TGIF morning’s 9 marginally interesting things


1) Economy gets more good news - “After more than two years of frustrating fits and starts, the U.S. economy is showing signs of moving onto firmer ground. A host of reports Thursday underscored that point, as well as the perils that persist. The number of Americans filing initial claims for government unemployment benefits has fallen to levels last seen before Lehman Brothers collapsed, the Labor Department said. The stock market, a leading indicator of growth, is off to its best start this year since 1998 and notched more gains Thursday. Meantime, consumer confidence has reclaimed ground lost last year, and another report showed that income growth is firming. However the economy is far from robust. Government and company reports showed consumer spending has been mixed. And the manufacturing sector, though on the rebound, isn’t booming, according to a survey of manufacturing purchasing managers by the Institute for Supply Management.”

2) Obama Tells Congress To Eliminate ‘Outrageous’ Big Oil Tax Breaks - In a speech before a large crowd in Nashua, New Hampshire, President Barack Obama exhorted Americans to tell Congress to eliminate $4 billion in annual subsidies to big oil companies, who are making record profits on soaring gas prices. The audience booed as Obama talked about the “outrageous” and “inexcusable” tax breaks. Obama had an unambiguous message for every member of Congress: “You can either stand up for the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people.”

3) Leaders Ask Why We’re Exporting Fossil Fuels Without Considering American Security First - Panelists Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA)  bemoaned the fact that the United States does not have a national strategy on exports.  Wyden accused the country of being “on autopilot” to an energy export policy, which could have tremendous economic, social, and environmental consequences.  He expandedSo I have been somebody who’s been expansionist on trade and think that we ought to have freer trade, have fairer trade, but we also need to have smarter trade.  And allowing energy producers—we haven’t really touched on this—to trade away our international competitiveness and our energy independence by exporting the resources right now without thinking through the implications here of what it means for consumers and our companies doesn’t strike me as a smart trade policy.

4) Mitt Romney is not impressed with the ‘fancy raincoats’ worn by NASCAR fans - these three sentences, from The New York Times writeup of Romney’s visit to the Daytona 500, might just be the three most hilarious sentences about Mitt Romneybot that you read all day. But the crowd initially booed Mr. Romney, who occasionally struck a discordant note, as when he approached a group of fans wearing plastic ponchos. “I like those fancy raincoats you bought,” he said. “Really sprung for the big bucks.” The only question is whether he’s so clueless that he’s never seen plastic ponchos before and actually thinks they are a big money item … or if he’s a enough of a condescending jackass that he’d make fun of somebody for wearing one.

  • “Look, I have worn a garbage bag for rain gear myself.” - Mitt Romney

5) SLUTS* AND THEIR CONTRACEPTION: Senate Votes in Favor of Loose-Moraled Hussies (Blunt Act) -The Senate rejected an amendment [yester]day that would have vastly expanded so-called conscience objections to the Obama administration’s health care law. The measure, which was narrowly defeated in a 51-48 vote, would have allowed employers and insurers to opt out of any portion of the health care law they found morally objectionable, including the requirement to cover the costs of birth control. Currently, churches are the only institutions fully exempt from that requirement, though President Obama recently announced an accommodation by which religiously affiliated organizations such as charities, schools, or hospitals can refuse to provide contraceptive coverage through their insurance plans. ||  *if by ‘sluts’ you mean average women…

  • Rep. Speier calls for boycott of Limbaugh sponsors - But on his show, Limbaugh accused Fluke of not being able to afford contraception because she was “having so much sex.” Then on Thursday, he demanded that women post sex tapes online if they use insurance-covered birth control. “Shame on you for calling the women of this country prostitutes,” Speier said. “Ninety-eight percent of the women in this country at some time in their lives used birth control.” “So I say to the women in this country, do something about this,” she continued. “I say to the women of this country, ask Century 21, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, and Sleep Number to stop supporting the hate mongering of Rush Limbaugh and if they do not do that, then I ask them to boycott those companies.”

6) First Company Pulls Ads From Rush Limbaugh’s Show, Others May Follow - After repeatedly and unapologetically attacking law school student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” on his nationally-syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh is facing backlash from his advertisers, reports the Huffington Post. Mattress retailer Sleep Train announced this morning that they would be pulling all of its advertisements from the program after being besieged on Twitter by angry customers. ProFlowers, eHarmony, and several other companies have also been fielding complaints as well, and both companies have said they are considering taking action as well.  || Note: can you IMAGINE getting flowers at this point from PROFLOWERS, sent by some guy who ordered them from there because he listens to Limbaugh? It would be like getting spit on and then pushed down.  

7) John Boehner vows to continue war on icky lady parts - Asshole: “I think it’s important for us to win this issue,” Mr. Boehner told reporters just before the Senate killed a Republican measure with a vote of 51 to 48. “The government, our government, for 220 years has respected the religious views of the American people, and for all of this time there’s been an exception for those churches and other groups to protect the religious beliefs that they believe in, and that’s being violated here.” [...] “I’ve been trying to take this out of the political realm and get it into a position where we can continue to protect the American people’s right to their own religious views,” he said. “And there are a lot of ways to do that. There’s one in the Senate. We have a couple in the House. It’s matter of how we proceed.” [...] “The government is moving in a direction that would force some Americans to violate their religious beliefs,” he said. “This is wrong, and we want to stop it.” 

8) Pillheads in the Senate - This is not a debate, let alone a “fierce” one. This is an issue on which the country made up its damn mind long ago, regardless of how ginned up some politicians can get the rubes. It’s also not a debate about “religion,” unless, to borrow Garry Wills’s felicitous phrase, one reduces the Gospels to “the mere smithying of chastity belts.” … Let us begin by noting that the whole fooferaw happened at all because the Republicans decided to attach an anti-contraception amendment to a multimillion-dollar bill aimed at improving the nation’s highways, which are presently falling apart faster than Roy Blunt’s libido. This, of course, makes the entire thing a profoundly embarrassing charade. This, of course, makes this the United States Senate. The fact that this nonsense failed by an extraordinarily narrow 51-48 reinforces my belief that this issue is not the gold-plated sure winner that White House partisans think it is. (In case you’re wondering, the three hopeless Democrats were Joe Manchin of West Virginia, young Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and the Council Of Trent, and the inevitable Ben Nelson.)

Democratic ideal

9) Dems vow: No more cuts for federal workers - Leading Democrats charged Republicans this week with “discrimination” against federal workers amid Congress’s struggle to cut deficit spending. The Democrats said a series of federal pay cuts – most recently as part of the payroll-tax package – pile the deficit-reduction burden on one group of Americans while the rest of the country gets a free pass. The lawmakers – all of whom represent districts laden with federal workers – are vowing to oppose any future legislation that includes cuts in federal compensation. [...] The Democrats on Wednesday defended the pay discrepancy. The problem is not that federal workers are overcompensated, they said, but that too many private-sector employees are denied fair wages and benefits. “We’re trying to give them a living wage – how awful that is,” Hoyer quipped. “Let’s correct what they’re doing in the private sector,” Cardin added, “[not] race to the bottom.”‘

  • NTEU launches Web site to counter ‘false statements’ against federal workers - Upset by “a wide variety of politicians, pundits and think tanks making grand statements and broad assertions about federal government employees,” the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has launched a Web site to provide a counter view. “Far too often, these statements will be false,” the union said in a news release Thursday. The Web site, FederalEmployeeFacts.com, is “dedicated to correcting those who are all too willing to bend the truth when it comes to claims about the federal workforce,” NTEU said.

Monday morning’s 9 just barely interesting things

1) Mitt Romney and NASCAR — he’s just like us! (not) - Mitt Romney visited the Daytona 500 rally in Florida on Sunday, praising what he called a “quintiseentially American” sport. Asked whether the trip outside of Michigan was a sign of confidence that he would win the hotly-contested state, he replied, “No, it’s a sign of a guy who loves cars.” It’s what happened next, though, that has set the net ablaze. Here’s how CBS News described it: [...] Asked by the AP reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney responded, “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

2) Rick Santorum’s NASCAR car “The Frothy” (but where are the brown splat marks?) - GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum hopes the car his campaign is sponsoring in the Daytona 500 today can have the same come-from-behind success as his campaign. The Santorum campaign is sponsoring Front Row Motorsports’ Car #26, a Ford Fusion driven by veteran race car driver Tony Raines, in the premiere stock car event of the season taking place today in Daytona Beach, Florida.

3) Rick Santorum is a Dangerous Demagogue - Rick Santorum is dangerous. There’s no other way to put it. He’s now saying things that could literally lead to the deaths of more service members serving in Afghanistan right now. Speaking in Marquette, Michigan, Sunday, Rick Santorum addressed an incident Sunday in which 7 U.S. service members were injured in a protest in response to U.S. military members burning a Koran. Santorum called the protestors evil, using the word repeatedly. He also condemned President Obama’s apology over the Koran-burning incident, saying that apologies only incite more violence because they are a show of weakness. Let me get this straight — apologizing for burning Qurans is a sign of weakness and will somehow lead to more violence? And repeatedly calling those who were offended ‘evil’ is supposed to help?

  • Car bomb hits airport in eastern Afghanistan - The blast comes a day after demonstrators hurled grenades at a U.S. base in northern Afghanistan, and a gun battle left two Afghans dead and seven NATO troops injured Sunday in the escalating crisis over the burning of Muslim holy books at an American airfield. More than 30 people have been killed, including four U.S. troops, in six days of unrest. Still, the top U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan said the violence would not change Washington’s course.
  • Taliban: Blast was retaliation for burning

4) We Don’t Need No Education - “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum sniped. “What a snob!” [...] Yes, increased knowledge tends to generate a more liberal world view. But it’s not a wild sci-fi conspiracy. It’s just reality. When you learn more about important things you tend to realize that the world is more complex and diverse than a GOP bumper sticker. College students are taught to think critically and independently by default due to the difficulty of the material — not through some kind of mandate. And this kind of critical thinking tends to produce a more liberal perspective rather than a lockstep conformist perspective.

  • Flashback: In 2006, Rick Santorum Wanted To Send All Pennsylvanians To College

5) Studies Refute Santorum’s Claim That College Makes People Less Religious - “Contrary to our own and others’ expectations, however, young adults who never enrolled in college are presently the least religious young Americans,” the journal concluded, noting that “64 percent of those currently enrolled in a traditional four-year institution have curbed their attendance habits. Yet, 76 percent of those who never enrolled in college report a decline in religious service attendance.” Or Santorum may have been referring to a 2006 Harvard study in which 62 percent of college Republicans said “religion is losing its influence on American life.” But that study negates Santorum’s larger point: It found that “a quarter of students (25%) say they have become more spiritual since entering college, as opposed to only seven percent (7%) who say they have become less spiritual.”

6) Sick man - So is the idea that the first Catholic president was sickening a big seller among Catholics these days? Who knew? I don’t think Ricky understands his history very well. Evidently, he was unaware that in 1960, conservatives thought of Catholics the same way think of Muslims today. He seems under the impression that America was a wonderful religiously tolerant nation until the horrible secularists came along and ruined everything. I guess he didn’t know about this, perpetuated, by the way, not by the secularists who didn’t give a damn, but by his favorite allies, the right wing protestants.

  • Does Ronald Reagan make Santorum want to ‘throw up’ too? - But I really wonder if Santorum is prepared to level the same accusation against Ronald Reagan: “We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.” Hear the retching? That’s Santorum. Just wait till he finds about Vatican II.
  • Rick Santorum’s tiny mental Jesus is telling him lies - Kennedy did not say that “people of faith have no role in the public square,” nor did he say that “faith is not allowed in the public square.”  Not even close. Kennedy said that all people and churches should be created equal.  That’s it.  It’s a simple concept, really—one that Republicans, the self-styled masters of the Constitution, should have grasped by now.  Frankly, I can’t even begin to understand what Santorum’s Brain was thinking when it interpreted Kennedy’s speech as some sort of attack on faith and the First Amendment. It is nutbaggery most foul, and I simply do not get it.

7) How the 2012 Primary Has Revealed a GOP on the Verge of Collapse - many Republicans are already looking past 2012. If either Romney or Santorum gains the nomination and then falls before Obama, flubbing an election that just months ago seemed eminently winnable, it will unleash a GOP apocalypse on November 7—followed by an epic struggle between the regulars and red-hots to refashion the party. And make no mistake: A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects. “Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. “Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’ ”

8) Putin warns attack on Iran would have “truly catastrophic” consequences - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is concerned about the “growing threat” of an attack on Iran over its nuclear program, warning that the consequences would be “truly catastrophic.” In an article on foreign policy for publication on Monday, six days before a March 4 presidential election he is almost certain to win, Putin also warned Western and Arab nations against military intervention in Syria. “I very much hope the United States and other countries … do not try to set a military scenario in motion in Syria without sanction from the U.N. Security Council,” Putin said, according to a transcript.

9) AP News: WWII vet says nobody helped after he was carjacked - Brantley told The Associated Press said several people passed by him as he crawled, unable to walk because his leg was broken in the attack. The carjacker knocked Brantley down, took his keys and drove off in his car about 10:40 a.m. “I was trying to go in … and see if somebody could call the police and an ambulance because I couldn’t stand. I had to crawl – I tried two or three times to get up,” Brantley said Saturday. He said he was on way home from Bible study when he stopped to put gas in his 2010 Chrysler 200, which he recently bought to replace another car that had been stolen. “People were passing me just like I wasn’t there. … I was crawling and they just walk by me like I’m not there,” he said.

Newt is irritated that his racist comments were considered racist


source: teapartyjesus

NEWT DIGS DEEPER — he’s now ‘irritated’ by the outrage over his comments on food stamps

“I didn’t say what you just said. Let me be very clear, because this is something that makes me, quite frankly, very irritated. … What I said was, there’s a real problem in America because you have a president who’s put more people on food stamps — people, I didn’t say any ethnic group, people — than any other president in history. … And I said I would be willing to go to the NAACP annual convention — which most Republicans are not willing to do — and I’d be willing to talk about the importance of food stamps versus paychecks.”

Maybe we’d believe Newt more if he wasn’t singling out the NAACP to talk about the importance of “food stamps over paychecks.”  We wonder why he didn’t offer to go talk to the audience at NASCAR too? As a matter of fact, ESPECIALLY the audience at NASCAR:

source

Related:

 

Things God might be sick of: NASCAR fans, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck

God must be sick of these guys — and their shit, and probably has a big surprise in store for each of them (including you, NASCAR fans):

image: mabelalexa

The United States of NASCAR

Fuck women, fuck healthcare reform, fuck federal workers, fuck NPR and PBS, and fuck the unemployed and the poor.

But hazzah! for NASCAR:

The battle over spending continues to rage on Capitol Hill and while Republicans are keen to take an axe to the budget, today one interesting item was spared: The Army’s sponsorship of NASCAR.

The Army spends more than $7 million a year to sponsor NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman and several million more as part of a partnership with NASCAR. It says the prominent ads on the car and presence at the track help attract recruits.

Today the House gave the green light for that sponsorship to continue, rejecting an amendment introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) that would have blocked the Pentagon from using taxpayer dollars for NASCAR ads.

The amendment failed by a largely partisan vote of 281-148, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting against the measure.

Source

Yes. Really.

Official car of the American taxpayer:

http://www.autoracingdaily.com/images/featured/Mark_Martin_markmartin.jpg