Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rush Limbaugh: British Socialism is Scarier Than Chinese Socialism

You can always count on El Rushbo (why do people call him that? He hates Mexicans..) to provide some thought provoking commentary:

For those of you that can't watch videos at work, a caller asks Rush on his thoughts about Britain's opening ceremony celebrating its Nationalized Health Care program (the NHS), and whether that was more or less socialist than China's opening ceremony.

As one would expect from someone like Rush, he wasn't too pleased by it. He couldn't believe the idea that a supposedly "free" people like the Brits would willingly praise anything as awful as socialized medicine. In regards to the Chinese (which Rush kept referring to as 'Chicoms'), Rush said that he could at least understand why its people would revere socialism, because unlike Britain, they were coerced to do so, "under guns" and thus they didn't have a choice.

So in Rush's mind, people genuinely celebrating their socialism are in a worse position than people who are forced to celebrate by threat of force (such as guns, for example). Good to know. I wonder if he also thinks Israel's socialism is worse than China's as well...

By the way, I have to say I'm somewhat surprised that Romney didn't accidentally praise Britain's health care system while he was doing his comedy tour.

Adventures on Bootstrapping: Part A Million

Seriously? Again, Mittens? This is getting sad:

Dennis Sollmann, the owner of Sollmann Electric Company, appears in a Romney web ad released Monday morning that plays off the president's now infamous "you didn't build that" line. [...]

“I mean, I’m thinking, 'You’ve got to be kidding me,'" Sollmann says in the ad. "He was trying to say: ‘Hey, you didn’t build that business on your own. The government helped you build it.’ And that’s what ticked me off more than anything. Mr. President, unfortunately you have no idea how we here in Midwestern Ohio have to try to run a small business from  daylight till night."

And just how much did the government NOT help ole' Dennis out?

An electric construction company in Sidney, Ohio, Sollmann Electric has done work on commercial, residential and industrial properties. It has also serviced "hospitals, government and educational" facilities -- many of which rely on taxpayer funding. Neither Sollmann nor his company returned a request for comment as to how much money in government contracts they have earned. But a quick Google search turned up several instances in which the company either sought out or worked directly with government entities.
According to notes from a Jan. 26, 2006 meeting of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, Sollmann Electrical Company was rewarded a $915,117 contract for work in the Trotwood-Madison City school district.
Notes from a May 31, 2007 meeting of the same body show that Sollmann Electrical Company placed a $1,080,700 bid to do work in the Dayton County School District. This was the lowest bid offered and the commission recommended that it be finalized.
According to notes from a May 25, 2010 meeting of the School Facilities Commission, meanwhile, Sollmann Electrical Company was awarded a $1,689,829 contract for work in the Miami East school district.
Sollmann was also a contractor for work on the Horace Mann School in Dayton, Ohio, according to an Ohio School Facilities Commission form filled out in April 2008. Horace Mann is a public school, an official there said.
In November of 2011, Sollmann made a $274,792 bid with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to do work on a building expansion at Rhodes State College, another public school.

Apparently, for the fine folks in Real America, Ohio, the government directly helping you build your business doesn't count as government actually helping you build your business.

Remember kids: It's not socialism if you don't admit it.

Romney Accidentally Praises Israel's Socialized Health Care System

Good God, does Romney have the worst campaign handlers ever:

“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? eight percent," Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. "You spend eight percent of GDP on health care. You're a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care. Ten percentage points more. [...] Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to find and manage our health care costs."

As amusing as I found Romney's consistent displays of dumbness over the past few days, I could give him an infinitesimal bit of leeway with most of those gaffes (including the comment about the Palestinians), where reasons varied from tone deafness to possibly sinister political opportunism.

But here, we're dealing with a case of outright idiocy. I find it hard to believe that neither Romney, nor anyone from his campaign staff were oblivious to the fact that Israel had a socialized health care system. I mean, how the hell do you not? He was able to get some detailed stats on what percentage of their GDP costs come from health care, yet he couldn't get a single goddamned person on his team to check Israel's wiki page and skim through the section on health care? This rebukes his own (relatively new) stance that socialized medicine is the worst thing in the history of the universe. Seriously, how does one undercut their own argument for one of their major campaign planks so embarrassingly?

Of course, one of his own top advisers said that people are fleeing to Canada because the U.S. is becoming more socialist, so it could simply be a case of mistakenly thinking these people aren't idiots.

Oh, and just to make this all the more delicious,  Romney said this on the 47th birthday of medicare. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Won't ANYONE Defend the Honor of the Bush Tax Cuts For the Rich? :(

Seriously, after ten years, one would think these simians would come up with SOME excuse for this. Even if it's a really stupid one.

Bob Beckel, the sole democrat on Fox's The Five points out a painfully inconvenient fact to his right wing co-hosts: after the Clinton tax hikes on the rich were enacted 23 million jobs were created. After the Bush tax cuts for the rich were enacted, we created a net total of 1 million jobs.

