Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Republican War On Women - "Centrist" John Kasich Edition

This guy's in the "establishment" lane in the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party presidential clown car bus, a real "centrist moderate!"
The Ohio legislature moved Wednesday to cut off $1.3 million in public health grants to Planned Parenthood in a closely watched vote that could have repercussions for the surging presidential campaign of Gov. John Kasich (R).
The bill, which cleared the Senate last month and passed the House on Wednesday, prohibits the Ohio Department of Health from giving state or federal grants to organizations that conduct or “promote” abortions. Kasich, who placed second in the Republican primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday, has said he would sign the bill.
In the very next sentence we read,
While it could complicate his efforts to cast himself as a centrist...
Isn't it amazing what could pass for a "centrist" in American politics these days (=cough= Overton window =sneeze=), and the media barely bats an eye?

There's a reason Planned Parenthood calls Kasich "one of the most extreme anti-abortion governors in the country." Here's a brief primer:
Consider that, since Kasich took office in 2011, he has signed into law 16 antiabortion measures. These include a ban on abortions after 20 weeks; a mandatory ultrasound for women having abortions in clinics that receive state funding; and a provision in the state’s budget bill that prevents rape crisis counselors from providing women with information about abortion services. Onerous regulations on abortion providers have led half the abortion clinics in the state to shut down.
He seems nice.  And very "centrist."

(As a bonus "centrist" tell, Kasich's "spiritual adviser" is on record calling gay rights activists "thought nazis" and "bullies."  No doubt they want to jam something down the good pastor's throat...)

The Flint Disaster and Our Broken Media

There's a compelling article over at Media Matters by Joe Strupp that examines the failure of the major media to notice the disastrous poisoning of the residents of Flint, MI, until a state of emergency was declared by the Republican Governor and ultimate culprit for the problem Rick "You Made Me Sick" Snyder, whose cost cutting mania led to the use of the lead- and chemical-polluted Flint River being used for drinking water, despite warnings. While local media coverage was looking at the problem for some time despite cutbacks in their news budgets, the national media seemingly couldn't be bothered to cover this "local" problem (tell that to people in states whose well water is being polluted by fracking) since it didn't register on social media :
"'The Flint water crisis went under the media's radar. It was lost in what's trending on Twitter, who liked what on Facebook, and the next poppin pics on Instagram,' said Jiquanda Johnson, a reporter at The Flint Journal since Oct. 2014 and a Flint native. 'Journalists have become lazy. We wait for the obvious and jump on trends. Flint's water crisis didn't make the social media cut so it was missed. It didn't make headlines like the Charleston killings, Ferguson protests over Michael Brown's death or Ed Garner's choking. Is it racism? Is it classism? Is it both or neither? I don't know.'

'I do know that Flint's issues were not just neatly packaged and ready for media,' she added. 'They required work, digging, sifting and a lot of questioning. Things were not as blatant as a cop pulling out a gun, shooting it and killing a young black man. Or as clear as a white man walking into a church.'" (emphasis added)
As others have pointed out, if this had happened in a well-heeled suburb of Detroit, like Grosse Pointe or Bloomfield Hills, the likelihood of a story about lead-poisoned water being ignored for over a year by corporate media would have been slim to none.  As Common Cause President Miles Rappaport notes in the article: 
"When people's health and lives are the line -- especially threatened by something as essential as water -- no one can move fast enough. Local reporters did what they could in an era of slashed budgets, staffs, and loop-hole riddled Freedom of Information Laws. The national media was slow to realize the impact of the Flint Water Crisis. That it took an advocacy organization hiring an investigative journalist to get to the core of the story should be alarming to all of us." (emphasis added)
Alarming, but sadly not unexpected.

