The Watering Hole, Monday, November 4th, 2013: Bellies Up!

After mulling over possible topics for today’s thread, I decided to dispense with the craziness out there (Rand Paul’s chickenshit non-challenge to a duel with Rachel Maddow was tempting, but…) and just start the week off with:

CUTENESS!

Baby Panda (not my photo)

Baby Panda (not my photo)

surrender to cuddles

Fluff's big belly (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Fluff’s big belly (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Spotted-bellied Fern (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Troi's belly before...

Troi’s big belly before…(photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Troi's belly now (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

…Troi’s big belly now (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

This is our daily open thread — I hope that so much cuteness will help to start Monday off in a cheerful way.

Sunday Roast: We

we

Republicans, what part of this do you fail to understand?  No, we’re not asking you if you like it or think it’s good (by your standards) — that’s been decided.  Whether or not you like, accept, or understand it, Barack Obama is still our President.

“We” includes you, Republicans, so lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way, because we’re still trying to clean up your messes.

This is our daily open thread — Who else is beyond done with the WHINING?

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 26th, 2012: Time to Go, Senator McCain

Wave Bye-Bye Now!


As Rachel Maddow so perfectly pointed out recently, John McCain’s regular – some might say ubiquitous – appearances on so many of the Sunday morning political talkfests only serve to show McCain’s desperation to remain relevant at any cost. Unfortunately, that ‘cost’ seems to be the remnants of McCain’s respectability along with the shards of his integrity.

McCain’s latest insanity is shown in his recent calls for a “Watergate-style” investigation of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice regarding the Benghazi, Libya, attack. McCain’s rabid and, IMHO, unfounded attacks on Ms. Rice (including calling her “not very bright”, and his vow to block her possible nomination as future Secretary of State) were supposedly tempered a trifle yesterday, if by ‘tempered’ one means asking for the same information from Ms. Rice, presumably sans the “Watergate-style” investigation. Regardless, McCain still will not say whether, even if he (undeservedly) receives the requested information from Ms. Rice, he would consider NOT blocking her possible future nomination for Secretary of State.

But in McCain’s interview on Fox Sunday, he shows his characteristic bungling of essential facts:

HOST: You say that you will do everything in your power to block Susan Rice’s nomination if the President decides to name her to be secretary of state . . . . Is there anything that Ambassador Rice can do to change your mind?
MCCAIN: Sure, she can give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took. And I’ll be glad to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her. Why did she say that al Qaeda has been decimated in her statement here on this program? Al Qaeda hasn’t been decimated. They’re on the rise. They’re all over Iraq.

Yes, John, of course Al Qaeda is “all over” Iraq, sure they are…NOT.

In the same Fox News Sunday interview, on women’s issues, McCain had this to say:

McCAIN:… And as far as young women are concerned, absolutely. I don’t think anybody like me, I can state my position on abortion, but, to — other than that, leave the issue alone. When we are in the kind of economic situation and, frankly, national security situation we’re in.

CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): When you say leave the issue alone, you would allow, you say, freedom of choice?

McCAIN: I would allow people to have those opinions and respect those opinions and I’m proud of my pro-life position and record, but if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views.

So, that would be a ‘NO’ to ‘freedom of choice”?

Since the 2008 Presidential election, when Senator McCain foisted Sarah Palin on us, it seems that his tenuous ties to reality, and his sense of decency and honor, have rapidly strained to the snapping point. I think that we all agree (and I wouldn’t be surprised if many in the Republican heirarchy agree, too), that it’s way past time for McCain to, shall we say, spend a lot more of his time at one of his seven -or was it eight? – homes.

This is our Open Thread. Feel free to discuss this topic, or anything else that comes to mind.

