From PZ Myers at Pharyngula:
Museums (good museums, that is, not trashy sideshows like Ken Ham’s rubbish in Kentucky) have a real problem: they’re expensive to maintain. They aren’t dead piles of old bones, but are sites of active research, and they have to employ knowledgeable people to do the science that goes on there. It takes lots of money to keep one going.
But along comes a dilemma. Who has great big piles of money?
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Our own Tee Tee notices a Republican legislator's surprise that her proposal to make church attendance mandatory turns out to be controversial.
tengrain at Mock Paper Scissors takes a look at one Indiana conservative activist's anti-gay logic. It seems the activist has succeeded in pushing the new law allowing discrimination against gays. Gays demonstrated against the anti-gay law and those who backed it, and did so loudly, with signs. That makes gay people hateful. It's good to discriminate against hateful people, so the anti-gay law is good.
- Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot continues his account of 150 years back, contrasting the competing visions of Lincoln anticipating victory and Davis in denial>.
Message from Conservatives to an Undeserving President (5:28) - Click for Podcast
For Original Text
Opposition, even deranged opposition, to Presidents has always been with us. With Obama, we have reached new levels.
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From The Progressive Paradigm:
Government is the problem. This has been the conservative message hammered into the American voter’s psyche since President Reagan’s election. Sadly, for the most part, Democrats have not done a good job of refuting this absurd claim. It’s time for Democrats to stop being Republican-like on this issue and begin to dispel this myth and underline the importance of government in our democracy.
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In response to a comment about Burr Deming's Preventing an Agreement for Preventing Nuclear Weapons
No, we don't negotiate with them in bad faith. We don't negotiate with them at all when it comes to them keeping their nuclear "power" program.
And if you think sanctions are an adequate response for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard helping supply, train, and execute IED attacks on our troops during the Iraq war, then I am glad that YOU don't run the country.
(And yes, I realize that those sanctions were not put in place for those attacks on us. So in effect, we did next to nothing for the loss of life caused directly due to Iranian forces.)
- T. Paine, March 13, 2015
A few points:
Clausewitz once wrote that war is diplomacy by other means. If you take diplomacy off the table, what's left? We either talk or fight. If you're against talking, you are -- by definition -- advocating fighting.
Unless we kill them all, root and branch, there's no way to stop them from building atomic weapons. They have their own mines for uranium ore. They have an industrial plant that can refine it. We can do nothing about the first. And the second? We can convince them not to build the weapons, or we can kill them. Dead men don't build nukes. Or -- to look at it another way -- we couldn't stop North Korea from building them, when we can (or at least try to) interdict every gram of useful material going into the country. All we can do is attempt to convince them they don't need them.
The facts here are that Iran is not an existential threat to the United States, nor do they have the resources to become such. The Soviet Union was an existential threat. China could be, if they wanted to. Russia kind of wants to be, but they've got a ways to go before they regain that kind of mojo. But Iran is nowhere in that league.
- You're conflating an existential threat to Israel with an existential threat to the United States.
Tim McGaha writes about history, science, and technology. Please visit Tim's Thoughtful Spot.
T. Paine frequently stops by to continue his noble attempts at instructing us, his stubborn pupils, on the virtues of conservatism. Please visit Saving Common Sense.
This week, House and Senate Republicans will unveil their respective budget blueprints for fiscal year 2016. To Chuck Grassley (R-IA) of the Senate Budget Committee tell it, the Republican plan for Medicare should be among the most intriguing areas to inspect. That's because after 50 years of warning that Medicare would end the days "when America was free" because "nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care" and therefore must "wither on the vine," Senator Grassley summed up his party's new plans for the program serving over 50 million American seniors. It is preferable, he said, to "just have figures in there."
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I think it was when Sen. Cotton actually said that Vice-President Joe Biden had never been right in 40 years (more years than this punk has been alive) that I basically had it—when in the two months this arse has been a senator has he risen to the opportunity to be right?
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From Mad Mike's America:
Democrats are well known for eating their young. Unlike the Republicans, Democrats have little sense of loyalty, and can rarely agree on anything, even if such agreement would be beneficial to the country and the party. Jumping ship is no longer a rarity among Dems, it’s a common practice.
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From Human Voices:
Idiotic and often disgusting stunts by college students and at college fraternities and sororities seem as regular and inevitable as stupid statements by politicians and questionable actions by police officers and if we were so inclined, we might spend our days ranting and raging about it. Sometimes we do that, but what we choose to obsess about seems chosen for us rather than a spontaneous reaction to circumstances
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From The Moderate Voice:
Some disabilities and illnesses are visible—and while these can sometimes lead to people treating you differently, rarely do others question whether or not something is amiss.
But that’s not the case for those suffering from “invisible” disabilities. But don’t take this to mean that one form is better, or worse, or more worthy of attention; all human ailments are equally worthy of our attention and understanding.
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In recent times, Creflo Dollar had the audacity to ask for $65 million dollars for a private plane. You read that right: a preacher started a GoFundMe site for the sake of raising $65 million dollars. It wasn’t for the sake of saving lives. It wasn’t for the sake of presenting an economic plan to help those in need. In short, Creflo Dollar did this all for selfish reasons.
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The news that a hate-letter to President Obama was being tested for cyanide was unremarkable. But it did bring back to me memories of another President. Even students of history can easily overlook that the horrible November Friday in 1963 marked only the final attempt on the life of John F. Kennedy. The first happened soon after his election was announced, before he even became President. All but the final series of gunshots were successfully stopped by the Secret Service.
All Presidents become targets in the modern world, which is to say the world of national politics within my own memory, the America beginning in my very early youth, the America at every stage of my life since. I have never known an America completely at peace with the democratic process. Violence has always lurked in the American Valley of Shadows. To this day, many of my generation remain alarmed and relieved that 1963 did not repeat itself in attempts on the lives of Presidents Ford and Reagan.
But this Presidency is different. The Secret Service has acknowledged that the level and seriousness of threats has multiplied since Barack Obama assumed office.
The ferocity of rhetoric has also soared to heights previously unimagined. It is not only the quantity and volume of often obscene shouts that have accelerated. The nature itself of the attacks has gone where nobody had walked during my lifetime.
John Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and others were verbally attacked, sometimes in borderline absurdity. The attacks were almost always about some act or event, sometimes actual, mostly imagined. In the case of Bill Clinton, misdeeds surrounding a real estate deal faded into self-contradiction, resting finally on the tenuous accusation that a future President had conspired with his wife and a few friends to lose millions of their own financial holdings. The suicide of a close friend and the death of another in a plane accident were viewed by those living in the fringes as having been engineered by the Presidential family.
Finally, they got him in a extramarital tryst that he failed to acknowledge under oath. American voters reacted toward Republicans as most of us would to a voyeur who announces to the world what he has witnessed, while peeping into local bedroom windows at night.
But all of the accusations, the one true, the others drifting away like some bad odor in the wind, were based on some real or imagined act.
President Obama is also attacked for imagined acts. Benghazi, IRS, death panels, and so on, are accusations of something. But he and his family are targets of something more, something more ugly, something that involves a state of being. He is accused of being someone apart, unnatural, not normal, un-American, something not at all like us.
"Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
- Alex Jones, May 17, 2012
"Communist nurtured, subhuman mongrel..."
- Ted Nugent, January 17, 2014
"A terrorist fist jab?"
- E.D. Hill, Fox News, June 6, 2008
"...propaganda, starting with the President, that everybody should hate the police."
- Rudy Giuliani, December 21, 2014
A couple of months ago, a good friend insisted, as we lunched together, that any observation of racism toward President Obama was likely an illusion, a bit of reverse race-baiting. It is a common observation in conservative circles. "I'm sure," he conceded, "in a national population this large, we could find someone, somewhere, who hates Obama for being black."
I suspect he was underestimating the virulence of his conservative comrades-in-arms.
The idea that the President is an illegitimate holder of office, despite winning two majority votes, has lapped like tall waves over a low bridge into official actions.
- screamed by US Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC)
during a Presidential Speech to Congress
September 9, 2009
A hostile head of state from a friendly ally has been invited to a major address without the customary courtesy of prior notification, a courtesy that would have been extended as a matter of course to any previous President. That has been followed by a public letter advising a hostile country in negotiation to avoid war that they should not trust any agreement signed by this President.
The convergence of action with rhetoric has a single thread. The message is unmistakable. Barack Obama is an impostor, not a real President. Formal propriety and official respect are to be held in abeyance until a legitimate President again is restored to office.
I was happy at the news that the cyanide soaked letter did not, after all, contain cyanide. Laboratory tests revealed only the presence of an abundance of human saliva. A sick gesture, but not lethal.
Like the Republican base, and the new majorities in Congress, the letter writer chose only to spit at our Commander-in-Chief.
From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:
Very good news for voting: Oregon makes voter registration automatic. As my View colleague Francis Barry puts it: After Selma and the Voting Rights Act, “The question that people should be asking all these years later is: Why should anyone have to register at all?”
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From Green Eagle:
Tom Cotton...he has been in the Senate for a little more than two months, but, in the fashion of Ted Cruz, he is more than qualified to take it over and run it as his domain. And he's been a busy little beaver the last week or so, leading to all sorts of right wing luminaries declaring him to be the reigning star of the Republican party:
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From James Wigderson:
The least surprising news about the passage of right-to-work is that the unions are suing. The Wisconsin AFL-CIO and other unions are taking the law to a Dane County court.
Once the appeals process takes the case outside of Dane County, the law will be upheld, just as it has been upheld nearly everywhere else. Twenty-four other states can’t be wrong.
At least give the unions and the Democrats credit for being consistent. No matter the odds, they’re willing to take laws they don’t like into the courtroom. They love trial lawyers, and they love paying them.
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The Atlantic magazine just published a lengthy piece by author Gabrielle Glaser that challenges the efficacy of Alcoholics Anonymous. Entitled, “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous,” the article takes aim at the organization and never lets up, and on Wednesday night’s All In with Chris Hayes, the author continued an assault that’s based on a fundamentally flawed premise, and some really bad journalism. The normally excellent, intellectually trustworthy Hayes went along for the ride, and made the same mistakes.
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Stay with me on this, you need the background first.
The Cartoon Network will often show infomercials at 3 AM or so. Sometimes these are not really infomercials, but are rather weird surreal things that their "Adult Swim" programming team makes. One example was Too Many Cooks - an amazing spoof of 80s sitcom themes.
(It is kind of an endurance test to get through)
Anyway, someone at CNN decided to make a 2016 political parody of Too Many Cooks.
Enjoy! It's not as long as the original Too Many Cooks.
Infidel 753 has a series of one or two sentence observations on anti-Semitism, economic exclusion, and anti-government activists.
Vincent at A wayfarer's notes provides an emotional account of the hard side of writing, the joy of having written, and the gratitude writers feel toward those who have successfully gone through both.
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, takes apart the New York Times for how they dealt with a prospective article on health problems with the new Apple watch. The Times explains that the article seriously flawed, then publishes it anyway.
- My friend, conservative T. Paine at Saving Common Sense, leaves politics and policy for a moment and describes beautifully the wonderful relationship and the devastating loss that comes with being a dog person.