Archive for September, 2012

I married a Catholic

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Well, not really. I mean, we were not married with the blessing of the Catholic church, so he’s not married, although I sure as hell am, and I’m pretty sure I could get the courts to see it my way in the event of a divorce. Which is kind of similar, really, to gays who are married in states where that is legal. Their marriage bond is recognized by the government but not the Catholic Church. And I’m sure they’re losing about as much sleep over this as I am.

Not so Archbishop Myers of Newark, NJ, who is apparently so upset about marriages he does not recognize that he has decided people who do accept them should maybe not be taking communion.

“If they continue to be unable to assent to or live the Generic Levitra Church’s reaching in these matters, they must in all honesty and humility refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they can do so with integrity; to continue to receive Holy Communion while so dissenting would be objectively dishonest,” Myers wrote.

(Please note that the fault here lies solely with the communicants, who have Brought It On Themselves. I think this kind of twistiness is a special skill Catholic priests learn, maybe in seminary Debate Club.)

Of course, this only applies to Newark area gay-sympathizers. We are anxiously awaiting Archbishop Rodi’s opinion to know whether or not Mr. Del will be told he is objectively dishonest for accepting the saving Body and Blood of Christ at a Mobile altar rail.  After sinning with me for thirty years come next April, he can’t have far to fall.

A story about peaches

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

And in that city, there was in those years a man of great wealth. He lived in a fine house with many servants to attend him, and he had also a beautiful garden in which grew every kind of flower and fruit. And about this garden there was a high wall. But one of his fruit trees, a peach tree, sent a branch out over the wall. And every year the tree grew larger and larger, and the branch over the wall grew longer and lower, so that there came a time when the people passing outside the wall might reach out and pluck the ripe peaches from the branch where they hung.

And this was brought to the wealthy man’s ears, and he became angry and said, Why should all the people of the city be able to pick the peaches from that branch? for by rights they belong to me.  (more…)

Todd Akin: Arbiter of Manners

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

I figured if Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin stuck to his guns, all the Republicans who loudly withdrew their support after his heinous “legitimate rape” comments would come slinking back. And sure enough, they did. Yesterday, after he waited out the final deadline for withdrawal, the National Republican Senate Committee changed its tune.

Here’s the party line in August:

“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for Congressman Akin, but the stakes in this election are far bigger than any one individual.  By staying in this race, Congressman Akin is putting at great risk many of the issues that he and others in the Republican Party are fighting for, including the repeal of ObamaCare.

“It should not be lost on anyone that some of the only voices not calling for Congressman Akin to do the right thing and step aside are Claire McCaskill and the leaders of the pro-abortion movement.   Senator McCaskill knows that the only way she wins re-election is if Todd Akin is her opponent in November.

“We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake – if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC.” [emphasis mine]

Note the primary concern has nothing to do with Akin’s magical thinking re: rape and pregnancy. It’s all about the fear that Claire McCaskill would beat Akin like a drum. And, since Akin is now their candidate, like it or not hgh height growth, here’s the new statement:

“There is no question that for Missourians who believe we need to stop the reckless Washington spending, rein-in the role of government in people’s lives, and finally focus on growing jobs in this country, that Todd Akin is a far more preferable candidate than liberal Sen. Claire McCaskill,” NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer said. “As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November, and we will continue to monitor this race closely in the days ahead.”

Continue to monitor, huh?

I suppose that gives them some wiggle room just in case Akin says something else stupid. Oh look – he already did:

“I think we have a very clear path to victory, and apparently Claire McCaskill thinks we do, too, because she was very aggressive at the debate, which was quite different than it was when she ran against Jim Talent,” Akin said. “She had a confidence and was much more ladylike (in 2006), but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that’s because she feels threatened.”

She’s threatened? Sounds to me like the man who thinks he’s an expert on ladyparts is scared to death of an actual woman. I know some Republicans want to move us back to the 1950s, but apparently Todd Akin thinks he’s already living there. He may know even less about manners than he does about biology.

Perhaps for their next debate he will demand that she wear a Sunday hat and white gloves.

 

Polling Envy

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

It looks like almost every major poll shows Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in the presidential race, with Obama over 50% in three essential swing states. That has some well-known conservatives quite verklempt. Verklempt to the point of claiming that the polls have been manipulated by liberal media determined to throw the election to President Obama. Verklempt, in one instance, to the point of starting a new website that claims the real numbers show Romney up by nearly 8 points. These folks think even Fox News is skewing its polls for Obama. Yeah, right.

As Obama’s lead grows, so does the number of conservatives who claim polls in general are biased and cannot be trusted. Similar to their dismissal of fact-checkers who flagged lies in Romney’s ads and Paul Ryan’s convention speech, conservatives are now claiming the media outlets that conduct the polls are attempting to discourage Republicans from voting by falsely tipping the polls toward Democrats.