Cliven Bundy Arrested (UPDATED)

Cliven Bundy... was arrested on Wednesday when he arrived at Portland International Airport on his way to the wildlife refuge to support the militants, according to the Oregonian newspaper.
Cliven, 74, faces conspiracy and weapons charges, the paper reported. He lead [sic] a 2014 standoff with the government over Nevada grazing rights that ended with federal agents backing down in the face of about 1,000 armed militiamen.
Cliven "Hoof" Bundy, the patriarch of the seditious Bundy klan, also owes more than $1 million in grazing fees and unpaid penalties to the federal government, making him one of the most brazen sagebrush moochers of all time.

The F.B.I. also claims the four patriots jamokes still holed up at the Alamo Malheur wildlife refuge are getting ready to surrender.

It's a good day for the rule of law.


UPDATE:  Paranoid jamoke David Fry is currently the lone holdout at the Alamo refuge, the other three jamokes having surrendered this morning.  He sounds completely unhinged.

(Photo:  Hoof's mug shot - Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Here's What A Neo-Nazi Does

And....surprise!'s Cruz/ Trump supporter, lunatic ammosexual and admitted pedophile Ted "Crap My Pants" Nugent, who posted a virulently anti-Semitic, anti-gun control entry on his Facebook page the other day, each person identified with an Israeli flag in case you didn't get Crap My Pants' subtle message (click on image to enlarge):

Will it be enough of an outrage to get Crap My Pants kicked off of the National Rampage Rifle Association's board of directors? Or a better question: what outrage won't the NRA accept?

Tweet Of The Day - #No Guts, No Glory, No Brains Either

Immaculately wrong Wee Willie Kristol, Republican neo-con establishment gatekeeper!  As far back as July 2015, and on a regular basic since then, Wee Willie has tweeted about Donald "Rump" Trump peaking:

But, hey, don't forget to watch Wee Willie Sunday's on "This Week With George Steponaflagpinopoulos" for his amazing insights into politics!

Sanders, Trump Win New Hampshire; Marco Roboto Fifth (UPDATED)

As the polls were predicting, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) handily won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, beating Hillary Clinton by a margin of roughly 2- to- 1.  They split the Democratic vote, but Sanders walloped Clinton among independents and millennials.  On to Nevada and South Carolina!  Here are the vote totals so far

On the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party side, neo- fascist bag o' farts Donald "Rump" Trump coasted to a double- digit victory, garnering 35 percent of the vote;  Gov. John "Head" Kasich, Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz, J.E.B.! Bush and [musical flourish] the easily rattled marionette Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio picked up the, um,  rear.  In his concession speech,  Glug Glug said "[Insert robotic phrase repetition joke here.]" 

Steve Benen wrapped up the dilemma in which Rump's win puts his party of xenophobic yahoos and cretins:
The vote tally isn't quite finished, but as things stand, the New York developer is on track to prevail with a margin of victory of 19 points, which is the largest for a non-incumbent Republican since Reagan's 1980 win over three decades ago.
In the wake of the Iowa caucuses, in which Trump finished second, the conventional wisdom said the setback put the candidate on a trajectory towards inevitable failure: the Trump bubble had been pierced, the paper tiger had been exposed, and some degree of normalcy had been restored in the nominating fight.
No one is saying that anymore. On the contrary, chaos now reigns.
Back on the Democratic side, we have the rather more enviable prospect of two candidates who realize the stakes involved and are pushing in the same direction.  As Sen. Sanders noted in his victory speech,
"We will need to come together in a few months and unite this party, and this nation because the right-wing Republicans we oppose must not be allowed to gain the presidency."
Secretary Clinton, in her concession speech, spoke of the issues fueling both hers and Sanders' campaigns: Wall Street reform, campaign finance reform, income inequality, stressing that there's more that binds than separates the Democratic contenders.

All in all, it's so much better to be a Democrat than a Republican, now more than ever.

UPDATE:  The guy who filleted Glug Glug, Gov. Chris "Krispykreme" Christie, is reportedly going back to New Jersey for the metaphorical "a change of clothes."

UPDATE II: Job destroyer and serial liar "Snarly" Carly Fiorina's calling it quits, too.  Buh bye.

