Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The First Thing We Do, Let's Hate All the Gays

UPDATE:  And why not stone them to death, because "'I know what was done in the Old Testament and what was done back then was what’s just. … And I do stand for Biblical morality.'"

Read Slate, Oklahoma Tea Party Candidate Supports Stoning Gay People to Death.  

Then we can use religion to justify discrimination, bigotry, and hatred of minorities, interracial couples, bossy women, Jews, Muslims, atheists, Sikhs, and others.  (Republi-cons, please feel free to substitute your favorite epithet.)

Read The Daily Beast, Arizona’s Pro-Discrimination Law Won’t Stop With Gays.

Without fear, anger and hatred, where would the Republi-cons be.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Live Happy

From an email:

The way you live your life may be your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one:

Live it well.

Enjoy today.

Do something fun.

Be happy.

Have a great day.

Which reminds me of the following quote:

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy.' They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.  -  John Lennon

Friday, June 6, 2014

Republi-CON Political Opportunism and Hypocrisy, Cont.

UPDATE V:  "Critics question whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should have been rescued from the Taliban in light of claims that he was both a deserter and a ballerina."

Watch The Colbert Report, Bergdghazi:

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video Archive

Again, this is possibly the most brazen and disgusting political opportunism and hypocrisy I have ever heard.  Republi-cons would have preferred Bergdahl be publicly beheaded before giving any credit to Obama.

UPDATE IV:  "Rep. Richard B. Nugent (R-Fla.), a lawmaker whose three sons have served in the military, made the case of captive soldier Bowe Bergdahl a personal cause. Nugent delivered speeches about Bergdahl on the House floor. He introduced two resolutions affirming that the United States would not abandon him in Afghanistan.

What Nugent wanted, he told a crowd at a rally for Bergdahl in February, was for 'the United States to do everything possible not to leave any members of the armed forces behind.'

But now, Nugent says that — when he said 'do everything possible' — he did not actually mean everything. Now that Bergdahl is free, the Florida Republican has become a critic of the deal that freed him. . .

Nugent is one of several conservatives in Congress who have made a similar shift this week. First, they demanded that President Obama get Bergdahl back. Then, when the soldier was released, they blasted Obama for giving up too much to get him.

Those conservatives have been mocked by Democrats and cable-news talkers, who accuse them of playing politics. “It is clear they are worried his release could be seen as a victory for President Obama,” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

In interviews and statements, some in the group have said they did not contradict themselves. They always wanted Bergdahl back. They expected it might take a deal with the Taliban. Indeed, the broad outlines of this deal — including the five Taliban commanders to be exchanged — had been discussed publicly since at least 2011.

But still, these conservatives say, they didn't expect the final deal would be this bad.

In February, The Washington Post reported on the revival of talks to free Bergdahl in exchange for releasing five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the custody of Qatar — the exact outlines of the deal that was eventually announced. When asked at the time by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about reports of such a deal, Sen. John S. McCain (R-Ariz.) said he might support an agreement for Bergdahl that included some kind of prisoner exchange.

'Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing [Bergdahl] home, and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider,' McCain said.

But after Obama announced Saturday that he had swapped the Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl, McCain criticized the exchange as 'a mistake.' . .

Several members of Congress from both parties issued tweets celebrating Bergdahl’s return, only to delete them as the story grew murky. . .

Just after Bergdahl’s release, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) released a statement that said: 'Our prayers have been answered and we offer our thanks for the perseverance of the family and the many Idahoans who have kept this vigil. We appreciate the men and women who made this release possible.'

Five days later, Crapo expressed doubts about the exchange, telling a local news outlet: 'I believe that is a problem . . . that could potentially result in a problem for our national security.'"

Read the Washington Post, The Bergdahl boomerang: GOP lawmakers who long urged a rescue now sour on the idea

In other words, Republi-cons were for doing everything possible to get the POW back, before they were against doing anything to save him. 

