From super-edumacated Jeff Godlstein to the shortbus commuters Weasel Zippers, nine out of 10 wingnuts agree: It's not a joke unless it's about Michael Moore being fat.
-- Roy Edroso
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Of course all three of those nitwits were just dizzy with delight hearing Trump go on and on about how Obama could have been sneaked into the country after his Kenyan birth, and the birth records and newspaper notices falsified after the fact.
Sneaked or snuck?
I had thought sneaked was standard and snuck was widely used but still considered not quite proper, but it may not even be that far apart anymore. Snuck is near full acceptance, it appears from a quick look, even though it's comparatively new. Some people even insist that as it's more commonly used than sneaked by Americans, it should be considered the correct form in American English. Googlefight lends strong support to that claim, showing nearly twice as many instances of snuck.
In formal writing, I'd stick with sneaked if the question occurred to me, but I am not sure I would catch snuck when proofreading someone else's work, and depending on the sentence, I might use snuck myself. He snuck out of the room seems more natural to my ear than He sneaked out of the room, for instance.
In your example, sneaked seems more natural, though. Might be a case of different kinds of past tenses, the vocabulary of which I've never learned.
What do you brilliant wordsmiths think?
Monday, March 28, 2011
In any case, is it untoward to ask what in the name of Mikhail Kalashnikov Evan Longoria is doing with an AK-47? Hunting? What, is he going out in search of the elusive Armored Personnel Carrier? Self-defense? Who's going to mug him? The Republican Guard? Time was that there was a lot of earnest beard-pulling about how ambivalent we should be about our athletes's going out at night while strapped. Every time an NBA player exercises his Second Amendment rights into the air, while exercising his First Amendment rights of free association outside a strip club, it's a perilous moment for our culture. But one of the signature players in baseball has lodged in his place enough firepower to hold off the Zombie Army, and everyone takes an even strain? Oh, and one correction to the deputy's report -- Longoria's AK is no longer "perfectly legal." It is now an illegal weapon, and it is in the hands of a criminal.
From the introductory post:
In compiling the rankings for each chamber, ADA scored 20 votes from the second session of the 111th Congress on issues including health care reform, repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, unemployment compensation, and ratification of the New START nuclear weapons treaty. Since their first issuance in 1947, ADA scores have been relied upon by scholars, journalists, and the general public as the standard indicator of American political ideology.
Excerpt from the report:
ADA’s Congressional scorecard shows that the 111th Congress took a sharp rightward swing in the second year of the Obama Administration. In 2009, only one Senator (Republican Jim Bunning of Kentucky) earned an ADA “zero” by opposing the ADA position on every key vote. Last year, the number of Senate zeroes ballooned to 19 – nearly half of the Republican caucus. Conversely, 16 Senators in 2009 boasted a perfect ADA score of 100; in 2010, there were only five such Senate “heroes.” While not quite as dramatic, the shift in the House was also pronounced: in 2009, 75 zeroes and 98 heroes; in 2010, 90 zeroes and 48 heroes.
The ultra-conservatism of the House Republican caucus is striking. Of the roughly 178 Republican members (the number varied slightly through the year as vacancies occurred), only three voted as much as a third of the time with ADA. Only nine voted the ADA position over a fourth of the time, and only 13 House Republicans voted ADA’s way on as many as one-fifth of the tracked votes. Overall, the House Republicans scored 5%, while their Democratic colleagues received an 84%. The Senate party averages were 7% for Republicans and 88% for Democrats.
In conclusion: Damn that Obama for being unwilling to Reach Across The Aisle™.
Ah, yes. That again. "Human Achievement Hour." Dreamed up by the Koch-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, trumpeted by culture warriors across the World Wide Web, and embraced by thousands of people who show their RealAmericanism by being as stupid as they can be.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Megan McArdle and Peter Suderman, and to a slightly lesser degree, David Weigel, are accused of being water-carriers and worse for the Koch brothers. Ezra Klein gets a few finger wags, too.
Mark Ames's piece in Exiled Online, "The Koch-Whore Archipelago: How The Billionaire Kochs Screwed My Scoop While Screwing America," begins with a claim that an investigative piece done by him and Yasha Levine in 2009, that broke the news that the Kochs were behind the astroturfing of the so-called Tea Party movement, was removed from its site by its original publisher, Playboy, in large part due to a disinformation campaign led by Megan. He says that what he and Levine reported has all since come out and become accepted as the truth.
It's over the top, but worth a look.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
You should have a look at Nick Pinto's cover story in The Village Voice, "Women's Funding Network Sex Trafficking Study Is Junk Science."
I'd be the last person to advocate turning a blind eye to the problem of girls being forced into prostitution, but it doesn't help when an advocacy group hires a PR firm to put together a study that is so easily called into question. And it really doesn't help when lazy reporters so uncritically retype press releases.
... after an exhilarating, nearly 18-year run. I’m off to write a book and expand my efforts on behalf of working people, the poor and others who are struggling in our society.