At this point, former press secretary to George W. Bush steps in to defend her former boss's record, and try to explain why things didn't work out. Unfortunately, she does an absolutely awful job. She blamed Clinton for the dot com bubble bursting, and thus causing a recession that her former boss had to take care of. She then immediately tries to shift the discussion in another direction.

I'm honestly surprised how incompetent these people are. At the very least she could have blamed the lack of growth due to increased spending, which is a stupid argument, but hey at least it's something. Even the so-called conservative "intellectual", Charles Krauthammer couldn't come up with any pseudo legitimate defense.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tea Party Leader: It's Worth Throwing Five MILLION Legal Voters Off the Voting Rolls If It Means Preventing Twenty THOUSAND Potentially Illegal Voters From Voting

On his radio program today, Thom Hartmann invited Tea Party Nation founder, Judson Philips to demonstrate how much of an asshole he is. As would be expected from someone of the neo-Confederate persuasion, Philips offered plenty of stupid comments, but the most egregious was during the following exchange. Philips was arguing that there are tens of thousands of people committing voter fraud each election, a number he pulled out from his hind quarters, so Hartmann decided to play along (skip to 8:03):


Hartmann: Let's, let's even stipulate Bill, excuse me, Judson. Let's stipulate that ten or twenty thousand people a year are illegally voting. Use your numbers. Is that worth throwing five million people off the voting rolls? Is that a reasonable cost benefit equation?

Philips: It is worth making sure people who are allowed to vote, CAN vote and people who are not allowed to vote, DON'T vote.

This is quite a stunning admission. But hey, since the Tea folk aren't really big fans of that thar book learnin', maybe he thinks 5 million is a smaller number than 20 thousand? (trying to be generous here, folks)

Philips then goes on to rationalize his answer by saying that we need these inane voter ID laws because of close races like the 2000 presidential election. How that's supposed to justify making MILLIONS of citizens ineligible to vote, I'm not exactly sure.

In another part of the interview, Philips claimed that there were twelve thousand non citizens registered to vote, and five thousand who actually voted in the last election. When Thom asked how many were prosecuted, Philips responded: "zero". This inconvenient fact didn't appear to bother him very much, if at all.

Later, Philips argued that dead people were somehow one of the major sources of voter fraud (which he smugly referred to as a "key Democratic constituency"). Hartmann asked him to name one dead person that voted, to which Philips brought up panty sniffer, James O'Keefe, and how he attempted to vote as the Attorney General, Eric Holder (which is odd, since I'm pretty sure Holder is still alive). Hilariously, Philips HIMSELF admitted that while O'Keefe attempted to commit voter fraud, he didn't ACTUALLY do so because he didn't turn in his ballot, thus undermining his whole point, whatever the hell it was.

Seeing Philips flailing throughout the interview was a great thing to behold. I'm somewhat surprised he did such a shitty job defending himself. I clearly expected better of someone who claims the President is a stupid, homosexual, drug addict.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Idiot Wall Street Journal Columnist Claims Government Didn't Launch the Internet

For the past week or so, after right wingers got word of Obama's muddled speech where he appeared to say that business owners didn't create their own business - when in fact he wasn't referring to the businesses but rather the infrastructure that businesses use - they've been working overtime to diminish the government's involvement in any major initiative. On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal's Gordon Covitz decided to take on the "myth" that the government created the internet. In his column he writes:

A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." He justified elevating bureaucrats over entrepreneurs by referring to bridges and roads, adding: "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all companies could make money off the Internet."

It's an urban legend that the government launched the Internet. The myth is that the Pentagon created the Internet to keep its communications lines up even in a nuclear strike. The truth is a more interesting story about how innovation happens--and about how hard it is to build successful technology companies even once the government gets out of the way.

To support his claim, he cites author Michael Hiltzik, and writes:

According to a book about Xerox PARC, "Dealers of Lightning" (by Michael Hiltzik), its top researchers realized they couldn't wait for the government to connect different networks, so would have to do it themselves. "We have a more immediate problem than they do," Robert Metcalfe told his colleague John Shoch in 1973. "We have more networks than they do." Mr. Shoch later recalled that ARPA staffers "were working under government funding and university contracts. They had contract administrators . . . and all that slow, lugubrious behavior to contend with."

Unfortunately, it seems a few people disagree with Crovitz's assertion. Among them, well, Michael Hiltzik:

And while I'm gratified in a sense that he cites my book about Xerox PARC, "Dealers of Lightning," to support his case, it's my duty to point out that he's wrong. My book bolsters, not contradicts, the argument that the Internet had its roots in the ARPANet, a government project. So let's look at where Crovitz goes awry.
First, he quotes Robert Taylor, who funded the ARPANet as a top official at the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA, as stating, "The Arpanet was not an Internet. An Internet is a connection between two or more computer networks." (Taylor eventually moved to Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, where he oversaw the invention of the personal computer, and continued promoting research into networking.)
But Crovitz confuses AN internet with THE Internet. Taylor was citing a technical definition of "internet" in his statement. But I know Bob Taylor, Bob Taylor is a friend of mine, and I think I can say without fear of contradiction that he fully endorses the idea as a point of personal pride that the government-funded ARPANet was very much the precursor of the Internet as we know it today.
In his article, Crovitz asserted that the true pre-cursor to the internet was the ethernet. I'm no computer engineer, and even I knew that was wrong. As Hiltzik states:

As for Ethernet, which Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs invented at PARC (under Taylor's watchful eye), that's by no means a precursor of the Internet, as Crovitz contends. It was, and is, a protocol for interconnecting computers and linking them to outside networks--such as the Internet. And Metcalfe drew his inspiration for the technology from ALOHANet, an ARPA-funded project at the University of Hawaii.


