Monday Reads

Good Morning!

It’s still the silly season. This means you really shouldn’t trust anything coming out of the beltway.  Still, political junkies can’t help watching. At least I could find a few signs that some  of the crazier fads of the last few years might go the way of the dodo.  If we’re really lucky, we’ll be rid of the Tea Party and its adherents shortly.

Whither the Tea Party?

A major force in the 2010 midterm elections, the movement has stalled in public popularity, its support well below a majority and decidedly lukewarm. And Americans by a broad 23-point margin say the more they hear about the Tea Party movement, the less they like it, rather than liking it more.

That negative buzz has worsened from a 9-point gap in an ABC News/Washington Post poll as the movement was gathering speed two years ago. And its avenues for resurgence may be limited: Interest in learning more about Tea Party is down 7 points from spring 2010.

This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that six in 10 Americans aren’t particularly interested in additional information about the Tea Party, and 41 percent aren’t interested “at all.” Thirty-nine percent have at least some interest, but just 9 percent are very interested. Among those with interest, moreover, more than six in 10 already support it.

All told, 41 percent of Americans identify themselves as supporters of the movement, compared with a high of 47 percent last September. Forty-five percent oppose it; 14 percent have no opinion. Support has dropped disproportionately among young adults in that period, down 20 points from 51 percent to 31 percent.

While overall support is roughly balanced with overall opposition, “strong” opponents outnumber strong supporters by 2-1. But perhaps most damaging is the buzz: Fifty percent of Americans say the more they hear about the Tea Party, the less they like it; just 27 percent say they like it more. That compares with a much closer (albeit still negative) 43-34 percent split on this question in April 2010.

These views have grown more negative particularly among young adults, seniors, women, moderates and people in the $50,000 to $100,000 income range, all with 10- to 17-point increases in “like it less” responses as they hear more about the Tea Party movement.

Whacky Michelle Bachmann has been one of my favorite punching bags.  Here’s a new one from her very sick mind: “Anti-Abortion Bachmann Says Women Need To Make Their Own Decisions About Their Bodies”. Doesn’t the state of Minnesota have enough straight jackets to deal with this menace?  Bachmann is closely aligned with the Tea Party too.  I wonder if there is a connection? Oh, and she’s  still crazy after all this year and she’s conveniently forgetting that she and her party want to take over every uterus in the country.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) argued that women should be allowed to make choices over their own bodies, while blasting Obamacare on Meet The Press. Without noting the irony of the GOP war on women targeting Planned Parenthood, abortion services, and contraception coverage, Bachmann said women need to be allowed control over their own bodies:

BACHMANN: What we want is women to be able to make their own choices […] We want women to make their own choices in healthcare. You see that’s the lie that happens under Obamacare. The President of the United States effectively becomes a health care dictator. Women don’t need anyone to tell them what to do on health care. We want women to have their own choices, their own money, that way they can make their own choices for the future of their own bodies.

Have you been following Roseanne Barr on Twitter?  She’s running for President on the Green Ticket and is taking on big banks and Wall Street.  I love third party candidates and have been following both Roseanne and Buddy Roehmer.  They have strikingly similar concerns.

Comedian Roseanne Barr, running for president as a Green Party candidate, isn’t too keen on her early fundraising prospects.

“I admit I need help,” Barr told POLITICO via Twitter.

And with good reason: Since formally launching her bid in early February, Barr raised just $31,500 through March 31, federal disclosures out today show.

Of that, $25,000 came from a loan Barr made to her campaign on March 1.

“FEC rules limit what one can contribute to one’s own campaign, but staff needs to be paid,” Barr explained.

Just one person — Eric Weinrib of Brooklyn, N.Y., who gave $2,500 and listed his occupation as “unemployed” — made a cash donation of more than the itemized reporting threshold of $200.

Most of Barr’s expenditures have funded accounting and legal services, a staffer and pedestrian office supplies, such as a Hewlett-Packard laptop computer and bank checks.

Barr has been an outspoken advocate for the Occupy Wall Street movement and explains her interest in Green Party politics as a rejection of both Republicans and Democrats.

“They both suck and they’re both a bunch of criminals,” Barr said.

I’d just like to put in a word for Tigers as an alum of the LSU system and a mother of an LSU alum and a current LSU student.  Specifically, we should start focusing on saving Tigers of all sorts. We should save all tigers including Tony the Tiger at the Truck stop between Baton Rouge and Lafayette.  Here’s some links to find out about this gorgeous cat and its endangered status.

The tiger population has plunged 95% in the last century and there are perhaps just over 3,000 remaining on the entire planet. Two stories are presented in the video below.

First, there is Tony the Tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Tony is “privately owned” and caged for a commercial venture. Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, advocates rescuing Tony from lifetime captivity. Michael Sandlin, President of Tiger Truck Stop, counters, “…every American should have the right to own an animal of their choice”.

