Sunday, September 14, 2014
Embrace the Suck: Midterm Edition
Following the fiasco of the Romney/Ryan ticket in the 2012 presidential race, the Republican National Committee decided that the time had come for the GOP to face some hard truths and make some changes. Republican strategists compiled a post-mortem and listed areas in which the GOP needed to improve its strategies and tactics in order to win elections. It was not a short list, but neither was it a surprising list, at least for anyone existing outside of the conservative echo chamber.
Nor is it surprising, today, that Republicans are heading into the 2014 mid-term elections with less of a clue on how to correct their course than they had in 2013. There are all sorts of theories about why that is so, both inside and outside the party. Some blame dark money influence, while others blame ideological rigidity and epistemic closure.
Me? I’ve recently come to my own conclusion and, it pains me very much to say it—but I think I agree with Gov Bobby Jindal that Republicans have simply become the party of Stupid. The people who run the party, the people who vote for the party’s candidates and the candidates themselves are disturbingly un-serious people.
And there is no shortage of concrete evidence that Republican politicians have become frivolous, witless, practitioners of sophistry who appeal to the same kinds of voters . . .
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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/14/14 at 07:37 AM
Thursday, September 04, 2014
Cogito ergo sum Presidential Timber
Good Lord, please spare me from the efforts of “the intellectual leader of the Republican Party” trying to sound presidential.
First it was his fluffer-nutter of a presidential prospect book The Way Forward: Renewing The American Idea, whatever the hell that means. [Tip: reading it doesn’t help with that]
Then yesterday, Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) took the opportunity to zing President Obama’s foreign policy for creating the “power vacuum” in Iraq and Syria that led directly to the rise of ISIS and, inexorably, the beheading of Steven Sotloff:
Ryan had been taking questions from a panel of reporters during a Milwaukee luncheon when he was asked to respond to a news report that journalist Steven Sotloff had been beheaded. The congressman asked the several hundred people in the audience to observe a moment of silence, and then suggested that the Islamic State’s rise to power coincided with a series of Obama missteps.
“I do think a good deal of this rise stem(s) from bad decisions made by the administration in foreign policy with respect to Syria and Iraq,” Ryan said, adding, “Those decisions created a vacuum which is now being filled by ISIS,” a reference to the Islamic State.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/04/14 at 05:52 AM
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Republican Action Hero Mitt Romney’s Electoral Advice For The 100%
Yesterday Willard “Mitt” Romney and his former running-mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) met up for the first time since their 2012 tilt at the White House. The two got together for a little bromantic back and forth, waxing poetic about each other’s “presidential timber,” and to discuss the Republican Wunderkind’s entry in the 2014 preliminary round of the “Does This Serious Book Make Me Look Presidential” book writing fair.
Ryan’s book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea is, I have to assume, Rep. Ryan’s plan for renewing the “American idea,” whatever that is when it’s at home . . . perhaps he felt that the old standby, “American Dream,” creates overly grand expectations among the 99%?
Brother Romney, an “action man,” himself, had this advice :
If people want to actually see action in this country and dealing with problems from education to health care, immigration to our fiscal needs ... they’re going to have to vote for Republican senators and ... a Republican president, as well.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/24/14 at 02:55 PM
Monday, August 04, 2014
Spooks Lying? What Next . . .
After five years of investigation, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is about to release a 6,300 page report that concludes that the CIA misled government officials and the public about its War on Terror interrogation program by downplaying its methods and overstating the value of prisoners and the intelligence gathered from them.
In some cases, the CIA credited “enhanced interrogation” methods for eliciting intelligence that detainees had provided willingly long before they were tortured.
Several officials who have read the document said some of its most troubling sections deal not with detainee abuse but with discrepancies between the statements of senior CIA officials in Washington and the details revealed in the written communications of lower-level employees directly involved.
Officials said millions of records make clear that the CIA’s ability to obtain the most valuable intelligence against al-Qaeda — including tips that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 — had little, if anything, to do with “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/04/14 at 12:29 PM
Saturday, August 02, 2014
Trump Would Leave Americans Behind
For those who can’t see the graphic, Donald Trump (The Donald) tweeted: “The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!”
What a bloody noble bastard he is, right? No good deed goes unpunished!
