President Obama dares Republicans to cause another economic crisis

“To even entertain the idea of this happening, of the United States of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible. It’s absurd. As the speaker said two years ago, it would be — and I’m quoting Speaker Boehner now — “a financial disaster not only for us but for the worldwide economy.” So we got to pay our bills. And Republicans in Congress have two choices here: They can act responsibly and pay America’s bills or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis.

But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The financial well-being of the American people is not leverage to be used. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip.

And they’d better choose quickly because time is running short. The last time Republicans in Congress even flirted with this idea, our triple-A credit rating was downgraded for the first time in our history, our businesses created the fewest jobs of any month in nearly the past three years, and ironically, the whole fiasco actually added to the deficit.”

— President Obama, Jan 14, 2013

(via liberalsarecool)


Sunday reflections

via: phroyd

President Obama: “Rape is rape. It’s a crime.”

Full quote here.

Nate Silver: “If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election, equaling or exceeding his margin of victory over Senator John McCain in 2008.”

Use it or lose it, ladies: 

Register to vote | Volunteer | Contribute

The Republican Party Rape Advisory Chart: Mourdock-Romney advisory

“Life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” — Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R), at a debate tonight with Rep. Joe Donnelly (D).

CSMonitor: Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate from Indiana who made a controversial statement concerning the will of God and rape, refused to apologize for his remarks Wednesday.

Mitt Romney’s one endorsement:

Romney will pretend to disagree with Mourdock’s “policy” while continuing to support him: “Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock, and Mr. Mourdock’s comments do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him.” — Washington Post

Charlie Pierce: “Tell me again that I don’t have to worry about Romney’s having two or three Supreme Court appointments to make, or about a Senate full of Richard Mourdocks passing judgment on them.”

Think Progress: John McCain, who’s not running a campaign this year, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night that he would withhold his support until Mourdock “apologizes and says he misspoke, and he was wrong and he asks the people to forgive him” However, McCain hasn’t pulled an ad he made for Mourdock earlier, or explicitly renounced him.


via: DailyKos

Think Progress: As of 1:30 pm, Fox News had not mentioned Richard Mourdock or the word “rape” in connection to Mourdock even once. In comparison, other cable networks are covering Mourdock and the fallout from his comments exhaustively. MSNBC mentioned “rape” in 15 segments about Mourdock, while CNN mentioned it 22 times. [...] When Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) made his highly-covered blunder, claiming that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” Fox barely mentioned his name. Though Fox may continue to ignore these controversies, stories of Republican candidates’ extreme positions on abortion and contraception are becoming all too common in the news cycle.

One month to go — Romney’s beliefs and positions change like the weather: every 15 minutes

It’s impossible to keep up with Willard’s positions anymore. To say he’s a flip flopper is to give him undeserved credit for something resembling a belief that was changed — and that would just be completely inaccurate.

It’s so weird those words came out of my own mouth — totally didn’t mean that! “Mitt Romney again distanced himself from his infamous 47 percent comments caught on video at a private fundraiser in May, telling CNN in an interview Tuesday night that, “the words that came out were not what I meant.”

Steve Benen: Mitt Romney takes a position on tax policy, then his staff says something else. Romney takes a position on Iran, then his staff says something else. Romney takes a position on health care, then his staff says something else. Romney takes a position on his own immigration adviser, then his staff says something else.

Romney wants you to forget about all that abortion stuff: “Mitt Romney said Tuesday he has no plans to push for legislation limiting abortion, a softer stance from a candidate who has said he would “get rid of” funding for Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade. “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” the Republican presidential nominee told The Des Moines Register in an interview.”

Obama camp fires back.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIT!!! It took all of two hours before Romney’s chief spokesperson said the exact opposite, explaining, “Gov. Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.” Asked whether the candidate’s position on abortion legislation had changed, Romney’s spokesperson would “not answer directly.” Look, even before the predictable walkback, Romney’s carefully-worded answer, intended to make him appear less extreme on reproductive rights, was absurd. Romney’s platform calls for a constitutional amendment that bans all abortions; Romney said he “absolutely” supports a “Personhood” measure that would ban all abortions and some forms of birth control; and in 2007, Romney boasted that that he’d be “delighted” to sign a bill that would no longer allow abortions “at all, period.” — Steve Benen

Only Mitt Romney could debate himself so thoroughly.

