The Watering Hole, Monday, November, 21st, 2016: Pseudo-Religious Jackassery

A few odds and ends from the Christian Post to start the week.

Here we go again: Since Republicans cannot accept all of the other investigations that proved Planned Parenthood innocent of whatever wrongdoing du jour they’ve been charged with, now they’re trying again.

As noted Wednesday by USA Today**, the U.S. House Committee on House Administration voted to approve $800,000 in additional funds for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives[sic*] for their investigation of Planned Parenthood. The 14-member panel, headed by Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, was formed last summer after the Center for Medical Progress released a series of gut-wrenching videos*** showing senior Planned Parenthood officials negotiating over the prices of fetal body parts from aborted babies.

*”Infant Lives” is, obviously, a complete and deliberately misleading misnomer.

**Excerpt from the USA Today article:

“Over the objection of Democrats, the House Committee on Administration voted Wednesday to approve an additional $800,000 for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. The money is in addition to the panel’s previously approved $790,000 budget and puts it on track to spend more than $1.5 million by the end of the year.”

***Investigations which arose out of the videos, which purportedly showed PP to be illegally selling fetal tissue, consistently ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood. The investigation in Texas not only cleared PP, but charged the filmmakers with criminal activity, including a felony, although one misdemeanor charge was later dropped. Annoyingly, the felony charge was also later dismissed, more-or-less due to a court technicality. Despite that:

“Officials in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Georgia and nine other states investigated the claims made in the videos that Planned Parenthood had profited illegally from sales of fetal tissue, and cleared the group of any wrongdoing. Officials in eight other states, including California and Colorado, declined to investigate, according to Planned Parenthood.”

So, just another example of Republicans wasting money and time on yet another investigation of something that has been investigated, in this instance by at least thirteen States, including several conservative southern ones.

In a lighter, nay, more ridiculous vein, enjoy – or be nauseated by – “What Was the Role of Prophecy in 2016 Election?”:

“…Franklin Graham said the media in particular missed the “God-factor” regarding the outcome of the election.

“Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up,” Graham said.”

Pastor Paula White also reveled that she fasted and prayed, and had concluded that Trump would win, CP reported last week.

Last year, a man named Jeremiah Johnson of Behold the Man Ministries in Lakeland, Florida, said that God had shown him during prayer that Trump was raised up like a Cyrus and would be “[God’s] trumpet to the American people.”

Last, in the “laughable if it weren’t real” category, we’ve got…wait for it…alt-right racist Steve Bannon’s first interview with that bastion of political reporting, the Hollywood Reporter. How’s that for a serious, dignified start for one who is (gulp) going to be whispering evil nothings like Wormtongue into Trump’s ear? Just one brief excerpt:

“Bannon praised Trump. “You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message…”

BWAHAHAHAHA!

This is our Open Thread – feel free to discuss what you wish.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 5, 2013: Another False RW Argument Against The Assault Weapons Ban

In response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s efforts to reintroduce a ban on assault weapons similar to the one she got passed in 1994, during the Clinton administration, the Right Wing has, as it often does, presented false arguments against the ban. [Fair warning: I am going to link to and quote from Breitbart.com and other RW sites. Have your barf bags handy.] Speaking on “Meet the Republican Hack Pretending To Be the Press“, Sen. Feinstein said

that she would introduce an assault weapons ban on the first day of the next Congress. “It’s a first-day bill I’m going to introduce in the Senate and the same bill will be introduced in the House, a bill to ban assault weapons,” Feinstein said. “It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession–not retroactively but prospectively–and it will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets.”

For a gun supporter’s understanding of the 1994 AWB, see here. Please note that there is a word missing from that quote above: “rifles.” This is significant, but more on that later.

Now, if you think a new ban on assault weapons has no chance if becoming law, think again. Sen. Joe “Dead Aim” Manchin, who got an “A” rating from the NRA, backs it. That’s right, the man who ran this ad in his bid to get elected to the US Senate

said this on “Morning Joe” recently

“I want to call all our friends at the NRA and sit down,” Manchin said. “They have to be at the table. This is a time for all of us to sit down and move in a responsible manner. I think they will.”

