Wednesday’s selections from the annals of ‘Republicans are terrible people’

Jezebel – After tons of outrage over her horrendous bill that would make rape victims criminals if they sought an abortion, because they’d be  “tampering with evidence,” New Mexico Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Dingbat) clarified: House Bill 206 isn’t meant to target victims of sexual assault but to discourage rapists. She’s revised the language so it’s clear that abortion providers would be penalized, not rape survivors. — You’re probably thinking: how does punishing 1) a woman who was raped and impregnated or 2) a doctor who performs an abortion for her actually “discourage” rapists? You’re right – it doesn’t. Brown is still a idiot (or she thinks we are).

It’s back! The Republican-mandated invasive transvaginal ultrasound has returned in Arkansas (they never stop trying), where Sen. Jason Rapert (yes! Rapert was his name-o!) is hiding the ultrasound requirement in … yet another “fetal heartbeat” anti-abortion bill: Spread ‘Em, Ladies: Rapert Toughens Anti-Abortion Bill. The new Rapert bill would prohibit an abortion if a heartbeat is detected, a limitation that moves the potential prohibition in Arkansas law to the 5th week of pregnancy, far beyond the pre-viability protection period that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld…Charles Johnson

Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) on Tuesday defended his proposal to tie a family’s welfare benefits to their children’s academic success. [...] Under current law, parents can lose up to 20 percent of their benefits from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program if a child does not attend school. Campfield’s bill would increase the penalty to 30 percent and require children to make “satisfactory academic progress” in school. – Raw Story

Phillip Walker Sailors was charged on Sunday with the murder of Rodrigo Abad Diaz. A 69-year-old war veteran and former missionary was arrested over the weekend on the suspicion of killing a 22-year-old Cuban immigrant who mistakenly arrived in his driveway because of faulty GPS directions. [...] Diaz tried to turn the car around to leave, but Sailors fired another shot, striking the immigrant on the left side of the head. The group, which included a 15 and an 18 year old, said that Sailors held them at gunpoint until police arrived. – Raw Story

A top Hispanic Republican advocacy group co-chaired by Jeb Bush has list of “messaging dos and don’ts for immigration reform,” they say: Don’t use phrases like “send them all back” – Daily Kos

In light of Paul Ryan‘s newfound rediscovered appreciation for the spending sequester’s automatic defense and domestic cuts, let’s take a trip back in time to four months ago when Ryan was making the case during the 2012 vice presidential debate that the sequester’s potential spending cuts emboldened the terrorists who attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Responding to a question about Mitt Romney’s rash response to the attack, Ryan said: “[...] And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts, because what that does when we equivocate on our values, when we show that we’re cutting down on defense, it makes us more weak. It projects weakness. And when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us. They’re more brazen in their attacks, and are allies are less willing to…” And with those ellipses Vice President Joe Biden could not take any more of Ryan’s nonsense. He interrupted Ryan, and said that Ryan’s statement was—you guessed it—”a bunch of malarkey.” – DailyKos

Huffington Post - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has upped his already harsh rhetoric against outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, claiming that she “got away with murder”… “I haven’t forgotten about Benghazi. Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view,” Graham said on Fox News Monday evening, speaking to Greta Van Susteren. “She said they had a clear-eyed view of the threats. How could you have a clear-eyed view of the threats in Benghazi when you didn’t know about the ambassador’s cable coming back from Libya?” — And I’m quite certain Ms Graham must have been equally upset about the revelation of the Bin Laden determined to strike in US” memo that George W. Bush shrugged off in August of 2001 at his ranch in Crawford. Or when, 10 years ago this week, George W. told us all in his SOTU that Saddam Hussein had WMD in the form of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent!, mobile biological weapons labs!, nuclear capability! – and worse, Hussein was seeking uranium from Africa! We invaded Iraq 51 days later and now, 10 years and counting, and after hundreds of thousands of deaths and an enormous cost to our nation’s treasury, we all know it was a manufactured lie. 

Dick Cheney may have accidentally shot a man in the face while he was vice president, but that didn’t stop Fox News from flying to Nevada to get his advice on recently-proposed gun control laws. Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins caught up with Cheney over the weekend at the Safari Club International convention for gun owners and manufacturers, where the former vice president and his daughter, Liz, participated in a discussion about gun rights and the realism of torture in the film “Zero Dark Thirty.” – Raw Story

There’s no point in pursuing universal background checks for firearms purchases, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre plans to tell the Senate today, because bad guys will get guns anway. LaPierre is among those scheduled to tesify at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s gun violence hearing Wednesday. The NRA sent out his testimony Tuesday. LaPierre once again plans to tout the NRA’s call for armed guards in every school as well as the group’s call for loosen privacy laws the group says keep mental health records from being included in the extisting background check system. But when it comes to expanding background checks to cover all firearms transactions, LaPierre will tell the Senate there’s little point. – TPM

Neil Heslin, of Shelton, holds a portrait of himself and his son, Jesse Lewis, one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, during testimony before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday, January 28, 2012. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Connecticut PostConnecticut Post – Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state. “There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,” said Heslin… “That wasn’t just a killing, it was a massacre,” said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. “I just hope some good can come out of this.” He asked the crowd why assault weapons should not be banned. …The Connecticut Post put the number of hecklers at “as many as a dozen.” — Watch the video below where he asks his question and the pro-gun crowd is silent at first… then, like brain-wiped, well-programmed drones, they’re simply impelled to screech and howl their meaningless NRA propaganda like,”The Second Amendment!” and “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed!” These soulless bastards just can’t let it go, not even once, not even for a man whose precious 6-year-old son was mowed down in a kindergarten classroom with 19 other children in a hail of bullets. The video starts at his question / their response at 13:29:

Think Progress – When the Senate passed the long-delayed $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package Monday, 36 Republicans voted against the bill. But of the 32 no-votes from Senators who are not brand-new members, at least 31 came from Republicans who had previously supported emergency aid efforts following disasters in their own states. [...] The “hypocritical” list includes:

1. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH): Requested disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy.
2. John Barrasso (R-WY), Republican Policy Committee Chair: Requested disaster aid after flooding.
3. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Republican Conference Vice Chair: Demanded the Senate be called back from recess to pass disaster aid during a drought and boasts: “When a disaster surpasses the ability of states and communities to rebuild, Senator Blunt believes the federal government should prioritize spending to help the people whose lives and livelihoods are impacted. During his time in the Senate, he has fought tirelessly to ensure that Missouri gets its fair share of those federal resources specifically dedicated to disaster recovery.”
4. John Boozman (R-AR): Requested disaster aid after snow storms in January 2013.
5. Richard Burr (R-NC): Requested disaster aid after severe storms.
6. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): Requested disaster aid after flooding.
7. – 31. Read more…

Screenshot of names of senators who voted no on Sandy relief bill.


If you’re raped in NM and want a trial, you’ll need to carry the fetus to term as evidence

New Mexico state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R) has introduced a bill that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial, the Huffington Post reports. (via)

Male or female, Republicans are always heroes.

Rob Zerban: Paul Ryan’s budget and the Colorado / New Mexico wildfires

Rob Zerban is running against Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. Here’s an interesting press release from the Zerban campaign, regarding the wildfires currently burning down Colorado and New Mexico:

Paul Ryan’s Budget: Its Own Natural Disaster

KENOSHA, Wis. – Upon word that firefighters in the western part of America are using firefighting equipment leased from Canada because of Paul Ryan’s reckless budget cuts, his challenger, Rob Zerban, released the following statement:

“Just as with Paul Ryan’s slashing of the National Weather Service’s ability to accurately predict major weather disasters like hurricanes and, here in Wisconsin, tornadoes, his budget is also leaving our nation’s first responders without adequate equipment to fight out-of-control wildfires, like those burning in Colorado, New Mexico and across the West.

“These cuts prevent those in charge of fire evacuations from understanding shifting wind patterns which lead to last-minute evacuations instead of giving residents and responders ample time to prepare. His cuts make targeted evacuation orders given by local officials more difficult, resulting in larger and less accurate evacuations regardless of the type of natural disaster.

“Paul Ryan refuses to accept any responsibility for the destruction of property and life because of his dangerous budgetary gimmicks. He’d rather ensure his wealthy campaign contributors receive yet another budget-busting tax cut instead of providing necessary tools and equipment to our brave first responders and to those who, behind the scenes, work just as hard for the public’s safety.”

Members of the media are encouraged to join the Rob Zerban campaign online at our campaign website,, as well as on FacebookTumblr, and Twitter at @RobZerban.

Remember this when Ryan and Romney want more tax cuts for the wealthy — you never know where the austerity cuts to pay for them will come from.

Herald TimesMassive wildfires in drought-parched Colorado and New Mexico tested the resources of state and federal crews Monday and underscored the need to replenish an aging aerial firefighting fleet needed to combat a year-round fire season. Wyoming diverted personnel and aircraft from two fires there to help with a 60-square-mile wildfire in northern Colorado. Canada also loaned two aerial bombers to fight the blaze following the recent crash of a U.S. tanker in Utah. And an elite federal firefighting crew arrived to try to begin containing a fire that destroyed at least 118 structures…

Charles P. Pierce: I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but, contra Willard Romney, I think both Colorado and New Mexico could use some more firefighters right now. That is certainly the opinion of the Colorado congressional delegation, which has dispatched a letter to the federal government appealing for more help. The delegation includes Rep. Scott Tipton (R -3d CD), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-4th CD), Rep, Mike (Stuck In A Groove) Coffman (R-6th CD). (As it happens, Gardner’s district is the one most directly affected by the wildfires.) Needless to say, but we’ll say it anyway, all three of these folks voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would cut the daylights out of things like federal firefighting programs, which already are pretty imperiled…

Wildfires and the GOP: when those who want less government still want essential public services

Charles P. Pierce points out an interesting (or maybe sad? pathetic?) bit of Republican hypocrisy regarding the High Park Fire in Colorado and federal firefighters (i.e. government parasites):

I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but, contra Willard Romney, I think both Colorado and New Mexico could use some more firefighters right now. That is certainly the opinion of the Colorado congressional delegation, which has dispatched a letter to the federal government appealing for more help. The delegation includes Rep. Scott Tipton (R -3d CD), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-4th CD), Rep, Mike (Stuck In A Groove) Coffman (R-6th CD). (As it happens, Gardner’s district is the one most directly affected by the wildfires.) Needless to say, but we’ll say it anyway, all three of these folks voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would cut the daylights out of things like federal firefighting programs, which already are pretty imperiled.

Maybe the Republican delegation from Colorado should discuss their concerns with Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney — let their party leaders explain why it’s a good idea to have fewer firefighters? Especially Romney, who has a long history of hating on firefighters:

Mitt Romney came under fire this weekend from Democrats after he suggested that we shouldn’t hire more firefighters. Then top Romney surrogate John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, doubled down on Romney’s firefighter comments today, telling MSNBC they were not a “gaffe.” This is hardly the first time the presumed GOP nominee has tangled with firefighters. In fact, he has a long, bitter history with them. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney often ended up sparring with firefighters and their unions. He proposed stripping collective bargaining rights for firefighters and police officers in a city that needed a state bailout, and cut funding to a fire station to be built on the site where six firemen died. He also proposed tripling the state police budget to deal with homeland security concerns in the years after 9/11, but didn’t offer a dime for firefighters, angering many at the time.

America’s Poverty Belt

From the Atlantic:

Nationally, 13.8 percent of Americans live in poverty, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census. But the geographic pattern varies significantly across states and regions.

The map above, from a Census special briefing report [PDF] released today, maps poverty by state. Immediately apparent is a broad “Poverty Belt” – states where more than three in ten people live in high poverty areas – stretching from West Virginia through Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

via: azspot

Interestingly enough, the Poverty Belt overlaps the Bible Belt:

American Bible Belt

The Bible Belt of America:

A Bible Belt is an area which Christian Evangelical Protestantism is a pervasive or dominant part of the culture. In particular, in the United States, it is the region where the Southern Baptist Convention denomination is strongest. It includes the southern states of the Midwest and the entirety of the South.Wikipedia

What’s the correlation between poverty and Christian Evangelism / Fundamentalism in this area of the U.S.? Illegal immigration, religion, politics, unemployment, God’s will… all of the above?


Checking in on Fort Calhoun, Cooper Nuclear Station and Los Alamos

THERE IS NO ‘NEW‘ NEWS FROM EITHER NEBRASKA NUCLEAR PLANT next to the flooded Missouri River. There have been no new event notifications to the NRC in the last week. River gauge readings for both Fort Calhoun (Blair) and Cooper (Brownsville) are well below the “major” flood stage and should continue to drop. Cooper remains on line, running at 100 percent while Fort Calhoun remains shutdown. This situation is likely to last through August.

Missouri River near Blair

Missouri River at Brownville

LOS ALAMOS: 12,000 RESIDENTS RETURNED HOME on Sunday when the evacuation order was lifted. And yesterday the Los Alamos National Laboratory reopened and its employees returned to work. The residents have two new problems though:  the fires chased lots of wildlife into the town, including black bears.

Romp: Brown bears have invaded deserted Los Alamos and as residents return home they are being warned about their new guests
Romp: Brown bears have invaded deserted Los Alamos and as residents return home they are being warned about their new guests

Additionally, New Mexico’s monsoon season is set to begin, now with an even greater potential for flash flooding:

The risk to flooding has been aggravated by the raging wildfire which has burned off trees, ground-hugging grasses and vegetation, raising concerns that any run-off will barrel down canyons unchecked, causing creeks to burst their banks.

Fires, bear invasions, and floods: worst summer ever!

Photo: Bridge separating Los Alamos, NM from Los Alamos National Laboratory

The bridge that separates the town of Los Alamos, N.M., from Los Alamos National Laboratory is shrouded in smoke from the Las Conchas wildfire on June 28, 2011. (Craig Fritz/Reuters) #

More from | Big Picture

New Mexico fires from space

The New Mexico Fires from Space

Photo Credit: NASA

Meanwhile at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico

“No other fires are currently burning on Lab property, no facilities face immediate threat, and all nuclear and hazardous materials are accounted for and protected,” a statement from the lab said.


Firefighters struggled early Tuesday to hold back a fierce blaze roaring out of control at the edge of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a sprawling nuclear weapons complex that includes a plutonium facility.

Flames licked all day at the boundary of the laboratory site, home to the nation’s largest supply of nuclear weapons, as fire crews scurried to douse spot fires carried onto the grounds by winds from the leading edge of the blaze.

The laboratory was shut down, and the adjacent town of Los Alamos, home to about 12,000 people, was placed under a mandatory evacuation earlier.

[...] The anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety said the fire appeared to be about 3.5 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in southern New Mexico.

Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval declined to confirm that there were any such drums currently on the property. He acknowledged that low-level waste is at times put in drums and regularly taken from the lab to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project site in Carlsbad.

Sandoval said the fire was “quite a bit away” from that storage area. But he could not say what would happen if drums containing such waste were to burn.


Image: Flames burn in the hills above Los Alamos National Laboratory
Craig Fritz  /  Reuters — Flames burn in the hills above Los Alamos National Laboratory on Monday.

Typewriter trolling the FBI in 1947

From the FBI Vault: A letter from The Combined and Amalgamated Committee of Sky-Scanners, Disc Decipherers and New-Product Introducers. Heh.

Updated: FBI posts 1950 memo regarding the discovery of flying saucers and aliens in New Mexico

UPDATE: The International Business Times says this is a 60-year-old hoax (but the memo’s availability on the FBI’s “The Vault” website is not a hoax).

Memo proving aliens landed in Roswell released on FBI website – Daily Mail:

A bizarre memo that appears to prove that aliens did land in New Mexico prior to 1950 has been published by the FBI.

The bureau has made thousands of files available in a new online resource called The Vault.

Among them is a memo to the director from Guy Hottel, the special agent in charge of the Washington field office in 1950.

See memo Continue reading