What women (don’t) want




“Women are not an interest group” — President Obama

OFA ad: This isn’t the 1950s. Contraception is about a woman being able to decide.

Dawn: “I think Mitt Romney’s really out of touch with the average woman’s health issues…”
Alex: “This is not the 1950s. Contraception is so important to women…it’s about a woman being able to make decisions…”
Dawn “I don’t remember anyone as extreme as Romney.”
Mitt Romney: “I’ll cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.”
Alex: “I don’t think Mitt Romney can even understand the mindset of someone who has to go to Planned Parenthood.”
Mitt Romney: “Planned Parenthood. We’re going to get rid of that.”
Dawn: “I think Romney would definitely drag us back.”

Citizens United and transparency: it really is your choice

What are the Democrats working on, with regard to donor transparency and the ridiculous idea that “corporations are people too” Citizens United ruling?

The Raw Story reports that Nancy Pelosi wants to fix the SCOTUS’ Citizens United ruling: “In a conference call, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters, “We must amend the constitutional to fix Citizens United.” Her latest call to action was spurred by Monday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Montana’s 1912 law limiting corporate spending in political campaigns based on its 2010 Citizens United ruling. The court’s decision led Montana’s governor Brian Schweitzer (D) and Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (R) to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision.”

Great! What are the Republicans working on?

Mitch McConnell speaks to Fox NewsThink Progress reports that now Mitch McConnell things campaign donor disclosure amounts to “harassment” and “intimidation:” “In a speech… to the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took the stunning view that attempts to let voters know who is paying for political messages amounts to a “political weapon” aimed at intimidating political critics. [...] The whole point of disclosure is allowing voters to know who is speaking and to evaluate the credibility of that person or interest. If disclosure were only about harassment and intimidation of political opponents, surely disclosure of donations to political candidates is just as likely to lead to such harassment of donors.”

House Republican Leadership Address The Media After Conference MeetingAnd the LA Times reports that now that contribution limits for campaigns are gone, Republicans are no longer interested in public transparency: “During their long campaign to loosen rules on campaign money, conservatives argued that there was a simpler way to prevent corruption: transparency. Get rid of limits on contributions and spending, they said, but make sure voters know where the money is coming from. Today, with those fundraising restrictions largely removed, many conservatives have changed their tune. They now say disclosure could be an enemy of free speech.”

Your choice in November is pretty clear: do you believe in greater transparency with regard to corporations, churches, and individuals donating hundreds of millions of dollars to political campaigns, Super PACs and politicians — or do you defend greater secrecy for the wealthiest donors? Vote your choice, knowing that billionaires and profitable corporations aren’t making these business investments (political donations) for nothing. And history, even as recent as the past 30 years, tells us they’re surely not working for the  betterment of our society but to enact laws to make themselves even wealthier.

Is the upholding of Obamacare REALLY better for Mitt Romney?

“The 2012 elections are now primarily a fight over whether health insurance is a right or a privilege, which is to say, a fight for decency.”Jonathan Chait

Alec MacGillis says this was not the better outcome for Mitt Romney: “Romney has been in a bind on health care all campaign, given that he signed into the law the model for Obamacare. But a ruling against the law would have allowed Romney to lambast it on the court’s terms—as an unconstitutional overreach… And, crucially, it will now fall to Romney himself to lead the argument against Obamacare, and to the extent that he takes up this charge, it will bring into focus, as never before, just how compromised he is on this front. [...] And when he does so, when he makes the case for doing away with Obamacare, and Obama in turn makes the case for keeping it (“forward, not back”), Romney will be doing, as John Dickerson notes, exactly what he didn’t want to do this election: he will be turning it into a choice between two approaches, rather than a referendum on the incumbent who couldn’t even make sure his biggest achievement passed constitutional muster. No, this is not good for Mitt.”

