Thursday, July 28, 2016

Signs Of The Times

Because yellow stars and tattoos are so 20th century.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday said he would be in favor of forcing Muslims on the federal government’s terrorism watch list to wear electronic monitoring tags or bracelets for authorities to track their whereabouts.

“I would think that’s an excellent idea,” said Giuliani, an adviser to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “If you’re on the terror watch list, I should you know you’re on the terror watch list. You’re on there for a reason.”

I really wonder whether or not he hears himself.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Duking It Out

The Louisiana GOP isn’t supporting David Duke’s run for the U.S. Senate.

“The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke’s candidacy for any public office,” state party chair Roger Villere said in a statement. “David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.”

Which is ironic since the Republicans just nominated a hate-filled fraud for president.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Short Takes

Texas voter I.D. law struck down.

Trump employee admits to plagiarizing Melina Trump’s speech.

Secret Service investigating Trump advisor who advocated executing Hillary Clinton.

Turkey issues ban on professional travel for academics in wake of coup attempt.

R.I.P. Garry Marshall; producer, actor, and director of Pretty Woman.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

John McCain Is Confused

Apparently John McCain thinks President Barack Obama is also the head of French security.

“As far as the tragedy in France is concerned, obviously this is an act of mayhem and despicable. But I also have to tell you […] that as long as we have a leadership in this country, the president of the United States, who allowed this to happen, his policies are directly responsible for ISIS and ISIS is responsible for these attacks,” McCain said on Arizona radio station KTAR.

And apparently John McCain has forgotten that if the United States had not invaded Iraq — which he voted for — ISIS would never have been created.

But then, what did you expect from the man who thought Sarah Palin was a good pick to be vice president?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Good Old Benito

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, one of the folks being vetted by Donald Trump as a vice presidential candidate, did a 180 on his pro-choice stand, saying basically “oh, I mean I’m pro-life.”

Fine; that puts him in the same place as Mr. Trump both in terms of that particular point of view and his “flexibility” on issues.  But Josh Marshall also dug up another interesting bit of information about the general: he co-authored a book with Michael Ledeen.

Who’s that?

Ledeen is genuinely a man of ideas and letters. It’s just that the ideas tend to be a bit evil or post-moral in a functionally equivalent way. Ledeen’s key intellectual influence was the Italian fascism or neo-fascism he came into contact with during his time in Italy during the 1970s. Without getting too deep into the story, Ledeen was part of a movement to distinguish ‘fascism’ as a set of ideas, an intellectual movement from the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini.

[…]

In a fascinating touch, back in May Ledeen was attacking critics like Robert Kagan who were calling Trump ‘fascist’ but, in a notable and predictable twist, on the theory that Trump wasn’t really good enough for the fascist label. “For Mr. Kagan (surprisingly and disappointingly praised by Bret Stephens),” writes Ledeen, “fascism is little more than any political movement led by a charismatic strong man … Mr. Kagan doesn’t discuss the revolutionary aspect of fascism. Italian fascists claimed to be able to unleash the creative powers of a “new fascist man,” while the Nazis advocated the superiority of the Aryan race. Neither concept is to be found anywhere in Trumpism either in theory or practice.”

Maybe Mr. Trump will make Michael Ledeen Secretary of Transportation…or at least the head of Amtrak.

Monday, July 11, 2016

No Birthday Cake For You Lesbos

Now it’s not just wedding cakes that the Jesus-shouters won’t bake.  Via Wonkette:

It certainly wasn’t the text message Candice Lowe was expecting to get on her honeymoon. She says it came from the owner of a local bakery, canceling the order for her wife’s birthday cake. Lowe says, “after she saw my Facebook page, she found out that I was in a same-sex marriage and she could not do my cake.” … The couple was just married two weeks ago and are still on cloud nine after celebrating with their son, family and friends. But that all came crashing down. In some ways, they say, it’s like taking two steps back. “It wasn’t a wedding cake, it was just a birthday cake [for my wife, Amanda],” Candice said. “A birthday cake has nothing to do with your sexual preference.”

And, as Wonkette points out, since when is doing a background check on Facebook a requirement for deciding whether or not you want to expose yourself to mockery and possible legal action?

Dan Savage sums it up:

Welcome to America — where bigoted bakers do background checks to avoid selling cakes to lesbians (because Jesus) but we don’t require merchants at gun shows to do background checks to avoid selling weapons of war to crazed terrorists, abusive spouses, and the mentally ill (because freedom).

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Zika and The Flag of Treason

Senate Democrats blocked passage of a bill that would have funded the fight against the Zika virus.  No, they’re not suddenly in the hands of the Mosquito lobby; it’s because the bill contained poison pill amendments such as stripping money from Planned Parenthood and reversing the ban on Confederate flags in national cemeteries.

As Charlie Pierce noted, that’s not governing.  That’s a talk show.

Babies are being born in America with birth defects because of Zika, and Florida has more cases of it than any other state thanks to our proximity and ports of entry from places where the disease is spreading.  And yet the Republicans can’t help but take shots at the Obama administration and shore up their creds with the bigots.  Because that’s what wins elections in Dixie, and apparently that’s all that matters.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It’s A Drugstore, Not A Church

A divided Supreme Court turns down a case of religious discrimination.

