August 29, 2012

Dictionary Fun with Rob Moore.

Yes, it's time for another round of Dictionary Fun!  Today, we'll be checking out the vocabulary skills of Rob Moore.

Rob Moore is the CFO for Murray Energy, a company that operates coal mines in West Virginia.  He's also a fucking thug colossal prick and a miserable excuse for a human being an uncaring company stooge a cold-hearted business man, as we'll see.

Mr. Moore came to our attention after a friend posted this photo on Facebook:

Hard to believe, isn't it?  But some research lead us to recorded talk radio show on West Virginia's WWVA 1170 AM. If you don't have the 20 minutes to listen to the program, The Raw Story gives us a thorough good recap of the story.
A group of coal miners in Ohio feel they would have been fired if they did not attend an Aug. 14 event with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and contribute to his campaign — and to make matters worse, they lost of day of pay for their trouble.

“Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time,” the employees told Blomquist. “Yes, letters have gone around with lists of names of employees who have not attended or donated to political events.”
What did the company have to say about it?
Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore told Blomquist that the charges were untrue.

“There were no workers that were forced to attend the event,” Moore said. “We had managers that communicated to our work force that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend the event..."
Hmmm. Attendance was mandatory.  But the employees weren't forced.  But if it was mandatory, doesn't that mean that they had to go?  Isn't that what "mandatory" means?

Let's see what Merriam-Webster has to say about the word "mandatory:"
MANDATORY (adjective)  1: required by a law or rule : obligatory <the mandatory retirement age>
So, yes, if attendance was mandatory, they were indeed expected to go.  That was the, um, mandate they were given.

Moore did have more to say about the attendance:
"... but no one was forced to attend the event. We had a pre-registration list. And employees were asked to put their names on a pre-registration list because they could not get into the event unless they were pre-registered and had a name tag to enter the premises.”
Then why did you just say it was mandatory?  If there is confusion, Mr. Moore, it was created by Murray Energy, who told employees they had to attend, not the employees who are pissed that they were told they had to attend a political rally for someone whose record for labor is pretty dismal.

But to add insult to injury:
“Our management people wanted to attend the event..."
We have cause to suspect that the fact that their boss told them they'd better be there had something to do with it, but heck, we'll play the game that they were all willing volunteers who not coerced in any way by the owner of the company who has donated over $900,000 to the Republican Party over the last year or so.

So what's the problem with all the manager going to the rally?  Because there were no managers on site, the mine had to be closed for a day.  Or more precisely, because management closed the mine to attend a political rally, every miner working for them lost that day's wages.

The radio host asked them why the workers had to be punished for their management team's decision to close for the day:
I’m not saying pay then to attend the event, I’m saying, ‘Hey look, we have to close down the mine, if you want to attend this event, that’s fine, but you’re still going to get a day’s pay for the work that you would have done,’” Blomquist pointed out. “Why not do that?”

“As a private employer, it was our decision and we made the decision not to pay the people,” the Murray chief financial officer said.
A responsible company would have ensured that operations continued.  A company that gave a shit about its employees would have declared "it's great that everyone wants to meet Mr. Romney, but we're a business first, and there are people depending on their paycheck to pay their bills, to put food on the table, so we need to have enough managers on site to continue operations."

A truly benevolent company would have paid the employees for the day's wages; after all, there is no good reason for them NOT to be working other than the fact that the managers and administration of Murray Energy are selfish pricks who don't give a shit about their workers decided not to show up to work so they could do something else.

They could have done either of those things, and everyone would have been happy, and there'd be no reason for me and the rest of the blogosphere to rip Mr. Moore a new one.

But sadly, that's not what Murray Energy did:
“We’re talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that’s related to the coal industry,” Moore added. “I do not believe that missing an eight-hour day, when you put it into perspective, when you think about how critical — critical this next election is, and how critical it is that we get someone in this office that supports coal — to give up eight hours for a career, I just don’t believe that there is anything negative about that.”
Well, Mr. Moore, that's because you are a steaming turd of a person.