There's been no shortage of people who actually know what the hell they're talking about that have torn apart Crovitz's inane thesis. Sorry righties. Better luck next crime.

Update -


This just isn't Crovitz's week it seems. Almost feel sorry for the dude.

Just kidding, of course.

Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard DESTROYS Bill Maher

Noel Sheppard, a columnist for the far right website, Newsbusters, totally owned comedian, Bill Maher the other day. See, Maher wrote the following on the Twitter:

#GeorgeZimmerman is #SeanHannity's missing white girl
Mr. Sheppard didn't seem to understand what Maher meant, but one of the gifted folks at his outlet introduced him to this new fangled contraption called "Wikipedia". From there, they discovered the following definition:

Missing white woman syndrome (MWWS) is a term used by some media and social critics to describe the disproportionate degree of coverage in television, radio, newspaper and magazine reporting of an adversity, most often a missing person case, involving a young, white, upper-middle class (frequently blonde) woman or girl. This degree of coverage is usually contrasted with cases concerning a missing male, or missing females of other ethnicities, socioeconomic classes or physical attractiveness.
Once little Noel understood this is what Maher was referencing, he shot back:
With this in mind, since Maher and the rest of the liberal media quickly rushed to judgment and claimed Zimmerman guilty, doesn't that make Trayvon Martin THEIR missing white woman?

Maher likely didn't consider that.

Ho ho. I bet he didn't, Noel! Maher definitely looked like he got "served", as I'm told the kids say nowadays.
Still, I can't help but wonder if this joke applies considering that Trayvon Martin isn't missing, but actually DEAD. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Charles Krauthammer Can't Defend the Honor of the Bush Tax Cuts

This is a week or so old, but I didn't catch it until yesterday. On PBS's Inside Washington With Gordon Peterson, the topic of taxes came up, which led to this noteworthy exchange between the panelists (which included Margaret Carlson, Colby Washington, Mark Shields and Charles Krauthammer). Fun begins at 10:51.

Washington: Tell me about the jobs created by the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy. How many jobs did that create? Please? Answer?

Carlson: Zero. How's that?

Washington: Answer? See that's why...

Peterson: The silence was deafening.

Washington: That's why whenever you hear this point that taxing the job creators, when your raise their taxes, I didn't see the jobs when they passed the tax cuts.

Carlson: Bill Clinton raised taxes and created jobs.

You'll note that I didn't type up Krauthammer's rebuttal. But that's simply because Krauthammer didn't have one. Oh, he spoke all right, but he COMPLETELY ignored the question and went on to talking about how raising taxes would hurt small businesses, and blah blah blah. What's worse is that when he started talking, he rolled his eyes and had this "oh you liberals and your empirical evidence" look on his face that you couldn't help but want to punch a few times.

Kathleen Parker: Businesses Taking Government Assistance To Build Their Business Gives Romney an Argument in Support of Free Enterprise

The Washington Post's Kathleen Parker was one of the panelists on The Chris Matthews Show today and said something that made me raise the ole eyebrow, regarding Obama's "You didn't build that,  you capitalist pigs!" comment. Now, I'm honestly making an effort to give the benefit of the doubt here and generously suggest that she may have misspoke. Sadly, I've watched the clip over and over, and it's a little difficult to make that case (sorry, don't know how to embed the clip, sadly).

"Well, it was certainly a gift to Mitt Romney and whether you take the, cherry pick the phrase, and the larger context, may soften it somewhat, when the president says you didn't do this on your own, you got a lot of help, and maybe you got an SBA loan or whatever. But it just gives Romney an opportunity to make the argument for free enterprise."

 Okay, so first off, Parker thinks that what Obama said was clearly a "gift" to Romney, presumably meaning that it was a good thing. Secondly, the fact that it may be taken out of context doesn't seem to bother her very much. But the most important part, I thought, was the bolded. She admits that it's quite possible that a business owner may have gotten an SBA loan, which stands for Small Business Administration, which is an arm of, *cue scary music* the GOVERNMENT! And yet, despite this, she seems to think that this will help Romney make the argument for rugged individualism?

I'm guessing this must be the right winger's version of the "free market", where it totally counts as bootstrappin' if businesses suck on the government's teat.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Romney Adviser, John Sununu: Obama's Socialist Policies Are Scaring Rich People Into Moving to...Canada?!

Sean Hannity invited former Governor, and Romney adviser, John Sununu and Fox News contributor, Juan Williams to discuss President Obama's not so helpfully phrased comments on businessmen not building their businesses by themselves. Sununu, if you politicos will recall, was the same douchebag who called Obama a "socialist stoner who needs to learn how to be an American."