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 30th, 2012: GOP War on Women, the Latest Skirmish


H/T Think Progress and Crooks and Liars

Before I even saw yesterday’s Meet The Press, I had already run across several idiotic comments purporting to explain the difference in pay between women and men for doing the same job with the same qualifications. The slimebucket Alex Castellanos, whose rudeness and oily, condescending misogyny reminded me of Dick Armey’s run-in with Joan Walsh, illustrated once again how GOP bootlickers can be such pigs. But apparently it’s not just male GOP pundits who feel and act this way. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), also on the panel, dismissed the discussion entirely as a ‘distraction’ from the real issues of ‘economics and jobs.’ Of course, when Rachel Maddow then asked why, if the economy and jobs were so important to the GOP, so many Republican State Legislatures were pushing and passing laws which limit women’s reproductive rights, re-fighting settled abortion law and intruding on a doctor’s relationship with his patient. Alex Castellanos trotted out some crap about this ‘distraction from the issues’ being President Obama’s modus operandi (at which point I would probably have gotten up and slapped that slimey smile off of his face.)

Other recent blog threads, both those about this subject and some that had nothing to do with it, have brought out some of the dumbest defenders of, and supposed explanations of why women are paid less than men. Here’s a few examples:

“We must’ve seen different videos. I don’t know Alex, but I saw him try to offer a calm reasoning for this difference and was shut down as if he were a buttinsky. He wasn’t.”

On a thread regarding the suicide of a 16-year-old Moroccan girl who committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist, comments ranged from the subject itself, to the Trayvon Martin case, then to women’s rights in America:

“Yes, but let’s not negate the issues that face American women. Are we to be grateful that we make 70 cents to every man’s dollar? That men want to make decisions for us about whether we use contraception or what our insurance pays for when drugs specific to their sexual pleasure are covered in full? There is still ground to be covered in this country despite the fact that we don’t have threats such as that faced by this poor young girl and that should not be forgotten.”

This comment was countered with:

“…name the insurance companies that pay for “drugs specific to their sexual pleasure are covered in full?” I am a nurse and have male patients who have erectile dysfunction as side effects of medications they need to take for other medical conditions and they haven’t found any insurance company that pays for erectile dysfunction medications. Also, erectile dysfunction medications should be considered preventative medicine as medical studies have indicated that there is a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who aren’t sexually active. Birth control isn’t preventative medicine as pregnancy isn’t a disease nor is it an abnormal physical condition. Unplanned pregnancy is a social problem, not a medical problem. Contraception enables us to have sex without the risk of pregnancy (ie. sex for pleasure and fun rather than for what it is biologically and physiologically intended for), making sex possible as a form of entertainment. Should health insurance cover other forms of entertainment, too? We should make our own decisions about contraception, take the responsibility for our own sexual behavior, and stop demanding that everyone else pay for our decisions and pleasures — not to mention, stop blaming men because some women want the right to be treated like responsible, mature, accomplished women while demanding that they be treated like irresponsible children when it comes to their sexual behavior. We “make 70 cents to every man’s dollar” has largely been debunked upon further examination. Men tend to work longer hours than women do, tend to take the most dangerous jobs, tend to work in jobs under harsher environmental and physical conditions, and men tend to spend more years of their lives working than women do. Currently there are more unemployed men than there are unemployed women and there has been a trend toward preferential hiring practices geared toward women.”

…and…

“Feminists never know when to stop”

…and…

“Be thankful for what you do have or you’ll always just be focused on what you don’t”

…and…

“Wow women make 70% of what men make!!! Where are these women? If I could lower my payroll by 30% just by hiring women, I’d do that in a heartbeat… and so would every major employer in the country. Get your facts straight before you spout nonsense. Women on average earn less because they place a lower priority on earnings and a higher priority on family and time off. Women who put in the same hours and commitment as their male counterparts are often promoted first.”

…and

“We women make 70 cents to every man’s dollar, because we do less work in the same hour.”

And comments from the Think Progress thread on this topic, particularly from one commenter:

“Castellanos is more correct than maddow is. In the past, maddow argument was true. But when you compare job to job, hours to hours, time at work to time at work… woman MAKE THE SAME amount as men. If woman want to make more, go to law school, med school, engineering school, MBA school and get high paying degrees. Woman go into nursing, teaching, secretarial, waitressing etc.. that pay crappy. For the same work, for the vast numbers in 2012, they make the same.”