Says Bob Herbert. His last column is a summary of everything he's been trying to bring to his readers' awareness, perhaps to less effect than one would like. I can only wish him the best of luck, and a louder megaphone, from here on out.
(h/t: Ken Layne)
Friday, March 25, 2011
Joe. My. God. says: "Worst Ad Placement Ever."
Agree? Vote on it, over at the Slog at The Stranger.
Dave Brockington has dispatched an agent from the field office to see whether this is 'shopped or not.
It's hard out there for a Republican preznidential candidate!
Sharia-compliant financing is a growing industry, particularly when it comes to mortgages. "Traditional secular, money lending banks are setting up Sharia-compliant products because they make money," says Abed Awad, an attorney who specializes in Islamic law. Companies like Citigroup and Visa have tried their hand at Sharia-compliant products. Usually companies structure the payments in a sort of house-buying layaway plan. "It's a major moneymaker for banks." Shariah compliant mortgages allow observant Muslims like Lakhani to buy homes, where previously they were stuck renting to avoid interest payments.
There's nothing sinister about the growth of Sharia-compliant finance. It is just capitalism at work, an emerging market in which firms are meeting demand for a particular kind of product. But a decision by one 2012 Republican hopeful, Tim Pawlenty, may come back to haunt him in the GOP presidential primary, where any association with Sharia-compliant finance could be toxic.
Pawlenty's effort to increase minority homeownership by encouraging companies to offer Sharia-compliant mortgages was entirely in keeping with his reputation as a "Sam's Club Republican" concerned with helping "regular people." But in the 2012 race, he'll be up against competitors who may try to use it against him.
"Who may." That Adam Serwer is a funny guy.
Of course, Ben Smith
won the morning obediently rushed to type up the new Pawlenty position.
But a Pawlenty spokesman told me that the governor has no intention of defending the program -- and that in fact, he shut it down himself as soon as he learned of it.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
... young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to turn into obese middle-agers as those with no religious involvement, according to research from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
The study tracked 2,433 men and women over 18 years and provides much stronger evidence that religion may be a predictor of who becomes obese. [...]
Daniel P. Tokaji, Professor of Law at Ohio State University:
In 2004, Ohio became infamous for making it difficult to vote and have one’s vote counted. Much of the criticism was directed at then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Remember his directive to reject registration forms on less than 80-pound paper weight?
Now, Ohio House Republicans are attempting to go further than Blackwell ever dared. In an obvious attempt to gain an advantage in the 2012 presidential election, they are attempting to rush through a bill (HB 159) that would make it more difficult for eligible citizens to have their votes counted. Ohio already has a tough voter ID law, but the proposed bill would make the burden on eligible citizens more onerous, requiring that in-person voters present one of four specified forms of government-issued photo identification.
“Disenfranchisement” isn’t a word to be used lightly. But it is necessary to capture this bill’s purpose and impact. Passage of this bill would restore our state’s unfortunate reputation as the nation’s capital of vote suppression. Yet so far, it has gone completely under the radar. This comment provides background on the problem, debunks the arguments in favor of the bill, and anticipates the lawsuits that can be expected to follow if it passes.
(h/t: Kay at Balloon Juice)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Buyer's Remorse: Polls Show 3 New GOP Gov's Losing In Do Overs
Last year's midterms elections swept incumbents from office nationwide, as voters turned to newcomers -- often Republican newcomers -- for change.But just months after election day, three new Midwestern governors -- Wisconsin's Scott Walker (R), Ohio's John Kasich (R), and Michigan's Rick Snyder (R) -- have seen their approval ratings fall to the point that polls show them losing hypothetical do-over elections with the candidates they beat last year. [...]
Alternet (via RM):
New Poll Shows Buyer's Remorse: GOP House Majority in Jeopardy Already
Buyer's remorse is setting in quickly, according to Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.
GQR polled 50 House districts currently held by Republicans which are expected to be major Democratic targets in 2012. The results indicate that the Republican House majority is already endangered, less than three months into Speaker John Boehner's regime. [...]
We laughed when Roy Edroso gathered up the wealth of examples from Greater Wingnuttia earlier this week, which he summarized thus:
The message was clear: The United States should deal with Qaddafi unless Obama is President and actually does it, in which case it's ridiculous.
But no one outdoes the disgraced former Speaker of the House!
Important conservative pundit Andrew Breitbart has echoed a new line of patter first put forth by ex-important conservative pundit Ann Coulter several months ago: concerning He®self's aspirations for having her tweets geotagged 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, the preznincy is "beneath her." Coulter had said it would be "a step down for her."
This is not an Onion link.
If you get a lot of bacn and don't always get to it right away, you might want to double-check to see if you got something from nytimes.com. Looks like Lincoln is doing a promotional deal where they'll pay for your access once Judgment Day rolls around. Click screenshot at right to embiggen.
If you don't get one, don't fret. You probably already accidentally deleted it. It's not that you're not "smarter" or anything. Really.