He’s speaking, of course, about the decision to have Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol (Americans who heroically risked their lives to assist with the Ebola crisis in West Africa) come back to be treated here in the good old U.S. of A. You know, where we have a funny old ethos about valuing human life and not leaving heroes behind if we can help it. Usually. Unless icky germs and human suffering might be occurring—if you’re a privileged ignoramus like Trump, who has been bloviating about the risks in a nice public snit about how “leaders” are crazy to want to treat sick people.
If there were a global pandemic, it really might behoove us to know something about treating this illness, would it not? That’s not so crazy. From a humanitarian point of view, saving human lives because this disease can be beaten is not crazy, either. And of course, Trump is a public spectacle of walking derp, from his Birther flirting to his weird obsession against windmills, and it’s probably just silly of me to point out that he’s, once again, flagrantly wrong and fact-averse.
Except that people take this guy seriously enough that his name was bruited about for a presidential run once upon a time. So I would very much like to point out that he’s uniquely unqualified, not just because he doesn’t bother to know things, like the state of the art care that a mere two Ebola patients can be given in isolation here as opposed to the over-taxed situation they would have been in if left where they were. And we’ve dealt with this kind of infection before here in the states. It’s not an “end of the world” scenario. It is medical treatment of people in real need that we probably can help—two of them. Two heroic American people.
It’s because he would let them die, because ugh. Diseases are gross. This is the thinking of an immature, selfish person at best. You know who else goes to “far away places to help out”? Like, diplomatic staff at consulates and embassies. Our soldiers. Suffer the consequences? Trump suffers the consequences of being Trump, but maybe he could stand to go off to a faraway place for awhile! In other words—anyone still interested in his political future should take a hard look at…this.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 08/02/14 at 09:40 PM
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
GOP Launches Stealth Attack In War On Women: Bachmann For President!
If you think you have it hard, consider what a bad couple of years Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has had. After that one great day in 2011 when she won the Ames, IA straw poll, poor Michele hasn’t been able to buy a break . . . not that she didn’t try.
If it’s not the FBI, DoJ and Office of Congressional Ethics poking their noses into her business and saying mean things about her leadership skills, it’s the danged homos making the bottom fall out of the Gay Reparative market. Now Marcus is out of a
scam job and it’s all down to Michele, who—Criminy—just retired from the House. Book sales aren’t nearly covering the legal fees so it’s no time to be out of work.
But when the going gets tough, the tough get going . . . so Rep. Michele Bachmann, looking to her strengths, has decided that another run at the Oval Office might be just the thing!
The only thing that the media has speculated on is that it’s going to be various men that are running. They haven’t speculated, for instance, that I’m going to run. What if I decide to run? And there’s a chance I could run.
Like with anything else, practice makes perfect. “And I think if a person has gone through the process—for instance, I had gone through 15 presidential debates—it’s easy to see a person’s improvement going through that.
I haven’t made a decision one way or another if I’m going to run again, but I think the organization is probably the key. To have an organization and people who surround you who are loyal, who are highly competent, who know how to be able to run the ball down the field in state after state—because now I think the primary process will be very different this time. It will tighten up; it will be a much shorter run than it was before.
Translation: that last group of F*k ups threw me under the bus when they weren’t smart enough to cover their tracks.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/23/14 at 12:03 PM
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
BAMF Commander Perry Deploys Texas National Guard To Scare Children Away
Texas Governor Rick Perry, feeling especially presidential after a weekend trip to his new favorite destination—Iowa—came out swinging on Monday, determined to show our current lawless, weak tyrant of a president a thing or two about manly decisiveness and leadership.
Perry told Republicans in Iowa . . . “if the federal government won’t secure the border, Texas will.”
Forthwith, Perry ordered the Texas National Guard to round up 1,000 of its scariest troops to go play boogeyman on the border.
Since President Obama, himself, declined to send the troops on such a misguided mission . . .
President Obama maintains that the child-migrant crisis is not a border enforcement issue, hence he has rejected calls from Republicans – and the Texas governor – to send National Guard troops south. Children are turning themselves in to the border patrol, not running away from them, administration officials emphasize, though they allow that the border patrol is working overtime and has its hands full.
. . . Perry took matters into his own hands but warned Obama that he will be sending him the $15 million/month bill.
On the other hand, Perry’s office explained to edgy Texas legislators that, for the time being:
. . . the money will come from “non critical” areas, such as health care or transportation.
Non-critical if you’re not sick, I guess.
