? PURE something? PURE-MA!)
read the whole post »
Posted by Mrs. Polly on 06/12/13 at 04:18 PM
Sunday, June 09, 2013
NSA Superhero Flees to His Fortress Of Pillowtude
Did you hear the one about the technical assistant for the CIA who leaked government documents to his favorite libertarian before holing up in a luxury hotel in Hong Kong, and stuffs pillows under his door because he thinks that will foil eavesdropping?
Meet Ed Snowden, a 29-year-old making 200 grand a year to work for Booz-Allen, who had a pretty cushy life in Hawaii before blowing the whistle on practices he thought needed airing, and flying to a city he deemed up to his standards for freedom, within that two-systems-one-country-that-country-being-China sort of thing.
I was at work on a post about the extreme ugliness being displayed all over the internet the past few days, which may yet appear with its attendant Blingee, but of course Mr. Snowden and Glennzilla had to step on my Blingee with their big scoop. Thanks, fellas! Really, reopening and examining the Patriot Act seems like an excellent idea to me, even if the messenger(s) come with shipping containers full of baggage, but Glenn, as an expat and a lawyer, don’t you think you should have informed your idealistic young source that Hong Kong and the U.S. have an extradition treaty? Whoops. What, weren’t the hotels in Taiwan good enough?
**Update: Of course he’s a Ron Paul supporter! What else would he be?
(Title edited to reflect author’s slow realization that maybe she WANTS search engines to find this post. Doh!)
Posted by Mrs. Polly on 06/09/13 at 03:03 PM
Thursday, June 06, 2013
It Takes 7 Years For Glenn To Get His USA Today?
So you may have heard that the politisphere is a little angsty today. My television isn’t even on and I can hear Chris Matthews yelling, all because of GIUARDIAN GLENN GREENWALD’S BIG GIANT SCOOP, which is is not materially different from LESLIE CAULEY’S BIG GIANT SCOOP OF AUGHT SIX, except that now it’s Obama doing it! With secret FISA courts, which I have a vague memory of Obama voting for way back when, which is why I have GIANT SCOOP letdown right now. It wasn’t my favorite of Obama’s moves then, but I decided I’d take the good with the iffy and move on. And then the blogoverse trumpets GLENZILLA’S VERY HUGE NEWS and it turns out to be sort-of-not-warrantless-not-wiretapping. You know how you may have always intended to catch a hot show after catching one good episode, and when you finally tune in, it’s a rerun of that same damn episode?
I’m curious: am I the only person who assumed the Bush-era program never stopped? Since the snooping doesn’t involve identity or conversations, but exclusively “Meta-data” of my “telephony” being stored by the NSA— but not accessed without a FISA warrant— I really am having a problem getting my outrage on. If only I could pretend to be outraged, the way the Republicans do!
(Big ole hat tip to TPM commenter Doremus Jessup20 ; perhaps GG should think about tipping his lid—currently up on the Guardian page, collecting coins, to help keep Glenn HONEST—to Ms. Cauley.)
**Update** Well! isn’t it nice to know we’re never alone? Oh Hell’s Bells. The discouraging thing is that I’m not surprised at all. I’m just surprised that the NSA didn’t buy my behavior from Google the way Hungry Girl did. Nothing I do is a secret to her!
Posted by Mrs. Polly on 06/06/13 at 06:37 PM