…and…

“if you want a competitive salary, get a competitive education. Get a competitive job and keep it. I don’t see any of the woman billionaire industrialists like Meg Whitman complaining about their salaries. But I do hear a bunch of poorly educated woman (and men) complaining that they don’t make as much money as they “deserve.”
Tough. The market determines what you “deserve.” If you think you deserve more, quit your low paying job, start a company and produce the product that will earn you your “deserved” salary”

…and…

“I just know in the areas I move in… medicine and hospitals, clinics. Plus I have extensive networks of legal friends. Pay is based on productivity. One of the highest paid professional I know is a female surgeon. Works 80 hours a week and earns every penny she makes. The secretaries, nurses, clerks, billers, accountants etc are paid hourly. The more you work, the more overtime you put in, the fewer vacations you take, the more you make.”

…and, finally…

“If you want a high paying job, get an education, put in the hours, or form a company and produce some social/economic good that will make the world a better place (and bring you financial success). Then you will be paid more. If not, sit at home and whine.”

I don’t know about you, but this crap is really starting to get to me.

This is our daily open thread — Have at it!

Republicans try to suppress the minority vote

From the Rachel Maddow Show:

Again from the Rachel Maddow Show:

This second video is powerful and should have every single American screaming in outrage.

This last video from last night’s show isn’t up on YouTube yet, so you will have to watch it here. It is the interview with 94 year old Dorothy Cooper of Georgia, who later moved to Tennessee, and who has voted in almost every election since the 1930′s. The only election she missed was once in the 1960′s, and she is now being prevented from voting. Why? She doesn’t have a photo ID because she has never driven a car. She has a lifetime of documents, but not good enough. Don’t miss this interview.

Here’s the link to the story of Dorothy Cooper.

Rachel Maddow presents her “post-Bill Clinton American political sex-scandal consequence-o-meter”

Putting the “ick” factor into perspective..

From Raw Replay:

Rachel Maddow Monday night asked just how big of a deal Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) lewd Twitter photo scandal was, in the context of other politicians’ sex scandals.

Well, as she said, “there’s a graph for that!”

Watch Rachel Maddow position political sex scandals along axes of prosecutability and creepiness on the “post-Bill Clinton American political sex-scandal consequence-o-meter.”

 

Got to love that red-hand-on-stick pointer..

The Humbug Express

The Humbug Express by Paul Krugman (The NY Times)

Hey, has anyone noticed that “A Christmas Carol” is a dangerous leftist tract?

I mean, consider the scene, early in the book, where Ebenezer Scrooge rightly refuses to contribute to a poverty relief fund. “I’m opposed to giving people money for doing nothing,” he declares. Oh, wait. That wasn’t Scrooge. That was Newt Gingrich — last week. What Scrooge actually says is, “Are there no prisons?” But it’s pretty much the same thing.

Anyway, instead of praising Scrooge for his principled stand against the welfare state, Charles Dickens makes him out to be some kind of bad guy. How leftist is that?

As you can see, the fundamental issues of public policy haven’t changed since Victorian times. Still, some things are different. In particular, the production of humbug — which was still a somewhat amateurish craft when Dickens wrote — has now become a systematic, even industrial, process.

Let me walk you through a case in point, one that I’ve been following lately… [Continue to read here.]

(If you can’t get to the article at The New York Times, read it here.)

Mr. Krugman ends with this thought:

So in this holiday season, let’s remember the wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge. Not the bit about denying food and medical care to those who need them: America’s failure to take care of its own less-fortunate citizens is a national disgrace. But Scrooge was right about the prevalence of humbug. And we’d be much better off as a nation if more people had the courage to say “Bah!”

It is amazing to me just how many “Scrooges” we have in office, making decisions that will affect every single person in this country, and how many of those “Scrooges” all seem to congregate in pretty much one party.. You know, the ‘party of values’… Though, those ‘values’ seem to center entirely around greed, promoting war, and pleasing their corporate sponsors. (How ‘Leftist’ of me to say.. Leftist? Or just observant..)

This week Newt Gingrich said one of the dumbest, the most insensitive and hypocritical things I’ve heard yet..

“I’m opposed to giving people money for doing nothing,” he told the crowd of 250 cheering GOP activists in a state with a 10.6 percent unemployment rate.

This said from a man who makes his money “as a direct-mail scam artist”..

Continue reading

Rachel Maddow: To Serve Man..

