Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jon Stewart finally interviews the disgraced New York Times reporter Judith Miller the way she needs to be interviewed.

Click image to play extended interview.
I watched this last night standing on my feet.

That's how excited I was to see somebody finally, at long last, holding Miller's feet to the fire.

I had already watched several interviews which had me yelling at the screen in anger, and here was one that had me yelling at the screen in support.

Here is more from the Daily Beast:  

Stewart did not let Miller off easy, claiming that Miller partook in a “concerted effort” to lead us into a war with Iraq. 

“I think it was a concerted effort to take us into war in Iraq. You had to shift, with energy, the focus of America from Afghanistan and al Qaeda to Iraq. That took effort,” Stewart said. “Somebody pointed the light at Iraq, and that somebody is the White House, and the Defense Department, and Rumsfeld. He said right after 9/11, ‘Find me a pretext to go to war with Iraq.’ That’s from the 9/11 papers and the study.” 

Much of the focus of their on-air tussle was Miller’s front-page Times story from September 8, 2002, headlined, “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts.” In it, Miller and her Times colleague Michael R. Gordon cited anonymous officials from the Bush administration who believed that Iraq had “stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb.” 

Here is part of their heated exchange:

MILLER: “Jon, were we not supposed to report what it was that had the intelligence community so nervous about Saddam?” 

STEWART: “No. You should have reported it, though, in the context of this administration was very clearly pushing a narrative, and by losing sight of that context, by not reporting—” 

MILLER: “I think we did.” 

STEWART: “I wholeheartedly disagree with you.” 

MILLER: “That’s what makes journalism.” 

STEWART: “It’s actually not what makes journalism...”

At one point in the interview Miller claims that a statement by David Albright, an expert she claims she trusted on nuclear weapons, which disagreed with the White House about Iraq's ability to build that type of weapon, was cut due to space. Which is one of the most bullshit answers I have ever heard in my life.

Usually at the end of an interview,  even with somebody that Stewart disagrees with wholeheartedly, he is always magnanimous and makes a joke and shakes their hand to signify no hard feelings.

But not this time.

At the end of this interview Stewart looks disgusted with the fact that Miller will not take responsibility for her biased reporting, and expresses how deeply sad that makes him.


Radar Online finally learns that Bristol Palin's MOH fiance may have had his ass kicked by a girl. Update!

Courtesy of Radar Online: 

Bristol Palin has a lot more in common with her fiancĂ© than just her conservative political views: They both have found themselves entangled in a wild brawl! Sarah Palin’s daughter infamously threw a few punches at a party in Alaska last summer, and now, RadarOnline.com has learned, her fiancĂ© Dakota Meyer was caught in a bloody scuffle that included an alleged gun and punching a girl! 

According to a new report in The National ENQUIRER, the Medal of Honor recipient got into a fight at a Kentucky party in December 2012 that left him with a nasty gash to the head — and a partygoer arrested for the assault. 

According to the report from Kentucky State Police obtained by The ENQUIRER, Meyer said he was leaving a party when he claims a female friend was “getting assaulted” by another girl. In trying to protect her, he claimed, he was knocked to the ground and “kicked in the head.”

I am sure that a lot of you are going "Wait we already know this." And that's because you already know this.

You see I wrote about it back in March.

Including the part where Meyer accused some guy, even though witnesses claimed it was a girl, and then Meyer attempted to coerce the guy into joining the military in order to get the charges dropped against him.

Personally I love it that this is hitting the gossip sites. And love it even more that they mentioned the brawl.

Supposedly it is less than a month before the Palins hold Meyer down and brand their mark into him, so I think a little media scrutiny is a good thing.

Because I gotta tell ya, the fact that Meyer can't take a punch from a woman only makes him that much more attractive to the Palin clan.

Update: Okay I must have missed this portion of the article earlier, but it's new so take a look:  

“We were all at a party we were leaving and couple fights broke out,” Thompson told The ENQUIRER, adding that as the designated driver he was sober. “We were getting all them and putting them in the car and there’s this girl who got into a fight with one of our friends. Dakota was trying to break it up, he was drunk, he punched her and she hit the ground and he was on the ground on top of the girl. 

“My sister pulled him up and he turned around and punched her,” he added. “And she knocked him out. When he got up and reached around his back he pulled out a gun and I was less than five feet from him. 

“I grabbed my sister and pulled her and all his friends jumped up on him so he didn’t shoot anyone.”

Okay that is way more fucked up than the version I reported on last month.

But you have to admit that it sounds like something Meyer would do.

New human like robot is already creepy, but it also looks alarmingly like Sarah Palin. So you know, even more creepy.

Courtesy of The Daily Mail:

A humanoid robot named Yangyang is the latest to be revealed in China. 

Dressed in a full-length coat, the android can display a wide range of facial expressions and can speak, move its head, and raise its hands to greet people convincingly. 

And the machine bears an uncanny - yet apparently accidental - resemblance to former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. 

So the Japanese have made an emotionless humanoid like creature that looks vaguely like Sarah Palin.

Which is kind of ironic since today Sarah Palin appears to be an emotionless humanoid creature that looks vaguely like Sarah Palin.

Yeah, I'll take the robot.

The secret marriage, and ugly dissolution of that marriage, that Anchorage mayoral candidate Amy Demboski really does not want you to know about.

So Amy Demboski is in a runoff election with Ethan Berkowitz to decide who will be the mayor of our fair city.

Demboski is a completely unqualified candidate who nonetheless has attracted the backing of the Koch brothers and of course our Baptist minister king maker Jerry Prevo.

Essentially Prevo is drawn to Demboski because she is a family values embracing homophobe who is pushing a conservative agenda.  You could say that hate and ideology binds them.

But what if there were something about Amy Demboski that was not quite so pro-family values? You know perhaps something like a brief marriage and an attempt to force your former husband into paying child support for a child that was not his.

Because you know what? That is something that really happened.


Well it looks like Sarah Palin IS still making a difference.