Manchin said it was crucial to involve the NRA in the conversation. “You have to have everybody at the table, not just the people you think will support this. I’m a lifetime [NRA] member and I’m willing to sit down and ask all of my colleagues to sit down.”

Manchin has voted in support of many pro-gun laws, earning the NRA’s endorsement for his recent reelection.
“Seeing the massacre of so many innocent children has changed everything,” he said. “Everything has to be on the table.”

The proposed ban also has the support of President Obama. You’d think with the prospects of such a ban becoming law again being good that the Right Wing would just take a hint and STFU, and you would be wrong.

Now, it is true that assault weapons are not used in all that many murders, but the point isn’t to prevent any guns deaths at all from these weapons, but simply to reduce the number of people killed when one of them is used. The rationale for the ban on extended magazine clips, and other multiple round devices, is so that once a nutjob starts shooting up a place, he won’t be able to fire as many rounds before needing to reload, which would give survivors of the incident an opportunity to subdue the gunman. That’s all. If the shooter only has ten rounds in the clip, he would have to either pull another gun out right away or risk being overcome. If he can shoot 15, or 30, or 100 rounds before reloading, it’s likely more people will die before he needs to either reload or leave.

Enter the Right Wing Noise Machine. After posting a column on Breitbart.com (get those barf bags handy), Awr Hawkins made the absurd argument that “A rifle ban is as illogical as it is unconstitutional.” His rationale? “According to the FBI annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number of murders committed with a rifle.” Many other RW sites based posts on this article including Alex Jones, Fox News Nation, Daily Paul, and Free Republic. You may want to go get a second bag if you plan on reading any of the comments.

Since we’re dealing with right wing arguments, it’s natural (if you have an IQ in the three-digit range) to ask, “Is it true? Are more people really killed by hammers and clubs than by guns?” The answer is, technically, yes. It’s true, but it’s not truthful. FBI statistics for the years 2005-2009, 2010, and 2011, do show that fewer people are murdered by rifle than by a combination of various kinds of blunt instruments. But Sen. Feinstein never said the word “rifle” in that quote. She said “assault weapons.” And there are certain kinds of hand guns that would qualify as “assault weapons.” And if you look at the statistics on murders with hand guns (no specific type mentioned), you’ll see that there are more than ten times as many murders committed with hand guns as with blunt objects.

So the whole “rifle” argument is a false one from the beginning. But there’s another reason it’s a bad argument. Generally speaking, people don’t go around with hammers and blunt objects and kill four or more people at one time. Murders committed with these weapons are usually crimes of passion, where one person completely loses it and beats another person to death with whatever is handy, be it a hammer, a club, a baseball bat or, quite possibly, a rock. Nobody is proposing a ban on rocks (or hammers, clubs, or bats) because there is no fear that someone will go on a mass killing spree with a blunt object and kill 20 school children.

As for the claim that most gun murders are committed with stolen weapons, a Frontline report showed that to be false. Many illegally purchased guns are done through straw man purchases (where one person buys a gun for someone who may not be allowed to buy one for himself), corrupt licensed gun dealers, and street purchases, all of which are illegal. Of course, if the gun were never made, it couldn’t be sold illegally.

This is our daily open thread. Feell free to discuss guns, bullets, ammo, or even non-gun-related things.

The Watering Hole, Thursday, November 1st, 2012: “Disgusted” Just Doesn’t Cut It

I’m so sick and disgusted by far too many of my fellow American citizens that I don’t even know what to write about.

I don’t know what’s worse, the lies of the Romney campaign and their supporters, or the stupidity of the people who believe the lies, even after they’ve been debunked. The political opportunism of the President’s opponents making shit up about the Benghazi attack before the four bodies were even cold, forwarding conspiracy theories under the guise of “some people say” and “there are rumors”, show just how despicable these die-hard “party over country” people are.

The blatant politicizing of the Hurricane Sandy disaster by Romney and Ryan, all while Romney refuses to answer questions about his stance on FEMA, should make their supporters at least take pause; instead, their supporters are nit-picking the stories of the Romney/Ryan photo-ops during the disaster.

