Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Ivory Tower To Echo Chamber. Do You Read Me, Echo Chamber?
Ben Sasse will almost certainly be heading to the United States Senate in January, 2015. Yesterday Sasse managed to out-TEA Party his TEA Party opponent, Shane Osborn, as well as banker-flavored conservative Sid Dinsdale. And, since Nebraska is about as red as it gets? game over.
Now that Sasse doesn’t have to woo anyone he’s free to be “just Ben” which is pretty damn awesome by most standards. Sasse has a large collection of academic degrees from BS through PhD. from the likes of Harvard, Oxford and Yale. His PhD dissertation won multiple prizes for best dissertation of the year.
He’s been in and out of policy consulting and staff jobs in DC as well as academic positions at the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard.
Sasse served as counselor to the secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services for a year, during which he advised the Secretary on a broad spectrum of health policy issues, from affordable healthcare access to food safety and security.
And in July 2007, Sasse was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as “the principal advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on policy development” as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Sasse advised private equity clients and health care investors in his spare time and became a fellow at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs’ Center for Politics and Governance.
He is currently the president of Midland University in Nebraska.
Oh! and did I mention that he’s 42 years old?
Too bad, eh. Because now that he’s broken into the upper echelons of the Republican Party he’s going to be forced to check his big brain at the door.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 05/14/14 at 02:13 PM
Thursday, May 08, 2014
Release The KRAKEN!!
What’s it been now? almost a week since Speaker Boehner decided to Release the Kraken! and, already, I suspect he’s black and blue from excessive #facepalm-ing.
Meanwhile, Judge Gawdy (R-SC) is powdering his wig and spreading himself thin in a pre-game talkathon about what a regular - nay, totally unremarkable and unassuming - hero he is, who just happens to be sitting on a shock-and-awe-ful pile of
bullpuckey evidence that has eluded his well-meaning but bumbling colleagues who just don’t fully grasp how the criminal mind operates.
Yep. A week into it and this latest chapter of Benghazi!Benghazi!BENGHAZI!! is about to take a serious turn toward the absurd, as only conservatives know how to turn things.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 05/08/14 at 09:27 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
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
Friday, April 25, 2014
Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy: “Cincy” Seitz Edition
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.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/25/14 at 10:58 AM
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Don’t Fence Me In
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.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/23/14 at 10:27 AM
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Free Your Mind
Aiming at who-knows-what entertainment value, Fox News, on Friday, launched a “robust discussion” of the current state of racism in America. Or, at least as robust a discussion as five white conservative pundits, including a B-list comedian, could have on that topic.
The timing of the program probably had to do with Attorney General Eric Holder getting all “uppity,” a few days ago, about being disrespected by Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and follow-up remarks by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) when he was asked if Holder had played “the race card.”
The discussion meandered along most of the well-trodden paths leading to Post Racism America.
Comments like these abounded:
This race thing is – you know, at this point, I can’t believe they’re still saying it.
I might even agree with you that there may be some racism left in America, but who cares? Anyone who does or says anything racist is always punished for it immediately. So why do we even talk about it anymore?
Dana Perino even managed a deftly worded boy-who-calls-wolf admonition when she wondered if “playing the race card so promiscuously actually drains the power of calling someone a racist.”
Eric Bolling and Andrea Tantaros seconded the theme that most Americans aren’t even concerned about racism anymore.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/13/14 at 02:10 PM
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
American Taliban Mobilizing Against Gay-stapo
Apparently the far right wants blood and they are doing all of the right things to get them some.
Screeching and fear-mongering over gays in our midst is nothing new for them but those who pay close attention to their antics are recognizing that we have entered a new phase—the mobilization and deployment of armed-to-the-teeth, anti-gay wingnuts who are coming around to a belief that they have a sacred mandate to eliminate the gay.
Guys like Scott Lively have been gay-bashing for a long time and are relatively harmless because their self-interest trumps their desire to scuff their Guccis in the trenches. Up until recently, Lively would rather go to Latvia or Uganda, where he’s a bigger fish, and persuade some petty satraps there to go out and kill their own gays.
He is evidently smart enough to know that the tiny minority of Americans nutty enough to support his agenda will never get much of anything done - at least, legislatively. And Lively’s gay-bashing cottage industry of books, speaking engagements and his hate ministry Abiding Truth Ministries has barely netted enough to keep him in Crown Victorias.
So he’s decided to run for Governor of Massachusetts on a platform that includes “Your President, Barack Obama, Is a Fag.”
Meanwhile, Lively’s book The Pink Swastika has become something of a cult classic in the gay-hate microcosm. The book explains that homosexuals are the true inventors of Nazism and the evil genius behind many Nazi atrocities.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/09/14 at 11:27 AM
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Halting Evolution One Seat At A Time
There’s this guy, from The Gopher State [State Bird: Common Loon], who was going about his American Dream, minding his own business, raising a family, working hard, getting his MBA on-line, and then—BOOM!