Mid-Week Wolves Song

Icelandic alt-folk group Of Monsters And Men had a huge international hit in 2011, "Little Talks," and the quintet has taken the intervening time to work on more infectiously catchy tunes for their latest album,"Beneath the Skin."  The latest song to be released from that album is "Wolves Without Teeth." and today we have the lyrics video of that song.  Featured dancing and lip synching in the video are twin Icelandic teens Erna and Hrefna Jónasdóttir, who look like thy could have stepped off the set of Hunger Games (or Thor, or The Vikings, etc.), as could the band itself, and particularly their lead singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir. Enjoy their music.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Headline of the Day

From the incomparable Driftglass, no less, on primary day in New Hampshire:

Goodbye Rubio Tuesday

Go to the link for his lyrics.

Or, as the Stones would sing:

"There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind. (or memory chip)
Ain't life unkind?"

J.E.B.!: More Political Corruption Would Be Nice

As House of Bush princeling and pay-to-play candidate John Ellis "J.E.B.!" Bush's well-financed campaign slowly circles the drain, looking at a likely finish in fifth, or at best fourth place in New Hampshire today, he's searching for an issue to portray himself as an "outsider," despite having scooped up over $100 million in "donations" from fellow plutocrats. Under the infamous Citizens United decision by the Republican-controlled Supreme Court, super PACs can collect unlimited funds from wealthy donors to sponsor ads that indirectly support a candidate, as long as there's no "coordination" with the candidate.  By contrast, contributions made directly to candidates are limited to $2,700 per person per election. In J.E.B.!'s words, he wants to "turn that on its head if I could." He thinks he can sucker the public with this three-card monte:
"Bush’s framework, by contrast, would even eliminate the thin wall between donors and candidates that remains after Citizens United. Under his proposed rule, it’s unclear that anything would prevent a billionaire from walking into Bush’s office with a massive check and a list of demands, and then refusing to turn over that check until they are sure that Bush will comply with those demands. Simply put, Bush would permit a level of corruption that even the Roberts Court views as intolerable." (emphasis added)
Apparently desperate times call for desperately corrupt proposals.  But then, the Bush dynasty is no stranger to the influence of big money.

Today's Cartoon - Play Nice, Things Could Always Be Worse!

(click on image to enlarge)

(Jen Sorensen, via

As passions rise, keep reminding yourselves what the real stakes are in this election. To paraphrase Sen. Sanders, on his and Secretary Clinton's worst days, they're 100 times better than any Republican candidate.

Oh Canada! Vid Of The Day

Now that New Hampshire primary day has arrived, and the TV ads move on to South Carolina and Nevada, we thought this ad from our wonderful neighbors to the north is worth considering. (You know the presenter is really Canadian;  it's just something aboot him).  Enjoy some well-deserved satire aimed at their strange neighbors to the south, delivered in a typically self-effacing and good-natured way.

(h/t to Crooks and Liars)

Domo Arigato Marco Roboto, Part 2 !

From Crooks and Liars:
I'm not sure what or who is ramming stuff down the throats of the children of the Rubio family, but it must be pretty traumatizing to the Junior Senator from Florida. At an appearance today in Nashua, New Hampshire, his robotic tendencies resurfaced while speaking about how awful life is in Obama's America, so he needs to take America back to the 19th Century.

With his customary frenetic delivery, he expressed a familiar tale of outrage at the values of this convoluted century. After he referred to President Obama as 'BrockObama,' as per usual, he set up his portrayal of the hellscape of debauchery that is 2016 America.
Check out his face toward the end when he realizes he's in the middle of delivering the same line again.  Let's go to the videotape!

BONUS:  Eugene Robinson on the conclusion many of us came to some time ago:
It’s time for establishment Republicans to face the truth about Marco Rubio: Once you get past the facade, there appears to be no there there.
... except for a malfunctioning microchip?