This is possibly the most brazen and disgusting political opportunism and hypocrisy I have ever heard.  Republi-cons would have preferred Bergdahl be publicly beheaded before giving any credit to Obama.

UPDATE III:  "So the prisoner exchange in Afghanistan is 'much like' the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Libya because, in both cases, the administration did or didn’t do something and then later gave an account of why it did or didn’t do that something. Scandalous.

And this is just the beginning of the uncanny similarities. Both events happened — you’re not going to believe this — under President Obama! And in both instances, one of the people involved was — yes, you guessed it — Susan Rice! Don’t forget that Bergdahl and Benghazi both begin with the letter 'B,' and although Afghanistan is in Asia and Libya is in Africa, both continents begin with the letter 'A.' . .

A bit of idle speculation was all Obama’s critics (particularly those at Fox) needed to fire up the Benghazi scandal machine. . .

Former congressman Allen West (R-Fla.) found the two instances similar because 'there is a lot to this whole episode — like Benghazi — that we may never know.'

Luckily for West, knowledge is not a requirement. He has already declared l’affaire Bergdahl an impeachable offense."

Read the Washington Post, From Bergdahl to Benghazi, Republicans fire up the scandal machine

UPDATE II: How important is the Benghazi so-called scandal to the Republi-con reelection strategy?

Says Iowa Republi-con Rep. Steve King "We need to try this thing, really, in the public eye, the autopsy of Ambassador Stevens should be released to the public. That's another piece of information that's missing."

Read Slate, What House Conservatives Want From the Benghazi Committee.

UPDATE:  What ever happened to the [fill in the blank] scandal.  "It went the way of pretty much every Obama administration 'scandal,' which is that it turned out to be not nearly as scandalous as Republicans had hoped.

In fact, a clear pattern has emerged on how these scandals have unfolded, one that might be helpful to keep in mind as we start paying attention to [yet another so-called scandal]. Here’s a handy guide:

Stage 1: Worse than . . .

Stage 2: The facts show something problematic, but . . .

Stage 3: The (not so) dramatic hearings.

Stage 4: The rage at the media for not paying enough attention.

Stage 5: The last gasp."

Read the Washington Post, The five stages of GOP scandal-mongering: A reader’s guide

Repeat as necessary, the same or another so-called scandal, with indignation and outrage.

"If you compare the costs of the Reagan Administration’s serial security lapses in Beirut to the costs of Benghazi, it’s clear what has really deteriorated in the intervening three decades. It’s not the security of American government personnel working abroad. It’s the behavior of American congressmen at home."

Read the The New Yorker, Ronald Reagan’s Benghazi.

Read also:

The Daily Dolt, Rumsfeld Asserts Embassy Attacks Due To "Perceived American Weakness." Wait, How Many Embassy Attacks Were There Under Bush?,

The Huffington Post, 13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush's Watch Without a Peep from Fox News

The Huffington Post, Jon Stewart Tears Fox News Apart For Benghazi Hypocrisy, which notes the lack of Hedgehog News hysteria over "a long list of intelligence failures under the Bush administration, including a pre-9/11 report on Osama bin Laden's intentions to strike inside the U.S. and the false claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which led to the 2003 U.S. invasion", and

Media Matters, Krauthammer Whitewashes Bush's History To Bash Obama Over Embassy Attack, which includes a list of embassy attacks over the last 35 years.

See also, Republi-CON Political Opportunism and Hypocrisy.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Republi-CON Media CONplex, Cont.

UPDATE V:  "Stephen Colbert is not only funnier than any cable news show—although Fox News can be unintentionally hilarious—he’s also better at informing his audience about the issues than traditional news outlets. That’s not just my opinion; it’s the conclusion of a study released Monday by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center."

Read The Daily Beast, Colbert Is Ivy League TV Compared to Fox News, which quotes a few jokes from Colbert, including this one to illustrate religious/Christian hypocrisy:

"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it."