One of the latest attacks on Obama comes from Breitbart and The Washington Times‘ Ben Shapiro:

As Hurricane Sandy rocks the east coast, the Obama campaign soldiers on via email. Tasteless email. With millions out of power, the Obama campaign sent an email this evening with the following text:

GOT A PHONE? GET HIS BACK. CALL.BARACKOBAMA.COM

If you have a phone, don’t call your loved ones to ensure they’re safe. Call up a random person and push for Barack Obama. Because when the weather gets tough, the tough stump for Obama’s re-election.

At this point, even the word “disgusted” just isn’t enough. Anyone have a better word?

This is our daily open thread–talk amongst yourselves, I’m too disgusted.

Only one provable lie?

Media Matters for America

The media says, ‘Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies.’ Give me one example of a provable lie,” Breitbart said on stage at the Weiner presser. “One, journalist, one, put your reputation on the line here, one provable lie.”

How about a whole list of provable lies, you scum?

BIG FAT LIE:

Breitbart coordinated release of conservative activists’ undercover ACORN videos. On September 10, 2009, conservative activist and videographer James O’Keefe posted an entry to BigGovernment.com in which he revealed that he and fellow activist Hannah Giles had posed as a pimp and prostitute at a Baltimore ACORN Housing office and secretly filmed their meetings with ACORN staffers. As O’Keefe wrote, their intention was to take “advantage of ACORN’s regard for thug criminality by posing the most ridiculous criminal scenario we could think of and seeing if they would comply — which they did without hesitation,” the “scenario” being the “trafficking of young helpless girls and tax evasion.”

Except they didn’t.  Upon viewing the un-edited videos, it was revealed that the ACORN workers did nothing wrong or illegal.  As it turns out, O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart are the liars in the ACORN case.

That’s one.

BIG FAT LIE:

Breitbart eagerly embraced and promoted [Jim] Hoft’s false attacks on [Kevin] Jennings.  Writing for the website Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft has authored a series of factually dubious attacks on Department of Education staffer Kevin Jennings and the organization Jennings founded and previously led, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Hoft’s Jennings posts — which he has labeled “Fistgate,” even though many of those allegations have little or nothing to do with the sexual practice of fisting — often draw upon the work of MassResistance, a Massachusetts based anti-gay organization that has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

When you lie down with dogs…expect to get up with provable lies.

That’s two. Continue reading

This Is NOT a Sex Scandal

Over at ThinkProgress, in a message for Rep. Anthony Weiner Matt Yglesias described the twitter photo controversy as a “sex scandal.” I say it is no such thing.

If you look at the picture, you can see no genitalia of any kind. What you can see is what appears to be a pair of men’s briefs with some kind of bulge in them. But you cannot see what is causing the bulge which, for all you know, may just be a banana strategically placed there. In fact, it is unclear if it is even a pair of briefs on a human as opposed to on a mannequin. (If you want to take another look, you can see it here) The fact of the matter is that there is no penis in that picture, erect or otherwise.

Anyone who thinks they are looking at a penis is only imagining that they are seeing a penis. They are seeing no such thing. So for them to think that it is a “lewd” photo is just describing something in their own imaginations. And I don’t feel it is right that Rep. Weiner must defend himself against what people are imagining they are seeing. Yes, he didn’t do himself any favors by casting doubt over whether or not it is a picture of himself, but that still doesn’t negate the fact that there is nothing lewd in that picture at all. The only lewdness is in people’s imaginations.

A few years ago my late mother-in-law once looked at my size 13 shoes and said, “My, what big feet you have.” And I, being the playful type, said, “Yeah, but that’s just a myth.” To which she replied, “Oh, don’t be so fresh.” I had to tell her, “I didn’t say anything, you imagined that!” And that is exactly what’s going on here. Anybody who thinks that was a lewd photo are denouncing what they imagine they are seeing. It is not a sex scandal when there is no sex involved and people are upset over what they imagine they are seeing.