This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. I’m seriously at a loss for words:
Dog bites man or man bites dog?A conservative group in Missouri is picking up the backing of the Tea Party and Joe The Plumber in its quest to stop the Humane Society and other animal rights groups from passing “radical” anti-puppy mill legislation. The measure, which can be read in full here, is called Proposition B or the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.” It aims to help eliminate the “3000 puppy mills” in Missouri that constitute “30% of all puppy mills in the U.S.,” according to Michael Markarian, the Chief Operating Officer of the Humane Society. “This measure would provide common sense standards for the care of dogs,” he told TPM, including sufficient food and clean water, vet care, regular exercise, and adequate rest between breeding cycles, among other things. Markarian said the measure only applies to “commercial dog breeding facilities” that have more than 10 breeding females who they use for “producing puppies for the pet trade.” Sounds pretty straightforward, no? Well, according to the Alliance For Truth, the main force behind the anti-Prop B movement, there is something much more nefarious afoot (er, apaw) in the Humane Society’s measure. The Alliance For Truth claims that the Humane Society of the United States has a “radical agenda” and is “misleading the public with its intentions on Prop B. The society seeks only to raise the cost of breeding dogs, making it ever-more difficult for middle-class American families to be dog-owners.”
Vote Republican, we’re against the trains running on time at all, we’ll let your house burn down, and we absolutely hate the idea of treating puppies humanely. What’s next? Which wingnut is going to come out in favor of nun rape and baby punching? Who will seriously issue a statement about skull fucking kittens? Tell me this is all a joke and they aren’t going to pick up seats in November…
This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. You stay classy, wingnuts:
I’ve just gotten off the phone with Atlanta Journal-Constitution political writer Jim Gallaway who says that Sen. Saxby Chambliss has confirmed that the “All faggots must die” comment left here on JMG earlier today did indeed come from his Atlanta office. Galloway reports that Chambliss told him his office is conducting an internal investigation.
The entire GOP is motivated by hate, fear, and greed. *** Update *** From the comments:
To be fair, it’s probably a staffer.
Of course it was a staffer. Chambliss was busy in the well of the Senate, the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” doing the official gay bashing as he voted against DADT.
This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. They've chosen sides ... And they are with the poor little rich boys who made the financial mess:
A Republican majority in the Senate would “revisit” the Wall Street reform bill passed earlier this year, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Tuesday.Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee who might become chairman under a GOP majority, suggested that Republicans might strip out elements of the bill most favored by President Obama and congressional Democrats if Republicans win control of Congress. “The bill is so sweeping and such a game-changer in many ways that it’s incumbent upon us to revisit it,” Shelby said at the Reuters Washington Summit. Shelby had in part led the opposition to the Wall Street reform bill that finally passed Congress in July and was signed into law by President Obama. Revisiting that law, the Alabama Republican said, would start with oversight hearings and figuring out what elements need changing. In particular, Shelby named the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as one of the most distasteful parts of the law. Obama named Elizabeth Warren, the former chairwoman of the board overseeing the Wall Street bailout program, to an appointed advisory position to help get that agency off the ground.
Yes, I understand the Democrats suck, and yes, there are a fair number of really bad Democrats (Ben Nelson, I’m looking at you). And maybe it has always been this way, and I have just woken up, but it sure seems like the choices between the two parties are as distinct as they have ever been. In one day, we have clear evidence that the Republicans are choosing to vote for bigotry over the rights of gays, bigotry extending opportunity to immigrants, and the big corporations over the consumer. Anyone who says there is no difference between the two parties needs their head examined and their driver’s license taken away. If Democrats cannot make the case, maybe the economy is the only thing that matters and we should just say to hell with elections and apportion seats in congress based on the unemployment rate.
This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. At what point do we just give in and accept that we are a fascist state:
Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.The state sheriff’s association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people’s medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights. Allowing sheriffs’ offices and other law enforcement officials to use the state’s computerized list would vastly widen the circle of people with access to information on prescriptions written for millions of people. As it stands now, doctors and pharmacists are the main users.
Gee. It probably would make it easier to make drug arrests if you had a list of people using prescription drugs. You could go to their house, knock in their door, and you are probably guaranteed to find drugs! And then you could seize any loose cash, the drugs, and any property you think might have been involved in the drug use, call their abode a “crack den” and seize that too. And then it is up to the person using a legally prescribe substance to prove they are innocent to get their property back. At some point, people are going to realize that the war on drugs and the war on terrorism are actually declarations of war on the rights of the American citizen. Can anyone anywhere give me one good reason why some fascist cop in North Carolina needs to know what my doctor prescribed to me? Just one. And it goes without saying the kind of negative effect this will have on pain management. This is just another attempt to intimidate doctors.
This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. Never saw this coming:
