Thursday, July 30, 2015

Angry at the constant jabs, Rick Perry challenges Donald Trump to a pullup contest.

Courtesy of CBS News:  

After enduring Donald Trump's barrage of insults for weeks, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the billionaire businessman to put up or shut up on Wednesday, challenging him to a pull-up contest. 

Trump, who's currently leading polls of the 2016 Republican primary, told the Daily Mail on Wednesday that Perry lacks the "energy," the "brain power," and the "toughness" to be an effective president. 

Perhaps it was that last charge that stung the most. Perry, a former Air Force captain who's worn his tough-guy image on his sleeve during a long career in politics, fired back during an appearance at the Yale Club. 

"Let's get a pull-up bar out there and let's see who can do the most pull-ups," Perry said, inciting a round of laughter and applause from the audience.

Okay for the record I would not want to contribute to either man's campaign, but having said that I would be willing to pay to see this. 

For one thing I am almost positive that Trump could not even begin to lift his bulk off of the ground, and if he did he would undoubtedly shit himself with the effort.

After all the man rode an escalator down to announce his intention of running for president.

Down, not up, down.

Okay I have to say that I am REALLY looking forward to his first debate next week.

Though sadly it appears that currently Rick Perry is not quite making the cut.

Ted Nugent calls the story of Cecil the lion a "big lie" and says people who are upset about it are "stupid."

Courtesy of the Nugent's Facebook page:

 For those having trouble reading: 

 "the whole story is a lie. It was a wild lion from a "park" where hunting is legal & ESSENTIAL beyond the park borders. all animals reproduce every year & would run out of a room/food to live w/o hunting. I will write a full piece on this joke asap. God are people stupid."

Later on the page Nugent is asked about Jimmy Kimmel's emotional response to the killing and he responds by calling him a "lying punk."

What a sweetheart. 

Ahh, leave it to Ted "shitty pants" Nugent to embody the conservative Id when it comes to how to treat other creatures on the planet.

You know it seems to me that since Ted Nugent once got into trouble for illegally killing a black bear up here in Alaska, that perhaps he may not be the best person to weigh in on the legality vs illegality of killing this lion.

Just saying.

Planned Parenthood asks for a study of fetal tissue research by the federal government. You know, because they have so much to hide.

Courtesy of Townhall:

Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government's top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine. 

Planned Parenthood's request to the National Institutes of Health came as Senate Republicans pressed their fight to bar the organization from receiving federal aid. Likely opposition from at least one GOP senator highlighted the long odds the GOP will face in a Senate showdown vote expected early next week. 

Planned Parenthood, which gets more than $500 million of its $1.3 billion annual budget from federal and state programs, has been under fire since the release of videos showing some of its officials discussing how they obtain organs from aborted fetuses for research. The videos were furtively recorded by an anti-abortion group. 

"The inflammatory and misleading videos have pushed this issue into the national spotlight," said the letter from Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. "And a thoughtful, careful review by leading medical and ethical experts could do a lot to help the public and policymakers think through this issue and reach informed conclusions."

You know it would seem that if you were actually doing something illegal of immoral that you REALLY would not want the Feds looking into it. 

So the fact that Planned Parenthood is requesting this should send a message to those making these outlandish accusations. But it won't of course because ideology is stronger than facts.

By the way if you want to visit the Planned Parenthood website today, don't bother because it has been hacked.

New study reveals that simply having a gun does NOT make you safer.

Courtesy of the Washington Post: 

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, the National Rifle Association proposed putting more guns in schools. After a racist shot up a Charleston prayer group, an NRA board member argued for more guns in church. And now predictably, politicians and gun rights advocates are calling for guns in movie theaters after a loner killed two people at a theater in Louisiana. 

The notion that more guns are always the solution to gun crime is taken seriously in this country. But the research shows that more guns lead to more gun homicides -- not less. And that guns are rarely used in self-defense. 

Now a new study from researchers at Mount St. Mary's University sheds some light on why people don't use guns in self-defense very often. As it turns out, knowing when and how to apply lethal force in a potentially life-or-death situation is really difficult. The study was commissioned by the National Gun Victims Action Council, an advocacy group devoted to enacting "sensible gun laws" that "find common ground between legal gun owners and non-gun owners that minimizes gun violence in our culture." 

The study found that proper training and education are key to successfully using a firearm in self-defense: "carrying a gun in public does not provide self-defense unless the carrier is properly trained and maintains their skill level," the authors wrote in a statement.

I think this study only reinforces what should be an obvious recognition that guns are not a magical charm which provides protection simply by having it in your possession.

