Right Wing Congressional Hypocrites: when disaster relief is only justified for red states

And only when a Republican is in the White House.

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), whose Mississippi district is situated on the Gulf Coast, was one of 67 Republicans on Friday to vote against a $9.7 billion relief package to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District, which Palazzo has represented since 2011, includes the city of Biloxi, one of the most heavily damaged communities in the region by Hurricane Katrina. Congress quickly passed an initial $10.5 billion relief package in the immediate aftermath of Katrina in September of 2005. Palazzo’s predecessor, former Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS), supported that legislation. The Sandy relief legislation passed overwhelmingly on Friday, with the only “no” votes coming from Republican members.” – Gulf Coast Lawmaker Votes Against Sandy Relief


image demnewswire

“Pastor” Curtis Knapp: The government should kill gays

It seems that fundamentalist “Christians” don’t spend nearly enough time with the New Testament portion of the Bible — that part with Jesus Christ and the whole ‘new deal’ forgiveness, hopey-changey thing:

[Pastor Curtis Knapp] of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas says President Barack Obama has gone too far in supporting same sex marriage and it’s time for the U.S. government to begin killing gay men and lesbians. [...] Knapp read from Leviticus 20: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. They should be put to death,” Knapp declared. “‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ — I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.”  

Whatever. Guess what else Leviticus says (25) — and it’s notcorporations are people too’:

Oh, what’s that? We should take care of those less fortunate than us? THAT kind of charitable thinking actually IS backed up by Jesus the Socialist, unlike what Pastor AntiChrist quoted above. So in other words, it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for the GOP and their “tax cuts for the wealthy / austerity for the rest of us” thinking and corporate masters to enter Heaven.

Religious fail.

‘Life threatening’ storms forecasted this afternoon


image: (AP Photo/NOAA)

Forecasters say Saturday storms ‘life threatening’

It was only the second time in U.S. history that the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance, said Russ Schneider, director of the center, which is part of the National Weather Service. The first time was in April 2006, when nearly 100 tornadoes tore across the southeastern U.S., killing a dozen people and damaging more than 1,000 homes in Tennessee.

This weekend’s outbreak could be a “high-end, life threatening event,” the center said.

[...] The worst weather is expected to develop late Saturday afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kan., but other areas also could see severe storms with baseball-sized hail and winds of up to 70 mph, forecasters said. The warning issued Friday covers parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Read full article…

Weather: Look out, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas

discoverynews:

High Tornado Alert

Look out, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas.

Tornado watches are in effect through Saturday and into the foreseeable future as a collision of weather fronts make their way back-and-forth across the country. Storm Chasers are video streaming their drives into danger. Drive along with them safely by clicking on the car icons above.

Storm Chasers video and storm tracker here

Saturday morning’s 6 subjectively interesting things

1) The President / Democrats

  • WHITE HOUSE: COLLEGES MUST COVER BIRTH CONTROL FOR STUDENTS - The Health and Human Services Department said student health plans will be treated like employees’ plans, meaning they will have to comply with new requirements under healthcare reform — including the requirement to provide contraception without charging a copay. The contraception mandate has sparked intense criticism from some religious groups and Republican lawmakers. They say it violates employers’ religious freedoms by forcing them to provide a service they find immoral. Religious universities will treat their student plans the same as their employees’ plans, administration officials said Friday. That means they will not have to directly offer contraception in their plans, but students and workers will be able to get birth control from their insurance companies without a copay.
  • A REAL CONSERVATIVE’S TAKE ON OBAMA - The British Tories have not gone insane like the GOP. And it’s an open secret that Cameron would be extremely confortable with an Obama re-election. But I was struck by the prime minister’s remarks the other night and since they’re now being attacked from thefar right, it’s worth reprinting them: “There are three things about Barack that really stand out for me: strength, moral authority, and wisdom…” [...] Just because Americans need amnesia to forget what this country did to its own moral authority under Bush and Cheney does not mean that America’s allies have. They saw the damage it did to all of us defending civilization against barbarism, only to discover that some of that barbarism was emanating from the White House itself.
  • OBAMA’S JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION RATE IS AT LEAST 30 JUDGES BEHIND BUSH’S - In the wake of this week’s deal where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to stop obstructing 14 of President Obama’s judicial nominees and allow them to be confirmed by early May, Al Kamen runs the numbers on how President Obama’s confirmation rate compares to the rate of confirmations under Presidents Bush and Clinton… [...] If the Senate does, in fact, approve them all, Obama’s number of confirmed judges will stand at 172. To put that in perspective, by the end of May in their respective first terms, George W. Bush had 175 judges approved, and Bill Clinton had 183.