UPDATE IV:  This time it is Bush's chief speechwriter from 2001 until 2006, who has realized the harm done when the lunatics are running the asylum, or in this case, the  Republi-CON political party:

 "Among the saddest aspects of a political culture premised on the exaggeration and organization of grievances is the way policy debates get pulled into a vortex of paranoia. . .

This is the way the modern ideological market often works. It is driven by entrepreneurs of outrage, marketers of resentment, innovators in the on-time delivery of anger. Their market share does not need to be large to be influential. Several thousand calls to Congress can seem like a populist wave."

Read the Washington Post, The entrepreneurs of outrage.

UPDATE III:  Ironically, even a long-time Republi-CON nut now realizes that 'the party needs to control its nuts.'

"'Republicans don’t want careers in government and give little thought to how to get there,' she writes. 'Often they run for president only because they hope it will lead to more speaking gigs and TV appearances. That may explain why Republicans seem to attract the sort of candidate who enjoys startling people at cocktail parties with outlandish remarks. There’s a great living to be made by appealing to rubes and hotheads. Even if you lose, you’ll get a talk show.'

Two pages later: 'About half of the Republican presidential candidates in the last two election cycles would have inspired every stupid woman in America to drive to the polls, sobbing, in order to vote against them.'"

Read the Washington Post, Ann Coulter back on airwaves, reenergized by shutdown and exemplifying unhappiness of GOP.

UPDATE II:  "Sarah is selling Sarah. The former vice presidential candidate and half-term governor of Alaska is a commodity of one and a marketing machine. She has created a new politics of profit.

Palin's reanimation on the tea party stage probably means no more than the other intentions she has floated but never executed. She spent almost a year of the last presidential election cycle teasing the far right that she was going to run for president. She never did, but lots of network TV interviews and speculative articles drove up her name recognition and brand identification.

And she's not running again.

Palin is re-running the same show in her home state of Alaska by hinting that she is going to be a candidate for the U.S. Senate. She will not run though. There is too much risk of failure. She's not the near-unknown who was elected governor of Alaska and then quit 2½ years into the job. She has a profile, and she intends to use it to make money, which is one commitment she knows how to keep. Running and losing is always bad for business.

Palin is a product. Not a candidate."

Read CNN, Sarah Palin follows the Donald Trump method

UPDATE:  "When Senator Ted Cruz of La Mancha jumped on his trusty steed and charged the windmills, he explained: 'Everyone in America knows Obamacare is destroying the economy.' He added that accepting the Affordable Care Act would be like appeasing the Nazis.

Cruz is a smart man, and maybe this is just disingenuous demagoguery. But there’s a scarier possibility: After spending too much time in the Republican echo chamber, he may believe what he says.

In the 1990s, as conservative talk radio spread across America, liberals felt victimized. But, in retrospect, the rise of talk radio, Fox News Channel and right-wing Web sites may have done greatest harm to conservatives themselves.

The right-wing echo chamber breeds extremism, intimidates Republican moderates and misleads people into thinking that their worldview is broadly shared.

That’s the information bubble that tugs the entire Republican Party to the right . .

Research suggests that the echo chamber effect is disproportionately a problem on the right, leading inhabitants to perceive a warped reality. Many Republicans were shocked that Mitt Romney was defeated last fall because they had been assured that he would win. And a Pew survey last year found that the proportion of conservative Republicans who believe Obama is a Muslim has doubled since 2008 to 34 percent.

Then there was the time Glenn Beck aired the theory that Obama is the anti-Christ (he later said he had been joking).

The right-wing bubble makes it harder to elect Republican presidents by enforcing an ideological purity in primaries that weakens candidates in general elections. Too much time in the bubble also leaves some Republican politicians saying things that just sound nutty to independents."

Read The New York Times, Suffocating Echo Chamber.