(h/t: Don McArthur)
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Yes, it's out of beta. If you're running Firefox 3-point-something, do Help → Check for updates and you should be offered it. Otherwise, visit firefox.com.
So far, so good, as far as I can tell with a few hours of light-duty surfing. But there is this one thing, which will be of interest to maybe no one? When composing a blog post, on Blogger, in Edit HTML mode, using the old-school editor, the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-A pops up the window to insert a URL. That keyboard shortcut still works, at least as far as Blogger is concerned. Unfortunately, that keyboard shortcut now ALSO means, to Firefox, "Oh! You want to open up the fancy new Add-ons Manager in a new tab! And bring that tab to the front, no matter what else you were doing! THIS IS ONE OF OUR MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS, WE THINK!"
Gahhh. I fail to see why having the Add-ons Manager in a new tab, instead of a separate window, is something to be excited about, but whatever. But I really fail to see why that item suddenly needs a new keyboard shortcut, when it didn't have one before, in every preceding version. I mean, it's not like Alt, t, a wasn't good enough, even for the mouse-hating extremists. How often do I need to Manage my add-ons, anyway? Not enough to need a new, other, keyboard shortcut which overloads one I was already using, that's how often.
Not for the first time have I wished Firefox supported remapping/reassigning/deassigning keyboard shortcuts. If anyone knows that this is actually possible to do, and can point me in the right direction, I'd be eternally grateful for months at least.
Dammit Zawinski, where are you when we need you?
You can set your Twitter account to always use https; i.e., a full-time secure, encrypted connection. You should do this anyway, because why not? But especially if you access Twitter from public Wi-Fi hotspots, or using one of those smart phones (?) I keep hearing the kids talk about. (You remember this issue, in the Facebook context, probably.)
Go to your Twitter home page, click the Settings link at the top of the page, scroll down to the bottom, tick the box marked "Always use HTTPS," and click the Save button. Done. (You may get asked to type in your password again. But then you're really done.)
More info from the Naked Security blog, if you want it.
The Truth-O-Meter welcomes Tim Pawlenty
So far, he's been evaluated three times by them, scoring a False, a Full Flop, and a Pants On Fire.
Hey, it's a computer-generated chart! You can't
explain argue with that!
PZ is skeptical, albeit hopeful.
* Actually, only in nine countries, and guess who didn't make the list?
Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.
USA! USA! USA!
The pincer movement on women's rights closes a little more tightly.
(No report on how many new jobs this will create. Maybe a few, for harassment specialists at "pregnancy help centers.")
Thus spake Rand Paul ...
... at an appearance in key primary state South Carolina on Monday.
Paul said that he would also visit Iowa and New Hampshire, because "I want the Tea Party to have an influence over who the nominee is in 2012."
Because they wouldn't have any influence otherwise?
... the AP reports:
The House Judiciary Committee has approved a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto and calling for its display in public schools and other government buildings.
I used to think it was kind of ridiculous to protest having this phrase on our money. Eh, let the God-botherers have their little thing, I thought. But they never stop, do they?
Monday, March 21, 2011
Last August, Blogger added a spam filter to the commenting system on all Blogspot blogs. Recently, it seems to be producing an increased number of false detections, on this blog, at least.
Unfortunately, there is no way for me to turn it off, nor is there any sort of whitelist functionality. So, if you click Publish and then wonder why you're not seeing your comment appear, it's likely that your comment got incorrectly marked as spam.
Be advised that I do get an email notification every time a comment is posted, whether Blogger thinks it's spam or not, so I will mark your comment as not-spam and cause it to be published as soon as I next check my mail. And please feel free to send me an email and ask, if it seems as though enough time has gone by that I should have noticed.
Sorry for this occasional irritation.
Even considering that it's coming from a mind that sees crescents everywhere, this reaction to the Libya situation is just amazing:
What I find particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Qaddafi Precedent will be used in the not-to-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Say what you will about him. I'm not denying he has his flaws. But when he's on, he is on.
Say it again: Deliberately Black.
Swiped from C&L. Thanks, as always, to RM.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
... is especially good. Not for the first time do I wish that everyone with whom I interact online was as big a fan.
Anyway, even if you don't want to discuss it, this week's show is, as usual, highly recommended listening. Topics covered include the difficulty of reporting from within Libya, the information dissemination related to the Japanese reactors situation, a follow-up on something begun last week -- an examination of NPR's supposed biases, and an interview of James O'Keefe by co-host Bob Garfield. Note that you can stream or download, and this applies to both the whole show and the individual segments.
The bias part features, among other guests, a thoughtful guy who is described as libertarian and an evangelical Christian, and also a regular NPR listener.
The JO'K segment is augmented by OTM's making available the audio of the full interview. See the show page down near the bottom, or do the right-click, save as thing on this MP3 link. It's about 45 minutes long. (I'm just starting to listen to it now.)
My Friday 18 March 2011 post, "So, which bill from today's Republicans did you enjoy more?," passed along a report saying that Minnesota Republicans were pushing a bill to make it illegal for people receiving public assistance to carry more than $20 in cash. This is incorrect. Details and links are supplied in a footnote in that post.