2) Your 2012 GOP primary

  • A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ‘ENTHUSIASM GAP’ - Republicans are less enthusiastic about having Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum as their potential presidential nominee than they were four years ago about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., according to a Gallup survey released on Thursday. For conservatives, the lackluster numbers are a worrying sign that the party’s already bitter primary fight has sapped voter enthusiasm and left the GOP weakened for the fall battle with President Obama. Gallup reported that just 35 percent of Republicans surveyed said they would vote enthusiastically for front-runner Romney if he becomes the party’s standard-bearer. Similarly, 34 percent said they would enthusiastically support Santorum, his main challenger for the nomination and the preferred choice of the most-conservative Republicans. That represents a precipitous drop in excitement from 2008, the poll found. In a survey released in early February of that year, 47 percent of Republicans were enthusiastic about the prospect of backing McCain, a 12-point difference from Romney’s numbers today.
  • Limbaugh’s chemically enhanced dittoheads will NEVER go for this: SANTORUM PROMISES BROAD WAR ON PORN - The Daily Caller flags a little-discussed position paper on Rick Santorum’s campaign website—his pledge to aggressively prosecute those who produce and distribute pornography. Santorum avers that “America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography.” He pledges to use the resources of the Department of Justice to fight that “pandemic,” by bringing obscenity prosecutions against pornographers. [The photo was snapped by a passenger on an Atlantis all-gay cruise in Puerto Rico. - via: Buzzfeed / JMG]
  • ROMNEY SAYS FOX NEWS IS “PRETTY FAIR AND BALANCED” AND NOT “SHILLING FOR ANYONE” - Mitt Romney on Thursday dismissed former senator Rick Santorum’s charge that Fox News Channel is “shilling” for the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign.“I don’t think you’re shilling for anyone, to tell you the truth,” Romney said on the “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show. “Each one of the people I meet has their own opinions. My guess is different ones of the commentators have different people they think have a better shot but you don’t hear that from the network or from the individual commentators. So look, you are free to express your own views but I think it’s as you say, pretty fair and balanced.”
  • ROMNEY’S FOX NEWS BLITZ - Mitt Romney has been up and down on the trail — and that’s also true of his ubiquity on Fox News. Recently, he’s been a near-constant presence. Romney’s tour of the Fox News empire this week is the most time Romney’s done on a Fox News set in a week since Jan. 1. In the week alone, Romney has appeared on Fox News six times, and he’s scheduled to appear on Fox News Sunday this weekend. The tone of the interviews has ranged from a bit uncomfortable to downright chummy. [...] America Live host Megyn Kelly on Wednesday asked why Romney is making so many wealth-related gaffes, citing his references to football and NASCAR team owners. Romney still hasn’t found a solid answer to this critique, though there’s been a general “he’s rich, get over it” push from his surrogates lately. But Romney’s answer to Kelly showed a continued inability to explain his wealth in a way that would endear him to the middle-class voters he is courting. “Guess what? I’ve made a lot of money,” Romney said. “I’ve been very successful. I’m not going to apologize for that.”
  • “GOD’S WILL?” SARAH PALIN’S SECRET PLOT TO CAPTURE THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2012 - Pay close attention: Palin’s rhetoric between now and Tampa will continue to be critical of both Romney and Obama; it will continue to push for a contested primary; and it will continue to signal Palin’s willingness to accept the nomination of a brokered convention. Palin knows that Romney will never pack her star power with the base — and that neither Rick Santorum nor Newt Gingrich will either. In the aftermath of Santorum’s sweep of Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, a brokered GOP convention is a very real possibility. The Republican Party has become a fractured mosaic of fringe constituencies — from Tea Partiers to evangelical anti-abortion activists, from libertarians who support Ron Paul to white supremacists who despise the fact that there is a black man in the White House. It is an unruly lot. The days of a GOP elite framing the presidential selection process are over. Charisma trumps experience; celebrity trumps substance; and, perhaps most disturbingly, anger trumps reason. Mama grizzlies, especially those who have been wounded, don’t go down easy. [Remember what Ann Coulter said a few days ago about this...]

