Things are still the same here in Banjoville. I am still sick as a dawg, and it is even worse because I am exhausted.
So…the post is what it is this morning, mainly links to stories that I have saved over the last few weeks. Nothing deep or disturbing. ( Unless the images from the children’s books Elephant and Piggie count.)
Title of the post comes from an old South Park episode, like the second or third episode ever.
When the boys visit the South Park Genetic Engineering Ranch in an attempt to cross the DNA of Cartman’s pot-bellied pig Fluffyand Kyle’s Elephant, Dr. Mephesto tells them that doing so is impossible, and that pig and elephant DNA just won’t splice. He then mentions that the 1980s pop rock band ‘Loverboy’, (purportedly) wrote a song about it, which he then performs, with his assistant Kevin acting as a dancer.
Later on, the boys tell Chef about their unsuccessful attempt to create a pot-bellied elephant, and Chef also begins to perform the song, but stops halfway upon realizing that a pot-bellied elephant is a good idea, and tells the boys that since genetic engineering is out of the question, the only way to create one is to get the elephant and Fluffy to make “sweet love.”
Da’n Do-A, pig and elephant D-N-A
just won’t splice!
The reason I thought of this song in the first place?
The idea of bringing extinct animals back to life continues to reside in the realm of science fiction. But scientists have taken a small step closer to that goal, by inserting the DNA of a woolly mammoth into lab-grown elephant cells.
Harvard geneticist George Church and his colleagues used a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR to insert mammoth genes for small ears, subcutaneous fat, and hair length and color into the DNA of elephant skin cells. The work has not yet been published in a scientific journal, and has yet to be reviewed by peers in the field.
Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) have been extinct for millennia, with the last of the species dying out about 3,600 years ago. But scientists say it may be possible to bring these and other species back from the grave, through a process known as de-extinction. [Photos: 6 Extinct Animals That Could Be Brought Back to Life]
But we won’t be seeing woolly mammoths prancing around anytime soon, “because there is more work to do,” Church told U.K.’s The Times, according to Popular Science. “But we plan to do so,” Church added.
Splicing mammoth DNA into elephant cells is only the first step in a lengthy process, Church said. Next, they need to find a way to turn the hybrid cells into specialized tissues, to see if they produce the right traits. For instance, the researchers need to make sure the mammoth genes produce hair of the right color and texture.
After that, the team plans to grow the hybrid cells in an artificial womb; scientists and animal-rights advocates have deemed it unethical to grow them in a living elephant’s womb.
The best part of this is the next few paragraphs. Go to the link to read the plans for the mammoths after they are bred, I mean spliced.
Other cool news: Costa Rica is now running completely on renewable energy – Quartz
Costa Rica is running without having to burn a single fossil fuel, and it’s been doing so for 75 straight days.
Thanks to some heavy rainfall this year, Costa Rica’s hydropower plants alone are generating nearly enough electricity to power the entire country. With a boost from geothermal, solar, and wind energy sources, the country doesn’t need an ounce of coal or petroleum to keep the lights on. Of course, the country has a lot of things going in its favor. Costa Rica is a small nation, has less than 5 million people, doesn’t have much of a manufacturing industry that would require a lot of energy, and is filled with volcanoes and other topographical features that lend themselves to renewable energy.
Sticking with science, and a bit of common fucking sense: Babies at risk from breast milk bought over internet – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent
Seriously? I mean who would feed their baby something bought like this? I just….have no words.
So you go from people feeding their babies breast milk they get online, to moms beating up on their kid’s bullies.
Innit that an awesome ad? More info at the link.
Read the story at the link, there is video too.
Now, have a good day, I am waiting to hear back from doctor. Take care…
This is an open thread.
Let’s just post these things cause I am still sick as shit.
From the one and only Luckovich:
That last one just might not be far off the mark.
The rest of these are Cagle:
And last before we go:
This is an open thread.
I don’t know, it has been a rough week in my family. Three deaths…very sad.