While I certainly can see that if you don't want to run your mine with all the proper safety protocols to keep your workers safe, and if you're an owner whose income puts you in the top 2% tax bracket, attending Mr. Romney's rally makes perfect sense.  But if you're one of the workers who's going to wind up paying a big tax increase so the owner can pay an even lower tax rate than his employees, if you're a worker whose safety depends on the regulations that Mr. Romney has promised to repeal, if you're an hourly employee whose wages have been lowered because of Republican policies over the last few years, the last thing you want to do is lose a day's pay to support the candidate who is doing everything in his power to reduce you to living in poverty.

And if you think I'm being too hard on Murray Energy, consider this; the last time they made the news was 2009.  That's when a mine they owned in Utah collapsed and killed six miners and 3 rescue workers.  This was after receiving 325 citations in five years for exactly the kind of safety violations that resulted in the collapse.  That's an average of one citation every week.   Once a week for five years.

Charles Dickens wrote of greed-driven men like Moore, and his sleazy boss Robert Murray, nearly 170 years ago:

"I wear the chain I forged in life,'' replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?''

Scrooge trembled more and more.

"Or would you know,'' pursued the Ghost, ``the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You  have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!''

The Ghost... set up another cry, and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night, that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance.

"Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,'' cried the phantom, "Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunities misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!''

"But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,'' faultered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

"Business!'' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!''

It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.
But I'm expecting too much of someone who doesn't even know what the word "mandatory" means.  These money-grubbing turds don't even own a dictionary, it's unlikely that they are bright enough to see how the parable of A Christmas Carol might apply to them.

August 28, 2012

George Washington on Government

A people who ignore their history are doomed to repeat it; we're already repeating parts of it, and not for the first time.  But all that means is that the words of our founding fathers are still relevant, if not merely "relevant again."

George Washington boast of our nation's liberalism in his letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, 1790:
If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

He also spoke of the importance of working together in his Farewell Address, 1796:
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth...
We haven't had any unity of government in the last two congresses; when the GOP got control of the House, the Republican leadership announced to its constituents that the party would no longer be working towards unity of purpose, but focusing solely on preventing the incumbent president from being re-elected.

To that end, the Republican Party has been flat-out demonizing the Democratic Party, and any who support it.  And Washington warned us of this, too: should properly estimate the immense value of your national union... you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it... discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country... The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
In Washington's times, factionalism was divided along regional origin; citizens tended to identify themselves by their state affiliation rather than Americans.  But the basic problem is still with us, even if we call ourselves "Democrats" and "Republicans" or "Liberals" or "Conservatives."  Washington was very clear that true patriots are Americans first, above and beyond any other affiliation.

He was also insistent that we must work together, and that facts must be considered over insinuations:
These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.
And in particular, we can't emphasize enough how dangerous he considered political parties:
One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other(s). You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community...

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Doesn't this ring familiar in the light of Citizens' United and the Koch Brothers? A small and well-financed group manages to subvert existing laws to flood the airwaves with patently false information, drowning out the truth in the cacophony of blaring commercials.

This election is a damning testament to the accuracy of George Washington's warning.

George Washingon on Political Parties

From George Washington's Farewell Address, 1796

On political parties:
"Let me... warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party...

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But... in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume."
While it is true that both of the major parties are playing fast and loos with the truth, the fact is that the Republican Party isn't merely exaggerating, or mis-stating, facts.  It's making stuff up out of whole cloth.  And lying isn't something any of us should support.

But whatever your opinions on the matter, they do not matter if you do not vote.  Be sure to cast your vote this election day.

August 24, 2012

Don't Jump On The GOP Bandwagon

...especially while we're trying to pull its wheels off.

People, when we embrace the methods of our enemy to win the goal, winning becomes pointless.  If the Democrats have to lie like Republicans to win the election, they've already lost everything that matters.

Lookin' good, but time to wash her mouth out with soap
While it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for Romney, he himself has always supported an exception for rape to any of the medieval anti-abortion laws his party has endorsed.  And he still does. Deborah Wasserman Schultz is indeed lying to voters when she insists otherwise. 