While showing slightly more tact during this discussion, Sununu nevertheless continued to slam Obama for doing things like raising taxes, lambasting those that were successful, and just showing absolute contempt for capitalism (and by extension, America) as a whole.

Of course, none of that was particularly newsworthy. But he did say something that I thought was worth mentioning in the following exchange regarding the rich in this country having it really tough cause of that mean ole Obama (Skip to 9:38):

Williams: I see the rich fleeing America! The rich are fleeing by the minute! We've gotta stop it. Oh come on.

Sununu: They are! Canada had more Americans except for one year, more Americans look for permits to move into Canada to do business.

Yes, as we've all been told year after year by right wingers that when you think of countries that love the free market, low taxes and small government, Canada consistently appears at the top of the list.

I'd also like to add that Sununu complained earlier in the program about Obamacare's taxes (almost all of which, I'm pretty sure haven't even been enacted yet) were stifling businesses.

I'd also like to point out that Canada has socialized medicine.

Just throwing that out there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Obama is the Worst Socialist Dictator Ever: Volume I

From the moment Obama became a household name, we've been consistently bombarded by the right wing noise machine that Obama's the most leftist human being ever to have walked the face of the Earth. A man so socialist that he'd make Joseph Stalin look Like Ronald Reagan (peace be upon him).

Now, while us liberals may have thought such a person would be our dream candidate, the reality has been far more disappointing. Instead of Chairman Obamao, we got someone who:

-Provided a massive giveaway to the health insurance companies (instead of bulldozing every one of their buildings)
-Gave hundreds of billions of dollars to our largest banks (instead of nationalizing them)
-Extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich (instead of killing them. The rich, I mean).

And several other policies that hardly bring out visions of Castro's Cuba.

So, I decided that I would make the effort to document all instances of Obama failing to direct the country down the path of communism, in an on-going series I call: "Why Obama is the Worst Socialist Dictator Ever". Albeit...with one differentiating feature: I'll be supported by the unlikely allies from the right wing.

Indeed, ever since this hoopla about all this Bain, and outsourcing business, Mitt Romney and his allies on the right have found it difficult to try and defend his business record. While they may love things like outsourcing, they realize that most Americans don't, and that it would be an immense undertaking to explain to the filthy masses why its for their own good.

So instead, the righties have decided to flip this argument around and say that Obama is the heartless, big business loving, crony capitalist who loves outsourcing American jobs overseas, not Romney! It's a prime example of Rovian style warfare, take your own candidate's biggest weakness, and imprint it on the other guy.

Here to start off, we have none other than the great Michelle Malkin, via The National Review:

 Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod and his hatchet people are still yammering about GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney’s overseas investments. It’s time for the Romney campaign to educate voters about all the shady financial institutions embraced by Democrats right here on American soil.

Indeed, LET'S.

Broadway Bank. In 2010, President and Mrs. Obama personally raised money for their Chicago friend and fundraiser Alexi Giannoulias. As I reported then, Giannoulias’ Greek-immigrant family founded Chicago-based Broadway Bank, a now-defunct financial institution that loaned tens of millions of dollars to convicted Mafia felons and faced bankruptcy after decades of engaging in risky, high-flying behavior. It’s the place where Obama parked his 2004 U.S. Senate–campaign funds. And it’s the same place that a mutual friend of Obama and Giannoulias — convicted Obama fundraiser and slumlord Tony Rezko — used to bounce nearly $500,000 in bad checks written to Las Vegas casinos.

Chicago’s former inspector general blasted Giannoulias and his family for tapping $70 million worth of dividends in 2007 and 2008 as the real-estate crash loomed. Broadway Bank was sitting on an estimated $250 million in bad loans. The cost to taxpayers after the bank was shut down two years ago: an estimated $390 million.
ShoreBank. The “progressive” Chicago-based community development bank, a “green” financial institution whose mission was to “create economic equity and a healthy environment,” folded in August 2010. Obama personally had endorsed the politically connected bank and appeared in a video promoting its Kenyan microlending project. But it was a doomed social-justice experiment. After regulators shut it down, Obama crony companies including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs took over the mess courtesy of taxpayer subsidies.

Bank of America, which raked in $45 billion in Obama-supported TARP bailout funds and billions more in secret emergency federal loans, footed the $50 million restitution payment bill for Mozilo and another Countrywide official. In 2008, BofA’s political-action committee gave its biggest contributions to Obama, totaling $421,000. And as I noted in January, Bank of America supplied the Democrats with a $15 million revolving line of credit, along with an additional $17 million loan during the 2010 midterms.

Man, that's some hard hitting shiznite right there (not being sarcastic, by the way). Obama and his democratic allies are way too buddy-buddy with many of these fatcat, uber wealthy private corporations, and it is just DISGUSTING. Thankfully, we have a new group of freedom hating friends who seem all too happy to point out just how much of a failure Obama is at trying to enact his radical leftist agenda.

Welcome to the club, Michelle.