Ralph’s Thriftway is a grocery store and pharmacy in Washington run by a religious family. It is not a church, or a church-affiliated nonprofit; it is a for-profit business, created and designed to make money for the Stormans. But the Stormans family are devout Christians who believe that Plan B is “tantamount to abortion” and thus refuse to stock it. For years, when customers came to the pharmacy seeking emergency contraception, the Stormans turned them away.

But in 2007, the Washington State Board of Pharmacy issued new regulations declaring that a pharmacy may not “refuse to deliver a drug or device to a patient because its owner objects to delivery on religious, moral, or other personal grounds.” Quite reasonably, the board felt Washington pharmacies should not be permitted to deny patients safe, legal drugs—which was a growing problem within the state: In addition to Plan B, religious pharmacists had refused to give patients diabetic syringes, insulin, HIV-related medications, and Valium. That, the board decided, was unacceptable. Pharmacists have every right to believe whatever they wish, but when those beliefs are manifested in the form of brazen discrimination against customers, they cannot be sanctioned by the law. In 2015, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the constitutionality of Washington’s regulation.

Alito, along with Thomas and Roberts, sees Stormans differently. “There are strong reasons to doubt,” Alito writes, “whether the regulations … actually serve … any legitimate purpose.” What? Clear as day, the Washington regulations ensure that patients can receive timely access to necessary medications without facing discrimination. In what world are safeguards against discrimination in goods and services not even a legitimate interest? Alito’s world, it turns out. Neither he, Roberts, nor Thomas thinks refusal of service is a big deal when patients can hop back in their cars (presuming they have them) and drive to the nearest pharmacy that will deign to provide them with the proper medication. (Live in rural Washington? Hope you can find another pharmacy before the Plan B window closes!)

The simple lesson is that if you want to run a business that is free to discriminate against other people based on your religious beliefs, open a megachurch.  It’s a real money-maker and you won’t even have to pay taxes.

Religious Freedom Ends 05-10-16

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

There Goes $7 Million

The Republicans carry on about “government waste, fraud, and abuse.”  And to prove it, they throw $7 million down the shitter.

Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.

The 800-page report, however, included some new details about the night of the attacks, and the context in which it occurred, and it delivered a broad rebuke of government agencies like the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in the Libyan city, and especially for maintaining outposts in Benghazi that they could not protect.

The committee, led by Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, also harshly criticized an internal State Department investigation that it said had allowed officials like Mrs. Clinton, then the secretary of state, to effectively choose who would investigate their actions. In addition, it reiterated Republicans’ complaints that the Obama administration had sought to thwart the investigation by withholding witnesses and evidence.

Maybe they should send the bill to Fox News and the RNC.

Skin Deep

At the rally in Cincinnati yesterday, Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton had some fun at the expense of Donald Trump.

The Trumpistas can dish it out, but can’t take it.

Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who lost his seat to Elizabeth Warren, suggested that she undergo genetic testing to prove she’s part Cherokee.  The Native American community might have some thoughts on that, Scott.

If Donald Trump can get away with saying Elizabeth Warren is racist while calling her “Pocahontas,” then he has to prove via genetic testing that he’s not a shitgibbon.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Normal Stupid

In case you’ve forgotten what stupid politicians and grifters behaved like before the giant meteor of Trump smashed into the planet, here’s a reminder.

U.S. Rep. Steve King has introduced an amendment in Congress that would prevent Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and supporter of women’s suffrage, from replacing President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

However, the House Rules Committee agreed Tuesday night to deny floor consideration of proposal, which would have prevented the Treasury Department from spending money to redesign paper currency or coins.

The Iowan Republican’s amendment, which was first reported by the Huffington Post, would scrap the federal government’s plans to replace Jackson on the $20 bill with a picture of Tubman, a black woman who was born in to slavery in 1822 and later escaped. She subsequently made repeated missions on the Underground Railroad to rescue black people from slavery. During the Civil War, she served as a Union Army scout and spy.

“It’s not about Harriet Tubman, it’s about keeping the picture on the $20,” King said Tuesday night, according to Politico, pulling a $20 bill from his pocket and pointing at President Andrew Jackson. “Y’know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have.”

Politico quoted King as saying it is “racist” and “sexist” to say a woman or person of color should be added to currency.

Kinda makes you miss the good old days of normal stupid, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Short Takes

Venezuela is circling the drain.

The Justice Department released transcripts from the 911 calls during the Orlando massacre.

The Supreme Court — with one notable dissentmade it easier for police to conduct searches.

Oakland has trouble keeping police chiefs.

Trouble in Trumpland.

Tropical Update: TS Danielle is heading across Mexico.

The Tigers beat the Mariners 8-7 in extra innings.

Friday, June 17, 2016

From The Man Who Brought You Sarah Palin

Despicable toad.

Republican Sen. John McCain said Thursday that President Barack Obama is “directly responsible” for the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, because of the rise of the Islamic State group on the president’s watch. But he later issued a statement saying that he “misspoke.”

“I did not mean to imply that the president was personally responsible. I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the president himself,” McCain said in his statement, issued as his initial comments were drawing heated criticism from Democrats.

No, it was George W. Bush invading Iraq in the first place that gave us ISIS.  So STFU.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mapquest

Quoth Mr. Trump:

“The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here,” Trump said at a rally in New Hampshire. “That is a fact and a fact we need to talk about.”

Trump, who read from a teleprompter, then appeared to catch himself after suggesting the shooter was born in Afghanistan. Law enforcement officials said Sunday that Omar Mateen was born in New York.

 

Birthplaces 06-14-16