Monday, January 2, 2012

Last Call

It's the last call indeed for Glenn Greenwald's credibility after this weekend, and he finally just couldn't control his blind hatred for the President.  This time, he went too far.  Zerlina Maxwell at The Grio explains:

Greenwald has been one of the loudest and harshest critics of the Obama administration, and while not actually a liberal or an Obama supporter, he is frequently identified as a blogger who is "disappointed with President Obama" over what he sees as serious violations of civil liberties. The debate over the NDAA (and U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan) has been ongoing and frequently gets lively between Greenwald and his supporters, and pro-Obama bloggers like Imani Gandy, of and Balloon Juice (Gandy also contributes to theGrio.)

In a particularly heated exchange on Twitter Saturday night, a blogger named "DrDawg" tweeted about Gandy: "Obama could rape a nun live on NBC and you'd say we weren't seeing what we were seeing." In response, Greenwald chimed in, "No - she'd say it was justified [and] noble - that he only did it to teach us about the evils of rape."


When twitter exploded in attacks on Greenwald for making a "rape joke," instead of apologizing for the comment, Greenwald doubled down, tweeting that the reference to rape was not a metaphor and in fact Obama supporters would defend the president in the face of "ANY evil: assassinations, child-killings: EVEN rape violent crime like rape."

It gets worse from there.   Not only is Imani a personal friend of mine, but Greenwald's absolute dismissal of women, survivors of sexual abuse, and people who know them and support them is pretty much unconscionable in any context.  That he chose to make the situation worse by saying President Obama's supporters would in fact support him if he raped someone is the kind of vile, awful idiocy you expect from the worst examples that humanity has to offer, and yet as of today, Greenwald has refused to apologize.

I wonder how his employers at Salon feel about this.  They're well aware of the incident now.  I don't care how passionate your argument is, you cross this line, you deserve to be shitcanned so fast that neutrinos have trouble catching up.

We'll see what happens.  I'm betting Greenwald's not long for his current employment.

The Holidays End With A Bang

The UK Telegraph is reporting that if the number of background checks are any indication, November and December were record setting months for firearms sales in the US.

"I've sold probably four times as much in the last six months as I have in 20 years combined," said Cliff Hunter, owner of Tommy Bronson Sporting Goods in Memphis. "Hand guns and the tactical weapons, they're absolutely off the charts."
Most of his gun sales used to be for hunting, or personal protection in a city riddled with crime. But just before the November election, anxiety that Mr Obama would win and enact a radical programme of curtailing gun rights began drove business right up.
"Obama's a liberal socialist and I think he's proven quickly how extreme he is," he said. "When they get through healthcare, guns are on the table. They're not talking about it but it's going to happen."
The FBI recorded a 49 per cent rise in gun background checks during election week compared to the same week a year earlier. 
"Sales have been up 50, 60 per cent sinces Osama got elected," said Jay Hill, owner of the Classic Firearms gun store in Cordova, just outside Memphis, smiling as he deliberately mixed up the name of the US president with the leader of al-Qaeda. 

It's that last part that of course should concern people.  It's been three years and no "Obama gun ban" has even been "talked about" as Cliff here admits, but people aren't buying guns and ammo to hunt deer and elk.

They're buying it for use on other types of "game".  And it's not the recession, they've been doing this since before things got really bad in 2008.  The entire thought of a black President has made people not just buy guns then, but continue to buy guns now, and at a record pace.  Not a whiff of a gun ban has been seriously introduced.  They expect it anyway.

But the "mix-up" there gives it away.  They don't think he's President, you see.  And they're arming themselves as a result.

What happens if President Obama gets re-elected?  Steve M. lays out the groundwork:  Republicans see America with a black President, and see their America as over.  Society is dead.

To the average American wingnut, there are individuals and families -- and also affinity groups. There are fellow believers in "gun freedom." There are fellow "regular Americans" who aren't repulsive cosmopolitan liberal elitists. There are fellow Christians. There are fellow white people. These groups are worth defending. Society isn't. Any old SOB can become part of society -- Muslims, gays, people on welfare, you name it.

I suppose this harks back to Tom's point about the links connecting Ron Paul's present-day libertarianism and the racist states' rights movement. I agree that it's about race to some extent, but I don't think it's just about race. It's more flexible than that. It's about reserving the unilateral right, or the affinity-group right, to decide who belongs here and who doesn't. It's about deciding, if you choose, that "society" is just you and your guns, and everyone else can just stay the hell off your land (though with the definition of "your land" extended to the creche in the town square and the vacant lot the local Muslims have purchased so they can build a mosque on it).