I would further argue that even trips to the shooting range will not adequately prepare a person to use a gun in a real life situation where they are frightened and under duress.

As we have seen even police officers quite often miss their target when firing at an assailant, fail to access their guns when needed, and panic when fired upon.

Once again in my opinion guns are one of the worst things to rely on for personal protection.

Sarah Palin appears on Fox News to claim that Planned Parenthood targets minority women. Cannot explain why they would do that however.

Okay so Palin's anti-Planned Parenthood rants have apparently garnered enough attention that Fox News decided to have her back on the network after dropping her last month.

This time she was forced to appear opposite Bill O'Reilly who is not exactly her biggest supporter over on Fox.

She quickly reinforces the reason for his disdain.

O'Reilly starts off by simply asking Palin what her central post is with her Facebook post. Seems simple enough right?


 “This is kind of symbolic of our political correctness absurdity, and the absurdity of some person's priorities, when they are concerned more about a symbol that had represented the negatives many years ago, compared to today, thousands and thousands of babies, obviously, that we’ve seen in the news over and over with Planned Parenthood being butchered, and having their baby parts sold, that people, in some parts, are paying a whole lot more attention to the flag controversy than they are about what Planned Parenthood — their barbaric practices are.” 

At this point O'Reilly asks why she "zeroed in on black babies?"

"Because the Confederate flag, obviously, has been such a focal point for much of society right now, that that was an easy comparison. Again, this outrage over the flag, and then, especially in South Carolina, that was taken care of, they took down the flag. But where is more of the outcry about what is actually going on with innocent human life, and how can civilized society even accept what’s going on?” 

Here Billo interrupts Palin and asserts that the story of Cecil the lion is garnering more outrage than than the Right's trumped up lies about Planned Parenthood.

Once gain O'Reilly tries to get Palin to explain where she got her 90,000 black babies killed figure and why she thinks Planned Parenthood is targeting minorities, and asks her if she thinks it might be due to poverty.

Palin does not recognize a lifeline when it is thrown to her however.  

“No I do not. Planned Parenthood is in the business of finding targets. So, they may attract those who would be, perhaps disadvantaged in some ways, and be made to believe that abortion is their only option. That is why, Bill, 80% of Planned Parenthood shops are set up in minority neighborhoods. It’s tragic that they would make anybody, a minority even, feel that they’re not capable enough, and they’re not able, and supported enough to go through…"

Here O'Reilly tries to help Palin again with clarification, but she is having none of it.

"I'm going to finish my point....that they can go through 40 weeks of a pregnancy in order to give their child life, that it is not impossible. It’s less than ideal in many circumstances, but it’s not impossible, to carry that baby, give it life, and then you’re still going to school, you’re still working, you’re still raising other children. For them to make the people feel — women feel that they’re not capable of doing that, is absolutely atrocious.” 

Again O'reilly attempts to pin Palin down on why she thinks Planned Parenthood is "targeting" minority women. Clearly he is trying to get her back to her Facebook talking points about Margaret Sanger and her assertion that Planned Parenthood is engaged in some sort ethnic cleansing under the guise of providing women's health services.

But sine Palin didn't actually write that she cannot remember what the post says.

“As I said they are in there trying to make these minority women fill that they’re not capable of giving their child life. And then allowing the spirit of adoption or good foster care or more support.” 

Again O'Reilly interrupts her and keeps asking her why they would do that?

“They’re doing that because they have too many people deceived. They have leaders in some of these communities, including our president, who would say, 'God bless you, Planned Parenthood. I’m there fighting with you,’ people deceived to make it sound like, oh, my goodness, an innocent human life is disposable.” 

Again O'Reilly says he just wants to know if Palin believes that Planned Parenthood has "a motivation to target  minority women? (Listen to the exasperation in his voice at this point.)

“Planned Parenthood is a bogus business. They’re in it to make money. They are in it to profit, and they have profit. And that’s why our tax dollars should not go to Planned Parenthood. They’re not needed, and they’re not — it’s certainly not ethical for our tax dollars to go there.”

And that is where the interview ends.

So here let me answer the question that Palin struggled so hard not to answer.

The reason that so many Planned Parenthood clinics are in less affluent neighborhoods is because they offer health care services that poor women cannot typically afford to pay for while wealthier women can and do.

And Planned Parenthood does NOT "target" minority women, they offer information on reproduction, birth control products, testing for STD's, cancer screenings, and even tubal ligations and vasectomies. And they offer those services to ALL ethnicities who walk through their doors.