"Regular readers know I have a love/hate relationship with the Tea Party. What I love is all the good people participating in the civic process for the first time; the determination to challenge corruption in the GOP establishment; the effort to bring civil-liberties concerns and skepticism of foreign wars back under the Republican tent; the commitment to a republic where people are free to pursue happiness as they see fit; the healthy skepticism of central planning that subverts markets with cronyism and corporatism; and alarm at our national debt.

What I hate about the Tea Party is the epistemic closure that plagues it; the unthinking embrace of obviously unqualified politicians like Herman Cain; the notion that "real American" culture is something other than pluralistic; the unseriousness about governing; its frustrating inability to distinguish between mutually beneficial compromise on one hand and betrayal of principle on the other; the veneration of hucksters like Glenn Beck and blowhards like Rush Limbaugh; the double-think that characterizes its attitude toward the safety-net; and the subset of its rank and file that expresses personal disdain for all non-conservatives even while casting themselves as disrespected victims.

I've always been far more sympathetic to the Tea Party's rank and file than to its elites. In my experience, an American who shows up to a community protest rally tends to be earnest and well-intentioned, whereas the ideological entertainers they tune into on the way home tend to be cynical, opportunistic hucksters who constantly misinform while selling cheap anger and gold at obscene markups. 

I've argued in many posts that right-wing media regularly and egregiously misinforms its Tea Party audiences, whose trust in talk radio and Fox News is misplaced, and called on conservatives who know better to affirm as much. As I see it, Tea Partiers would be furious if they understood the degree to which they're misled, and would manage a better movement if better served by conservative media. . .

[T]he vast majority of Americans assume the media they consume isn't regularly filled with obvious untruths. While there is media bias across the ideological spectrum, talk radio and Fox News engage in a special kind of misinformation.

The Tea Party rank and file deserves better."

Read The Atlantic, A Soldier Criticizes His Army Comrades' Tea Party Ideology

And see The Republi-CON Media CONplex

Monday, June 2, 2014

Countdown to Fools Day, Bwahahahaha!!!!

UPDATE V:   After enumerating the 64 pages of the delusions and lies, Arduini asks [beginning on page 61, presented in a different order] Pastor Truthiness aka Huckster and Con Man and Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo gang ould be so "consistently, comprehensively and unapologetically wrong"?

Do they beleve what they say?  If so, it "would not reflect well on their intelligence, but then again neither of them has ever demonstrated any but the most ordinary of intellectual gifts. Zullo is demonstrably one of the worst investigators in the history of the profession. And without the technological help of the Internet, Gallups would still be just an obscure southern pastor of only the 2 nd largest SBC congregation in the little town of Milton "

Is it "an expression of fundamentally racist impulse[?] This is not to say that all Birthers are racists, or more specifically that either Gallups or Zullo are racist. Certainly, there has been next to nothing in their statements, writing or actions that betray an obviously racist motivation. But they embrace enthusiastically the contention that Obama is somehow 'other.'"

Or have:

"Gallups and Zullo together have simply been engaged in a scam[?] It is a suggestion certainly worthy of consideration. “Send money” had been one of the most consistent components of their message since the earliest moments of their collaboration, and recently Mike Shoesmith has been compelled to explicitly deny that accusation. But even before the first Cold Case Posse press conference, Zullo was cashing in via an eBook published for sale on Amazon. His excuse for immediately getting his hands caught in that particular cookie jar was that the media had refused to cover the press conference, and so an alternative way to get the story out was required. This is difficult to reconcile with the fact that the eBook was actually already on sale before the first press conference had even taken place.