Oh, and by the way, there's a two abortion minimum requirement. Rules are rules.

Wow, I Knew Ed Gillespie Wasn't the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer, But...

So Romney adviser, and really shitty spin doctor, Ed Gillespie has been getting some well deserved ridicule after his idiotic attempt at damage control on Sunday:

As much as I enjoyed seeing Gillespie mocked relentlessly, I was willing to give him an infinitesimal amount of slack, simply because he probably came up with that answer on the fly, and it probably sounded good in his head when he said it.

But no, as usual, I give these people too much credit. See, I saw Gillespie say this on Meet the Press, and I assumed he only mentioned it once, on that particular program throughout the whole day. But it seems that wasn't the case. He said it once AGAIN, on Candy Crowley's show (whatever the hell it's called) on CNN!

In other words, it appears that after saying it once, none of Gillespie's aides, and even Gillespie himself, thought that it was a positively stupid comment with the potential to be mocked endlessly. Indeed, Gillespie probably looked in a mirror in the bathroom, smiled smugly, stroked his chin triumphantly and strutted to his next interview, all the while thinking: "Nailed it!" the entire time.

Also, too: Unlike Obama's comments from his speech the other day about businessmen not building their own businesses, you don't need to take Gillespie's comments out of context to make him sound retarded.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Right Wing Commentator: Instead of "Raping" The Wealthy, How About We "Educate" The Filthy Poor On Bootstrappin'?

So there's this right wing commentator named Tanya Machiol. I've never heard of this woman, but apparently she's a "real estate guru", who's the founder and president of a company called Team Investments, inc.  Liberal radio host, Thom Hartmann invited her to his radio show the other day to debate the idea of having a tax that would do away with billionaires in America.

There were quite a few amusing things she stated over the course of the clip. On the subject of Reaganomics, she claimed that Reagan cut spending, instead of actually, you know, tripling the debt. She said that Reagan reduced inflation, even though that was actually accomplished by the Fed chairman at the time, Paul Vockler. At one point, when Hartmann asked why we shouldn't go back to the tax rates under Clinton, Tanya claimed that constituted economic "rape".

But probably the biggest highlight of the show came at around 6:17. Hartmann asked her why high taxed times like the 50s and 60s were great for economic growth, while times when we had low taxes weren't. Her response:

"So now we're going to overtax the wealthy to give to the poor? Going back to my point and what I wanted to say is, why don't we educate those who don't understand what a work ethic is?"
Tanya manages to execute the remarkable triple strike: 1) Attack poor people for being poor 2) Use a hyperbolic metaphor to defend the rich, 3) Not actually bother answering the question that was asked. Quite an impressive feat, actually.

I am curious to see how Tanya would like to go about "educating" these "people". Perhaps she'd go around following homeless folk while reading various passages from Atlas Shrugged with a blow horn.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Republican "Strategist" Mary Matalin: There's No Tax Advantages to Having Money in Offshore Accounts

I honestly thought that Republican hack, Ed Gillespie's comment about Romney "retroactively retiring" from Bain was the most outlandish thing said today, but it seems another Republican hack (hackette?), Mary Matalin, wanted to take that title. Here she is trying to make the case that there's nothing wrong with Romney's tax returns:
He's released 2010, he'll be releasing 2011. There was full disclosure, there's no tax advantages to being offshore.
Reaaaaaaaaaaally now? No tax advantages to having offshore accounts? Then what pray tell, is the point of having such accounts to begin with?

As the Huffington Post reported the other day, offshore tax havens cost the federal government $100 billion every year:

As the CALPIRG report notes, many household-name corporations, including Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Exxon Mobil and Google, take advantage of offshore accounts, often saving billions in taxes in the process.
Of course, one presumes having the ability to save a person/corporation money is one reason why tax havens are referred to as tax havens!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Holy Shit, People. They're Just Video Games!

A couple of months ago, feminist blogger, Anita Sarkeesian decided to create a kickstarter to help fund a documentary that she wanted to create dealing with the portrayal of women in video games. While some of us thought it was a noble effort, and some didn't care at all, a few people, it turns out, were enraged beyond reason.

Ever since feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian committed the grave internet faux paus of launching a Kickstarter campaign to research how women are portrayed in video games, she's been the recipient of rape threats, death threats, and racist tirades by male gamer nerds who are apparently very enraged by the thought of a woman rootin' out misogyny in the high plains of Azeroth or whatever the fuck.

And instead of simmering down since Sarkeesian launched her May 17 Kickstarter (which skyrocketed past its $6,000 goal in less than 24 hours), the violence directed at her continues to escalate—most recently at the hands of a pathetic, whiny little man named Ben Spurr, who created a brutal video game starring Sarkeesian. Apparently, the sole point of the game is to beat the shit out of her.

The remarkably sexually frustrated male responsible for creating the game had this to say in his defense:

Anita Sarkeesian has not only scammed thousands of people out of over $160,000, but also uses the excuse that she is a woman to get away with whatever she damn well pleases. Any form of constructive criticism, even from fellow women, is either ignored or labelled to be sexist against her.
She claims to want gender equality in video games, but in reality, she just wants to use the fact that she was born with a vagina to get free money and sympathy from everyone who crosses her path.
Faith in humanity once again rapidly dwindling.

