Wednesday Reads: Red, Red, Moon…Nope, it isn’t a Monkey’s Butt!

Good Morning!

Ah…that was quite a title, yes?

Well, I originally had this post called Red, Red, Moon…not Gingrich’s ass, but thought it would be a bit over the top. Of course I am referring to the latest Axelrod comment:

“The higher a monkey climbs on the pole the more you can see his butt.”.

I have personally used a monkey’s ass as an insult…in third grade, I told JoNell Costello that she had a face like a baboon’s ass. (Yes, I changed the name to protect the innocent.) It did not go over well, but it is a great memory for me because I was standing up for myself.

I’m mentioning it now because it ties in with some items I have for your morning news round up…so lets get to it.

Obama has already wimped out on the women’s front this past week…yes, that war reference is on purpose! Well, there are some Democrats in Congress who are really acting like Democrats.

It isn’t every day that 14 Senators aggressively call out their own party’s Health and Human Services Secretary, imply that a major decision made their own party’s adminstration was not based on science, and demand proof to the contrary. But that’s exactly what’s happening right now in the dust up over the Obama administration’s decision not to relax restrictions on access to Plan B.

Fourteen Democratic Senators have just sent this letter to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelieus, repeatedly insisting that she produce a convincing scientific rationale for the decision:

Dear Secretary Sebelius,

We are writing to express our disappointment with your December 7, 2011 decision to block the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation to make Plan B One-Step available over-the-counter. We feel strongly that FDA regulations should be based on science. We write to you today to ask that you provide us with the rationale for this decision.

As numerous medical societies and patient advocates have argued, improved access to birth control, including emergency contraception, has been proven to reduce unintended pregnancies. Nearly half of all pregnancies that occur in the United States each year are unintended. Keeping Plan B behind the counter makes it harder for all women to obtain a safe and effective product they may need to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

We ask that you share with us your specific rationale and the scientific data you relied on for the decision to overrule the FDA recommendation. On behalf of the millions of women we represent, we want to be assured that this and future decisions affecting women’s health will be based on medical and scientific evidence.

And who are the senators that put there John Hancock on this letter?

Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Carl Levin (Mich.), John Kerry (Mass.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Al Franken (Minn.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.). Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Good for them!

This leads us to the next Obama, “will he or won’t he” moment. I am talking of the House passing the Payroll Tax Cut extension with all that Keystone crap stuffed in the bill.

Defying a veto threat from President Obama, the House on Tuesday passed a bill extending a cut in Social Security payroll taxes for 160 million Americans for another year. But the Democratic majority in the Senate vowed to reject the measure because of objections to other provisions, including one to speed construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Threats of veto? From Obama? (I wonder if he really means it…)

In general, the vote followed party lines. Ten Democrats voted for the bill, and 14 Republicans voted against it.

Less than an hour after the vote, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, went to the Senate floor and declared: “The bill passed by House Republicans tonight is a pointless partisan exercise. The bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. It was dead before it got to the Senate.”

Portrayed by House Republican leaders as an engine of job creation, the payroll tax bill became entangled Tuesday with a separate omnibus spending bill to finance much of the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Democrats threatened to delay action on the spending bill to ensure that Republicans would address their concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline and other provisions of the tax measure.

So, what do you think will come of this monkey’s ass? (No derogatory sentiment against monkey asses, or monkeys for that matter, is meant by that statement.)  I wonder what the odds are in Vegas on what action Obama will take…

Speaking of asses, do you think the recent Christine O’Donnell endorsement for Mittens is considered a “welcomed” endorsement or a “thanks but you shouldn’t have” endorsement?

Christine O’Donnell, the former Republican Senate candidate and a tea party favorite during the 2010 election, has officially endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

O’Donnell made her endorsement during an appearance this evening on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

“It was not an easy decision because I too think any of our candidates would make a great president and a great candidate going against Barack Obama,” O’Donnell said. “But I think there are certain tie breakers and I know that in making my decision I might be hurting some people but I think infrastructure and executive experience are important, and for that reason I’m endorsing Mitt Romney.”

“I’m very happy,” she added. “This is not anti-[Newt] Gingrich or anyone else, it’s a pro Gov. Romney endorsement.

Oh, I can hear the commentary from those extremely devout right-wing Christians on the 700 Club now…A former witch endorsing a Mormon? I bet Newt is busting with appreciation of O’Donnell…

Newt is also busting with approval numbers from a recent NBC/WSJ poll…ready for it?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken a commanding lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, hitting the 40 percent mark for the first time in the campaign, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Tuesday.

