Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Call

Via the Rumpies, it seems Rand Paul is admitting that he screwed up big time over the last week, and he's doing what any self-respecting Libertarian would do.

He's firing everyone he can blame to cover his own ignorance.
Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul said Tuesday he's planning a campaign staff shake-up a week after a round of interviews in which he dismayed fellow Republicans by discussing his views on racial segregation.

Campaign manager David Adams, a Republican strategist and former blogger who has been with the campaign since it began, will remain, but perhaps in a different role, Paul said.

Paul, who said he was bolstering his staff, won the GOP nomination last week with campaign workers who were largely political novices and volunteers. He said all the staffing decisions haven't yet been made.

Adams declined to comment on the reorganization Tuesday evening.
Yeah, it's his campaign staff's fault.  Blame them...

Epic Color Of Money Win/Fail

Somebody just won the internet.
Think the spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico could drive some species to extinction? Put your money where your mouth is.

The gambling website PaddyPower.com placed odds today on what species would be first to become extinct as a result of crude belching from BP PLC's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Odds are the Kemp's ridley turtle, and endangered species that migrates to the Gulf this time of year, would go first. A $5 bet on the turtle would win $9 if it's listed as extinct at any time because of the spill. Less likely species -- the gulf sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish and elkhorn coral -- have payout rates of 20-to-1.

In a statement announcing the extinction pool, the Irish bookmaker said it hoped the betting would "highlight the environmental catastrophe" and the "sure bet" that it would lead to the loss of some marine species.

"We kind of have a very simple philosophy at Paddy Power -- within reason if there is a very newsworthy event that are people are talking about, people should be allowed to back up their opinion with some cash," said Ken Robertson, a company spokesman.
On one hand, these guys deserve a swift kick in the groin.  On the other hand, I would be saluting them for ingenuity while doing it.  (Via Bob Cesca).


Zandar's Thought Of The Day

If the GOP plan is to blame Obama for BP's oil spill and scream to the Village press that taxpayers are picking up the tab, they should probably stop blocking legislation to raise the liability cap on oil companies like BP.

Just sayin'.

By The Time I Get To Arizona, Part 7

Republicans complain that OBAMA WON'T MILITARIZE THE BORDERS!!!11!

So when Obama actually decides to send 1,200 National Guard troops to do just that, the Republicans are now complaining that we need MORE TROOPS...
In addition, Obama will request $500 million in supplemental funds to current spending for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities, the official said.

The National Guard troops will help with drug enforcement efforts and intelligence efforts until Customs and Border Patrol can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border, the official said.

The news followed Obama's lunch meeting with Senate Republicans, where Sen. John McCain of Arizona raised the issue of increased border security. McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, as well as Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, have called for Obama to send more troops to the border region.

"It's simply not enough," McCain said Tuesday on the Senate floor. He called for 3,000 more National Guard troops just for the Arizona-Mexico border.
...and MORE AIR POWER and we need it NOW!
Brewer has lost any hesitations she may have once had about aggressive border security. (A bump in the polls since signing that law can't have hurt.) And in her letter, she compares the needs of U.S. border states to those of the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I would also ask you, as overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan permit, to consider wider deployment of UAVs [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles] along our nation's southern border. I am aware of how effective these assets have become in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and it seems UAVs operations would be ideal for border security and counter-drug missions.
Brewer's letter suggests Obama relocate National Guard helicopters in other states to Arizona. "I believe that there are legitimate interests in my request to beef up aviation assets," Brewer wrote. Ideally, Brewer says, Arizona would have a fleet of eight to ten OH-58 helicopters equipped for day and night operations, allowing the state to "double our border coverage to 2,000 hours a day."
And once we get more troops and helicopters and drones out there, then what?  Why, the GOP will say we need more tanks and dogs and a moat filled with sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads, and giant robots, and sonic crowd control DARPA weaponry, and...

...and it will never be enough to slake the GOP bloodlust to turn our border with Mexico into yet another war.

Laying It On Thick

Make no mistake:  the government-hating GOP is now openly blaming Barack Obama's "failure" in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
"I'm angry and the people back in my state are very angry," Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, fresh back from home, said in a speech on the House floor Monday afternoon, in which he waved a photo of a dead pelican and a copy of the Oil Pollution Act mandating the president to "ensure the effective and immediate removal of discharge."