via: questionall 

And John Dickerson agrees, wondering if this gives the President back his mojo: “Twice in Romney’s statement responding to the ruling, he said, “This is a choice” when talking about the electoral conditions created by the court’s action. The president has been trying to get people to see the election as a choice for months—a choice between two candidates and their plans is preferable than a referendum on his record. [...] If voters see health care as a matter of which candidate will look out for them, then Obama has the advantage. He leads Romney by 31 points in the latest Pew poll when respondents were asked, “Who connects more with ordinary Americans?” In this fight, the president may have an unlikely ally in Chief Justice Roberts. By upholding the law and authoring the decision, he lent an extra measure of validation.” 

via: christopherstreet

And Nate Cohn doesn’t think it helps either candidate at this point, but argues: “With belated validation from the Supreme Court, Obama could be tempted to resell the bill. Will Obama attempt to capitalize on the law’s newfound legitimacy, to the extent that the Supreme Court offers any? Prior to the Supreme Court’s hearings, the Obama campaign seemed to embrace the ObamaCare label, perhaps indicating their intention to promote the bill once legal issues were resolved. While it might seem unstrategic for Obama to return attention to an unpopular proposal, a resell could produce better results than the initial attempt, if for no other reason than the absence of an on-going partisan debate in Congress. Perhaps more importantly, Obama is better positioned to promote the law against Mitt Romney, who enacted a similar health reform scheme in Massachusetts. Romney’s previous measures will complicate his ability to credibly challenge the ACA and particularly the individual mandate. In that respect, Santorum was surely correct.”

“This is now a time for the American People to make a choice. You can choose whether to have a larger and larger government making intrusions into your life… Or whether instead you want to return to a time where Americans have their own choice in health care.” — Mitt Romney on ACA ruling.

A response from tenderstatue: Mittens, you and I must have different definitions of choice, because in my world “go bankrupt trying to pay medical pills or go without treatment” IS NOT A FUCKING CHOICE.  

Checking in with the RNC and Rand Paul

via: itsjustaperiod


Morning Bunker Report: Sunday 4.22.2012


ROMNEY CAN DOG-WHISTLE WITH THE BEST OF THEM. Romney appeared on stage in front of this official campaign banner: See, there’s a very racist stereotype about black people being “lazy and shiftless,” and another one that has to do with “welfare queens” who don’t want to work. So when you create a disgusting slogan like this one, it serves as a dog-whistle, stoking white racist anger while also offending every black person in the country. Yeah, it was probably intentional. The Republican Party’s use of the Southern Strategy is well-documented and verified by actual Republican leaders. [Racist Romney Campaign Banner | Bob Cesca]

OBAMA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: A REPUBLICAN congressional candidate in Iowa told a TEA PARTY audience yesterday that PRESIDENT OBAMA does not love his country because he supports raising taxes on millionaires. [...] After distorting how much revenue the proposed Buffett Rule, which raises taxes on millionaires, would bring in, Dan Dolan used the president’s support for the measure as evidence that he is unpatriotic. “I have a hard time thinking that he loves this country if he’s willing to turn them against themselves for his own advancement…” [...] a new CNN poll this week found that 72 percent of Americans — including 53 percent of Republicans — support the Buffett Rule. We called Dolan’s campaign to inquire whether he also believes that the three out of every four Americans, and a majority of those in his own party, don’t love their country. We will post their response if one is provided. [Iowa GOP candidate doubts that Obama 'loves this country' because of Buffett Rule] — which reminded me of this:

Bill Maher: Save our children (if you won’t save our richest one percent, who will?)

REPUBLICAN JESUS IS ALSO INFECTED WITH ODS: First up is a look at Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Roman Catholic diocese of Peoria, Illinois, who caused quite a stir with a homily last weekend, when he compared President Obama to Hitler. And while that proved to be the part of Jenky’s hysterical tirade that generated the most attention, there’s a little more… [...] Jenky not only likened the president to Hitler and Stalin — a line that was not appreciated by the Anti-Defamation League — he went on to compare those who support the administration’s policy on contraception access to Judas Iscariot. But don’t miss the bishop’s conclusion: “This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries — only excepting our church buildings — could easily be shut down.” Now, the notion that contraception access might lead the government to shut down Catholic institutions is obviously ridiculous — someone might want to remind Mr. Jenky that there’s a commandment about bearing false witness — but in context, when the bishop concluded his harangue about his hatred for the president by giving the congregation voting instructions, that raises a separate legal question… [This Week in God]

