Friday, April 30, 2010

the art of the backdown

nevada gop senate hopeful sue lowden on health care reform:

i think that bartering is really good. those doctors who you pay cash, you can barter, and that would get prices down in a hurry. and i would say go out, go ahead out and pay cash for whatever your medical needs are, and go ahead and barter with your doctor. (apr 6)

i'm telling you that this works. you know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. they would say i'll paint your house. ... i'm not backing down from that system. (apr 19)

i, i, i'm not sure, uh, what to say, as far if it's been dragged out of proportion. ... (apr 28)

the comment i made about bartering was not, and was never intended to be, a policy proposal. (apr 30)
iowa gop house hopeful pat bertroche on immigration reform:

i think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going. ... i actually support microchipping them. i can microchip my dog so i can find it. why can't i microchip an illegal? (apr 26)

this idea isn't any more politically dumb than any other one. ... i was trying to call attention to how radical the conversation has become. (apr 29)

i don't support microchipping people, but if it's going to become part of the debate — which was not my intent — then microchipping people is not one of those things that is going to cause long-term cancer problems. (apr 29)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

and so it begins

phoenix — a valley man says he was pulled over wednesday morning and questioned when he arrived at a weigh station for his commercial vehicle along val vista and the 202 freeway.

abdon, who did not want to use his last name, says he provided several key pieces of information but what he provided apparently was not what was needed.

he tells 3tv, "i don't think it's correct, if i have to take my birth certificate with me all the time."

3tv caught up with abdon after he was released from the immigration and customs enforcement office in central phoenix. he and his wife, jackie, are still upset about what happened to him.

jackie tells 3tv, "it's still something awful to be targeted. i can't even imagine what he felt, people watching like he was some type of criminal."

abdon was told he did not have enough paperwork on him when he pulled into a weigh station to have his commercial truck checked. he provided his commercial driver's license and a social security number but ended up handcuffed.

an agent called his wife and she had to leave work to drive home and grab other documents like his birth certificate.

jackie explains, "i have his social security card as well and mine. he's legit. it's the first time it's ever happened."

both were born in the united states and say they are now both infuriated that keeping important documents safely at home is no longer an option.

jackie says, "it doesn't feel like it's a good way of life, to live with fear, even though we are okay, we are legal ... still have to carry documents around."

a representative at u.s. immigration and customs enforcement (ice) returned 3tv’s calls after researching the incident and she said this was standard operating procedure.

the agents needed to verify abdon was in the country legally and it is not uncommon to ask for someone's birth certificate. she also said this has nothing to do with the proposed bill or racial profiling.

... and how this probably ends:

here’s an interesting clause in the keeping brown down act of 2010:
disallows officials or agencies of the state or political subdivisions from adopting or implementing policies that limit immigration enforcement to less than the full extent permitted by federal law, and allows a person to bring an action in superior court to challenge an official or agency that does so.
in other words, any minuteman who doesn’t see enough cops stopping mexicans in his town can file a lawsuit. if they win, the judge is mandated to award the militia member costs and attorney fees, and assess the town a $1,000 to $5,000 fine per day between the time the lawsuit was filed and the court ruling.

between this and the inevitable civil rights lawsuits, every little town in arizona will either have to raise taxes or declare bankruptcy. since the former is politically impossible, expect to see bucket brigades and volunteer posses replacing fire and police departments. it’ll be a glibertarian paradise!

... but look on the bright side, mi amigos:

the only way for them to avoid endless civil rights law suits is if the cops harass large numbers of white people too. enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

signs of the recovery

a ray of light shines in the gopher state:

(hat tip to john cole)

a birther platonic dialogue: the motion picture

finally coming to the small screen: barackryphal's classic inauguration day expedition into the mind of a birther, which answered the question "should president obama hang onto that tenner?"

go read the comments on the youtube page to see genuine birther trolls play to script. it's a self-perpetuating parody — they just can't help themselves!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

lucha libre, dick tracy!

in january 1983, heavy metal magazine introduced us to charles burns' "el borbah", a not-so-stereotypical tough-talking two-fisted private eye with a penchant for mexican wrestler attire.

populating an unnamed city in an indefinite future seemingly carved out of wood and pressed in stark black on white, the cast of "el borbah" is a menagerie of freaks, geeks, gimps, creeps, cyborgs, mutants and misfits and few of even the occasional outwardly conventional human beings escape el borbah's gruff disdain. the following pages are from his 1985 serial "bone voyage":

(story and art by charles burns)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

stir of ethics

every once in a while, even faux news remembers what the rules are:

angry fox news executives ordered host sean hannity to abandon plans to broadcast his nightly show as part of a tea party rally in cincinnati on thursday after top executives learned that he was set to headline the event, proceeds from which would benefit the local tea party organization.

rally organizers had listed hannity, who is on a book tour, as the headliner of the four-hour tax day event at the university of cincinnati. the rally, expected to draw as many as 13,000 people, was set feature speakers such as "liberal facism" author jonah goldberg and local tea party leaders. participants were being charged a minimum of $5, with seats near hannity's set going for $20, according to the cincinnati enquirer, which reported that any profits would go to future tea party events. media matters for america noted that hannity's personal website directed supporters to a link to buy tickets for the cincinnati rally.

but senior fox news executives said they were not aware hannity was being billed as the centerpiece of the event or that tea party organizers were charging for admission to hannity's show as part of the rally. they first learned of it thursday morning from john finley, hannity's executive producer, who was in cincinnati to produce hannity's show.

furious, top officials recalled hannity back to new york to do his show in his regular studio. the network plans to do an extensive post-mortem about the incident with finley and hannity's staff.

"fox news never agreed to allow the cincinnati tea party organizers to use sean hannity's television program to profit from broadcasting his show from the event," said bill shine, the network's executive vice president of programming. "when senior executives in new york were made aware of this, we changed our plans for tonight's show."

critics of fox news have accused the network of promoting tea party even as it covers the political movement as a news story. a spokeswoman for the network said that neil cavuto was the only host other than hannity at a tea party event thursday, stressing that cavuto was covering the atlanta event for both fox news and fox business channel, not attending as a participant. carl cameron provided news coverage of the tea party events around the country out of washington.

Monday, April 12, 2010

george on my mind

stephanopoulos: you’ve now met with president obama many times, at least fifteen meetings and phone calls —
medvedev: sixteen times.
stephanopoulos: sixteen, ok, i knew it was fifteen, i wasn’t sure about the sixteenth. ah, what do you make of barack obama the man?
medvedev: he's a very comfortable partner. it’s very interesting to be with him. the most important thing that distinguishes him from many other people — i won’t name anyone by name — he’s a thinker. he thinks when he speaks.
stephanopoulos: [laughing] you had somebody in your mind, i think!
medvedev: obviously i do have someone on my mind, i don’t want to offend anyone.
(hat tip to think progress)

image problem

(art by clay bennet)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

still not getting it

just for easter, the embattled vatican manages another baby step ... deeper into purgatory:

a senior cardinal has said the roman catholic faithful will not be swayed by "petty gossip" about child sex-abuse allegations.

... during easter mass in st peter's square, cardinal sodano expressed solidarity with the pope, who has himself come under scrutiny for his role in handling past cases of abuse.

"holy father, the people of god are with you and will not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials that sometimes assail the community of believers," the cardinal said.

... the vatican's official newspaper, l'osservatore romano, stepped up its defence of the pope in its sunday edition, publishing messages of support from around the world and denouncing the "slanderous attacks and the defamation campaign surrounding the drama of abuse by priests".

quote of the night

joe sudbay @ americablog:

the vatican has tried to distance the church from those remarks [comparing criticism of the church to anti-semitism]. but, the priest gave those remarks in front of the pope and his words were reported by the vatican newspaper. that would be like [press secretary] robert gibbs making a statement in front of obama, which was also posted on the white house website — and have the white house say gibbs wasn't speaking for them.

Friday, April 02, 2010


the vatican cries "foul!" in response to withering criticism for decades of sheltering pedophiles:

the "coincidence" that passover falls in the same week as easter celebrations, said cantalamessa, a franciscan who offers reflections at vatican easter and advent services, prompted him to think about jews.

"they know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms," the preacher said.

quoting from the letter from the friend, who wasn't identified by cantalamessa, the preacher said that he was following "'with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful of the whole world.'"

"'the use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-semitism,'" cantalamessa said his friend wrote him.

pope benedict:

the vatican:


see the analogy?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

birther queen no more

msnbc — orange county dentist and lawyer orly taitz, better known as the "queen bee" of the birther movement, which challenges whether barack obama is a natural-born citizen eligible to serve as president, appeared on "countdown with keith olbermann" last night to announce the end of her more than yearlong pursuit of obama's ouster. msnbc host olbermann, among many in the press, had been relentlessly critical of taitz' unsuccessful crusade against the president, which has thus far resulted in $20,000 of legal fines against taitz.

taitz gave a soft-spoken, knowledgeable, well-reasoned and even literate mea culpa for her "quixotic pursuit" of the president and her "unjustified harassment" of everyone whom she thought was in her way or merely contradicted her. she then bluntly denounced as "bottom-feeders" all those she had been consorting with since she began her crusade in november 2008. lastly she announced that she would be turning her "defend our freedoms foundation" into a mental health clinic for right-wing extremists.

at the end of the segment, olbermann produced a giant prop check for $20,072, the sum of her legal fines and the interest accrued on them, and introduced retired major general jerry white, the president of the national infantry foundation, and judge clay d. land of georgia. taitz beamed as she offered the check to white, whose foundation was named as the intended recipient of the funds by judge land, who levied the fine against taitz for misconduct in october 2009.