Does that mean that the GOP won't try to keep women barefoot and pregnant if we're stupid enough to elect him?  Of course not.  But we don't need to lie about Romney's stance on the matter.

Instead, we should be dissecting some of his ACTUAL stupid stances; like how he argued against the ACA's mandate that all health insurance plans offer birth control to women at no cost by claiming it violated the First Amendment

"I don't need facts while I carry this!"
And while Romney indeed made a joke about no one asking for his birth certificate during is visit to his home town, it's not the same thing as Sherrif Joe "I'm A Fucking Idiot" Arpaio insisting that the State of Hawaii was wrong when it verified the authenticity of a birth certificate issued by the Stage of Hawaii.  

Yes, Romney is strangely attractive to birthers.  But it seems he has never questioned Obama's citizenship, even while courting the lunatic fringe.

It was a joke.  Romney was joking, or trying to. Nobody accused him of jumping on the birther bandwagon last time,   so lighten up.

The only way we can change the tone of these damaging excuses for elections is to actually change the tone of them; we must turn our backs on lies and deception; for every whopping fib they tell, we must counter with a truth.  We must dazzle them with honesty.

We can't afford to keep having our leadership win by the expedience of telling more lies - or more credible lies - than the opposition; we need leaders who win by being better, not more devious.

August 23, 2012

Lyin' Ryan Protests Himself

Paul Ryan just can't seem to avoid lying to the American people.  This time, he's chastising President Obama for the budget cuts that automatically kick in if Congress doesn't stop its inane bickering in order to pass a proper budget.

The Romney campaign is up at arms, and posted a press release detailing the dire consequences of the plan.
President Obama Signed Legislation That Could Lead To More Than $500 Billion In Defense Cuts In 2013.
--, August 23. 2012
While the memo mentions that President Obama signed a bill that had passed both houses of Congress, the real cheek is Rep. Ryan blaming the President for doing so.
“President Obama’s reckless defense cuts that are hanging over our cloud, hanging over the horizon..."
-- CNN. 8/22/2012
President Obama's "reckless defense cuts" that were voted on and approved in both houses of Congress.  Since there's only one President, and there are a total of 547 members of Congress, doesn't that really make it Congress' reckless defense cuts?

But Mr. Ryan doesn't stop there. ThinkProgress has posted a video of Mr. Ryan speaking before a crowd.
"We opposed it then; we oppose it now."
--, 8/23/2012
Except that he didn't oppose it.  He voted for it

Paul Ryan is blaming Barack Obama for signing a bill that Ryan voted for.  Mr. Ryan is lying his ass off when he says he opposed it. You don't oppose things by voting for them, you oppose them by voting against them.  That's the entire point of being able to vote against things.

And he wasn't alone; 174 of his fellow Republicans also voted IN FAVOR OF the same bill that RYAN ALSO VOTED FOR.

Surely, one way to keep Mr. Obama from signing a bill into law would be to vote against it so that it never made it to his desk.  But Mr. Ryan did not vote against it, he voted for it, which means that he approved of the bill, because when you approve of something you vote for it, which is what Ryan did.

August 22, 2012

Do Republicans Revere Rapists?

A little while back, we listed out some of the problematic things that the Republican Party has actively promoted; things like increasing the national debt, limiting our civil rights, violating the Constitutional prohibition against establishing religion in our government, de-emphasizing the sciences in education, and obstructing effective governance.

Sure, the GOP claims to be against all those things, but in fact they've been actively working to make all these things happen.

But we only touched upon the contempt that the Republican Party expresses towards women.  But it's out in the lime light, now that Tod Akin has blurted out a shockingly ignorant opinion - and elicited support from the more extreme fringes of the GOP - there is little room for doubt that today's Grand Old Party is setting out to deny women any rights over their own reproductive system.

BTW, the "ignorant opinion" is not the belief that a woman should be forced to carry a baby that is the result of rape to term - although I do find that a loathsome opinion.

