Friday Reads

victorian girl

Good

Morning!

I really don’t intend this to be a post about Republican crazy but we’re going to start out with that subject.  Let’s hope this post morphs into something else by the time I’m done.

Apparently it took a female Republican to come up with the most vicious way to punish women who had the audacity to get themselves raped.

Wednesday, state representative Cathrynn Brown of New Mexico introduced a bill whose sheer audacity makes Todd Akins look as harmless as an ill-informed teenager groping his way through puberty.

The proposed legislation, House Bill 206, would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion after being raped because the fetus is evidence of the crime. A women who does choose to have an abortion would be charged with the third-degree felony of “tampering with evidence,” which carries up to a three year prison sentence in New Mexico.

As the bill states:

“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

In other words, Brown just said to rape victims: give birth to this baby or you’ll go to jail.

Crazy Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says the “GOP is a populist party’ and is the party of the middle class.  Whoa, something in that exorcism must be causing him to have some kind of flash back.  Here’s Tiger Beat on the Potomac:

“We must quit ‘big,’” he said. “We are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes or big anything. We must not be the party that simply protects the well off so they can keep their toys … We are the party whose ideas will help the middle class, and help more folks join the middle class.”

He called repeatedly for a reorienting of the party’s focus from the Beltway to state capitols.

“We believe in planting the seeds of growth in the fertile soil of your economy, where you live, where you work, invest, and dream, not in the barren concrete of Washington,” he said. “If it’s worth doing, block grant it to the states. If it’s something you don’t trust the states to do, then maybe Washington shouldn’t do it at all. We believe solving problems closer to home should always be our first, not last, option.”

Well, he did explain one of the ways he’s made everything worse down here along with that call out to states being able to do what ever they want which sounds remarkably like returning reinstating Jim Crow and expanding Jane Crow.

The Louisiana governor suggested “re-thinking nearly every social program in Washington” in a speech to members of the Republican National Committee gathered here.

“If any rational human being were to create our government anew, today, from a blank piece of paper – we would have about one fourth of the buildings we have in Washington and about half of the government workers,” he said, according to a copy of the speech obtained in advance by POLITICO. “We would replace most of its bureaucracy with a handful of good websites.”

I’ve been caught in one of his website hells as well as the result of his passion for getting rid of every service that a government more efficiently provides. Things have been replaced by endless phone trees and decidedly unhelpful websites.  It ain’t pretty or compassionate.  It’s more like being thrown into Somalia.

So, here’s a good time to talk about some interesting facts about Dung Beetles.   This is from the National Geographic which should send out a crew to figure out if there’s any sign of intelligent life in Republican held state houses through out the country.  Dung Beetles evidently have a keener sense of the right way to go than Republicans as they navigate via the Milky Way.

Talk about star power—a new study shows that dung beetles navigate via the Milky Way, the first known species to do so in the animal kingdom.

The tiny insects can orient themselves to the bright stripe of light generated by our galaxy, and move in a line relative to it, according to recent experiments in South Africa.

“This is a complicated navigational feat—it’s quite impressive for an animal that size,” said il_fullxfull.403267997_ydu1study co-author Eric Warrant, a biologist at the University of Lund in Sweden.

Speaking of moving balls of dung around, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has wimped out on Filibuster reform.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have come to a deal on filibuster reform. The deal is this: The filibuster will not be reformed. But the way the Senate moves to consider new legislation and most nominees will be.  Here’s an explanation from Beltway Bob errrr Ezra Klein.

What will be reformjfk_relaxing_outside_mouse_pads-p144021643615572926envq7_400ed is how the Senate moves to consider new legislation, the process by which all nominees — except Cabinet-level appointments and Supreme Court nominations — are considered, and the number of times the filibuster can be used against a conference report. You can read the full text of the compromise, which was sent out to Senate offices this morning, here (pdf).

But even those reforms don’t go as far as they might. Take the changes to the motion to proceed, by which the Senate moves to consider a new bill. Reid seemed genuinely outraged over the way the process has bogged down in recent years.

“What the Republicans have done is turn the motion to proceed on its head,” he argued. “It was originally set up to allow somebody to take a look at a piece of legislation. What the Republicans have done is they simply don’t allow me to get on the bill. I want to go to it on a Monday, they make me file cloture, that takes till Tuesday. Then it takes two days for the cloture vote to ‘ripen,’ so now it’s Thursday, and even if I get 60 votes, they still have 30 hours to twiddle their thumbs, pick their nose, do whatever they want. So, I’m not on the bill by the weekend, and in reality, that means next Monday or Tuesday.”

But the deal Reid struck with McConnell doesn’t end the filibuster against the motion to proceed. Rather, it creates two new pathways for moving to a new bill. In one, the majority leader can, with the agreement of the minority leader and seven senators from each party, sidestep the filibuster when moving to a new bill. In the other, the majority leader can short-circuit the filibuster against moving to a new bill so long as he allows the minority party to offer two germane amendments. Note that in all cases, the minority can still filibuster the bill itself.

Mary Jo White has been appointed to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by President Barack Obama.

Currently the head of litigation at Debevoise & Plimpton, a private law firm, Ms White will add a female voice to Mr Obama’s second-term team, which is so far dominated by men. More importantly, the former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York has experience policing Wall Street, which fell under her jurisdiction. Mr Obama has slammed bankers for their role in the financial crisis and ensuing recession. The choice of Ms White seems to signal his resolve in getting tough with the banks.The appointment is not without controversy. Ms White has benefited from the revolving door between public service and private practice. In the aftermath of the crisis, financial firms sought the assistance of former regulators with strong ties to the government. In a scathing article on Bloomberg‘s website, Jonathan Weil notes that Ms White participated in the defence of many people and institutions at the heart of the financial collapse. In October 2008 she was cited in a critical report by the SEC’s inspector general for receiving “relevant information” that was not publicly available. Some will ask whether she is truly a poacher turned gamekeeper or simply setting herself up for another lucrative turn through the revolving door.Mr Obama, for one, is convinced he is getting the “tough-as-nails prosecutor”. By putting Ms White at the SEC, he has suggested that the agency’s priority is enforcement. But a bigger challenge may come from the sprawling Dodd-Frank legislation, and its many gaps and contradictions. Much of the next chairman’s time should be devoted to rethinking how America’s capital markets are structured, and deciding how that vision will be translated into the numerous rules the SEC is required to write under Dodd-Frank’s sloppy mandates. Ms White, in other words, has a big job ahead of her.

Well, today’s post sorta took an interesting turn didn’t it?  It went from crazy Republicans to wimpy Democrats with one little mention of the only smart and honest shit pusher in between.  Well, at least the pictures are fun to look at.

What’s on your blogging and reading list today?

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46 Comments on “Friday Reads”

  1. Delphyne says:

    Cathrynn Brown is a very cruel, hateful lunatic. I wonder if she feels that a bullet should be kept in the body as evidence after a shooting when the victim survives.

    I’ll be back to read the rest of your post later – time to brave the frigid air and take Kylie out.

    • bostonboomer says:

      If they were really worried about “evidence” they could just take samples of DNA, couldn’t they?

      • Allie says:

        omGOODNESS that is exactly what I thought – there are 400,000 rape kits that “await” analysis but can’t let that zygote slip through the cracks. Then after the baby is born I suppose it has to be subjected to lab tests to determine parenthood so the rapist can sue for visitation rights. It really paints a Kafkesque picture, doesn’t it?

    • RalphB says:

      Since New Mexico is controlled by Democrats, that bill is probably DOA and it’s a good thing.

    • hyperjoy says:

      Evidence? The medical record of the abortion could serve as evidence.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    I give up. May as well surrender now because the forces who guide this nation are totally useless.

    Harry Reid is an idiot along with the rest of those congressional legislators and statewide office holders whose service is driven by stupidity and ideology.

    You would need the ladder that carried Jack in the Beanstalk to climb out of the morass that has overtaken us for the last 12 years. We are buried beneath the weight of self interest and corporate money and “governance” is merely a joke.

    What more can be said? It is what it is. Pathetic.

  3. RSM says:

    Joan Walsh takes on Bobby Jindal:

    The Shame That Is Bobby Jindal

    Posing as the man to remake the GOP, he’s just a southern Paul Ryan, balancing budgets at the expense of the needy

    • bostonboomer says:

      I love Joan Walsh. She really laid it out in that post.

      • RalphB says:

        She spoke out against Jindal yesterday on TV, the only person who did when talking about his “big” speech to the RNC.

    • dakinikat says:

      Finally! Someone checked out what he’s done to Louisiana!

    • dakinikat says:

      Five Reasons Bobby Jindal Is Responsible For Transforming The GOP Into ‘The Stupid Party’

      http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/01/25/1495721/jindal-stupid-party/

      Another group is actually looking at his record here.

      • dakinikat says:

        ,

        1. He permits Louisiana schools to teach creationism. Thanks to Jindal’s educational voucher system in Louisiana, students will be attending private or parochial schools on the taxpayer’s dime. But those schools don’t necessarily meet the standards of the state’s public schools, and may teach students creationism instead of standard science curricula.

        2. He allows state employees to be fired for being gay. During his first few months as governor, Jindal decided not to renew an anti-discrimination executive order protecting LGBT employees who work for the state. Jindal has also said that same sex marriage opens up a path for courts to overturn the Second Amendment.

        3. He has signed bills to intimidate women seeking abortions. Jindal compared women who have gotten abortions to criminals. But that unpalatable sentiment also came with a policy change — he signed a bill that requires all abortion clinics to post intimidating messages in their waiting rooms, and establishes a website that points women to crisis pregnancy centers instead of abortion-providing facilities. Jindal also signed a measure creating a 24-hour waiting period between a woman’s mandatory ultrasound and the date of her abortion.

        4. He seeks to dramatically cut taxes for the wealthy, increase taxes for everyone else. Jindal’s latest tax proposal would raise taxes for 80 percent of Louisianians. The poorest 20 percent — with an average income of $12,000 — would face substantial tax increases, while those in the top one percent would on average get a tax cut of $25,423.

        5. He refuses to provide health care for Louisiana’s poorest. Louisiana has the third highest uninsured rate in the country. Twenty percent of residents lack insurance of any kind. But as one of the governors vehemently opposed to Obamacare, Jindal turned down the Medicaid expansion offered under the law, ignoring the fact that it would drastically lower the numbers of uninsured and ultimately save the state money on emergency care.

    • dakinikat says:

      Charles Johnson ‏@Green_Footballs

      Creationist Governor Bobby Jindal is Calling Other People “Stupid” Again http://lgf.bz/XFAzQ0

      Anti-science right wing governor apparently lacks a mirror

      But I have to admit, Jindal has huge brass cojones to call out the GOP for being “stupid” — when he has done more than any other Republican governor to legitimize the teaching of creationism, climate change denial, and all manner of religious right pseudo-science in Louisiana.

      For one example out of many, a religious school funded by Jindal’s voucher program teaches that evolution is disproved by the existence of the Loch Ness Monster.

      I don’t know, Bobby; that sounds pretty freaking stupid to me. However, I fully expect the media to applaud Jindal for this deceptive, self-promoting hooey.

    • dakinikat says:

      Kevin Drum at Mojo

      The most interesting thing isn’t what Kevin Drum wrote (as usual) but what’s in the comments.

      http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/bobby-jindal-running-president-he-might-win?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

    • dakinikat says:

      http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_01/stupid_is_as_stupid_does042630.php

      Saying “bizarre and offensive” things can often be just a matter of poorly articulating bizarre and offensive policies. And if they are so bizarre and offensive that they can’t be made attractive, then the idea is to follow Kellyanne Conway’s advice and just refuse to talk about it, which seems to be the brave “reformer” Bobby Jindal’s guidance as well. If you can’t avoid stupid policies, then at least have the good sense to STFU about them.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Chuck Schumer seemingly tried to push through Chained CPI and increase in Medicare age through parliamentary maneuver–but he got caught by Campaign for America’s Future and reversed course. He needs to be watched carefully — Richard Escow

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Lying Liar at WSJ claims “we are a nation of takers.” It’s promotion for his anti-”entitlements” book.

    • dakinikat says:

      Since 1960, entitlement transfers have grown twice as fast as personal income—to $2.3 trillion annually.

      Seems to me there should be a correlation in there somewhere …and gee, didn’t we pay for these ‘entitlements’? I know they’ve been taken out of my paychecks since I was 15 year old.

  6. Delphyne says:

    That dung beetle story is amazing! The Congressional counterparts don’t move the dung, they simply wallow in it or fling it at their constituents.

  7. RalphB says:

    PSC chief Twinkle Cavanaugh wants to block formal rate review to “exclude the environmentalists”

    Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh has said it emphatically, pointedly, with gusto:

    A push for the PSC to formally review the rate structure of Alabama’s largest utilities is a “full-frontal attack” by “environmental extremists” who want to kill Alabama jobs.

    Pow!

    Ah the stench of corruption, currently in Alabama, when the regulated owns the regulators.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Geeze, I told you guys about my local supermarket that got bought out by Whole Foods. I’ve been shopping at a much more expensive store–but the closest one to me. It’s’ called Shaw’s. Today the Globe has a story about how Shaw’s has the highest prices of any local chain and they are losing customers in droves. Plus they are about to be bought out by private equity firm Cerebus. Now what do I do? The closest reasonably priced grocery store is several towns away from me. It takes me more than 1/2 hour drive each way! It looks like grocery shopping is about to become a half-day job for me.

    • RalphB says:

      That sounds like an awful mess. Locally the best grocer for quality/prices is HEB and they are all over the place. Luckily they’re doing great and still growing or I’d have to pay high prices.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m just going to have to plan ahead more so I can get everything I need in less frequent shopping trips.

    • Beata says:

      This is why you need to move back to Indiana, BB. You know we have Marsh’s everywhere. And you’ll get used to Pence. Really, you will. In fact, you’ll grow to love him as we all have. /s

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Paul Ryan “explains” to Ezra Klein why he (Ryan) hates taxes. But the explanation is a about as clear as mud.

  10. RalphB says:

    TPM: Virginia Sen. Ralph Smith (R) Opposes Electoral Vote Rigging

    Virginia State Sen. Ralph Smith (R) has come out against a proposal to apportion electoral votes in the state by Congressional district, warning it could set off a chain reaction of similar schemes around the country. Smith sits on the closely divided Privileges and Elections Committee that is examining the bill, meaning his opposition likely ensures the proposal doesn’t reach the floor for a vote.

    “What if all states got to skewering it to their advantage?” Smith told the Roanoke Times in explaining his decision. He added that he would only consider a shift in Virginia’s electoral vote rules “if every state does it that way.”

    Get this guy’s vote on record before he has his mind changed by large money!

    • RalphB says:

      And an important one in Florida is against it.

      Florida GOP House Speaker Knocks Electoral College Scheme

      Florida’s Republican House Speaker Will Weatherford has come out against current Republican efforts to change the way Electoral College votes are apportioned.

      “To me, that’s like saying in a football game, ‘We should have only three quarters, because we were winning after three quarters and they beat us in the fourth,” Weatherford told the Miami Herald. “I don’t think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better.”

  11. RalphB says:

  12. RalphB says:

    The Virginia legislature is full of nutbags.

    GANGBANGER BILL OF RIGHTS PASSES HOUSE COMMITTEE

  13. Oh Dak, that was a hell of a post…I loved the shit ball comparisons.

    The new New Mexico law is fucked up, and eventually, one of these days these laws will stick. There are so many open Federal judgeships that Obama is failing to fill….and that is going to be a problem.

  14. RalphB says:

    John Kerry will do great. Pays tribute to the protestor at his hearing.