Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Last Call

Bye Ricky.  We'll miss you.  Not.  Signed, Blah People everywhere.

Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign, all but bringing to a close the 2012 GOP presidential contest and effectively handing the nomination to Mitt Romney.

“We made a decision over the weekend that, while this presidential race for us is over — for me — and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Santorum said at a campaign event in Gettysburg, Pa., the site of the historic and pivotal Civil War battle.

The former Pennsylvania senator had been Romney’s top opponent, but he suffered a trio of defeats last week in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and over the weekend his daughter, Bella, was hospitalized for the second time this campaign due to complications from a rare genetic disorder.

In announcing his decision, Santorum said Bella’s condition caused him to reconsider his campaign but that she “is a fighter and doing extraordinarily well.”

He did not endorse or urge the delegates that he has won to support another candidate, but spokesman Hogan Gidley told MSNBC that the Romney campaign has requested a meeting about an endorsement, which he said Santorum is “open” to.

I bet.  And I'm sure everyone will forget the last three months of brutal Santorum attacks on Romney, just like everyone will magically forget Romney's extremist positions in order to stay ahead of him.  Please.

Let the real games begin.

Bull Fighting, SCOTUS-Style

Buzzfeed's Ben Smith posts this "argument" as to how a 5-4 decision to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act would be justified:

We aren’t being asked to radically revise the Commerce Clause and throw out seven decades of law, and we won’t. But we know the founders never intended the Commerce Clause to allow the Federal Government to regulate everything on the planet. So we are going to accept Randy Barnett’s basically spurious exception to that basically spurious idea, and throw out the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that the Commerce Clause regulates “activity” (which we don’t really believe), but not “inactivity” (because, why not draw the line somewhere?).

In other words, the Court's conservatives won't specifically say that the Commerce Clause itself (and the last 70 years of law predicated upon it) is complete bull, just that the lynchpin of the ACA (the individual mandate) is.  Ergo,  they'll use a complete bull argument to overturn what they believe is a complete bull law.

Like Ed Kilgore says, if that's the case it's clear what the next steps would be:

Under this construction, of course, the Court wouldn’t admit what it was actually doing, but would embrace the “spurious exception” in order to avoid a direct reversal of the “spurious doctrine.” But it would definitely burrow into the foundations of the “fantasy mansion” in a way that would make it relatively easy for a future, more radically conservative Court—say, the kind that might exist after eight years of a Romney administration—to “throw out seven decades of law,” and with it, the underpinnings of seven decades of social progress, including such minor items as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Better hope the Dems are in a position to stop it, and in the White House.

Go Big Red (And Screw You Blue)

Oh, Nebraska, the state of my birth.  How far will the GOP go in Huskers territory to prevent President Obama from splitting one of five electoral votes off like he did in 2008?   Changing the rules back to winner-take-all failed.  Changing Voter ID laws failed.  So, we're down to plan C.  Why do you have to go there?

But it is recent changes implemented by Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps, an appointee of Republican Gov. Dave Heineman, that are really raising eyebrows.

Last month, Phipps' plans to close 150 polling places_ more than half of the previous 357 _ in and around Omaha surfaced. That led to complaints that the state's poorest voters with limited access to transportation would be, at best, discouraged from voting and, at worst, unable to get to a polling place.

Within days, Phipps confirmed that his office had knowingly sent out polling place cards to nearly 2,000 north Omaha voters _ a precinct of mostly low-income Democratic voters _ with the wrong polling place information on them.

Phipps defended his actions, saying that the county's voter information cards were already being printed when he honored a request from the area's Democratic representatives to reopen a closed polling place.

"Trying to find 1,745 cards out of 315,000 cards, when they're not printed precinct by precinct, was almost certain to fail," Phipps said. "It's like finding a needle in a haystack."

"We knew we could send out a correction," he said. "We send these types of corrections all the time, and we've never had calls about being confused."

He said he closed polling places because of the combination of redistricting, a state law passed last year that requires larger precincts and his desire to save money.

And why shut down nearly half the precincts in and around Omaha, Nebraska's largest city?

"They're attempting to suppress north Omaha voting," said state Democratic Party Chairman Vic Covalt, who has called for Phipps to be removed from office. "I think it's most material that the precinct that was confused was 82 percent Democrat and a minority population location."

Poor urban minorities don't need "convenient polling places" or anything for something that only really might matter one day out of every four years.  Time to put em in their place.

Way to go, Big Red.

Ahnold Steps In It Again

Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly slammed Terminator Salvation, saying it missed the boat.  Perhaps it was because he didn't appear in the film.

Though there is some good news from his sudden and random criticism.  We learn that there will be yet another installment, going in the same direction as Salvation, and starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington.

