Sunday Roast: Happy Zooniversary!!

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Freddie just owns that whole stadium, doesn’t he?  Absolutely fantastic.  :)

Anyhoo, I guess TheZoo has been a thing for a little over eight years — which is kinda nuts, actually — but in a good way!

Our Critters and Zoosters “met” about ten years ago on the ThinkProgress blog, when it was just a wee little thing with barely any comments.  Awwww, it was so cute.  Damn, look at it now!!  As good things tend to go on the interwebs, it eventually became overwhelmed with smelly ol’ trolls and several of us decided to just bug out — hence TheZoo!

We used to be a more serious blog, with lots of political posts, cartoons, and massive snark, which was linked on occasion by Crooks & Liars and ThinkProgress itself.  Srsly, cool, right?

These days we’re a comfy little online neighborhood pub, with daily open threads by the Critters containing wisdom, poetry, essays on politics/religion, photos, videos, the occasional bizarre rant (usually by that Zooey nutter), live-blogging political debatey-type things, and a multitude of insightful/snarky/sarcastic/snide/thoughtful/naughty comments by our loyal and well-loved Zoosters.

Thank you so much for hanging out, all y’all, and Happy Eight Years, everyone!

This is our daily open thread — Party on!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 29th, 2015: Let’s Get Away From It All

This ought to take your minds off of the insanity of the Republican “presidential hopefuls”, if only for a little while.

The Weather Channel has posted the finalists for its 2015 “It’s Amazing Out There” photo contest. So enjoy some cool photos and forget about Teh Stupid.

Here’s one of last year’s photo finalists, a cool shot taken by Dwayne Kear:
2014 Its Amazing Out There photo submitted by Dwayne Kear

So go ahead, refresh your sense of wonder at something other than jaw-dropping idiocy.

This is our daily Open Thread – enjoy!

The Watering Hole; Friday August 28 2015; “Can the Dumb Define the Divine?”

. . . I infer from the Odors borne –
Of its Voice — to affirm — when the Wind is within —
Can the Dumb — define the Divine?
The Definition of Melody — is —
That Definition is none —
Emily Dickinson

Interesting question, that one. Republicans everywhere seem to think they can not only DEFINE divinity, but that they can interpret each and every current event through the “eyes” of their particular brand of “the Divine.”. Here’s but one example of what happens when a near maniacal ego grapples with concepts that lie far beyond its ken. Republican presidential candidate hopeful Ted Cruz has said:

“I’m a Christian and Scripture commands Christians to love everybody.”

“What we’re seeing now is this liberal fascism and intolerance where their object is to persecute, to punish, to fine any Bible-following Christian or believer that believes in the biblical definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And that is profoundly inconsistent with who we are as Americans. . . .”

“There are some activists who, frankly, manifest a hatred and intolerance for Christians, who are persecuting Christians. That is unfortunate. As I said, I think we should love everybody. . . .”

[religious liberty was] “the foundational right upon which this nation was built, and I am proud to stand with these heroes gathered tonight to defend religious liberty.”

In other words: liberal fascism (itself the oxymoronic equivalent of, say, “gentle cruelty”) is the (presumed) unholy or perhaps Satanic undercurrent that has forced “Christians” to hate, fear, and disrespect LGBT people because it is liberal fascism that has mandated commercial “Christian” florists and cake-makers be disallowed from refusing to make cakes or sell flowers to those who would celebrate or (horror of horrors) participate in, say, a same sex marriage. Because, apparently, gay people are deserving of hatred and intolerance because God put a verse in the bible pointing out that He, too, hates and is intolerant of the whole concept of those aberrant people (whom He created in the first place). Cruz believes, I’m sure, that he CAN, indeed, “define the Divine.”

Weird. On the one hand, according to Cruz, the bible commands Christians to love everybody; on the other hand, he also refers to hatred and intolerance as a product of those liberal fascists who see the world through a different lens. What he fails to notice is that the ‘right’ to practice hatred and intolerance is not only allowed, but sometimes DEMANDED by his concept of religious liberty which he maintains is under assault by (non-existent and oxymoronic) liberal fascism. Divinity not only allows, it also so demands — at least according to definers of Divinity such as Ted Cruz — the practice of hatred and intolerance as a ‘right’ granted by religious liberty.

Confusing.

So. OK. Fine. Yes. We have just been served — by Presidential candidate Ted Cruz — a full helping of what is fast becoming known as REPUBLICAN STUPIDITY!! (See also Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, somebody named Kasich, and whomever else I might have forgotten about already).