I think this interview made it clear why Palin no longer has a contract with Fox News as a paid contributor.

Here she was brought on to discuss a Facebook post that she supposedly wrote, and she could not even do that adequately.

(By the way there is now another ghostwritten post on her Facebook page where O'Reilly's question about why Planned Parenthood "targets" minorities is finally answered. And yes it is as incredibly hateful and completely false as you would expect it to be.)

"I didn't do nothing man!" Video captures the murder of Sam DuBose at the hands of the University of Cincinnati police. (NSFW.)

Courtesy of WCPO: 

UC police officer Ray Tensing's body camera video clearly shows that he committed "murder" when he shot and killed an unarmed black motorist at a traffic stop, prosecutor Joe Deters said Wednesday. 

The shocking video shows Tensing grab the outside door latch on 43-year-old Sam DuBose's car after DuBose couldn't produce a driver's license. 

Tensing tells DuBose to take his seat belt off. 

As Tensing pulls the door open a few inches, DuBose pulls it close and says, "I didn't do nothing, man." 

As DuBose turns the key and revs the engine, Tensing pulls his gun, shouts, "Stop! Stop!" and shoots DuBose in the head through the open window. 

Showing the video publicly for the first time, Deters called it an "asinine, senseless shooting," and announced that a grand jury had indicted Tensing for murder.

I've watched this video about three times now, and there is really no other way to interpret other than a police officer becoming upset with a non-compliant driver and then firing at his head to keep him from "getting away."

But there was no place for that young man to go. The officer had his name, had his license plate number, and there were other police on the scene.

I don't even think Fox News could spin this in the cop's favor.

Personally I hope they throw the book at this cop, and then use this video as a training tool for rookie cops to teach them what NOT to do.

The side effects of Obamacare are finally revealed, and they're all positive.

Courtesy of CNBC: 

Obamacare improved key health-care measurements for millions of Americans, reversing a troubling trend, a new study strongly suggests. 

The study found marked gains in the number of people with insurance—as other research has repeatedly confirmed—as well as improved access to doctors and medications, affordable health care and good health status after implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

But the research published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association also noted that the the gains in health coverage and access to care for low-income adults were particularly striking in states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA to include more poor people. 

The improvements nationwide came after all six measures used in the study "showed worsening trends in the 2012-13 period, particularly between March 2013 and September 2013," according to the study, which looked at the experiences of about 500,000 adults age 18 to 64. 

All but one of those measures—days limited by poor health—improved significantly after Obamacare plans went on sale on government-run exchanges in October 2013...

Well so much for the GOP talking points of 2010 and 2012.

I guess in 2016 they will have to focus on Hillary Clinton's e-mails, defunding Planned Parenthood, and arguing that the Iran nuclear deal is going to lead to World War 3.

And trust me I am not being facetious, they will indeed focus on all three of those, and they are just as full of shit as the claim that Obamacare would make health care worse in this country.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stars come out in support of Iran nuclear deal.

Courtesy of The Guardian: 

The actors Morgan Freeman, Jack Black and Natasha Lyonne have leant their support to Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. 

 The stars feature in a new video designed to help persuade legislators to get the agreement through Congress when it goes to the vote in September. Alongside them are an eclectic mix of camera-friendly experts including ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame, Queen Noor of Jordan and retired US Ambassador Thomas R Pickering, who urge Americans to support the agreement lest they wind up “super dead”.

Okay well Morgan Freeman played the only god that I kind of believed in so  if he says it's a good deal than who am I to argue?

Oh and there is also support from most American Jews, 100 former American Ambassadors, and 60 national security leaders.

But who needs them, when you have Morgan "freaking" Freeman?

Sarah Palin is now accusing Planned Parenthood of targeting black women. Oh yeah, that should work.

Courtesy of Harriet Tugjob's Facebook page:

#BlackLivesMatter… Even in the Womb 

Planned Parenthood got caught. They're shocked that we're shocked at what is finally revealed. Dismembering babies, delivering them dead, and bartering the sale of baby body parts. 

Video records Planned Parenthood officials nibbling salad, sipping fruit of the vine, nonchalantly pondering where to spend their profits. More wine? Fast cars? These are horrifying videos, with many more to come, one recorded over a nice meal with a doctor sipping, explaining snipping, and cutting, and butchering babies so they can harvest the beating heart that was just snuffed out, the lungs, the liver... all in the most profitable manner. Just another day at the office. 

A civilized nation does not tolerate this. Even friends saying they may still be pro-choice are sickened by the abortion industry’s revelations. As one friend just emailed me, "This is not what we signed up for when told abortion would be safe, legal, and rare. I can not believe this is happening, selling baby parts." 