SAY QUESTIONABLE SHIT ABOUT THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, PASS ON ENTERTAINING HIS TROOPS. Fort Knox’s June 23rd concert was originally scheduled to have Nugent as the headliner. On Tuesday, Nugent said that he would be “dead or in jail by this time next year” if President Barack Obama is re-elected.” Forty-eight hours later, changes to the concert lineup were in the works. “After learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation,” said a post on the official Fort Knox, KY Facebook page Thursday. [...] Nugent met with the Secret Service on Thursday, calling the get-together “a good, solid, professional meeting.” The agency added that any potential issues had been resolved. Outside his Secret Service comments, Nugent’s rough week included a guilty plea in an Alaska black bear killing case. .. [Anti-Obama Comments Lead To End Of Rockstar's Appearance]

CHARLES P. PIERCE COMMENTS ON Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods and the weirdo Secret Service agent — And then, with the shrewd self-awareness that’s marked her entire career, she continues… “The president, the CEO of this operation called our federal government, has got to start cracking down on these agencies. He is the head of the administrative branch and all of these different departments in the administration that now people are seeing things that are so amiss within these departments. The buck stops with the president. And he’s really got to start cracking down and seeing some heads roll. He has to get rid of these people at the head of these agencies where so many things, obviously, are amiss.” So sayeth the woman who found being the CEO of this operation called the state of Alaska too demanding to finish out her single term at the job. Historians are going to look back at this era of our politics and wonder why we all decided to start eating paint chips. Was there a famine or something? [Esquire]

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

DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HEAR FROM REPUBLICANS, LISTEN TO DEMOCRATS ON SOCIAL SECURITY — Get ready for the pro-Paul Ryan austerity headlines that will predict an imminent demise of Social Security. On April 23, the Social Security Trustees Report for 2012 is expected to be released – and you can expect that the shills for the one percent will be blaring that seniors may need to live on cat food if the US is going to be saved from financial ruin. But an advance analysis of the report on the financial status of the program, posted on NiemanWatchdog, argues that “last year’s report projected that at the end of 2011, Social Security would have an accumulated surplus of around $2.7 trillion, which it now has. This year’s report will show that it will be even higher at the end of 2012.” That’s right, the current $2.7 trillion surplus of Social Security funds is expected to rise by the end of this year. [Forget the Scary Headlines: Social Security Has More Than a $2.7 Trillion Surplus]

HOW MAINTAINING TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY LEADS TO AUSTERITY FOR THE REST OF US (what the Democrats are fighting): The state budget gaps of the last five years led to $290 billion in cuts to public services and $100 billion in tax and fee increases. Those actions lengthened the recession and delayed the recovery. Because spending reductions were dominant, hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost; undermining education, health care and other state priorities, which likely will cause future economic harm to states. Federal aid mitigated the harmful effects of the spending cuts in the early years of the budget crunch, but its expiration last year had a catastrophic effect, making 2012 the worst year since the downturn began for cuts in funding for services. More federal aid and a more balanced response, with an equal reliance on revenues and on service cuts, could have mitigated these effects. These are the findings of a new analysis of state budget data and trends over the last five years. While the broad outlines of this story have been well-known, this is the first attempt to quantify how states collectively balanced their budgets in the face of the worst fiscal problems in at least 70 years. Since 2008, states have enacted almost $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenues… [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]

TAX REFORM: THE GOP REFUSES TO RAISE TAXES ON THE WEALTHIEST ONE PERCENT (i.e. restoring the American value of fairness): Republicans work from a baseline that includes a full extension of the Bush tax cuts. The Democrats’ baseline assumes the expiration of the tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000. The Congressional Budget Office uses yet another baseline, one that assumes that all of the Bush tax cuts will expire, because that’s what current law says will happen at the end of 2012. The difference in revenue between the Republican and the current-law scenario exceeds $4 trillion over 10 years. So before we can even discuss what a new tax code should look like, we somehow need to resolve the most polarizing question in American politics: Should taxes be higher or lower? [...] The Tax Policy Center estimates that if the Bush tax cuts expire, the average America will face a $1,749 tax increase in 2013. That’s not something you want in a fragile economy after a decade that’s been terrible for the middle class. But it may be something we need if we’re going to get real revenue-raising tax reform. The two parties would still have to settle on a final revenue number, but at least they could agree on one that would cut taxes on almost all Americans. No one would have to vote for a “tax increase.” That’s not the case in the current world of baseline confusion. It’s sad to think that the only way to save the tax code might be to let it collapse at the end of the year. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. [Ezra Klein]


Because nuns are women too

The New Yorker: What’s Behind the Conservative Attack on Women?