Gingrich is the first choice of 40 percent of Republican primary voters compared with 23 percent support for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the poll found.

Granted, Newt does not have such a high polling percent when paired with Obama, he is 10 points behind Obama, while Romney is just 2 points behind the “O” man.

Here are a few global news links, did you read about the vicious grenade attack in Belgium?

Eyewitness Greg Ienco: “We saw the explosions and the panic, it was quite incredible”

Police in Belgium are trying to determine what motivated a local man to open fire on a busy marketplace in Liege, killing at least four people.

Nearly 125 people were wounded, some critically, when 33-year-old Nordine Amrani fired bullets and hurled grenades before killing himself.

Police have said he was known to them for previous drugs and firearms offences and acted alone in the attack.

Authorities are looking for a motive in this attack:

Amrani, a resident of Liege, had been jailed for 58 months in September 2008 for possessing firearms and drugs, media reports said.

Officials did not confirm this, but said they were aware he had spent some time in prison.

“At no moment in any of the judicial proceedings against him was there a sign of unbalance,” Daniele Reynders, the public prosecutor for Liege, told reporters.

Amrani is reported to have been on parole and on Tuesday, had been asked to attend a police station for an interview in connection with charges against him.Instead, he took an assault rifle, revolver and hand grenades into the busy town centre square, close to the courthouse.

It is horrible…I feel terrible for those families, one of the victims who was killed was a 17–month old little girl.

In Syria, the numbers of people who have been killed in connection with the uprising and protest of the Syrian government has grown…

At least 32 people were killed across Syria on Tuesday, including seven members of the security forces, amid rising sectarian tensions in some places, opposition groups said.

The deaths added to a toll that was estimated by a United Nations official on Monday at more than 5,000 people since the uprising began in March.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 19 people died in the northern province of Idlib, near the Turkish border, when security forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad fired at them. Five were killed in the province of Homs, in central Syria, and one in the nearby province of Hama.

In addition, seven members of the security forces were killed in an attack on their military vehicle in the Bab al-Hawa area in Idlib Province, according to the observatory, an opposition group based in London. The attack, it said, was in retaliation for the shooting of antigovernment protesters earlier in the day in the province.

It seems like the spilling of Syrian blood is showing no signs of stopping.

The violence came amid the backdrop of worsening sectarian tensions in Homs, which is populated by a Sunni Muslim majority and a minority of Alawites, a heterodox Muslim sect from which Mr. Assad draws much of his leadership. Mohammed Saleh, an activist from Homs, said that two Alawites were kidnapped in Homs on Tuesday, and that one of them was the brother of Yasser Jawhar, an opposition activist who was jailed for 12 years.

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said on Monday that the death toll was now 1,000 higher than the estimate she had released at the beginning of the month. Ms. Pillay said that this number included civilians, army defectors and soldiers who refused to shoot at protesters. It did not, however, include security forces killed by the opposition.


That is the only response I can muster…

Google Street View explores post-tsunami Japan, the Google camera cars have documented the before and after street views of areas hit by the Japanese tsunami in March. That link will take you to a gallery of photos. (And you thought the images from space of before and after the tsunami were devastating.) This brings the devastation up close and personal.

I know that the recent “American Muslim” ad boycott decision from home improvement, and terrorist super store, Lowe’s has been discussed here on Sky Dancing, but I had to include a link to this video from Jon Stewart.

Lowe’s Boycott Of TLC Muslim Reality Show Leaves Jon Stewart Flabbergasted

Aasif Mandvi, the Daily Show’s senior Muslim correspondent’s report in front of the Denver Lowe’s is fabulous! Take a look at Mediaite link above.

And now I will end with an amazing image of this weekend’s Red Moon, a total lunar eclipse, what a beautiful picture:

This spectacular image by photographer Joseph Brimacombe shows the moon in a startling bl0od-red color this weekend during a total eclipse. The Universe Today explains the coloration this way:

The red tint of the Moon during an eclipse is caused by sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere, in effect projecting the colors of all the world’s sunsets onto the Moon’s near face.

Brilliant isn’t it?

We had an overcast night in Banjoville, so the view was obscured…but this picture is magnificent and I am so happy to share it with you!

That is all for me today, catch y’all later in the comments!

What are you reading and blogging about? Get to it!

(Wow, like Elaine, I went a little overboard with my exclamation points! Perhaps I should not use them so haphazardly…)

34 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Red, Red, Moon…Nope, it isn’t a Monkey’s Butt!”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Hey, just wanted to add this nugget of information…Realtors: We Overcounted Home Sales for Five Years – US Business News – CNBC

    The National Association of Realtors said a benchmarking exercise had revealed that some properties were listed more than once, and in some instances, new home sales were also captured.

