Friday, July 31, 2015

You might want to say good-bye to some of your favorite MSNBC shows.

Here is a letter from the president of MSNBC Phil Griffin courtesy of Mediaite: 

Team, 

I’m writing to share a number of changes we’re making as we build a new daytime lineup with the best live, breaking news coverage on television. 

As of this Friday, “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” will air their final shows. 

Alex Wagner will stay with MSNBC and play a key role in our political coverage as we head into the 2016 election. And Ari Melber will continue in his role as Chief Legal Correspondent. But we will be parting ways with some friends – Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will be leaving MSNBC. Please join me in thanking them for their numerous contributions over the past several years, and in wishing them great success. 

Beginning in a few weeks, Chuck Todd will bring his unmatched brand of political insight and analysis back to MSNBC with a daily one-hour program. That show will air weekdays at 5pm. 

I know you read press reports last week speculating about these changes. I hope you can understand that we were not able to confirm at that point because we had not yet finalized many of the decisions I’m sharing with you today, and we hadn’t yet spoken directly with the people involved. 

In the coming weeks, as we complete our plans to create a new look and flow for our dayside programming, our 3pm to 6pm hours will begin the pivot towards live, breaking news coverage – with interim hosts from among our very talented ranks. And then, in September, we’ll unveil a 9am to 5pm schedule driven by dynamic coverage of breaking news events that are shaping the day. 

Change can be hard. There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead. 

Phil

Okay somebody needs to explain to me why Alex Wagner loses her spot but Al Sharpton retains his?

I mean I don't have anything against Sharpton, except of course for his constant mispronunciations and intermittent speech patterns, but Wagner is the far superior host.

As for The Cycle, I am surprised that crappy thing is still on the air, though I really do like Krystal Ball. (And if you are going for eye candy alone it is kind of hard to beat Abby Huntsman.)

However the truly disturbing part of this memo is the announcement that the despicable Chuck Todd is returning to the MSNBC lineup. His hosting of MTP has completely changed my Sunday morning TV watching routine, and  I am far from happy to see his return to my favorite cable news network.

If Phil Griffin wants to get serious about saving this network he needs to swallow his pride and hire Keith Olbermann back. And while he's at it does Martin Bashir still need a job?

Boy wouldn't that piss off the conservatives?

Sarah Palin is going for broke on this whole defund Planned parenthood thing. (If she had been this tenacious about her political career, she might still have one.)

Okay that's just stupid.
Courtesy of Palin's Facebook page: 

Help elect more leaders committed to #DefundPlannedParenthood by clicking here.

Just in case you were wondering, yes that link sends you to SarahPAC. Because clearly the political PAC that is going to stop the Iran deal can multi-task and also destroy Planned Parenthood at the same time.

In her next Facebook post Palin continues to strain credulity by claiming the politicians that she endorsed are going to take down the evil agency that provides mammograms and birth control: 

Thank you, Senators Deb Fischer & Joni Ernst, for leading the fight in the U.S. Senate to ‪#‎DefundPlannedParenthood‬! These two strong Mama Grizzlies were candidates SarahPAC was proud to support early on. Please add your name to the petition below to thank them for fighting for those who can't fight for themselves. Let's work together in 2016 to elect more strong leaders like Deb & Joni!

If you guessed that there was yet another link to SarahPAC well then give yourself a gold star.

By the way so far this drive to defund Planned Parenthood has resulted in the agency receiving a significant spike in donations and currently there are not enough votes in the Senate to actually defund the program.

So good job so far crazy lady.

Michael Moore announces new documentary "Where to Invade Next" about America's need for infinite war.

Courtesy of The Guardian:  

Michael Moore’s new film, Where to Invade Next, explores how the US government maintains a state of “infinite war”, according to the Oscar-winning documentary film-maker. 