Gov Perry seems confident that his bold move to secure Fortress America will be met with nationwide popular support and will definitely polish his presidential timber.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/22/14 at 01:22 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2014
GOP Rep. Ellmers’ Promises Women Voters Nicer Tone And No More Pie Charts
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) stepped in it, last Friday and managed to get more on her when she tried to wipe it off. And it just shouldn’t have happened.
It happened at an under-advertised Friday afternoon panel put on by the Republican Study Committee, the House’s conservative caucus. It didn’t even make it to the RSC website.
Only one reporter was in attendance and that was Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner who was covering a panel discussion on the Republican Party’s outreach effort for women voters. The GOP has entrusted that job to Rep. Renee Ellmers who heads up the Republican Women’s Policy Committee . . . a move that they might want to reconsider.
When Ashe Schow filed her report on Sunday, in an article about why the Republicans’ women’ narrative needs work, she cited, among many other things, Rep. Ellmers’ prescription that Republican men need to bring their policy discussions “down to a woman’s level” to get more female votes.
Whereupon, Rep. Ellmers responded with a statement containing the standard charge that Schow was a “liberal woman reporter” who had taken Rep. Ellmers’ words “completely out of context.”
It is a shame that such an important moment for addressing solutions and empowering women was used to attack the open exchange of ideas. In answering a question regarding how Republicans can improve their messaging, I took the opportunity to note that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences - and our messaging should do the same.
If there is a problem, who is perpetuating it? Was it a room full of women laughing, bonding and sharing solutions - or a liberal woman reporter attacking the event and taking it to a dark place that does not exist?
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/17/14 at 01:51 PM
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Immigration - Texas Two-Step Style
Normally, Texas governor “Crotch” Perry doesn’t venture too far off the reservation. Texans apparently “get him,” the rest of us, not so much. But this week his buddies on the House Homeland Security Committee transported themselves to Texas for something they call a “field hearing” titled “Crisis on the Texas Border: Surge of Unaccompanied Minors.”
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families recently announced that the U.S. had apprehended 24,668 unattended youths at the border in fiscal 2013, and officials expect the annual number to reach nearly 60,000 by the end of 2014.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said this week that more than 50,000 unaccompanied children have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico, with nearly two-thirds of them traveling through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
The discussion comes days after Obama signaled he has lost all hope of Congress overhauling the nation’s immigration laws this year. He announced Monday that he will redirect more resources to the border for enforcement efforts, adding that he would use executive actions to “fix as much of our immigration system as we can.”
The governor, of course, was invited to testify during this “field hearing” and plunged right into the deep end without his swimmies.
Currently Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is leading the government’s response to the influx of unattended children, with housing, medical treatment, transportation and other forms of assistance.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/05/14 at 10:54 AM
Friday, July 04, 2014
Mittmentum or Tilting At Oval Offices
My dream, for this Independence Day 2014, is a dream of sweet freedom from the Republican Party in its current psychopathic incarnation. And, for once, it looks like maybe dreams do come true!
Anyone who doubts that the 21st Century GOP is lumbering inexorably toward the tarpits of history should go, posthaste, to DraftMitt.org and savor the sweet reek of FAIL.
In an era of frantic Republican rejiggering, nothing quite says political desperation like the notion of trotting out Willard M Romney’s empty suit for yet another rackety run at the Oval Office. To me, this move says more about the dearth of talent in the Republican party and its donors’ apparent reluctance to throw good money after bad, than it does about any flimsy case that could be made regarding Mr Romney’s presidential qualifications.
One month after it’s debut, DraftMitt.org has racked up just under 29K supporters—short of a groundswell, as they say in politics. So far, no one is actually taking credit for this swell idea. The website prominently displays a disclaimer that Romney has not bankrolled it—actually it’s such a nondescript little canned site that my paperboy could have funded it. There are no RNC or other traces of GOP branding, just Mitt and Ronnie Reagan playing bookends.
Also, too, there’s the banner link using the 2012 campaign coinage retread “Mittmentum.” Ask Karl Rove about “mittmentum.” At any rate, that link takes us to the now notorious Washington Times poll that proves, at least in the echo chamber, that: “Hands down, Obama is the worst president since WWII” and that most Americans now regret not having voted for Romney in 2012.
Really? who recycles embarrassing reminders of a failed attempt? Even #DraftMitt is a recycled Twitter tag that takes one to a 2013 page tagged with “Because MA needs Mitt Romney in the Senate” with 3 tweets and 10 followers.