I'm 29 years old, and since I was 18 have been a registered Republican. 2004 was my first election and I voted for George W. Bush. Followed by McCain in 2008. But in 2012, after I saw how my party stayed more like the party of Palin and less like the party of Eisenhower, I thought that I couldn't, in good faith, vote for Romney. So, as a registered Republican, I voted for President Obama, who I actually thought was doing a good job. In 2014, I voted for Mary Landrieu for Senate here in Louisiana and actually hoped the Democrats would maintain control of the Senate. I had hoped to see a change, a shift away from the tea party in the GOP, but with Cruz, Walker, Jindal, Paul and company running in 2016, I realize that won't happen this time or anytime soon. So today, I received my newly updated voter registration card which made it official-I'm now a democrat. I even donated $50 to the Hillary Clinton campaign in celebration of my new found home. In reality, I probably had been a Democrat for the last couple of years, as I actually consider myself a fairly liberal person. But it's now official. So I can't wait to start working on behalf of the Democratic Party and electing good Democrats from here on out. Clinton 2016!

The above is from a contributor to Reddit.

I think it is hard for those of us who spend a lot of time on this site to remember that the Republican party was not always quite the way it is today.

I mean sure there were always those on the fringe who were proudly racist, unabashedly anti-immigrant, and incredibly suspicious of the government, but nobody really listened to them.

But then Palin came along, and using her hot librarian image, made it all seem much more attractive and palatable.

The next thing you know the inmates are overrunning the asylum, and we have Ted Cruz reading from "Green Eggs, and Ham" on the Senate floor.

But I have always felt that if the radical right got their way, and actually were given the chance to govern, that it would not take too long for the more reasonable members of the Republican party to either rise up against them and start tossing them overboard or to leave the party altogether.

The commenter up above is clearly the latter.

Today we see a Republican party that is clearly at war with itself, and that means someday Sarah Palin may end up being seen as the catalyst that exposed the cracks in the GOP facade which could usher in its demise or its restructuring.

In other words, and try not to allow this to make your head explode, someday her contribution to the political landscape might be seen as positive. Though not purposefully of course.

Hey, hey, hey do you know what's really behind the riots in Baltimore? Gay marriage.

Texas Rep. Bill Flores
Courtesy of Raw Story:  

Republican U.S. House Representative Bill Flores of Texas argued this week that violence in Baltimore could be linked to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. 

On the Wednesday edition of the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio program, Flores told FRC President Tony Perkins that crowds of conservatives were showing up at the U.S. Supreme Court to urge justices to support the “rights of tradition marriage.” 

Perkins suggested that the government was just creating more problems for itself as courts throughout the nation continued to rule that LGBT people should have equal marriage rights. 

“A lot of these problems are created by the breakdown of the family, which the redefinition of would only accelerate,” Perkins opined. 

“You’re exactly right, Tony,” Flores agreed. “Let’s talk about poverty for instance… The single best indicator of whether or not a child is going to be in poverty or not is whether or not they were raised by a two-parent household or a single-parent household. And so the breakdown of the family has contributed to poverty.” 

“You look at what’s going on in Baltimore today, you know, you see issues that are raised there,” the congressman continued. “And healthy marriages are the ones between a man and a woman because they can have a healthy family and they can raise children in the way that’s best for their future, not only socially but psychologically, economically, from a health perspective.”

Makes perfect sense.

The only good kind of parenting is the parenting done by a man and a woman, married during a Christian ceremony in an honest to goodness church, who are raising their child to be a God fearing clone of themselves.

Anything else leads to rioting, the rejection of Creationism, and "gasp" homosexuality. (And not the good kind with just two ladies either.)

So clearly the problems with police brutality, and minorities being arrested in far larger numbers than their white counterparts, has nothing to do with racial injustice, and is only the byproduct of single parent families, and not enough Jesus in their lives. 

It must be incredibly comforting to always see every problem as black and white, and to believe that through some divine intervention you happened to have been born in a place that allowed you to have been indoctrinated into the right religion.

It's people like this.

Apparently this photo has already been shared over 52,000 times.

Hopefully by people like myself who simply want to demonstrate the ignorance of some of these assholes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Awash in paranoid conspiracy theories Texas Governor orders state guard to monitor federal military during maneuvers over fear they are a ruse for Obama to impose martial law. Nope, not a joke.

Courtesy of Dallas News:  

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor federal military exercises in the state, responding to citizen fears, stoked by online conspiracy theories, that the maneuvers are a ruse to impose martial law. 

Operation Jade Helm 15 is a large-scale training operation scheduled for elite military forces, such as the Navy SEALS and Green Berets. The operation will involve about 1,200 personnel operating in Southwestern states including Texas from July 15 to Sept. 15. 

Fears about the exercise have roiled for weeks online. Several websites, videos and Twitter users have argued that it is really a federal takeover of hostile states, including the confiscation of guns. To address those concerns, Abbott instructed Maj. Gen. Gerald “Jake” Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard, to keep a watch over the exercises and help keep local law enforcement agencies and their citizens informed. “During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional right, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott told Betty in a letter Tuesday.

This decision has understandably shocked some of the more rational Texans.

The Texas Democratic Party questioned the judgment of Abbott, a Republican, for giving countenance to questions about the military’s integrity and credence to “the most extreme right” aspects of his party. 

“If the governor truly respects the men and women of our armed forces, both national and Texan, he shouldn’t make public policy and operational decisions on the basis of tea party Internet chatter or the rants of conspiracy theorists,” said party spokesman Manny Garcia.

So to be clear Abbott is asking the State Guard to keep tabs on a force that will number among the thousands and include members from numerous branches of the military.

Which begs the question, what would the State Guard do IF the feds were actually planning to take over?

Currently the Texas State Guard consists of six Civil Affairs Regiments, two Air Wings, a Medical Brigade and a Maritime Regiment.

I mean I don't care if every member of the Guard believes themselves to be personification of Rambo himself, the American military routinely overthrows governments and captures dictators without raising a sweat.

If they really wanted to take over Texas, which of course they have no intention of doing, they would simply take over Texas.

By the way this operation, Jade Helm, is not just in Texas. It is also taking place in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

At least so far none of the other governors have allowed themselves to be frightened into making fools of themselves. 

Rage inducing video of the day.

Yes that was a car ignoring the blinking lights and stop sign on the school bus and damn near killing three young children trying to board their bus.

Here is more from King 5:

Police are looking for the driver of an SUV that passed a stopped school bus on the right and nearly hit some children getting ready to board. 

Lisa Razo and Brandy Wheeler say their kids were nearly run down as they headed out to catch the bus Friday morning. 

"I looked up and the car passed by the kids and my heart almost dropped," said Razo. 

It happened Friday at 7:25 a.m., according to bus security video, near the corner of 124th Avenue East and 224th Street East in Graham. 