Second, there is the Buddhist Tiger Temple in Thailand, Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua Temple on the River Kwai, which cages not only tigers but other animals for tourists. Jane Garrison, an animal welfare advocate, describes tourists having their photo taken with drugged tigers. Almost one hundred tigers are kept in “tiny, barren cages” with inadequate provision (water, food, medical). Garrison maintains these tigers are part of the illegal “tiger parts” trade and it is a “horrific scene”. Tourists, by visiting the Tiger Temple, are in effect supporting a ‘lifetime of torture” for these caged tigers. The Thailand Department of National Parks says they have carried out a thorough investigation and found no evidence of involvement in illicit trade or maltreatment of the tigers. Garrison counters that Care for the Wild (CWI) says up to 75 tigers have “disappeared” from the facility and the Tiger Temple keeps renaming the tigers the same name.

Tigers are amazing big cats. Here’s some links to organizations committed to saving the species.

Free Tony the Tiger! (Blog)
Save Tigers Now (WWF)
Big Cat Rescue (BCR)
Care for the Wild (CWI)
Exploiting the Tiger (Care For the Wild) pdf download

Click on the Tiger to go to Sarasota Tigers: a big cat habitat on the Gulf Coast.

The Wall Street Journal has been running op-eds that have been really misogynistic.  They’ve been on the attack for about 2 weeks now.  They either say that the war on women is fake or being “won” by the Republican Party.  I’ve linked to them recently even though I hate to quote what they say.  The WSJ  must really take that 20 point gender gap seriously because its op ed page is nonstop “pro-women”.    Here’s the Mahablog with a retort.

The Wall Street Journal wants us to know that Republicans can win the War Against Women. Seriously. I like this headline so much I screen captured it before some dweeb at WSJ wakes up and realizes what it says

It seems they’re riding the “marriage tax” train again.  It’s the same old same old.  Go check the best of the War on Women series at the link and become very annoyed.  But, only do it after you’ve had adequate coffee and gathered up a pillow or two to punch.

So, that’s my suggestions this morning.  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


38 Comments on “Monday Reads”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Bestill my heart – cats, big cats, TIGERS! YEAH! Big Cat Rescue is a great (no pun intended) group. Baskin’s evolution from a wealthy keeper of exotics to an advocate for big cats in the pet trade is amazing. I’d recommend checking them out on youtube, especially the pumpkin videos, when they give the cats pumpkins to play with. It will make you smile, and in these times, we need all the smiles we can get. And Jane Garrison is the woman who spearheaded the rescue of the dogs/cats left behind during Katrina. ARNO, a fantastic rescue group still operating in NOLA was started by Jane. Here’s a link: http://www.animalrescueneworleans.org/

    I’ve enjoyed Buddy Roehmer each of the few times I’ve seen him on TV or heard him on the radio. His primary issue is campaign finance reform, which IMHO, is the bedrock of taking back our country for the majority of Americans. I haven’t seen his “crazy” side, if he has one. Kat could probably speak to that. Barr, OTOH, flies her crazy like a flag most of the time. Maybe she was nuts before she got money, but it became obvious once she got $$$.

    Been meaning to share the story of the 1000 mile trek through Florida, from south to north. It’s the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, trying to find a route for Florida’s remaining wildlife (black bear, Florida panther, bobcat and others) to find food, mates and a territory of their own. NPR stations across the state have been reporting their progress weekly: http://www.wfit.org/term/florida-wildlife-corridor-expedition?page=3 or here: http://www.floridawildlifecorridor.org/about-expedition/

    Anyone suffer from migraines? Apparently women are more likely than men to suffer from these debilitating IEDs going off in our heads. NPR story this morning: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/04/16/150525391/why-women-suffer-more-migraines-than-men I remember having one so bad on the night of the Academy Awards many years ago that a friend, on the phone, mentioned she thought Tom Hanks would win for best actor and I had no idea who Tom Hanks was. Tom Hanks? I didn’t even recognize him when he appeared on the TV screen. It nearly caused me to flip out. Whoever invented Excedrin Migraine should rule the world, IMHO.

    And, again, Kat – fantabulous post.

    • Yup, my migraines are nasty sons of bitches…I’ll have to check out that link.

    • dakinikat says:

      I wasn’t around during much of the Buddy Roehmer term but as far as governors go, he was not a crook and not as whacky as the bunch we’ve gotten now. I actually like him a lot even though he passed a few things that I didn’t support. I don’t support any restrictions on abortions, as an example. I think that medical care should be between people and their doctors and the state shouldn’t be involved at all.

  2. Great post Dak, the stuff about WSJ and Bachmann was interesting, why is it the nuts never realize the irony when they open their mouths?

    Look at this: U.S. Senate is considering a TMI law

    Should Congress be in the business of deciding what people can share through social media? That is the question considered at one of only three hearings so far by the Senate Judiciary Privacy Subcommittee. The three senators at the hearing each suggested that without legal restrictions, people might over-share information about what streaming videos they watch online. That is, the senators are worried about TMI – too much information.

    Now comes a TMI law (which seems strange since the GOP is so fucking noisy about a woman’s menstrual cycle) it is ridiculous…

  3. Oh, btw…it is a new season on South Park, and the past few episodes this year just haven’t been up to par…imho. But, this weeks is awesome…

    Butterballs (Season 16, Episode 5) – Full Episode Player – South Park Studios

    Stan wants to raise awareness about the dangers of bullying by shooting a big dance video. Will he able to handle the pressure that goes along with the notoriety of taking on such a worthy cause?

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    You have to love Michele Bachmann. She never ceases to amaze.

    Even when she has no idea of what she is talking about, she delivers it with such conviction.

    And now that Ann Romney has become the “unofficial nominee” as the GOP standard bearer, we can set aside any qualms we may have had about the “vacancy” that is her husband.

    The GOP women are the Stepford Wives reincarnated. Standing behind a platform that promises to turn back the clock for women’s gains, they support and defend policies that are antithetical to women at large.

    Someone has to give me one good reason why Mitt Romney deserves one vote other than the fact that he is not Obama.

    I can’t stand Obama either, try as I might, but come on! Mitt Romney?

    One good reason. I’ll wait.

    • dakinikat says:

      I think what we’ve seen coming out of local universities as they study the impact of the BP oil spill should have us all concerned. I limit my Gulf Seafood intake now and I only buy it from Rouse’s because I know they source their seafood carefully. I don’t buy gulf seafood from any of the chain stores and I don’t eat it at restaurants any more. All you have to do is look at the local research on dead dolphins, the floor of the Gulf, etc. I won’t even put my big toe in the Gulf any more. I’ve had a cancer (sarcoma) that is related to petroleum products. Never again. I’m convinced that it come from oil leeching into the water used to make my formula as a baby in Oklahoma. I had it at 35 and that’s about how long it takes to appear in people that usually work in the oil industry.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        That is disturbing, Kat. I know that oil is toxic but had no idea that you or others developed cancer from limited exposure to it. Although I think the personal stories should come out for all to see, hear and/or read, I wonder how many would even listen. This study shows that apparently the majority of people affected by the Macondo disaster still don’t get it. I keep flashing back to the Silkwood story & nuclear power plants. She was the only one to speak out and she was murdered. Even her co-workers told her to shut up. Fear of losing their jobs? Fear of changing their way of life? Fear of the truth? It’s the same in the coal mining industry as well.

      • peggysue22 says:

        I’ve watched several of Riki Ott’s videos. She makes no bones about it: oil spills are toxic to exposed humans and devastating for wildlife. The link below was a short piece where she spoke to the dangers of the Kalamazoo spill and the damage residents could expect. It’s sickening when you realize these corporations act with impunity–the bottom line is the only thing they care about:

        http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/09/oil_spill_expert_riki_ott_outl.html

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    Although a couple of weeks old, this is a fascinating artilce about the impact that the tsunami that also hit Fukishima had on the Midway Atoll wildlife: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/one-year-later-midway-atoll-still-taking-tally-of-tsunamis-effects.html

  6. Fannie says:

    Heard that the tea party freshmen in congress said if Romney wins, he’ll have to realize that they are the ones in charge, not Romney.

  7. RalphB says:

    Another good post by Charles Pierce. I have a bit of a quibble about his comparing this week’s attacks to Tet. I was in the middle of the Tet offensive near Quang Tri and it was a hell of a lot different from a few coordinated attacks. Still the lesson may be the same.

    There Is No Mission in Afghanistan Anymore. There Isn’t Anything. There Is Only Abject Failure. And That Alone.

    The foreigners have the watches, but the locals have the time.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      It was a foregone conclusion in Afghanistan once the Bushies decided to wage war. No one in history has won a war in Afghanistan. Targeted strikes/special forces – that would have been wiser & IMHO more successful all the way around. Killing civilians – accidentally or on purpose doesn’t make them want to be our “friends.”

      • RalphB says:

        Frankly, we needed to flood the zone with SpecOps troops, take out Bin Laden and AQ as best we could, then turn right around and come home. We would have won respect from everybody concerned if we had done that and it would have ended in a few months at most.

  8. Just an update: Rortybomb blog has changed is url and rss feed. I have updated the link on our site, but if you follow the blog with a rss feed you need to change it. Here is the new website link: Next New Deal

  9. northwestrain says:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_04/the_real_war_on_moms_has_a_dea036688.php

    The real war on moms has a mortality rate. by Sara Mead

    We’ve all seen the stats on the high death rate of American moms — maternal mortality. Way out of line with other “developed” nations. Seems like if we look at the stats — that this war is real. The US according to the stats is really a third world country and going downhill fast.

  10. Fannie says:

    No suprises here: Tea Party demogrpahics: white, republican, older male with Money

    http://digitaljournal.com/article/289821