The Watering Hole, Monday, April 28th, 2014: Bird-Brained

This past week has seen a lot of very odd behavior from some bird-brained bipeds.

First, the human bird-brains, starting with the ongoing and ever-weirder racist stylings of Cliven Bundy. Bundy’s ‘open-beak-insert-claw’ babblings caused even die-hard libertarian Rand Paul, as well as Fox’s knee-jerk-anti-government-reactionary (emphasis on jerk) Sean Hannity, to sidle away from Bundy. Paul’s statement, “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” seemed a bit weak compared with his fellow Republican Senator Dean Heller’s. From Think Progress: “…[Heller’s]spokesman told the New York Times the senator “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.” Much more genuine-sounding, more human, right?

Again with the racism: L.A. Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling‘s blatantly racist – and audiotaped — admonishment to his girlfriend after she posted a photo on Instagram of herself with basketball legend Magic Johnson has been the talk of national news outlets and sports programs alike. Not surprising, since one of Sterling’s quotes from said audiotape is “don’t bring black people to my games

Next, bird-brained Bill O’Reilly still seems to be unaware of his own ignorant inner racist: On Friday, in reaction to Time Magazine’s decision to feature singer Beyoncé on the cover for their “most influential people” edition, O’Reilly aired his delusion that Beyoncé is in charge raising America’s young black girls. In Bill-O’s mind, she’s doing a piss-poor job of it, what with the sexual song lyrics and the “revealing clothing” that she wears in her music videos — into which I presume Bill-O did a LOT of research, checking for ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and the like.

O’REILLY:

“She knows — this woman knows — that young girls are getting pregnant in the African American community…Now it’s about 70 percent out of wedlock. She knows and doesn’t seem to care…She should be smart enough to know that what’s she doing now is harming some children…”

Sorry, Bill, but Beyoncé isn’t harming anyone; look in your mirror, you’re the one doing harm to the whole country.

Okay, enough of the human bird-brains, now let’s enjoy some feathered ones…

Several times last week, outside our office, I noticed various birds engaged in springtime mating behavior. The male birds were chasing females either in fast-paced displays of aerodynamics and maneuverability, or in a more slow-motion – and more amusing – “chase” within a tree, with the male hopping from branch to branch after the female. While the birds that I observed were entertaining, the mating behavior of blue jays, chickadees, English sparrows, and our other local birds pales in comparison to these guys:

Japanese Red-Crowned Cranes

Japanese Red-Crowned Cranes


Great Egret aka Great White Heron

Great Egret aka Great White Heron


Great Frigatebird

Great Frigatebird


Male Peacock

Male Peacock


Royal Terns

Royal Terns

Yes, that was much more enjoyable!

This is our daily open thread–what’s on YOUR mind?

54 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, April 28th, 2014: Bird-Brained

  1. A bird’s eye (read: elevated) view of Conservatives and conservatism:

    “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.” ~John Stuart Mill

    “Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~John Kenneth Galbraith

    “The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.” ~G. K. Chesterton

    “Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they’ve stolen.” ~Mort Sahl

    “Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear.” ~William Gladstone

    “A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.” ~Alfred E. Wiggam

    “A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    “A conservative is a man who sits and thinks, mostly sits.” ~Woodrow Wilson

    “With one foot planted firmly on the wrong side of American ideals, conservatives have forsaken their own beliefs, failed our Founding Fathers, and diminished America.” ~Steven Sacco, July 1, 2006

    A bird-brained view of Conservatives and conservatism:

    “Let me be straight with you – I like George Bush. I think he’s a man of principle, a man of faith. I think he’s got a backbone of steel and he’s a real, genuine, big-time leader … He’s a consequential figure for his time. We don’t see it right now.” ~Sean Hannity, Fox News

    My own view via a quick Mitt Romney rewrite:

    “Conservatives aren’t people, my friend.”

  2. Rep. Michael Grimm In Custody To Face Federal Charges

    The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn says Congressman Michael Grimm has been taken into custody to face federal charges.

    The Staten Island Republican was being booked on Monday at the New York FBI office in lower Manhattan. He was expected to be arraigned later.

    Prosecutors didn’t immediately specify the exact charges he faces. Investigators have been examining his fundraising in a 2010 race and his involvement in a restaurant that was once fined for not carrying workers’ compensation insurance.

    • Michael Grimm indicted on 20 counts

      Rep. Michael Grimm was hit with a 20-count federal indictment on Monday, including allegations that he skimmed more than $1 million from a restaurant he owned before he came to Congress.

      The allegations against Grimm, 44, are related to his ownership of a health food restaurant in Manhattan called Healthalicious. Grimm owned the restaurant after he left the FBI in 2006 until he was elected to the House in 2010

        • He’s the same guy that threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony and/or break him in half like a boy.

          • Personally, I hope they investigate that part of Grimm’s threat – the part about breaking the guy in half “like a little boy.” Does that sound to anyone else like a strange kind of threat to make? I mean, how easily do little boys break compared to men, and why would anyone know the difference? (So, yeah, don’t answer that.) Does Grimm have a history of breaking men like they were little boys? Does he have a history of breaking little boys? It just seems like a strange threat.

  3. Howie Kurtz Turns On His Network, Fox News, For Its Silence On Bundy

    Media critic and Fox News host Howard Kurtz blasted his own network on Sunday for its silence on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s widely condemned comments about blacks and slavery.

    (snip)

    On Sunday’s “MediaBuzz,” Kurtz called Bundy’s remarks “blatantly racist” and said that in his view Fox News “fell seriously short” in its coverage — when the story circulated on Thursday, he said, there was “virtually no mention” of the racist remarks on the network.

    “I think that to ignore a major story that was on the front page of the New York Times, at a time when the network, among others, had devoted a lot of time to covering this to story and to building up Clive (sic) Bundy, I think that gives ammunition to Fox’s detractors,” he said.

    Fox likes it when Kurtz criticizes his old network, CNN. When Kurtz criticizes Fox, not so much. He does have one thing right. We do call Fox out for their hypocrisy frequently.

    • I not only think Ailes likes it when Kurtz bites the hand that feeds him, but Ailes may even encourage it sometimes. Lends some ‘cred’ to that “fair and balanced” bullshit.

  4. “I have a source that told me that if Jeb Bush decides not to run, that Mitt Romney may actually try it again,” CBS’ Bob Schieffer said on Sunday.

    As Obama famously once said, “Please proceed, Governor.”

  5. In light of the inflammatory and racist comments allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling and disclosed by TMZ.com, the Los Angeles Clippers wore their usual pregame warmup uniforms inside out and dumped their shooting jackets on the floor in a pile at center court.

    With about 20 minutes to go before tipoff in Game 4 at Oracle Arena, the Clippers emerged from the tunnel, huddled together in center court, and proceeded to remove their jackets in unison. They were left in a pile until the team was finished warming up, an act they performed with their usual dress turned inside out so they looked like a team wearing nothing but matador capes.

    President Obama comments on owner’s rant…

    http://msn.foxsports.com/buzzer/story/clippers-turn-warmup-uniforms-inside-out-in-pregame-protest-042714?gt1=39002

  6. Three more ex-Barclays bankers charged over Libor rate-rigging in Britain

    Britain’s Serious Fraud Office announced on Monday that three more ex-employees of Barclays bank have been charged over the Libor rate-rigging affair.

    The scandal over Libor, an interest rate at the heart of the global economy, has damaged the reputation of London as a global financial centre and plagued big names in world banking.

    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it had launched criminal proceedings against the three men “for conspiracy to defraud in connection with its investigation into the manipulation of Libor”.

    (snip)

    The SFO has now brought a total of 12 charges in relation to Libor, including three other former Barclays employees.

    They have a Serious Fraud Office. We have a ‘cunning plan party’ (the GOP) that blocks prosecuting fraud here.

    • Only 12 charges? Biggest bent operation ever…..I’d blunt my guillotine if I was in charge of prosecuting this one.

  7. Does Raw Story self-refresh its home page? I was scrolling down and the thing just refreshed without me clicking on anything.

  8. Weren’t we talking just last week about idiot motorcyclists and the idiotic stuff they do?

    • Are tortoise hatchlings always impressed when they hatch, or just this bunch?😉

  9. “He (Donald Sterling) got set up by a very, very bad girlfriend, let’s face it,” Donald Trump opined on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” today.

    Trump: “Those cows set Cliven Bundy up. They’re very, very bad cows, let’s face it.”

  10. I’ve gone missing due to planting season. I gather House has not been tornadoed?

    • I have not been tornadoed. We had to go to the storm shelter area once, but it was for the storm that hit way to the north of us. 2 died near Athens, and 2 died near Fayetteville, Tennessee.There may be more I haven’t heard about in my vicinity. I just got home from work.

      • I don’t know why tornado alley is in the Kansas area, seems the south gets most of the bad ones. Glad you’re ok.

  11. ~”Racists were happier before the invention of tape recorders.”~

    Andy Borowitz

  12. Shooting at FedEx Center Wounds 6, Suspect Dead

    A shooter described as being armed with an assault rifle and having bullets strapped across his chest “like Rambo” opened fire Tuesday morning at a FedEx station outside Atlanta, wounding at least six people before police found the suspect dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

    Police rushed to the center after someone called to report an active shooter at 5:54 a.m. After surrounding the perimeter and working to clear the building, officers found the suspect dead, Cobb County police spokesman Michael Bowman said. He said there were no immediate reports anyone else had been killed.

    At least he took his own life before it got any worse.

    • This was in Kennesaw, Georgia, the city that has a law on the books requiring residents to own guns.

  13. Chris Christie is making a ‘personnel’ announcement at 3pm eastern, per Tamron Hall on MSNBC.

  14. Ted Cruz Calls On John Kerry To Resign Over Israeli ‘Apartheid’ Warning

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday called on John Kerry to resign after the U.S. secretary of state privately told important world leaders that Israel could become “an apartheid state” if it doesn’t make peace with the Palestinians soon, as reported by The Daily Beast on Sunday.

    In a floor speech, Cruz accused his former Senate colleague of displaying a “shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of his rhetoric.”

    I see nothing wrong with what Kerry said. Israel already is an apartheid state!
    Ted Cruz can go suck a fart.

  15. Supreme Court Hands Major EPA Victory to Obama Administration

    The Supreme Court has given the Environmental Protection Agency an important victory in its effort to reduce power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states.

    The court’s 6-2 decision Tuesday means that a rule adopted by EPA in 2011 to limit emissions from plants in more than two-dozen Midwestern and Southern states can take effect. The pollution drifts into the air above states along the Atlantic Coast and the EPA has struggled to devise a way to control it.

    Power companies and several states sued to block the rule from taking effect, and a federal appeals court in Washington agreed with them in 2012.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court’s majority opinion. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

  16. Advice from the mid 1920s:

    Direct sunlight prevents rickets.
    So does cod liver oil.
    Children prefer sunshine.

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