Cormac Herley, a computer security expert at Microsoft Research, wrote a paper in 2012 explaining why the Nigerian Email Scams are so pathetically obvious to the average person.  Using an approach called “signal theory” he mathematically analyzed the con but with an important new insight. He decided to look at the con from the perspective of the scammers rather than that of the victims. He realized that it cost them next to nothing to spam the world. But to make real money, they needed to be able to efficiently tell the difference between the 'true positives' ( those who would get sucked in deeply enough to send a significant amount of money ) and the 'false positives' ( targets who might seem like suckers at first, but who later got suspicious and bailed out early before they paid off). 'False positives' were expensive. They wasted time and resources that could have been more profitably spent on the 'true positives.'

In short, the Nigerian Email Scams are deliberately stupid specifically to filter out even those with only the tiniest bit of common sense, and to insure that those responding were already identified as complete idiots.

It is difficult to listen to a Gallups broadcast without suspecting that this is also his intent. Seriously… 'universe shattering?' 'Deeper and deeper, darker and darker?' 'Tons of  evidence is piling up,' but 'I’m not at liberty to tell you' what it is?  Scores of 'VIPs are on board,' powerful people with 'unlimited financial resources' and 'standing' to 'move this forward to congressional investigations' or 'criminal prosecutions,' but I can’t tell you who any of them are?

What rational person could listen to months of such elaborate and melodramatic gibberish and not run for the door? The argument that this has been nothing more than an elaborate grift designed to separate the most credulous and vulnerable of Birthers from their retirement checks is not without merit."

Read also, Slate, The GOP’s Grifter Problem, Why the Republican Party attracts provocateurs, faux martyrs, and grifters in droves, which notes " the energy of the conservative movement—and thus the Republican Party—is geared toward these people. If you want money and attention, you could do worse than become a conservative provocateur. Right-wing resentment—stoked by impossible promises and harnessed through donations—built a fortune for Glenn Beck, a political career for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and a burgeoning media empire for the late Andrew Breitbart. . . it's hard not to see the whole operation as a perpetual swindle."

UPDATE IV: Since shortly after Birther's Fool Day, "Frank Arduini has posted a compiled, footnoted version of his series of articles on Carl Gallups at SCRIBD", which begins:

"At the most granular level [Gallups] embraces as true every absurd Birther ‘fact’ no matter how long ago it was utterly debunked. His more comprehensive theories are simultaneously erroneous on their own and mutually contradictory when considered together. His pronouncements on the issue have progressively escalated in urgency and absurdity over the months and years, and yet the outcomes have never once changed. Every deadline he sets is missed. Every prediction he ventures ends up being wrong. Every accusation he makes proves false. Every promise he makes crumbles to ash in the mouths of his rapt Birther flock.

But only long enough for him to rinse and repeat. "

The 64 page article is a complete timeline of the delusions and lies promoted by Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo gang and Pastor Truthiness aka Huckster and Con Man.

On page 26, the much claimed 'universe-shattering' evidence is revealed -- a Sherrif who attended the The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) in May 2013 and a closed session "limited to 'sworn law enforcement officials' and 'congressmen' . . . to provide a 'FULL criminal disclosure' of the 'new information' that Zullo claimed to have accumulated over the year since the Posse’s first press conference:

[P]osted to his FaceBook account (with what was for him a typically casual attitude towards grammar, spelling, capitalization and syntax) that:

here’s what I was told, VIA cold case possie , 1) bozo isn’t American nor was he born in Hawaii, 2) they believe he’s Saudi , 3) their not his real parents, 4) Russia is involved, 5) it wasn’t an accident he’s president, 6) bill ayers and the weather underground are involved, 7) Kenya played a roll, Hawaii state officials did the birth certificate, he has several other names , not just the ones the public knows about, 9) he don’t exsist in the usa until the age of 5.....10) WERE ALL F*CKED "

Enjoy a good laugh at our dear Pastor!  But anybody who believes this really is a fool!!

UPDATE III:  After another show "promising universe-shattering disclosures, but providing nothing but 'any day now,'" Pastor Truthiness aka Huckster and Con Man 'threw the birther web sites under the bus', complaining of "the amount whining, complaining and false information and flat-out fabricated information that continues to spill out of the birther movement." [A great example of the pot calling the kettle black.]