    “All the sales and inventory data that have been reported since January 2007 are being downwardly revised. Sales were weaker than people thought,” NAR spokesman Walter Malony told Reuters.

    “We’re capturing some new home data that should have been filtered out and we also discovered that some properties were being listed in more than one list.”

    Also there is an update on the attack in Belgium: BBC News – Liege attack: Belgian police find body in killer’s shed

    Police in Belgium have found a woman’s body in a shed belonging to a gunman who went on the rampage in the centre of Liege on Tuesday.

    The body was found with a bullet wound to the head, say Belgian officials.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Okay, not only is that bill the GOP House passed full of Keystone XL crap, it has even more ridiculous stuff shoved in: GOP Moves to Require Pee Tests and GEDs for Unemployed | Mother Jones

    It’s a difficult time to be unemployed in America. But congressional Republicans seem determined to make it even more difficult.

    On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed HR 3630, a bill extending President Barack Obama’s 2 percent payroll tax cut. But the tax cut, which was set to expire on January 1 and will save the average American family an estimated $1,000 next year, is just about the only candy cane in this holiday stocking. The rest of HR 3630 is bursting at the seams with conservative goodies, including—get this—drastic changes to the unemployment insurance system that could force unemployed Americans to undergo drug tests, require them to get GEDs, and greatly reduce the time they’re able to receive benefits.

    WTF is wrong with these people?

    Not content with simply slashing benefits, Republicans also want to impose new requirements on unemployment benefit seekers. Their bill would mandate that all UI recipients hold high school diplomas or GEDs and would allow states to drug-test applicants. But the bill doesn’t provide any money to pay for those new hurdles, putting that burden on already cash-strapped state governments.

    HR 3630 seems to pin the blame for being unemployed on the jobless, says Maurice Emsellem, a policy co-director with the NELP. “They’re figuring that the record number of people who are out of a job today are out a job because it’s their fault,” Emsellem says.

    But Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California-Berkeley, who has studied unemployment insurance, says there’s little evidence that lack of education or drug addiction is the main problem for most unemployed people. “Most of the problem right now is that there aren’t enough jobs,” he says. The most recent data from the Bureau on Labor Statistics backs him up, showing 6.9 million people receiving unemployment insurance (out of a total 14 million without work) versus 3.4 million job openings in September. The BLS data “implies that measures aimed at getting people to look harder for jobs aren’t likely to be very useful,” Rothstein adds.

    Emsellem thinks the GOP bill sets the wrong tone. “This is about as punitive as you can get,” he says. “It’s almost like they threw every dastardly idea they could come up with and threw it on the wall to see what would stick.”

    Oh, I got to get away from all this bat shit crazy ass ideas….

    • peggysue22 says:

      They’re all monkey butts! The pee tests and GED requirements sound like Rick Scott’s demands down in Florida. Ridiculous. It’s obvious the Repugs have no intention of agreeing on anything. I just heard that the GOP believes it has ‘the moral high ground.’ Hahaha! Are they kidding???

      Btw, I read about the ‘miscalculation’ in the real estate market. How hard is it to accurately count the number of sales a company has had? Or not. Liar, liar, pants on fire!

      I couldn’t believe the Christine O’Donnell endorsement. Romney must have groaned when he heard that, begged her to give it to Gingrich or Paul :0).

      Loved the red moon!

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Gorgeous photo of the moon!

    And nice roundup, Minx. I’m glad at least some Dems are standing up to the Obamabots! I’ve never heard that expression that Axelrod used before, have you? I wonder where he got it?

    • bostonboomer says:

      84.66% say yes

      • Woman Voter says:

        Seeing the numbers brings joy, then a big deep when I know the patriarchy will fight to have a leader like Hillary. Shameful, that she got the votes and not the nomination, nor a Roll Call Vote for POTUS or VP. 😦

    • Woman Voter says:

      Do they have to ask…did you all see the article about why women count in this election. I guess that the woman factor is what has Biden crying, trying to connect, but instead comes off as insincere/staged.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Times “person” of the year is protestors!!!

    It’s remarkable how much the protest vanguards share. Everywhere they are disproportionately young, middle class and educated. Almost all the protests this year began as independent affairs, without much encouragement from or endorsement by existing political parties or opposition bigwigs. All over the world, the protesters of 2011 share a belief that their countries’ political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt — sham democracies rigged to favor the rich and powerful and prevent significant change. They are fervent small-d democrats. Two decades after the final failure and abandonment of communism, they believe they’re experiencing the failure of hell-bent megascaled crony hypercapitalism and pine for some third way, a new social contract.