From The Rachel Maddow Show last night. Rachel talks about the meeting between the GOP and President Obama that took place yesterday, and uses a very interesting analogy—Rod Serling style—to describe what was discussed..

Rachel shows a clip of a passionate speech on the Senate floor from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), and follows the clip with an interview of Sanders.

Sen. Sanders is one of the very few senators I have the utmost respect for. He doesn’t spew talking points, and speaks out forcefully, honestly, and logically, and when he says something, he means it.

SOoooo good. Rachel Maddow at her best.

Rachel Maddow: “Watch what the Republicans do, not what they say..”

If you missed this, it is totally worth watching..

In this first segment “Pin The Debt On The Donkey”:

Rachel Maddow completely debunks the myth of Republicans trying to cynically portray themselves as the “party of fiscal responsibility” by examining their irresponsible tax cuts and efforts to repeal health care legislation (aka “Obamacare”), which, together with other Republican proposals, will increase the deficit and debt by $1 trillion dollars, rather than reduce it.

Then Rachel examines the phony Republican “Earmarks” ploy to portray themselves as fiscally responsible by embracing policy that sounds like it will reduce the deficit and debt, but which will instead, INCREASE it.

The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC – aired November 16, 2010.

TDS: It Gets Worse PSA

From The Daily Show last night:

Senator McCain, we know you’re going through a tough time with this “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing, but trust us, it gets worse.

Last night Rachel Maddow also did a segment on the views—and their are many—of John McCain. Her question at the end? Why does ANYONE listen to ANYTHING John McCain has to say on ANY subject.. Wait 5 minutes and he’ll say something different, taking a totally different stance.. The incoherence and hypocrisy demonstrated by John McCain is absolutely astounding..

Senator John McCain versus Senator John McCain

Great job of putting this segment together Rachel. Brilliant!

GOP Closing Arguments (Or, Last Ditch LIES and Distortions)

Last night on her show, Rachel Maddow showed segments of a new 20-MINUTE ad being put up by the GOP in key swing states. I have to say.. I was left speechless, and then furious. I’ve really never seen anything before that was quite so twisted,  distorted, disrespectful (not just of the president AND his wife, but of the intelligence of the people it is being run for). It is just so manipulative and so completely dishonest… This was just frankly disgusting. I am still in shock.

Oh, and don’t miss the chanting in the background about halfway through.. Sounds like men who are chanting “Allah”, or some kind of tribal chant. Is that supposed to be a subliminal thing proving the president is a Muslim?? Did you catch how they fade out to REALLY dark a couple of times, making him seem EVIL and SCARY?

That is followed by this (from this 20-minute ad):

“During his election, he wound up with a record-shattering $750 million dollars in his campaign. To this day he refuses to report from whence it came. One reason MIGHT be that some of it originated from the terrorist group Hamas.. [shows pictures of scary terrorists with guns]

You like how they just sort of slipped that in? It gets worse..

So let me get this straight.. The president is a Muslim, his election was funded by terrorists, he’s foreign, he’s evil, he bowed to dictators, he’s a commie/socialist, he’s coming to take your money, he’s racist against white people, don’t forget he’s black, and he’s coming to get you. Did I miss anything? Be very afraid.

How do people get away with this stuff..

Are YOU tired of the “be afraid, be VERY afraid” meme that continues to hammer us with ad after ad after ad, and lie after lie after lie?? Then go out today and do something about it. Practice the most important right you have as an American and VOTE!

Sunday Roast: GOP vs. Democrats — the Income Gap

On Friday, President Obama held a press conference, wherein one of the topics was the economy — and how we got into the deep trouble we’re in today.  Basically, Republicans (aided by Bill Clinton) over the last decade really, really, really screwed up everything, and we really don’t want more of the same from the same gang of Republicans.

Rachel then chatted with Ezra Klein about this chart:

On the x-axis, we have the Income Growth Rate, which is pretty self-explanatory; and on the y-axis, we have the Income Percentile, which is where we all will find ourselves — from the bottom 20% of income earners (Ma & Pa Kettle) to the top 5% (Thurston & Lovey Howell).