3) The drug-addicted, morally-challenged ‘shock blob’ known as Rush Limbaugh

  • WESTBORO RELEASES ‘YOU MIGHT BE A SLUT’ AD FOR LIMBAUGH’S SHOW - A church in Topeka, Kansas famous for its “God Hates Fags” protests is hoping to take their message to millions of dittoheads across the U.S. The Westboro Baptist Church on Friday released two advertisements that they hope to air on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, which is experiencing an exodus of advertisers after he called a Georgetown University law student a “slut” because she spoke in favor of religious institutions providing contraception coverage. The first spot was a parody of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck” routine. “If you wear a dress that is strapless with a brassiere that isn’t, you might be a slut,” an announcer says. “If you are an anchor bimbo for Fox News and your name is Kelly or Julie, you might be a slut.” [...] Premiere Networks has already said it would reject the ads as soon as it receives them on Friday. “If they turn these things down, how are they really any different than the people who are turning their nose up at Rush Limbaugh?” Drain asked. “We are making a moral statement with our advertising just like he was making a moral statement with his airtime.”
  • (AUDIO) RUSH SUGGESTS GOP IS NOT ANTI-WOMAN BECAUSE REPUBLICANS “TAKE WOMEN TO DINNER. THEY BUY WOMEN DIAMONDS.” - [The following commentary on this via: Wonkette]: Honestly, who can even be mad at this dumb fuck any more? It is like being mad at an incredibly stupid, fat, drug-addicted, offensive head of lettuce. Why even bother? Fine, Rush, give us some whore diamonds, for our whoring, whore whore whore. Yeah, we get it kiddo, we’re whores. No, no, you got us, we’re super offended, we promise! No really, really, we are! Run along now sweetie, there’s some cookies on the counter. Remember, Jesus loves you, and good job.

4) Republican War on Women

  • Living in a red state is hazardous to your health if you’re a woman: WHAT’S WRONG WITH ARIZONA? - To recap: Arizona senate committees have approved bills to allow doctors to withhold information from pregnant women if they suspect it will lead to an abortion, to allow employers to demand proof that your contraception is for non-reproductive purposes, and now a bill to cut state funding from family planning services entirely. [...] If HB2800 is signed into law, Arizona will also lose Medicaid matching funds for family planning services in the same manner as Texas. And maybe that’s the idea. What other conclusion is there?
  • KANSAS, TOO: COUNTY TURNS DOWN FUNDING FOR BIRTH CONTROL - After yesterday’s post about county commissioners in New Hanover County, North Carolina, voting to reject state money for family planning, Amber Pickman wrote to tell us about a similar move in Miami County, Kansas. The Miami County Commission voted 3-2 last week to exclude about $9,000 in funding aimed at covering contraceptives from the county’s state grant applications. The Louisburg Herald covered the fallout: The decision didn’t sit well with Kelly Fritz, who volunteers at the health department and spoke with Miami County commissioners last August when they first considered eliminating the distribution of contraceptives from the family planning program. During that August meeting, Fritz said Miami County’s program serves 151 women, 116 of whom do not have insurance. She also said that statistics show that 85 percent of women who are regularly sexually active will become pregnant within one year without family planning services, and she estimated that 98 of the 116 women without insurance would become pregnant if the services were no longer provided…“It’s like we’re going backwards,” Fritz said. “I can’t believe the rights we had are being taken away from our children’s generation.”
  • OUT OF FAVOR IN WASHINGTON, BLUNT-STYLE BILLS CATCH FIRE IN THE STATES - Over the last few weeks, Republicans have quietly backed away from the controversial Blunt Amendment and other legislative efforts to allow employers to deny contraception coverage to women. “I think Republicans know that it hasn’t served them well,” Sen. Chuck Schumer told TPM at the time. Apparently, state-level Republicans didn’t get the memo. Several state legislatures were inspired rather than dissuaded by the contraception debate in Washington, and are considering their own versions of the Blunt Amendment — keeping alive an issue national Republicans thought they were putting to bed. Arizona, New Hampshire, Idaho and Georgia have taken up bills to expand exemptions for contraception coverage. Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, Idaho and Wyoming lawmakers are moving symbolic resolutions condemning the administration’s contraception coverage rule. Lawmakers working on the state bills, like their counterparts in Congress, insist that the measures are about protecting religious liberty, not women’s access to health care. But a new poll from Bloomberg shows that a majority of voters don’t see it that way…