Look, I get that some people may not be completely supportive of such an endeavor, but seriously, how much fucking hatred and bile is this guy filled with to actually go to the effort to design a whole video game expressing your contempt?

I also get that this is the internet, so no doubt Ms. Sarkeesian was destined to be met with snark, insults, and what have you. But this is someone who decided to go the extra mile to show how much he wants to make her suffer for wasting everyone's time, presumably. And that's a good deal more troubling than a few stupid image macros.

Oh, and here's what the "game" looks like:

And here's how she looks after the player "wins" the game:

Gives whole new meaning to the term "women's suffrage". Stay classy, Mr. Spurr.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

No, Ron Christie, Obama and the Democrats Hanging Out With Rich Folk Doesn't Make Them As Bad As The Republicans

Sigh. So Ed Schultz invited former Dick Cheney flack, Ron Christie, to participate in a panel discussing Mitt Romney's reliance on the uber wealthy to fund his campaign.

Christie didn't like all the poo-pooing that Ed and the rest of the panel were doing to poor Mitt, so he countered that Obama himself absolutely LOVES hanging out with the richies too! Therefore, he's just as bad, if not WORSE in terms of being out of touch than Mitt is. So there!

Seriously guys, this isn't that hard. We don't particularly care that Mittens prefers hanging out with wealthy folk like himself. The issue is that he's pursuing policies that help to line up the pockets of those same wealthy people, at the expense of everyone else. Obama, by comparison may have $10,000 per plate fundraisers, but he's actually supporting policies that make the rich pay MORE. It's sort of an important distinction.

Also, I wish the righties would make up their mind. Is Obama a smug, elitist that enjoys looking down on the filthy masses, or is he some naive, do-gooder, bleeding heart moneyphobe? He can't be both.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Joe the Plumber: Them Fancy Scienticians Is The REAL Idiots!

Not sure how the heck I missed this gem. The other day, our ole buddy Joe the Plumber gave an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, discussing the life changing event that led him to accepting Jesus Christ as his savoir. Before I proceed, let me just say that, as a religious person myself, I understand that different people find all kinds of reasons to become religious. Unfortunately, Mr. The Plumber here, provides one of the most vapid, inane and idiotic rationales I've ever, EVER witnessed:

For those of you that can't watch videos from work or whatever, Joe says that as a child, his youth pastor invited him to a restaurant and told him to "bring his science book" (which, according to the interviewer, was a subject Joe allegedly "loves"). The pastor told Joe to place the book side by side with a Bible, and asked him what the science book's revision number was (7, in this case), then asked him what the revision number was on the Bible (no revisions at all). In other words, science makes lots of mistakes, hence the need for multiple revisions. The Bible, alternatively, is and has always been correct about everything and thus has no need for revisions.

Seriously. That's his argument.

It was from that moment that Joe seemed to have suddenly realized that science was the work of the Devil, and presumably burned every book in his house that didn't contain any words like "thou" and "smite".

Now, Joe's running in a highly democratic district in Ohio, so he will in all likeliness get curb stomped by his opponent, Democrat, Marcy Kaptur. But we shouldn't forget this very inconvenient fact: there are hundreds of Republican in congress who are just as dimwitted as Joe is. And that is an utterly terrifying thing to acknowledge.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Obama admin draws line in the sand on Bush Tax Cuts: "100% Committed" to Ending Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

I'll believe it when I see it. From Think Progress:

As House Republicans return to Washington to a vote on extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for another year, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs insisted that the president would not support giving rich people another tax break. “Let’s make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people who quite frankly don’t need them – tax cuts that haven’t worked,” Gibbs said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. Obama is “100% committed” to that position, he insisted. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made a similar pledge last month when he was asked directly if the president supports a temporary extension of the cuts, which expire at the end of the year. Carney said, “He will not. Could I be more clear?

Mike Pence with a Holocaust reference in 3...2...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rep. Joe Walsh: I Support (some of) The Troops!

I find it difficult to decide which Republican in congress is the most revolting on any given day, but for the time being, that honor goes to Rep. Joe Walsh:

WALSH: Understand something about John McCain. His political advisers, day after day, had to take him and almost throw him against a wall and hit him against the head and say, “Senator, you have to let people know you served! You have to talk about what you did!” He didn’t want to do it, wouldn’t do it. Day after day they had to convince him. Finally, he talked a little bit about it, but it was very uncomfortable for him. That’s what’s so noble about our heroes. Now I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about. That’s why we’re so indebted and in awe of what they’ve done.

Aside from the obvious point that Walsh is a gigantic turd blossom, there's a far more salient lesson to learn from his behavior.

In my younger days, before I started following politics religiously, I had a much higher opinion of the Republican Party. To be sure, I was always a Democrat, but I was the opinion that even if I didn't agree with the Republicans on....well, anything, I thought that they were genuinely noble people who just had different ideas on how things should work. I felt that as much as we may disagree with each other, there would be certain lines that wouldn't be crossed. One of those lines was that one never slanders a person's military service.