Seriously folks. When Emily Dickinson asked “Can the Dumb define the Divine”? I’m betting she was perfectly aware that the answer is clearly NO. And even though she never really said as much, my guess is that to her, it was not all that tricky for anyone with a functioning mind to define the Dumb. And it still is NOT tricky, given that today all one really has to do is look and see if there’s an “R” behind the name. If there is, the answer is a definite Yup. Dumb. Defined.

Anyway, in an effort to assuage my, shall we say, “disappointment” (?) in re the mental qualities of the Republican Clown Car occupants, I spent some time wandering through some of my old photo files on a search for evidential photographs of the mentally superior critters one runs across constantly while visiting “out there.” I found several, each and every one of which portrays exponential levels of intellectual superiority to Republicans everywhere. I only hope I’m not insulting the intellectually superior critters by assigning physical resemblance comparisons to several of the Republican Presidential (ouch!) candidate hopefuls! Nevertheless, let the DIVINE — herein and now — DEFINE the DUMB. At least a handful of them.

Trump

                                                                      Trump?

Carson

                                                                 Carson?

Fiorina? (look closely)

                                                  Fiorina? (look closely)

Jeb!

                                                                          Jeb!

Walker

                                                                        Walker?

Cruz, aka the mummified frog

                       Ted Cruz, aka the mummified frog. Definitely. Q.E.D.

And speaking of mummified frogs, here’s the latest from Ted’s papa, Rafael Cruz:

‘The Devil Overplayed His Hand’ With SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision

So there it is again. One more attempt by a Wingnut to define the Divine. My answer, therefore, to Ms Dickinson’s burning question “Can the Dumb define the Divine?” is a simple one: OF COURSE NOT!!! Duh!

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
and I’m not sure about the universe.”
Albert Einstein

Q.E.D.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday August 27 2015; “Anchor Babies”

“We are here to support American values.
America was built with immigrants.”
Juan Gomez
(Vice president of United Voices for Immigrants,
Teacher of English to immigrant adults,
Peruvian immigrant
April 9, 2006)

Anchor Babies. I find the demeaning attitude implicit in those two words to be infuriating. And ridiculous. And STUPID! No wonder Republicans use them on a daily basis.

Donald Trump initiated the latest round of nonsensical anti-birthright bias when he suggested that if he were to become President, he would deport each and every “illegal” or undocumented immigrant, and that he would then find the means to override the opening words of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the line that grants birthright citizenship WITHOUT EXCEPTION via the words:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Since Trump first mentioned his racist and white supremacist ego-maniacal fascistic proposition, most if not all “candidate” occupants of the Republican Clown Car have voiced agreement with his ‘unconstitutional’ thesis. Their responses have ranged from the ridiculous to the bizarre (especially Jeb Bush who aimed his hateful rhetoric at Chinese and Asians rather than the more “popular” Hispanic brand). But the bottom line remains: the GOP has morphed from an all-inclusive and reasonable politic to become little more than a white supremacist, hate and fear motivated classical Fascist movement, one whose intent seems to be the redefinition of this country.

I could rant for days on the absolute asininity of the GOP’s “positions” on this and on most other matters of national and humanitarian import, but in deference to sanity I’ll hold back. A little, at least. But I will answer Jeb Bush’s idiotic response to the journalist who asked him about his use of the words ‘anchor babies.’ “You give me a better term and I’ll use it,”  Bush replied. Seems to me that’s an easy one. How about, “children”? I should think that would be clear and obvious, esp. to the politic that sees the fertilized egg as a ‘person’ worthy of full constitutional protection. I guess that concept must only apply to white zygotes, though, and surely not to brownies and Chinks and Japs and . . . well, you know.

Funny too how “anchor babies” weren’t an issue when white Christians first came to North America back in the seventeenth century. I mean, it seems crystal clear that each and all of those immigrants were effectively illegal, undocumented, etc. I admit I find it curious that today’s Republicans, when they’re bitching about “anchor babies,” never mention the atrocities those Pilgrim “anchor babies” were at least partially responsible for over ensuing generations. Why is that I wonder?

A recent article in the Washington Post by discusses what he refers to as “Donald Trump’s nativist bandwagon.” In it he notes that

Trump would abolish birthright citizenship: the principle, embedded in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, that anyone born in the United States is an American, no matter the legal status of his or her parents. Sen. Ted Cruz promptly claimed he’d always opposed birthright citizenship, too, a claim the Houston Chronicle quickly disproved. Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson joined in, as did Scott Walker, though he didn’t seem entirely sure. Jeb Bush stayed admirably aloof from the mob.