Witnesses say the driver of the GMC Jimmy drove through a ditch to pass the school bus on the right hand side. Several angles show the SUV passing the bus. Children seen walking toward the bus door suddenly jumped back as the SUV passed.

I don't think you have to be a parent to have your heart jump into throat while watching that video.

I don't usually yell out loud when I see a video but I certainly did in response to this.

There is a $1,000 reward for information about this lunatic, and I certainly hope somebody gets the chance to collect it.

I assume that the cops can only charge him with some traffic violations and reckless endangerment, but personally I feel the person should be charged with attempted murder.

I realize that probably wouldn't fly but I can still wish for it. Right?

CNN's Wolf Blitzer gets the tables turned on him during interview with Baltimore community organizer about riots.

Courtesy of Crooks and Liars:   "You want peaceful protests, right?" Blitzer began his interview by asking McKesson. 

"Yes," McKesson replied, after being momentarily taken aback by obvious nature of the question. "Remember, the people that have been violent since August have been the police. When you think about the 300 people that have been killed this year alone. Like that is violence." 

McKesson agreed that the property damage in Baltimore on Monday night had been unfortunate, but he urged Blitzer to remember that there had been "many days of peaceful protests here in Baltimore City and places all around the country." 

"But at least 15 police officers have been hurt, 200 arrests, 144 vehicle fires -- these are statistics," Blitzer countered, robotically reading a police press release. "There's no excuse for that kind of violence, right?" 

"Yeah, and there's no excuse for the seven people that the Baltimore City Police Department has killed in the last year either, right?" McKesson shot back. "We're not making comparisons," Blitzer stuttered. "Obviously, we don't want anybody hurt. But I just want to hear you say that there should be peaceful protests, not violent protests in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King." 

"Yeah, there's should be peaceful protests," the community organizer replied. "And I don't have to condone it to understand it, right? The pain that people feel is real." 

"And you are making a comparison," McKesson added. "You are suggesting this idea that broken windows are worse than broken spines, right?"

Gee Blitzer could you work a little harder to hide the fact that you are a completely out of touch white dude working for a giant corporation that is terrified of incidents like this?

As it turned out last night was quite calm, in comparison to the night before and even CNN only had this to report:Police arrested two people for looting and one for disorderly conduct, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said. But most of the 10 arrests made after the 10 p.m. curfew were for curfew violation.

The local residents also came out to take back control of their streets before the curfew went into affect,  some even taking up positions to act as a buffer between potential troublemakers and the police.

In fact today Hillary Clinton came out to express her own frustration with what is taking place on the streets of America and to call for mandatory police cameras.

Courtesy of CNN: 

"As a citizen, a human being, my heart breaks for these young men and their families," Clinton said, listing a number of incidents in the last year that have found black men killed at the hands of law enforcement. "We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America." 

She continued: "We have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance and these recent tragedies should galvanize us to come together as a nation to find out balance against." 

......

"We should make sure that every police department in the country has body cameras to record interaction between offices on patrol and suspects, that will improve transparency and accountability it will help protect good people on both sides of the lens," Clinton said, calling for body cameras to be the "norm everywhere."

I think that is the right message for this time, and I imagine several GOP presidential contenders will join her. Though to be fair Rand Paul is already there.

Bristol Palin: Nothing to see here, let's move along.

This showed up on Brancy's blog the other day with this caption:

My mom made homemade cinnamon rolls! #weddingprep #onemonth

If this seems very familiar it's probably because we discussed this pic here on IM over a month ago.

One has to wonder why Nancy French would recycle an old photo off of Bristol's Instagram account and attempt to make a new post, when she has spent most of her time attacking Hillary Clinton, or pushing a Christian or military agenda.

I of course have a theory.

After all that post about Bristol's exotic friend garnered almost 500 comments and seems to have changed the narrative quite a bit.

Kind of hard to sell yourself as a former abstinence spokesperson and born again virgin, about to marry a war hero, with connections to a friend like this:


Who has videos available online like this, and this.

And it's not like Bristol can do anything to hide their friendship.

Which once again is no big deal, UNLESS her mother wants to continue marketing Bristol as a proponent of family values, a Christian blogger, and the wife of a future Senator or Congressman.

Because you KNOW that is where this whole thing is heading.

They have even started to transform Tripp into a new version of Track.

(Possibly the most disturbing picture so far.)

John Oliver once again goes after TV snake oil salesman Dr. Oz, and it's glorious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TucUMpWWe8A
Click image to play video
I loved this bit:

“No. You are scientifically wrong about that as you are about so many things. Let’s be clear: The First Amendment protects Americans from government censorship, and that’s it. It does not guarantee you to simultaneously hold a faculty position at a prestigious private university and make misleading claims on a TV show. It absolutely protects your right to say whatever you like on it, just as it protects my right to say what I think about you on mine, which is this: You are the worst person in scrubs who has ever been on television—and I’m including Katherine Heigl in that. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to be worse than Katherine Heigl? You are also the admittedly handsome ringmaster of a middling mid-afternoon televised snake-oil dispensary and it says something that even when you do a show with seven fake models of human feces, the biggest piece of shit on the stage has his name in the title.”

By the way there are now over a thousand doctors calling for Dr. Oz to step down from his faculty position at Columbia University.


Courtesy of Fox News: 

Earlier this week, 10 doctors sent a letter calling for Oz, host of the popular TV show "The Dr. Oz Show," to be removed from his academic position as a cardiothoracic surgeon at Columbia. The doctors said that Oz has promoted products and made claims that aren't supported by medical evidence. 

And now, of the 1,300 doctors who responded by 4 p.m. ET today (April 24) to a poll conducted by SERMO, a social network for doctors, 735 doctors (57 percent) said Oz should resign from his faculty position at Columbia. Fifty doctors (4 percent) said Oz should have his medical license revoked. And another 280 doctors (22 percent) said Oz should both resign from his position and have his license taken away.

Personally I have long disliked Dr. Oz and his fact free TV program.

It started for me when I left the television on all night, and woke up in the morning to Oz telling his audience about a "miracle" fat reducing supplement that he guaranteed would help people drop at least fifteen pounds without doing anything else different.

Literally the first word that left my mouth that morning was "bullshit!"

Anybody, doctor or otherwise, who puts the word "miracle" in front of any fat reducing product should immediately cause you to stop listening to them immediately.

And from what I have learned since, virtually ALL of his presentations which push miraculous foods, supplements, and even exercise regimes are flawed, and they provide potentially dangerous information to his largely undereducated sycophants.

North Dakota lawmaker who voted against legal protections for gays, gets outed as hypocrite after it's revealed he sent another man a picture of his penis.

Randy won't be Boehning anybody for awhile.
Courtesy of Inforum:  

North Dakota lawmaker who sent an explicit photo of himself to another man says the exchange being made public is retaliation for a recent vote against expanding gay rights. 

Rep. Randy Boehning, a 52-year-old Republican legislator from Fargo, says a Capitol employee told him a fellow lawmaker vowed to out him as gay if he continued to vote against bills granting gays legal protections against discrimination. 

Boehning refused to identify at this point who he believes is behind the purported political payback for his vote against Senate Bill 2279, the third such bill defeated in the past six years by North Dakota legislators. 

The exchange came to light when Dustin Smith, a 21-year-old Bismarck man with no known connections to the Capitol, contacted The Forum earlier this month, saying he recognized Boehning from a gay dating smartphone app called Grindr. Chatting under the user name Top Man!, Boehning sent Smith sexually suggestive messages and, in the early morning hours of March 12, an unsolicited photo of his penis, according to exchanges reviewed by The Forum. 

"How can you discriminate against the person you're trying to pick up?" Smith said in a recent interview.

Okay literally this kind of thing happens so often that when somebody comes out as especially anti-gay, my first response is "Yep probably gay."

It may not be fair, but there you have it.

And by the way how much better is it that this guy's name is literally "boning."

I mean that's just the cherry on top in my opinion.

Look who showed up to protest the Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

A conservative activist who became infamous for claiming that Monster Energy drinks were the work of Satan warned C-SPAN host John McArdle this week that God would stop protecting America if same-sex marriage was legalized. 

As the U.S. Supreme Court was preparing to hear arguments on marriage equality on Tuesday, McArdle interviewed protester Christine Weick, who was standing outside the courthouse holding a sign that used the Bible to condemn homosexuality. 

“I’m here because I have a passion for God’s word,” she explained. “And I understand we have a situation here where God shows us in the Old Testament an example of nations that go against the word of God.” 

“I love my God, and I love my country,” Weick continued. “And it concerns me that if this goes the wrong way, which is against the Bible, that his hand of protection will be leaving this country, and that scares me.”

For those who may have forgotten what first brought Weick to our attention, take a moment to bask in the lunacy.

And really who WOULDN'T take a woman who believes that Satan is making energy drinks and selling them in America seriously?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's official, Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination Thursday.

Courtesy of Vermont Public Radio:  

VPR News has learned from several sources that Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday. 

Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks. 

Sanders' entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party. 

Sanders' basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished. 

His opposition to a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (T.P.P.) shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign. 

"If you want to understand why the middle class in America is disappearing and why we have more wealth and income inequality in America than we have had since the late 1920s, you have to address the issue of trade,” Sanders said in a phone interview on April 23. 

The Huffington Post has also confirmed that Sanders will announce.

God who doesn't love Bernie?

If nothing else he is really going to bring a whole ton of heat down on Clinton, and force her to discuss some things that I am sure she would rather not have to address during the the primaries.

Personally I feel that she probably worries more about Bernie than she does any of her GOP rivals. Essentially because he has the support of the base of Democrats that she desperately needs to win over in order to gain the nomination.

Wow, a real live Socialist. This ought to be fun!

Religious leaders want certain Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from the gay marriage case because they might "gasp" be FOR marriage equality.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

Religious leaders are calling on members of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing to recuse themselves from the blockbuster gay marriage case that the court will begin considering on Tuesday. 

Standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, told reporters he’s filing a motion with the Supreme Court calling for the recusal of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. 

“Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, knowing full well that unique legal issues regarding the definition of marriage would soon come before them, deliberately officiated at so-called homosexual wedding ceremonies creating not merely the appearance of bias, but an actual and blatant conflict of interest,” he said. 

“In my personal view they have committed an unparalleled breach of judicial ethics by elevating the importance of their own favored political cause of gay rights above the integrity of the court and of our nation.”

"They have committed an unparalleled breach of judicial ethics." 

Interesting. 

Do you know what else is interesting?

Yesterday the Supreme Court struck down a ruling favoring the Affordable Care Act:

The Supreme Court on Monday gave new life to a lawsuit challenging ObamaCare’s contraception mandate, striking down a previous ruling in favor of the federal government. 

The justices asked an appeals court in Cincinnati to reconsider a legal challenge that the Catholic ministries in Michigan and Tennessee filed against an ObamaCare provision that requires employers to cover birth control for all workers. 

The justices asked the lower court to reconsider the case in light of last year's landmark ruling on the contraception mandate. That decision, issued last June, held that the arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby could opt out of the contraception mandate for religious reasons. 

So the case was brought by the Catholic ministries in Michigan and Tennessee? Hmm I wonder how many Catholics are currently serving on the Supreme Court?

There are six Roman Catholics currently serving on the court including Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Sonia Sotomayor, and Clarence Thomas. (Source.)

Well gee that sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

So if Justices Ginsberg and Kagan have "committed an unparalleled breach of judicial ethics" then what is to be said for the Justices who side with their church, over their government, on an issue pertaining to women's health care?

Baltimore City riots. The day after.

Courtesy of CNN: 

Charred cars and buildings. Hospitalized police officers. Looted and damaged businesses. No school, because it might not be safe for children to go outside. 

That was the stark reality Tuesday after a night of riots, fires and heartbreak in Baltimore, parts of which looked more like a war zone than a place where people live, work and play. 

"Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who -- in a very senseless way -- are trying to tear down what so many have fought for," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. 

At least 15 officers were wounded in the unrest, six of them seriously, the city's police commissioner said. Getting them healthier is the first goal. Another is making sure that they're not joined in local hospitals by others -- be they more law enforcement officers or civilians -- in further unrest. 

There were nearly 200 arrests, 144 vehicle fires and 15 structure fires in Baltimore during the unrest that began Monday, said Howard Libit, the city's director of strategic planning and policy. 

More than 500 National Guard members are in Baltimore on Tuesday morning with "hundreds more on the way," the Maryland National Guard reports.

The finger pointing and blame has already started with conservatives mostly blaming the mayor and liberals talking about police injustice and a community that feels desperate and enraged over the death, and the lack of information about the death, of Freddie Gray.

The violence and property destruction got so bad that even the Crips and Bloods got together to call for an end to the riot.

The riots actually erupted on the day that newly confirmed AG Loretta Lynch was sworn in, which means she has to hit the ground running it seems.

Her first response to the violence will of course be closely scrutinized by her conservative detractors:

Lynch met Monday evening with President Barack Obama to discuss the riots in Baltimore. The meeting was not called specifically as a result of the situation in Baltimore, the White House said, but Lynch told Obama she'd be monitoring the situation there. 

"As our investigative process continues, I strongly urge every member of the Baltimore community to adhere to the principles of nonviolence," Lynch said in a statement. "In the days ahead, I intend to work with leaders throughout Baltimore to ensure that we can protect the security and civil rights of all residents. And I will bring the full resources of the Department of Justice to bear in protecting those under threat, investigating wrongdoing, and securing an end to violence."

Today the President had this to say:

"There's no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday. It is counterproductive," Obama said at a press conference from the White House. "When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they're not protesting. They're not making a statement. They're stealing. When they burn down a building, they're committing arson. And they're destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities. That robs jobs and opportunity from people in that area." 

My feeling at this point is if the investigation into the death of Freddy Gray does not end with indictments of at least some police officers, that we will see more violence like this in the near future.

I think MLK said it best.

By the way here are some photos of white people rioting over really important things like sports.

George W. Bush bashes President Obama over his handling of the Middle East. Wait, what?

So as it turns out George W. Bush, you know the guy that started two unnecessary wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people, and almost bankrupted America, attended some closed door meeting with Jewish donors and decided to throw a little shade Obama's way.

Apparently there was a fly in the Jewish lamp oil during this meeting and somebody managed to transcribe large portions and bring them out for all to see.

Here is what was reported:

According to the attendee's transcription, Bush noted that Iran has a new president, Hassan Rouhani. “He's smooth," Bush said. "And you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a new policy or did they just change the spokesman?” 

Bush said that Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran with a promise that they could snap back in place at any time was not plausible. He also said the deal would be bad for American national security in the long term: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.” 

Bush then went into a detailed criticism of Obama’s policies in fighting the Islamic State and dealing with the chaos in Iraq. On Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011, he quoted Senator Lindsey Graham calling it a “strategic blunder.” Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to withdraw those troops, but the idea had been to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to keep U.S. forces there past 2011. The Obama administration tried and failed to negotiate such an agreement. 

Bush said he views the rise of the Islamic State as al-Qaeda’s "second act” and that they may have changed the name but that murdering innocents is still the favored tactic. He defended his own administration’s handling of terrorism, noting that the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was captured on his watch: “Just remember the guy who slit Danny Pearl’s throat is in Gitmo, and now they're doing it on TV.” 

Yeah well remember how that guy that supposedly master minded the attacks on 9-11 was shot to shit? Yeah THAT happened on Obama's watch.

Bitch!

Bush went on to add this arrogant statement:

“In order to be an effective president ... when you say something you have to mean it,” he said. “You gotta kill em.”

Yeah well Bush sure was effective at that wasn't he?

Terrorist, terrorist's neighbor, terrorist's innocent family member, Iraqi citizen simply trying to cross the street, Afghan who kinda looks like a terrorist, journalist who was standing to close an Afghan who kinds looks like a terrorist, oh yeah Georgie boy was quite effective at having people killed.

Every fucking problem that President Obama is facing right now in the Middle East is the fault of George W. Bush and his criminal administration. And we all know it.

Even though there are attempts to soften his image such as in Dana Perino's new book, where she relates a story of Bush crying on the face of a badly wounded soldier while awarding him the Purple Heart.

Yeah he could be crying his eyes out for the next fifty years and it would never match the number of tears shed by the families of the people killed and injured in his two wars of choice.

Audi just made diesel gas out of air and water. Welcome to the future.

Courtesy of Science Alert:  

German car manufacturer Audi has reportedly invented a carbon-neutral diesel fuel, made solely from water, carbon dioxide and renewable energy sources. And the crystal clear 'e-diesel' is already being used to power the Audi A8 owned by the country’s Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka. 

The creation of the fuel is a huge step forward for sustainable transport, but the fact that it’s being backed by an automotive giant is even more exciting. Audi has now set up a pilot plant in Dresden, Germany, operated by clean tech company Sunfire, which will pump out 160 litres of the synthetic diesel every day in the coming months. 

Their base product, which they’re calling 'blue crude' is created using a three-step process. The first step involves harvesting renewable energy from sources such as wind, solar and hydropower. They then use this energy to split water into oxygen and pure hydrogen, using a process known as reversible electrolysis. 

This hydrogen is then mixed with carbon monoxide (CO), which is created from carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s been harvested from the atmosphere. The two react at high temperatures and under pressure, resulting in the production of the long-chain hydrocarbon compounds that make up the blue crude. 

Once it's been refined, the resulting e-diesel can be mixed in with our current diesel fuel, or used on its own to power cars in a more sustainable way.

Okay I know, I KNOW, that this will not get anywhere near the attention as some of my previous posts.

But I have to reiterate folks that THIS is what is really important, and THIS is what should excite and inspire all of us.

Just take a minute to imagine what this kind of a breakthrough could mean for the future of this planet. 

Less pollution, less raping of the planet, less money spent on energy, fewer reasons to go to war, and that is only the beginning.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating, this is an amazing time to be alive.

Adolph Hitler finds out people think he was an Atheist.

I actually got tired of this meme awhile back, but I have to admit that this one cracked me up. Not to mention being informative.

I always have to wonder if it irritates German speaking people that all of this dialogue is purposefully mistranslated in order to make a joke? 

I don't think I really care, I just wonder.

Tricked you.

I think this needs to be spread far and wide.

If any Republican president had accomplished even a fraction of what Obama has accomplished the conservatives would never shut up about it.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hillary speaks out for women's rights around the world, but the conservatives only hear an attack on religion.

Starting at the 7:54 mark:

"Yes. we've nearly closed the global gender gap in primary school. But secondary school remains out of reach for so many girls around the world. Yes. we've increased the number of countries prohibiting domestic violence. But still more than half the nations in the world have no such laws on the books. And an estimated one in three women still experience violence. Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe child birth. All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice not just paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Sounds reasonable doesn't it? 

Well that's clearly because you are a liberal heathen, because that is certainly not the takeaway from the conservatives and religious right.

This was Jeb Bush's response:  

"This week Hillary Clinton said that people's deep-seated religious beliefs need to be changed in order to advance her own personal political agenda. Wow," he wrote. "America was founded on religious freedom, and that freedom is woven into the Bill of Rights as the first guarantee. And strengthening families is an important element to helping people rise up. This shouldn't be a partisan political issue, but unfortunately for Hillary Clinton it sounds like it is."

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, had this to say:  

In other words, Hillary has a problem with the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion—they must be changed. 

Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion. It’s time for Hillary to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.

Then there was this from The Blaze, Glenn Beck's site:

Reading between the lines, it was obvious that Clinton took aim at Christians in America during the recent women’s summit. Implications of Clinton’s speech toward Christians couldn’t be clearer. 

It was perhaps Clinton’s attempt to hammer the final nail into America’s proverbial coffin by lessening Christians’ religious, cultural, and familial beliefs. If achieved, the result will be that God, the Bible and the U.S. Constitution which was founded upon Christian principles, will take a back seat to other progressive agendas, at least in a Clinton presidency.

And of course Brancy also felt the need to weigh in:  

Why do so many people feel the need to attack the basic freedoms of our country? Religious freedom of belief, freedom of speech – none of these seem to matter anymore, if someone simply doesn’t agree with me. If someone believes abortion is wrong because of their faith in the Bible and the value of human life – well then, their beliefs have to go. 

Do you see what’s most important to the abortion crowd? It’s not women, it’s not people, it’s not freedom. It’s this one issue of abortion that trumps everyone else’s well-being. It’s the demand of doing whatever they want to do without being inconvenienced by people who disagree with them, and have good reasons to! 

I do not want someone who’s out to change my religious beliefs, just because I disagree with her agenda, as our next President. Do you?

So from that very articulate, and expansive speech on the continued need to focus on women's rights around the world, the only thing the conservatives take away from it is that Hillary Clinton wants to close down their churches.

I get the feeling that pretty much every word Hillary says, regardless of the topic, is going to come under some attack from the Right Wing.

Does that make me paranoid, or a realist?

Baltimore riots. Happening now.

Courtesy of MSN: 

Seven Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday as rioters threw bricks, broke windows, looted businesses and burned patrol cars in violent protests following the funeral of a black man who died after he was injured in police custody. 

The riots broke out just a few blocks from the site of the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in northwest Baltimore and then spread through other parts of the city in the most violent demonstrations since looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. 

Television images showed mobs of rioters jumping on top of a police car, destroying a taxi and setting two other patrol cars on fire after teenaged crowds ignored calls to disperse and clashed with lines of hundreds of police. Gangs had threatened to target police officers, local law enforcement said.

I have been watching this unfold for the last hour or so now, and it is really frustrating to see these young people reinforce everything that the conservatives want Americans to believe about this community.

They have been destroying property, burning police cars, and robbing stores like common thugs. 

From what I am hearing these rioters are quite young, 14, 15, and 16 years old and they are clearly very angry. So angry in fact that they are refusing to listen to more mature voices asking them to stop.



And of course you knew this was coming.
Now they just set the local CVS on fire. It looks to me that there are now some older people showing up and trying to quell the riot before things get too far out of control.

Author of anti-Hillary book is not, repeat not, also writing a book going after Jeb Bush as previously reported.

Courtesy of Media Matters:

Journalists have suggested that conservative author Peter Schweizer's forthcoming book attacking Hillary Clinton is more credible because he will follow it up with a similar book examining Jeb Bush. But according to his publisher, no such book is in the works: Schweizer's reporting on Bush will be published on the website of his non-profit organization. 

Over the past few days numerous media outlets have begun reporting on allegations Schweizer makes in his forthcoming book Clinton Cash about allegedly unethical ties between the Clinton Foundation and actions Hillary Clinton purportedly made as secretary of state. Critics -- including Media Matters -- have noted that Schweizer is a Republican activist and strategist with a history of reporting errors. 

Pushing back against this narrative, Bloomberg Politics reported on April 23 that in contrast to the "left-wing clamor that Schweizer is simply out to get Hillary Clinton," "Schweizer is working on a similar investigation of Jeb Bush's finances that he expects to publish this summer." 

Picking up the story, Politico reported that Schweizer "is reportedly working on another book that he expects to release in the summer. Only this time, he'll be writing about Jeb Bush." CNN likewise reported that the "book on Bush... would be published this summer." 

But HarperCollins, the publisher of Clinton Cash, denies that any such book is in the works.

So to be clear there will be no big media tour promoting a book about what a scallywag Jeb Bush is right before the 2016 election, like Schweizer is now doing for his Hillary book.

Gee color me unsurprised.

Here is Schwiezer on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, essentially admitting that there is no "Smoking gun" but that the "pattern of behavior," none of it based on provable fact, is the troubling part.

Media Matters, who is all over this Schweizer guy,  also brings to light one of his previous books that essentially accused Disney of promoting homosexuality:  

In the 1998 book Disney: The Mouse Betrayed, Schweizer and his wife Rochelle Schweizer set out to investigate the dark side of Disney, and they claim that what they uncovered "was downright disturbing -- even shocking." Their book touches on a wide range of offenses, and includes an entire chapter devoted to "growing gay activism" at the corporation. 

The Schweizers document Disney's gay-friendly hiring policies, noting "gay employees fill a variety of roles at the company," even explaining that founder Walt Disney stood by an animator arrested in the 1930s on a charge of homosexuality. 

Well that is certainly the kind of courageous investigative journalism that one would expect from the author of "Clinton Cash."

By the way if you wish to see more positive coverage of this book just turn on Fox News at literally anytime during the day, because they have now become the 24 hour "Clinton Cash" promoting network lately.

Believe me, I am not even kind of exaggerating.

There is little doubt that they really think this book is going to severely damage Hillary, and are pulling out all of the stops to make sure the wound is deep and potentially fatal to her political aspirations.

Okay, okay let's talk about Bristol Palin's exotic modeling buddy.

Link
As you guys probably know I receive all sorts of things in my e-mail box or in the comments here at IM.

A lot of the time much of it is not worth pursuing.

However once in awhile you get an interesting little nugget, and a contributor who is pretty determined.

That is what has been happening lately.

Apparently that lady up above, who works with Bristol at Dr. Cusack's office, is also an exotic model.

That's her on the left at Bristol's "bridal shower."
And that's her in the middle.

This is her Twitter page.

And this is her on the job.

Source

(At some point today this will probably all be removed from the internet so you might want to take a few screenshots.)

Now I am liberal so I really don't have an issue with the sex industry or erotic photography (Oh college, I remember you well). However I am also not the daughter of a well known faux Christian ex-politician, whose father has been accused of being a pimp, and who has also lent her name to a blog that pushes a heavy handed Christian agenda.

All of THAT kind of makes THIS worthy of discussion.

So feel free.

Female reporter for Slate gives ten reason why she is not only pro-choice, but pro-abortion.

I think I am like most people who are for a woman's right to choose, in that I don't feel comfortable suggesting that there should be more abortions, only that I think it should be up to the woman to decide if she wants/needs one or not, and nobody else.

However this Slate reporter, Valerie Tarico, has a much more definite point of view.

She starts off with this declaration:I am pro-abortion like I’m pro-knee-replacement and pro-chemotherapy and pro-cataract surgery. As the last protection against ill-conceived childbearing when all else fails, abortion is part of a set of tools that help women and men to form the families of their choosing. I believe that abortion care is a positive social good. I suspect that a lot of other people secretly believe the same thing. And I think it’s time we said so.

From there she goes on to list, and explain, her reasons for being, not simply pro-choice, but pro-abortion.

Number 1: I’m pro-abortion because being able to delay and limit childbearing is fundamental to female empowerment and equality. A woman who lacks the means to manage her fertility lacks the means to manage her life. Any plans, dreams, aspirations, responsibilities or commitments–no matter how important–have a great big contingency clause built: “until or unless I get pregnant, in which case all bets are off.”

Okay you know that conservative women will lose their minds over this reasoning.  After all they believe that a woman's single greatest achievement is to make a little human being., and NOTHING should ever delay or interfere with that.

Number 2: I’m pro-abortion because well-timed pregnancies give children a healthier start in life. We now have ample evidence that babies do best when women are able to space their pregnancies and get both pre-natal and pre-conception care. The specific nutrients we ingest in the weeks before we get pregnant can have a lifelong effect on the wellbeing of our offspring. Rapid repeat pregnancies increase the risk of low birthweight babies and other complications. Wanted babies are more likely to get their toes kissed, to be welcomed into families that are financially and emotionally ready to receive them, to get preventive medical care during childhood and the kinds of loving engagement that helps young brains to develop.

I see nothing wrong with that logic.

Number 3: I’m pro-abortion because I take motherhood seriously. Most female bodies can incubate a baby, and thanks to antibiotics, cesareans and anti-hemorrhage drugs, most of us are able to survive pushing a baby out into the world. But parenting is a lot of work, and doing it well takes twenty dedicated years of focus, attention, patience, persistence, social support, mental health, money, and a whole lot more. This is the biggest, most life-transforming thing most of us will ever do. The idea that women should simply go with it when they find themselves pregnant after a one-night-stand, or a rape, or a broken condom completely trivialized motherhood.

Preaching to the choir.

However I will add one caveat, and that is that quite often women are indeed ready to be mothers even if they do not yet know they are ready.

The epitome of Christian love.

So that strange looking individual up above is a former LA cop and current missionary and self styled preacher Tony Miano. He is also used to host a show with Kirk Cameron buddy, Ray Comfort.

Well while most people were reacting with horror at the devastation that resulted from that earthquake in Nepal, Miano had an entirely different reaction.

Yeah nothing like a devastating earthquake, and an astronomical loss of innocent life, to convince the heathens to reject thousands of years of religious tradition and embrace the Christian god, who Christians believe is responsible for all natural phenomena on earth.

Good sales pitch.

(H/T to The Friendly Atheist.)

Religion.

I think this about sums it up.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

President Obama's anger translator.

"Look at what's happening right now. Every serious scientist says we need to act. The Pentagon says it's a national security risk. Miami floods on a sunny day, and instead of doing anything about it we've got elected officials throwing snowballs in the Senate! It is crazy! What about our kids! What kind of stupid, short sighted, irresponsible bulls....?"

I have to admit that when I saw this bit start last night, I thought "This is not working."

But then when the President started his rant, I thought "Damn this is gold!"

You watch on Monday this is going to be the part that gets played and dissected over and over again.

I think the President has been dying to say some version of this for the last six and a half years.

And it must have felt so good that I would not blame him for lighting up a cigarette afterward.

Sarah Palin outraged that Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamic terrorist group is targeting Christians. Christians I say!

Click gargoyle to play video
The Queen of indignation is very, very....what's the word for it? Oh yeah, indignant.

Just listen to her verbal vomit:

"Wow, are massacres of Christians now so routine that, shoot, they can barely break into the news cycle? Seems that way. In Kenya, a jihadist group every bit as radical as ISIS stormed into a college, they separated the Christians from the Muslim students, and they didn’t stop shooting Christians until more than 140 Christians lay dead. Oh God bless those Christian students, their families, their loved ones. Those Christian students who refused to deny Christ up to the very end. (Heavy sigh.) Christians are being targeted for murder in our long war against radical Islam. But the Obama administration still isn't serious. They're not serious about Jihad. Still engages with as little force and as many limits as possible. It's even trying to tie the hands of our next President. See some of the problems are our allies don't have enough resources. Our soldiers, they're not allowed to fight to win. And the Obama administration, it’s focusing its energy on things like appeasing Iran while alienating Israel. Our priorities are exactly backwards. These backward priorities are killing the Christian faith in the Middle East. They’re killing Christians in Africa. And their undermining our own national security. How long before we face another unthinkable tragedy, right here at home? When if we do the right thing it can be prevented."

Yes our President, who is so uncommitted to killing terrorists that he had to apologize to the families of two hostages caught in the crossfire, is allowing these jihadists to kill innocent Christians, and not lifting a finger to help.

After all can't we simply send American troops into Kenya and start killing their citizens simply because we are convinced they are potential terrorists?

Oh we can't?

Yeah but Sarah Palin just.....oh she's an idiot with no experience in foreign relations you say?

Well you do have to admit that it is terrible that this group is targeting ONLY Christians and killing them because of their faith, right?

Oh, Al-Shabaab is going after multiple targets including health centers and Mosques, local officials, UNICEF staff members, and just about anybody else they think might be in their way?

Yes but it's still true that the President is not doing anything to address this massacre of Christians, right?