Instead, he said, "the finger-pointer in chief" had been "ceding power to BP."
That's pretty goddamn funny.  Republicans who fell all over themselves to allow BP to drill with no inspections, no oversight, no regulations in a culture of graft and kickbacks are blaming Obama for this.
"Let's face it, we're a nation that likes to fix blame," said political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "So far BP has taken 90 percent of the hit because it's an oil company, always unpopular with the public, and President Obama has made sure BP takes the hit."

But, he said, "the longer this goes on, the more some fingers will point back at Washington. Clearly, his appointees weren't ready for this at all, and the president is stuck forever with that little piece of unfortunate video where he said oil drilling off the coast was very safe."

And the bottom line is that neither BP nor the federal government seem to have any sure-fire plans for stopping the leak or keeping the oil off the state's coast and out of its fragile marshes and wetlands. 
The proper and intelligent response to this should be an immediate moratorium on offshore drilling, thorough inspections, and then to reopen the wells under control of the federal government.  The GOP on the other hand wants the opposite:  they want Obama to fix the problem now, but they want as little damage to BP's profit margin as possible...oh and no taxpayer money used to clean this up!

If you think that makes no sense, it's because it makes no sense.  But it's Obama's fault, whatever it is!

Korean Barbecue, Part 2

And North Korea has just announced this morning that it is cutting all ties with South Korea, according to Reuters and China's Xinuha News Agency.
"The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea .... formally declares that from now on it will put into force the resolute measures to totally freeze the inter-Korean relations, totally abrogate the agreement on non-aggression between the north and the south and completely halt the inter-Korean cooperation," the North's KCNA news agency reported.

It said all relations with the South Korean government would be severed and communications between the two states would be cut.

It will also expel personnel from the Kaesong industrial park, a joint North-South venture just inside its border. But it was not immediately clear what impact that would have on factories operating there.

The industrial estate, in which South Korean firms employ cheap North Korean labor has long been an important source of revenue for the Pyongyang leadership.
Things are getting interesting.  Tom Clancy novel interesting.  More on this later.

Working The Political Scene

The uncontrolled anger being stoked by the "responsible" forces on the right continue to spiral out of control.  If you thought the death threats against lawmakers subsided with the passage of heath care reform, you're sadly mistaken.
I voted for you,” the caller said in a voice mail to Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler’s district office. “If you vote for that stimulus package, I’m gonna kill you. Simple as that.”

The FBI says the caller was a 70-year-old resident of Shuler’s North Carolina district with a history of mental illness and a cache of guns. In the weeks before calling Shuler’s office, the FBI says, the caller beat and choked his wife. She told the FBI that she’d tried to clear her home of guns — and that she went to bed at night with a can of mace tucked under her pillow.

When agents showed up at the man’s door, they asked him why he’d threatened to kill Shuler.

I was trying to work the political scene,” he said. 
After all, such hateful rhetoric flooding the airwaves is the heart of the political scene in 2010, folks.  It's part and parcel of the daily bread of anger, violence, and hatred that's force fed to millions, hour after hour after hour.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were threatened with assassination. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) were threatened with bodily harm. Someone told Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) that her throat would be cut. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) was told someone would physically “f—- her up” if she held a town hall meeting in her district, according to the FBI files.

There may have been more threats — the FBI won’t release information on investigations that are still open — and there will likely be more this year; Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer says threats against members of Congress were up 300 percent in the first few months of 2010.

FBI agents arrested the North Carolina man who threatened Shuler, and prosecutors charged him with threatening to kill a federal official — a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Court records show that the case was dropped after he was found incompetent to stand trial.

Shuler says he was shaken — and that he has taken precautions to protect himself and his family. Family members have altered their daily routines to be more security conscious, and Shuler said that he and his wife have obtained concealed-weapons permits.

“You get a threat like that, and you start to rethink your priorities,” Shuler said.
Welcome to America, a democracy where we threaten to kill lawmakers who don't vote the way we want them to.  And it's perfectly normal, everyday occurrence because talk of doing it is now a perfectly normal, everyday occurrence.

It's just working the political scene.  El Rushbo, Glennsanity, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, just working the scene, man.  It's what they do.  If anyone gets hurt, well it's your fault for talking about the possibility that violence might happen because this, you know.  It's all your fault, not theirs.

