Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bill Maher gives some advice on saving Christmas. And it is INFINITELY better than that Kirk Cameron movie.

Okay that was pretty funny.

And I am almost sold on Thankshallowistmas.

Sounds like a hell of a good holiday, almost up there with Festivus.

Writing Sarah Palin satire is an exercise in futility, since she is essentially a walking talking parody of herself already.

Okay I feel like I need to address this since it is now getting a little out of hand.

The Daily Currant wrote a piece in which they attribute these words to Sarah Palin: 

“If I were Obama I’d put all 11 million of these folks on boats and send them back to Mexico,” she opined. “The liberal media says it’s impossible to deport that many people. But I say we can do it if we have enough ships. 

“Let’s commandeer all the cruise ships, all the fishing vessels and all the yachts those fat cat Obama donors own. And then let’s pack ‘em full of illegals and send these people on a one-way cruise to Mexico City. 

“The long voyage back across the Mexican Ocean should give them plenty of time to think about how they shouldn’t be coming here to America and jeopardizing our freedom and prosperity by breaking our laws.”

Now the Daily Currant suggests that she said this during a Fox interview, so  right off the bat most of you should know that is impossible since we tend to cover those interviews here at IM. And let's face it, we would have been all over that if it were true.

Secondly you should always be a little skeptical when you think "You know that's even too crazy for her." Because chances are that yes it is probably too crazy for her.

And third by now you should all know that there are sites like the Daily Currant and the Onion out there that brilliantly make up these stories for our entertainment, and that they should NOT be taken seriously.

In fact here is a list that you can refer to in the future to keep from being fooled again.

Now before any of you start to feel embarrassed that you were suckered let me assure you that it has happened to me before as well. And there are plenty of news outlets, like Fox and Breitbart, that still get punked with some frequency.

For this one in particular I received at least a dozen e-mails and comments excitedly pointing to the article. And that includes one from my daughter last night, which simply said "Did you hear what Sarah Palin said yesterday?"

Of course that could have been anything, but it turned out to be this article which all of her friends were buzzing about.

And that's really the point right? Getting buzz and fishing for clicks.

However it makes what I do all the more challenging. Because when I dig up an actual crazy fact about Sarah Palin it is immediately in competition for attention with all of these fake crazy "facts" about Sarah Palin.

So let's do us all a favor and try to double check sources before sharing some of this stuff on Facebook Twitter, or here at IM.

Let me end this by thanking you for your support, and the many legitimate links that you DO send my direction. It makes this job a whole lot easier as I certainly don't have enough time to scour the internet effectively on my own. 

The Smithsonian compiles list of the "100 most Significant Americans." Both George W. Bush and Sarah Palin make the list, but the first African American President does not.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

This week, Smithsonian magazine asked its readers, “How much does Thomas Paine matter? More than Harriet Beecher Stowe? Less than Elvis? On a par with Dwight Eisenhower?” 

But curiously, the in-house magazine for the Smithsonian Institution decided that George W. Bush is a more “significant” figure in U.S. history than the country’s first Black president, Barack Obama, who did not make the list. 

Bush appears on the magazine’s list of the “100 most significant Americans,” released in this week’s issue. According to Smithsonian, it put together the list by considering data compiled by Google engineer Charles B. Ward and Steven Skiena, a professor of computer science at Stony Brook University. 

But instead of relying simply on statistics to determine the result, the magazine said it split Skiena and Ward’s results into several categories of 10 Americans apiece, then made its own determinations of who fit the bill. 

Other notable entries included former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) in the list of “First Women,” Hulk Hogan in the “Athletes” category, as well as Cotton Mather, who was a key figure behind the Salem Witch Trials, under “Religious Figures.”

So there you have it. According to the Smithsonian a with hunter, a witch, and a guy who pretends to wrestle on TV are more significant than the first black man to be President of the United States of America.

I guess ending wars, fixing the economy, and bringing prosperity back to this country is simply not as significant as lying the country into those wars, destroying the economy, and making the word hate America, right?

Here is the full list, just to fan your outrage:

Before he leaves the Senate Alaska's Mark Begich would like to do something about those SuperPAC robo-calls.

Courtesy of The Hill:

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) is taking a departing shot at super-PACs following his defeat in the Alaska Senate race. 

 Begich introduced legislation Thursday that would add super-PACs and other outside groups to the list of groups that must comply with the National Do Not Call Registry. 