The NYT stuck one of their Recommended For You headlines in the sidebar of some other article I was reading, and so I clicked to discover a brief item noting:
The University of Colorado Student Government’s diversity director resigned over blog items he posted, including one that said “women are not as smart as men.”
I looked around and came across a much more detailed report on the CU Independent.
I wondered for a moment about the … scrupulousness of this bit of transcription:
CUSG’s Director of Public Relations Kristy Gustavson said she could not comment on the situation.
“Any issue related towards [sic] an individuals [sic] paid position is a personnel issue and it is not our place to comment further on any reasons one might have for resigning,” Gustavson said.
Sadly, the reporter's name is Sarah Simmons. Which put the kibosh on my plan to title this post Ham-Handed Subtlety.
A grim but righteous piece on the state of US domestic politics by The Collective over at the Esquire Politics Blog.
Paul Krugman encourages you to read a fine piece by Joe Nocera on the woman who may (should, by most non-wingnut accounts) become the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Basically, she'd be in charge of (1) implementing and enforcing reforms to make sure the banksters couldn't again do what they did leading up to the crash of 2008, and (2) stopping them from doing some of what they've been doing since.
And what does the Party of Fiscal Responsibility™ have to say about this?
To listen to the House Republicans, you’d think the financial crisis of 2008 was like that infamous season of the long-running soap opera “Dallas,” the one that turned out to be a season-long dream. Subprime mortgages? Too-big-to-fail banks? Unregulated derivatives? No problem! With the exception of their bête noire, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Republicans act as if nothing needs to be done to prevent another crisis. Indeed, they act as if the crisis never happened.
So, naturally, they're starting to groom their portrayal of her as the next America-hatin', MoreEvilThanSatanHimself figure to be flogged. Probably going to be a lot of highly-focused hate coming from the RWNM this summer.
I'd recommend starting with Krugman's post as an introduction. And don't fail to follow the other link he offers, to a post by Simon Johnson. Johnson is a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, and he's none too impressed with what he's seeing from some in the White House, particularly Tim Geithner, regarding their lukewarm support for Warren and the need for reform overall.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
So, He®self was in India to collect the benjamins,* and since they don't have a Lamestream Media there,** she deigned to answer a few questions from "India Today Editor-in-Chief and Session Chairman Aroon Purie."
Purie asks her what she would do with India in regards to Pakistan. “We can’t go back to that hyphenated days of, no we need to and can work together in working with Pakistan, and we have our issues there, too, and in a sense we do, but we need to work with Pakistan, but that’s one of those issues that we need to work on, as we strengthen our allies, there…”
Also, she said that the reason "candidate Obama" won in 2008 was because?
“I wasn’t the top of the ticket!”
Unknown what expression she had when she said that, so we'll go with this:
Ms. Purie [Kalli Purie, the director of the conference] would not disclose the fee Ms. Palin earned from the speech, but said the group paid what Ms. Palin’s representative at the Washington Speakers’ Bureau, a booking agency, sought.
So, probably another $100,000 or more.
** [Added] Well, not much of one, maybe!
The Astroturfing group AFP (Mostly Imaginary Americans For David Koch's Prosperity) is holding …
... a summit in New Hampshire next month. Among attendees will be some familiar names with buzz about trying for the Republican nomination for the 2012 nomination.
Tim Pawlenty will be in attendance, as will Rick Santorum.
Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich have all been invited, but it is not confirmed whether they will be attending.
[...] ... low-profile businessman Herman Caine was invited and will attend, while South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who has announced that he will not seek the presidency, was invited and declined.
Okay, other shoe, time to drop:
Not attending, and : Head of the Congressional tea party caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann.
There's some babble from some spokesdrone later on in the post about how Bachmann wasn't a "serious" candidate back when they drew up the invitation list, but I'm not buying it. First, it's been obvious that Bachmann has been considering a run for many months, arguably since Obama's inauguration. At minimum, they could have put a placeholder in with her name on it and passed the word through back channels. Especially considering invitees like Santorum, Barbour, and Thune. Also, if they wanted her to be a candidate, I have to think that they'd believe their very invitation would encourage her to jump more fully in.
SOME might speculate that the real reason for the snub is that Sarah Palin told them she wouldn't show up if Bachmann did. Or, maybe we've just reach a moment of truth: Michele Bachmann is just considered too crazy, even for other crazy people to want around.
(h/t: RM/FB | x-posted)
[...] What happened to the wholesome, courteous underdog we once knew?
He never existed. I interviewed Huckabee when he visited my former university last year to deliver a $25,000 speech. [...]
Worth a read if your only impressions of Huckabee come from places like the New York Times.
House GOP rejects amendments that say climate change is real
House Republicans rejected amendments offered Tuesday by Democrats that called on Congress to accept the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, it is caused in large part by human activity and it is a threat to human health.
Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) offered an amendment Tuesday that called on Congress to agree that climate change is occurring. The amendment failed on a party-line vote of 20-31. No Republicans voted for the amendment.
The amendment says that "Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that 'warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.'"
The broad consensus among scientists is that climate change is occurring in large part because of human activity.
House Republicans also rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) Tuesday that called on Congress to accept the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring in large part due to human activity. The amendment failed in a 21-30 party-line vote. No Republicans voted in favor of the amendment.
DeGette's amendment says “’the scientific evidence is compelling’ that elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from anthropogenic emissions ‘are the root cause of recently observed climate change.’”
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) offered a third amendment that says human-caused climate change is a threat to public health and welfare. That amendment also failed on a party-line vote of 21-31.
Republicans, in response to the amendments, took issue with climate science Tuesday.
[Added] Phil Plait has a good post on this.
Friday, March 18, 2011
There's a mildly interesting post over on Threat Level, hyping "10 Ways the Government is Opaque."
Some of them are going to be never-ending battles over transparency versus the government's (at times) legitimate claim that it has to be able to do a little business without having to deal with an endless stream of fauxtrage junkies looking to make their cable teevee bones by playing gotcha over some inanity. And make no mistake: some of them are righteous criticisms. But the ones on the list that just kill me, because I am a nerd, are the ones about information that has already been mandated by law to be made public, and so the way the law is "complied" with is?
Head, meet desk:
• U.S. senators do not file campaign contributions electronically, because they are not required to. Their reports are printed and mailed to the Secretary of the Senate where they are scanned into nonsearchable images and e-mailed to the Federal Elections Commission. The FEC posts the images on its site and snail-mails the data to a government contractor, which manually inputs the data into a searchable database …
Shouty voice added.
Somewhere on these Internets, Don McArthur is snickering at me. Nonetheless, I will persist in my perhaps unrealistic optimism on this front, and insist that it is not ALL politicians trying to hide stuff, but is in some cases just pure bureaucratic boneheadedness -- they've got a process in place that complies with the law, and that's the easiest thing to just keep on doing.
I grant that when it comes to Senators' munnies, this optimism is exceedingly unwarranted. But I doubt this scan, post-as-image, retype the data process is unique to this aspect making public information "accessible" to the public.
Hey, all you Republicans who want to make the government More Efficient™ and Run More Like A Business™: who's with me?
MESSENGER Begins Historic Orbit around Mercury
At 9:10 p.m. EDT, engineers in the MESSENGER Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., received the anticipated radiometric signals confirming nominal burn shutdown and successful insertion of the MESSENGER probe into orbit around the planet Mercury.
The spacecraft rotated back to the Earth by 9:45 p.m. EDT, and started transmitting data. Upon review of these data, the engineering and operations teams confirmed that the burn executed nominally with all subsystems reporting a clean burn and no logged errors.
MESSENGER’s main thruster fired for approximately 15 minutes at 8:45 p.m., slowing the spacecraft by 1,929 miles per hour (862 meters per second) and easing it into the planned eccentric orbit about Mercury. The rendezvous took place about 96 million miles (155 million kilometers) from Earth.
But what does the real expert have to say?
... I linked to yesterday?
Paul Campos reacts:
The Future of an Illusion
Jon Chait has a great new piece on the historical sources, hidden motivations, and overall incoherence of the contemporary GOP’s anti-tax dogma.
One implicit feature of Chait’s analysis is that it throws light on the extent to which “the Left” in America now means something like “people who think massive increases in wealth inequality are actually undesirable.”
They say "milestone," I say watershed:
More than half of Americans say it should be legal for gays and lesbians to marry, a first in nearly a decade of polls by ABC News and The Washington Post.
This milestone result caps a dramatic, long-term shift in public attitudes. From a low of 32 percent in a 2004 survey of registered voters, support for gay marriage has grown to 53 percent today. Forty-four percent are opposed, down 18 points from that 2004 survey.
(h/t: Scott Lemieux)
The one where Minnesota Republicans want to make it illegal for poor people to carry cash? [Added2: Not true.**] Or the one where the Republicans in the US Congress want to require the IRS to carry out abortion audits? (Remember to ask your rapist for a receipt, ladies!)
Details here, if you haven't already heard.
So that's what they mean by the “War on Poverty”
** [Added2] Correction: This turns out not to be true. The bill says the people in the assistance program are "prohibited from withdrawing cash from an automatic teller machine or receiving cash from vendors with the EBT debit card." And later: "EBT cardholders may opt to have up to $20 per month accessible via automatic teller machine or receive up to $20 cash back from a vendor." (via, via.)
You've probably heard talk about how we're about to run out of so-called IPv4 addresses -- the numeric designators (like 18.104.22.168) underlying URLs that actually tell packets of information where to go on the Internet. This problem of increasing scarcity could easily be resolved by switching to IPv6 addresses, which span an enormously larger range, and no doubt, that will eventually be what happens. But in the meantime, inertia means opportunity!
There's an interesting article on this wheeling and dealing from Maria Farrell over on Crooked Timber: "IPv4 endgame; following the money."
