Thursday, February 16, 2012

Last Call

The Man Behind The Froth has spent millions bankrolling Santorum through his super PAC so far, and today Foster Friess pretty much undid every dollar of "free speech" he bought with this awesome statement on birth control to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell:

On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

Of course, to be fair back then people used aspirin for everything: broken bones from unfortunate dirigible accidents, knee injuries suffered while dancing the Charleston, steam burns from auto-velocipedes, sprains from the Dickensian work houses, and various abrasions caused the occasional dinosaur stampede.

Now you kids get off of his lawn, he's missing his RKO Radio Pictures.

Crossing The Rubin Con: Endless Wargasm

Jennifer Rubin pauses from her Romney cheerleading day job to go after the 51% of America that actually learned a lesson from the decade of wars we've been thrust into, as the latest Pew Research poll finds there's not too much support for backing up an Israeli attack on Iran.  With only 39% of Americans wanting the US to follow Israel into the Hot Gates of Thermopylae Tehran, Rubin chastises the Dems for not being explodey enough:

It’s stunning, actually, that in the event of a conflict between the revolutionary, jihadist state Iran and our democratic ally Israel, Democrats want us to be neutral.
The Democratic National Committee chairwoman doesn’t want to make Israel an “election” issue. Maybe before lecturing Republicans to clam up she should work on educating her own party about the U.S.-Israel relationship and about the menace of a nuclear-armed Iran. It is embarrassing for the Democratic Party’s finger-wagging chairwoman to be saddled with a constituency that is so indifferent to the plight of the Jewish state. As for Obama, it seems he’s right in sync with opinion in his party on Israel. And that is a big problem for the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship, the survival of the Jewish state and the continued credibility of the United States, which under two administrations has vowed that it is “unacceptable” for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.

Once again, I am struck as to how Rubin seems to have completely omitted our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the country's memory, and how we arrived at them, and that she has no issues with Israel dictating foreign policy to us.  Indeed, she is "stunned" to find that after nine years in Iraq and ten going on eleven in Afghanistan, that the American public really isn't terribly keen on going to war with Iran and want us to stay out of an Israel-Iran fight, and want us to not invest another lost decade's worth of blood and treasure just because Israel gets trigger-happy.

Besides the ridiculous notion that people who don't want war are somehow not only "indifferent" towards the Israel but ostensibly against Israel's very survival itself, I have to ask if all it took to get the US to invade Iran was Israel attacking Iranian nuclear facilities, why hasn't Israel simply done it already if the Iranian nuclear program is such an existential threat?

Also, it's not like the United States is truly "neutral" anyway, nor are we just standing around doing nothing to support an ally.  America is applying tough economic sanctions and has gotten the European Union to go along with them.  These sanctions get much tougher in another five months or so when the clause that the US will no longer do economic business with countries that do buy oil from Iran fully kicks in.  Hell, even FOX News is admitting the sanctions are working.  Oh, and yes, we have carrier groups hanging out in the region as well just in case Iran does something stupid, and in fact to specifically prevent Iran from doing anything stupid.  It seems to me that Israel is choosing not to act for a reason, and that reason is the sanctions are working.

But Rubin blithely insists war is the only option and goes after anyone who believes in any other approach to Iran, when President Obama is calmly proving that this just isn't the case in reality.  After a decade of blood and trillions of dollars, America is getting tired of having its patriotism questioned by armchair Alexanders who engage in nothing but endless wargasm.  Certainly the Post's readers deserve something slightly more nuanced than Rubin's cartoon-inspired approach to international relations.

Been Brown So Long, It Looked Green To Me

This is an important story that's being overlooked:  a Koch Bros. funded effort to teach climate change denial in public schools.

Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.

What's in the lesson plan?  Why, the endless "controversy" over man-made global warming, of course.

Dr. Wojick proposes to begin work on “modules” for grades 10-12 on climate change (“whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy“), climate models (“models are used to explore various hypotheses about how climate works. Their reliability is controversial”), and air pollution (“whether CO2 is a pollutant is controversial. It is the global food supply and natural emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions”).
Wojick would produce modules for Grades 7-9 on environmental impact (“environmental impact is often difficult to determine. For example there is a major controversy over whether or not humans are changing the weather“), for Grade 6 on water resources and weather systems, and so on.

And these modules would start in Kindergarten.   The plan of course is to continually call in to question the science behind climate change and call it "critical thinking", the same way cigarettes causing cancer isn't "settled science" and the way evolution is just a "theory".  What do you expect from an outfit that calls anyone who believes in climate change to be "an alarmist", as if it's a mental disease.

Meanwhile, this is why Republicans are doing everything they can to take over local school boards and county commissions and city councils, in state assemblies and legislatures and Governor's mansions.  2010 was a crushing defeat for Dems in local and state elections, one bad enough that it will take at least a decade just for the Democratic party to come up for air at the state level.

The best way to prove your argument that government can't work is to destroy it from within.

AT&T Customer Service: Epic Fail

At this point, I am wondering if AT&T is just trying to commit suicide.  They pissed off their customers with the announcement that the customers will end up paying the loss on the T-Mobile deal.  The earnest money they put up was unusual, offered in a cocky assurance of victory that fell through.  Sucks to be you, they said.  Sure hope you know you're going to pay for our mistake.

Now they have another customer crisis on their hands.  While happy to sell all the smart phones they could stock, raking in all the profit on device after device, they now blame customers for the data throttling.  It's your own fault, they tell them.  You shouldn't use your unlimited service so much, because now we can't actually provide what we promised, their statement implies.  The really crappy thing is that a 3 GB plan actually starts throttling as low as 2 GB.  So you don't even get what you pay for before they clamp down the service.

AT&T is conveniently whining about smart phone service after they pushed them at every turn.  They used phone discounts to get customers under contract, then failed to deliver.  And in what seems to be their regular response now, they shrug and tell customers to get over it.

If T-Mobile has a long enough vision and willingness to compete, they could wipe up right now.  Someone has to, or AT&T customers will be screwed for years to come.

Heart Attack Irony

In one of the more unfortunate cases of a company living up to its name, a man dining at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas had what was on the menu: a heart attack.

The diner was eating a "Triple Bypass Burger" — including 1.5 pounds of beef and a dozen bacon slices — this weekend when he began complaining of chest pains, according to a report on KVVU-TV in Las Vegas. Paramedics arrived to treat the customer, who is recovering.

The restaurant opened in the fall in Las Vegas — a previous incarnation in Chandler, Ariz., closed — and quickly made headlines for its fatty foods, with meals that regularly feature nearly 10,000 calories. Servers are dressed — scantily — as "nurses" who take "prescriptions" from their "patients."

Got it. It's like Hooters, with more grease. I had promised to take my husband there, but since he has already had one blockage we may reconsider.

Nah. If Jack In The Box can sell a bacon milkshake, we can do this too.

Just The PolitiFacts, Ma'am, Part 2

Rachel Maddow again eviscerates PolitiFact's awful double standards, and deservedly so.

This week, the fact-checking website drew Maddow’s ire after rating Sen. Marc Rubio’s comment that the majority of Americans are conservative as “mostly true.

PolitiFact cited a 2011 Gallup poll, which found 40 percent of Americans described themselves as conservatives, 21 percent described themselves as liberal and 35 percent described themselves as moderate. The website also noted that Gallup has never found that a majority of Americans describe themselves as conservative.

The site was apparently conflating a majority and a plurality — which is not at all uncommon, but technically wrong.

“Seriously,” Maddow said. “Claim A, false. Claim B, false. Overall PolitiFact rating, ‘mostly true.’ PolitiFact, please leave the building. Do not bother turning off the lights when you leave. We will need them on to clean up the mess you have left behind you as you are leaving.”

“PolitiFact, you are a disaster,” she added.

And she's right. PolitiFact is shockingly bad, and they have no credibility as a fact checking body anymore, for the simple reason that pleasing the Republican party and their cadre of stupid lies and the liars that tell them is more important than actually checking facts.

They're pretty much done.

Apparently If We Pass Enough Blatantly Unconstitutional Laws...

You have to admit, passing laws that are completely unconstitutional is a good way to prove that representative democracy isn't very useful at times.

Legislation introduced to the Iowa House of Representatives on Wednesday would completely outlaw abortion and mandate up to life in prison for those who purposefully terminate a pregnancy.

The bill, House File 2298, was introduced by state Rep. Kim Pearson (R). It would outlaw all abortions, even cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of a mother.

In response, Iowa Democrats blasted Republicans for pushing a divisive social agenda rather than focusing on improving the economy.

“Republicans have failed to focus on ways to make Iowa stronger,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said in a statement. “House Republicans and their colleagues in the Senate would rather put the lives of women in danger than have a real discussion about how we create jobs and move Iowa forward.”

So go for it, Iowa Republicans.  Continue to prove why you should be in charge like this.  Hell, why stop there, just bring back Jim Crow laws and indentured servitude while you're at it.  At least this way is faster.


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