No, it's the defense of that loathsome opinion with an argument knitted out of whole cloth and bolstered by bald-faced deception. 

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
-- 08/19/012
Of course, there isn't a medical doctor worth his salt that would make such a ridiculous statement.  Millions of women wind up pregnant as the result of their rape.  There isn't a magic gate on her cervix; her body doesn't erect a barrier to sperm.

But please, don't take MY word for it:
Each year in the US, 10,000–15,000 abortions occur among women whose pregnancies are a result of reported rape or incest. An unknown number of pregnancies resulting from rape are carried to term. There is absolutely no veracity to the claim that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” A woman who is raped has no control over ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of a fertilized egg (ie, pregnancy). To suggest otherwise contradicts basic biological truths.  
-- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Akins then tried to clean it up.  He didn't mean to use the word "legitimate."
 "[I was] making the point that there were people who use false claims, like those that basically created Roe v. Wade."
-- 8/21/12
So, he didn't mean that there's legitimate rape or to imply that sometimes rape is OK, he just meant that women usually lie about getting raped so they can get an abortion

And the sad part about it is that he really believes that that is not an offensive position; and worse, neither does a large number of Republicans in his home state.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Sharon Barnes, a woman AND a Republican AND a Missourian, came to Akin's defense, referring to the results of rape as "God's Blessing" of the violent act against one of his children.
“The congressman is totally, firmly, solidly pro-life,” Sharon Barnes, a member of the state Republican central committee, said, adding that Mr. Akin believed “that abortion is never an option.” ...she added that “at that point, if God has chosen to bless this person with a life, you don’t kill it.”

“That’s more what I believe he was trying to state,” she insisted. “He just phrased it badly.”
-- NY Times, 8/21/2012
No, Ms. Barnes, he didn't phrase it badly.  It's the belief that if you're the victim of a violent rape you should be forced to bear the rapist's child that's the issue.  Many of us believe that a woman should be able to choose what goes in and what comes out.  I understand that your religious views don't permit you to grasp this.  And really, that's fine.  As long as you don't try to force me to live according to your religious beliefs.

But the thing is, making the rest of us live by your religious beliefs is exactly what you're doing.

Huckabee's Right Hook
Conservative pundit and former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also defends Mr. Akin and his view that women should be forced to carry the child of the man who brutally attacked them.
“Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”
-- 8/20/2012
So, that makes rape just fine with Mr. Huckabee.  It's not a gross violation of a woman's body, it's a channel to bring really neat people into the world.

This isn't an issue that just popped up; the entire Republican Party is rotten with people who simply assume that women's views simply don't enter into the equation, and has been for quite some time

Any resemblance to Hannibal Lector is coincidental, probably
Back in March, Chuck Winder of Idaho, the sponsor of that state's "double ultra-sound bill" (raped women must undergo an invasive ultrasound procedure in which their vagina is penetrated and they are forced to look at the image of the result of the violence perpetrated against them before they can have an abortion), simply assumes that women lie about it.
"I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”
-- The Spokesman-Review, 03/09/12
Let's tally what these Republicans have said about rape so far:
  • Women can't ever get pregnant from rape, because we don't understand the human reproductive system.
  • And they are probably lying about getting raped to justify their abortion.
  • When your rapist impregnates you against your will, it's a blessing.
  • Even though you were raped, the child of the vicious thug who violated you might be a nice person.
  • You weren't raped, you lying slut.
Something to consider about every statement made so far; not one of them address the actual victim: the woman who was raped.  Not one of these Republican pols seems to care about the woman who was brutalized; they only care about the child of a violent criminal.  Even though Mr. Akin did call for us to "punish the rapist," he concluded with "...and not the baby."  But what about the mother, Mr. Akin?  Why must she suffer?

And they haven't dealt with the reality of the results of being raped.  "Save the baby" is all they've considered.

