Friday, January 30, 2015

Nice Try

The American Family Association is now trying to put as much distance as they can from their freshly-fired paid spokesperson Bryan Fischer and all the garbage that he spewed out over the American landscape.  They put out a long list of his rants about gays, Native Americans, Muslims, and the so forth and told the world not to associate his claims with AFA.

To quote JMG: “FUCK THAT.”

Mr. Fischer still has his daily radio show, he is still paid by the AFA, and, as the Southern Poverty Law Center says, as long as the AFA keeps doing without renouncing Mr. Fischer and his bilge, no dice.  He’s all yours and will be forever and ever, amen.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Firing on the Right

Bryan Fischer, the dyspeptic spokesman for the American Family Association, a right-wing anti-gay hate group, is too vitriolic even for them and he’s been fired.

Per the attached clip from Rachel Maddow (note: video autostarts), Mr. Fischer lost the support of his homies when he claimed that Hitler used gay soldiers to slaughter his enemies because straight ones were too nellie to do the job.

He said that a long time ago, so the fact that they’re just now getting around to it means that there’s something else behind it.  Perhaps it involves coordinating a trip to Israel with the Republican National Committee planned for this weekend.  Mr. Fischer has stated that no one but a True Christian is entitled to the protection of the First Amendment.

That includes people who are Jewish, which makes this junket to Israel a tad awkward for the RNC.

As JMG notes, Mr. Fischer will no doubt blame his heave-ho on the Gaystapo homofascists.  But it frees him up to take Mike Huckabee’s slot at Fox News.

Triple Double Down

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal keeps digging in on the fictional Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe, and he’s using the official state website to do it.

Apparently Jindal believes that amassing a trove of links amounts to a preponderance of evidence proving the existence of the so-called “no-go zones” in Europe. The landing page of his website links to a page titled “Setting the Record Straight,” which compiles reports largely cribbed from a think tank linked to anti-Muslim activists.

[…]

To substantiate “no-go zones” in England, Jindal’s page links to a CNN segment and refers four times to the same Daily Mail article. That article quotes Tom Winsor, the U.K.’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, as saying “There are cities in the Midlands where the police never go because they are never called. They never hear of any trouble because the community deals with that on its own.”

What Jindal’s page doesn’t source, though, is the chief constable of West Midlands Police’s rebuttal.

“[Winsor’s] characterisation of these communities as born under other skies is just wrong,” Chief Constable Chris Sims told the Daily Mail. “Many members of communities in Birmingham are British-born and I find that a very odd expression.”

It’s one thing to set up a con and get the rubes to fall for it, but when you start to believe your own bullshit, then you’re just embarrassing yourself.  And to do it with taxpayer money just makes it worse.

Sisyphus Shrugged

Keep shakin’ that rock.

The House will vote next week on a bill to undermine the 2010 healthcare overhaul in what will be close to the 60th time over the last four years.

[…]

The vote will allow new House GOP freshmen who campaigned on repealing ObamaCare to put their pledges to a vote.

I love the idea that the GOP freshmen think that by casting a meaningless vote they’ve somehow fulfilled a campaign pledge.  That just about sums up every campaign promise ever.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

For the Ladies

The GOP outreach to the women voters of America continues with a double-barreled shot across their bow.

First it’s that fountain of punchlines, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) who turns the gun on his fellow “Republican females” whose objection to draconian abortion laws disappointed him.

“Most of the conference was 100 percent in favor of the bill that was going to be brought to the floor. Some of us were wishing that there would not be any exceptions because it was going to be 20 weeks — no abortions after 20 weeks — when the evidence is clear those babies feel,” Gohmert said on a conference call that included pastor E.W. Jackson, according to a recording published by Raw Story.

Gohmert then said that Republican women split the caucus by opposing the language on the rape exception. He said that opposition to the bill should have been voiced before the legislation made it to the House floor.

“I’m told that they’re still going to bring it back, but because there was such division among our Republican females, they pulled the bill that day,” he said. “And that was extremely unfortunate, and it sent the entirely wrong message.”

The wrong message is, apparently, that women have the right to control their own bodies.

And then there’s the paragon of virtue and clean living Mike Huckabee, who is shocked, shocked, I tell you, to hear women use language that is better suited to a Ted Nugent concert.