The real attraction of the birth-control issue was that it could be used to bash Obamacare. It’s not proving to be a very effective weapon, however. When birth control is uncoupled from the religious-freedom argument—and when conservatives start talking in ugly ad-hominem language, like Limbaugh’s, or clueless anachronistic language, like Santorum’s—women, in particular, do not respond well.

Just after Limbaugh lashed out at Fluke, a Georgetown professor attended a reunion at a Catholic school in Queens. An elderly nun asked her, “Do you know that girl?” She added, “That awful man should be fired for what he said. How’s she holding up?”


Tuesday morning’s 6 questionably interesting things


  • Lindsey Graham on Afghanistan Civilian Massacre: ‘These Things Happen’ – “No, I believe, one, this is tragic and will be investigated, and that soldier will be held accountable for his actions under the military justice system. Unfortunately, these things happen in war. You had an Israeli soldier kill worshippers by the Dome of the Rock mosque. You just have to push through these things.” Yeah, I’m sure if an Afghan national walked into a shopping mall and slaughtered 16 Americans — including 9 children — Graham’s response would be, “Well, sh*t happens. Onward.”
  • Mississippi and Alabama: is this where brain cells go to die? – In Mississippi only 12% of voters think Obama’s a Christian to 52% who think he’s a Muslim and 36% who are not sure. In Alabama just 14% think Obama’s a Christian to 45% who think he’s a Muslim and 41% who aren’t sure. [...] In Mississippi …only 54% of voters think [interracial marriage] should be legal, while 29% believe it should be illegal. [...] Finally there’s considerable skepticism about evolution among GOP voters in both Alabama and Mississippi. In Alabama only 26% of voters believe in it, while 60% do not. In Mississippi just 22% believe in it, while 66% do not.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher correspondent, Alexandra Pelosi interviews Mississippi residents.
  • Why the former half-term governor matters – In a new video released by the Obama team, viewers are reminded of comments Palin made on the air last week. If you missed the clip, Palin’s scathing criticism of the president was blisteringly stupid, even for her, with the argument that the president is “bringing us back … to days before the Civil War.” Yes, Palin seriously expected Fox News viewers to believe the nation’s first African-American president wants to roll back the clock 150 years, to the days when slavery was legal. [...] I wouldn’t be too surprised if Republican leaders and the Romney campaign ask Palin to take a much lower profile in the coming months. Whether Palin honors the request is another matter. WATCH:


  • Romney will not enroll in Medicare – According to BuzzFeed, Romney, who has advocated for the wealthiest Americans to take lower public insurance benefits, announced through his campaign that he would not be apart of the entitlement program. The former Massachusetts governor and his team have repeatedly stated inaccurate information on Medicare throughout the course of the campaign, including claiming Medicare is going “bankrupt” and accusing President Obama of cutting benefits for seniors through the Affordable Care Act. Romney wants to raise the Medicare’s eligibility age up from 65 by one month per year and eventually tie the age to life expectancy.
  • Mitt Romney May Not Need Medicare, But Seniors Do

  • Romney Rules Out Santorum as Veep – Mitt Romney told Fox News that he would not pick Rick Santorum as his running mate because he’s not conservative enough. Said Romney: “Well, that would preclude, of course, Rick Santorum. Because, I mean, look at his record. I find it interesting that he continues to describe himself as the real conservative. This is the guy who voted against right-to-work. This is the guy who voted to fund Planned Parenthood. This is the person who voted to raise the debt ceiling five times? … Rick Santorum is not a person who is an economic conservative to my right.” [image: phroyd]