5) The Republican War on everyone / everything else in the world

  • ANTI-OBAMA RACISM IS REAL - A photograph of a bumper sticker that features racist, anti-Obama language has gone viral on Facebook and other social networks. The sticker reads “Don’t Re-Nig In 2012,” in large white type, above smaller text that reads: “Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect Obama!” The offensive design appears to have originated at a site called Stumpy’s Stickers, where it can be purchased. The site sells variations on the same idea, including another “Don’t Re-Nig” design featuring a caricature of a black man’s face with a missing tooth, a picture of a chimp that reads “Obama 2012,” and another with a drawing of several Ku Klux Klan members that reads “The Original Boys In The Hood.”
  • OBAMA CAMPAIGN COMES OUT AGAINST NORTH CAROLINA’S MARRIAGE AMENDMENT - Today, President Obama’s re-election campaign came out in opposition to Amendment One, which would ban all same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships in North Carolina. According to Cameron French, Obama’s North Carolina spokesman: FRENCH: While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.
  • DONALD TRUMP: WINDMILLS ARE ‘DISGUSTING’ - President Barack Obama characterized clean energy cynics in the GOP presidential field as would-be members of the Flat Earth Society. Birther and Romney-endorser Donald Trump cast himself with the Flat Earth candidates yesterday, with his latest tirade against clean energy. Trump told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto: Wind is destroying the environment in many, many places. People are going crazy over the horrible, noisy, disgusting windmills. And they are horrible and a horrible intrusion, ruining communities, and solar is weak and has not been effective and is very, very expensive.

6) Misc

  • SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT GEOMAGNETIC STORMS ARE MAKING YOU SICK - Geomagnetic storms aren’t just beautiful to look at — these disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field could also be messing with your mind and body. There’s a ton of evidence suggesting that geomagnetic storms can cause everything from depression to cardiac problems — and may even be influencing the stock market. A new paper suggests there’s a lot more evidence for this connection than anybody realizes. The paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, argues that there’s a large, disparate, and controversial body of scientific literature that links geomagnetic storms to a number of animal behaviors, including cardiovascular, psychiatric and behavioral changes in humans. And author Dr. James Close has the enormous literature review to back up his claims… [via: the-star-stuff]

Saturday morning’s 9 semi-interesting things

1) F**king Alaska! Can we throw this state out of the Union already? – An Alaskan man has filed a lawsuit to prohibit President Obama from appearing on the November ballot not on the grounds that he was born in Kenya, but on the basis that his skin-color alone is enough to bar him from being a citizen. A man from Juneau, Alaska, has filed suit with the state’s Division of Elections to bar President Obama from appearing on that state’s ballot on the basis that the President is a “Mulatto”, and “the race of ‘Negro’ or ‘Mulatto’ had no standing to be citizens of the United States under the United States Constitution.” 

2) What Are the Gobshites Saying These Days? - Santorum decided to flagellat… er… explain himself to Glenn Beck, and to Beck’s audience of angry shut-ins… The two public intellectuals got into a discussion of religion, and Santorum said: “I saw one poll that said 62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it… I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely… The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”  …The putative Republican frontrunner is a fking religious loon. This, I believe, should be something of an issue in the campaign.

3) Rick Santorum: Americans With ‘Special Needs’ Won’t Survive Under Obama’s Health Reform - But the Affordable Care Act actually prevents insurance carriers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions (and disabilities), prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on benefits and specifically invests in programs for people with disabilities. For instance, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has “announced $2.25 billion to extend the existing Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration Program, which is designed to facilitate people with disabilities staying in their communities instead of being placed in institutional settings” and has provided additional funding for aging and disability resource centers and other programs for sicker Americans. This why groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Organization For Rare Disorders, and The Arc of the United States not only support the law, but have filed an amicus brief in its defense.

4) Romney Fails His Own ‘Moral Responsibility’ Test, Can’t Balance His Campaign’s Budget  - A series of ads lift excerpts from a speech Romney gave in November at an event in New Hampshire in which he says “we have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in,” and “it is a moral responsibility to believe in fiscal responsibility. We do and I do.” That raises serious questions about Romney’s morality then, since in January his campaign spent nearly three times more than it brought in during the month. Financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission shows that the Romney camp raised about $6.5 million in January, but spent almost $19 million during the same period.