The people that elected Barack Obama?  They are nothing less than the enemy.  And the right is arming themselves to "take the country back" from them.  There's a reason they want to kick out all the "illegals" and the Muslims and the gays and the "bad minorities" and the "welfare queens".  They don't want them here anymore, because they've gained so much power, they've elected a black Kenyan Muslim atheist terrorist sympathizer socialist.  Their "America" is changing.  They will fight it every step of the way.  Resisting that change is now the raison d'ĂȘtre of the Republican Party.

It's war to them.  And so, they arm themselves for battle.

Expanding on this point, you can now see the entirely of Republican foreign policy:  with the singular exception of Israel,  the rest of the world can bugger off our lawn and go blow themselves up.  Everyone else on the planet is taking America's resources, and is just another source of aggravation, violence, crime, terrorism, and most importantly, non-Americanism.

GOP domestic and foreign policy?  "If you're not one of us, go screw yourselves.  And if you press the point, we're the ones with the guns.  Remember that."

It really is that simple.

Stumbling Into The Playoffs

Even with their ugly loss on Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals managed to fall into the last AFC wild card spot with, well, everyone else who could have gotten the spot losing too (including Tebow and the Broncos).

In front of a sold-out crowd at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals fell 24-16 to the Ravens as Ray Rice ran for 191 yards and two touchdowns. But with the Dolphins defeating the Jets and losses by the Broncos and Raiders, the Bengals secured the second and final wild card spot and will face third-seeded Houston at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at Reliant Stadium.

The Bengals and Titans both finished 9-7 but by virtue of Cincinnati’s Week 9 win at Tennessee, the Bengals won the head-to-head tiebreaker. All seven of the Bengals losses are to teams in this season’s playoff field, including the Texans, who rallied for a 20-19 win at Paul Brown Stadium on Dec. 11.

While there was joy in making the playoffs, the feeling was muted by the loss.

“It’s kind of weird,” said quarterback Andy Dalton, who was 22 of 44 for 232 yards. “We obviously didn’t get it done today, but we still have a chance. It’s what we wanted at the beginning of the season. We wanted to come in and make the playoffs, because once you’re in the playoffs, records up to this point don’t matter. Win you’re in. Lose you’re out. We’re here.”

It's the fact that all seven losses have come to teams in the playoffs that makes me believe the Bengals will probably have been run out of their game next week against the Texans by the 2nd quarter, but it could happen.  But considering this is just the 3rd winning season for the Orange and Black in 21 years, we'll take it.

Of course, the Bengals haven't won a playoff game since 1990.  They're due eventually, right?

Ron Paul Is A Homophobic Bag Of Dog Crap And Other Revelations

WASHINGTON -- Despite recent accusations of racism and homophobia, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) stuck to his libertarian principles on Sunday, criticizing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it "undermine[d] the concept of liberty" and "destroyed the principle of private property and private choices."

"If you try to improve relationships by forcing and telling people what they can't do, and you ignore and undermine the principles of liberty, then the government can come into our bedrooms," Paul told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union."
Now wait just a damn minute.  "If you try to tell people what they can't do," he starts off.  You mean like telling gay people they can't get married?  "Then the government can come into our bedrooms," he finishes.  You mean like telling gay people they can't get married?

"I'm the true civil libertarian when it comes to [race relations], and I think that people ought to, you know, look at my position there, rather than dwelling on eight sentences that I didn't write and didn't authorize and have been, you know, apologetic about," he told ABC's Jake Tapper on Sunday. "Because it shouldn't have been there, and it was terrible stuff."

Wait another damn minute. Which is it? Did he not write it? Because if so, that means all the rest is a bunch of fluffy bullshit. And if he did not write it, why be, you know, apologetic about it? Wouldn't you be a white hot nugget of nuclear pissed if you were accused of something to disgusting and had nothing to do with it?  He reeks of lies.

Barkin Up The Wrong Tree

Ellin Barkin had a tweet from the wee hours of the morning on New Year's Day:

Just threatened on my street by NYPD,cop shoved me,both hands,onto sidewalk..Is it a crime 2 stand in the street in NY?WTF is going on here?

TMZ and Huffington Post both ran posts filling us in on what went on. Basically, Barkin states a lifelong respect of police until that night, when several reports came in of police bullying and threatening people on the sidewalk. People who were not necessarily intoxicated or causing any problems (until they were approached and harassed by cops).