Chicago lawyer Shauna Prewitt bravely steps into the fray, and recounts her own experience of being raped in college:
"You see, nine months after my rape, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. You could say she was conceived in rape; she was. But she is also so much more than her beginnings. I blissfully believed that after I finally had decided to give birth to and to raise my daughter, life would be all roses and endless days at the playground."
-- CNN 8/22/12
Perhaps you think that she is justifying everything the Radical Right has been saying;  she accepted the life as a blessing, and moved beyond the origin of the seed.

But Ms. Prewitt learned what these politicians haven't been addressing; that even if you accept that life begins at conception, the story of a pregnancy does not end with a birth; especially not for victims of rape.
"It would not be long before I would learn firsthand that in the vast majority of states -- 31 -- men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy."
-- CNN 8/22/12
So even if a woman decides to accept "the blessing" and carry the child to term, to try to convert a sadistic act of humiliation and degradation into something postive, these same thoughtless legislators have done absolutely nothing to end the cycle of pain and abuse perpetrated by rapists.  How is it that felons can have parental rights to offspring they forced onto their victims?  Can it be that these misguided right wingers hope that the woman will come together with her abuser and create a family unit? 

It's time to recall that one of Paul Ryan's failed bills was one he co-sponsored with Mr. Akin.

Two peas in a pod.
Representatives Ryan and Akin, in fact, have voted in lockstep on abortion matters since Akin joined Ryan in the House in 2001. Moreover, they teamed up on a controversial bill defining life as beginning at conception.
-- Christian Science Monitor, 8/21/12
I am forced to conclude that yes, it seems that the Republican Party, or at least a significant part of it, appears to favor the rights of rapists over the rights of their victims.

Remember, when you vote for a party, you vote for everyone it in it, and support its entire agenda.  Be very certain who and what you stand for when you vote in the next election.

August 20, 2012

GOP Takes Stupid to New Levels

It's bad enough that Representative Todd Akin (R, Missouri) was so poorly educated that he believed that women who are raped can't get pregnant because "everything shuts down" and his defense was "I misspoke" instead of a retraction, an apology, and withdrawal from the congressional race.  Anyone who sits on a committee overseeing Science ought to know some science.

Now we have a choice; we can believe Bryan Fischer, speaking for the American Family Association, when he insists that Akin was right.  Fischer holds degrees in Philosophy and Theology.

Or, we can believe the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), who call Akin's remarks "medically inaccurate, offensive, and dangerous."  ACOG is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women.

So here it is, theology versus science.

A doctor of bible studies:
When you have a real, genuine rape, a case of forcible rape, a case of assault rape, where a woman has been violated against her will, through the use of physical force, there’s a very delicate and complex mix of hormones that take place that are released in a woman’s body and if that gets interfered with it may make it impossible for her or difficult in that particular circumstance to conceive a child.
Doctors specializing in women's reproductive health:
There is absolutely no veracity to the claim that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” A woman who is raped has no control over ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of a fertilized egg (ie, pregnancy). To suggest otherwise contradicts basic biological truths.

Personally, I have to go with the ACOG and science, because it's based on, you know, reality.

August 17, 2012

In A World....

...where Mitt Romney can retire retroactively, the Republicans feel free to blame Obama for not preventing things that happened before he took office.

Talking Points Memo reports that the GOP's Vice Presidential candidate is maintaining the Romney Campaign policy of telling whopping lies:
"I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open,” Ryan said in Ohio Thursday, describing the shuttered GM factory in Janesville, Wis. “One more broken promise."

Ryan blamed rising gas prices under Obama for the closing. He echoed the complaint in an interview with a local ABC affiliate, suggesting it showed that Obama’s auto rescue was a sham.

So what's wrong with these accusations?  The GM plant closed in December of 2008; Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

Of course, Ryan's running mate is just fine with that.  Romney is on record that he would have let our entire auto industry fail.  We've already addressed his poor record as a soothsayer.

August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan's So-Called "Record"

You might have seen a version of this latest meme making the rounds.  Basically, the claim is that Paul Ryan has only had two bills passed into law during the entire 13 years he's been in Congress.  Since that works out to .15 bills passed per year, that would be a truly lousy average, if it's true.