Read Obama Conspiracy Theories, Gallups turns on birthers: calls them "whiners".

Soon after, "a firestorm of commentary erupted" and was then erased, but not before it was copied.

Read Obama Conspiracy Theories, Triple-scrubbing the birthers.  

Then watch What Birthers Believe, to understand the warped racist Birther thinking that "Barack Obama was intentionally conceived to become president and destroy America."

And read Obama Conspiracy Theories, CCP Universe-shattering evidence revealed, which notes:

It is common for people who believe one conspiracy theory to believe others, and as far as I am concerned, it is no stretch whatever to connect the random dots weaving Obama birtherism into the well-established traditions of the John Birch Society, theories of the International Communist Conspiracy, black helicopters and UN Agenda 21. If the world woke up to a vision of being controlled by a secret elite, where wars, disasters, and calamity were all controlled by hidden hands, where even the President of the United States was a puppet fiction, wouldn’t that truly shatter the universe?

Conspiracy theorists have a hard time coming to grips with rejection. They feel that anyone with moderate intelligence, courage, and honesty will inevitably agree with them. Perhaps this is why Mike Zullo and Carl Gallups set goal after goal involving VIPs that are getting on board, only to be unable to deliver. Perhaps they expected that meeting with a VIP equaled convincing them—but that just didn’t happen.

I hope Zullo comes out with his universe-shattering information, because it would make him even more of laughing stock, and we could all go home."

And because revealing the so-called "universe-shattering information" would make Pastor Truthiness aka Huckster and Con Man a laughing stock even to 'Gallups' gullibles', it will always be "any day now". 

UPDATE III:  For all the Birther Fools, call Pastor Truthiness aka Huckster and Con Man, and ask him to reconcile the following Bible verses with his numerous lies:

Proverbs 12:22 (KJV): “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.”

Proverbs 15:14 (KJV): “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.”

And when he attempts to bolster his credibility on legal issues by claiming to that he is "a former Florida law enforcement officer", ask him why his name is not in a  database of past and present Florida law enforcement officers.

UPDATE II:  Today is the last day, or not.  Tomorrow, Birther Fool's Day, we will know who the fools are.


UPDATE:  A radio talk show host -- a "man who got rich making multiple false claims", "promis[ing] to reveal the things 'They Don’t Want You to Know About', a clever marketing strategy that makes it seem as if The Powers That Be are suppressing information you need" and that "the government constantly [was] trying to suppress the truth, with nefarious figures involved in a vast conspiracy" -- was held in contempt of court, fined $37 million, and sentenced to 10 year in prison.

"He also claims to be a victim of this conspiracy himself, with the government trying to keep him from telling people what’s really going on", which he knows because he gets “information from a secret group . . . Of course, since they’re a secret group, he cannot reveal the identities of the people in it or much else about it.”

No, it wasn't the Pastor Truthiness aka Huckster and Con Man, or anyone else from the "Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo gang", at least not yet.

Read Slate, Kevin Trudeau: Quackery Promoter Jailed for Contempt, which notes that "[s]kepticism and critical thinking are tiring. They’re exhausting. The battles against pseudoscience, against the attacks on reality, against the erosion of the ability to make rational decisions…they never end. There is always more nonsense out there, more outrageous claims that fly in the face of reality. And what’s worse is how often it’s the same thing again and again."

This is a continuation of the Birther Bwahahahaha!!!!, the growing laughter at the Birther delusions.

Birther Fool's Day is the first day after the month that the universe 'shattered', as promised by the "Sheriff Joe’s Scooby Doo gang"to 'Gallups' gullibles' on 'fellatio Friday' in mid-December (the 'universe-shattering' twist was being promoted elsewhere in late November).

It is no coincidence that Birther Fool's Day is April 1st.

Try to contain your laughter, if you can.