An incident happened! and suddenly, Aaron Miller knew that he must drop everything and get himself elected to Congress to save America from science-crazed, war-on-religion, constitution-shredders wrecking everything.
That “incident,” which has become a set piece of Miller’s stump speeches, occurred as follows:
. . . he shared a story about his daughter becoming very upset because she had to learn about evolution at school. He said his daughter told the teacher that she did not believe in evolution. He said the teacher expressed agreement with his daughter, but told her that they were forced to teach the lesson by the government.
When asked for further detail, Miller declined to provide the name of the teacher in his story.
So, you see, it was a father’s concern for his children that set Mr. Miller on his path to Washington, DC:
There’s a war on our values by the government,” Miller said. “We should decide what is taught in our schools, not Washington, D.C.
As a parent, of course, I can empathize. I remember a similar incident, when my son was in high school. He came home one day fuming and obviously upset, because he told his math teacher he didn’t believe in calculus so he shouldn’t have to pass his class. His teacher agreed that there really was no such thing as calculus but that he wouldn’t get into engineering school unless he played along. Took him a long time to heal . . .
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/08/14 at 10:16 AM
Friday, April 04, 2014
Modern conservatism in the US is predicated on a bizarre, ongoing inversion of reality. Item: an addled B-movie actor explodes the national debt and is lionized as a champion of small government. A cowardly, none-too-bright male cheerleader from a patrician clan is packaged and sold as a brush-clearin,’ neo-Churchillian cowpoke.
The party that bankrupted the country through ruinous, pointless warmongering and Wall Street wilding markets itself as the fiscally responsible foreign policy grownups. The party that allows a gun manufacturer flak organization to intimidate it into allowing terrorists and the floridly crazy to purchase unlimited semiautomatic weapons bills itself as tough on crime. Etc.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that conservatives’ perception of their ongoing defeat in the culture wars is exactly the opposite of reality on every level too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at the ahistorical ranting. Cue the Powertools, lamenting the resignation of erstwhile Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich:
So the liberals claim another scalp. This is something new in our history, as far as I know. Until now, private citizens could hold whatever political beliefs they wanted, and support political causes as they chose.
Ever heard of the McCarthy hearings? Where a wingnut senator persecuted private citizens and destroyed their livelihoods because of their political beliefs? See, when the party of free markets decides to regulate political beliefs, it does so via the government.
What happened to Eich is a free market phenomenon. You can make the argument that the companies and developers who balked at the prospect of working with a CEO who thinks gays are icky should have given Eich a chance. But the companies and developers are independent agents who are free to vote with their feet because freedom.
Over at Heritage.org, they’ve discovered the power of government policy in leading social change:
Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting against such groups and individuals.
Okay, so you guys were for prohibiting the government from discriminating against same sex couples in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation or contracting, right? Nope.
Once again, the self-proclaimed anti-nanny state crusaders and champions of free markets are revealed as sniveling hypocrites. Hoocoodanode?
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 04/04/14 at 07:31 AM
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
SCOTUS Shows Love for the Rainmakers and Buckrakers
In the home of the brave, free speech comes with a price tag, as the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 (No! Really?) decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case, which basically gives rich folks the license to print ballots.
Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but here’s the deal—if putting your money where your mouth is, is a form of free speech, then some animals on this farm are obviously more equal than others, if laws that try to keep the rich from drowning out the voices of the not-so-much are seen as onerously violating the rights of the people who can afford to pay for this here microphone and mean to use it.
It kind of says, if you can’t afford to pay for the good sound system, you might as well shut up.
There was some dancing around in that decision about whether campaign financing was about quid pro quo—look, I get it. The decision for letting our politicians be bought outright was centered on not making it for each trick they turn out, but letting them perform on a retainer basis. And that’s sweet, but let’s call it what it is. And let’s not pretend that our transactional political system isn’t about quid pro quo because the paymasters don’t give direction when our little dears can figure out what they are supposed to do to please Daddy without all that much direction.
Now, there might be an antidote to the influence of money in the form of a critical, tough, independent media who can cut through the “talk” of money and see to it that “bullshit” hits the road. A lot of our mainstream media might not necessarily recognize that cutting through the bull is their job, though. That’s kind of why I see blogging as important. Maybe this cosa nostra can strike a little bit back at the pezzanovantes that want to make peasants out of us. But otherwise, I encourage everybody to vote the fuck out of the GOP, because, let’s be honest, they are the most boughten and paidest-for. I’m all for kicking the Koch-machine—how’bout you?
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/02/14 at 10:08 PM
Sunday, March 09, 2014
CPAC 2014 Selects Rand Paul As Candidate Least Likely To Succeed
Well, it hardly seems possible that it’s already been a year since the last time Rand Paul won the CPAC Candidate Least Likely to Succeed pageant but, there you have it. The straws have been counted and Sen. Aqua Buddha is the overwhelming favorite out of a packed field of conservative firebrands and luminaries and a few leftover kooks for old times’ sake . . .