  • Santorum’s war on teleprompters – “See, I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter. Because all you’re doing is reading someone else’s words to people. You’re voting for someone who is going to be the leader of our government. It’s important for you to understand who that person is in their own words, see them, look them in the eye…hear what’s (in their) heart. You’re choosing a leader. A leader isn’t just about what’s written on a piece of paper.” || [MB]: Video of Rick Santorum using a teleprompter last month. [TP]: Santorum’s campaign, like those of almost every other politician, employs speechwriters to help draft his public remarks. So he is likely often “reading someone else’s words.”
  • Santorum co-chair: Romney should ‘renounce his racist Mormon religion’ – At a press conference on Monday, Rev. O’Neal Dozier, who is an honorary chairman of Santorum’s Florida campaign, said that he was speaking out to “foster and maintain good race relations here in America.” “The Mormon religion is prejudiced against blacks, Jews and native Americans,” Dozier insisted, adding that Romney’s nomination would widen the racial divide because “the Republican Party would be viewed as a racist political party.” “Romney’s nomination would cause the erroneous view that has long existed in the minds of black people that the Republican Party is prejudiced to become a reality. Why? Because Romney will become the face and the leader of the Republican Party.”
  • Santorum: Endangered Species Act puts ‘critters above people’ – “I know that from personal experience in Pennsylvania, and look at the Central Valley of California. There are so many places that we put critters above people. It’s a radical ideology that says we are here to serve the Earth instead of man having dominion over the Earth to serve him and to be a good steward of that Earth. …I accept the fact that the president’s a Christian. I just said when you have world view that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth like things that are not scientifically proven like the politicization of the whole global warming debate.”
  • “The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” says Rick Santorum.


  • exodusWhat hath Rush wrought? – Limbaugh has become so toxic, major advertisers want to avoid him and other shock jocks who might be as offensive as he is. As John Avlon noted over the weekend, “Rush Limbaugh made the right-wing talk-radio industry, and he just might break it.” [T]he irony is that the same market forces that right-wing talk-radio hosts champion are helping to seal their fate. Advertisers are abandoning the shows because they no longer want to be associated with the hyperpartisan — and occasionally hateful — rhetoric. They are finally drawing a line because consumers are starting to take a stand. [...] When big money starts shifting, it is a sign of a deeper tide that is difficult to undo, even if you are an industry icon like Rush Limbaugh. It is a sign that the times are changing. The free market at work.
  • Corporate America Turns Its Back On Rush Limbaugh – Watching advertisers flee Limbaugh at an alarming rate last week, Beck must have felt a sense of déjà vu regarding the cavalcade of television sponsors who abandoned him after he insulted the president as a “racist.” (Not to mention a socialist -Marxist -Nazi.) It was an advertising exodus that eventually cost Beck his job at Fox News. Like Beck before him, Limbaugh has announced the mass migration is no big deal. Yet like Beck before him, Limbaugh last week learned the overdue lesson that there are real-world consequences for trafficking in hate speech. The talk titan learned there are free-market penalties, such as when companies like Carbonite and AOL walked away from their existing ad commitment to Limbaugh’s show. [...] Imagine how painful the sting must feel for Limbaugh who practically worships at the alter of big business, to know corporate America, via the beloved free marketplace, has spoken so loudly and so clearly about Limbaugh’s creepy, misogynistic taunts of Sandra Fluke.

  • BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Syndicator Suspends National Ads For Two Weeks – reports that Premiere Networks, which syndicates the Rush Limbaugh show, told its affiliate radio stations that they are suspending national advertising for two weeks. Rush Limbaugh is normally provided to affiliates in exchange for running several minutes of national advertisements provided by Premiere each hour. These ads called “barter spots.” These spots are how Premiere makes its money off of Rush Limbaugh and other shows it syndicates. But without explanation, Premiere has supended these national advertisements for two weeks. calls the move “unusual.” The development suggests that Rush Limbaugh’s incessant sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke have caused severe damage to the show.