(Hiatt apparently wrote the piece before Bush jumped on board and criticized Asian/Chinese “anchor babies” rather than Hispanic “anchor babies”). He goes on to quote Doris Meissner, who ran the U.S. immigration agency under President Clinton and is now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.

“What’s the belief system, the social cohesion that binds us? . . . A commitment to democracy, participation, equal rights, opportunity, due process, government by the people — people have to be full members of the society for that to be real and flourish.”

Hiatt further notes that the anchor baby “problem” will fix itself eventually. The children of the undocumented will be citizens, and they will grow up — as children of immigrants, legal and illegal, generally have — to better their lot, sometimes to prosper, almost always to contribute.

If, on the other hand, American-born children were denied citizenship, the number of people illegally here would swell. By 2050, according to a study a few years ago by the Migration Policy Institute, nearly 5 million people who had been born here would have no legal claim to remain — or, if having even one undocumented parent was deemed disqualifying, as many as 13 million.

“With all the problems illegal immigration presents, at least it’s a one-generation phenomenon. It self-corrects with the next generation born here,” Meissner told me. “A permanent underclass where disadvantage is transferred generationally is a terrible counter-force.”

Hiatt is, in my very humble opinion, precisely correct in his thesis. The “problem” that has so gripped the imaginations along with the irrational hatreds and fears of the American political far right (aka the GOP) is nothing other than an expression of their own inborn insufficiencies, coupled with their white supremacist and ego-maniacal attitudes. “Anchor babies,” meanwhile, are children who will become — courtesy of the Fourteenth Amendment —  the next generation born here, each and all of whom will be citizens, and they will grow up — as children of immigrants, legal and illegal, generally have — to better their lot, sometimes to prosper, almost always to contribute. 

Meanwhile, it seems the time to put an end to the political insanity as preached, practiced, and imposed by today’s version of the Republican Party has definitely arrived. The insanity of never-ending fear and hatred theses that drive their current politic makes life miserable for far too many real and genuine people even as it appeals to far too many — mainly those with shriveled souls (aka Republicans).

Therefore the obvious question: what sort of future might the 2016 electoral process portend? Current polls that show the ego-maniac Donald Trump leading all other clown car occupants. To Ann Coulter, the notion of a “President Trump” serves as Proof That ‘God Hasn’t Given Up On America Yet’. George Will, on the other hand, has suggested that Trump’s immigration plan could spell doom for the GOP. With any luck at all, Will’s thesis will be proven to be absolutely accurate, given that if this country is to have any semblance at all of a sustainable future for its people, GOP “doom” is mandated. If Trump can pull that off, fine. If another candidate should be chosen from the current crowd, with luck the ego-maniacal ghost of the Trump candidacy will continue to do his candidacy’s dirty work and pave the way to a progressive nation, a true Democracy that addresses the well-being of ALL its people rather than just its (white) oligarchs and power mongers.

And once civility replaces their fascistic hatred, let there be NO MORE TALK OF ANCHOR BABIES!

“Marches will only get you so far. There has to be
an electoral component to get the Republicans out of the majority.”
Armando Navarro
(Coordinator of the National Alliance for Human Rights,
a network of Hispanic activist groups in Southern California
April 9, 2006)

OPEN THREAD

Sunday Roast: Buh bye!

Hey kids, let’s join the Young Turks guys and take the argument to end birthright citizenship to its logical conclusion…oops.  Start packing, y’all.

This is our daily open thread — Rested and tan?  Wha…?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 22nd, 2015: (T)Rump Droppings

First, here’s several nut-filled nuggets from Trump’s interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN:

“Hillary’s record as secretary of state was a disaster…She was in favor, totally in favor, of the Iraq War, which is obviously not a good soundbite.”

Immigration word salad:

“You know, this country is so politically correct. Nobody wants to take a stance on anything…Now they like to use the word undocumented because it’s more political — I don’t use that word. They’re illegal immigrants. They came over illegally. Some are wonderful people, and they’ve been here for a while. They’ve got to go out. They’ve got to leave…These people — the really good ones, and we have some great ones — we’re going to try and expedite so they can come back.  But they’re going to come back legally.”  [According to the article, Trump “said he wouldn’t need to amend the Constitution to do it.”]

“No. 1, the 14th Amendment is very questionable as to whether or not somebody can come over, have a baby and immediately that baby is a citizen. OK?”

“Amending is too big a deal. It’s going to take — it’ll be two terms. I’d be in my second term or my eighth year by the time — assuming everything went smoothly. … I believe you can win it legally.”

According to the article, “He said people can’t be allowed to just “walk over” the border to give birth.”

“You have people on the border and in one day they walk over, have a baby. And now all of a sudden we’re supposed to pay the baby … medical, Social Security…”

“Trump defended his comments [on getting his military strategy by watching current and retired generals on TV]…saying it allows him to get a lot of advice quickly.”

“I watch your show. And I watch other shows. And you have the best generals, the best everything … frankly probably better than I could get,” Trump said. “What do I know? I’m a man that made a great fortune. I’m gonna make our country rich and I’m gonna make our country great.”

“I think that I would be a great sleeper on the military, because people wouldn’t think it’s my strength, but I think it would be one of my strengths…One of the things I noticed in your poll, I came out way, way ahead of everybody on the economy, and a lot of people weren’t surprised to see that, but I also came way out ahead on the military … and ISIS. I would build up our military so strong, so powerful that nobody will mess with us.”

Trump was asked “how he would respond if Pope Francis told him that capitalism can be toxic.”

“I’d say, ‘ISIS wants to get you. You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican? You have heard that. You know, that’s a dream of theirs, to go into Italy.”

“I’m gonna have to scare the Pope because it’s the only thing…The Pope, I hope, can only be scared by God. But the truth is — you know, if you look at what’s going on — they better hope that capitalism works, because it’s the only thing we have right now. And it’s a great thing when it works properly.”

It gets worse, as seen in last evening’s thread on ThinkProgress about Trump’s rally in Alabama.

“Oreos. Oreos. I love Oreos, but I’ll never eat them again.”

“Women’s health issues. We’re gonna fix it.”

[According to the CNN article, Trump “said his wife and daughter both encouraged him to talk more about women’s issues after the (Jeb Bush “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues”) controversy.”

“They said, you know, ‘The one thing you should do is talk a little bit about women’s health issues, because you’re so good on it, [y]ou know about it. And you cherish women. You want to protect women’. … I will protect women more than anybody.”]

“I swear to you I will never ever ride a bicycle.”

Had enough Trump for one morning? Yeah, me too.

This is our daily Open Thread…so talk about anything you want.

The Watering Hole; Friday August 21 2015 — The Week’s Wingnut Lunacy Pinnacles

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

Here are what I can comfortably refer to as the last week’s top ten examples of right wing LUNACY. They’re not arranged in any particular order (any “order” in wingnut spoutings is typically a contradiction in terms anyway), and as usual the relatively brief titles do indeed suffice to tell people with functioning minds all they really care to know. Topics include, of course, the week’s manifestations of hate, fear, persecution, revolution, women, communism, the antichrist(s)(?), and diets. Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but considering the sources, maybe not so much.

1. BarbWire Warns That Obama Is The Antichrist Who Was Put Into Office By Satan

2. Markell: Pope Francis May Be The ‘Second Beast’ Of The End Times

3. Rick Santorum: Liberals ‘Rewriting History’ To ‘Fit Their Ideology’ Like In Communist China, USSR

4. Santorum: Judicial Review Is Okay…If The Court Agrees Me!

5. Michael Savage: ‘Extreme Diets’ Of Liberals Are ‘Creating A Vast Epidemic Of Mental Deficiency’

6. Pat Robertson: Christians Forced To ‘Bow Down’ Before Gays Who Are Bent On Destroying Us

7. Glenn Beck’s Birmingham Rally Is Designed To Allow Participants To ‘Be Seen By God’

8. Larry Klayman: 1776-Style Revolution Coming If Conservatives Don’t Win 2016 Election

9. Tony Perkins: Women Need To Stop Acting Like Men Or Society Will Go Down The Tubes

10. ‘I Was Born That Way’: Bryan Fischer Claims He Was Born Christian, Repulsed By Homosexuality

That is, of course, only the tip of the lunacy iceberg. Still, there should be enough freakishness embedded therein to drive the average progressive liberal a few feet closer to sanity’s edge, to the point beyond which revulsion takes over.

Revulsion. Hmmh. Bryan Fischer (see above) spoke of “revulsion” when he said:

“I think that most of us have an instinctive, I think revulsion is not too strong of a word, to the act of homosexuality, what actually happens when homosexuals come together and engage in sexual congress. We look at that and there is just an inner revulsion to that.”

“God has the same reaction that you and I do,” he continued, “but that instinctive revulsion that we have when we think about homosexuality, I was born that way.”

Curiously, that’s almost precisely how I see things — IF, that is, the words “homosexuality” and “homosexuals” are changed to, say, “conservatism” and “conservatives.” Bingo. Revulsion.  I’m guessing that’s because, as Fischer pointed out, “I was born that way.”

OPEN THREAD