Since 9/11, I would see various random Republicans appearing on T.V. or the radio talking about how much they supposedly admired and supported the troops. They would say this as so frequently, so continuously that I thought, if nothing else, this is one constituency that the Republicans wouldn't dare to attack, no matter which party a member of the military belonged to.

Then came the 2004 Presidential race. The same presidential race that brought us wonderful gems like this:

 I couldn't believe the Republicans were arguing this with a straight face. John Kerry, a man who fought in Vietnam and won three purple hearts, was someone who a meek, and frail loser who would waste no time handing over the keys to the White House to Osama Bin Laden on his first day in office. George W. Bush, while serving in the National Guard, never once was involved in battle during his entire military "career", was the real warrior. He's the one that actually knew how wars were conducted. He was the true war hero.

It was during that time that my disgust with the Republican party was firmly solidified. These low lives had absolutely no principles, no respect, no honor for the people they supposedly held in such high regard. They were just opportunistic sleazebags who would gleefully smear a paraplegic six year old with terminal cancer if it helped them win elections.

So it comes as no surprise to see Joe Walsh continue with the Republican tradition of diminishing one's service simply because they happen to have a "D" next to their name. Though in fairness, I suppose I can understand where Walsh is coming from. For years these assholes have convinced themselves that Democrats hate the troops and the country, that they just can't accept the fact that someone like Duckworth exists, especially when utter filth like Walsh, have never, ever served in the armed forces. I'm sure that painful, and humiliating reality just eats them up inside.

The Republians did it with Max Cleland, they did it with John Kerry, they're doing it with Tammy Duckworth, and they will continue to do it to every soldier who dares to ally themselves with the wrong political party. A certain famous pill popping radio host once characterized such people as "phony soldiers".

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

They Grow Up So Fast...

Read an interesting piece of news today. It deals with Republican boy genius (no I don't mean Paul Ryan), Jonathan Krohn, a young tea bagger in training, who took the right wing world by storm in 2009, when he gave a rousing speech at CPAC (basically the Comic Con for conservatives).

The righties immediately started to revere the little "prodigy", as they would anyone who's under 50 and chooses to be a Republican, continuously being impressed at little Jonathan's ability to be a hateful little shitheel while simultaneously being gifted enough to be able to speak in complete sentences.

The kid was clearly wise beyond his years, spouting deep, carefully crafted opinions such as: "Barack Obama is the most left-wing president in my lifetime.".  Indeed, the boy displayed all the signs of being the next Newt Gingrich some day.

Unfortunately, whatever dreams the likes of Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity and even his parents had for little Jonathan, were suddenly dashed by news that was delivered today by Jonathan himself. Seems Obama's brownshirst in the teacher's unions just completed the indoctrination process:

Gay marriage? In favor. Obamacare? “It’s a good idea.” Who would he vote for (if he could) in November? “Probably Barack Obama.” His favorite TV shows? “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” His favorite magazine? The New Yorker. And, perhaps telling of all, Krohn is enrolling this fall at a college not exactly known for its conservatism: New York University.
First of all, thank the atheist God for public schools mandating all teenagers read The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf at least once a week as a requirement to graduate. Second of all, good for the not-so-little Krohn. I'm glad to see that he was able to evolve his world view as he got older (and presumably now believes in evolution too).

I do have to say that people like Krohn who go through political changes fascinates me, whether they go as he did, from right to left, or left to right. Relatively speaking, my own journey of being a rabid liberal is far less exciting and interesting. As far back as I can remember, I would classify myself always being socially liberal (unfortunately I was picked on quite often growing up, so I guess it makes sense that I'd side with those who wanted to help the underdogs). I had a very brief fling with economic conservatism, but managed to change that without too much difficulty.

So from that perspective, it's always intriguing to me to find somebody like Jonathan Krohn or John Cole (of Balloon Juice) or David Frum, who were all far more right wing, and thus would require significantly more difficulty and effort to change their political beliefs.

In any case, I welcome Mr. Krohn to Team Blue. To celebrate, we'll stop by the local welfare office in the morning to help purchase your first mansion in Bel-Air.

Monday, July 2, 2012

So it seems some people REALLY hate Obamacare...

Yeah, I know the title's not really a shocker, but in this situation, there's one aspect to it that distinguishes it from other instances of hyperbole.

When the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Obamacare, as one would expect, tempers were flaring by those who weren't particularly smitten by the law. Thankfully a certain congressman from Indiana provided some much needed perspective:

In a closed door House GOP meeting Thursday, Indiana congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence likened the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Democratic health care law to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to several sources present.
Now, I know that seems pretty bad, but the congressman was thoughtful enough to apologize for not realizing other people could hear him:

“My remarks at the Republican Conference following the Supreme Court decision were thoughtless. I certainly did not intend to minimize any tragedy our nation has faced and I apologize,” Pence said in a statement to POLITICO.
Right. You meant to maximize the tragedy of Obamacare actually being deemed constitutional. It's cool.