5) Can you imagine how fucked Obama would have been if he’d said Michelle drove a couple of Cadillacs? - For his embarrassing partial quote of the day, Mitt Romney ended a speech in Detroit with an apparent attempt to reach out to the car-making community there, saying, “I actually love this state. This feels good being back in Michigan … I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drove a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.” Reporters have immediately jumped on the latter half of the comment as another example of Romney appearing “tone deaf” when making oblique references to his wealth among voters. (Think “I like being able to fire people” or “corporations are people, my friend.”) “Politically, I don’t there’s anything wrong with mentioning your wife drives a Cadillac. But it’s a little riskier if you mention she drives ‘a couple,’” writes The Hill’s Christian Heinze. “For the love of Pete,” tweets Politico’s Ben White. “… It would be better for that campaign if he didn’t speak.” “PROBLEM” adds Politico’s Dylan Byers. But let’s all take a step back. It could have been worse! Something like, “Ann used to drive two Cadillacs but that was years before we hired her a private driver.”

6) Higher gas prices: The folly of blaming Obama for higher gas prices  - The real problem is not that gas gets expensive sometimes, but that the United States, with its extremely high levels of per capita oil consumption, is much more vulnerable to supply disruptions than are rich countries in Asia and Europe. A larger share of Americans drive on a daily basis, and they drive heavier cars longer distances. Not coincidentally, gasoline is cheaper here thanks to lower taxes. But while American politicians like to pay lip service to the idea of tax reform that encourages work and investment, they refuse for political reasons to levy higher fees on environmentally and economically destructive gasoline in exchange for lower taxes on socially beneficial labor and savings. Until that happens we’re doomed to endless repetition of the pointless gas-price blame game every time global conditions push prices up.

7) Gov. Gregoire: Obama Is The ‘Inspiration’ Behind Washington’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill - Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) praised President Obama’s record on gay rights following a meeting between the President and Democratic Governors, thanking him “for his leadership on GLBT issues.” Gregoire, whose state recently passed a same-sex marriage bill, said that it was through his efforts they were able to achieve what they did, adding, “He’s been the inspiration that allowed the state of Washington recognize that we need to have equality.” President Obama says he is still “evolving” in his support for marriage equality.

I think at least they’re doing it the right way, which is going through voters, giving them a chance to vote and not having a handful of judges arbitrarily impose their will,” Gingrich said when asked about the votes in Washington state and Maryland. “I don’t agree with it. I would vote no if it were on a referendum where I was, but at least they’re doing it the right way.”Newt Gingrich on Washington state enacting same-sex marriage

8) Kansas may raise taxes on the poor to fund cuts for the rich - In the version of the bill approved by a House committee this week, half a million of the state’s poorest residents who earn less than $25,000 will wind up paying an average of $72 more per year, while the 21,000 Kansans who make over $250.000 will get an average tax cut of $1500. A source in the state legislature told the Associated Press that the legislation will also reduce state revenues by more than $850 million oer the next five years. Kansas Democrats are predictably outraged. “It’s been Robin Hood in reverse,” Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley complained last month. “What we are doing is stealing from the poor to give to the rich.” It could be worse. the plan originally proposed by Governor Brownback would have given the wealthiest Kansans a $5200 tax cut, while forcing the lowest-income residents to pay $156 more.

9) Why Medicaid Is Hard To Cut - The biggest share of the pie, or the greatest percentage of Medicaid money, is spent on the blind and disabled. It’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to cut care from that group. The next largest share of Medicaid goes to the elderly. Yes, even after they get Medicare, the very poor among those age 65 or older also get Medicaid. We call them dual-eligibles. Does anyone think that we’re going to cut from seniors after the 2010 elections? Unlikely. Should we cut from kids in foster care? Or perhaps “BCCA Women”, or women who are getting breast or cervical cancer assistance. No?

UFO towed through Crowley County, Kansas 12/12/11

COWLEY COUNTY, Kansas — Residents in Cowley County are still talking about a mystery craft, seen being towed down US 77 Monday.

[...] A huge 32 foot craft, wrapped in tarp, was as mysterious as the transport company who called Sheriff Don Read for help.

“They told us that it was an aircraft and that they had explored other ways to transport it but this was the best way for them to do it and they asked us not to say a whole lot about it,” said Read.

[...] So what in the world was it? Undersheriff Bill Mueller says it was an experimental aircraft from Northrop Grumman, possibly a new unmanned drone.  It still has a ways to go. Its final destination is Maryland.

via: KSN News

News report: