Paraphrasing Paul Ryan: “Stupid women!”

“Now it’s a war on women; tomorrow it’s going to be a war on left-handed Irishmen or something like that.”Paul Ryan, last night in Florida, mocking women who are worried about the GOP’s ever-increasing schemes to dismantle women’s rights.

I can totally see why women would want to vote for this ticket. There’s a lot of untreated mental illness in this country.

images: Mansplaining Ryan

Morning Bunker Report: Sunday 4.29.2012

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

BIPARTISANSHIP WAS NEVER AN OPTION: GOP’s Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night Of Inauguration – As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington. [...] The dinner lasted nearly four hours. They parted company almost giddily… Sam Stein

THE LATEST REPUBLICAN PLAN to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor and Americans still reeling from the recession. Although spending levels for the budget were set in the Budget Control Act passed last summer in the deal to raise the nation’s debt limit, Republicans are pushing ahead with another plan that cuts more while trying to prevent the beginning of $600 billion in cuts over 10 years to the growth of the defense budget. – Food Stamps In Crosshairs Of Republicans’ Plan To Save Military

HOUSE REPUBLICANS this week said they would agree to keep student loan interest rates at their current level, but only if they’re allowed to gut spending on preventive health care to finance the costs. The White House balked, but the GOP didn’t care — today, the Republican bill passed, 215 to 195, largely along party lines. Several Democratic lawmakers noted the impact the GOP health care cuts would have on women’s health, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who’s apparently grown a little sensitive to talk about the Republican “war on women,” threw a bit of a tantrum on the House floor during the legislative debate.  I can appreciate why Boehner doesn’t want to talk about the negative impact Republican policies are having on women, but I’d remind the Speaker that the quickest way to change the conversation is for Republicans to stop pursuing policies that have a negative impact on women. In this case, rather than simply helping students because it would be good for them and the economy, Boehner’s caucus decided to play a cheap little game — they’ll keep interest rates low only if they take funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which has nothing to do with student loans. — Maddow Blog

BUT RAISING TAXES ON, SAY, THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRIES or closing loopholes or subsidies would never be a Republican option to pay for anything – According to the White HouseEliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund would have a devastating effect on women’s health and our work to prevent disease and illness. Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund would mean:

  • Hundreds of thousands of women could lose access to vital cancer screenings. Prevention Fund resources are expected to help more than 300,000 women be screened for breast cancer in 2013 and more than 280,000 be screened for cervical cancer.
  • Programs that help to prevent congenital heart defects, prevent fetal alcohol syndrome, and promote early identification and intervention efforts for children with developmental delays and disabilities could be eliminated.
  • Tens of thousands children could lose access to immunizations.

MITT ROMNEY’S NEW “I’m rubber, you’re glue” campaign – “We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “And we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.”  I doubt this will convince anyone other than true believers, but that’s not the point; the idea is to muddy the waters when it comes to coverage of Romney’s message. By attacking Obama on “fairness,” Romney can force the press to bring a horse race dynamic to the opposing claims—“Mr. Obama says that it’s unfair for multi-millionaires to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families, but Mr. Romney says that what’s really unfair is the burden of debt.” The issues aren’t actually sorted out, and Romney walks away with minimal scrutiny. As an aside, I will say that there is some truth to Romney’s claim. Tax cuts for the wealthy are a major driver of short-term debt, and if we keep rates low on high-income earners—as Romney proposes—we will pass a tremendous amount of debt to future taxpayers. Rather than use federal dollars for education, infrastructure, or research, we will give it to the wealthiest Americans, and leave the next generation to deal with the consequences of high debt and a deteriorating society. That’s unfair. — American Prospect

THE M-I-DOUBLE TIZZLE is still complaining about the president “slow jamming” the news with Jimmy Fallon. — CBS News

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

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER New Rules: April 27, 2012  – Maher’s final ‘new rule’ starts out with discussing what the media chooses to report about such things as the Secret Service scandal (as opposed to why Obama was in Columbia), or John Edwards and why he has a favorability rating of just 3% — and it’s NOT because he’s been accused of a campaign finance violation (it’s because of the sex scandal). Maher says, “Thanks to the Supreme Court, last week Mitt Romney’s super PAC was able to get a $10 million anonymous donation. For all we know, it came from Vladmir Putin, or Mel Gibson, or Kim dot com. The Supreme Court did a lot more to corrupt campaign finance than John Edwards. Why do we punish sex so much more than everything else? Clinton lied about a blow job, got impeached. Bush lied about a war, didn’t…” Watch the rest:


YES WE CAN laugh at ourselves…   President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner 4.28.2012:
 
 
 
Source: sandandglass

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA told a group of women on Friday that he has been their fiercest advocate and warned that Mitt Romney’s positions on women’s issues represent a step back in time. “The choice between going backward or moving forward has never been so clear,” Obama told several hundred women at the National Issues Conference, a big-ticket annual fundraiser that’s been hosted by the Democratic National Committee for nearly two decades. And as long as I’m president, we are going to keep moving forward. You can count on that. You don’t have to take my word on it – you’ve got my signature on it,” he said, referring to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, before adding a jab at the Romney campaign, which expressed uncertainty recently about whether the candidate supported the law. “Because something like standing up for the principle of equal pay for equal work isn’t something I’ve got to ‘get back to you on’ – it’s the first law I signed.” – POLITICO

  • AND A TYPICALLY ILLITERATE RESPONSE from the world’s dumbest wingnut blogger: The Gateway Pundit: Race war, war on the rich, war on women, now this…Barack Obama Declared War on the Catholic Church and US Christians today. In Obama’s world, free birth control is a natural human right and should be supplied by the state. But he’s not a socialist?LGF

How about if we legislate gun ownership like we’re legislating women’s healthcare?

“Imagine if Liberals put forth legislation requiring every prospective gun owner to undergo a review by a psychologist to detmine that they understood the consequences of gun ownership and that they were of sound mind and wouldn’t go crazy. The Right would go nuts that it interferes with their rights. Mess with my wife, daughter, sister or mother, but don’t mess with my guns!” — Top Comment on Huffington Post article [via: randomactsofchaos]


image: apsies

UPDATE: NY TIMES EDITORIAL: “Stand Your Ground laws are abominations that should be repealed. One obvious flaw among many is that slain victims can never tell their side of the story — an undisputed fact in the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin.”

(3/22) Thursday morning’s partially interesting things

1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

  • Obama: Romney Is ‘Pretending He Came Up With Something Different’ Than The Individual Mandate - During an interview with American Public Media’s Marketplace, President Obama defended the individual health insurance mandate and reiterated that likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney enacted a very similar policy as governor of Massachusetts. “[W]e designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans,” Obama told host Kai Ryssdal, “including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different.” Obama also predicted that the Supreme Court — which is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of reform on Monday — will uphold the law and that “it will be very hard for any governor to explain why it is that they’re not giving people…an opportunity to get cheaper health insurance, better deal, more protections because of some ideological argument that they’re having with the president.” “And when people see that in fact it works, it makes sense — as it’s, by the way, working in Massachusetts — then I think a whole bunch of folks will say ‘Why aren’t we trying it as well?’”

2) MITT ROMNEY

  • Maddow chronicles the lies of ‘sketchy’ Mitt Romney - “This is hard to talk about in the day to day news context, because there are such low expectations for politicians being truthful and because the word ‘lie’ is both under-used and over-used to the point where everybody is a little touchy about it. But the degree to which Mr. Romney lies, all the time, about all sorts of stuff, and doesn’t seem to care when he gets caught is maybe the single most notable thing about his campaign… He lies all the time, really easily. He says things that are not true with unnerving frequency.” Watch video [image: wilwheaton]
  • Romney econ adviser posts “deport seniors” joke on blog  - Greg Mankiw, the Harvard professor who serves as one of Mitt Romney’s top economic advisers, has managed to take a shot at two key constituencies – Hispanics and seniors – in a single linked post on his popular economics blog. Under the header “A Fiscal Solution,” Mankiw, who served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, posted an uploaded photo of an unidentified newspaper clip, a joke, that read: “Budget Cuts: The Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and less likely to remember how to get home.” [...] Mankiw offered no comment other than “Thanks to the reader who sent this along” – but he clearly thought it was funny.
  • “I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and on the part of the Republicans and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier…. I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.”Mitt Romney, 3/20/12 in Chicago

3) RICK SANTORUM

  • Rick Santorum On GOP Budget: ACCELERATE the Spending Cuts - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he supports a House Republican budget proposal, but adds that the spending cuts included in it should be accelerated. Santorum says he would be more aggressive in achieving budget savings, including by doing away with cost-of-living increases in federal grants to states for Medicaid and food stamps. He also said that while some of the deficit cutting measures proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be phased in, he believes they should be imposed more quickly. [image: paxamericana]

4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN

  • Supreme Court Conservatives Void Part of Family Leave Act - So let me see if I have this straight: first, conservatives want to make sure you get pregnant by limiting access to birth control, then force you to have the baby by limiting access to abortions, then if you get fired for taking time off to have the baby, you have no right to recourse for being fired. Great. All these things that have been litigated decades ago and established as basic rights have been inverted. The very notion upset Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg enough for her to make an unusual step: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, on behalf of Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, took the rare step of reading her dissent aloud in court. She called the result “regrettable” and observed that the Kennedy opinion “pays scant attention to the overarching aim” of the law, which was “to make it feasible for women to work while sustaining family life.” Ginsburg said that the law was a reasonable effort by congress to ensure the equal protection guaranteed by the 14th amendment for public employees facing discrimination. [image: pricklylegs]
  • Cathy McMorris-Rodgers Thinks Democrats Are Scaring Women - This woman is out of her fucking skull. How DARE she? Democrats are scaring women to drum up votes? Is she serious? Let’s take a little walk down GOP Fuckery Lane, shall we? Republicans are trying to shove foreign objects into our vaginas. Republicans are comparing us to fucking farm animals. Republicans are trying to force us to carry DEAD FETUSES in our wombs because hey—pigs and cows do it! Continued…

5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT

  • Paul Krugman: Flim-Flam Fever - Way back in 2010 I declared that Paul Ryan — who was rapidly becoming the darling of the “fiscal responsibility” crowd — was a fraud, a flim-flam man. [...] His latest budget proposal has received some harsh critiques. It calls for huge tax cuts, supposedly offset by closing loopholes and ending tax expenditures — except that in a long report he fails to name a single tax expenditure that he would cut. It assumes drastic cuts in discretionary spending, basically eliminating everything except defense. And over the medium term, of course, it’s a plan to savage the poor while giving big tax breaks to the rich. So actually two questions: are people finally willing to concede that Ryan is not now and has never been remotely serious? And — I know this is probably far too much to ask — are they going to do a bit of soul-searching over how they got snookered by this obvious charlatan? [image: liberalsarecool]
  • The House Budget Committee last night approved Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget by one vote, with two Republicans voting against it. [The Hill]
  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement condemning the extreme right-wing budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI)“Just as Republican governors and state legislators are assaulting the rights of working Americans under the guise of budget crises, Rep. Ryan and Republican leaders in Congress are using the federal budget to further their own political agendas. Their credo is that tax giveaways to the super rich and Wall Street should be paid for on the backs of working people. They are holding the federal government hostage, along with hundreds of thousands of jobs and the services millions rely on, while simultaneously proposing irresponsible budget cuts. It is clear that they are not concerned with fiscal responsibility, but rather undermining their political opponents. This is simply further evidence of their determination to protect their friends on Wall Street at the expense of American jobs, seniors, our children and our future. As we recover from the worst economic crisis of our time, cuts to essential programs threaten to push us back into recession, or even depression. Shame on those Republicans more worried about the politics of their choices than the economic consequences.” 
  • Randon thought - I know whenever I, for example, notice a 60+ year old woman cleaning my hotel room, my first thought is “best raise the Social Security age to 70. Also, too, cut the benefits.”

6) MISC

  • NOM Launches Petty Boycott Of Starbucks Over Marriage Equality - A convenient excuse to cover up its crushing loss in New Hampshire yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage has launched a “Dump Starbucks” campaign in protest of the company’s support for marriage equality. The boycott’s website launched shortly after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rebuffed NOM’s complaints at a shareholders’ meeting yesterday: SCHULTZ: I think Starbucks has many constituents, and from time to time we are going to make a decision that we think is consistent with the heritage and the tradition of the company that is perhaps maybe inconsistent with one group’s view of the world… We made that decision through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.
  • Report Proves Health Reform Is Here To Stay: 49 States Have Already Taken Action Supporting Its Implementation - According to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund, “49 states and the District of Columbia have already taken action supporting the law’s implementation, such as passing legislation, issuing regulations or other guidance, or actively reviewing insurer filings.” Between January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2012, “23 states and the District of Columbia had taken new legislative or regulatory action on at least one of these reforms” — which include changes like expanding dependent coverage for young adults up to age 26, prohibiting lifetime limits on health benefits, and phasing out annual dollar limits on health benefits — and an additional 26 states had “taken other action to promote compliance with the reforms, such as issuing bulletins to insurers.”

(3/21) Wednesday morning’s 6 semi-interesting things

1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

  • The White House issued this statement responding to the House Republican budget released today by Rep. Paul RyanThe House budget once again fails the test of balance, fairness, and shared responsibility.  It would shower the wealthiest few Americans with an average tax cut of at least $150,000, while preserving taxpayer giveaways to oil companies and breaks for Wall Street hedge fund managers.  What’s worse is that all of these tax breaks would be paid for by undermining Medicare and the very things we need to grow our economy and the middle class – things like education, basic research, and new sources of energy. And instead of strengthening Medicare, the House budget would end Medicare as we know it, turning the guarantee of retirement security into a voucher that will shift higher and higher costs to seniors over time.
  • Dems To GOP: No Cover From Us On Medicare Privatization Plan - When House Republicans unveil[ed] their 2012 budget on Tuesday, they are expected to include a Medicare privatization plan endorsed by one Democrat — Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). That, Republicans will claim, proves their controversial overhaul proposal has bipartisan support. Leading Democrats say they won’t let the GOP get away with it. “We don’t see a difference in principle between the original Ryan plan and the so-called Wyden-Ryan plan,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) a party surrogate on health care issues, told reporters on a conference call Monday morning. “It’s equally bad or only marginally different but still would end Medicare as we know it.”

2) THE 2012 GOP PRIMARY

  • Voter Turnout Extremely Low For Illinois Primary - Turnout for Tuesday’s Illinois primary in Chicago was a meager 24 percent, officials said. It was the lowest turnout for a presidential primary in the past 70 years. Election officials said a lack of contested races was behind the lackluster activity at the polls. “It’s very, very disappointing,” said Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. “I think what it indicates is that a lack of a contest on the Democratic side at the top of the ticket really did cause our voters not to be engaged in this election.”
  • Romney wins Illinois primary, gears up for Louisiana - With 99% of precincts reporting, Romney led former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by a 47%-to-35% margin. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was running third at 9%, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 8%. With the victory, Romney was poised to win at least 41 of the 54 delegates up for grabs in the state, giving him a total of 562, according to CNN’s estimate. Santorum is second with 249, Gingrich third with 137 and Paul last with 69. A total of 1,144 delegates are needed to clinch the GOP nomination. Louisiana will hold its primary on Saturday.
  • Do You Favor Phasing Out Medicare? - Not sure this is going to get the level of attention it deserves or that most political reporters will call it what it is: Paul Ryan today unveiled the new House Budget, which doubles down on Ryan’s previously announced plan to end Medicare as a source of guaranteed health care benefits for the elderly. It’ll still be called Medicare, but it will be Medicare in name only. We’ve covered this ad nauseam, but it hasn’t really penetrated elite consciousness, let alone broader public awareness. (Incredibly obtuse fact-checking on the issue has compounded the problem.) But here we sit less than eight months before the election, with Republicans firmly and irrevocably on record as planning to dismantle Medicare. No guaranteed benefits. Period. End of sentence. [...] No candidate for federal office should be able to dodge this question. It’s that simple.

3) THE 21st CENTURY REPUBLICAN (TEA)PARTY

  • Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) Reaffirms That He’s A Birther - When asked about the issue on Capitol Hill today, Stearns told reporters, “I am, shall we say, looking at all the evidence.” He called for credence to be given to birth certificate investigations, saying, “I don’t think it is unreasonable just to see what they have to say.” The Hill has more: [...] Asked Tuesday if he thinks the birth certificate is legitimate, Stearns cited an inquiry by an Arizona sheriff – an apparent reference to Arpaio – and noted he believed there is “another investigation” as well. “I think we are just going to hold in abeyance a final decision until we hear, you know, some of these people seem to have legitimate concerns, so I don’t think it is unreasonable just to see what they have to say,” Stearns said.
  • Rep. Walter Jones: America Borrowing From ‘Uncle Chang’ To Fund Afghanistan War - Republican Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) in a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Afghanistan on Tuesday let loose a rather remarkable short-hand reference to America’s financial relationship with China, calling the country “Uncle Chang.” In a question to the Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, Jones said, “What is the event that the administration and General Allen, you sir, are going to be candid with the United States Congress and more important than the Congress, the American people as we spend $10 billion a month that we can’t pay for, the Chinese, Uncle Chang, is lending us the money we are spending in Afghanistan.”
  • Man throws fire bomb at Democratic state senator Wendy Davis’ office in Texas - At least two fire bombs were thrown at the Fort Worth office of state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) on Tuesday night, according to the Star Telegram. Davis was not in her office at the time, but some staff members were present. They used a fire extinguisher to put out the small blaze. No one was injured in the attack, but the lawmaker’s office was damaged by the fire. “It’s unfortunate when things like this happen in the public arena,” she said. “It reminds us of how important it is for us to remain very civil in our discourse and to work not to foment this kind of anger in our community as we discuss things that are challenges that we all face and care about.” || ABLIt’s unclear yet whether or not the firebombing of Senator Davis’s office is connected to her advocacy for women’s health and pro-Planned Parenthood stance, but it sure feels that way to me and to the pro-choice women in Texas.

4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN

  • Karen Santorum Promises Rick Will ‘Do Nothing’ On Contraception - Appearing on Piers Morgan last night, Rick Santorum’s wife, Karen, tried to address concerns that her husband is “anti-woman,” noting that when she went on a book tour several years ago, he supported her by staying home “changing diapers and making meals and cleaning the kitchen.” She went on to promise women that, if her husband was elected, they would have “nothing to fear” when it comes to the issue of contraception: KAREN SANTORUM: It makes me really sad that the media tries to do that to him. They try to make it look like he is something that he’s not. Rick is a great guy, he’s completely supportive of women, he’s surrounded by a lot of very strong women, and I think women have nothing to fear. When it comes to contraceptives, he will do nothing on that issue. [image: irealizenothing]
  • Arizona Rep. Terri Proud (R-WTF): Women Should Be Forced to Watch an Abortion Before Having One - This is just getting out of hand: “Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a “surgical procedure”. If it’s not a life it shouldn’t matter, if it doesn’t harm a woman then she shouldn’t care, and don’t we want more transparency and education in the medical profession anyway? We demand it everywhere else. Until the dead child can tell me that she/he does not feel any pain – I have no intentions of clearing the conscience of the living – I will be voting YES.”
  • Alaska Rep. Alan Dick (R-Dick): Women Need Paternal Permission for An Abortion - [I]f you’re not fully convinced yet that Alaska is the next front in the GOP’s war on women, you just have to listen to State Rep. Alan Dick. He said that he doesn’t believe that when a woman is pregnant, it’s really “her pregnancy.” As a matter of fact, he would advocate for criminalizing women who have an abortion without the permission via written signature from the man who impregnated her. He stated, “If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it…” [...] no word on what women who become pregnant as a result of rape are supposed to do in Dick’s perfect world. Maybe women should carry waiver forms on them at all times. You know—just in case.

5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT

  • Paul Ryan’s budget: Should the poor pay for deficit reduction? - Here’s the basic outline of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget in one sentence: Ryan’s budget funds trillions of dollars in tax cuts, defense spending and deficit reduction by cutting deeply into health-care programs and income supports for the poor. At the end of his initial release, Ryan posts a table comparing his budget to the president’s budget. The single largest difference is in the tax section: Ryan raises $2 trillion less in revenue than the White House does. In the president’s budget, those revenues come mostly from increasing taxes on the wealthy. [image: savagemike]
  • Paul Ryan’s budget hurts the poor - After recalling his family’s immigration from Ireland generations ago, and his belief in the virtue of people who “pull themselves up by the bootstraps,” Ryan warned that a generous safety net “lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency, which drains them of their very will and incentive to make the most of their lives. It’s demeaning.” How very kind: To protect poor Americans from being demeaned, Ryan is cutting their anti-poverty programs and using the proceeds to give the wealthiest Americans a six-figure tax cut.

6) MISC

  • Earthquake in Mexico: Powerful, destructive but not deadly - As of early Wednesday, there were still no reports of deaths from Tuesday’s magnitude-7.4 quake centered near the border between the southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, even after 10 aftershocks. Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire said Tuesday night that nine people were injured in Oaxaca and two in Mexico City. [...] There were reports of damaged buildings but none were reported to have collapsed on the Oaxaca side of the border, said civil protection spokeswoman Cynthia Tovar said. In Guerrero, home to Acapulco where little damage was reported, officials say about 800 homes were damaged and 60 collapsed. [image: ABCNews]
  • Dutch Roman Catholic Church Castrated Boys As ‘Treatment’ For Homosexuality - Shocking reports have surfaced that reveal at least ten teenage boys were castrated in the 1950s by the Dutch Roman Catholic Church as a “treatment” for homosexuality, the Telegraph reports. Dutch journalist Joep Dohmen, reporting for the NRC Handelsblad uncovered ten cases of the castrations, one of which was suffered by Henk Heithuis, who was castrated as a minor for reporting to police sexual abuse by a priest that he endured while in the boarding home. Although the priests were convicted of the abuses, Heithuis was still transported to a Catholic hospital, and underwent a surgical castration as a treatment for homosexuality and, according to the report, a punishment for tattling on the clergy.

(3/20) Tuesday morning’s 6 kind of interesting things

1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

  • Clooney: Obama’s Chances Are Good, But Don’t Get Cocky - Actor George Clooney on Sunday said that President Barack Obama was likely to be re-elected, but cautioned liberals not to get cocky “because you will always lose.” In an interview with NBC’s David Gregory, Clooney explained that the president has “always looked good to be re-elected.” “I happen to believe that Democrats are just very poor in general at explaining what it is when they accomplish something,” the longtime activist remarked. “If I was a Republican, if Obama was a Republican, I would be selling all of the, you know, he saved the auto industry, he got Osama bin Laden, he passed the health care bill that nobody could pass. If that was a Republican issue, I would be able to sell his presidency as a very successful one. But Democrats are bad at that. We like to pick each other apart. That’s our thing.” “The worst thing you could do is in any way feel safe or cocky because you will always lose,” he warned. Clooney added that unlike his good friend Matt Damon, he was not disappointed in Obama “in the least.”

2) THE 2012 GOP PRIMARY

  • Scrambling Santorum lashes out at Romney in pivotal state of Illinois - Santorum, in a television interview on Monday morning, made a series of pointed remarks about Romney that almost certainly rule him out of consideration as Romney’s vice-presidential running-mate. Speaking on CBS, Santorum claimed Romney “is someone who doesn’t have a core. He has been on both sides of almost every single issue in the past 10 years”. That is a damning accusation for a politician, one that the Democrats could happily use as an ad in the fall.
  • Santorum ‘does not care’ about the unemployment rate -“I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be. Doesn’t matter to me. My campaign doesn’t hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. It’s something more foundational that’s going on. We have one nominee who says he wants to run the economy. What kind of conservative says that the president runs the economy? What conservative says I’m the guy, because of my economic experience, that can create jobs? I don’t know. We conservatives generally think that government doesn’t create jobs. That what government does is create an atmosphere for jobs to be created in the private sector.”
  • Rick Santorum’s Secret Service Code Name in No Way Shows Messianic Self-Regard - Thought we were done with Rick Santorum, did you? Well SO DID WE! Then GQ had to go discover his Secret Service code name, which is Petrus, as in Rock, as in Peter, as in “And on this rock I shall build my Church,” which in no way, shape or form could be construed as JESUS FUCKING CHRIST THE MESSIANIC BALLS ON THAT GUY!
  • Romney looks to win big in Illinois Republican primary - “Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory in Illinois,” Public Policy Polling said Monday in releasing a survey that showed Romney with a 15-point lead over Santorum, up from a 9-point lead in a Rasmussen poll released Friday. The former Massachusetts governor also has a commanding lead in the all-important delegate count as he seeks to be the Republican contender to take on Democrat Obama in the November 6 vote. [...] Romney’s campaign has spent millions flooding the Illinois airwaves with negative ads calling Santorum an “economic lightweight” and “Washington insider” with a voting record that belies the principles he espouses on the campaign trail.
  • Romney “connects” with “people” in Springfield IL - “These pancakes are something else, I’ll tell ya,” said Romney, standing in the dining room of Charlie Parker’s Diner in Springfield admiring the dish known as a “Charlie’s Famous Giant Pancake.” “These pancakes are about as large as my win in Puerto Rico last night, I must admit. The margin is just about as good. I’m looking forward to getting one of these pancakes. Can I get one of these on the way out? Not the super big one, I can’t fit that in the vehicle, all right,” Romney joked. “The car’s only a Chevy SUV.”

3) THE 21st CENTURY REPUBLICAN (TEA)PARTY

  • Sheriff Arpaio refuses to drop ‘birther’ investigation of Obama - “President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House on April 27, 2011, is suspected to be a computer-generated forgery, not a scan of an original 1961 paper document as represented by the White House when the long-form birth certificate was made public,” the sheriff said at a press conference. But his widely-reported investigation had little impact. “The media all came to make fun of me,” Arpaio told The Arizona Republic. “I’m a little concerned that all of their questions were zeroed in on credibility and that this has been rehashed. They didn’t even ask about the proof of the case. They didn’t ask about the facts that we had.” Many of the so-called “birthers” believe there is persuasive evidence that Obama was born in Kenya in 1961 and that his birth certificate was faked in order to make him eligible for the presidency.
  • Hunter DK: “…The main thing Sheriff Joe has proven (and he keeps proving it again and again, for some reason) is that the people of Mariposa County, Arizona are outright morons. That’s really the only reason I can possibly think of for why this clown still continues to hold office, despite federal investigations, a crime rate that has gone up, celebrity ride-alongs gone bad and “investigations” whose only apparent purpose is to repeatedly humiliate all involved. He seems to be bad at every single part of his job except the self-promotion part, and yet he still keeps going strong, so at least the rest of us will have an ongoing source of dark comedy…”

Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Christian: 24
Muslim: 39
Not sure: 37
Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Was born in U.S.: 36
Not born in U.S.: 36
Not sure: 28
Do you believe in evolution, or not?
Believe in evolution: 41
Do not: 43
Not sure: 16

4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN

  • Idaho Senate votes to require pre-abortion ultrasound - (Reuters) – The Idaho Senate on Monday approved a measure requiring women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound before ending a pregnancy, joining a number of states passing ultrasound measures to discourage abortions. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives, where it was expected to pass.
  • Romney Holds The Line: No Free Birth Control - “If you’re looking for free stuff, if you’re looking for free stuff that you don’t have to pay for, go vote for the other guy, because that what he’s all about,” Romney retorted, making an economic case against government handouts. “The idea of borrowing a trillion dollars more than we take in is not just bad economics, it’s immoral. I’m not gonna do it, and I’m not gonna make a promise we can’t deliver.” “Where do you suggest that the millions of women who receive their health services, such as mammograms and HPV vaccines, go?” she asked. “Well, they could go wherever they would like to go. This is a free society,” Romney said. “But here’s what I say — the federal government should not tax these people to pay for Planned Parenthood.” // Aaaaand HERE is where one would naturally turn to the “free handouts” to the wealthiest one percent in Romeny’s own “tax plan” which would actually cut his own taxes by half. 

5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT

  • Democratic Group Celebrates Return Of Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan With Film Trailer - Rep. Paul Ryan’s latest plan for deep tax and spending cuts draws this ad from the liberal group Americans United for Change, taking aim at its slashing popular programs. “Like Weekend at Bernie’s, even when no one in America wanted to see Weekend at Bernie’s II, they went ahead and made the sequel anyway.”

  • Republicans to unveil their budget blueprint - [House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's] latest budget poses a risk for Republicans in an election year as it again includes proposed reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, the popular but costly health insurance programs for the elderly and the poor. It would transform Medicare from a traditional fee-for-service health care system for seniors into a voucher system giving them money to purchase insurance on the private market. The Ryan plan would mark “the end of Medicare as we know it,” Representative Janice Schakowsky, a Democrat, told reporters. “Some estimates are it would cost seniors out of pocket some $6,000″ per person per year more than current costs, she added.
  • All 3 Missouri GOP Senate Candidates Stumped When Asked To Identify The Minimum Wage - Three Missouri Republicans running to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November were asked during a radio debate on KMOX what the federal minimum wage is and whether they would vote to increase it. None of the three knew what the minimum wage [was], but all knew that they would vote against increasing it, regardless. The candidates’ explanations for not wanting to raise the minimum wage ranged from nonsensical (Brunner said his business gave “better than the minimum benefits”) to extreme, with Akin calling for scrapping the minimum wage altogether. “I don’t think the government should be setting prices on wages in any way shape or form,” said Akin. Steelman was opposed to raising the minimum wage because she “think[s] it’s high enough as it is.” [...] Perhaps explaining their ignorance of the current minimum wage is the fact that none of the three candidates personally live anywhere near it.

6) MISC

  • First Day of Spring Vernal Equinox 2012 - Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, 2012, at 1:14 A.M. (EDT).
  • Spring Arrives with Equinox Tuesday, Earliest in More Than a Century - Across much of the United States, this has been an unusually mild winter, especially for those living east of the Mississippi. Not a few people have noted that spring seems to have come early this year. Of course, in a meteorological sense that could be true, but in 2012 it will also be true in an astronomical sense as well, because this year spring will make its earliest arrival since the late 19th century: 1896, to be exact.
  • GOOD IDEAS: Brits to See How Taxes Are Spent - LONDON—Every British taxpayer is to receive a personal statement detailing exactly how their taxes are being spent as part of the government’s drive to make the tax system easier to understand and more transparent.Treasury chief George Osborne is expected to announce in tomorrow’s budget that Britain’s 20 million taxpayers will receive the annual statements from 2014. [...] The statements will set out how much income tax and National Insurance—workers’ contribution toward the state-funded health system—each taxpayer contributes. It will also break down the main areas of spending on public services and how much of the taxpayer’s contribution goes on each.

The Republican War on Women: 10 reasons the world thinks the US is nuts


image: Colonel Flick on Flickr.

10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Is Nuts

The rest of the civilized world thinks this country has lost its mind. It’s no wonder. Look at this list of frenzied misogyny:

1. Making women carry still-born fetuses to full term because cows and pigs do. 

2. Consigning women to death to save a fetus. 

3. Criminalizing pregnancy and miscarriages and arresting, imprisoning and charging women 

4. Forcing women to undergo involuntary vaginal penetration (otherwise called rape) 

5. Disabling women or sacrificing their lives 

6. Giving zygotes “personhood” rights while systematically stripping women of their fundamental rights. 

7. Inhibiting, humiliating and punishing women for their choices to have an abortion for any reason 

8. Allowing employers to delve into women’s private lives and only pay for insurance when they agree, for religious reasons, with how she choses to use birth control.

9. Sacrificing women’s overall health 

10. Depriving women of their ability to earn a living and support themselves and their families.

Read it all (for full descriptions, details)

Some belated advice for Limbaugh and his GOP:

they went full retard*

*this word used strictly as satire and political humor, as previously approved by Sarah Palin.

TGIF morning’s 6 ambiguously interesting things

1) Democrats / President Obama

  • A snip from the documentary of Bill Clinton on Obama’s decisions re: Detroit and OBL:
  • Obama Pressures Congress on Oil Subsidies - In the most spirited defense yet of his record on energy policy, President Barack Obama today dismissed his critics as playing politics by promising cheap gas without real solutions, and asked his supporters to pressure Congress to end subsidies for oil companies. At an event in Largo, Md., Obama said people “running for a certain office, who shall go unnamed” have been “talking down new sources of energy” and have dismissed his plan to double vehicle mileage standards by 2025. “I guess they like gas guzzlers,” he said. Obama said he expects Congress to vote in the next few weeks on ending subsidies for oil companies. “It is time for this oil industry giveaway to end,” he said. “I guess you can stand up for the oil companies … or you can stand up for the American people.” The president said the $4 billion a year in oil industry subsidies could be redirected to other sources of energy.

2) The Republican War on Women

  • Dems Hammer PA Governor Over Ultrasound Comments - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) offered up some advice for women who don’t want to have a mandatory ultrasound before they terminate their pregnancy: Don’t look at it. Now Democrats are pouncing, holding up the line as evidence of the GOP’s continuing insensitivity toward women. The quote in question came after Corbett was asked at a press conference whether “making [women] watch” an ultrasound went “too far.” “I don’t know how you make anybody watch,” Corbett said. “You just have to close your eyes.”
  • Religious liberty not under attack in America, says majority - Another poll, another confirmation that the GOP’s narrative that their attack on women’s health is really all about religious liberty has sunk like a lead balloon. The Public Religion Research Institution asked a random sample of 1,007 adults 18 years of age or older whether religious liberty was under attack in the United States, and whether government-mandated birth control coverage was part of that threat. And the American public said, “are you kidding?” Washington, DC— On the heels of a months-long heated debate on religious liberty, a new national survey finds that a majority (56%) of Americans do NOT believe that the right of religious liberty is being threatened in America today. Roughly 4-in-10 (39%) believe religious liberty is under attack.
  • Bishops hold meeting, decide they still hate women’s health care - This week, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), led by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and the president of the bishops’ conference, met to decidewhether they still hate women’s health care. Guess what? They do! In a statement issued by the committee, the bishops insisted that they are “strongly unified and intensely focused” in their “opposition to the various threats to religious freedom.” Religious freedom, as we all know by now, means their right to demand that women be denied access to health care the bishops don’t like. The bishops then proceed to do some serious false-witness-bearing: This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church’s hand and with the Church’s funds. First, yes, this is about access to contraception. Second, no, it is not inexpensive. Third, no one is requiring the Church to provide it. And fourth, no one is forcing the Church to pay for it. But the lies don’t end there…

3) Your 2012 GOP presidential candidates

  • Romney Campaign Dings Santorum: No, Puerto Ricans Don’t Have To Stop Speaking Spanish - On Wednesday, Santorum told the Puerto Rican newspaper El Vocero that islanders would have to be fully proficient in English, in order to genuine integrate into the main American culture — and he said, to comply with federal law — in order to be granted statehood if they wanted it.In fact, there is no federal law, either in the Constitution or current federal statutes, establishing English as a required official language of government business in order to qualify for statehood. (Though in the past, Congress did make such a requirement for statehood in 1811 for Louisiana, where French was widely spoken, and also in 1906 regarding the Native American languages spoken in areas of Oklahoma.) But the fact remains that Spanish is the primary language of Puerto Rico, and will continue to be so as a cultural fact for the foreseeable future.
  • The ‘Oops, Just Kidding’ Endorsement - Former Puerto Rican Sen. Oreste Ramos announced Thursday that he was rescinding his support for Santorum after the presidential candidate said Puerto Rico would have to adopt English as its primary language if the territory were to ever gain statehood. “Although such a requirement would be unconstitutional, and also would clash with our sociological and linguistic reality, as a question of principle I cannot back a person who holds that position,” Oreste said, according to the San Juan newspaper Vocero. “As a Puerto Rican and Spanish-speaking U.S. citizen, I consider the position of Mr. Santorum offensive.”
  • Stephen Colbert’s hilarious commentary on Santorum and Puerto Rico (and Santorum and everything else):
  • Rahm Emanuel to Romney: ‘If You Can’t Stand up to Rush, How Are You Going to Stand up to Russia?’ - “Now I’m not going to give advice to Republicans. They don’t take it and I don’t want to give it. They’ll make whatever decision they want to make,” Emanuel said at an event Thursday morning in Chicago. “You just take a look at the fortitude, the strength, the determination and the vision the president made on the auto industry and juxtapose it to Mitt Romney, who doesn’t have the fortitude, the strength or the character in my view to stand up to Rush Limbaugh. How can he stand up and make a decision to save 1.3 million manufacturing jobs? “That Oval Office requires vision. That Oval Office requires spine. That Oval Office requires determination and grit. Mitt Romney says, ‘Let it go.’ The president said the American workers are too important to let go, and he doubled down on the American workers. When a decision comes to the Oval Office, who’s got the fortitude, who’s got the grit, who’s got the determination and who’s got the back of the American people and middle-class families? And nothing coming into that Oval Office is easy. It’s not clear. And I think when you see the character, the fortitude and the strength measured up, and the determination to reject conventional wisdom and see around the corner what’s right for the American middle class, people who work every day, play by the rules, you’ll see the difference of the two individuals and their vision for America.”

4) The 21st Century Republican (tea)Party / New American Theocracy

  • Arizona Makes Another Attempt At Government Birtherism - Without saying as much, Arizona officials are working on yet another birther bill. This is the latest of several attempts by the state to try to prove the myth that Obama is not an American citizen. This time, an Arizona legislative committee is pushing a measure that would require presidential candidates to fill out an eligibility form before they can be put on Arizona’s ballot.
  • Arizona Birther Bill – The Birthers Are Strong in This One - I’m in sunny Arizona for a couple of days and, boy howdy, is the wingnut strong out here. The state legislature’s Government Reform Committee — yeah, that one had me on the floor, too — yesterday reported out a birther measure that was probably inspired by the comic stylings of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “investigation” of the president’s origins. [...] “Yesterday,” said Democratic state senator David Lujan, who was one of two votes on the committee against the measure, “I asked if this had anything to do with President Obama’s birth certificate, and they told me that Sheriff Joe’s investigation had given the idea added value. “It is frustrating. We have something like 250,000 people unemployed in Arizona, and we’re occupied with stuff like this. A lot of people, and not just Democrats, are just frustrated with the activities of the Tea Party folks. I don’t know what keeps them coming back like this. I really don’t. Not with everything else we should be addressing.”
  • WELL THIS IS SHOCKING: GOP frosh to back millionaires’ tax - Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford will propose a surtax on millionaires Thursday morning, a crack in the steadfast GOP opposition to extracting more money from the nation’s top earners. The Arkansas Republican will unveil the plan during a local television interview Thursday morning, and plans to introduce legislation when the House returns next week, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.
  • BOEHNER’S DO-NOTHING HOUSE PLANS TO DO EVEN LESS: Staffers: House won’t pass highway bill this month - The House will not take up the Senate’s transportation bill and its own version won’t hit the floor until mid-April at the earliest, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee aides told industry officials Thursday morning. Democrats on both sides of the Capitol are ramping up their pressure on the House after the Senate approved a two-year, $109 billion bill that garnered votes from nearly half of the Republican caucus. The general game plan over the next few weeks, as laid out by aides: continue rallying and gauging support for a five-year bill when members return to town next week. An extension of the current law, slated to expire April 1, would hit the floor sometime during the March 26 week.House members get a two-week break starting March 30 and don’t return to session until the week of April 16 — the earliest any other bill could come up for a vote, the aides said. || On Wednesday, Boehner said he “will take up the Senate bill “or something like it” this month.” Nope.

5) Misc

  • Natural Born Drillers – Paul Krugman - To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil. [...] Thus Mitt Romney claims that gasoline prices are high not because of saber-rattling over Iran, but because President Obama won’t allow unrestricted drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal tells readers that America as a whole could have a jobs boom, just like North Dakota, if only the environmentalists would get out of the way. The irony here is that these claims come just as events are confirming what everyone who did the math already knew, namely, that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.

6) Rush “Shock Blob” Limbaugh

  • Guess who’s knocking on Rush Limbaugh’s door as his advertisers flee like rats from a sinking ship? - It’s the people behind the infamous GodHatesFags website — the Westboro Baptist Church, the most notorious gay-bashing group in America — and they’re ready to step in to keep the embattled Limbaugh on the air. “As a matter of fact, I can confirm that,” Westboro spokesman Steve Drain told Hatewatch today when asked if the church was seeking to advertise on “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” “We’re preparing our first ad at this very moment, and we’ll have a 30-second radio spot ready to go by Friday.” Drain said he has been in contact with ad executives, but added that the Westboro spots will have to be produced before they are accepted or rejected. The radio ads would be posted as audio links Friday on the church’s websites, the Westboro spokesman said. [via: ABL]
  • Struggling Clear Channel And Rush Limbaugh’s $400 Million Payday - But the truth was that for days on his flagship station, WABC in New York, Limbaugh’s show had been stripped of key advertisers. Instead, the once robust revenue-generating program had turned into a feel-good forum where during commercial breaks WABC ran nonpaid public service announcements on behalf of the United Negro College Fund and New York Office of Emergency Management. That’s because WABC didn’t feel comfortable putting lots of advertisers on Limbaugh’s show, which up and down Madison Avenue had become poisonous in this wake of his misogynistic Fluke debacle.  So towards the end of his show on Tuesday, the nine-figure salary talk show host went to commercial break and a paid advertiser did pop up. And it was a new advertiser, a sponsor who apparently had signed on amidst the controversy. The sponsor’s name? The Holy Name Cemetery in New Jersey, which was advertising a “pre-planning open house weekend.” How fitting.

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?”

 

Thursday morning’s 6 partially interesting things

1) The GOP “presidential” candidates

  • Rick Santorum’s Southern Strategy: It’s Me, Stupid. - Well, there’s no question about it now. Rick Santorum — and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick he is? — loves Jesus, and Jesus loves him, and so do all the people who love Jesus, and whom Jesus loves, down in the deep old South, where once they thought all Catholics had cloven hooves, horns on their heads, and Notre Dame sweaters covering their black and evil Papist hearts. Eight out of every 10 Mississippians who voted in that state’s primary on Tuesday were white evangelical, or born-again, Christians. [...] For all the post-game analysis of whether or not Santorum is now clearly “the real conservative” alternative to Romney…The basic argument is not about being “the real conservative” per se; it’s about being “the real conservative” as “conservative” is defined by a shoeless, Bible-banging, anti-intellectual, woman-hating, sex-maddened Republican base. And, for the moment, that is Santorum in full.
  • What Mitt SHOULD say: The Liberation of Willard Romney: A Game Plan, by Charles P. Pierce - “Okay, so let me tell you about myself. I’m not one of you. I’m moderately pro-life. I believe that gay people are human, too, and that, maybe, there ought to be a way for them to get married. I am not what I have been pretending to be all these months. I am nowhere near as stupid and retrograde as you have to pretend to be in this primary, okay? Right now, bitches, you’ve got a gender gap that looks like the Gates of Hercules because Santorum — and have Pierce and I told you recently what a colossal dick that guy is? — is a sheet-sniffing, diaphragm-hunting male nun. You’re losing two generations of Hispanic voters because you keep lining up behind immigration laws that seem to have been drawn up in Nuremberg. How’s that going to work out for you in 2016, or 2012? You really want to be the party of angry white people in lawn chairs? I am the Massachusetts moderate, bitches, and I’ve got the money to make it work. [...] It’s not my fault that longtime Republican solutions have been recast in the fetid reaches of The Base’s hive-mind as creeping socialism. It’s not my fault you turned ignorant poo-flinging into a national strategy. …You want the entire campaign to be about either Gingrich’s grandiose daydreams, or about Rick Santorum’s pursuit of the unauthorized use of the penis? One guy wants to be Caesar Augustus and the other one wants to be Pius IX. Is that really what you want? …So, yeah, I’m not going to be what the Bible-bangers want. You know why? Because there aren’t enough of them to win the election, and I’m sick of throwing good money after bad trying to win the hearts and the not-entirely-functioning minds of a bunch of people who see Jesus in their cereal bowls every morning. They can come along if they want to, but I’m not doing this born-again shuck-and-jive for their amusement any more. Why? “Because I’m Mitt Romney, bitches, and I’m all you got left.” Sources have told the blog it is unlikely that the Romney campaign will adopt this strategy.
  • Ann Coulter doesn’t consider Sarah Palin to be some “dream candidate” for a GOP brokered convention - Coulter said that might be a weakness in the Republican Party as a whole — that certain individuals become celebrities and are allowed to profit off that status and yet still interfere in GOP politics, which Democrats have been able to avoid.“And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party,” she said. “I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money. The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that.”

2) The 21st Century Republican (tea)Party / American Theocracy

  • Is this what the wingnuts call the DOE’s liberal indoctrination? Iowa students shocked as high school assembly descends into homophobic rant - At first students at Dunkerton High School, Iowa, seemed grateful for this musical break from the norm – albeit with Christian-themed lyrics denouncing the evils of drugs, alcohol and violence. But things took a turn for the worse when the event veered into an impassioned and unfocused rant against homosexuality, abortion and sex before marriage. After his band Junkyard Prophet left the stage, drummer and preacher Bradlee Dean took the microphone, separating the crowd into boys, girls and teachers. Mr Dean is the president of the ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, which is listed by civil rights organisation the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active anti-gay hate group. [...] Students found themselves faced with graphic images of aborted foetuses, while girls were instructed to obey their husbands.Parent Jennifer Littlefield told the LaCrosse Tribune: ‘They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins.’ || Just like Jesus!! 
  • Because nothing happens timely in the GOP-led House anymore: Senate passes highway bill, but rough road ahead - House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio has said he will take up the Senate bill “or something like it” this month, unless Republicans can come to terms on their own version. Rifts in GOP ranks have scuttled two other bills – one a five-year plan and the other an 18-month offering. [...]Should the bill pass as something similar to the current Senate version, it will have a number of improvements that will boost business, say many policy observers. The bill consolidates federal transportation programs from roughly 100 down to a third as many. It speeds up the delivery of projects by cutting back on regulations. It offers more flexibility to states to partner with the private sector on infrastructure projects like privately funded roads.

3) President Obama / Democrats

  • Notice how many Republican primaries have required photo IDs? Pennsylvania Democrats say ‘misguided’ voter ID law wastes $11 million - The law requires voters in the state to present a photo ID when they cast ballots in federal, state and local elections. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center estimated the legislation would cost $11 million. In order to withstand legal challenges, the state must provide photo IDs for free, notify and educate voters about the new voting restrictions, hire more election staff, and purchase additional photo ID equipment. “Republicans should have spent their time working on legislation to create jobs instead of engaging in a political power grab,” Burn added. “Despite the Republicans’ attempts to silence voters, Democrats will ensure that every voter in Pennsylvania will have their voices heard in 2012 and beyond.” Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has said he would sign the bill into law.
  • Obama Wins The Crucial British Vote At State Dinner - Cameron, in town to promote the renewed “special relationship” between Britain and and the United States, expounded on Obama’s “strength,” “moral authority” and “wisdom,” and compared him to President Theodore Roosevelt. “He’s found a new voice for America with the Arab people,” Cameron said. The Prime Minister also spotlighted Obama’s leadership in the killing of Osama Bin Laden, a key component of the president’s reelection message. “The president says what he will do and he sticks to it. I’ll never forget that phone call on Libya when he told me exactly what role America would play in Libya and he delivered his side of the bargain to the letter… Let us all agree that the world is better off without bin Laden but the world is better off without Gadhafi too.”
  • Obama hails ‘indispensable’ U.S. alliance with Britain - But both men were forced to dwell on the terrible human costs of war, with sharp questions looming about the justification for more combat in Afghanistan and the possibility of new Middle East combat over Iran’s nuclear program. Obama and Cameron conspicuously used a joint press conference to try to convince weary American and British voters that recent sacrifices in Afghanistan had wrought “real progress” towards a future secure state. The US leader went on the record for the first time to back NATO’s planned transfer to a support role in 2013 before a full withdrawal the next year, though said there would be no sudden unscheduled drawdowns in coming months.

4) “Shock Blob” Rush Limbaugh

  • imageLimbaugh: Judging Miss America proves I’m not anti-woman - “I have affectionately referred to the NOW gang as the NAGs, the National Organization of Gals, for over 15 years,” Limbaugh said on Wednesday. “And the head NOW-gang babe was asked what she thinks about that yesterday on television after 15 years. Outraged! They are outraged!” “Now, how can I be anti-woman?” he asked. “I even judged the Miss America pageant.” After the pageant, former Miss America-turned-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson asked Limbaugh how he responded to critics who said that someone with his track record had no business judging women in a beauty pageant. “I’m a huge supporter of women!” the radio host declared. “What I’m not is a supporter of liberalism. Feminism is what I oppose and feminism has led women astray. I love women. I don’t know where this gets started.” “I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.”
  • When Rush Limbaugh turned the tide - In this video unearthed by James Carter, the women of the 1994 Republican freshman class then met at the Heritage Foundation and made a special presentation of gratitude to another hero of theirs, Rush Limbaugh. Congresswoman Barbara Cubin of Wyoming told Limbaugh: “Talk radio, with you in the lead, is what turned the tide, Rush, and we know that. You were the voice that everyone else could follow.” The lawmakers promised there wasn’t a “feminazi amongst us.” They gave Limbaugh a placque reading “Rush was right” and a copy of Gingrich’s Contract with America. Accepting their applause, Limbaugh told them, “Thank you all very much. This my kind of ‘Year of the Woman.’”
  • Rush Limbaugh’s woes not ending any time soon - Rush Limbaugh’s problems have staying power. So says the traditional media—in this case, ABC News. Their evidence is Premiere Network’s decision to pull all of its barter ads, the ads they provide to affiliates in exchange for airing the program, for two weeks.Premiere is obviously hoping the scandal just blows over and they can get that revenue back. But with Limbaugh rolling out ever-more crackpot theories and complaints about how he was set up to spend three hours a day for three solid days calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute,” that might not happen. National advertisers maybe aren’t going to want to be associated with a vulgar misogynist who also happens to be a crackpot conspiracy theorist. There’s also the little problem of how much the non-ditto head population (i.e., the majority) hates him. The PPP poll for Daily Kos found that 58 percent of the populate has a negative view of him, and 70 percent find his remarks about Fluke inappropriate, and an earlier Harris poll found him America’s least favorite political pundit.

5) GOP’s War on Women

  • What’s wrong with the Republican Party? ONLY 3 In 10 Republicans Want Limbaugh Fired - Thirty percent of Republicans think that Rush Limbaugh should be off the air following his sexist attack on Sandra Fluke, according to a new Bloomberg poll. Just yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that only 29 percent of likely voters believe Limbaugh’s apology was sincere. According to today’s poll, “men are split over whether the radio host should be let go from his job — 49 percent say so, while 47 percent disagree. Fifty-six percent of women support the move compared with 39 percent who don’t.” Since Limbaugh’s tirade just two weeks ago, 140 companies pulled their ads from Limbaugh’s show.
  • imageDid Anyone In Conservative Media Actually Read Or Listen To Sandra Fluke’s Testimony? - Conservative media figures, led by Rush Limbaugh, have continually distorted and exaggerated the content of Sandra Fluke’s testimony before Democratic members of Congress. They have gone so far afield of Fluke’s actual testimony that it often appears as if they never actually watched or read it. Here are some of the conservative claims about Fluke’s testimony, along with what she actually said.
  • Romney vows end to Planned Parenthood funding -  As the former governor sees it, the way to improve the deficit is to cut taxes, increase military spending, and block access to contraception, family planning services, pap smears, cancer screenings, and tests for sexually-transmitted diseases. … It’s also worth noting that Republican support for Planned Parenthood was the norm for nearly a half-century. Barry Goldwater and George H.W. Bush championed the health organization; Reagan never balked at PP funding in the budget; and none of this was considered controversial in the slightest. There’s no clearer example of the GOP’s shift to the extreme than its newfound disgust for Planned Parenthood. But the point I keep coming back to is Romney himself having supported the health organization, including having attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Overnight, the DNC put together this video, going on the offensive over the issue.

6) Misc

  • How Congress Helps Republicans, But Not Democrats, Weather Bad Economies (Charts) - Republicans like to portray Democrats as big spenders. But the truth is more complicated. Democratic Congresses were pliant under Reagan and the first Bush, and thus federal spending (particularly military spending under Reagan) grew dramatically. For Bush 41, this trend didn’t hold when he needed it and he lost his re-election bid amid a weak economy. Working with a Republican Congress, George W. Bush too presided over a major increase in federal spending. This, along with the large tax cuts he passed in 2001 and 2003, exploded federal deficits, but also likely helped him through the economic hard times at the beginning of his first term. Clinton and Obama, who both lost control of the federal purse strings to an intransigent opposing party halfway through their first terms, were comparatively hamstrung. Politically, this proved to be a much bigger problem for Obama than it was for Clinton — Obama, after all, inherited a historic financial and economic crisis. But Obama’s economy is finally picking up on its own, and just in time. This Congress isn’t about to give him a hand…
  • Poll: Americans Favor Diplomacy Over Israeli Attack On Iran - But only one in four Americans favor Israel launching a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, according to a new University of Maryland poll. Seven out of 10 respondents believe the U.S. and other world leaders should continue to pursue negotiations with Iran. President Obama called for continued diplomacy in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday. Cameron agreed. Only one in five respondents believe a strike against Iran would delay its ability to develop a nuclear weapon for more than five years, according to the poll. And about half of Americans polled believe the conflict would go on for years.

  • George Clooney draws a crowd at the Senate - Clooney, a dedicated human rights advocate, was in Sudan last week to view the destruction caused by the Sudan military’s bombing in the border area. At the hearing, Clooney—sporting a salt-and-pepper beard— urged the committee to go after the regime’s bank accounts and his project to use satellites to track military movements and attacks and shine a spotlight on them. He’s being joined on the panel by veteran Africa expert John Prendergast of the Enough Project. A source said the line outside the hearing room could best be described as “orderly but enthusiastic.” || Note: look at the sheer happiness on the faces of the ladies behind him! haha.

Wednesday morning’s 6 marginally interesting things

1) Rick Santorum

  • Santorum wins in Mississippi and Alabama - Former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) pulled out narrow wins in the Alabama and Mississippi presidential primaries Tuesday, bolstering his claim to being the conservative alternative to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. “We did it again,” Santorum told cheering supporters in Lafayette, La.; that state will hold its primary March 24. “Who would have thought . . . that ordinary folks from across this country can defy the odds day in and day out?”

2) Mitt Romney

  • Romney Blows Another Chance To Seal The Deal - It’s clear your candidate didn’t have a great night when you have to go on CNN and remind viewers not to forget about the American Samoa caucuses. And Eric Fehrnstrom — the senior Mitt Romney aide who found himself in that precarious position Tuesday night — would probably admit: this was not a great night for his candidate. Despite early attempts to temper expectations for Romney’s performance in Alabama and Mississippi, tight polls and the candidate’s own election-eve bravado created the illusion of an open door — another chance to seal the deal with a big, hard-fought win.
  • Mitt Romney Said He Was Going to Win Alabama - Making it worse, his advisor Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN tonight: “I don’t think anybody expected Mitt to win Alabama or Mississippi. As Mitt said, this was an away game for him, and I think that’s absolutely true.”
  • Romney: Forever Awkward / Tone deaf – Mornin’, y’all,” said Mitt Romney recently to a Mississippi crowd. He started his day off right, he said, with “a biscuit and some cheesy grits.” That would be cheese grits, but never mind. Would Romney greet an audience at a Jewish Community Center with: “Oy vey, did I ever enjoy my loxies and bagels this morning!”? Or African Americans with: “Yo, dawg, wassup?” Actually, yes, he might. Forever tattooed in the memory is the image of Romney approaching an African American baby at a 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Pointing to the baby’s necklace, he said: “What’s happening? You got some bling-bling here!”

3) Your 21st Century Republican Party / American Theocracy

  • McConnell: I’m Filibustering Seventeen Judges Because Reid Made Republicans ‘Look Bad’ - McCONNELL: It is highly unlikely any of these district judges are not going to be confirmed. We’ve done a number of them this year. We’ve done seven this year. District judges are almost never defeated. This is just a very transparent attempt to try to slam dunk the minority and make them look like they are obstructing things they aren’t obstructing. We object to that. We don’t think that meets the standard of civility that should be expected in the Senate. And, so, any effort to make the minority look bad or attempt to slam dunk them that is sort of manufactured as this is is gonna, of course, be greeted with resistance.
  • PA Passes The Most Anti-Democratic, Anti-Environmental Law in The Country - Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed and where the U.S. coal, oil and nuclear industries began, has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients. The draconian new law, known as Act 13, revises the state’s oil and gas statutes, to allow oil companies to drill for natural gas using the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, where large volumes of water and toxic chemicals are pumped into vertical wells with lateral bores to shatter the rock and release the hydrocarbons. The law strips rights from communities and individuals while imposing new statewide drilling rules.
  • Romney Promises To ‘Get Rid Of’ Planned Parenthood’s Funding - ”The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it’s worth borrowing money from china to pay for it?” Romney said of federal programs. “And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrack, I’d eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities.”Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Dawn Laguens responds: When Mitt Romney says he wants to ‘get rid’ of Planned Parenthood, he means getting rid of the preventive health care that three million people a year rely on for cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care. This is dangerous and out of step with what most Americans want. Mitt Romney simply can’t be trusted when it comes to women’s health. He supports so-called “personhood laws, opposes making birth control affordable and accessible, and wants to undermine women’s health care… [RSRomney attended a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in 1994 and his wife donated to the group from their joint checking account.

4) Womenfolk (make me a sandwich!)

  • Another Religious Freedom® Law Will Allow Employers to Fire Women for Using Whore Pills - A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons. And because Arizona’s an at-will employment state, that means that bosses critical of their female employees’ sex lives could fire them as a result. [...] Yesterday, a Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Republican Debbie Lesko‘s HB2625 by a vote of 6-2, which would allow an employer to request proof that a woman using insurance to buy birth control was being prescribed the birth control for reasons other than not wanting to get pregnant. It’s all about freedom, she said, echoing everyone who thinks there’s nothing ironic about claiming that a country that’s “free” allows people’s bosses to dictate what medical care is available to them through insurance. [...] Further, Lesko states, with a straight face, that this bill is necessary because “we live in America; we don’t live in the Soviet Union.” [image: WWJD]
  • Obama team hits Romney for ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood comment “Planned Parenthood is a vital health care provider for millions of American women, giving them affordable access to life-saving services like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings,” she added. “Even more offensive is that he would justify on fiscal grounds the elimination of Planned Parenthood, which represents 0.01% of the federal budget, even as he proposes a $5 trillion tax plan that would give massive tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. Whether it’s his support for the Blunt amendment, which would allow any employer to drop coverage for health care services like contraception because of personal beliefs, or these extreme comments today, it’s clear that American women cannot trust Mitt Romney to stand up for them.”
  • imageFLASHBACK: Limbaugh To “Feminazi[s]“: Love Your Body, “Because Nobody Else Does” - Rush Limbaugh is a pioneer in American misogyny: He popularized the use of the slur “feminazi” against women who seek to be treated equally in our society. Although he originally claimed that the word referred to “a specific type of feminist” and that there were “not many of them,” Limbaugh has routinely used it to attack feminists, abortion-rights advocates, and progressive women alike. In October 2008, he dragged out the slur to attack the National Organization for Women (NOW) for promoting “Love Your Body Day.” In a press release on its website, NOW said the day marked “another year in our campaign to educate and encourage women and girls to say ‘no’ to negative stereotypes and ‘yes’ to awareness, health, and a positive body image.”

5) President / Democratic Party

  • Obama files trade case against China, warns Beijing on ‘skirting the rules’ - China produces at least 90 percent of “rare earths,” and U.S. officials charge that it imposes export restrictions that unfairly raise the prices paid by non-Chinese firms that need those raw materials, making these less competitive on global markets. “We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies. Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we’d have no objections. But their policies currently are preventing that from happening,” Obama said, stressing that the high-tech manufacturing at stake is “too important for us to stand by and do nothing.” The decision struck another blow at China at a time when U.S. lawmakers and other critics of Beijing accuse the rising economic giant of unfair competition that costs U.S. jobs, notably in manufacturing.
  • AFL-CIO ‘enthusiastically’ endorses Obama for reelection - Leaders of the influential AFL-CIO labor federation announced Tuesday it voted “proudly and enthusiastically” to endorse President Obama’s reelection effort. “We feel that he’s put forth bold initiatives and put people back to work, put revenues back in the country, put out a vision that expresses opportunity and fairness,” said Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “We think he’s a good man.” The council spoke to Obama by telephone during its closed-door session, in which the president sounded “very engaged, very knowledgeable,” according to McEntee, who serves as chair of the AFL-CIO’s political education committee. The vote, among the AFL-CIO’s 57 member executive council, was unanimous.
  • Texas Democrats Look To Secure Alternative Federal Funding For Planned Parenthood In The State - Democratic lawmakers are trying to find alternative ways to keep Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas afloat just one day before the state officially bans the organization from receiving funding through the joint state-federal Women’s Health Program. Tomorrow, a new rule goes into effect stopping any clinic affiliated with an abortion provider from receiving WHP funds, and federal officials have said they will cut off funding to the state program if Texas bans Planned Parenthood from WHP. If the program stops, 130,000 women will lose their access to affordable health care.
  • Obama considers quicker exit from Afghanistan after Kandahar massacre - The president had those words for reporters from the White House this week, and echoed those sentiments again on Monday to KDKA in Pittsburgh. “It’s important for us to make sure that we get out in a responsible way, so that we don’t end up having to go back in,” said Obama. [...] But one day into the aftermath of the Sunday slaying of 16 civilians, the White House says they are looking for a faster way out of Afghanistan, even after already moving up the withdrawal date once in 2012. Prior to the latest episode, the US was expected to send 22,000 troops back to the States by September, leaving around 68,000 to stay until America formally forfeits in 2014. As for those remaining troops, though, Washington is now deciding if they should see an end to their tour as earlier as expected. [image: White House’s Flickr Stream]

6) Misc

  • Taking a time-out from trying to legislate women’s choices, Catholic Church Puts Legal Pressure on Survivors’ Network - Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church and priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists. [...] “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, “it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s what they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.” [...] William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a church advocacy group in New York, said targeting the network was justified because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
  • Bill Donohue: It’s ‘a Lot Less Expensive’ To Fight Victims Of Pedophile Priests - Donohue was one of the most vocal defenders of the Catholic Church during the height of the church’s pedophile scandal in the early 2000s, and more egregiously, he remains one of the only people to publicly attack the victims and their supporters. During a radio interview in 2009, Donohue downplayed the charges being leveled by victims because “almost everybody who was abused wasn’t raped.” He also dismissed complaints of priests kissing and engaging in “inappropriate sexual talk” to minors as a non-issue, saying that he “think[s] a lot of these people are gold diggers looking to get money from the Catholic Church.”
  • Celebrated war criminal / profiteer and beloved chickenhawk DICK Cheney says CANADA is ‘too dangerous’ for visit - Cheney was set to appear at an event in Toronto on April 24, but canceled on grounds that the risk of trouble from protesters was too great. Cheney’s last Canadian appearance in September of 2011 erupted in violence as protesters swarmed the entrance of the private Vancouver club where the former Bush administration official and Iraq War architect was speaking. The protesters rained down verbal abuse on attendees and, in once instance, choked a security guard. Vice President Cheney was trapped inside the venue for more than seven hours as police in riot gear attempted to disperse the crowd and quell to the resulting melee.
  • Americans hate regulations in the abstract, but love them in the particular - The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that government regulations of the food industry, car safety, workplace safety, prescription drugs, and even environmental protection should either be strengthened or be preserved as they are, with only a small fraction believing they should be reduced. [...] Americans also tend to favor more regulation when asked about specific industries: a plurality believe that the health insurance, energy, banks and big corporations are underregulated.

Tuesday morning’s 6 questionably interesting things

1) YOUR 21ST CENTURY REPUBLICAN PARTY:

  • 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:


2) MITT ROMNEY

  • 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]

3) RICK SANTORUM:

  • 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.

4) F&%KING RUSH LIMBAUGH

  • 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 - Radio-Info.com 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. Radio-Info.com calls the move “unusual.” The development suggests that Rush Limbaugh’s incessant sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke have caused severe damage to the show.

5) WOMEN:

  • 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.

6) MISC

  • 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.