They're just working the political scene.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Poor people are such a drain on state resources.  Better to let nature take care of it.  That's GOP fiscal responsibility.
The S.C. Senate must deal this week or next with a new round of House cuts aimed primarily at health care, which would eliminate breast cancer screenings for 16,000 poor S.C. women and limit poor patients to three prescription drugs a month.

It’s the House’s way of dealing with a $21 million shortfall in court and public safety funds it does not want to cover with increased fees and fines.

But $50 million in health care cuts, which some critics say has become the favorite target of Republican lawmakers, isn’t a silver bullet, either, health care advocates say. Costs ignored on the front end typically have greater costs down the line. If people are not getting HIV drugs or cancer screenings, then people could die, the advocates say.

Dead poor people don't take up hospital beds, don't need preventative care, don't need screenings, don't need prescription drugs.  That's how Republicans save money.  But why target adults?  You know what group doesn't pay taxes and is a net drain on state funds?  Kids!
One of the biggest impacts of the House-proposed budget cuts could be on children’s medical services

As of July 1, the budget would impose a cap on new enrollments of children into Medicaid, if their parents earn more than 150 percent of the poverty level.

That move would save the state about $1.7 million, but also would cause more kids to get off to a bad start, expert say.

“By capping it at 150 percent, it really does hinder a child’s development,” said Susan Williams, chief executive officer of The Children’s Trust of South Carolina. “You don’t get a second chance (at the formative years).”

Right now, 5,000 children a month in the Palmetto State enroll in Medicaid, according to the Trust, but 120,000 children in the state are eligible for the coverage, by virtue of the required criteria.
I've got your death panels right here, South Carolina.  And it's called "defunding health care programs."   Gotta makes sacrifices to fix that budget, you know...

Besides.  They're just poor people.  They don't count as people anyway, amirite?

Epic Wingers Fail At Math Fail AGAIN

Wingers really are a stupid lot.

This week's freakout is that in order to pay for oil spills, the federal government is considering raising the tax oil companies have to pay to import oil from 8 cents a barrel to 32 cents a barrel.
Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple — to 32 cents a barrel — a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.S. or imported from foreign countries. The revenue goes to a fund managed by the Coast Guard to help pay to clean up spills in waterways, such as the Gulf of Mexico.
And let's face it, $11 billion over a decade for the entire oil industry is chump change.  That's a billion a year...we've got a dozen energy companies that make multiples of that in a quarter just in raw profit.  So how do the wingers react?

Red State: "It would be really cool if someone in Washington could help us understand what good it will do to take even MORE of the money we don’t have enough of already to put in their pockets so they can have it available to them the next time a problem THEY don’t know how to solve comes along so it can be…solved… by them:"
You must hate the Warren Terrah then, buddy.  But then the wingers start lying.  There's a shocker!
Townhall:  "An $11 billion tax hike.  What are the chances this tax increase doesn't affect the middle class and upholds Obama's campaign tax pledge?  Zero.  While it's hard to estimate the average cost of an exceedingly rare oil spill, the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez cost the region an estimated $2.5 billion.  Total costs--including fees, fines, penalties and claim settlements pushed the total to about $7 billion.

If BP is going to clean up the Gulf, as everyone claims, and the total cost of the clean-up isn't likely to come anywhere close to $11 billion, why do we need to QUADRUPLE gasoline taxes?"
Wait, where does the article say gasoline taxes are being quadrupled It doesn't.  But it's not like wingers care about accuracy.  They're just trying to scare you.
Gateway Pundit: "The democrats in Congress finally jumped into action. The tax-and-spend liberals decided the best thing they could do to help out in the Gulf after the disastrous oil spill was to quadruple the gas tax."
Wrong, assclown.  Learn to read.  Oh wait...easier to just lie.  He's a winger.

Raising the tax on imported oil would make us less likely to import oil...isn't that what the Republicans want us to do for "national energy security" so that we don't import as much oil from "dangerous regimes" and reward them with our dollars?   Gotta love how these knee-jerk mouth-breathers instantly rush to defend the oil companies from having to pay for cleanups in the future by outright lying.

Nobody should be surprised.  Watch "Democrats are going to quadruple the gas tax" become the new "Obama was born in Kenya".



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