His legislation, titled The Do Not Disturb Act, would also keep people on the list from receiving robocalls and "push polls," which are surveys that attempt to get a desired result with leading questions. 

"I have long been an advocate for protecting Alaskans’ privacy and for limiting the ability of outside groups to spend endless amounts of money on our elections,” said Begich, a member of the Commerce Committee. 

“I heard from Alaskans all across the state during the campaign, and enough is enough. My bill will allow individuals to opt out of receiving these sorts of pestering phone calls from super-PACs and similar groups,” he added. 

If Begich is successful this may be the most impactful, and welcome, legislation that he has ever introduced.

As I have mentioned before the number of calls I received from pollsters, recorded campaign messages, and other interested parties, was completely overwhelming.

I quite literally hated the sound of my phone ringing. It seemed like it was never a call that I wanted to take.

Personally I think this is a good step, but I would also like to see something done about the advertisements that pop up on every YouTube video that I tried to watch this last few months, and the avalanche of television advertising that seemed to use up every second of commercial airtime since August.

And it is no wonder that Begich is the one to spearhead this effort.

I think it is pretty clear that he lost this race solely due to the efforts of outside groups, and that without the interference of the folks like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers he would have almost certainly retained his Senate seat.

Instead we are stuck with a political whore bought and paid for with corporate money, who has little interest in anything that Alaskans need or want, and is solely focused on pleasing his masters.

Republican led House investigative committee finds there is no Benghazi scandal. Gee, really?

Courtesy of Mother Jones:

 The House Select Intelligence Committee—controlled by Republicans—has been investigating the Benghazi attacks in minute detail for two years. Today, with the midterm elections safely past, they issued their findings. Their exoneration of the White House was sweeping and nearly absolute. So sweeping that I want to quote directly from the report's summary, rather than paraphrasing it. Here it is: 

The Committee first concludes that the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi....Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support.... 

Second, the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. In the months prior, the IC provided intelligence about previous attacks and the increased threat environment in Benghazi, but the IC did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks. 

Third, the Committee finds that a mixed group of individuals, including those affiliated with Al Qa'ida, participated in the attacks.... 

Fourth, the Committee concludes that after the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the Administration's initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate....There was no protest. The CIA only changed its initial assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed caption television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Ambassador Susan Rice spoke).... 

Fifth, the Committee finds that the process used to generate the talking points HPSCI asked for—and which were used for Ambassador Rice's public appearances—was flawed.... 

Finally, the Committee found no evidence that any officer was intimidated, wrongly forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement or otherwise kept from speaking to Congress, or polygraphed because of their presence in Benghazi. The Committee also found no evidence that the CIA conducted unauthorized activities in Benghazi and no evidence that the IC shipped arms to Syria. 

It's hard to exaggerate just how remarkable this document is. It's not that the committee found nothing to criticize. They did. The State Department facility in Benghazi had inadequate security. Some of the early intelligence after the attacks was inaccurate. The CIA should have given more weight to eyewitnesses on the ground. 

But those are routine after-action critiques, ones that were fully acknowledged by the very first investigations. Beyond that, every single conspiracy theory—without exception—was conclusively debunked. There was no stand down order. The tactical response was both reasonable and effective under the circumstances. The CIA was not shipping arms from Libya to Syria. Both CIA and State received all military support that was available. The talking points after the attack were fashioned by the intelligence community, not the White House. Susan Rice followed these talking points in her Sunday show appearances, and where she was wrong, it was only because the intelligence community had made incorrect assessments. Nobody was punitively reassigned or polygraphed or otherwise intimidated to prevent them from testifying to Congress.

Okay does anybody else feel that this should be national news on ALL cable and network news outlets? Including Fox?

And not only that I feel that the Republicans should also apologize to President Obama and Hillary Clinton for essentially accusing them of allowing Americans to die and treason.

Of course that would never happen. But it should.

So I guess the Republicans will now simply shift their focus to attacking Obamacare again and suing the President for doing his job.

Different shit, same bunch of assholes.

Former director of a Memphis anti-gay ministry got gay married last weekend. Because, you know progress.

Courtesy of Memphis Flier:  

John Smid, the former director of Memphis-based ex-gay ministry Love In Action, has announced his marriage to partner Larry McQueen. The two married in Oklahoma on Sunday, November 16th. 

Smid has been living as an out gay man for several years now, and he's been in a relationship with McQueen for one year. Gay marriage just became legal in Oklahoma last month. The couple live in Paris, Texas, where Smid moved from his Memphis home in the summer of 2013.