See for yourself:
Not to burst Sen. Paul’s bubble or rain on his victory parade but the results of the CPAC straw poll mean squat in real world politics. Furthermore, I could have saved the American Conservative Union a whole lot of time and money spent pursuing this meaningless outcome by telling them last year around this time, or ditto the year before, what the result would be.
See, for better or worse, CPAC which started in the early ‘70s, has been converted, over the last few years, into a Libertarian Lovefest.
Notwithstanding GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio’s enthusiastic cheerleading:
This is a sampling of people from all 50 states who are at the forefront of the conservative moment.
Well, sorry Tony but you know, and I know, the CPAC straw poll is no such thing. It is, rather, a barometer of what’s going on in the highly exclusive club of earnest young white men, 18-25 years old, with the inflexible intransigence and uncompromising conviction of fresh converts.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 03/09/14 at 11:42 AM
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Mama Don’t ‘Low No Dreamers Round Here
Meet Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) who is livin’ the dream. According to Black’s congressional bio she has risen from humble beginnings:
. . . the middle daughter of working-class, Great Depression era parents, Diane saw firsthand their efforts to create a better life for their children through their pursuit of the American Dream.
Diane was the first member of her family to graduate from college degree when she earned a nursing degree from Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, in 1971. She then married a doctor, David Black, who went on to build a drug-testing empire known as Aegis Services.
Diane Black worked as a nurse for a while, then decided to try her hand at legislating because . . . YOLO! Mrs. Black got herself elected to the Tennessee House and served for 6 years, then became a state senator in 2004.
In 2010, Mrs. Black caught the TEA Party wave and surfed into Congress where she insists on being addressed as Congressman and just happens to be one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
How’s that for a success story? Why, I’d go so far as to say that Diane Black personifies what the American Dream is all about.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 03/06/14 at 01:08 PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
C’mon Truth, Get Your Damn Shoes On!
“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but it has never been verified as originating with Twain. This quote may have originated with Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) who attributed it to an old proverb in a sermon delivered on Sunday morning, April 1, 1855. Spurgeon was a celebrated English fundamentalist Baptist preacher. His words were: “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”
Brace yourselves, Roasters, it’s starting early this time around. You know what I mean, right? that goofy quadrennial American reality show called The Making of The President, in which a gang of nattering political nabobs join in a rousing cacophonous chorus of Me! ME!! Look at meeeee!
One of the talking points that seems to be developing legs, on the Right, is the Lawless Obama meme. Rallying round that notion, I expect the pundits of the courtier press to be donning their little amateur constitutionalist thinking caps, any minute now, and letting us in on what their “gut” tells them is unconstitutional. And we the people will commence quivering with fear because . . . ASSAULT ON LIBERTY!!!
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 02/18/14 at 10:57 AM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Send in the Clowns: Breitbart Plans World Domination
Ambling around the Web this evening, I stumbled upon this headline:
Delingpole quits Telegraph ahead of UK launch of Breitbart.com
Two things immediately jumped out at me.
Delingpole—who, if you’ve never had the pleasure, is one James “I’m right about everything” Delingpole, in his own words “a member of probably the most discriminated-against subsection in the whole of British society—the white, middle-aged, public-school-and-Oxbridge educated middle-class male” who a few years ago earned this very blog’s coveted accolade of Dickhead of the Day, along with the timeless lede “Cretinous British twit,” which is far from the unkindest thing that’s ever been said about him (and I’d like a few props for resisting the obvious Photoshop here ... gnnnn).
Why, he’s even described himself as “James Delingpole — the man so barking even Ukip [the UK Independence Party] wouldn’t have him.”
How to sum up Sucky Jim otherwise? Google is, as ever, your helpful friend:
He’s a self-described rightwing libertarian, an ideologue who in 2010 called for a British Tea Party movement, kind of missing the point of the original Tea Party.
He also fancies himself a satirist, a poor man’s Jeremy Clarkson if you will, failing to see why some might take exception to a passage like this:
... Barack Seamus O’Toole Flaherty Joyce O’Bama is the most Irish US president that ever set foot on the Emerald Oisle, so he is, so he is.
Except, when he’s in Africa, of course, when he disappears into the dry ice and re-emerges with a grass skirt and a bone through his nose and declares himself to be Mandingo, Prince of the Bloodline of the Bonga People, Drinker of Cattle Urine, Father of A Thousand Warrior Sons, Keeper of King Solomon’s Mines, Barehanded Slayer of Lions, Undaunted Victim of the Evil Colonial British Empire.
You could also with some justification call him a minor toff (daddy owned a factory, so he’d never make the major leagues short of marrying a Royal filly, which he hasn’t so far), the minorness no doubt being the impetus for his incessant clamor for attention and Pooteresque trumpeting of his mediocrity.
A polemical left-baiting anthropomorphic climate change denier, his Daily Telegraph blurb reads:
James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books, including his most recent work Watermelons: How the Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future, also available in the US, and in Australia as Killing the Earth to Save It. His website is www.jamesdelingpole.com.
His acumen can be gauged if you click on that link to “his” eponymous website.*
read the whole post »
Posted by YAFB on 02/16/14 at 11:42 PM