Oh he called the president of Kenya right after the attacks to offer condolences, and he is headed to Kenya in July where he will discuss “how to strengthen counterterrorism cooperation and continue to work together to build a safer and more prosperous future for Kenya and the broader region?”

Oh well it's still true that Sarah Palin is a freeze dried moron, with not enough brain power to calculate the logistics necessary to scratch her own ass without a detailed instruction manual written in crayon to help her to decipher it, right?

Yes that last part is indeed correct.

I knew that.

(H/T to Wonkette.)

Supreme Court poised to render decision on marriage equality that will determine the future of same sex marriage.

Courtesy of HuffPo:

The U.S. Supreme Court's arguments on Tuesday over same-sex marriage will cap more than two decades of litigation and a transformation in public attitudes. 

Based on the court's actions during the past two years, a sense of inevitability is in the air: That a majority is on the verge of declaring gay marriage legal nationwide. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's pivotal member on gay rights, has been marching in this direction with opinions dating to 1996. In his most recent gay rights decision for the court in 2013, rejecting a legal definition of marriage limited to a man and woman for purposes of federal benefits, Kennedy deplored that U.S. law for making gay marriages "unequal." 

That 5-4 decision did not address a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but lower court judges interpreted the ruling as an endorsement of it and began invalidating state bans.

I have heard that a lot of conservative politicians really want the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same sex marriage, so that they will have an excuse not to address it during campaigns.  Essentially it will let them off the hook.

However this possibility has enraged many on the religious right:

Angered by the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage nationwide, busloads of protestors from religious and conservative groups gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Saturday to inveigh against defining marriage as anything except a union between one man and one woman. 

On the weekend before the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in a case from Ohio that could extend marital rights to gay people, the protestors argued the Justices should heed the word of religions that regard the only appropriate marriages as between a man and a woman, as well as voters such as those in Ohio, who made that marital definition their state law. 

"The people of every state should remain free to uphold marriage as the union of one man and one woman," Josh Duggar, a reality television star who serves as executive director of the Family Research Council, told the crowd. "The court has the opportunity to affirm what these states and many others did in affirming marriage in their state constitutions."

Yep leave it to the Duggars to be on the wrong side of history. 

I hate to make a prediction here, but if I had to I also think the Justices are going to rule on the side of marriage equality. As well they should.

And once they do these troglodytes arguing that their religious definition for marriage stand will find themselves filed away by history along with those who argued in favor of slavery and against a woman's right to vote.

Death toll in Nepal rises to almost 2,000.

Courtesy of The Guardian:  

The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Nepal climbed above 1,900 on Sunday and was continuing to rise as officials struggled to gauge the full scale of the disaster and the world rushed to provide desperately needed aid. 

Dozens of aftershocks jolted Nepal on Saturday and Sunday as people sheltered where they could. Nepalese authorities continually revised the number of dead upwards a day after the Himalayan country was shaken by a magnitude 7.8 quake that wrecked houses, flattened centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches on Mount Everest. 

More than 5,000 people had been injured, with the number of dead and injured expected to rise in the coming days. Nepalese police officials said more than 700 people died in Kathmandu alone. 

An avalanche triggered by the quake struck a section of Everest’s base camp, killing at least 17 people and injuring 61 others, local reports said. Further up the mountain, about 100 climbers were safe but facing difficulty getting down as the route back to safety was damaged, with the situation of more people on other other routes on the mountain still unknown and rescue efforts under way.

So much devastation!

My daughter arrived back home last night after being on the road with a traveling stage show for almost a month, and she sort of shamed me by asking how I could be so focused on the President's WHCD speech and not this tragedy.


She had a point.

I guess part of the reason I had not written about it is that I found it a little overwhelming and didn't know what I could do to help here on this blog.

The US is responding by sending a disaster response team and a million dollars in aid, but I imagine that amount will go up as we learn more about the devastation and loss of life.

I would suggest to those that want to help that they could start by making a donation to the Red Cross, because you know they will be in the thick of things.

If any of you have more information, or more legitimate places to donate, please let us know.

After all we are really one community sharing this planet, and what hurts one of us, hurts all of us.

Geraldo Rivera schools Eric Bolling that Saudi Arabia is far more dangerous than Iran.

Courtesy of Mediaite:  

Geraldo Rivera battled a rather stunned Eric Bolling tonight on The O’Reilly Factor over his insistence that it is Saudi Arabia, not Iran, that represents the “gravest threat” to the United States. 

Rivera said he’s as worried about a nuclear Iran as he is a nuclear Pakistan or a nuclear Iran. He told Bolling to stop reciting “propaganda that you have been spoon-fed by the Saudis,” and said that Saudi Arabia is a much bigger threat. 

He cited attacks like the bombing of the USS Cole and 9/11 as evidence, but Bolling kept asking him where the money came from. They fought over that for a bit and Rivera rolled his eyes at Bolling’s “absolute baloney.”

 I actually caught this on Friday, and was pretty surprised to see Rivera taking it to Bolling so aggressively.

And the thing is he is absolutely correct. 

Attacking the anti-Iran talking points with facts on Fox News. Isn't that a sign of the Apocalypse?

As you have probably heard former Olympian Bruce Jenner came out with some shocking news. He's a Republican!

Yes I know that Jenner came out as a woman, but seriously after some of the pictures that have been floating around the internet lately who could be surprised by that?

However this, this I found surprising: 

The revelation came when Sawyer asked Jenner for his reaction to President Barack Obama identifying trans Americans during this year’s State of the Union address. 

“He actually was the first one to say the actual word transgender, I will certainly give him credit for that,” Jenner said of Obama. “But not to get political, I’ve just never been a big fan — I’m kind of more on the conservative side.” 

“Are you a Republican?” Sawyer asked. 

“Yeah, is that a bad thing?” Jenner replied. “I believe in the Constitution.”

First off if you really "believe in the Constitution" then why would you side with the political party that does not seem to understand it?

And secondly, are you out of your freaking mind?

Anybody who is going through something as unconventional as sexual reassignment surgery, is certainly NOT going to find any support on the conservative side of the aisle.

Your people. whether you like it or not, are standing firmly with the progressives.

After all changing your sex is just about as progressive as it gets in 2015.

However I have to admit that this revelation helps to explain why a certain half term governor has raised her family, and made choices, that closely mirror the example set by the Kardashians.

Now apparently Todd Palin will have an announcement to make in the very near future.

Food for thought in a high school science classroom.

Clearly this is in a science classroom NOT located in the deep south.