I could be wrong but I’m starting to get a sense of Tagg Romney, Campaign Manager, behind the scenes, here.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/04/14 at 10:31 AM
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
The Upstaging of Judge Gowdy
(h/t Democratic Underground)
I have to tell you, Roasters, that I am more than a little sad that Judge Gowdy’s Benghazi! BENGHAZI!! Select Committee is shaping up to be one of this season’s more spectacular entertainment duds.
Since early May, I have been looking forward to a summer of popcorn and microbrews by the pool and daily doses of Judge Gowdy on the YouTube; but now it looks like I’m going to be stuck with Speaker Boehner’s Impeachment Tort or reruns of the McCarthy Hearings.
So much has happened since those heady days in May—Speaker Boehner’s bold announcement that he was appointing a Select Committee to re-re-re-re-reinvestigate the tragedy at Benghazi; Nancy Pelosi’s tough decision to boycott the committee or not; the formation of the Benghazi Truth Pac . . .
That last item—The Benghazi Truth PAC—was just the kind of Republican sideshow that suckered me into believing that we were about to witness the Greatest Show on Earth with a ringside seat in Judge Gowdy’s Kangaroo Kourt.
The BT PAC was the brainchild of Buzz Jacobs, a Bush White House operative and 2008 McCain Campaign manager currently realizing the American Dream of small business ownership. Buzz’s biz, which is essentially raising-money-for-republicans, is something called Strategic Storytelling Company.
And Mr Jacobs has selflessly appointed himself to protect Judge Gowdy and his select committee colleagues from the inevitable smear campaigns that Liberals are bound to launch because . . . Libruls!
We are preparing to help defend them from unfair and untrue attacks.
There will be teams of people looking into their backgrounds and pulling things out of context and making major issues out of them and there needs to be some balance to that.
Jacobs said he fears Democrats loyal to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will try and “smear” the Republicans on the committee in order to protect Clinton.
He said he bases his concern on critical comments from Democrats after the special committee was created, and historically, how independent counsel Kenneth Starr was criticized during his investigation of former President Bill Clinton’s administration.
Jacobs fears that:
When we find out how disconnected the government was . . . it will not reflect well on Hillary Clinton. The left will try to distract from it and attack the messenger.
Gowdy, the object of Jacobs “strategic storytelling” said:
This investigation isn’t about my political career or anyone else’s. I do not approve of this PAC’s involvement nor do I desire to have their help in defending against attacks.
Oh DC! it isn’t really pretty what a town without pity can do. Nevertheless, Jacobs, unbowed by adversity and politically resilient said he respects Gowdy’s view on the super PAC.
If I was in his position, I would approach my job in the same way.
However, as a private citizen with White House-level national security experience, I am interested in doing what I can, within the law, to educate people about the truth and to defend those seeking the truth.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/02/14 at 11:53 AM
Friday, June 27, 2014
I Do Not Like This Mr Cruz
Looks like impeachment is the GOP’s meme du jour. Earlier this week we had Speaker Boehner teeing up his Impeachment Lite suit [details TBD] and yesterday Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) dusted off his hurdy-gurdy and took it out for a spin in an encore performance of his widely-ignored Impeach Eric Holder street show.
Hard to tell if it’s professional jealousy or just plain cussedness but Cruz has called for Holder to either resign or be impeached on numerous occasions during his brief but gaudy tenure in the US Senate.
Cruz certainly didn’t disappoint while introducing his most recent Impeach Holder resolution:
When an attorney general refuses to enforce the law, when an attorney general mocks the rule of law, when an attorney general corrupts the Department of Justice by conducting a nakedly partisan investigation to cover up political wrongdoing, that conduct by any reasonable measure constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors.
Sounds a little like an audition for Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, eh?
However, this was the Senate, which is happy to give credit for showmanship but, nevertheless, still requires unanimous consent to move forward with such a resolution.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, refused, calling Cruz’s call for impeachment a “waste of taxpayers’ money” citing that:
. . . besides the three other probes being conducted by congressional committees, he and the top Republican on the finance committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UH), were nearly done with their own bipartisan investigation into the matter.
Wyden also questioned the need for a special prosecutor when, after multiple investigations over 13 months, there is no evidence that any crime was committed.
Many of us can remember special prosecutors abusing their power, spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money and going on for years and years without concluding their investigations. Too often, special prosecutors have turned into a lawyer’s full employment program. They ought to be reserved for where there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing inside the government.