For what it's worth, I'm a fan of the series, and I thought they did a really good twist in keeping the story fresh and alive, while giving new characters a chance to add to the backstory.  Salvation wasn't a masterpiece but it was different and gave another generation a crack at telling what has become a classic tale.

Show me some more Linda Hamilton and I'll be thrilled.  I'm just saying, dream big.

StupidiNews! Celebrity Roundup

Lindsay Lohan is a walking target.  Whether it's money or fame a person seeks, dragging her down seems to be the goal of many wannabes.  She is the subject of yet another accusation, this time that she became physical at a club after a fellow partier got too friendly with one of the guys in her group.  Lohan has done better lately, but she is so nuts and people are so greedy it's hard to tell where the truth lies in this.  For some silly reason, I am still rooting for Lindsay.

Anne Hathaway stepped out with a stubby pixie cut, and it's adorable.  It takes a lot of confidence to pull this off, but anyone who saw her in that marvelous leather outfit knows she can pull it off.  It's not the signature look of a lifetime, but it balances out her big doe eyes and gives her some much-needed edge.  If it's for an upcoming role, nobody has said anything so far.

Wil Wheaton's law is gaining worldwide momentum.  Anyone who stalks Wheaton like I do knows his favorite rule is "don't be a dick."  It's on his Google+ and other accounts, and he points to it when forced to by unruly fans.  A smoke grenade borrowed a page from his book and included "don't be a dick with our products" on the instruction label.  It's translated, so if thy Wil be done in French, now we will know how to pronounce it.  Mostly.

Climate Change Marches On

Just how hot was last month?  An all-time record monthly average high for the US for March with over 15,000 individual daily high temp records tied or broken.

There’s never been a hotter March in the history of the United States than that of 2012, according to the 117-year-old temperature records kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Exactly 15,272 distinct local, all-time warm-weather temperature records were broken across the country in March, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center revealed in its monthly report. The total included 7,755 daytime temperature records and 7,517 nighttime records.

Handily, NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Lab created an animated video showing exactly where and when the various temperature records were broken over the course of the month, allowing viewers to literally see the hot weather spreading throughout the continental U.S. day by day.


Hot enough for you?

Steal This Bike

Via Gawker, The Daily Caller's Mark Judge lives in DC and is white.  His bike was stolen last week.  This means that because DC's population is mostly black, that Mark Judge is now free to unleash his inner racist upon the Capital, unfettered by "guilt" or "the common sense God gave a spiny echidna" or "humanity".  Handy!

When I got home I vented to my friends. I told them I was going to scour those neighborhoods until I found the bike. In reply, a liberal friend gave me a lecture about profiling and told me to just forget about the bike. “That person needs our prayers and help,” she said. “They haven’t had the advantages we have.”

That’s when I lost it. I had been carefully educated by liberal parents that we are all, black and white, the same. My favorite movie growing up was “In the Heat of the Night.” Yet that often meant not treating everyone the same. It meant treating blacks with a mixture of patronizing condescension and obsequious genuflecting to their Absolute Moral Authority gained from centuries of suffering. It meant not treating everyone the same.

It meant leaving valuable things like a bike in a vulnerable position in a black part of town because you didn’t want to admit that the crime is worse in poor black neighborhoods.

And the shattered shards of Mark Judge's broken soul go flying around in his own personal blame-nado, shredding whatever decency he had left.  It gets worse from there.

I decided that I’m just going to let go of my white guilt. We’re all human, we all experience pain in our lives. And black pain is no different than white pain.

It felt good to say it: Black pain is no different than white pain. I’m tired of people using the moral authority of past generations for their own personal gain and self-aggrandizement. Soledad O’Brien, a Harvard graduate, acts like she just stepped off the Amistad.

Sure.  It's cool to ignore, belittle, and denigrate the black experience because you're tired of black people basically being black in your life, and if we would just stop being black, right?  Like Trayvon Martin?  Like those five shooting victims in Tulsa?  Like President Obama and the Obama family?

See, here's what guys like Mark here mean by "white guilt" and that is "I really don't like black people, and I really want to affix blame for racism in America on them exclusively, because I'm sick of having to keep the presence of mind to not offend them and I really haven't taken the time to try to understand them outside media stereotypes and the right wing bashing on the President for the last four years, and besides being a racist ass is just easier."

So yeah, another guy goes and "speaks the truth about blacks" and he'll be "unfairly persecuted in our overly politically correct society".  Which is where garbage like this always ends up in the end, down the same chute of racism as the rest.

Can't wait to hear the defense on this one.  But of course it's our fault because we had to have collectively stolen his bike, right?  And most of all throughout American history privileged white males have of course been the real victims of the last 250 years, right?

Jesus wept.


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