Seems to me VolumePills Republican voters who really want Mitt Romney to be president would see these polls and be doubly determined to vote for their guy. Why would the media want to skew the results anyway? A foregone conclusion wouldn’t do much for ratings. They want a horse race; it keeps eyes glued to the page and screen.

So. Why are conservatives going down this path? I don’t think they really believe respected polling organizations would deliberately report flawed results. That leaves a couple of options:

They know they’re going to lose, but they think they can de-legitimize Obama’s reelection with constant whining about media bias.

Or they’re ginning up the whole “the polls are skewed” meme because they’re counting on voter suppression efforts to turn the tide. Should they succeed, we will, no doubt, be subject to much self-righteous crowing that they were right all along.

That prospect alone should encourage every good Democrat to help get out the vote.

 

Now you can get coconut milk in Albertville

Monday, September 24th, 2012

That invisible hand of the market is always working, you know? And when the market needed chicken-pickers at $10 a hour, the invisible hand provided. What it provided—shed a tear for us welcoming the huddled masses, y’all!—was Eritrean refugees.

Plants sought refugees because too few local residents were interested or qualified, said Frank Singleton, a spokesman for Wayne Farms, based in Oakwood, Georgia. … Turnover in North Alabama was 50 percent last year, and is now as high as 90 percent in some sperm volume pills plants because replacements didn’t stay, he said. The company is “having to use alternative methods and sourcing,” including recruiting refugees, Singleton said

And naturally, The Market also affected the market:

Changing demographics are reflected on store shelves. Albertville’s main Hispanic grocery, Tienda El Sol, added coconut milk, new varieties of hot peppers and other items to appeal to newcomers, manager Marjorie Centeno said.

My Facebook friend who posted the linked article said only, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” I’m afraid I don’t have much to add.

Bud Johnson, man of conviction

Friday, September 21st, 2012

National Empty Chair Day inspired us all in different ways, and perhaps that is when Austin, TX, resident & noted outsider artist Bud Johnson got the idea for his “yard art.” That’s pretty outside, all right! Outside the limits of…oh, outside all kinds of things. You see, Bud decided to hang his empty chair from a tree.

L'artiste

The artist interacting with local media

He’s not a racist though, and it doesn’t represent a lynching. He’s taken the chair down now, in order to move it to another location in his yard, he says. Maybe one where he can set up appropriate lighting for night viewing!

A Facebook page has been created to honor this brave, extraordinary man with donations to the Obama campaign. I can think of no better way to let Mr. Johnson know he has truly made a contribution to the national political dialogue.

 

 

 

Bravado with a Side of Homophobia

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

…and a heaping helping of sexism.

North Carolina congressional candidate and state senator David Rouzer, speaking to a Tea Party Express rally on Sunday:

ROUZER: When we get [Romney and Ryan] in you are going to see a big change, you’re going to see number one that America is going to be respected again around the world. You’re going to see all this turmoil that’s taking place, you’re going to see them look up and say guess what, the American people have spoken and maybe we need to cut it out a little bit, maybe we need to tone it down a little bit, because now we have real men in the White House.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: No girly men!

ROUZER: That’s right, no girly men.

Is he saying all the men in the Obama White House are gay? Well, that would put him way out into tinfoil hat territory with the far electronic cigarette usa right nuts who think happily married President Obama is secretly a coke-snorting homo who’s had some of his ex-lovers killed. No, I’m not going to link; these people don’t need any more attention. Perhaps he simply thinks the men are sissies. Which, of course, makes them too much like women, and we can’t have that.

Steve M. has written quite a bit lately about the fever dreams of some right-wingers who see themselves as the heroes in an apocalypse they seem to crave. I’m sure Mr. Rouzer sees himself as one of the he-men leading the charge toward war with Iran or any other country that irritates him, kicking them into submission and walking away with only a few manly scratches.

Personally, if I had to choose someone to lead the charge against an oncoming apocalypse, it wouldn’t be Mr. Rouzer. It would be a girl. This girl:


 

h/t Think Progress

To Make Things Worse…

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Rachel Maddow reports tonight that Republican Senators John Boozman (AR), Mike Johanns (NE), Richard Burr (NC), and Pat Toomey (PA) helped write the bipartisan Murphy, former paratrooper and the first Iraq War veteran to serve in Congress, took Senate Republicans to the woodshed.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

He’s right. Today is an absolute disgrace.

Senate Republicans Block Jobs Bill for Veterans

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Why does Jeff Sessions hate our troops?

I guess some Republicans really DO hate Mitt Romney. Look at his pals in the Senate who, in an election year no less, couldn’t bestir themselves to support a jobs bill for military veterans. Alabama’s own Jeff Sessions (R-jerkwad) led the opposition.

Romney had already taken heat for forgetting to mention our troops in combat during his convention speech. He made it worse when he responded to criticism of his omission (from Fox News, no less) not by apologizing but by once again slamming the president:

I only regret you’re repeating it day in and day out. When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things that you think are important and I described in my speech, my commitment to a strong military unlike the president’s decision to cut our military. And I didn’t use the word troops, I used the word military. I think they refer to the same thing.

Yep, those kids in harm’s way are just an item he left off his laundry list. The cuts were, BTW, supported by his own running mate, but whatever, right?

The jobs bill was, per its sponsor, paid for by revenues generated in other areas. It would have allowed thousands of veterans the opportunity for employment as police officers, park workers, and firefighters That didn’t stop Sessions from objecting to the bill and rallying his buddies to keep zero tar electronic cigarettes it from coming to a vote. Lawrence Downes in the NYT today:

It would be easier to admire the Republicans’ late-breaking fiscal scrupulosity if their motives — denying  the Obama administration any kind of victory this year, whatever the cost to jobless vets — weren’t so transparent.  It’s probably useful to remind Republicans like John McCain (a “nay” on the jobs bill) that wounded, jobless and homeless veterans aren’t a fact of nature. They’re a product of the wars that Congress members voted for, the war debt they piled on, and the economy they helped ruin.

On the surface, it certainly would appear that their motive is to hurt Obama, but it looks to me more like a loss for Romney. If his own party won’t support the military it claims it loves best, how can he persuade veterans and their families that he’s a better bet than Obama, who supported the jobs bill?

Are Senate Republicans in reality just more rats jumping off the sinking Ship Romney? Makes you wonder. They’re just joining other conservatives who are covering their, um, bases in the face of what looks like a losing campaign.

But all the politics in the world don’t make up for the loss of the possibility of more jobs for veterans. It would be such poetic justice if Jeff Sessions loses his job the next time he comes up for re-election, and it would be even better if it were veterans leading the charge.

h/t maddowblog

What Now?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Yesterday, Alabama voters (well, a small percentage of Alabama voters*) approved Amendment One, which allows a transfer of more than $437 million over the next three years from the state’s oil and gas trust fund to the General Fund. This amendment allows the legislature to balance the state’s budget, at least for now.

The General Fund is something of a catchall for non-education-related programs, including Medicaid, child protective services, public health and safety, prisons, and the court system – not to mention “legislative activities”. It’s funded by a patchwork of revenue sources including insurance company premium taxes, interest on state deposits, some ad valorem taxes, and taxes on cigarettes and booze.

All of these revenues are adversely impacted by a bad economy. Seriously, when interest rates are hovering around 1% and people are cutting back on big purchases, there’s no way to get adequate funding for essential services. A short-term inflow of money is not going to solve the long-term flaws in the system.

So what can we do about it? Alabama Arise has a great call to action that gets right to the core of the problem and offers a real solution – and it does it in three succinct paragraphs:

Tuesday’s “yes” vote saved Alabama from an immediate funding crisis and devastating funding cuts next year, but it wasn’t a cure for our state’s funding shortfalls. The General Fund budget still languishes under a structural deficit: As in many states, our revenues simply don’t grow fast enough to keep up with the rising costs of Medicaid, prisons top rated electronic cigarettes and other public services. The amendment that voters approved Tuesday is a short-term patch for a long-term problem.

Raiding a savings account every year to pay ongoing expenses is not a sustainable way to fund the health care infrastructure that makes life better for all of us. We must hold our leaders to their pledge that this amendment merely creates a bridge to a sustainable solution. From now on, they must keep the Alabama Trust Fund intact.

When our lawmakers return in February to craft budgets for 2014, we urge them to approve new revenues to stabilize Medicaid, mental health, public safety and other public services for the long term. And they should design a revenue plan that doesn’t make our state’s upside-down tax system even worse. It’s time to make hard decisions and establish an adequate, reliable funding stream to protect the most vulnerable among us. (emphasis mine)

It’s up to each of us to contact our legislators and the Governor with this message and to demand action on comprehensive tax reform in the upcoming legislative session. Click here to personalize the text above and send it directly to your Representative and Senator. Write your own letter or email. Call. Visit. Push and push and push (politely, of course) until you see results. Nothing will change if we don’t make it change.

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*The Secretary of State’s website shows 2.6 million plus registered voters; the AP reported 533,742 total votes with 88 percent of the precincts report­ing. That’s just over 20% turnout, and it really kinda sucks.