He said Where to Invade Next, which was filmed across three continents, was “epic in nature”, but made quietly with a small crew. “There’s usually someone chasing us,” he said. It seems the film, which premieres at the Toronto film festival in September, will cover some of the same ground as his Palme d’Or-winning Fahrenheit 9/11, a critique of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” detailing the various dictatorships that have been supported by the US administration in the interests of maintaining conflicts that profited America. Fahrenheit 9/11 is the highest-grossing documentary of all time, taking close to $120m (£75m) at the US box office. 

“The issue of the United States at infinite war is something that has concerned me for quite some time, and provides the necessary satire for this film,” said Moore in the Periscope broadcast. 

“[There’s] this constant need it seems to always have an enemy – where’s the next enemy so we can keep this whole military industrial complex alive, and keep the companies that make a lot of money from this in business. I’ve always been a little bothered by that, so that’s where the comedy comes from.”

Sounds like a very timely film.

Gee I wonder how the Right Wing will respond to it?

Oh yeah, we already know that don't we?

California court orders anti-choice group to stop releasing videos.

Courtesy of The Daily Beast: 

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday banning an anti-abortion group from releasing any additional footage of officials from a California company that provides fetal tissue to researchers. The group, the Center for Medical Progress, is the same organization that previously released sting videos of a Planned Parenthood leader discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for medical research. The order bars the anti-abortion group from releasing video of three leaders at StemExpress shot at a restaurant in May until a court hearing Aug. 19. The recent release of sting videos has reignited the abortion debate, prompting Republican lawmakers to take up a measure to defund Planned Parenthood. 

Of course this decision has angered the anti-choice crowd who are claiming that the courts are simply protecting Planned Parenthood and of course hate babies.

Of course this only protects this company, StemExpress, from being attacked, the group undoubtedly still has video concerning other companies who have not been able to get a court order to delay their release. So obviously this whole thing is far from over.

Here just take a look at how Rush Limbaugh is spinning this: 

Folks, I don't think it's hard to explain this. Remember, now, who are we talking about? Who gets polled? Low-information voters. A cross-section of the American people. What do you think most people think Planned Parenthood is? Do you think most people realize that it's a series of abortion clinics?" I would submit to you that most people look at Planned Parenthood and they see Planned Parenthood. 

 I would venture to say that a lot of people look at it and think that it is a place you go where you want to talk to experts about how to plan your family, and they will advise you how many kids to have, what it's going to cost you. That's what I think most people think Planned Parenthood is. It says "Planned Parenthood" over the door, doesn't it? It doesn't say, "We do abortions here and harvest the organs for sale!" It says "Planned Parenthood." 

"A series of abortion clinics." That is how this is being explained to those on the Right.

Like I said, this is far from over.

Alabama governor appoints man to the Board of Education who never attended public schools and claims his children will never attend one either. Sounds reasonable.

Matthew Brown
Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

What message is a governor sending to the public with an appointment like this? 

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has tapped someone to your state’s Board of Education who never attended public schools, publicly declared that his children never will either, and actively supported a successful effort to defeat a vote on a school tax in a divisive campaign in his home county? 

Bentley, a Republican, named Matthew Brown, a 28-year-old design engineer at the Baldwin County Highway Department, to the Alabama State Board of Education. Brown graduated in 2007 from Pensacola Christian College and attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, graduating in 2011. 

Bentley hasn’t been what you’d call a friend to public schools, given his support for tax credits, vouchers and charter schools. This year he signed into law legislation that amended the 2013 Alabama Accountability Act and that diverts up to $30 million a year from the Education Trust Fund for “opportunity scholarships” (vouchers). He also recently signed a law allowing charter schools to open in Alabama and giving a new state commission the right to overturn a local school district’s rejection of specific charter applications. 

So it looks like Alabama is going to challenge Kansas and Texas for the most screwed up state education system in the country.

Bold move Alabama, if successful perhaps someday students can read about your efforts to undermine their education in textbooks.

Wait, what am I saying? If successful future students will have to have the textbooks read to them by somebody who went to school in another state.

Republican, dumbing down future voters in order to stay in office since....well since forever.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Angry at the constant jabs, Rick Perry challenges Donald Trump to a pullup contest.

Courtesy of CBS News:  

After enduring Donald Trump's barrage of insults for weeks, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the billionaire businessman to put up or shut up on Wednesday, challenging him to a pull-up contest. 

Trump, who's currently leading polls of the 2016 Republican primary, told the Daily Mail on Wednesday that Perry lacks the "energy," the "brain power," and the "toughness" to be an effective president. 

Perhaps it was that last charge that stung the most. Perry, a former Air Force captain who's worn his tough-guy image on his sleeve during a long career in politics, fired back during an appearance at the Yale Club. 

"Let's get a pull-up bar out there and let's see who can do the most pull-ups," Perry said, inciting a round of laughter and applause from the audience.

Okay for the record I would not want to contribute to either man's campaign, but having said that I would be willing to pay to see this. 

For one thing I am almost positive that Trump could not even begin to lift his bulk off of the ground, and if he did he would undoubtedly shit himself with the effort.

After all the man rode an escalator down to announce his intention of running for president.

Down, not up, down.

Okay I have to say that I am REALLY looking forward to his first debate next week.

Though sadly it appears that currently Rick Perry is not quite making the cut.

Ted Nugent calls the story of Cecil the lion a "big lie" and says people who are upset about it are "stupid."

Courtesy of the Nugent's Facebook page:



 For those having trouble reading: 

 "the whole story is a lie. It was a wild lion from a "park" where hunting is legal & ESSENTIAL beyond the park borders. all animals reproduce every year & would run out of a room/food to live w/o hunting. I will write a full piece on this joke asap. God are people stupid."

Later on the page Nugent is asked about Jimmy Kimmel's emotional response to the killing and he responds by calling him a "lying punk."

What a sweetheart. 

Ahh, leave it to Ted "shitty pants" Nugent to embody the conservative Id when it comes to how to treat other creatures on the planet.

You know it seems to me that since Ted Nugent once got into trouble for illegally killing a black bear up here in Alaska, that perhaps he may not be the best person to weigh in on the legality vs illegality of killing this lion.

Just saying.

Planned Parenthood asks for a study of fetal tissue research by the federal government. You know, because they have so much to hide.

Courtesy of Townhall:

Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government's top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine. 

Planned Parenthood's request to the National Institutes of Health came as Senate Republicans pressed their fight to bar the organization from receiving federal aid. Likely opposition from at least one GOP senator highlighted the long odds the GOP will face in a Senate showdown vote expected early next week. 

Planned Parenthood, which gets more than $500 million of its $1.3 billion annual budget from federal and state programs, has been under fire since the release of videos showing some of its officials discussing how they obtain organs from aborted fetuses for research. The videos were furtively recorded by an anti-abortion group. 

"The inflammatory and misleading videos have pushed this issue into the national spotlight," said the letter from Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. "And a thoughtful, careful review by leading medical and ethical experts could do a lot to help the public and policymakers think through this issue and reach informed conclusions."

You know it would seem that if you were actually doing something illegal of immoral that you REALLY would not want the Feds looking into it. 

So the fact that Planned Parenthood is requesting this should send a message to those making these outlandish accusations. But it won't of course because ideology is stronger than facts.

By the way if you want to visit the Planned Parenthood website today, don't bother because it has been hacked.

New study reveals that simply having a gun does NOT make you safer.

Courtesy of the Washington Post: 

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, the National Rifle Association proposed putting more guns in schools. After a racist shot up a Charleston prayer group, an NRA board member argued for more guns in church. And now predictably, politicians and gun rights advocates are calling for guns in movie theaters after a loner killed two people at a theater in Louisiana. 

The notion that more guns are always the solution to gun crime is taken seriously in this country. But the research shows that more guns lead to more gun homicides -- not less. And that guns are rarely used in self-defense. 

Now a new study from researchers at Mount St. Mary's University sheds some light on why people don't use guns in self-defense very often. As it turns out, knowing when and how to apply lethal force in a potentially life-or-death situation is really difficult. The study was commissioned by the National Gun Victims Action Council, an advocacy group devoted to enacting "sensible gun laws" that "find common ground between legal gun owners and non-gun owners that minimizes gun violence in our culture." 

The study found that proper training and education are key to successfully using a firearm in self-defense: "carrying a gun in public does not provide self-defense unless the carrier is properly trained and maintains their skill level," the authors wrote in a statement.

I think this study only reinforces what should be an obvious recognition that guns are not a magical charm which provides protection simply by having it in your possession.

I would further argue that even trips to the shooting range will not adequately prepare a person to use a gun in a real life situation where they are frightened and under duress.

As we have seen even police officers quite often miss their target when firing at an assailant, fail to access their guns when needed, and panic when fired upon.

Once again in my opinion guns are one of the worst things to rely on for personal protection.

Sarah Palin appears on Fox News to claim that Planned Parenthood targets minority women. Cannot explain why they would do that however.

Okay so Palin's anti-Planned Parenthood rants have apparently garnered enough attention that Fox News decided to have her back on the network after dropping her last month.

This time she was forced to appear opposite Bill O'Reilly who is not exactly her biggest supporter over on Fox.

She quickly reinforces the reason for his disdain.

O'Reilly starts off by simply asking Palin what her central post is with her Facebook post. Seems simple enough right?

Wrong.

 “This is kind of symbolic of our political correctness absurdity, and the absurdity of some person's priorities, when they are concerned more about a symbol that had represented the negatives many years ago, compared to today, thousands and thousands of babies, obviously, that we’ve seen in the news over and over with Planned Parenthood being butchered, and having their baby parts sold, that people, in some parts, are paying a whole lot more attention to the flag controversy than they are about what Planned Parenthood — their barbaric practices are.” 

At this point O'Reilly asks why she "zeroed in on black babies?"

"Because the Confederate flag, obviously, has been such a focal point for much of society right now, that that was an easy comparison. Again, this outrage over the flag, and then, especially in South Carolina, that was taken care of, they took down the flag. But where is more of the outcry about what is actually going on with innocent human life, and how can civilized society even accept what’s going on?” 

Here Billo interrupts Palin and asserts that the story of Cecil the lion is garnering more outrage than than the Right's trumped up lies about Planned Parenthood.


Once gain O'Reilly tries to get Palin to explain where she got her 90,000 black babies killed figure and why she thinks Planned Parenthood is targeting minorities, and asks her if she thinks it might be due to poverty.

Palin does not recognize a lifeline when it is thrown to her however.  

“No I do not. Planned Parenthood is in the business of finding targets. So, they may attract those who would be, perhaps disadvantaged in some ways, and be made to believe that abortion is their only option. That is why, Bill, 80% of Planned Parenthood shops are set up in minority neighborhoods. It’s tragic that they would make anybody, a minority even, feel that they’re not capable enough, and they’re not able, and supported enough to go through…"

Here O'Reilly tries to help Palin again with clarification, but she is having none of it.

"I'm going to finish my point....that they can go through 40 weeks of a pregnancy in order to give their child life, that it is not impossible. It’s less than ideal in many circumstances, but it’s not impossible, to carry that baby, give it life, and then you’re still going to school, you’re still working, you’re still raising other children. For them to make the people feel — women feel that they’re not capable of doing that, is absolutely atrocious.” 

Again O'reilly attempts to pin Palin down on why she thinks Planned Parenthood is "targeting" minority women. Clearly he is trying to get her back to her Facebook talking points about Margaret Sanger and her assertion that Planned Parenthood is engaged in some sort ethnic cleansing under the guise of providing women's health services.

But sine Palin didn't actually write that she cannot remember what the post says.

“As I said they are in there trying to make these minority women fill that they’re not capable of giving their child life. And then allowing the spirit of adoption or good foster care or more support.” 

Again O'Reilly interrupts her and keeps asking her why they would do that?

“They’re doing that because they have too many people deceived. They have leaders in some of these communities, including our president, who would say, 'God bless you, Planned Parenthood. I’m there fighting with you,’ people deceived to make it sound like, oh, my goodness, an innocent human life is disposable.” 

Again O'Reilly says he just wants to know if Palin believes that Planned Parenthood has "a motivation to target  minority women? (Listen to the exasperation in his voice at this point.)

“Planned Parenthood is a bogus business. They’re in it to make money. They are in it to profit, and they have profit. And that’s why our tax dollars should not go to Planned Parenthood. They’re not needed, and they’re not — it’s certainly not ethical for our tax dollars to go there.”

And that is where the interview ends.

So here let me answer the question that Palin struggled so hard not to answer.

The reason that so many Planned Parenthood clinics are in less affluent neighborhoods is because they offer health care services that poor women cannot typically afford to pay for while wealthier women can and do.

And Planned Parenthood does NOT "target" minority women, they offer information on reproduction, birth control products, testing for STD's, cancer screenings, and even tubal ligations and vasectomies. And they offer those services to ALL ethnicities who walk through their doors.

I think this interview made it clear why Palin no longer has a contract with Fox News as a paid contributor.

Here she was brought on to discuss a Facebook post that she supposedly wrote, and she could not even do that adequately.

(By the way there is now another ghostwritten post on her Facebook page where O'Reilly's question about why Planned Parenthood "targets" minorities is finally answered. And yes it is as incredibly hateful and completely false as you would expect it to be.)

"I didn't do nothing man!" Video captures the murder of Sam DuBose at the hands of the University of Cincinnati police. (NSFW.)

Courtesy of WCPO: 

UC police officer Ray Tensing's body camera video clearly shows that he committed "murder" when he shot and killed an unarmed black motorist at a traffic stop, prosecutor Joe Deters said Wednesday. 

The shocking video shows Tensing grab the outside door latch on 43-year-old Sam DuBose's car after DuBose couldn't produce a driver's license. 

Tensing tells DuBose to take his seat belt off. 

As Tensing pulls the door open a few inches, DuBose pulls it close and says, "I didn't do nothing, man." 

As DuBose turns the key and revs the engine, Tensing pulls his gun, shouts, "Stop! Stop!" and shoots DuBose in the head through the open window. 

Showing the video publicly for the first time, Deters called it an "asinine, senseless shooting," and announced that a grand jury had indicted Tensing for murder.

I've watched this video about three times now, and there is really no other way to interpret other than a police officer becoming upset with a non-compliant driver and then firing at his head to keep him from "getting away."

But there was no place for that young man to go. The officer had his name, had his license plate number, and there were other police on the scene.

I don't even think Fox News could spin this in the cop's favor.

Personally I hope they throw the book at this cop, and then use this video as a training tool for rookie cops to teach them what NOT to do.

The side effects of Obamacare are finally revealed, and they're all positive.

Courtesy of CNBC: 

Obamacare improved key health-care measurements for millions of Americans, reversing a troubling trend, a new study strongly suggests. 

The study found marked gains in the number of people with insurance—as other research has repeatedly confirmed—as well as improved access to doctors and medications, affordable health care and good health status after implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

But the research published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association also noted that the the gains in health coverage and access to care for low-income adults were particularly striking in states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA to include more poor people. 

The improvements nationwide came after all six measures used in the study "showed worsening trends in the 2012-13 period, particularly between March 2013 and September 2013," according to the study, which looked at the experiences of about 500,000 adults age 18 to 64. 

All but one of those measures—days limited by poor health—improved significantly after Obamacare plans went on sale on government-run exchanges in October 2013...

Well so much for the GOP talking points of 2010 and 2012.

I guess in 2016 they will have to focus on Hillary Clinton's e-mails, defunding Planned Parenthood, and arguing that the Iran nuclear deal is going to lead to World War 3.

And trust me I am not being facetious, they will indeed focus on all three of those, and they are just as full of shit as the claim that Obamacare would make health care worse in this country.