This is empirical evidence of how Americans fare under Democratic presidents and Republican presidents, as found by Larry Bartels, in his 2008 book, Unequal Democracy, and quoted by Larry Noah, in his Slate article, entitled The United States of Inequality, Too Many Republicans.

[T]he narrowly economic focus of most previous studies of inequality has caused them to miss what may be the most important single influence on the changing U.S. income distribution over the past half-century—the contrasting policy choices of Democratic and Republican presidents. Under Republican administrations, real income growth for the lower- and middle-classes has consistently lagged well behind the income growth rate for the rich—and well behind the income growth rate for the lower and middle classes themselves under Democratic administrations.  ~Larry Bartels

As we can plainly see on the chart above, everyone does well under Democratic presidents, while only the top 5% do well under Republican presidents.  The bottom 20%, those who can least afford their income level coming to a screeching halt, suffer the most.

Things are really tough out here.  Are Americans dumb enough and blind enough to either vote Republicans and Teabaggers into office — clearly against their own best interests?  Are we stupid enough to not vote at all?

We shall see, won’t we?

This is our daily open thread — feel free to rant.

If my client’s a twit; you must acquit*

Blago’s attorney knows things are so bad for his client, that calling him “silly” and “broke” seems like an excellent idea.

Finally, a little reality in this saga…

I can’t wait for Blago’s news conference after the verdict.  **popping popcorn**

*Chris Hayes

Rachel Maddow interviews Univ. of GA Marine Scientist Dr. Samantha Joye

Last night Rachel Maddow interviewed University of Georgia Marine scientist Dr. Samantha Joye who has spent the last two weeks out on the Gulf studying an underwater plume at the spill site. She talks about what is happening in the water right now and the ramifications.

She is talking PLUMES not PLUME. This morning CNN is still talking about only one plume.

I hope the administration is watching and listening to this scientist.
Previous posts at TheZoo on  “Dead Zones” here and here.

The U.S. addiction to denial of our oil addiction

Rachel Maddow ties together our leaders’ penchant for talking a good game about valuing and protecting the environment, and doing ‘something’ about our increasing dependence on oil, but never actually following through with any action.

Will President Obama be any different?

I really hope so…

The Watering Hole — April 9, Rachel gets a little verklempt…

…and kicks Tom Coburn’s stupid ass in the process.

Look at Rachel Maddow.  She comes at me on the basis of emotion.  She demonizes me.  I don’t want conservatives to win on the basis of emotion.  If we lower ourselves to the level they operate on, we hurt ourselves and our arguments.

*sniff*

Here’s the promised more indepth report on Tom Coburn’s utter and despicable hypocrisy:

This is our daily open thread.  If you’ve got something on your mind, let’s hear it!  If you don’t, well, think of something.

Rachel Maddow eviscerates Republicans for their disgusting and shameless hypocrisy

There are lies, damned liars, and then there are Republicans named Chuck Grassley, Lamar Alexander, John McCain, Orrin Hatch, and on and on and on…and oh yeah — the Washington Post.  Should we anticipate a correction?

At this point, you’re a guy on a loud speaker, scolding us to keep our voices down; you’re the speed-eating hotdog kid, telling us to go vegan; you’re a family-values, chastity-lecturing, lecher.  You’re hypocrites.  You are not making serious arguments, and you do not believe what you’re saying.  It’s dis-proven by your record.  In the case of Orrin Hatch, you are flat-out lying about the history of the tactic that Democrats are going to use to pass health reform.

For the Washington Post to print something like this is bizarre.  For these established, supposedly mainstream Senators to try to get away with this is an insult to everyone they’re addressing and to the media in particular.  And for us all to just let this slide and call it “politics,” is to surrender to cynicism profoundly.

SMACK!!!

Keep up the good work, Rachel!

Maddow: Reconciliation is NOT the “nuclear option”

Rachel Maddow calls out the Republicans on deliberately LYING by calling the reconcilliation process “the nuclear option”. She goes on to explain quite thoroughly the difference between the two.

Raw Story:

Senator Barbara Boxer joins Rachel Madddow to set the record straight on the difference between the so-called “nuclear option” and the Congressional process known as reconciliation, and call out Republicans for deliberately using those terms interchangeably to cause confusion.