Look at this beautiful caterpillar and the moth it becomes

 

archiemcphee:

This awesome creature (yes, this really is a living thing, not a piece of candy or glass) is a Jewel Caterpillar (Acraga coa) spotted by naturalist and photographer Gerardo Aizpuru near Cancun, Mexico. No word if it tastes like a gummi worm, but we’ll let you take the first bite. Here’s Gerardo’s own description:

“Photo take in a mangrove area , found this Stoning translucent caterpillar lay on a Red Mangrove tree leaf this morning early. Just can believe there is some species like this around the world. looks like made of glass whit small red mushroom inside every pic. about 3 cm long.”

The bottom image, as you might’ve surmised, shows the bright and impressively furry moth that this wicked little caterpillar eventually becomes. Transforming from one sort of awesome creature into another different, but still entirely awesome, creature? We’re seriously impressed.

(Bottom photo taken by David Brownell)

 

The politics of Politico: Rick Santorum ‘endorses’ Romney, the Teamsters ‘fall in line’ for Obama

Remember back in March when Rick Santorum said this about Mitt Romney?:

“Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

Oops! Hahaha. Kidding! Santorum sent out a middle-of-the-night email to tell all his fundie supporters that now he’s decided to be a member of Team Mitt. To many, that might seem like a surrender monkey move but don’t worry,  Politico has Santorum covered:

[Santorum's] backing, while expected, comes at a time when Romney is trying to solidify his standing in the party, whose social conservative base remains uncertain about him.

Ah. So it was expected yet it was so unexpected that it was like a magical favor to Mitt right now. Anything else?

Santorum’s credentials with social conservatives remain strong, and while Democrats are certain to re-introduce video clips of him talking about Romney, his backing could help the presumptive nominee with the voters he’s struggled with most.

Don’t you see? Santorum’s had a bit of downtime lately to reflect on the Real Mitt Romney. Maybe God from the Book of Mormon had a word with him. In any case, Santorum’s ‘credentials’ remain strong. Thank goodness.

Compare that with Politico’s reporting on the Teamsters’ endorsement of Obama. Of course when an entity like a labor union endorses Obama, Politico reports that as “falling in line” behind the campaign.

The Teamsters’ Monday endorsement makes it the latest major union to fall in line behind the president’s campaign, joining the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO and many other labor heavyweights.

Though widely expected, the endorsement of the 1.4 million-member Teamsters wasn’t automatic for Obama: the union described a “months-long” process that included scientific polls of the rank and file, surveys of local offices and serious deliberations by the union’s leadership. But it also underscores a broader political point: after three years of ups, downs and mutual frustrations, Big Labor is again marshaling its troops for Obama with a mood that could be described in some quarters as grudging enthusiasm.

[...] Obama can thank two years of anti-union activity in states like Wisconsinand Ohio for overriding labor’s feelings about his inconsistent record on their issues. And he can thank Romney’s past at Bain Capital for kicking labor’s massive effort into overdrive to keep the man the Teamsters tagged a “vulture capitalist” out of the Oval Office.

Despite taking office as the economy cratered, Obama “has led the country down the long road back to prosperity, providing relief for the middle class and fighting for workers’ rights,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement. Romney represents “everything that’s wrong” with the U.S. free market system, Hoffa said, and a Romney presidency would amount to “the fox guarding the henhouse.”

So there have been ‘ups and downs’ for three years, etc. And Democrats are generally more supportive of labor unions than Republicans who, let’s face it, would like to see them outlawed in all 50 states. But the Teamsters just totally fell in line. Democrats always do that (except when they don’t — see: “herding cats”).

Remember: as all the conservatives groups and all special interests, and the rightwing media, and all current and former GOP presidential candidates and their spokespeople, and the wingnut fringe start to (what looks like) “fall in line” with the candidate they’ve all cursed and tried to drive away, they’re definitely not falling in line. Because on the conservative side, anyone who didn’t support Romney before but does now is making a very serious personal decision. To outsiders, that decision may look like someone throwing up their hands in exasperation, thinking, ‘Meh.’ And then, ‘Ugh!‘ But it’s so much more serious than that. Really.

I guess now we’re all just waiting for Mistress Strangelove of the Far North to post her official declaration of word salad about Romney to Facebook, basically so that hard line tea partyers will know what to do in November. Vote for Mitt? Vote for Romney?  It’s all so up in the air with the GOP, isn’t it?

Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 5.8.2012

WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—

imageRICK SANTORUM endorses Mitt Romney “in a late night email to supporters” – “He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved,” Santorum wrote in the letter e-mailed to supporters. The endorsement comes as Romney looks to shore up his support among conservatives, who powered Santorum to victory in several states, particularly in the south. Last week, Romney and Santorum met for an hour in Pittsburgh, where Santorum stressed the need for Romney to hire conservatives. During the primary, Santorum was one of Romney’s harshest critics, suggesting that he was unelectable because of his health care plan and because of his more moderate views. Yet Santorum, who resurrected his career with his unlikely challenge of Romney down the stretch, said that he was satisfied that Romney would overturn health care. – Washington Post

MITT ROMNEY does have a lengthy economic plan, but it amounts to the same thing Republicans always advocate (there’s no ‘special insight’ from all Mitt’s ‘business’ experience): tax cuts, particularly on the wealthy; spending cuts in domestic programs; eliminating regulations; free trade; undermining labor unions, and so on. The closest thing to an innovative idea is the creation of a “Reagan Economic Zone,” which presumably will create wealth through the repeated incantation of the great one’s name. Which is just the point: if Mitt Romney’s experience in private equity gives him such unique understanding of the economy, why is what he proposes exactly what you’d hear from any Republican who spent his working life in government? It’s partly because Romney is a Republican, and things like tax cuts and reductions in regulation are just what Republicans believe. But maybe it’s also because when it comes to the things government can do to affect the economy, being a businessman doesn’t give you such special insight after all. — Paul Waldman, Prospect.org

MITT ROMNEY was confronted by a questioner about foreign taxes he reported on his income tax returns, a charge Mitt Romney appeared to deny. “I don’t think I paid any foreign income taxes, but I’ll look at it,” Romney replied over the boos of the audience for the hostile questioner. But in fact, Romney has paid over $1.2 million in foreign taxes for “passive category income” since 2000, according to his 2010 income tax return. Additionally he has paid over $800,000 in foreign taxes for “general category income” according to the same filing. — Buzzfeed

REV. JESSE LEE PETERSON says America’s greatest mistake was allowing women to vote — Peterson, a Fox News contributor, tea party activist and personal friend of Sean Hannity’s said in a sermon… that America’s greatest mistake was allowing women the right to vote, adding that back in “the good old days, men knew that women are crazy and they knew how to deal with them.” [...] Despite his statements being online for more than a month, Hannity welcomed Peterson on his show last Tuesday to castigate the Obama administration over “taking credit” for the Osama bin Laden assassination — but the segment didn’t exactly go as planned. – Raw Story

GOP WILL BLOCK student loan bill – Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said the GOP’s stance is designed to trigger talks between House Republican leaders and Senate Democratic leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — so that a compromise can be reached before the July 1 deadline when interest rates on Stafford loans are poised to jump to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. “There will be a compromise worked out,” Kyl said. “When it’s clear that [Reid’s] version isn’t going to go anywhere, I presume that leaders of the House and Senate will get together and find a way to ensure that the interest rate doesn’t double.” Kyl said that the GOP move also stemmed from Democrats signaling that no amendments would be allowed to the bill. – Roll Call News

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

VETS FOR A STRONG AMERICA darkened the President’s image – Vets for a Strong America has gotten a lot of attention for its recent video attacking President Obama for taking too much credit for the Osama bin Laden killing. [...] I haven’t seen anybody point out the truly most egregious part of the video: the obvious attempt to make Obama look like a criminal thug by darkening his image. Remember the hue and cry when Time magazine did that to O.J. Simpson in 1994? Remember the hue and cry when Hillary Clinton’s campaign supposedly did that to Obama during the 2008 primary, even though it actually hadn’t? But this time nobody cares. I guess times have changed. – Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

DAVID AXELROD reminded us of this quote from the Bush-appointed former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates about the killing of Bin Laden: “I worked for a lot of these guys and this is one of the most courageous calls — decisions — that I think I’ve ever seen a president make.” Bob Cesca

THE RIGHTWING CLAIMED that Obama failed when he drew 14,000+ people to his Ohio rally on Saturday — However Mitt Romney drew only 500 people to his Ohio event yesterday. That was the event where the woman told Romney she thought Obama should be tried for treason (which is punishable by death) and Romney said nothing. The Romney people called the crowd estimated at anywhere between 300-700, “great turnout.” — PoliticsUSA

FORMER SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI) on Monday speculated that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was embarrassed by the “almost lawless decision” in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. “This is a guy who is usually a careful justice,” he told Sam Seder of the Majority Report. “He just started making these sweeping assertions about what corruption was, what companies do, like he was talking at a bar with somebody over a beer rather than anything that was a legal decision. It was really reckless. I am guess he might even be a little bit embarrassed at this point about what a sloppy opinion it was, and how it just asserted things that aren’t proven.” – Raw Story