  • N.C. County Kills Family-Planning Funds – The commissioners didn’t think it was right to use taxpayer money to pay for women who want to have sex for non-procreative purposes. From the Star-News: Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money for contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly. “If these young women are being responsible and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t have this problem to begin with,” Davis said. The New Hanover County decision comes amid a growing debate about contraception and family planning in North Carolina and nationally. Last year, North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature became one of a handful to try and ban state funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Democrats leading GOP by 25 points among women – A Washington Post survey released Monday found that Democrats are perceived as caring more about issues that are important to women by 25 points, 55 percent to 30 percent. The poll also showed that a large majority of all voters support the idea that businesses should be required to cover the “full cost” of contraception for female employees. Among all voters, 61 percent supported a mandate for birth control coverage, while 35 percent did not. Of those who said contraception should be included in insurance coverage at no cost, 79 percent agreed that religious institutions should not be exempted from the mandate. Overall, 3 percent more voters sided with Obama administration’s policy requiring religious institutions to include birth control in their insurance plans than those who did not. As MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted, 53 percent of voters were women in 2008.


  • South Korean and Russian scientists join to clone woolly mammoth – The South Korean foundation said it would transfer technology to the Russian university, which has already been involved in joint research with Japanese scientists to bring a mammoth back to life. “The first and hardest mission is to restore mammoth cells,” another Sooam researcher, Hwang In-Sung, told AFP. His colleagues would join Russian scientists in trying to find well-preserved tissue with an undamaged gene. By replacing the nuclei of egg cells from an elephant with those taken from the mammoth’s somatic cells, embryos with mammoth DNA could be produced and planted into elephant wombs for delivery, he said. Sooam will use an Indian elephant for its somatic cell nucleus transfer. The somatic cells are body cells, such as those of internal organs, skin, bones and blood. “This will be a really tough job, but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals,” Hwang In-Sung said.
  • The Winter That Wasn’t, Part II – This year’s non-winter means an early explosion in bug infestations such as ants, termites, and Lyme disease carrying ticks. But worse than that, it may have wreaked havoc upon the honeybees.
  • CDC Seasonal Flu update – Nine states reported widespread influenza activity (an increase from six states last week). Regional influenza activity was reported by 21 states (an increase from 18 states last week). Twelve states reported local influenza activity (a decrease from 13 states last week). Eight states (a decrease from 12 states last week), the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico reported sporadic influenza activity. The U.S. Virgin Islands reported no influenza activity.

Monday morning’s 6 semi-interesting things

1) Being in Congress loses its thrill for some lawmakers – For members of Congress, the thrill is gone. They don’t make national policy anymore. They can’t earmark money for communities back home. The public hates them. And perks little and big, from private jet travel to a little free nosh now and then, have been locked down by ethics rules. As they head for the exits this year, many leaving Congress say the prestigious job of being a congressman sucks now, and that’s why lawmakers young and old are trading in their member pins for a new life in the private sector.

2) What is Congress “doing” this week? – Afghanistan: Lawmakers expressed condolences and concern on the Sunday morning political talk shows in response to the news that a U.S. soldier allegedly opened fire on Afghan civilians inside homes before turning himself in. There are several Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committee hearings scheduled for this week that could serve as venues for senators to raise further concerns or skepticism about the war. [...] Fixing Congress: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee plans to hold a hearing Wednesday to review several pieces of legislation that would change how Congress handles the budgetmaking process, including a proposal known as “No Budget, No Pay.” (GET THIS: from this same article, the Republicans say to expect three major endorsements for Romney. They consider that “doing something.” That’s “work” to them.)

3) Sen. James Inhofe, pretty much came right out and admitted that the reason why he denigrates and attacks climate science is because the Bible told him not to worry – “Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

  • Greenland’s Ice Is Growing DarkerEven mild global warming could completely melt Greenland’s ice cap – The Greenland icesheet is more sensitive to global warming than thought, for just a relatively small — but very long term — temperature rise would melt it completely, according to a study published on Sunday. [...] Greenland is second to Antarctica as the biggest source of locked-up water on land. If it melted completely, this would drive up sea levels by 7.2 metres (23.6 feet), swamping deltas and low-lying islands. [image: NASA]
  • Fourth Warmest Winter On Record For The U.S. – February is gone, and the non-winter of 2011 – 2012 is the history books as the fourth warmest in U.S. history, said NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center yesterday. The winter average temperature of 36.8°F was just 0.4°F cooler than the warmest winter on record, the winter of 1999 – 2000. If you lived in the Northern Plains, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast, it seemed like winter never really arrived this year–27 states in this region had top-ten warmest winters.