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Pretty soon now ("Beginning March 28"), the NYT will be demanding your money if you want to read more than a few of their articles. But don't worry! They're going after the worst of the worst first:
The 20-article limit begins immediately for readers accessing NYTimes.com from Canada …
Ken Layne simply does not care for this new plan, although he does not say how he feels about Canadians.
Ken does do us a solid by pointing to Juli Weiner. She has lots of helpful advice, including a link to a page on the NYT's site that shows you how many articles you have recently stolen …
... and she also provides the endings to all those articles that you soon will only be able to read the beginnings of, while you are hunched in a corner of your dark kitchen, eating cold gray spaghetti with a pair of tweezers.* Highly recommended.
* Even if you are not named Oscar Madison.
[Added] Felix Salmon has a thorough post on the matter.
A good piece recounting the development over the past three decades of this most important of mindsets on the right and in the Republican Party, from Jon Chait in the latest issue of Democracy.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
One of your other favorite teabaggers who did not manage to win election in 2010 wants into the news, too. Contrary to last week's speculation that she would seek the Senate seat of retiring-in-disgrace John Ensign (R-NV), we are now informed by Ken Layne that she is running for the House!
Angle Announces Run for Congress
March 16th, 2011
Four-term Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R-NV) today announced her intention to run for the seat in the House of Representatives being vacated by Dean Heller (R-NV) …
The rest is the standard yelling about Obama, the Constitution, and taxes.
She has made an exciting announcement video, too! And here is a fine measure of how much faith she has the American people:
- "This video is unlisted. Only those with the link can see it."
- "Adding comments has been disabled for this video."
Clearly, what she is saying is, "Make moar screen grabz plz."
He's back in the news!
Joe Miller in hot water for ties to militia leader
As we noted elsewhere, this militia leader, Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, was arrested late last week, along with four others, "in connection with a plot to kidnap or kill Alaska state troopers and a local judge."
Michael J. Totten, as quoted by Roy Edroso:
This may be a good time for Arab leaders and opinion makers to ask themselves what they can do to win over the hearts and minds of Americans.
We may take some comfort from the Freudian slip in his bio at the bottom of his op-ed, though.
I guess they forgot the C.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
(Considering the source, I mean.)
Daniels poked both Palin and Mike Huckabee with a single punch, raising the former Arkansas governor’s gaffe in which he claimed inaccurately more than once that the president grew up in Kenya.
“Sarah Palin pounces and says, ‘Wrong, Mike — he’s never been to Europe,” said Daniels, according to a guest on hand for the event, which was off the record to the White House pool.
Came across this after link-hopping from post to post, following some starting links offered by Ed at Instaputz, on three (=trend!) recent examples of the Indiana governor and potential GOP candidate for president dissing major elements of the Republican Party (union haters, birthers, forced pregnancy obsessives, Palinistas, and teabaggers).
Who knows. Maybe he's dipping his toe in the water to see how it feels to play a moderate on teevee. Relative to the rest of the pack, of course.
I'll believe him when he says he likes having sex with his Muslim boyfriend from Mexico. Who believes in global warming.
It's a bit anecdotal, but this article on how the Mormon teabaggers simply do not care for their top Mormon politicians -- Romney, Huntsman, and Hatch -- because they are not conservative enough, should meet nonetheless fulfill your RDA for schadenfreude.
They have already collected one scalp (ex-Senator Bob Bennett), so now their sense of themselves has only grown.
One of the anti-Palin Alaska blogs, The Immoral Minority, has a dishy/it-would-be-irresponsible-NOT-to-speculate piece about about some rumblings of late among the movers and shakers on the right.
His (I'm guessing at the blogger's gender) starting point is Palin's apparent no-show on the launch of the new Lou Dobbs show. (Yeah, I missed the big news of that launch, too.) He then mentions, among other bits of gossip, NY Mag's report that Roger Ailes was/is mad about Palin's refusal to follow his advice to keep quiet after the Tucson shootings, a leak by someone that said Palin was added to McCain's VP short list only because she was a woman, and a prediction on Morning Joe by Mika Brzezinski that Ailes is going to dump Palin. He's got several links to support these.
Looking around elsewhere, I came across a longish piece, dated 14 March 2011, on the GOP's press release reposting service headlined:
'She's becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition'
This line was attributed to Matt Labash of the
biased liberal Weekly Standard. George Will, Heather MacDonald, and Peter Wehner, "a top strategist in George W. Bush’s White House," also go on record with disparaging remarks. Also name-checked for recent comments made elsewhere are Barbara Bush and Charles Krauthammer. Basically, they don't like her non-stop playing of "the victim card" and her "culture of aggrievement."
Oh, go on and click those links. You know you want to. Everyone needs a silliness break when the real news is so bad.
[Added] I see Blue Texan was ahead of me on noticing this collective top-down finger-wagging. (No surprise there, as Instaputz readers will recall -- he's been tracking this for a while now.) He also adds something I didn't notice: Judd Gregg's diss. Yes, Gregg is so 2009, but remember that he's from New Hampshire, and probably still has some back-room clout there.
... (which depends, I guess, on how much radioactivity gets out), but so far, this is a useful, if mildly coldhearted, reminder:
Putting the Problem in Perspective
Updated March 14, 2011, 10:55 PM
Bernard L. Cohen is professor emeritus of physics at the University of Pittsburgh.
The very elaborate earthquake design requirements for U.S. reactors recognizes that a large enough earthquake would defeat any precautions.
As a fallback, the requirements are designed such that the consequences of the earthquake from reactor failures should be negligible relative to the non-nuclear consequences of the earthquake. That is certainly fulfilled in the Japanese earthquake with thousands of deaths from non-nuclear consequences and, considering the evacuations, very few if any deaths from the reactor failures. From costly property damage, the non-nuclear damage is far greater than any possible damage from reactor failures.
The Japanese earthquake was 10 times more powerful than what is considered to be the most powerful credible earthquake on the San Andreas fault.
Some other nuggets of opinion here.
Monday, March 14, 2011
... but at least spare a few moments' thought for our poor put-upon banksters and their brave public servants.
That part about Bank of America's shenanigans in Nevada is just … how do those people sleep at night?
seanmcarroll A joke by Wittgenstein: "... 9, 5, 1, 4, 1, 3. Done!" "What were you doing, God?" "Oh, just reciting all the digits of pi backwards."
... it makes sense to get a nice piece of artwork, at least.
I don't like Tumblr being inaccessible when I have very important bragging to do thereon (oh yeah, it's not just this blog), but I do like this:
If you're frustratedly trying to click that link at the bottom there and only getting a larger picture, try this: The Oatmeal. Among other items that caught my eye, an interactive quiz: "How many Justin Biebers could you take in a fight?"
[Update] The results are in!
Probably you're already generally familiar with "How the American right demonizes Islam for political gain," but Sarah Posner's article is worth reading for the specifics. Especially in light of the GOP's total support of this industry.
It’s a muddled up, mixed up, shook up world when your Wonkette quotes Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald quoting Matt Yglesias and David Frum, all in the same post and not for the intrinsic humor value in quoting such people.
I'll stop well short of echoing his position that we should let the Republicans take the White House back in 2012, but the rest of his criticism is righteous.
The bottom line for me is that no matter what one thinks of the actions for which Bradley Manning has been detained, he is being punished, right now, without having been convicted of anything.
Hope fades eternal.
Hey, remember that guy David Jenkins we were snickering about a few days ago?
Looks like Andrew Revkin has asked him a few questions. For what it's worth (approximately nothing), he does have a few good things to say; e.g.:
I would agree that the Republican Party has been hijacked. I maintain that it is being unduly influenced by what I call “pretend conservatives.” These are the radical libertarians that dominate right-wing talk radio and outlets like Fox News. If you listen to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck you cannot really find any traditionalist conservative ideas in their world view.
The policies being peddled by these folks reflect a live for today-let me do what I want mentality that has nothing to do with the conservative notion of protecting the interests of future generations. Their support for fiscal restraint is primarily due to their desire to starve and weaken the federal government, not to protect our children and grandchildren from debt. Otherwise, they should be able to recognize the fiscal stewardship and environmental stewardship are equally conservative. Their energy and environmental views promote waste, pollution, and overdependence on finite resources. Is there anything less conservative than waste?
Of course, he hastens to show you why he works for a group called Republicans for Environmental Protection:
I personally would call them liberal, because their attitude reminds me of the liberal “if it feels good do it” mantra of the 1960s, only the vices are different.
Yeah. Smoking a little weed and having premarital sex are Just Like™ killing the planet.
Evidently, the big-time lobbying gigs at McGuireWoods and Apollo Global Management, picked up after he oozed through the revolving door a few months ago, aren't generating enough cash to keep him in the comfort that is the birthright of all true Republicans. Hence, one supposes, this HuffPo headline, via @pourmecoffee:
Fox News Signs Former Senator Evan Bayh As A Contributor
Evan Bayh is the Joe Lieberman of all Zell Millers.
From the annals of Republican Family Values™ ...
One of the Koch-whores in Wisconsin, state Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Obvs.), has been busted as having been thrown out of his house by his wife, due to his habit of shacking up with a 25-year-old named Valerie Cass. Cass "was previously a state senate staffer who worked on the Senate Economic Development Committee alongside Mr. Hopper," and she now works for a right-wing lobbying outfit. Surprisingly, her page has been scrubbed from their site. However, screen grabs do exist!
In possibly related news, Hopper's maid has signed the petition seeking to recall him, and reports are that his wife will, too. (She may already have, but the site that broke this story is down at the moment, due to traffic load.)
Thump and Whip has some pictures of the dramatis personae.
Way to go, ReadWriteWeb:
We believe that Google will preview a major new social service called Google Circles at South by Southwest Interactive today. Update: Google has now officially denied that Circles will launch here, but not that it exists. See final update below, as of afternoon Texas time Google does now deny that Circles exists.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Record Number of Stealth Creationism Bills Introduced in 2011
The National Center for Science Education has tracked a record-setting number of nine anti-evolution bills introduced in state legislatures since Jan. 1.
The latest is Texas’ HB 2454, which would prohibit an institution of higher learning from "discrimination related to research related into intelligent design."
As always, since intelligent design was ruled unconstitutional in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the introduced bills rely on such creationist code words as "teaching the controversy," "academic freedom," or "critical analysis." [...]
Let's get scared:
Researchers at UCSD have modified an MP3 file so that when it is played on a car's stereo system it modifies the stereo's firmware and opens up a security back door into the car's operating system. Using it, they were then able to control the door locks, the car ignition, and change the speedometer reading.
They hypothesize that black-hats could create such modified files and spread them around on the torrent networks. And given that some cars now are networked and contain GPS systems, they say that cars which become compromised could be programmed to announce their location so that thieves could locate and steal them.
Swiped from Chocolate Pickle on Metafilter.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
... and how it ground to a halt two years ago, due to the utter lack of traffic.
But seriously ... begging for hits from RaciSt McCain?
(Yes, I know that I say that about every other week, concerning Greater Wingnuttia. But for some reason, I remain optimistic that this time, this time, we have truly reached bottom.)
You and your skeptical attitude go too far sometimes!
According to Dr. Karen Weatherby, a gerontologist and author of the study, gawking at women's breasts is a healthy practice, almost at par with an intense exercise regime, that prolongs the lifespan of a man by five years.
She added, "Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female, is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out."
[Added] PZ's commenters are even more anti-Science.
Here's something that may alleviate the doom and gloom of the last post somewhat:
Wording change softens global warming skeptics
Are you convinced climate change is real? What about global warming?
Yes, that second question is redundant. But new research finds the two labels, which are widely used interchangeably, evoke remarkably different responses among self-described Republicans.
Writing in the journal Public Opinion Quarterly, a research team led by University of Michigan psychologist Jonathon Schuldt reports Republicans are far more skeptical of "global warming" than of "climate change." In an experiment conducted as part of a large survey, the researchers found 44 percent of Republicans endorsed the notion that "global warming" is real, but 60.2 percent said the same of "climate change."
In contrast, 86 to 87 percent of Democrats endorsed the reality of a changing climate, no matter which descriptive phrase was used. This means the partisan divide over the issue is either overwhelmingly enormous or potentially bridgeable, depending upon the terminology one uses.
I came across this after looking at another post by David Roberts over on Grist. I was led to that by his appearance on Science Saturday, a diavlog with Andrew Revkin of Dot Earth fame. It's worth watching if you're interested in a discussion of strategies and tactics to get our country moving on dealing with this problem.
Over on Monkey Cage, there's a short series posts on attitudes about AGW and evolution, separated by political self-identification.
The gist: the more education self-identified liberals have, the more likely they are to accept the scientific consensus on AGW. The more education self-identified conservatives have, the more likely they are to deny it.
The US is unique in this regard among all countries surveyed.
On evolution: more education among libs = much more likely to believe the theory of evolution. Among cons, not so much.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Sorry to give away one of your punchlines in your latest "Dispatches From The Culture Wars," Roy, but it's just too good:
My guess is, other members of the council walked in on Prentice dancing around the TV to "Sweet Transvestite" and singing into a hairbrush, and he had to come up with something.
I would like to remind you that spring is almost here …
... which means now is a good time to start sharpening your pitchforks.
You may ask, are the Koch brothers among those 400?
Well, yes. But they only take up two slots.
In the top ten.
(h/t: Twin, via PM)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you should know this. There's a sobering post up on Climate Progress summarizing a new study led by JPL which has been peer-reviewed and published. It has concluded:
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new NASA-funded satellite study. The findings of the study — the longest to date of changes in polar ice sheet mass — suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth’s mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have predicted.
As I said elsewhere, that last phrase is key: "... much sooner than model forecasts have predicted."
Those who like to call themselves skeptics about AGW, who like to rail about the uncertainty of the predictive computer models, ought to take this moment to realize that the uncertainty -- which I will of course acknowledge -- works both ways.
We do know this, now, purely from data and observations: There is now increased confidence that sea levels will rise by a foot by 2050. (This is a larger, faster increase than the IPCC reports have suggested.) And that's assuming that things hold constant, which they are not guaranteed to do. It's conceivable that the glacial melting could lead to an increasing release of heretofore trapped ground ice and water. It is reasonable to believe, therefore, that if we continue down the path we're currently on that sea levels could rise by six feet by the year 2100. Picture yourself on your favorite beach and imagine what that would look like. The entire ocean, six feet higher.
36. If it exists, LOLcats of it exist.
I just had occasion, in an entirely other channel, to want to make a joke involving my first crush, and look what the image-Google found for me!
[Added] Do not miss M. Bouffant's "related" link in the Comments.