With Republicans slamming Obama so much about his "lack of experience" and claiming that he didn't get much done, it would be stunning hypocrisy if they selected a vice president with a less impressive record.

Which means it stands a good chance of being true.

We'd better check it out.

We'll start with Obama's record, just so we have a good idea of what the Republicans consider an inadequate measure.

Obama serve in the Senate from January 2005 through November 2008; or just over a month shy of four years.

He served on five committees, and eleven sub-committees, and an ad-hoc committee. 

He sponsored and/or co-sponsored the following bills that were passed into law:
  1. the Secure Fence Act (signed into law)
  2. The Lugar-Obama Initiative, an expansion of Nunn-Lugar (signed into law)
  3. The Coburn-Obama Transparency Act (signed into law)
  4. the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act (introduced by Obama) (signed into law)
  5. the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (signed into law)
  6. A resolution commemorating the 44th anniversary of the deaths of civil rights workersPassed (passed - Simple Resolution)
That's about 1.5 bills into law per year.  So that's our metric.  If you only manage to pass 1.5 bills into law, you are an ineffective legislator, according to the Grand Ol' Party.

Let's see how Representative Ryan compares:

He was elected to the House in 1998.

In that time, he served on two committees, one sub-committee, and five caucuses; that's about half the number of groups that Obama participated in. 

He sponsored or co-sponsored the following bills that were passed into law:
  1. An Amendment to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the taxation of arrow components. (signed into law)
  2. To Designate the "Les Aspin Post Office Building"  (signed into law)
Shit.  I thought that was bullshit.  But he really has only gotten two bills passed in 13 years. That works out to .15 bills into law per year.

   Ryan: 0.15
Obama: 1.5

OK, that looks bad.  But let's see if Ryan looks better when you summarize what their bills accomplished:  After all, quality, not quantity, is what we should value in a legislator.
  • Paul Ryan made hunting arrows cheaper and got a post office named after the man who installed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy into the armed forces.
  • Barack Obama secured our borders, reduced the number of nuclear warheads on the planet, made government procurement procedures available to public scrutiny, help feed starving people,  forced elected and appointed officials to wait several years before they could become lobbyists, and honored civilians who died fighting for our rights.
So it looks like Mitt Romney has left no stone turned to find the best possible person to be a heartbeat away from running the country.

"D" is for "Deprived"

Day 1.


Rick must have overslept - no Daily Sift.  Looking forward to it later, then.


Vacation?  Good for him; I can live without the Daily Blog fix for awhile.

Day 2.

Rick's posted something.  Cockroaches?  Bats eat cockroaches.  Colorado's weird.

Day 3.

Man, there are a lot of *click* blogs *click* to choose from.  *click* Seen it. *click* Seen it. *click* Wait -no, I read that one yesterday.  *click* This one too.  *click* Mmm.  *click* Boring.  *click* Boring. *click* Don't care. *click* Is she STILL going on about that? *click* don't they EVER update? *click*  *click*   *click*   *click*

Day 4.

HEY, Rick's posted something.  Sunday night?  Looks awful bright out those windows.
*click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click*  


Did he take the blogosphere with him?

Day 5.

SAND? WTF is the point of a beach with no desert?  The only reason to cross blinding white blazing hot sand is reach the azure sea....

*click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click*   *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click*  

Where the fuck does he find all those fucking fuckity-fuck fuck fucking posts to link to?  FUCK! 

I guess he won't be quoting THIS entry on the round up....

Day 6.

I feel like I'm crawling across that desert.

That terrible, terrible desert.  Desolate desert.  Deep depressing desolate desert.  Dehydrated... dissipated... disoriented.... dying...  "hast thou forsaken me?"

*click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click*   *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click* *click*  *click*   *click*   *click*  


HEE hEE!  Just realized that that's a photo of a volcano's caldera.  Someone is going to be VERY surprised when it goes all "Mount Saint Helen's" all over everybody's bidnatch.  Somebody's going to be having a very bad day.  A very bad day.  A very. bad. day. indeed!