Huckabee was discussing his trouble adapting to the “hotbed of the New York culture” on Friday during an interview on the Des Moines-based “Mickelson in the Morning” show.

Until January, Huckabee had commuted to Manhattan to host a weekly Fox News talk show, and he said that working in New York City was like visiting “a different planet.”

“In the South, in the Midwest, here in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the f-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting,” Huckabee said. “In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it!”

“This would be considered totally inappropriate to say these things in front of a woman,” he added. “And for a woman to say them in a professional setting — we would only assume that this is a very — as we would say in the South, that’s just trashy!”

Here’s a video of Mr. Huckabee’s reaction:

Aunt Pittypat 01-20-15

I can think of any number of women who might have some “trashy” things to say to Gov. Huckabee, but I’m afraid that his delicate nature — not to mention certain parts of his anatomy — couldn’t handle it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Look What You Made Me Do

How do you say chutzpah in Kansas?

Gov. Sam Brownback blames his draconian tax cuts and budget deficits on the state legislature.  No, really.

“I proposed a flat tax with a small budget accelerator,” Brownback said Friday during an address to the Great Topeka Chamber of Commerce, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. “What I got from the Legislature was a naked tax cut with none of the pay-fors.”

Brownback added that he “took it because it was the best we were going to get.”

Yes, apparently they held a gun to his head and said either his brains or his signature would be on the bill.  What choice did he have?

Sausage and Salad

Jon Stewart has fun with the Iowa Ihateyou summit.

Quoth the Prophet of the Tundra:

When will they let us control our own care? When will they do to stop causing our pain, and start feeling it again? Well, in other words, um… is Hillary a new Democrat or an old one? Now, the press asks, the press asks “can anyone stop Hillary?” Again, this is to forego a conclusion, right, it’s to scare us off, to convince that – a pantsuit can crush patriots!?

I defy anyone to diagram that paragraph.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Going Out With A Prayer

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has about as much of a chance of being the Republican nominee in 2016 as I do of being Mr. Universe, but you can’t knock a guy for trying.  This last weekend in an attempt to upstage the clown show hosted by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Mr. Jindal had his own little gathering of Jesus-shouters and homophobes to show the base that while he may be brown-skinned, he’s really one of them.

ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Jindal on Sunday how he explained to non-believers his decision to be the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the American Family Association, which has been designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its views on LGBT people.

Jindal had concluded his speech at “The Response: A Call To Prayer For a Nation In Crisis” event, by announcing that “our god wins.”

[…]

The Louisiana Republican pointed out that “a majority of our people are Christians, but we don’t discriminate against anybody. And that’s one of the great things about America.”

But when it camne [sic] to discriminating against LGBT people, Jindal said that he would back a constitutional amendment to allow states to ban same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court legalized it.

So he’s against discrimination but wants to enshrine it in the Constitution.  Aw, isn’t that cute?

Like I said, Mr. Jindal, along with Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee, have no chance whatsoever of being the nominee of their party, but it’s fun to see them trot out their little selling points before they exit.  Kind of like a pity act on American Idol.

Oh, and speaking of Marco Rubio, he has stated that his staff should proceed as if he’s going to run for president in 2016 and that he can’t run for re-election to the Senate from Florida if he does.  That means another open race in Florida for Charlie Crist to try for again.  Oh joy.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Lawgiver

Former Gov. Huckabee goes for Moses:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said during an appearance Thursday on a Christian television show that he’s thinking about running for President to help the nation know where laws come from: God.

“We cannot survive as a republic if we do not become, once again, a God-centered nation that understands that our laws do not come from man, they come from God,” he said on the show “Life Today.”

Yeah, okay.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Might As Well Say It

Yesterday I wondered which right-wing pundit would get as close as possible to calling President Obama’s SOTU style “uppity.”  David Brooks, musing about the respect the president should get from Congress, wins.

I frankly think he hasn’t earned that. I think you’ve got to earn that with your conduct and he hasn’t been as bipartisan as I think he should have been. Not that the Republicans have either. They’ve probably been worse, but you know, you’ve got to earn it.

Nice little pirouette there with the “both sides do it,” but when he says the president has to “earn it,” I’ve got two national elections and six years of putting up with the bullying and trash-talk from the Speaker of the House down to the little pipsqueak freshmen from Teabagistan that say not only has he earned it, he should be eating their lunch and keying their cars.

Senate Votes Down Reality

Via TPM:

The vote was 50-49 for a Democratic amendment that did nothing other than declare that “climate change is real” and that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change.”

The amendment by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) fell short of the 60 votes required to pass.

The vote came shortly after Republicans surprised Democrats at the last minute by supporting an earlier amendment by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to express a “sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.”

That amendment passed 98-1 after Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who has repeatedly called climate change a hoax, signed on. The reason was that Whitehouse amendment did not take a position on whether humans play a role.

I’m beginning to wonder if humans play a role in the United States Senate.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rite of No Passage

Tonight’s the annual ritual of the president coming to the Capitol to deliver the annual address.  It’s a big production number, and we all pretty much know how it goes: the president will make a few self-deprecating jokes, he’ll point out a guest in the audience, and then he’ll propose a list of ideas and policies that will get polite applause, and then we’ll all go watch the talking heads until the Republican rebuttal comes along.

Nothing will happen with the president’s plans, by the way, especially with this Congress.  They decided six years ago today that they wouldn’t do anything that President Obama asked for and that’s not going to change now that the Republicans are in the majority.

So why does he bother to ask for higher taxes on the rich, tax cuts for the middle class, infrastructure repair, and other dream ticket items for the Democrats?  He knows none of them will pass.  And doesn’t he know that even if the GOP agreed with some of the items — who can argue with free college? — they wouldn’t touch them because they’re proposed by That Man.

I think there are two reasons why President Obama is going to come out with a big list of to-do’s for the Congress that won’t go anywhere.  It will show the audience — the ones not in the chamber — that he’s still got game and ideas, and he’s not about to give up, and that he’s not going to sign whatever cockamamie stuff the Republicans have cooked up.  Oh, the president may talk nice about working with the Republicans, but they won’t work with him and so there you have it.  We’re back to the way it’s been for six years as of today.

Enjoy the show.

Can’t Help Themselves

A week after some “expert” on Fox News claimed that Muslims have taken over Birmingham, England, and was so laughed out of the room that even Fox News had to apologize for his breathtaking racism and stupidity, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) goes over to England and basically says the same thing.

Mr. Jindal, you recall, is the man who once told his fellow Republicans that they can no longer be “the stupid party” and is considering a run for the presidency in 2016.

Friday, January 16, 2015

In Their Sights

Digby notes an interesting phenomenon: certain people get hysterical when there’s an attack that is labeled as terrorism (i.e. Charlie Hebdo).  They want to declare war against international Islam and shred up the Constitution to protect us.  Yet when there’s a school shooting (i.e. Sandy Hook) these same people get all cautious about a rush to judgment and very protective of civil liberties.

Why is that?

I can think of two reasons.  First, to them any connection to Islam — even if it’s tenuous or done by a fringe splinter offshoot of some tiny faction — makes it The Gravest Threat to America.  So the shooter could have dated a girl whose brother once bought a car from a guy who lived next door to a man named Mustaffah and all of a sudden he’s a jihadist.  Or he could claim allegiance to a radical group that is says it is rooted in Islam but is made up of three other guys who are holed up in a studio apartment in Niwot, Colorado, and making meth on the side.  It doesn’t matter; he’s a believer in Islam, therefore all Muslims are terrorists and they should be hunted down.  By that logic, all Christians should be hunted down because David Koresh at Waco claimed to be a Christian.

A school shooter, however, goes in with a gun he bought at a gun show and gets his ammo over the internet.  He shows up at a campus and slaughter ensues.  But it happens in America and he has a copy of American Rifleman sitting on his coffee table when the CSI team shows up to gather evidence.  Now he’s a lone wolf acting on his own using weapons he purchased legally, and while Wayne LaPierre says it’s a tragedy, there’s no reason to suggest that there’s any need to question his right to own thirty rifles, their barrels shined to a steely glow, and any attempt to prevent such future tragedies will destroy America’s dearly-won freedoms.  Just because he — and it’s always a he — was a card-carrying member of the NRA doesn’t mean that all gun owners are capable of mowing down school kids at thirty bullets per second.

So if it’s wrong to demonize an entire community based on the actions of one person or small group of believers, why does that apply to the NRA but not to Islam?  It shouldn’t, but then it’s a lot easier to demonize Other People than it is to piss off the base of a political party and the largest lobbying effort in Washington.

That’s the second reason.  If elected officials weren’t terrorized by the NRA, we’d have Newt Gingrich and the rest of the Chicken Hawks on cable TV demanding that Congress do something about the guns, and if the NRA doesn’t like it, well, they’d have to realize, just as Pope Francis says, that there are limits to freedom.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mittopia

Via the Boston Globe:

If Romney were president, one longtime adviser said, “There wouldn’t be an ISIS at all, and Putin would know his place in life. Domestically, things would be in better shape.”

And unicorns would be dancing under the rainbows in the lollipop meadows.

At least he didn’t promise a drop in unemployment, gas under $2.50 a gallon, and a booming economy because, um, we already have those.  Thanks anyway.

GOP Craps On Immigrants

Via the New York Times:

The House on Wednesday voted to gut major provisions of President Obama’s immigration policy, approving legislation that would revoke legal protections for millions of undocumented immigrants, including children, and put them at risk of deportation.

The vote drew condemnation from Democrats and the White House and led more than two dozen Republicans, many worried about the perception that the party is hostile to immigrants, to break away and vote no.

Hey, Republicans, how’s the outreach to the Hispanic and immigration bloc working for you?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ask Yourself

Would you vote for someone who said, “Hey, you know that program where people get the health insurance they need at a price they can afford — maybe even get some assistance in paying for it — and there are no pre-conditions to getting coverage; well, we’re going to take that all away”?  Of course not.  After all, you’re a rational person.

But as Steve Benen chronicles, there are people who are running for office who are doing exactly that, and they’re winning elections.

Why?  Well, because someone else thought it up, got it passed, and it is making them look bad.  So what they’ve done is get a bunch of folks on their payroll — or at the very least who owe them for something — and they’re putting out some very convincing lies, exaggerations, and boogedy-boogedy stories and bullshit.  And it’s working.

That’s because despite our better nature, we’re more prone to believe bad news rather than good.  It’s easier to believe that Obamacare is a “train wreck,” that it’s costing millions of jobs, and that healthcare costs and insurance premiums are through the roof, even though there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to back up those claims.  But if it generates PAC money for a candidate, it’s out there.

Maybe it’s our survival instinct; don’t blindly trust things as they’re presented; be skeptical and wary, especially if it comes from the government because, as we all know, the government, be it state, local, or federal, has never done anything good for anybody, right?

It probably doesn’t matter to Ted Cruz or Bobby Jindal that there are people who are willing to put their lives and their fortunes in danger because of some lies he told them in order to bolster his chances to run for president, but is that the kind of person you want running the country?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Where Do They Find Them?

Just when I think Florida has reached its peak of stupid, another state pops up to go us one better.

To wit:

I want you kiddos to meet Cecil Bell Jr, a redneck good ole boy if ever there was one. The only problem is that he’s a redneck good ole boy elected to the state legislature.

Ole Cecil does not cotton to other people’s lifestyles. Cecil doesn’t like lifestyles. He doesn’t have one to speak of so yours is overly interesting to him.

[…]

In the Texas Legislature they call people who are too dumb to know giddy-up from whoa a special brand of people – they are called “furniture.” Cecil is a hat rack.  So Cecil has filed a bill called “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act,” numbered HB 623, which is dangerously close to 666 and almost as evil.

This bill says —

State or local government employees giving out same-sex marriage licenses would stop receiving their salaries under a bill filed Wednesday for the 84th legislative session.

So, since the courts will say that same gender marriage is legal in Texas, Cecil has decided that a way around that is to punish lowly government workers. If they issue a marriage license to any folks other than one man and one woman, they will longer receive a salary, benefits or a pension. Cecil’s bill does not state for how long they won’t get paid but I suspect it goes along the lines of alpha to omega.  Cecil believes that Texas is has sovereignty so we can pick and choose which federal laws we want to follow.

I know there are smart people in Texas.  I know there are nice people in Texas.  I know there are people who do their best to preserve and defend the good name of good people who come from there, including myself.  So I wish I knew why there are enough people in some part of the state to vote to send this knuckledragger to Austin and pay him for it?