Something tells me that Ted Cruz won’t be particularly moved by that argument since he had no qualms about shutting down the government to the tune of $24 billion.
So. Let’s see where we stand here—no criminal evidence and no victims, as Mr Todd recently pointed out, for the rest of us who have been shrieking this for a year, thank you very much:
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/27/14 at 09:27 AM
Saturday, June 21, 2014
“Lyin’ Ryan” Accuses IRS Commissioner of . . . Lying.
Well, it’s been a rather surreal week what with every neocon zombie rising from the crypt to dance on the graves of the hundreds of thousands whose lives they destroyed playing their chickenhawk war games. And the media rushing to capture their every demented word on the matter as if it had anything to do with reality. Or truth. Or integrity.
The whole business seemed to blindside a fair number of Americans who registered a collective STFU you squirrelly nutjobs—we got rid of you for a reason.
I think the most galling thing about this hallucinatory political theater is that most sane, average Americans expect that when people in high places are exposed as liars, traitors, cheats and troublemakers they will somehow have the good grace to shuffle away from the limelight and lead lives of quiet desperation, grateful that their fellow citizens have not punished them as severely as they deserve.
But, as we learned this week, some people are simply not “wired” like the rest of us. They don’t play by the same rules and they are obviously not burdened by conscience. Mental health experts might diagnose such people as victims of antisocial personality disorders.
A few of the characteristics of antisocial personality disorder are:
Superficial charm and good intelligence
Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
Untruthfulness and insincerity
Lack of remorse and shame
Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
Pathological egocentricity and incapacity for love
We all know a few—these people blend. They are not disturbed enough to commit but they are certainly disturbed enough to wreak havoc in the lives of those they touch.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/21/14 at 12:35 PM
Sunday, June 08, 2014
Majority of Americans Support Reparative Therapy for Texans
While most of us were trying to absorb the eery links between “Benghazi” and “Bergdahl,” last week, Texas rounded up its Republican delegates and sent them to Fort Worth to convene and redraft the state party platform. Few will be surprised to learn that Texas has one of the weirdest state Republican platforms in the country.
It is forty —count ‘em, FORTY— pages of Right wing free association that feels like the product of a bad night of MadLibs and way too much Lone Star Lite. I’d say that the Texas platform smacks of teenage manifesto but that can’t be quite right because the Texas Young Republicans have declared it totally suckumental.
Way to court that youth vote, GOP!
Anyone with the stomach is welcome to jump right in for themselves, but here are a few highlights from my perspective . . .
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Posted by Bette Noir on 06/08/14 at 01:53 PM
Monday, June 02, 2014
What If Republicans Held A Leadership Conference And No Leaders Showed Up?
We must stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.
Those inspirational words were uttered by the Republican Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal in January, 2013.
Bobby Jindal, however, has shown very little inclination to take his own advice and, in fact, six months later suffered a bout of “stupid” himself in the form of a kamikaze Op-Ed in Politico:
Republican political correctness is all the rage, and it’s all roughly the same: we need to stop being conservative… we need to abandon our principles (at least the ones that don’t poll well)… we need to let the smart guys in Washington pick our candidates…we need big data and analytics so we can optimize… we need to be more libertarian…we need to endorse abortion…we need fewer debates…and the list goes on.
The overall level of panic and apology from the operative class in our party is absurd and unmerited. It’s time to stop the bedwetting.
No more self-analysis; we’ve had our catharsis. The season for navel gazing has passed.
Let’s stop defeating ourselves, get on offense, and go kick the other guys around. If you’ve followed the news over the past month, they are certainly asking for it. We are the conservative party in America — deal with it. We have a lot of dissenting voices. So what? Deal with it. The American public waxes and wanes. Fine. It will wax again soon enough. Deal with it, and start fighting for our principles instead of against them, so we can be in position to create the next wave.
At some point, the American public is going to revolt against the nanny state and the leftward march of this president. I don’t know when the tipping point will come, but I believe it will come soon.
Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.
Their philosophy does not work and it got our nation into the mess it’s in.
Eventually Americans will rise up against this new era of big government and this new reign of politically correct terror. In the meantime Republicans — hold fast, get smarter, get disciplined, get on offense, and put on your big boy pants.
That terrible thud? That was Jindal tripping on the hems of his “big boy pants.”
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Posted by Bette Noir on 06/02/14 at 10:19 AM