We are seeing this more often, and we have to continue to hold our officers accountable. Cops deserve our cooperation but there are times like this when abuse of power comes into play.  This was recounted by someone who seems to be fair and unbiased.  To call it like it is, Ellen Barkin is no crybaby and she's not the type to cry wolf.  I believe her account, including her assessment that it was unnecessary.

It sucks to feel helpless, attacked by the people you are supposed to trust.

What The Frack Is Going On Here?

In the wake of the EPA finding that hydraulic fracturing of rock to obtain natural gas -- fracking -- may contaminate groundwater and cause other environmental issues, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has discovered he has a soul after all and has put a hold on four new state fracking projects in the wake of multiple earthquakes in the drilling area.

State leaders have ordered that four fluid-injection wells in eastern Ohio will be "indefinitely" prohibited from opening in the aftermath of heightened seismic activity in the area, an official said.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zehringer had announced on Friday that one such well -- which injects "fluid deep underground into porous rock formations, such as sandstone or limestone, or into or below the shallow soil layer," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains -- was closed after a series of small earthquakes in and around Youngstown.

Then on Saturday, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck that released at least 40 times more energy than any of the previous 10 or more tremors that had rattled the region in 2011.

Andy Ware, deputy director of Ohio's natural resources department, told CNN on Sunday that Zehringer and Gov. John Kasich subsequently ordered that four nearby injection well projects will not open in the coming weeks, as had previously been planned. They 'll be inoperational until a determination is made in an investigation of a possible link between the earthquakes and the fluid-injection wells, he added.

"They will (not open) until we are satisfied that the process can be safely resumed," said Ware.

Kasich's approval rating is already in the toilet after his huge Senate Bill 5 disaster.  One whiff of anything going wrong with Ohio's fledgling fracking industry in an election year in a battleground state like this and it's lights out for him, and he knows it.  Suddenly in the last month, he's become Ohio's "environmental champion" on assuring that fracking is safe, vowing tough regulations and oversight on the industry.

The promised regulation will affect issues such as gathering lines, high-pressure pipelines, the kinds of chemicals used in the exploration and extraction process, "I mean, it's from A to Z," Kasich said during the news conference, which was streamed on the web.

"And let me also be clear that the biggest companies want strong regulation," he continued. "We don't want yahoos coming into Ohio and damaging the environment, and we are working on that every day. We want to be on top of everything because if it pans out, if it works out the way it looks like it will, it could bring an economic resurgence to all of Ohio, not just the eastern part." 

The Youngstown quakes are literally threatening to rip Kasich's little game apart here, and he damn well knows it.

Nuked Gingrich, Part 14

As Newt continues to self-destruct, it's funny to note that the further behind he falls in Iowa, the more desperate he gets for votes.  At this point, we've finally gotten to the "ACORN will steal the 2012 election!" nonsense.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., used a stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to accuse the Obama administration of trying to "steal elections" in the wake of the Justice Department's rejection of South Carolina's voter identification law.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division determined that the state's law requiring voters to show photo ID at polling places was discriminatory against minorities.

"...You have to ask, why is it that they are so desperate to retain the ability to steal elections and I think that what it comes down to," Gingrich said.

Because of course no black President could ever legitimately win an election in the first place, so of course he's going to steal re-election too.  Who will stop this evil, evil man before he destroys the country with left of moderate policies and common sense governance?

The larger problem of course is that the only possible explanation that Gingrich can find for opposing a law designed to disenfranchise voters is a massive conspiracy to steal elections, because all Republicans know that Democrats only win by stealing elections.  No actual living Christian Americans would ever vote for a Democrat, and America is a Christian country, so really the only way Republicans can lose is if Democrats steal the contest.

It's complete nonsense, of course.  But Newt won't pay any price for accusing the President and all Democrats of stealing elections and defrauding the country.  Hell, it'll help him in the primaries.  That's why he's doing this.

And because Virginia Republicans don't want to get tarred with this same brush, Virginia's GOP Attorney General will of course seek to drop the state's primary ballot requirements that excluded most of the GOP candidates, including Newt.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) announced today that he will intervene to ensure that more Republican presidential candidates will appear on the state’s primary ballot.

 Thanks to newly stringent enforcement of rules requiring 10,000 valid signatures, only Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made it onto the ballot for the state’s March 6 primary. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both cried foul, with the latter suing in federal court. Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman all signed onto that effort on Saturday.

So to recap, when a Republican changes the election rules for a state, it's liberty and freedom and justice and apple pie.  When a Democrat does it, it's stealing elections.

That's how the game is played.


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