Ken Mehlman, President Bush’s campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter’s questions, he said, because, now in private life, he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage and anticipated that questions would arise about his participation in a late-September fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California’s ballot initiative against gay marriage, Proposition 8. “It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life,” said Mehlman, now an executive vice-president with the New York City-based private equity firm, KKR. “Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I’ve told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they’ve been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that’s made me a happier and better person. It’s something I wish I had done years ago.” Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussions with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage. He insisted, too, that President Bush “was no homophobe.” He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called “the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now.” Mehlman’s leadership positions in the GOP came at a time when the party was stepping up its anti-gay activities—such as the distribution in West Virginia in 2006 of literature linking homosexuality to atheism, or the less-than-subtle, coded language in the party’s platform (“Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country…”). Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus. He was aware that Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief strategic adviser, had been working with Republicans to make sure that anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.
What is the world coming to? Next they will tell me Roger Clemens is on steroids! I kind of felt a twinge of sorrow for him until I read the bit about Republicans fighting “Islamic jihad” for the gay rights. But that, on top of the horrible pain he and that team inflicted on gay people makes just wish awful things that I’d rather not repeat. I know, I know, that violates the Balloon Juice credo of “If you can’t say anything nice put it on the front page of the blog,” but I’m really having some nasty thoughts about this choad. And where are Billmon’s archives about the evil and self-loathing lavender bund?
Thanks, Team Obama:
The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.The administration wants to add just four words—“electronic communication transactional records”—to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user’s browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the “content” of e-mail or other Internet communication.
People seem to forget that a lot of the crap in the Patriot Act originally was proposed by the Clinton administration, and Republicans back then were wary of letting Democrats have that kind of power (a lot of it was also that they were just like today’s GOP and just opposed anything Clinton suggested). 9/11 changed all that. Now that both parties are essentially weak-kneed pansies who faint if someone so much as whispers the word “terrorism” anywhere near them, it is impossible to think of a situation in which any administration, Republican or Democratic, can not just say national security and get whatever they want. And, as we’ve learned, even if they don’t get what they want, they’ll do it anyway, and the next administration will just “look forward, not backwards.” Unless you’re a whistleblower. Back to the substance of the issue- wtf is so hard about getting a damned warrant?
This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. Of course the egomaniacs in the Senate are now against reforming the filibuster:
Senate Democrats do not have the votes to lower the 60-vote threshold to cut off filibusters.The lack of support among a handful of Senate Democratic incumbents is a major blow to the effort to change the upper chamber’s rules.
They won’t get the votes to change it because Senators recognize that these ridiculous cloture rules means they get to bitch slap the House of Representatives whenever they want. The House really doesn’t get to write legislation anymore, they make suggestions, and then the Senate does whatever they want and tells the House to accept it or to eat a bag of dicks, because everyone knows how hard it is to reach 60 votes in the Senate- “Sure, we know you all had plenty of votes for the public option in the house, BUT SUCK ON THIS BITCHES!” Likewise, preening princes like Lieberman and Nelson and the twin President’s from Maine recognize that the need to 60 votes means that wholly unprincipled individuals such as themselves can basically get whatever they want regardless of what party is in charge. They get to play rotating bad guy/President and vote the way the highest bidder wants. Filibuster reform will never happen because these people think the world revolves around them, and majority rule reduces how important. Additionally, the status quo is pretty damned good for the people who buy off these clowns, so why would they want to let mob majority rule threaten their wholly owned House of Lords? Climate change legislation, tax changes, the public option- all these things that scare the shit out of the haves in society might happen with simple majority rule. Can’t have that.
This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. War is expensive:
The United States has spent more than $1 trillion on wars since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, a recently released Congressional report says.Adjusting for inflation, the outlays for conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world make the “war on terrorism” second only to World War II. The report “Cost of Major U.S. Wars” by the Congressional Research Service attempts to compare war costs over a more than 230-year period—from the American Revolution to the current day—noting the difficulties associated with such a task. Since the the 9/11 terror attacks, the United States has spent an estimated $1.15 trillion. World War II cost $4.1 trillion when converted to current dollars, although the tab in the 1940s was $296 billion.
That’s just what we’ve spent on the military. The other costs- taking care of wounded, the PTSD we will be dealing with for decades, and other things are not factored in. And, as the excellent Washington Post piece this week is pointing out in painful detail but seemingly everyone is ignoring, we aren’t going to stop funding the War on Terror any time soon. Better cut social security soon so we can afford to invade Iran.
This post first appeared on Balloon Juice. You have this:
Leverage is back on Wall Street—and this time it’s the bankers who have it.Firms are adding jobs for the first time in two years, rebuilding businesses cut during the financial crisis and offering guaranteed payouts to lure top bankers. In New York, 6,800 financial-industry positions were added from the end of February through May, the largest three-month increase since 2008, according to the New York State Department of Labor. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. are among banks that are hiring to replenish their ranks, while Nomura Holdings Inc. and Jefferies Group Inc. have been recruiting talent from larger firms in a bid to increase their standing on Wall Street.
I think it is time to break out the foam fingers again, everyone! USA! USA! And while everyone else is in the poor house, and the banksters are writing themselves fat checks, I think it is time to revisit this gem:
We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are. Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that. For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.
What exactly do we have to do to make these assholes go Galt? The added irony in all this is that financial regulation will now probably die with Robert Byrd, with an assist from Russ Feingold, who has a sad. Because the next financial regulation bill, after Democrats lose a bunch of seats in the House and Senate because the blue dogs have torpedoed all job growth bills and the public is sick of Democratic dithering, well, that will be so much more progressive.

This post originally appeared on Balloon Juice.

Once I ran to you, now I’ll run from you: (careful, Politico link)

California Republicans optimistic about their prospects in November could find themselves with a bit of a problem after the votes are counted in Tuesday’s primaries — a statewide ticket with the so-called “Birther Queen” as one of their candidates.

Orly Taitz is an Israeli émigré who has spent the past two years filing lawsuits challenging President Barack Obama’s right to be president on the grounds that he was born in Kenya. In the process, she has earned herself $20,000 in court fines.

Now she’s running for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, and with her establishment-backed primary opponent mounting a less-than-stellar campaign against her, operatives say there’s a chance she could win.

“It’d be a disaster for the Republican party,” says James Lacy, a conservative GOP operative in the state. “Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and [candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonado — both of whom might have a chance to win in November — had to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of state, who would make her cockamamie issues about Obama’s birth certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?”


Someone pinch me and tell me this is real and could happen.

The Republicans have spent the last couple of years doing everything they could to feed this kind of nutbaggery in the shadows while “respectable Conservatives” pretended to not know anything about it. The very first thing the Republicans did when Obama won the nomination was to court frothers and birthers in the PUMA movement and court the lunatic fringe with attempts to “otherize” Obama. Whisper campaigns about him not saying the Pledge or refusing to swear on a bible or not wearing enough USA #1 bling on his suit led to “underground” email campaigns that led to the continued existence of birthers and other nutjobs who insist Obama is a socialist Muslim Kenyan. You thought that rhetoric from Sarah Palin was a mistake when she said “He doesn’t look at America the way we do” and he “pals around with terrorists?” They knew what they were and are doing. They teases and teased, introducing citizenship bills and hinting he might not be American, and now Orly is one of them.

But somehow or another, they lost control of the freak show and the teabaggers and the frothers are now running things, and now this is going to come back and bite them on the ass.

And it’s fucking awesome.