You know we talk all the time about homophobic people secretly being closeted gays, and I don't think I have ever seen a better example of that.

All I can say is that it is awesome that finally this man gets to live his life the way he wants, and marry the person that he loves, and the fact that it happened in freaking Oklahoma of all places is just icing on the cake. 

Here's a little perspective on the whole undocumented immigrant debate.

Of course perhaps it's just that the current descendants of the immigrants pictured above are afraid that the same thing will happen to them that happened to the Americans who offered food and friendship instead of imprisonment and aggression.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sarah Palin identifies the threat to America's survival. Americans who voted for President Obama.
Click scowl to release the hatefulness.
So last night I kinda sorta listened to the Wasilla Wendigo's preemptive attack against the President's immigration speech.

In it she vomited forth the same old word salad that we have all heard before ad naseum, and of course added that bit about the President giving Americans the middle finger, which was her typically vulgar way of attacking the President.

I then linked to it in my post on the speech and figured that was probably giving her TOO much attention.

But then this morning MSNBC reported something about her comments that I had missed: 

But every now and then, one of Palin’s tirades stands out as newsworthy. 

The right-wing personality released a new online video today, complaining about President Obama and immigration, offering the usual lines in a style that can charitably be compared to a teenager delivering a report about a book she hasn’t read (via Simon Maloy). 

But then Palin added this: 

“We’ll survive this president. The question is (overdramatic pause) can we survive the people who voted for him, twice?” 

For Palin, this may have been a throwaway line, which probably doesn’t deserve too much scrutiny, but 66 million Americans voted for Obama in 26 states. Only six presidents have ever earned more than 51% of the popular vote twice and Obama is one of them. The president took office thanks to the support of a big chunk of the American electorate. 

In Palin’s mind, these people’s very existence puts the nation’s survival in jeopardy? The biggest threat to America’s future is Americans?

So the woman who is always complaining that the President is not listening to the American people, and in fact is giving them the middle finger, just did that very thing herself.  (Just like her daughter Bristol.)

And she also accused good conscientious Americans who voted for the man they think will serve this nation best, as being something that the country needs to survive. As if it is SHE, and not the majority who voted in 2008 and 2012, who recognize what is best for this country.

To that I say, fuck you lady!

I certainly cannot speak for every American who gave Obama their vote in 2008 and 2012, but I for one I am VERY committed to doing what is right for this country. That's why I worked so hard to reveal who you really are to the American people before the 2008 election.

And I also recognize that it is people who are rigidly partisan, and refuse to compromise in order to solve our problems (You know, like the ones that Sarah Palin keeps endorsing.), who are the real danger to our prosperity and our security. Not the President who has bent over backwards at times in order to get the Republicans who work with him, on anything.

So once again Sarah Palin engages in projection. Giving a rambling speech accusing the President of doing the very thing that she herself does only a few sentences later.

Somehow I doubt that the majority of us would be surprised.

Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook "friends" to artificially inflate his craptastic Christmas film's Rotten Tomato ratings. Apparently most people thought it sucked jingle balls.

This from the Christmas revisionist in chief's Facebook page: 

Help me storm the gates of Rotten Tomatoes! 

All of you who love Saving Christmas - go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see! If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result! Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!

Now I have no personally seen the film because I don't feel it appropriate to go on a murderous rampage right before Christmas. but I have written about it

However apparently many of the people who were tricked into thinking they were going to see a....a...well you know an actual movie that made sense, have not been holding back their criticism.

Here is but a sample courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes:

First the critics:  

With a smile so wide and laughter that sounds so forced you half-expect the camera to pull back to reveal hostage takers, Mr. Cameron explains how several facets of the holiday - the tree, Santa Claus, gifts - have roots in religious tradition. 
Ben Kenigsberg New York Times 

Perhaps the only Christmas movie I can think of, especially of the religious-themed variety, that seems to flat-out endorse materialism, greed and outright gluttony. 
Peter Sobczynski 

As a movie, Saving Christmas is not good. But as a teaching aid for congregants about having their fruitcake and eating it, too? Sure, why not. Go nuts, guys. 
Kimberley Jones Austin Chronicle

Now the audience members:  

Beware! This movie will make you a dumber person. When you look into Kirk Cameron's vacant eyes, they will suck the intelligence from you like a particularly stupid industrial vacuum. His complete inability to form logical thoughts can be dangerously contagious. Do not under any circumstances allow children near this movie. 

As a struggling Christian, I saw this with hopes of finding comfort and peace in religion. After watching this, I feel more frustrated and disgusted by others who claim to be Christians. I think this would be more entertaining to unquestioning, uneducated people. What a waste. 

I don't think Jesus is going to come back now after seeing this! 

What a terrible movie. This should come with free eye bleach and a time machine capable of giving me back 2 hours. 

Falsification of history by a clueless faded child actor, making a bleak attempt to hide the fact that "Christian" traditions were borrowed from earlier cults and religions. 1h 20 mins you won't get back. Avoid.

There are forty six pages of these, almost all overwhelmingly negative. 

Hay Cameron do you know how to get good reviews for a movie, besides begging for them on Facebook?

By actually making a GOOD movie that does not attempt to change facts to suit your fundamentalist religious views! Or one that does not treat its audience like they have only six brain cells to rub together!

Just a thought.

The Bill Cosby rape allegations. The story I don't want to blog about, but feel I must.

Just in case you have been living in a cave, with no access to any television or internet whatsoever, here is what is happening with Bill Cosby:

The rape-allegation maelstrom swirling around Bill Cosby rages: Three more women accused the comedian of sexual assault on Thursday, while producers behind The Cosby Show claimed ignorance. Actress Louisa Moritz, who played Rose in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, told TMZ that Cosby forced her to engage in oral sex before a 1971 Tonight Show appearance; Carla Ferrigno (Lou Ferrigno's wife) told Rumorfix he attacked and grabbed her at a party in 1967; and Therese Serignese, a Florida nurse, told the Huffington Post that he drugged and raped her in 1976. She is one of 13 women who were set to testify against Cosby in a 2005 lawsuit before the case was settled.

I have been purposefully avoiding this topic because, well because I fucking love Bill Cosby.

I remember like it was yesterday when my elementary school teacher allowed me to listen to a Bill Cosby album for the first time, once I had finished my work before all of the other kids.

She brought out one of those listening centers, which featured an adapter with eight headphone jacks on it, and the other end stuck into an old school phonograph that was playing the comedy album.

I don't remember which one it was, but holy crap was it funny.

I laughed so hard and so long that the teacher had to unplug me because I was disturbing the other children, though she promised I could finish it later in the day when the other students were not taking a test.

After that I listened to ALL of his comedy albums, and followed his career obsessively.

I of course was also a big fan of the Cosby Show, which I naively believed was a depiction of his actual life.

So to be honest, I just don't want to hear this. Not do I want to talk about it. I just don't want to.

However there is one name mentioned above that has changed my mind.

Carla Ferrigno.

Now she may not be well known to you, but in my teens I was an avid bodybuilder and a big fan of Lou Ferrigno. So I know all about his marriage to the incredibly sweet and supportive Carla.

So for some reason the fact that she has come forward with a story about being attacked by Cosby, kind of broke the emotional dam for me, and I feel that this is now something that simply cannot ignore.

It is NOT that I did not believe the other women, because I did. It is because until I felt a personal connection to the story I just felt it was something better left to others to cover.

It's not about Alaska, it's not about politics, it's not about religion, and it's not about Sarah Palin so I guess I thought I could give it a pass.

Not anymore.

And part of the reason I feel that way has to do with Sarah Palin.

You know how we are always bitching about reporters ignoring babygate because talking about it makes them uncomfortable, or they would really rather not know the truth? 

Well that was what I was doing with this story. I don't like the facts that I am hearing so I don't want to report on them.

Same thing. And that makes me a hypocrite.

Well not anymore.

Bill Cosby is now a 77 year old man, but that does not mean that what he did should be swept under the carpet. Nor should it mean that he can continue to pretend to be a person that has little resemblance to who he is in real life.

If this were one incident in his youth, perhaps this could be chalked up to a drunken episode that he never repeated again. But this is not that. If the evidence is true, and there is no reason at this time to doubt that it is, than Cosby is a serial rapist who used drugs, alcohol, and sometimes force to take sexual advantage of young women. And THAT makes him the worst possible kind of man.

Here is the AP interview that everybody is talking about.

Did you see that? He not only refused to discuss these allegations, but he then attempted to bully the reporter into not releasing the video.

Clearly this is a tactic that has worked well for him in the past, and he must believe he can continue to suppress these stories and live the lie that he has lived all of these years.

In my job I have worked with quite a few sexual predators in the past and this is how they operate.  They blame the victim, they minimize the actual assault, and then they attempt to bully people into silence.

Bill Cosby's accusers deserve justice. And Bill Cosby should not be above that justice.

Republicans file lawsuit against President Obama over the Affordable Care Act.

Courtesy of the New York Times:  

House Republicans filed a long-threatened lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration over unilateral actions on the health care law that they say are abuses of the president’s executive authority. 

The lawsuit — filed against the secretaries of the Health and Human Services and Treasury Departments — focuses on two crucial aspects of the way the administration has put the Affordable Care Act into effect. 

The suit accuses the Obama administration of unlawfully postponing a requirement that larger employers offer health coverage to their full-time employees or pay penalties. (Larger companies are defined as those with 50 or more employees.) 

In July 2013, the administration deferred that requirement until 2015. Seven months later, the administration announced a further delay, until 2016, for employers with 50 to 99 employees. 

The suit also challenges what it says is President Obama’s unlawful giveaway of roughly $175 billion to insurance companies under the law. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the administration will pay that amount to the companies over the next 10 years, though the funds have not been appropriated by Congress. The lawsuit argues that it is an unlawful transfer of funds.

I can't believe they finally did it.What a waste of time, money, and resources.

So they are going to sue the President over this, but allowed George W. Bush to lie to the American people and members of Congress and start an illegal war without receiving so much as an order of cease and desist?

Hypocritical bastards!

Well I guess we know what this new Congress will be focused on for the next two years.

Grandmas smoking weed for the first time may be the cutest thing you will see all day.

I cannot tell you how big the smile is that this puts on my face.

I would love to hang out with these ladies. They seem a like a real kick in the ass.

You know towards the end of my grandmother's life she was in a great deal of pain.

In order to help her alleviate that pain my uncle, her son, brought pot over to my mom's house (That's where Grandma lived.) so that she she could smoke it and ease her suffering.

For some reason Grandma was really concerned that I would be angry as I am the non-drug user in the family.

So I came over to talk to her, and I essentially said "Grandma you are in your late seventies, and I know you are in a lot of pain. Hell as far as I'm concerned you can be mainlining heroin and I would have no right to judge you. Whatever you have to do to make yourself feel comfortable, that is fine with me."

And I have to say that, much like these ladies, my grandmother stoned was a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with.

Misogynistic quotes from Christian leaders throughout the ages.

Courtesy of Salon:

In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die… Woman, you are the gate to hell. —Tertullian, the “father of Latin Christianity” (c160-225) 

Woman is a temple built over a sewer. —Tertullian 

The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes. —Martin Luther, Reformer (1483-1546) 

Even as the church must fear Christ Jesus, so must the wives also fear their husbands. And this inward fear must be shewed by an outward meekness and lowliness in her speeches and carriage to her husband….For if there be not fear and reverence in the inferior, there can be no sound nor constant honor yielded to the superior. —John Dod, A Plaine and Familiar Exposition of the Ten Commandements, Puritan guidebook first published in 1603 

The second duty of the wife is constant obedience and subjection. —John Dod 

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians. —Pat Robertson, Southern Baptist leader (1930–) 

The Holiness of God is not evidenced in women when they are brash, brassy, boisterous, brazen, head-strong, strong-willed, loud-mouthed, overly-talkative, having to have the last word, challenging, controlling, manipulative, critical, conceited, arrogant, aggressive, assertive, strident, interruptive, undisciplined, insubordinate, disruptive, dominating, domineering, or clamoring for power. Rather, women accept God’s holy order and character by being humbly and unobtrusively respectful and receptive in functional subordination to God, church leadership, and husbands. —James Fowler, Women in the Church, 1999. 

Women will be saved by going back to that role that God has chosen for them. Ladies, if the hair on the back of your neck stands up it is because you are fighting your role in the scripture. —Mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill nondenominational mega-church franchise. (1970-)

Salon lists twenty of these quotes in all, each one incredibly insulting and degrading towards women.

The Christian religion was never created to support women. It was created to subjugate them, render them mute, and to bend them to the will of man, using the ultimate male figure to frighten them into subservience. 

Which of course brings up the question which vexes me still. I understand why women of years past might have simply accepted their circumstances, since they had not way out of them at the time, but with all  that we know today, and the voice that women have found for themselves, why do so many continue to self identify as Christians?

Simply can't catch a break with conservatives.

You know it's true.