Can you imagine the outrage on the Left if these were puppy parts?

Okay well first off is anybody else tired of the puppy parts argument?

And secondly nobody believes that Palin has any pro-choice friends.  Anybody intelligent enough to understand the importance of women's reproductive rights would be too smart to ever befriend Sarah Palin.

This post is quite long, and chock full of ghostwritten mooseshit.

At one point Palin again attacks Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger as a racist, which we refuted back in May.

And then goes on to say this: 

Minority women are Planned Parenthood targets, and many want to give their child life. They need help doing so. Abortion deeply hurts the mothers and fathers involved.

Okay people do realize that women come to Planned Parenthood of their own volition right?

I mean it is not like PP is breaking into the homes of minority women and spiriting them away to have abortions against their will or anything.

And as for abortion "deeply hurting women" well that's just bullshit.

Palin is simply attempting to hijack the Black Lives Matter movement to further her own agenda here.

However Sarah Palin's racism has been well documented in several news articles and well researched books, so her attempts to re-imagine herself as some altruistic warrior for civil rights is simply not going to work. 

Besides, after you use an image like this on your Facebook page, that is a door that even your god will not be able to kick open for you lady.

P.S. It looks like Palin's pandering to the anti-choice crowd has finally earned her a return appearance on Fox News.

Wow, with Bill O'Reilly even. I wonder if he left his kid gloves at home?

Minnesota dentist illegally kills beloved lion in Zimbabwe, easily worst decision of his life. Update!

Final photograph of Cecil the lion.
Courtesy of Twin 

A Minnesota dentist and avid big-game hunter said he regrets killing a beloved lion in Zimbabwe and will cooperate with any criminal investigation. 

Walter J. Palmer, an Eden Prairie man with a Bloomington dental practice, came under fire from animal lovers after being identified as the man who shot Cecil, a well-known lion who roamed a Zimbabwe national park. He has become the target of threats and social media backlash against both himself and his business. 

During a nighttime hunt in early July, the hunting team tied a dead animal to a car, luring the lion out of Hwange National Park, said Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. 

Palmer, 55, used a bow and arrow to shoot the lion on private land. Tracking data from the lion's GPS collar show it survived for about 40 hours before it was shot and killed with a rifle, according to according to The Independent, a London newspaper.

After finding and killing Cecil, they then cut off his head and skinned him, leaving his carcass behind to rot.

Since the killing social media outrage has virtually driven Palmer out of business, at least temporarily:

The backlash from animal lovers around the world has been so strong that the dentist’s website has shut down and his office is shuttered.

So manly, don't you think?

Palmer did say this in his defense: 

In a statement, Palmer said “I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt… I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion”

"An activity that I love?" Interesting way of saying I like to murder creatures with no way of fighting back, just for sport.

However his actions will have even deadlier consequences, as Cecil was the alpha male of his pride meaning that one of the younger male lions will soon take his place and kill all of his cubs in order to establish dominance.

Nature is cruel, but clearly not nearly as cruel as a dentist from Minnesota.

P.S. Here was Jimmy Kimmel's take.  (I you'll notice toward the end Kimmel gets very emotional and chokes up a little.)

Update: Couldn't resist could she?

"I feel the earth move under my feet." Yesterday's earthquake in Alaska was a doozy.

Good Friday earthquake of 1964.
Courtesy of Alaska Dispatch News:

 A 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit south of Mount Iliamna around 6:35 p.m. Tuesday rattled Alaska from Kodiak to Fairbanks, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. 

The quake struck roughly 70 miles below the Earth’s surface across Cook Inlet from Homer, said Michael West, a seismologist at the Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The epicenter was about 144 miles southwest of Anchorage. 

“It’s deep -- that’s important,” he said. “That means the shaking was not as strong, but spread widely.” 

Linda Hull of Clam Gulch, about 65 miles away from the earthquake’s epicenter, said she heard a very low rumble before a slow rolling motion started. That lasted for several seconds before she felt a jolt. 

“Pictures didn’t fall off the walls, but they are all crooked,” she said after the quake. Glass figurines fell off her shelves, but didn’t break. “Light fixtures were still swaying for about three minutes after the shock hit,” she said.

So let me first say that I am certainly not a neophyte when it comes to earthquakes. Having lived in Alaska my entire life I have felt more than my fair share.

However this one yesterday was really something else.

My grandmother once described the 64 earthquake as feeling like the ground had gone liquid, and that she could barely stand up. That was what yesterday's earthquake felt like to me.

The ground beneath my feet started to sway so aggressively that it even caused my office chair to roll with me in it, which was fairly disconcerting.

I currently live only about half a mile or so from where my other grandmother lived during the Good Friday earthquake, and her house developed a crack in the foundation that could never be properly repaired, so yeah yesterday's quake most definitely got my attention.

They have been predicting another huge earthquake up here for years, ever since the last one actually, but I think yesterday was the first time that I ever took that threat very seriously.

Having lost their lucrative reality TV show the Duggars are now reduced to begging for donations on YouTube.

Courtesy of Radar Online: 

Thanks to their former lucrative TLC contracts, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are reportedly millionaires. 

However, now that the network has canceled the family’s reality show, 19 Kids And Counting, following disgraced son Josh’s sex abuse scandal, the shameless parents and their ultra-Christian brood are begging fans for financial support, RadarOnline can reveal. 

On the conservative clan’s official YouTube page, Duggar Studios, the family asks for supporters to contribute funds so the kids can create “fresh quality content” on their video site. 

“Every contribution is helpful, big or small,” they claim.

Begging for money in exchange for low quality videos?

Now where have I seen that before?

Well you know what they say, birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and grifters gotta grift.

So guess who has been having secret meetings with the President.

Courtesy of the New York Times: 

President Obama has submitted himself for a grilling on the set of “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart three times. But on at least two occasions, Mr. Obama also secretly met with the comedian on his own imposing turf. 

In 2011 and again in 2014, Mr. Stewart came to Washington for coffee with the president, entering the White House grounds at the entrance where the public tours begin. He shook hands with several tourists and was escorted to the Oval Office for his one-on-one sit down with the commander in chief. 

He joked in 2011 to his escort that he felt like he was being called to the principal’s office. 

The two meetings — recorded in the official White House visitor log — were first noted this week by Politico. Current and former White House officials confirmed the visits, describing them as efforts by the president and his communications team to tap into Mr. Stewart’s influence with younger voters. 

“Jon Stewart was a key influencer for millennials,” said Dag Vega, who worked for several years at the White House developing relationships with media figures. “They relied on him for an honest take on the news, and the president and senior staff know that.”

According to source the President was the one to ask for the meetings, which in my opinion was smart on his part.

Of course talking to Jon Stewart and picking his brain about how to reach groups that are traditionally hard to engage, is an intelligent thing for the President to do. Just like he talks to military experts before deciding on actions in potential war zones, economists when he works on getting people back to work, and experts on Iran before helping to broker that nuclear deal.

Personally knowing that these two engaged in private conversations together at the White House, kind of makes me appreciate both of them just a little bit more.

Actually I now hope that Obama was also secretly meeting with Rachel Maddow to talk media strategies, Neil deGrassse Tyson to discuss science, and Warren Buffet to talk about job growth as well.

P.S. Just for fun here is a rare look at Stewart's Q and A before the show. 

Monday the Boy Scouts officially decided to stop discriminating against gay scout leaders, however they allow church affiliated scout troops to continue hating "teh gays." Still not good enough for the Mormons though.

Another idiot who equates homosexuality with pedophilia. Not true.
Courtesy of The New York Times: 

The Boy Scouts of America on Monday ended its ban on openly gay adult leaders. 

But the new policy allows church-sponsored units to choose local unit leaders who share their precepts, even if that means restricting such positions to heterosexual men. 

Well that is very good news indeed!

Now the Boys Scouts can finally join the21st Century and start treating people like people instead of focusing on their sexuality.   

Wait, there's a catch isn't there?

Despite this compromise, the Mormon Church said it might leave the organization anyway. Its stance surprised many and raised questions about whether other conservative sponsors, including the Roman Catholic Church, might follow suit. 

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote,” said a statement issued by the church moments after the Scouts announced the new policy. “When the leadership of the church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with scouting will need to be examined.” 

Dammit! What is with the Mormons and their fear of  all things non-heterosexual?

Wait didn't they say earlier that they would go along with this decision? 

Only two weeks ago, the Mormon Church hinted that it could remain in the fold so long as its units could pick their own leaders.

Gee, the Mormons lied, how unpredictable.

Well I guess we can look forward to another hundred or so Mormons making a mass exodus from the church in the near future.

One Colorado Republican lawmaker was so outraged by this change that he has suggested that gay scout leaders should be "drowned in the depths of the sea."

Seems a bit severe, don't you think?

Personally I think the Boy Scout charters should be restricted to secular sponsors and never be associated with any religious institutions. But hey that's just me.