So when I tried to find some funny comics for tonight’s post, there was just not much in the way of choice cartoons to link and share with y’all.
Anyway, the limited selection for tonight:
This is an open thread.
Well hello again, Minkoff Minx here with y’all this fine day before the first day of Spring.
Boston Boomer is having some major computer issues, in fact…it may be a little while before she is back online. This unfortunately means you will be stuck with me today, and Saturday, and Sunday. Holy Shit!
So in the hopes of bringing everyone out of the winter blues, I am posting pictures of summer fun pictures. Most of these are vintage shots dealing with memorable times near water.
There’s a few links as well, we will just work this post as an open thread.
With the re-election of BiBi, the shit has once again hit the fan…and boy it is spreading big time:
The day before Israel’s election, with polls showing he could lose, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the Palestinians would never have their own state on his watch.
It was a sweeping statement that flew in the face of his own past commitments and 25 years of international efforts to arrive at a two-state solution to the conflict: Israel and an independent Palestine living side-by-side.
The reaction from the rest of the world was rapid and predictably outraged.
France and Germany called on the new government to stick to the two-state goal and the European Union counseled calm at a “crucial moment”. The United Nations said the only way for Israel to remain democratic was to stick to the peace process, which sees two states as the final objective.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest reaffirmed President Barack Obama’s commitment to the two-state solution and said based on Netanyahu’s comments, the United States “will evaluate our approach to this situation moving forward”.
The question is whether Netanyahu – who shifted sharply to the right in the last days of his campaign, using messages such as the ‘no-state’ pledge to successfully draw right-wing votes away from ultranationalist parties – really meant what he said. And if so, what it means for the Palestinians, international relations with Israel and the future of the peace process.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahuwon a big election Tuesday, but he won ugly by staking out a new position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is likely to harm his nation in the months ahead.
A reckoning is coming—faster than expected—for Netanyahu, his Likud Party and maybe even for the State of Israel itself.
Complete returns showed that Netanyahu’s Likud Party won 29 seats in the Knesset to 24 seats for the Zionist Union (formerly Labor) Party headed by Isaac Herzog, who ran a more spirited campaign than expected but almost certainly fell short of the support necessary to form a government.
Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, whose job consists mostly of presiding over elections, said not long after the polls closed that he wants a coalition government and has given Netanyahu, Herzog and the other party leaders a couple of days to engage in a frenzy of (largely unconsummated) deal-making. But Herzog’s parliamentary math problem got worse as the evening wore on, and it’s hard to see where he finds the “mandates” (seats) to prevail.
Meanwhile back here in the states:
The violent arrest of a black University of Virginia student by white police officers sparked a state investigation after a photo of the man being held down as blood streamed down his face went viral. Junior Martese Johnson, 20, was arrested by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents at about 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning after he was turned away from an Irish pub just off campus. It’s unclear what led to the arrest, but his head was reportedly slammed into the pavement. A partial video of the arrest obtained by The Cavalier Daily, UVA’s student newspaper, shows officers holding Johnson face-down on the ground as an onlooker shouts that his head is bleeding. As he’s being handcuffed, Johnson says he goes to UVA and yells at the officers. “You fucking racists!” he says. “How did this happen, you racists?”
This next link has a disturbing remark about an Obama non-veto possibility: The Abortion Language In The Sex Trafficking Bill Would Make Life Harder For Rape Victims
Republicans in Congress claim the anti-abortion language that is threatening to sink an otherwise uncontroversial sex trafficking bill is the same innocuous provision that Democrats have routinely approved in spending bills. Even the White House this week declined to say that President Barack Obama would veto the bill with the abortion restrictions in it, suggesting it’s a poison pill the administration might be willing to swallow.
The anti-abortion provision would renew a restriction that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger, and would extend the same restrictions to the compensation funds paid to victims of human trafficking. This means that child sex trafficking survivors who have become pregnant from rape would be forced to jump through numerous extra legal and administrative hoops in order to prove they were raped so they can use their victims’ compensation funds to help pay for their abortion. Often, these victims are young, have endured multiple rapes per day, and are not prepared to confront a deeply confusing and inconsistent legal system.
“It isn’t automatically clear that courts around the country view women in these circumstances as having been raped,” said Marcia Greenberger, president of the National Women’s Law Center. “That is a step that seems obvious. It’s a step that we would argue should be obvious, but it isn’t established. We have seen all kinds of arguments about real rape and what constitutes rape, and unfortunately, prosecutors and courts around the country include some people with those distorted views about what is actually rape.”
The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday asked a federal judge to block an Alabama law that allows a fetus to be represented in court when a minor is seeking judicial permission for an abortion.
While abortion opponents have rolled out a variety of new restrictions on abortion in recent years – including new requirements on clinics and doctors – ACLU staff attorney Andrew Beck said the Alabama law was unique.
“This particular law is one of a kind,” Beck said.
Alabama minors must have permission from their parents or a judge to have an abortion. Alabama legislators in 2014 changed the judicial permission process to allow a judge, at his or her discretion, to appoint a guardian ad litem “for the interests of the unborn child.” The law also requires that local district attorneys are notified of the hearing and can question the minor and call witnesses.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Russ Walker heard arguments on the ACLU request for a preliminary injunction blocking the law and a state request to dismiss the lawsuit. State lawyers argued the law provides options to the judge to obtain information about the minor’s maturity level, while the ACLU argued the law forced teens to go through a “trial” to obtain an abortion.
“It puts teens on trial to get a constitutionally protected procedure. It’s adversarial. She loses her anonymity because the district attorney or guardian ad litem can call in witnesses and interrogate the child,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama.
Please, no more…this is so disturbing.
For a little context: Daily Show’s Jessica Williams Stupendously Pisses Off ‘Fetal Attorney’
If you are unable to see that clip, check it out here: The Unborn Ultimatum – The Daily Show – Video Clip | Comedy Central
PLUB=Pro-Life-Until-Birth…oh yeah, you got that right!
But back to GOP bashing, and rightfully so:
As Internet memes go, “you had one job” is my personal favorite. The basic idea is finding examples of people who are given one, fairly simple task to complete, but who manage to screw it up in embarrassing fashion. There’s no shortage of funny incidents to document the phenomenon.
Seriously, Charlie Pierce was right. It isn’t a laughing matter any more: The Republican Party Is A Party Of Subversives
Anyway, more on the plan for Women, Cut their paychecks and take away their healthcare! The GOP’s insane plan to woo women in 2016 – Salon.com
The GOP wants to attract women voters by putting a happy face on policies that will make their lives miserable
The dickheads probably would not be happy until we have a system where women need to take things to the extreme to survive: Egyptian single mother who spent 43 years living as a man to work and provide for her daughter honoured as the ‘ideal mother’ – Africa – World – The Independent
Oy, extremes. That is a word for today.
I have a few links left and they deal with extremes.
Citing “constant questions” concerning use of taxpayer and campaign funds for private expenditures, Congressman Aaron Schock (R – Downton Abbey) abruptly announced yesterday that he will resign at the end of this month.
While Schock’s downfall will be officially credited to the recent string of revelations relating to his personal use of campaign and taxpayer funds, along with politically-affiliated real estate deals, that isn’t what we’re going to remember him for. Plenty of politicians play on the margins when it comes to financial disclosures, and still more use their political influence for financial gain.
But not too many politicians flaunt their ill-gotten wealth, power and finely-tuned deltoids as brazenly as Aaron “Haters Gonna Hate” Schock, who never saw a vacation he didn’t want someone else to pay for — and have his “personal photographer” document for the world to see.
And boy, did we see it.
The shooting in Arizona yesterday? Well, Suspect in Arizona Shooting Spree a White Supremacist Skinhead | Hatewatch
And finally, how is this for extreme dinosaur reptile from the long past…at least 6,000 years ago, for you red-necks out there! (Snark, extreme snark I might add…)
A 9-foot-tall beast with bladelike teeth once stalked the warm and wet environs of what is now North Carolina some 230 million years ago, before dinosaurs came onto the scene there, scientists have found.
Now called Carnufex carolinensis, the crocodile ancestor likely walked on its hind legs, preying on armored reptiles and early mammal relatives in its ecosystem, the researchers say.
They named it Carnufex, meaning “butcher” in Latin, because of its long skull, which resembles a knife, and its bladelike teeth, which it likely used to slice flesh off the bones of prey, said lead study author Lindsay Zanno, of NC State University and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. “‘Butcher’ seemed a very appropriate way to get that into the minds of people,” Zanno told Live Science in an interview.
Damn, that is frightening. But I think I would take on a Carnufex before a PLUB asshole anyday of the week…I bet there is one thing you could count on, the Carnufex would fight fair.
This is an open thread y’all.
Below are all the photos plus more used in the post. I found them on Pinterest.
I’m no mathematician, but when something happens only once in a lifetime, I figure could be worth paying attention to. From MassLive: Pi Day 2015: 3.141592653 comes around for 1st time in 100 years.
Pi Day is a holiday, not a federal one, mind you, that celebrates pi, the mathematical constant that’s calculated by dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter.
This year, Pi Day (named for the first three numbers of the mathematical constant and first officially celebrated in 1988 in San Francisco) has special significance – at 53 seconds after 9:26 a.m. and p.m. (9:26:53), the date and the time will represent the first 10 digits of pi – 3.141592653 (some argue that 9:26:54 is a more accurate time, since the 11th digit is 5, so the 3 should be rounded up.)
So what is Pi anyway?
The concept of pi – essential in calculations ranging from classical geometry to the most advanced physics and cosmology – dates to Egyptian pyramid builders of the 26th century BC. The constant was first represented by the Greek letter in 1706.
Pi was calculated out to 2,576,980,377,524 decimal places on April 29, 2009 at theCenter for Computational Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. It took more than 29 hours and 13.5 terabytes of computer capacity.
According to the article, lots of colleges mark the day, and M.I.T. even times their acceptance letters to go out on Pi Day. And get this: Albert Einstein was born on March 14.
I’ll let a real math whiz explain why Pi is important. From The New Yorker:
Why Pi Matters, by Steven Strogatz.
Why do mathematicians care so much about pi? Is it some kind of weird circle fixation? Hardly. The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi.
Pi touches infinity in other ways. For example, there are astonishing formulas in which an endless procession of smaller and smaller numbers adds up to pi. One of the earliest such infinite series to be discovered says that pi equals four times the sum 1 – + – + – + ⋯. The appearance of this formula alone is cause for celebration. It connects all odd numbers to pi, thereby also linking number theory to circles and geometry. In this way, pi joins two seemingly separate mathematical universes, like a cosmic wormhole.
But there’s still more to pi. After all, other famous irrational numbers, like e (the base of natural logarithms) and the square root of two, bridge different areas of mathematics, and they, too, have never-ending, seemingly random sequences of digits.
What distinguishes pi from all other numbers is its connection to cycles. For those of us interested in the applications of mathematics to the real world, this makes pi indispensable. Whenever we think about rhythms—processes that repeat periodically, with a fixed tempo, like a pulsing heart or a planet orbiting the sun—we inevitably encounter pi. There it is in the formula for a Fourier series:
That series is an all-encompassing representation of any process, x(t), that repeats every T units of time. The building blocks of the formula are pi and the sine and cosine functions from trigonometry. Through the Fourier series, pi appears in the math that describes the gentle breathing of a baby and the circadian rhythms of sleep and wakefulness that govern our bodies. When structural engineers need to design buildings to withstand earthquakes, pi always shows up in their calculations. Pi is inescapable because cycles are the temporal cousins of circles; they are to time as circles are to space. Pi is at the heart of both.
For this reason, pi is intimately associated with waves, from the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides to the electromagnetic waves that let us communicate wirelessly. At a deeper level, pi appears in both the statement of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and the Schrödinger wave equation, which capture the fundamental behavior of atoms and subatomic particles. In short, pi is woven into our descriptions of the innermost workings of the universe.
From the Guardian: Pi Day 2015: meet the man who invented π, by Gareth Ffowc Roberts.
In 1706, William Jones – a self-taught mathematician and one of Anglesey’s most famous sons – published his seminal work, Synopsis palmariorum matheseos, roughly translated as A summary of achievements in mathematics.
It is a work of great historical interest because it is where the symbol π appears for the first time in scientific literature to denote the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
Jones realised that the decimal 3.141592 … never ends and that it cannot be expressed precisely. “The exact proportion between the diameter and the circumference can never be expressed in numbers,” he wrote. That was why he recognised that it needed its own symbol to represent it.
It is thought that he chose π either because it is first letter of the word for periphery (περιφέρεια) or because it is the first letter of the word for perimeter (περίμετρος). (Or because of both).
The symbol π was popularised in 1737 by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707–83), but it wasn’t until as late as 1934 that the symbol was adopted universally. By now, π is instantly recognised by school pupils worldwide, but few know that its history can be traced back to a small village in the heart of Anglesey.
Read more about Jones at the Guardian link.
And now, sadly, we must move on from the sublime to the ridiculous, our pathetic corporate media and their sick obsession with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
We’re all sick and tired of being sick and tired of the media’s insane hatred of the Clintons, and Hillary isn’t even running yet. What is it that causes these pathetic excuses for reporters and editors to hate these two people so much? Under Bill Clinton the U.S. economy was strong and healthy, and times were good for the middle class.
Before Clinton, we went through eight years of “Reaganomics” that left us with huge economic problems and four years of Jimmy Carter malaise. Since then the economy has been in a shambles. Since Clinton, the economy has only been good for the ultra-rich, and we’ve been mired in two wars in the Middle East, and Republicans are trying to get us involved in a third war with Iran.
What was so terrible about peace and prosperity that the media, the GOP, and the Emoprog libertarians just couldn’t tolerate and don’t want to repeat?
If you’re thinking there a huge double standard in the media coverage of the Clintons vs. Republicans who held the same positions, you’re not imagining things. Over at Media Matters, Eric Boehlert has published a series of great pieces on this disparity.
Offering up some advice to the political press corps as it prepares to cover the 2016 presidential campaign, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni recently stressed that reporters and pundits ought to take a deep breath when big stories broke; to not immediately promote stumbles and campaign missteps to be more urgent and damaging than they really are.
“We may wish certain snags were roadblocks and certain missteps collapses, because we think they should be or they’re sexier that way,” wrote Bruni.
That was in his February 28 column. Four days later Bruni abandoned his own advice.
Pouncing on the controversy surrounding which email account Hillary Clinton used while serving as secretary of state, Bruni tossed his counsel for caution to the wind and treated the email development as an instant game changer and even wondered if the revelation indicated Clinton had a political “death wish.”
But that fits the long-running pattern of the D.C. media’s Clinton treatment: Over-eager journalists hungry for scandal can’t even abide by the advice they dispensed four days prior. Or maybe Bruni simply meant that his advice of caution was supposed to apply only to Republican candidates. Because it’s certainly not being applied to Hillary and the email kerfuffle coverage.
Instead, “The media and politicos and Twitterati immediately responded with all the measured cautious skepticism we’ve come to expect in response to any implication of a Clinton Scandal,” noted Wonkette. “That is to say, none.”
Just look how the very excitable Ron Fournier at National Journal rushed in after the email story broke and announced Clinton should probably just forget about the whole running-for-president thing. Why preemptively abandon an historic run? Because she may reveal herself to be “seedy,” “sanctimonious,” “self-important,” and “slick.” This, after Fournier denounced Bill and Hillary Clinton two weeks ago for their “stupid” and “sleazy” actions.
Why can’t these people see how ridiculously over-the-top they are when it comes to Hillary and Bill? How do they treat similar behavior by Republicans? Boehlert reported on March 10:
Even for a Republican White House that was badly stumbling through George W. Bush’s sixth year in office, the revelation on April 12, 2007 was shocking. Responding to congressional demands for emails in connection with its investigation into the partisan firing of eight U.S. attorneys, the White House announced that as many asfive million emails, covering a two-year span, had been lost.
The emails had been run through private accounts controlled by the Republican National Committee and were only supposed to be used for dealing with non-administration political campaign work to avoid violating ethics laws. Yet congressional investigators already had evidence private emails had been used for government business, including to discuss the firing of one of the U.S. attorneys. The RNC accounts were used by 22 White House staffers, including then-Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who reportedly used his RNC email for 95 percent of his communications.
As the Washington Post reported, “Under federal law, the White House is required to maintain records, including e-mails, involving presidential decision- making and deliberations.” But suddenly millions of the private RNC emails had gone missing; emails that were seen as potentially crucial evidence by Congressional investigators.
The White House email story broke on a Wednesday. Yet on that Sunday’s Meet The Press, Face The Nation, and Fox News Sunday, the topic of millions of missing White House emails did not come up. At all. (The story did get covered on ABC’s This Week.)
By comparison, not only did every network Sunday news show this week cover the story about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emails, but they were drowning in commentary. Between Meet the Press, Face The Nation, This Week, and Fox News Sunday, Clinton’s “email” or “emails” were referenced more than 100 times on the programs, according to Nexis transcripts. Talk about saturation coverage.
Indeed, the commentary for the last week truly has been relentless, with the Beltway press barely pausing to catch its breath before unloading yet another round of “analysis,” most of which provides little insight but does allow journalists to vent about the Clintons.
And what about Colin Powell? And what about announced presidential candidate Jeb Bush? Boehlert wrote on March 11:
As the press demands answers regarding which private emails Clinton handed over to the State Department and which ones she withheld because she deemed them to be personal in nature, many journalists fail to include relevant information about prominent Republicans who have engaged in similar use of private email accounts while in office, specifically former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
By omitting references to Powell and Bush and how they handled private emails while in office, the press robs news consumers of key information. It’s also material that deflates the overheated suspicions of a wide-ranging Clinton cover-up.
Appearing on ABCs This Week on Sunday, Powell was asked how he responded to the State Department request last year that all former secretaries hand over emails from their time in office. Powell confirmed that he had used private email while secretary but that he didn’t hand over any emails to the State Department because his private emails were all gone.
“I don’t have any to turn over,” he explained. “I did not keep a cache of them. I did not print them off. I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files.” Powell’s revelation is important because it puts into perspective the email protocol of a former secretary of state. By his own account, Powell’s emails, unlike Clinton’s, include his regular communications with foreign dignitaries. What was he emailing them in the lead-up to the war in Iraq? We’ll never know.
To date however, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have largely downplayed references to the fact that Powell’s private, secretary of state emails are all gone.
We simply have no “Fourth Estate” any longer. The media simply reports whatever fits their “narratives” from the 1980s and 2008 and ignores everything that doesn’t fit.
I know there is much more happening today. What Saturday reads would you recommend?
Good Late Nite!
Well, that cartoon is one of on a few Hillary cartoons that don’t bring on the hate. So many Hillary cartoons that have gone over to the dark side. And I am not talking about the conservative band of political cartoonist. I am speaking of the “liberal” folks, ones who I’ve readily posted on Friday nights. I am so sick of it.
You can see what I am talking about here:
From Cagle Cartoons: Hillary Emails Cartoons
And from AAEC – Political Cartoons- Hillary Cartoons
Anyway, for tonight’s post:
This is an open thread.
I’m beginning with this lovely painting by Matisse, because I’m trying to calm myself. I’ve been sitting here pondering what makes today’s Republicans so strange. I sometimes feel as if they are another species. They see the world completely differently than the people I grew up with and the people I have known as an adult. Many of my family members were Republicans, and their political views were annoying; but generally I could get along with them as long as we didn’t talk about politics. They didn’t seem like alien beings.
My grandparents were conservative Republicans and so were some of my uncles and aunts. Others in the family were liberals. Yet we all got along by just avoiding touch subjects when we were together. The Republicans in our family were just like the rest of us–they may have thought differently about some things, but that didn’t keep them from being loving and caring people, and they didn’t look different from the rest of us.
My parents’ closest friends were a couple who came from the South. They had Southern accents and they were conservative Republicans. They were even kind of eccentric in some ways–the husband was extremely thrifty and didn’t believe in buying anything on credit; they paid cash for everything–even houses and cars. But they were also intelligent, caring, friendly people and they didn’t look weird like so many GOP politicians do today.
Many of today’s Republican politicians seem hateful and angry, and many of them appear ignorant of how the U.S. government operates and the Constitution on which it is based. As we all know by now, many of these people–mostly men–are also ignorant about female anatomy and how birth control works, and quite frankly, they often appear to hate and fear women generally. They are also ignorant of basic scientific facts.
What is wrong with these people, and where do they come from? Why do so many of Tea Party-style Republicans actually look weird?
Take South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, who has been going around ranting and raving about Hillary Clinton’s emails Who is this guy? Tell me he’s not weird-looking.
Here’s a profile shot.
Does his head really come to a point at the top? If not, what’s with the hair? Like many of his Southern Republican colleagues, he looks sickly, pale, and washed out like the banjo player in Deliverance.
Gowdy apparently never heard the old saying about people in glass houses not throwing stones, because he got himself in a little trouble yesterday. From the Washington Post: Rep. Trey Gowdy retreats from Benghazi event.
In May, just after he was picked to lead the House select committee on Benghazi, Rep. Trey Gowdy pledged not to raise money off the 2012 attacks in Libya, which killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
But it was revealed Monday that the South Carolina Republican was scheduled to help a group raise funds at an event called “Beyond Benghazi.”
After The Washington Post inquired about the event, a committee spokesman said that the subject of the fundraiser hadn’t been cleared with the congressman’s office and that Gowdy was pulling out.
Yeah, right. Gowdy had no clue what a fund-raising event called “Beyond Benghazi” was all about.
“He has not raised money using Benghazi, and will not speak about Benghazi at fundraising events. Having been made aware of this group’s plan, he no longer will be participating in the event,” the spokesman, Jamal Ware, said by e-mail.
Later Monday, the event was canceled.The Republican Party of Virginia planned to host Gowdy at a $75-a-head reception that was called “Beyond Benghazi.” You could buy a table for 10 for $1,250 or co-chair the event for $5,000, which includes the table, a “VIP” at your table and a special shout-out.
Now look at Tom Cotton, the organizer of the bizarre GOP open letter to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
To me he looks a lot like Gomer Pyle.
The strange and borderline treasonous letter signed by 47 GOP Senators actually misstated the way treaties are described in the Constitution and how they are to be handled by the Senate. Ishaan Tharoor at The Washington Post: The misguided, condescending letter from Republican senators to Iran.
As first reported by Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin, a group of 47 Republican senators signed a letter addressed to “the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” warning them not to be too optimistic about ongoing negotiations with the Obama administration over Tehran’s nuclear program. It was organized by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and advised the Iranian leadership that “anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.”
The letter is brief, and can be read in full here. Republican lawmakers are opposed to the Obama administration’s current overtures to Iran, a disagreement that was put into stark relief last week by the polarizing speech delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint meeting of Congress. This is yet another tactic to scupper a potential deal.
It starts with the patronizing premise that “you may not fully understand our Constitutional system” and goes on to explain, first, that any international treaty will need to be ratified by a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and that, unlike the president of the United States, senators “may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms.” The message to the mullahs: don’t get comfortable with any deal, because we’re going to scrap it as soon as we can.
Whatever its effects in Washington, the letter is almost farcically condescending in word and tone. Iran’s leaders are well aware of how the United States works. The country’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, spent the better part of a decade as the Iranian envoy to the United Nations; like many others in the Iranian cabinet, he was partly educated in the United States.
It reflects the willful ignorance on the part of many hawks in Washington who insist on seeing Iran purely as an irrational actor and a permanent regional threat. As WorldViews discussed earlier, Iran is problematic in many ways, and its regime plays a role in fueling proxy wars in parts of the Middle East. But one can argue that the same is true of Washington’s chief Arab ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.
At the Lawfare blog, Jack Goldsmith wrote that Tom Cotton and his Senate colleagues made an “embarrassing” mistake in their strange letter.
The letter states that “the Senate must ratify [a treaty] by a two-thirds vote.” But as the Senate’s own web page makes clear: “The Senate does not ratify treaties. Instead, the Senate takes up a resolution of ratification, by which the Senate formally gives its advice and consent, empowering the president to proceed with ratification” (my emphasis). Or, as this outstanding 2001 CRS Report on the Senate’s role in treaty-making states (at 117): “It is the President who negotiates and ultimately ratifies treaties for the United States, but only if the Senate in the intervening period gives its advice and consent.” Ratification is the formal act of the nation’s consent to be bound by the treaty on the international plane. Senate consent is a necessary but not sufficient condition of treaty ratification for the United States. As the CRS Report notes: “When a treaty to which the Senate has advised and consented … is returned to the President,” he may “simply decide not to ratify the treaty.”
Even more embarrassing, Iran’s U.S. educated foreign minister responded to the GOP letter and proceeded to school the Senators on how international law works. From The Tehran Times: Zarif to U.S. senators: You are ignorant of international law.
Many of Iran’s leaders were educated in the U.S. But where did Tom Cotton and his buddies learn about the Constitution, separation of powers, and how foreign policy is handled in the U.S.? Amazingly, he graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and did more graduate work at Claremont Graduate University. Was he just not paying attention?
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also graduated from Harvard Law and got his undergraduate degree from Princeton. He also signed the letter and seems confused about the Constitutional duties of the President. He actually wrote an op-ed for Politico in which he claimed Obama was “acting like a monarch.”
From Politifact in May 2014: Ted Cruz says Barack Obama is first president ‘who thinks he can choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore’.
Critics of President Barack Obama have charged that he has regularly exceeded the powers of his office in selectively enforcing the law. Their examples include making recess appointments, issuing executive orders, delaying provisions of his health care law, refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court and declining to deport certain categories of young illegal immigrants.
At the 2014 CPAC conference, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, reiterated this point to the audience of conservative activists.
Referring to Obama, Cruz said, “This president of the United States is the first president we’ve ever had who thinks he can choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore.”
Politifact concluded, based on interviews with historians that several presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush have “ignored specific laws or constitutional protections,” but they don’t actually offer any specific examples of Obama doing so.
Are these Republicans simply blinded by ideology or are they willfully ignorant, despite attention top U.S. Universities? I honestly don’t know the answer. I know it’s rude of me to call attention to how they look, but I can’t help wondering why so many of the GOP “young turks” look like their parents were cousins. For example, Louisiana’s recently elected Senator “crazy eyes” Bill Cassidy, who looks a lot like Frankenstein’s monster. Cassidy also signed Cotton’s letter to Iran.
Even some of the older GOP Senators who signed the letter have that crazy look:
Am I nuts? I don’t even know if this post makes any sense. Lately I feel as if this country is falling apart. And more and more I get the feeling that Republicans just aren’t like you and me. Where do these people come from and what is wrong with them?
This is an open thread. You can discuss this post or anything else you like. Have a nice Tuesday, everyone!