Now, seeing a Republican compare anything that they don't like to various tragedies involving thousands, or millions of people, by itself isn't really shocking in the least. But what makes this particular situation unique is where Pence said what he did.

See, it's one thing to compare Obama to Bin Laden or Pol Pot or whoever at say, a Tea Party rally, where they want to give their base lots of red meat. But that's not where this took place. It took place in a closed door meeting with other House GOPers. I would like to think that most Republicans (at least in congress) aren't unhinged, psychotic scumbags, and that while they may give lip service to the confederate flag bearers and flat Earthers, they themselves know better deep down. But this little incident makes me think that these guys are just as unhinged as the average tea bagger living in an underground bunker somewhere in Appalachia.

Mike Pence, deep down in his heart, truly does think that Obamacare is as big a tragedy as 9/11. And that should terrify a lot of people.

One last question: if Obamacare remaining constitutional is like 9/11, what's the equivalent comparison to the Holocaust? The expiration of the Bush tax cuts?

About the lack of updates...

Apologies to everyone (all six of you!) for not posting much these past couple of days. After a couple of weeks of forced exile from work, it seems things started picking up again, and of course this would happen right during the time when arguably the biggest news story of the year occurs (though at the same time, I'm not complaining.  Even bloggers gotta eat!)

Anyway, so like everyone in the country, I'm shocked that Obamacare was upheld, and that it was Justice John Roberts, and NOT Justice Anthony Kennedy that provided the dissenting vote! Go figure.

I actually don't have much to say about the decision other than that while I, like most of my progressive friends, think that the bill is certainly not perfect, it's definitely better than going back to the status quo. The battle for proper universal health care isn't over, this is just the first step towards that path. Also, we're still not out of the woods yet. Although the bill passed both legislative and judicial muster, Romney's vowed to destroy the bill if he gets elected. If Obamacare is repealed, the Democrats won't be touching this issue again for another two decades, AT LEAST. Therefore all of us on the left have to do what we can to make sure that doesn't happen.

John Boehner: Obamacare's $700 free rider penalty is MORE than Romneycare's $1,200 penalty

On Face the Nation today, House Speaker, John Boehner was interviewed by guest host Norah O'Donnell. The subject of Romney's credibility on health care based on what he did in Massachusetts came up, which led to this noteworthy exchange (apologies for the clip cutting off at the end, it was the only one I could find) : 
O'Donnell:  The facts are, the penalty in Massachusetts under Mitt Romney for not buying health insurance was $1,200. The penalty under the president's health care law at its highest rate is about $700. The Massachusetts tax penalty was more restrictive and more punitive than the president's.

Boehner: Listen, Gov. Romney believes as I do, that this law has to be repealed..

O'Donnell: It doesn't matter what he did before?

Boehner: This is far more than anything any state has comprehended or even tried to do.

Yes, in John Boehner's world, math works under a different set of laws. In this case, the $700 penalty Obamacare charges is greater than the $1,200 charged by Romneycare.

I can't wait to see the next Republican on the teevee claim that Romneycare covering abortions proves he's more pro-life than Obamacare, which doesn't (sadly).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Paul Ryan: Our Cuts to Medicare Go TOWARDS Medicare

Repulican boy genius, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was on This Week earlier today trying to defends recent comments Romney made the other day after the Supreme Court ruling:

ABCNews' "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos asked Ryan about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's contested claim that health care reform simultaneously cuts $500 billion from Medicare, hikes taxes by $500 billion and adds trillions to the deficit over a 10-year stretch.
"By that accounting," Stephanopoulos said, "your own budget, which Gov. Romney has endorsed, would also have $500 billion in Medicare cuts."
"Well our budget keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency," Ryan said. "What Obamacare does is it takes that money from Medicare to spend on Obamacare."

Stephanopoulos was confused: "Congressman, correct me if I am wrong: I thought your Medicare savings were put toward deficit reduction, debt reduction."

"Which extends the solvency of Medicare," Ryan said. "What they do in Obamacare, they try to count this dollar twice. They claim that this helps Medicare solvency and, at the same time, they spend this money on creating Obamacare.

So, he's cutting medicare so that the savings go to deficit reduction, which some how extends the solvency of medicare. Interesting.

Also, regarding the $500 billion dollars in medicare cuts, as Politifact mentions:

The bill doesn't take money out of the current Medicare budget but instead attempts to slow the program's future growth in provider payments, combined with premium hikes for higher-income beneficiaries and administrative changes.

Medicare spending will still increase, however. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Medicare spending will reach $929 billion in 2020, up from $499 billion in actual spending in 2009.

And finally, let us also once again note the consistently baffling contradiction  by the Republicans when it comes to health care. The same people who hate the idea of government running health care, are the same folks feigning outrage at the fact that Obama was supposedly "stealing" money from a program that's 100% run by the government (medicare) in order to fund a program that's almost made up entirely of private insurers (Obamacare).

As I've said many times before, if Obama's a socialist, then he's definitely the most incompetent socialist in history.