Friday, September 28, 2012

Last Call

Gosh, I can't imagine why the Vatican would get involved here.

An ancient papyrus fragment which a Harvard scholar says contains the first recorded mention that Jesus may have had a wife is a fake, the Vatican said on Friday.

"Substantial reasons would lead one to conclude that the papyrus is indeed a clumsy forgery," the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said in an editorial by its editor, Gian Maria Vian. "In any case, it's a fake."

Joining a highly charged academic debate over the authenticity of the text, written in ancient Egyptian Coptic, the newspaper published a lengthy analysis by expert Alberto Camplani of Rome's La Sapienza university, outlining doubts about the manuscript and urging extreme caution.

The fragment, which reads "Jesus said to them, my wife" was unveiled by Harvard Professor Karen King as a text from the 4th century at a congress of Coptic Studies in Rome last week.

Her study divided the academic community, with some hailing it as a landmark discovery while others rapidly expressed their doubts .

"It's really pretty unlikely that it's authentic," University of Durham Professor Francis Watson told Reuters after he published a paper arguing the words on the fragment were a rearrangement of phrases from a well known Coptic text.

I would have to say that absolutely the Vatican has extensive scholarship in artifacts from the time period.  They also have an absolute confirmation bias here to find this fragment to be a forgery under any circumstances, so frankly I'd like to see a bit more study of the fragment.  Since the very existence of the piece immediately threatens the established dogma of the Catholic Church, what did you expect them to say?

Not exactly an objective observer here.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

The racial attacks on President Obama are now piling on in earnest:  racist jackass Matt Drudge dropped this little turd this week:

Because nothing says "Obama's a pimp huster thug" like "He's giving free sh*t to those people!"

Does the program exist?

Sort of. The Federal Communications Commission has a program called Lifeline that provides low-cost or free phone service. The agency's website says this is because it and Congress "recognize that telephone service provides a vital link to emergency services, government services and surrounding communities." Who qualifies varies by state, but "in general," to qualify you must have an income that  is no more than 135 percent of the federal poverty line, or be enrolled in assistance programs like Medicaid, public housing assistance, discounted school lunch, or yes, food stamps. (This piece has a good overview of the issue.) Strictly speaking, it's not a government-funded program: the telephone companies make payments to a fund administered by a non-profit called the Universal Service Administrative Company, but anyone with a phone bill chips in through a surcharge on their service. 

And guess who started it?

The universal service requirement dates back at least to the Communications Act of 1934. The Lifeline program specifically was started in 1984 under President Reagan and was expanded in 1996 under President Clinton to allow qualifying households to choose to apply the benefit to either a landline or a cell phone. So no, it's not an Obama handout.

Oops.  But it doesn't matter, Drudge has a picture of a black woman getting something from the gubment, so LET THE COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT OF THE POOR CONTINUE.

Massive Voter Fraud! By Republicans, Of Course

When Republicans scream that Voter ID laws are necessary to stop voter fraud and registration fraud, because billions of invisible dead people are apparently voting, it's no surprise that the party actually conducting voter registration fraud is...the Republicans, of course.

The Republican National Committee has fired a controversial consulting firm it was paying millions of dollars to conduct voter registration in five battleground states, NBC News has learned.

The move came after the Palm Beach County, Fla., elections supervisor discovered 108 potentially fraudulent registration forms submitted by the GOP consulting firm, including suspected phony signatures and home addresses that matched those of a gas station, a medical building and a Land Rover dealership

NBC News has learned that two other Florida counties, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa, have also reported possible fraudulent registration forms submitted by the firm, including apparent dead people being registered as new voters.  Prosecutors in two counties are investigating possible voter fraud by the GOP consulting firm, officials said. 

And let's remember, one of the first acts the Republican super-majority in Florida did was to immediately pass a law (which was later shut down by the courts) to make it considerably harder for groups to conduct voter registration drives because guessed it..."fraud by Democrats."

Surprise, folks.  An Obama win is not assured by any means.  Registration deadlines are coming up next week for most states.  If you're not registered to vote, GET REGISTERED NOW.

Then VOTE.

Education Fail

The University of Tennessee is investigating allegations that fraternity members took alcohol enemas, leading one student to be hospitalized, and a national fraternity has suspended its chapter in Knoxville.
The Knoxville News Sentinel ( reports the practice came to light Saturday when a student was brought to a local hospital with alcohol poisoning. Police said his blood alcohol was measured at above 0.40, a level that can be fatal.
After questioning the young people who brought him to the emergency room, officers determined that he had consumed the alcohol rectally, Knoxville police said Monday. Authorities said the technique is supposed to enhance the effects of alcohol.
Sometimes there is stupidity so stupid you can only share it with your friends, and shake your heads in mutual disgust.

1...2...3... shake.

Woman Shoots Husband Defending Cat

(CBS/KHOU) HOUSTON - Police say a woman in Texas shot her husband after he threatened one of her cats.
According to CBS affiliate KHOU, 42-year-old Audrey Deen Miller has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Police say the incident occurred at the couple's Spring home around 7:30 a.m., KHOU reports. Miller and her husband were arguing when he threatened to shoot her cat with a pellet gun. Miller then pulled out a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun and shot her husband in the stomach.

My husband and I have had this talk.  The cats would come first, and he'd know it was how I promised.

But seriously, what dysfunctional world do we live in where people get shot over threatening a cat?  Maybe they were off their meds.  We can't blame the heat anymore.

Coulter (Zeit)Geist, Part 3

Ann Coulter continues her book tour with her latest awful screed Mugged (I believe the subtitle is "Watch Me Concern Troll Democrats By Revealing How White Liberals Are The Most Racist People On Earth Because Black People Are Too Stupid To Listen To Me") and went on The View on Thursday.

She immediately got her ass handed to her by Whoopi Goldberg.

No stranger to controversial comments, Republican pundit told the show’s co-hosts that liberals use race-mongering “to promote causes that have nothing to do with facts and, in fact, harm blacks” and that white people’s response to the O.J. Simpson trial verdict was “the best thing that ever happened to black Americans.”

Not long into the interview, Goldberg exploded with frustration.

Hold up, Ms. Coulter. Please stop,” she interrupted. “If you’re going to talk about race, at least know what you’re talking about.”

“What don’t I know?” Coulter asked.

“Tell me how much you know about being black,” Goldberg responded. “You just made all these statements about how black people feel. Tell me how you know.”

Coulter answered that Mugged “is not a book about black people,” but instead “about white liberals.”

A few minutes later Sherri Shepherd asked Coulter, “So you’re saying that liberals don’t care about black people. Then are you saying Republicans embrace us in a warm, fuzzy blanket?”

“I do,” Coulter laughed. “We’re not embraced back. But yeah, we try to.”

Sure you do.  You care enough to disenfranchise us, take away health care coverage, wreck our schools, consider us entitled victims, and treat us as thugs and criminals.  You care so much that you come on national television after assuming the privilege of writing a book about the entire black experience in America and tell us you did it for our own good, to protect us from those awful, mean old liberals, while you make a fortune doing it.

I have a few words for you madam.

I honestly have to say that you're in dire need of education and perhaps a soul transplant.

I'm being nice to the point of not punching my wall.

The Kroog Versus Conventional Wisdom

The Beard Tentacles of Sanity reach and grasp on the conventional wisdom of the elections, and even steady K-Thug admits he was a bit off as the drama has turned into a farce.

The conventional wisdom — which I too bought into — was that Democrats were going to support Obama, but grudgingly and without much enthusiasm. There had been too many disappointments; the golden aura of 2008 was long gone. Meanwhile, Republicans would show their usual unity and discipline, and at best it would be Obama by a nose.
Instead, the Republicans appear to be in a shambles — while the Democrats seem incredibly united, and increasingly, dare I say it, enthusiastic. (Mark Blumenthal sees this in the polls, but it’s also just the impression you get.)
How did that happen? Partly it’s because this has become such an ideological election — much more so than 2008. The GOP has made it clear that it has a very different vision of what America should be than that of Democrats, and Democrats have rallied around their cause. Among other things, while we weren’t looking, social issues became a source of Democratic strength, not weakness — partly because the country has changed, partly because the Democrats have finally worked up the nerve to stand squarely for things like reproductive rights.

Gosh, you mean 2010 wasn't the beginning of the new order at the hands of the Tea Party as American voters realized that yes, the GOP was wrecking the economy on purpose in order to try to win, and that their social derpwinism was really the last gasps of a clusterfrak of nimrods playing the white hetero male privilege game in disguise?  If only people had known!

And let me add a speculation: I suspect that in the end Obamacare is turning out to be a big plus, even though it has always had ambivalent polling. The fact is that Obama can point to a big achievement that will survive if he is reelected, perish if he isn’t; health insurance for 50 million or so Americans (30 million from the ACA, another 20 who would lose coverage if Romney/Ryan Medicaid cuts happen) is enough to cure people of the notion that it doesn’t matter who wins.
All of this in turn has an implication that Republicans won’t like — assuming that Rasmussen doesn’t have a special insight into the truth denied to all other pollsters, and that Obama does in fact win with a solid margin. The right is already set up to blame poor Mitt, claiming that he lost because he wasn’t conservative enough. But that’s not what we’re seeing; it looks as if voters are rejecting the right’s whole package, not just the messenger.

Now if we could only cure the Village of the stupid notion that mid-term elections always determine the Presidential ones.

Seriously, this is what I've been yelling about around here for a year now (along with the GOP campaign of voter suppression) that Republicans were just going to overreach and screw everything up, or at least Mitt Romney's 47% exercise finally got through to the millions of folks who said "But Romney's a moderate, he won't take anything away from me, just those people."  And of course, we found out that anyone making less than a quarter mil a year is very much "those people" to Mittens.  People don't like finding out the odds are not ever in their favor.  It's a new thing to a healthy chunk of the voting populace, and no sir, they do not like it.

Camera Bartender Guy, wherever you are, America salutes you.


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