BONUS IIIt's bad when even your allies know you panic under stress.  Can't be good.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Setback For Election Riggers

After the Republican-dominated Supreme Court gutted parts of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, state legislatures controlled by Republicans mounted an intensive effort (supported by the scurrilous, Koch brothers-backed American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC) to put up barriers to Democratic voting groups exercising their franchise, including voter ID laws meant to suppress young and minority voters who normally vote Democratic.

Another tactic pushed by ALEC and their Republican legislative beneficiaries was that of re-drawing Congressional districts that were designed to limit the influence of voters who fit the Democratic demographic. North Carolina's Rethuglican officials set about re-drawing districts in their state shortly after the Supreme Court's action on the Voting Rights Act (which was specifically aimed at historically discriminatory southern states). The objective was to pack African-American voters into as few districts as possible, in order to diminish their overall impact on elections. It appeared as though their plan to maintain themselves in power was succeeding until last Friday, when a three-judge Federal panel ruled that the State's gerrymandered districts violated the Constitution, and ordered the State of North Carolina to change the districts so as not to constitute racially segregated districts.  

Whether the State will appeal to the Supreme Court remains to be seen, but they only have until February 19 to comply with the order.

Today's Cartoon And Reading - The Party Of The Automatons

(click on image to enlarge)

(Clay Jones,

We're still having fun with the spectacle of lightweight gusano Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio's (R- Mattel/ Koch) "software glitch" during last Saturday's Republican "debate." Let's dispel with this fiction that others aren't enjoying the schadenfreude, too. That it revealed him, on the eve of the important New Hampshire primary, to be a wind- up empty suit completely unqualified to be running for President is half the battle.  As Paul Krugman notes, Glug Glug isn't alone in his automaton behavior:
The truth is that the whole G.O.P. seems stuck in a time loop, saying and doing the same things over and over. And unlike Bill Murray’s character in the movie “Groundhog Day,” Republicans show no sign of learning anything from experience.

Think about the doctrines every Republican politician now needs to endorse, on pain of excommunication.
Krugman then details the domestic and foreign policy doctrines the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party clings to, despite, you know,  facts to the contrary.  Since we try not to do spoilers here, please follow the link to the meat of the op/ ed.  Krugman concludes:
So how did this happen to the G.O.P.? In a direct sense, I suspect that it has a lot to do with Foxification, the way Republican primary voters live in a media bubble into which awkward facts can’t penetrate. But there must be deeper causes behind the creation of that bubble.

Whatever the ultimate reason, however, the point is that while Mr. Rubio did indeed make a fool of himself on Saturday, he wasn’t the only person on that stage spouting canned talking points that are divorced from reality. They all were, even if the other candidates managed to avoid repeating themselves word for word.
An observation Krugman leaves out is that the "media bubble" the knuckle- draggers live in, courtesy of Fox "News" and countless thousands of hate radio and internet mouths, is abetted by the "corporate" or "mainstream" media that has adopted a "let the facts get sorted out by themselves" posture over many decades (a.k.a., the "Chuck Todd Maxim").   Since there's been precious little push back on the 24/7 propaganda going into the bubble, there's hardly any way reality could intrude.

There's also the probability that the "biology, psychology and socialization" of the Republican brain would render any change in their fact- free beliefs or authoritarian behavior unlikely, as Chauncey DeVega points out.  That's a daunting challenge for politics in America, and one we're going to be living with for a very long time.

BONUS:  It's also helpful to remember that others were observing Glug Glug's robotic behavior a while ago.

Judgement Tweet of the Day

Despite his modestly better performance in Saturday's Republican debate, House of Bush scion and serial fumbler John Ellis "J.E.B.!" Bush is desperate enough to call in family reinforcements to his campaign in New Hampshire, but bringing in brother Dumbya? Dumbya?  J.E.B.!'s spent months trying to make people forget his last name and especially the last Preznit that disgraced it by thinking with "his gut" and launching a devastating war of choice in Iraq. The fact that he's bringing him out to make a case for "good judgement" of all things just shows a lack thereof on his part.

Oh, and "please clap."