4) LOL Rick Santorum: ‘I’d like everybody to get out’ of race – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a foolproof plan to win the GOP nomination: He wants everybody else to just quit. On Sunday, NBC host David Gregory asked the candidate if he would like to see former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drop out if he loses upcoming primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. “I’d like everybody to get out,” Santorum admitted. “That’d be great if they could just clear the field.” “Congressman Gingrich can stay in, the Speaker can stay in as long as he wants, but I think the better opportunity to make sure we nominate a conservative is to give us an opportunity to go head to head with Gov. [Mitt] Romney at some point. Hopefully that will occur sooner rather than later.” [image: thatslayerchick]

5) Chris Matthews: The GOP is ‘treating women like they’re not really voters’ – Chris Matthews displayed Sunday morning his bemusement for the Republican Party’s comments and behavior towards women so far during the 2012 presidential campaign. “One of the time warps these days is watching Republicans ignore the simple fact that women vote and are the majority voters,” he said on his weekly show. “I do think it’s odd the way we’re talking about contraception — by the way, as if that’s only a women’s issue, it’s a male female issue, obviously — and treating women like they’re not really voters.”

  • Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With Republicans - Deborah R. Stevens, a self-described “dyed in the wool” Republican, said she felt hopeless. “I’m looking for a candidate that will be honest, that will come out and say, ‘Yes, I support women, I want you advanced and not trampled upon,’ ” said Ms. Stevens, 63, who lives near Myrtle Beach, S.C. “I want answers desperately. I want candidates to tell me, ‘I’m not overturning Roe v. Wade.’ It’s there. Leave it there.” Ms. Russell, who changed her political views at the baby shower, said she was impressed with how Mr. Obama handled his administration’s compromise over the much-debated birth control policy, saying, “I think he’s more of a women’s candidate.” Mr. Romney’s reaction to Mr. Limbaugh’s statements about the Georgetown student cemented a negative view of him. “I expected him to have the guts to stand up and say what Rush did was wrong,” she said. “Wrong, wrong, wrong in every sense of the word wrong.” A rally for women’s rights in San Diego on Thursday drew Jessica Lopez, 27, a registered independent who said she voted for President George W. Bush in 2004. Ms. Lopez said her choice this year became clear amid the Republican debate on contraception and abortion. “This has really energized me, that I need to get more involved with the Obama campaign,” she said. Ms. Lopez added: “The G.O.P. has never been so clear about their agenda for women. I’m afraid if we get a Republican president, my health will be up to their personal discretion.”
  • Hysterical Womenfolk All On The Rag Despite Gallantries of The GOP – You would think the women of America — particularly “right-leaning” women who voted for George W. Bush and John McCain — would understand when the great big strong menfolk tell them not to worry their pretty little heads about things like “their bodies” and “not being filthy whores.” But in a shocking twist that nobody could have predicted, it seems “women,” if there even is such a thing, are catching themselves a little case of the sulks! Ladies are now stealthily congregating at baby showers and beauty parlors and, we don’t know, shoe stores? and morphing into Obama-voting communists, just because the Republican party patiently explained to them that a man’s place is at the head of the household, and a woman’s place is in A Handmaid’s Tale. [...] In happier news for the GOP, recent polling suggests that fully one-third of women still want the Republicans to control Congress. They will get a special treat tonight. Maybe a new vacuum.

6) GOOSE / GANDER / FAIRPLAY TURNABOUT AND WHAT NOT: Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way. The Cleveland Democrat introduced Senate Bill 307 this week. A critic of efforts to restrict abortion and contraception for women, Turner says she is concerned about men’s reproductive health… Turner said if state policymakers want to legislate women’s health choices through measures such as House Bill 125, known as the ‘Heartbeat bill,’ they should also be able to legislate men’s reproductive health.

  • Oklahama Democrat Adds ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred’ Amendment to Personhood Bill - Oklahoma state senator Constance Johnson has a great sense of humor. To poke fun at the sheer absurdity of the Personhood Amendment which would give zygotes the same rights as extra-utero-American citizens, Senator Johnson added the following language as an amendment to the bill: However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.
  • imageThe Rectal Probe amendment - To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.
  • A bill that would ban Georgia males from seeking vasectomies – From the press release: “Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,” said Rep. Yasmin Neal, author of the bill. “It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States.”