Day 7.


Day 8.

Day 9.

Day 10.

purdy lay-deee


August 12, 2012

Original 'Tempest in a Teapot' Art Concept.

Frankly, I think I made the right choice.  This one doesn't have the impact of the one I finally used.

A Tale of Two Republicans

One set of facts, and two Republican politicians need them to prove different points.

Romney, who is the presumptive Republican candidate for President of the United States, needs to show that Florida's economy is a mess that needs cleaning up. Scott, the Republican governor of Florida with the lowest approval ratings in history, needs to show that Florida's economy is making a strong comeback.

A Romney campaign missive, for example, lists the statistics that make up “Obama’s Florida Record.” The list includes: “795,432 Unemployed Floridians Seeking Work; 676,535 Floridians Who Have Fallen Into Poverty; 105,000 Florida Jobs Lost; $3,369 Decline In Florida’s Median Income; and 45 Percent of All Mortgaged Florida Homes Underwater.”
-- The Miami Herald, August 12, 2012

The governor... tells audiences that “the number of unemployed has gone from 568,000 to 320,000,” “median home prices are up,” and Florida’s job growth rate “has been positive for 23 consecutive months.”
-- The Miami Herald, August 12, 2012

But we're doubtful about the ability to pull one set of facts into two directions.  In the end, what Romney and Scott are creating is the legendary Pushmi-Pulyu. 
And while they are struggling to distort the facts, it will force us to take a closer look at them, to discern the truth that exists beyond partisan politics:
When Obama took office in January 2009, Florida’s unemployment was at 8.7 percent, nearly identical to where it is today. It rose to 11.4 percent in January 2010, had dropped to 10.9 percent by the time Rick Scott took office in January 2011 and has been dropping somewhat steadily since.
-- The Miami Herald, August 12, 2012
So Romney is wrong, and Scott is right; things are getting better in Florida.  But it seems they've been improving in spite of Scott, not because of him.

The Latest Tea Party ''Tempest in a Teapot"

Apparently, the Tea Party's latest wholly manufactured scandal is "the fact that President Obama won't unseal his college transcripts."

In case you're wondering why they want these records unsealed, it's because people are clamoring for Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns.  It's making him look bad.  And of course, there's Harry Reid claiming that Romney isn't releasing them because he hasn't actually paid taxes because of the nature of his income, which makes him look worse.

Since Mitt stubbornly won't release the information that would completely prove whether or not he paid taxes, that means the only thing left for his supporters to do is to make Obama look bad for not releasing his.  Which is problematic, because he's released decades of tax returns, and so has his running mate.

Obama has also released more copies of his birth certificate - both long and short - than Romney has released tax returns, so they have to come up with something else point at and accuse him of hiding.

But the fact is that we know a great deal about his performance in college from what is public record.

Here are the salient points we know about Obama's education; he transferred from Occidental to Columbia University, a tremendous step up academically. After his first year at Harvard Law School, he was selected as editor of the Harvard Law Review, a position of great prestige that must be earned through academic excellence and superior writing skills. During his second year at Harvard, he was selected to be President of the Review. There is no question that he was an excellent student; that is the only way he could have gained those positions.

"Demanding" his records isn't a search for the truth, it's just another pathetic attempt to make up a scandal where none exists. It's Birtherism 2.0.

August 9, 2012

From the Department of Redundancy Department.

NASA lost a prototype spacecraft, according to And it illustrates perfectly what happens when interns replace actual journalists:

Frankly, one should hope that everything in the navigation system has something to do with the navigation system, but perhaps I'm just old-fashioned that way.. 

August 6, 2012

Things That Make You Go 'Hmmmm"

Sometimes, when I'm flipping through CNN, I notice that their aggregator  has picked up random stories that sure look like they should be related, but aren't.

Here are a few examples, and we did not edit them in any way.

Stay the hell away from the water: 

The straw that broke the camel's back: