Friday Reads: Decline of the American Empire Edition

heckle and jeckleGood Morning!!

I don’t know why Catholic Bishops have been given some kind of veto power over US women’s health in national law just because they’ve got some weird ideas on birth control, but evidently they do.  I’d just like to say I really object to this and I think the entire bunch of them should be shipped over to the Vatican and out of our damned country.  If we can drone a few Taliban, why can’t we drone a few other religious whackos intent on ruining the American way of life?

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the latest White House proposal on health insurance coverage of contraceptives, saying it did not offer enough safeguards for religious hospitals, colleges and charities that objected to providing such coverage for their employees.

The bishops said they would continue fighting the federal mandate in court.

The administration said the proposal, issued last Friday, would guarantee free employee coverage of birth control “while respecting religious concerns” of organizations that objected to paying or providing for it.

The bishops said the proposal seemed to address part of their concern about the definition of religious employers who could be exempted from the requirement to offer contraceptive coverage at no charge to employees. But they said it did not go far enough and failed to answer many questions, like who would pay for birth control coverage provided to employees of certain nonprofit religious organizations.

“The administration’s proposal maintains its inaccurate distinction among religious ministries,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities. The Department of Health and Human Services offers what it calls an ‘accommodation,’ rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches.”

What about women’s rights to be free from random jerks who hide behind their religious beanies?  Again, they have the Vatican City as their little Popedom, ship them back to their little theocracy and out of our secular democracy/republic.

Karl Rove is locking horns with whacko congressman Steven King from Iowa who is the leader in the Iowa Senate race for the replacement for Senator Tom Harkin. Good Luck Karl!  Can’t put that Rovenstein Right Wingmonster back in the grave now, can you?

In an interview with Iowa’s KMEG-TV, King denied ever hearing about anyone getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest, saying: “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.” King is one of Akin’s very few remaining defenders as Republican politicians try to distance themselves from the controversy. Just a few weeks ago, King claimed that it’s perfectly legal to rape and kidnap a young girl and then transport her across state lines to force her to get an abortion to “eradicate the evidence of his crime.”

Be sure to watch that you tube if you really can’t believe he said that.  King is milking those tea party, john bircher cows for all they are worth.  Poor Poor Pitiful King!!!

But on Thursday the Iowa Republican sent a plea to supporters charging veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove was marshalling forces against him in a preemptive effort to push him out of the race.

“Karl Rove and his army have launched a crusade against me,” he wrote in an email published online by the Des Moines Register.

King’s email brings to the fore intra-party GOP bickering. On one end, the GOP establishment represented in this instance by Rove. On the other, the tea party, represented here by King.

The congressman is known as a staunch conservative and was identified as a target of the Conservative Victory Project – a name at which some conservatives scoff – in a recent New York Times interview with the group’s leader, Steven Law. The project is an offshoot of Rove’s super PAC American Crossroads, which backed various Republican bids for federal office in the 2012 election.

American women really need to get verbal about the way we’re treated.  Here’s another headline that makes you really shake your head and think about moving to a civilized country.  South Florida is going to be home to “Breastaurants” Tilted Kilt and Twin Peaks .

Next month, the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery will open in Hallandale Beach with Tilted Kilt Girls sporting mini-kilts, midriff-baring white tops, and stockings.

And a group of Weston restaurateurs have signed an agreement to open 10 Twin Peaks in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade. The main attraction at the mountain sports lodge-themed restaurants are the “Lumber Jills,” serving in khaki shorts and red plaid tops. They bare their midriffs, too.

Owners of the specialty themed restaurants say their servers are entertainers. Breastaurants don’t hire their employees, they audition and cast them, said Joe Sloboda, a restaurateur behind the upcoming Twin Peaks South Florida franchise.

The Tilted Kilt will be interviewing propsective hires this weekend. But the restaurants have more to offer than attractive, skimpily clad servers, the owners say.

The Tilted Kilt pays homage to the old public houses of England, Scotland, Ireland and America, said Mark Hanby, Tilted Kilt’s vice president of development. Customers can even expect “humorous and slightly bawdy limericks,” he said.

“Initially, customers are drawn in for the girls,” Hanby said. “But what keeps them coming back is the great food, the selection of drinks and the unbeatable atmosphere.” he said.

Yesterday in the latest installment of  A day in the life of our Dysfunctional Government saw two legislative hearings filled with things that make you wonder how much long we will be able to keep our republic.  The first was Leon Panetta testifying about Benghazi.  The second one was the confirmation hearing of John Brennan.  Both were just amazing displays of in-the-beltway insanity.

Panetta  inkled a few things that will undoubtedly twist the knickers of the Birchers.  Actually, it already has but a refuse to link to the Weekly th_reading_newspaperStandard or William Kristol.  John McCain also proved he has seriously lost it.  Since when do CIA stations get surrounded by military installments and get to dial some army version of 911?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday gave a forceful defense of the Pentagon’s response to the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, arguing the government “spared no effort to save American lives.”

Panetta, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee along with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, said a surveillance drone was directed to reposition over the consulate within 17 minutes of the attack.

But Panetta also acknowledged the limits to American military force and the intelligence that supports it. In his opening remarks, he pointed out that there were no “specific indications of an imminent attack” on Sept. 11.

“Without adequate warning, there was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond,” Panetta told the committee.

Dempsey added that the attacks in Benghazi needed to be viewed in the broader context of threats faced that day.

“Although today we are focused on Benghazi, we must not forget that it was 9/11 everywhere,” Dempsey said in prepared remarks. “On that day, we were postured to respond to a wide array of general threats around the globe.”

The attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were actually two short attacks — one on the consulate and the other on an annex — that took place six hours apart, Panetta said. “This was not a prolonged assault which could have been brought to an end by a U.S. military response,” he added.

On the day of attacks, Panetta said he alerted Marine platoons and special operations forces and participated in coordinating the evacuation of all remaining U.S. government personnel from Benghazi within 12 hours of the initial attack.

Panetta and Dempsey asserted that steps had been taken to work on security for U.S. facilities and on enhancing American intelligence capabilities.

“The United States military is not, and should not, be a global 911 service, capable of arriving on the scene within minutes to every possible contingency around the world,” Panetta said, adding that responses depend on actionable intelligence.

 Brennan’s hearing was a little more interesting. It included intense protests by Code Pink.

In recent days, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has expressed his suspicion about the Obama administration’s policy of legally justifying drone strikes on Americans who are deemed to have joined Al Qaeda. During the Senate confirmation hearings for Central Intelligence Agency director nominee, John Brennan, Wyden asked repeatedly if President Barack Obama’s administration would allow Americans targeted for a drone strike to surrender prior to killing them.

“Do you believe that the president should provide an individual American with the opportunity to surrender before killing them?” Wyden asked.

Brennan began to defer to the administration when Wyden pressed him to respond with just his initial impression of the concept of a surrender.

Brennan said, in the case of Al Qaeda operatives targeted for killings, that the administration’s policy is clear: “Any American that joins Al Qaeda will know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the United States.”

“Any American who did that should know well that they, in fact, are part of an enemy against us, and that the United States will do everything possible to destroy that enemy to save American lives,” Brennan responded.

Senator Di Fi had difficult time keeping the circus in check.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called Thursday’s hearing to recess barely a few minutes after it had started, as protesters one-by-one interrupted CIA Director-nominee John Brennan during his opening statement.

“The next time, we’re going to clear the chamber and bring people back in one by one,” Feinstein said after a third protester interrupted Brennan. “This witness is entitled to be heard, ladies and gentlemen, so please give him that opportunity.”

After a fourth protester stood up, Feinstein made good on her promise.

The demonstrators appeared to be members of the activist group Code Pink. One held a sign reading, “Brennan = Drone Killing.” Another yelled out that she was protesting on behalf of mothers in countries including Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.

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So much of the idea that the left, progressives, and liberals don’t hold the Obama administration’s feet to the fire.

Here’s some pretty good indications of what Banana Republicans have done to the USA along with their enablers, The Democratic Party.  American is far from #1 and keeps falling into the ranks of developing nations in many indicators.

“The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013,”  by the World Economic Forum, is t he latest annual ranking of 144 countries, on a wide range of factors related to global economic competitiveness .

On each of their many rankings, #1 represents the best nation, and #144 represents the worst nation.

Gross Domestic Product is the only factor where the U.S. ranks as #1, which we do both on “GDP” and on “GDP as a Share of World GDP.”

Health Care has the U.S. ranking #34 on “Life Expectancy,” and #41 on “Infant Mortality.”

Education in the U.S. is also mediocre. On “Quality of Primary Education,” we are #38. On “Primary Education Enrollment Rate,” we are #58. On “Quality of the Educational System,” we are #28. On “Quality of Math and Science Education,” we are #47. On “Quality of Scientific Research Institutions,” we are #6. On “PCT [Patent Cooperation Treaty] Patent Applications [per-capita],” we are #12. On “Firm-Level Technology Absorption” (which is an indicator of business-acceptance of inventions), we are #14.

Trust is likewise only moderately high in the U.S. We rank #10 on “Willingness to Delegate Authority,” #42 on “Cooperation in Labor-Management Relations,” and #18 in “Degree of Customer Orientation” of firms.

Corruption is apparently a rather pervasive problem in the U.S.

On “Diversion of Public Funds [due to corruption],” the U.S. ranks #34. On “Public Trust in Politicians,” we are #54. On “Irregular Payments and Bribes,” we are #42. On “Judicial Independence,” we are #38. On “Favoritism in Decisions of Government Officials” (otherwise known as governmental cronyism), we are #59.

On “Organized Crime,” we are #87. On “Ethical Behavior of Firms,” we are #29. On “Reliability of Police Services,” we are #30. On “Transparency of Governmental Policymaking,” we are #56. On “Efficiency of Legal Framework in Challenging Regulations,” we are #37. On “Efficiency of Legal Framework in Settling Disputes,” we are #35. On “Burden of Government Regulation,” we are #76. On “Wastefulness of Government Spending,” we are also #76. On “Property Rights” protection (the basic law-and-order measure), we are #42.

Go and check out the list of other things.  We’ve really been on a downward spiral since 2000.

So, there’s a few things to put a little heat into that breakfast.  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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60 Comments on “Friday Reads: Decline of the American Empire Edition”

  1. I have been out of the loop the past day so can someone tell me what is going on with this? LAPD, Torrance Police Shot At Innocent People In Frenzied Hunt For Former Cop Christopher Dorner

    • Pat Johnson says:

      This guy, a former police officer and military sharpshooter, was fired from the LAPD in 2008. He created a “manifesto” on Facebook, naming 40 officers of the LAPD that he intends to kill as another symbol of revenge.

      So far he has killed the daughter of a former chief of police and her fiance. He then went on to randomly shoot two other policeman at a red light, one of whom has died. A manhunt is taking place in CA as this guy is considered very well trained in the art of survival owing to his years in the military and witht the police force.

      Another well armed kook on the loose acting out his grievances with the public at large.

      This latest craziness has now overtaken last week’s news cycle where another disgruntled moron held a child captive for 7 days.

      Nothing new here but another day of violence where well armed crazies dominate the news for periods of time until the next tragic event overshadows it.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Unmarried men in beanies and dresses who consider pedophilia a “sin” but not a “crime” are still capable of inserting their ideology into the lives of women and children without having to bear the burden of their beliefs.

    The separation of church and state has been fully cast aside as these silly men go about the business of casting it aside with the help and assistance of elected officials who took the vow to uphold the Constitution because they are carrying out the “work of god”.

    Someone needs to inform Steve King that pregnancy indeed can happen during a rape by handing him the news copy of a 9 yr old girl who just gave birth as a result of that very same thing. Or is this his definition of a “blessing”?

    One can only begin to imagine the horrors that child suffered at the hands of some pervert beginning with the rape itself than having her body torn apart while giving birth before she had even reached puberty.

    • Allie says:

      I just can’t believe that King guy is actually the lead contender for Harkin’s seat??? Is that more Republican redistricting tactics? These Tea Partiers – in addition to being loons – are so unqualified and amateurish they can’t even be bothered to look up statistics. There are thousands of rape-induced pregnancies every year.

      I would say a 9-yr old who got pregnant must have reached puberty. It’s shocking to me girls are doing that these days at such a young age. Is that bovine growth hormoone or something? I was 13 and that was normal for my age group I think (born 1955).

      And don’t get me started about Catholic men. Could they hate women more?

      • NW Luna says:

        Yes, puberty has been occurring earlier over the last several decades.

        There are a lot of endocrine (hormone) disruptor and mimicing substances in the environment: our food, clothing, and household products. Not that Dow Chemical or Montsano and their ilk want you to think there might be a link, but many serious researchers think there is a connection. And with the increase in breast and other cancers over the last 70-100 years.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    We are bracing for a Nor’easter up here in MA. So far they are predicting a 24 hr storm that could dump up to almost 2 feet of snow along with wind gusts that could reach 60 miles per hour.

    Boston Boomer is roughly 90 miles from me and lives closer to the coast. I heard a prediction today that could see her section of the state receive more than 2 feet of the snow expected here in Western MA.

    My biggest fear right now is the possible loss of power that the high winds could cause. So if we should go AWOL in the next few days blame it on Storm Nemo moving up the coastline.

    Ay yi yi yi yi!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Pat,

      This morning they are predicting 30 inches for the Boston area! It keeps getting worse. I’m worried about the power too, but now I’m getting more worried about whether I’ll be able to dig out of here. Unfortunately the weather people sound very confident about their data. They are saying there’s no way it will blow out to sea. All I can do now is wait.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I was awakened at 6am to the sound of the trash collectors rolling out early to pick up the Friday trash stops ahead of the storm. No snow as yet but it is very gray out there.

        I am trying to decide if I should stay or drive to Brimfield where they have a generator. I fear the loss of power more than anything. However, they have predicted already that Brimfield, Ware and Monson can expect over 2 feet or more.

        My daughter is on “stand by” at the hospital today and is expected to work this weekend shift. She is contemplating whether to leave this afternoon rather than wait until morning when the storm may have already left almost two feet. She may not be able to get out in the a.m.

        My son in law the pharmacist expects to close the drugstore by 5pm, just ahead of when the worst is predicted with 2-3 inches hourly is coming down.

        Got to admit, I am not feeling “good” about this one. I can go a day or two without power but memories of that freak ice storm in 2011 when downed trees littered the highways and we went 8 days without heat and electricity in Spfld leave me unsettled.

        What to do? What to do?

      • bostonboomer says:

        I guess you have to trust your intuition on where you’ll be safer and warmer. Maybe you should go with the generator.

        I always want to be in my own home where I’ll be more comfortable, but I don’t really have any other choices. I could go to my brother’s house where I’ll be around other people, but I’d just as soon be by myself and stick to my own schedule. Besides, they could lose their power in Cambridge just as easily as we could here.

        We have had good luck with our electrical lines since they were all replaced and put underground a few years back. I’ve already gotten e-mails from my electric company telling me to report any outages and that they are on standby to do whatever they can. I’m just hoping for the best.

      • BB, can you go to your brother’s house? That way you all can deal with it together?

      • Yeah Pat, I say go with the generator…the lack of heat is the thing that could be real bad…

      • bostonboomer says:

        JJ,

        I could go to my brother’s house, but as I said, I don’t really want to deal with a bunch of people. I’d rather be able to read and get on the internet, etc. I’ve been through plenty of blizzards. I’m more worried about the shoveling after the storm than the storm itself.

      • Joanelle says:

        We have about 2 inches on the ground so far having had a constant fine midst of snow, but it just started coming down harder

      • HT says:

        Just got in after an hour of shoveling. We’ve gotten about a foot so far and it’s still coming down. Keep safe, warm and inside everyone.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Oh wow. Be careful, HT!

        Snow has started here–blowing sideways.

    • RalphB says:

      A Republican feel good story. The details are really weird. Stay warm and be safe up there!

      North Carolina Gov Attempts To Appoint Fox To Guard Education Henhouse

      In the fastest nevermind ever, North Carolina’s new director of NC Pre-K quit the day after she was appointed, just because everybody figured out she hates public education. Whew, that was close! But, yes, North Carolina tried their best to hire an anti-public education lobbyist to head their state’s Pre-K program.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    I’m so sick and tired of the Catholic Bishops trying to turn American women into full-time breeders. If there were a hell, that’s where they should all go.

    Dolan is concerned that Obama is treating Catholic hospitals and other institutions as “second class.” Well, they are second class if they don’t recognize that women are people and fetuses are not yet people. Any hospital that would let a woman die rather than abort a fetus should be shut down, IMO.

    Furthermore any religious organization that gets involved in politics should not be tax exempt.

    • Allie says:

      Amen.

      • NW Luna says:

        Hell, yes.

        The Catholic church should keep its mind out of people’s bedrooms and clinic rooms.

        Why should religous groups be allowed to interfere with government programs? It’s as illogical as expecting the government to ban work on Sundays. (Hey, there’s an idea!)

  5. joanelle says:

    I plan on hunkering down with a good book in front of a fire all day.

  6. hyperjoy says:

    Compulsory heterosexuality and no contraception or abortion – that is the catholic church’s and other institutions’ program for women. Way to truly make women’s lives short and brutal. These men are really vicious and a way MUST be found to break their control (I won’t say power) over our lives in this country and the world.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Charles Pierce has had it with Obama being a doormat for the men in red beanies.

    Enough is Enough

    Enough. Seriously, enough, Mr. President. No more compromises. In fact, the compromises already agreed to are off the table. The original mandate is back in place. If the Clan wants to ignore it, the Clan can get fined for whatever it’s got left after it settles all the lawsuits. If the Clan wants to conduct exercises in civil disobedience, its members can do so and then go to jail, where a considerable number of them belong, anyway. You can obey the law — the whole law — or you can pay the penalty. And, by the way, I’m throwing the Department Of Justice behind any survivors of sexual abuse who want to pry documents out of any archive between here and the Chair Of Peter. Don’t like it? Tough. You have exhausted any reasonable facsimile of patience. How do I know this? Check out the latest response to the president’s offer of a deal.

    • RalphB says:

      To solve this problem, just call the Pope and tell him to get some accountants working on next year’s tax return.

      • dakinikat says:

        Unfortunately, the Vatican can’t be reached. They purposely set each diocese up so they are responsible for everything. Each of them have to send tons of money to Rome, but Rome has not obligation to send it the other way. That’s why those pedophilia cases are bringing down individual diocese but not hitting the Vatican City at all. Same with the legal set up. No one can get at the Pope or any one in Vatican City. That’s why some of the Cardinals have been disappeared to Vatican City too. It’s the perfect Ponzi Scheme.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    The four most interesting revelations from the hacked Bush e-mails.

    Dubya likes to paint himself naked and is jealous of Bill Clinton’s relationship with George H.W.

  9. HT says:

    Had to shovel again – and it’s still snowing. I think I may have to get my snowshoes off the basement wall if this keeps up. Mind you, the ski resorts are celebrating big time – now if only one could get to them – the roads are impossibly difficult to negotiate.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Gov. Deval Patrick asks drivers to stay off the road after noon today. After 4PM, driving on Massachusetts roads is banned. Whoa!

  11. HT says:

    Time to shovel again. BB, Pat and all other noreasters if you get what we got and are still getting just hunker down (coccoon if you can) and do not got out. REad a book, watch a movie, write a blog post etc and wait till it’s over.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Levin chides Republicans on over-the-top demands for financial disclosure from Hagel.

  13. RalphB says:

    The Saddest Job Announcement of the Day

    It comes from Politico’s “Influence” page. Get a handkerchief.

    STEVENS LEAVES FIX THE DEBT: Pam Stevens, national press secretary for Fix the Debt, has left the group to work for the GOP Conference Committee. Stevens previously worked in the White House under President George W. Bush.

    Fix the Debt, you might recall, is an umbrella group of business leaders and deficit scolds who, with $63 million to burn, spent 2012 Raising Awareness of the need for a long-term deficit deal—as long as it didn’t raise taxes. It pretended to support a “Simpson-Bowles style” deal and got Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles onto yet more Sunday and morning shows, even though its principles were more regressive than theirs. And it’s still putting together things like “Common Ground summits,” as if it didn’t learn last year that bland awareness-raising without specific goals was completely useless.

    Its spokesman managed to figure this out eventually.

    I find this somehow comforting.

  14. Okay, this is crazy…with just the right amount of WTF:

    Fox News expert on solar energy: Germany gets “a lot more sun than we do.” [VIDEO]

    “The industry’s future looks dim,” intoned host Gretchen Carlson at the beginning of the segment, which was preserved for posterity by the liberal blog Media Matters for America. She and her co-host went on to ridicule Obama’s “failed” solar subsidies, adding, “The United States simply hasn’t figured out how to do solar cheaply and effectively. You look at the country of Germany, it’s working out great for them.” Near the end of the segment, it occurred to Carlson to ask her expert guest, Fox Business reporter Shibani Joshi, why it might be that Germany’s solar-power sector is doing so much better. “What was Germany doing correct? Are they just a smaller country, and that made it more feasible?” Carlson asked.

    oshi’s jaw-dropping response: “They’re a smaller country, and they’ve got lots of sun. Right? They’ve got a lot more sun than we do.” In case that wasn’t clear enough for some viewers, Joshi went on: “The problem is it’s a cloudy day and it’s raining, you’re not gonna have it.” Sure, California might get sun now and then, Joshi conceded, “but here on the East Coast, it’s just not going to work.”

    Gosh, why hasn’t anyone thought of that before? Wouldn’t you think that some scientist, somewhere, would have noticed that the East Coast is far less sunny than Central Europe and therefore incapable of producing solar power on the same scale?

    You would—if it were true. As Media Matters’ Max Greenberg notes, it isn’t. Not even remotely. According to maps put out by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, virtually the entirety of the continental United States gets more sun than even the sunniest part of Germany. In fact, NREL senior scientist Sarah Kurtz said via email, “Germany’s solar resource is akin to Alaska’s,” the U.S. state with by far the lowest annual average of direct solar energy.

    Remind me again, aren’t Fox viewers supposed to be one of the dullest tools in the shed?

    Anti-Evolution Missouri Bill Requires College Students to Learn About Destiny | Mother Jones

    Late last month, Rick Brattin, a Republican state representative in Missouri, introduced a bill that would require that intelligent design and “destiny” get the same educational treatment and textbook space in Missouri schools as the theory of evolution. Brattin insists that his bill has nothing to do with religion—it’s all in the name of science.

    “I’m a science enthusiast…I’m a huge science buff,” Brattin tells The Riverfront Times. “This [bill] is about testable data in today’s world.” But Eric Meikle, education project director at the National Center for Science Education, disagrees. “This bill is very idiosyncratic and strange,” he tells Mother Jones. “And there is simply not scientific evidence for intelligence design.”

    HB 291, the “Missouri Standard Science Act,” redefines a few things you thought you already knew about science. For example, a “hypothesis” is redefined as something that reflects a “minority of scientific opinion and is “philosophically unpopular.” A scientific theory is “an inferred explanation…whose components are data, logic and faith-based philosophy.” And “destiny” is not something that $5 fortune tellers believe in; Instead, it’s “the events and processes that define the future of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, earth, plant life, animal life, and the human race.”

    The bill requires that Missouri elementary and secondary schools—and even introductory science classes in public universities—give equal textbook space to both evolution and intelligent design (any other “theories of origin” are allowed to be taught as well, so pick your favorite creation myth—I’m partial to the Russian raven spirit.) “I can’t imagine any mainstream textbook publisher would comply with this,” Meikle says. “The material doesn’t exist.”

    The bill also establishes a nine-person committee (who must work for free) responsible for developing ad-hoc textbook material until appropriate textbook material is found.

    In the manner of Kramer = Oh, yeah…

    • RalphB says:

      The truth is stranger than fiction, for both those stories. What have we come to?

    • NW Luna says:

      The only item that one can not laugh over in that description of Republican idiocy is the part about small is better for companies.

      How are their brains wired?

  15. RalphB says:

    Good news I hope …

    Pierce: Down The Pipeline

    It appears that a Great Sad has descended on some of the supporters in Washington of our old friend, the Keystone XL pipeline. From their lips, of course, to god’s ears.

    House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said Friday that he is not holding out much hope that President Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline. “Though normally a pretty good optimist, I am not overly optimist [sic] that the president will allow the Keystone XL to move forward despite Nebraska’s reroute of the pipeline thru their state,” Upton said in a live Web chat on Michigan news website Mlive.com where he typed out answers to questions.
    [...]
    What will happen if the president and Secretary Kerry put the kibosh on the pipeline is going to be the mother of all hissy fits. The pipeline is an article of faith on the Republican right, not because it will necessarily improve this country’s energy policy, but because refusing to build it would be a triumph for almost everyone the Republican right hates, and that hate is what propels conservative politics. At this point, despite all the foolishness we’re hearing about the “civil war” among Republicans, hatred of their enemies, real or imagined, in the last animating principle of the conservative movements, and the howls will be deafening. Al Gore, of course, will remain fat, and a hypocrite because…al Jazeera! In any case, someone get chairman Upton a cookie.

  16. HT says:

    Tis 6:30 here and has just stopped snowing. Thank Gaia.
    Re the XL pipeline I don’t have as much faith as Pierce – I think Obama will approve it. Unfortunately the american people will have to live with the consequences and as they do not realize any of the benefits as the oil is intended to be shipped offshore from the refinery, they are screwed. And about those pipeline leaks – they happen much more frequently than is reported, and they are horrific in the environment affects. But that pipeline is great for business – amirite?

    • NW Luna says:

      Bingo!

      Glad to hear the snow’s stopped in your area, HT. How much do you have now? No, never mind, you don’t have to keep running out to measure the cm. Stay inside and (I hope) warm.

      • HT says:

        Luna I have to shovel that darned white stuff. I think we got about a foot and a half. I don’t mind really good snow – the stuff that is cold and shovels easily, but this was the horrible stuff – almost rain. so it was heavy and difficult to shovel and get off the car. I had to run the car for a good ten minutes to melt the ice.

        About Obama – glad you agree. Sometimes I think I’m a Scrooge vis a vis my skeptisim, however with Obama – I am a skeptic. I’m not involved cause I am up here in the northland that is called Canuckistan, however I am concerned because what happens there eventually bleeds up here and infects our politics.

        Thanks for asking Luna, I appreciate that.

    • dakinikat says:

      How much did you finally get? Glad to see your still with electricity and okay!!! Be careful with the shoveling!!!

      • HT says:

        I have no idea about how much snow we got, but it felt like a ton when I was shoveling – and I have to do it again. I suspect is was around 18 inches. Vis a vis electricity etc, we’re used to bad times here. The only time I can recall being without electricity and heat for any period of time was way, way back in the early 1970′s. There have been odd times when we’ve lost it for a few hours, but nothing serious. That is what a government is for isn’t it. To ensure that the infrastructure is stable and operational.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The only time I ever lost my electricity for any length of time was when Hurricane Gloria hit us in the ’80s.

    • NW Luna says:

      HT, you’re not any more of a cynic/skeptic than I am!

      That wet snow is really heavy to shovel. Glad you didn’t lose power.

  17. NW Luna says:

    That is what a government is for isn’t it. To ensure that the infrastructure is stable and operational.

    Such an un-American viewpoint! I thought it was to keep business happy. (Checks website again on emigration to Canada.)