    • Woman Voter says:

      Yes, nice to see the average person as important, rather than the daily media orgy of ‘stars’ who are acting badly, doing drugs, or insulting people. People Power is making a come back.

  5. ralphb says:

    Charleston Post and Courier

    Gov. Nikki Haley dictated the conclusions of a committee charged with deciding how the state should implement federal health care reform before the group ever held its first meeting, public documents show.

    Now, some of those involved in the dozens of meetings are calling the entire planning process a sham that wasted their time and part of a $1 million federal grant.

    Another governor scam a lot. I hoped she’d be better than this.

    • dakinikat says:

      Republicans get all of their marching orders these days from Koch Brothers and their ilk and the think tanks they fund. There is no way any Republican elected today is going to let any committee or citizen decide something outside of the interests of their corporate masters. There’s a ton of dems in that category too.

      • ralphb says:

        From reading the story, she made some enemies for that bit of theatre. I hope they remember and work against her next time around.

  6. quixote says:

    There’s one thing that bothers me about the Left’s reaction to the Right’s islamophobia. Granted, the Right only brings up oppression of women because it’s such an easy bludgeon to beat them with. BUT. What’s bad is the bigotry. The issue of treating women as human beings is not ridiculous. It is not secondary. It is not something to be ignored every chance you get.

    As madamab would say, “What about women?” It’s a question that ought to be front and center everywhere. Egyptian revolution? What about women? OWS? What about women? Christian Taliban? What about women? Fox News? What about women? Rachel Maddow? Keith Olberman? Jon Stewart? What about women?

    Instead, women are sidelined as too trivial for words, and before you know it, the nice shiny goal that was so much more important has morphed into its opposite. Our most recent examples are Egypt and B0, but it’s true every single time when you look into it.

    There’s an interesting dynamic that goes on. The Right picks an issue. The Left is against it!

    In the stupid Lowe’s imbroglio, there’s a bit where the FFA guy is saying the group objects to pretending Islam is harmless. TLC should be stressing how awful sharia law is.

    Well, it is. No question about it. It’s also the Right’s dogwhistle for “Ooh. Stick with us. Handmaid’s Tale!” I can only try to imagine how much the Left’s “Oh, piffle” attitude plays into that favorite conflation of socialist-muslim-weirdos-out-to-get-me.

    They’d do a lot better to agree. Sure, until Islam repudiates that benighted crap, note that the benighted crap is there and is actually part of the package. And when Rick Perry goes all biblical, note how crazy the Old Testament is on, well, just about everything, and how nobody would or could live that way now. Whenever somebody gets all sanctipompous about prayer in schools or commandments engraved on the courthouse, stress how many people die when religion rules politics. In other words, the left should be deflating the godbags. Not pretending women don’t count.

    Admittedly, since deflation of Xtian godbags is so rare, it’s kind of unfair to pick on muslim godbags. But somehow we have to achieve less godbaggery, not make excuses for more and more of it.

    • dakinikat says:

      Most of the hateful women stuff isn’t Sharia law, it’s the clerics interpretation of it through their cultural lens. Indonesia recognizes sharia and doesn’t do things to women. It’s the largest muslim democracy and has a cabinet level position that works on women’s issues. It’s ahead of us on that. Just like there’s Pat Robertson’s brand of christian orthodoxy, there’s the gay bishop in New Hampshire that’s episcopalian. Same religion. Different embrace of cultural expression. Unfortunately, the godbaggery all got started in the iron age when male heros where all the rage and we haven’t dropped them yet. I frankly wish it would all go away, but just like there are feminists who hang with christianity, there are feminists in the muslim tradition too. I think the problem is that the extremists in all the godbaggery religions get out front and force things more than their meeker compadres. My vote is still that the world would be a better place without any of them and I equate faith with ignorance. But, I doubt I’m going to be in the majority any time soon. So, I think it’s more important to separate the extremists who adopt these hateful practices from the more modern practitioners who look at stuff more metaphorically and take some kind of moral story away from it all. Evangelicals don’t want anything to exist outside of their obsession with their iron age heroic myth figure. They want the monopoly on it here in the US. Some of them would give the Irani clerics some steep competition for nasty patriarchal practices. They only care about which godbag’s will they think they are doing. Results are basically the same.

      • Branjor says:

        I’m not sure that there is any meaningful distinction between sharia’s allegedly non-hateful character and the hateful interpretations made of it by SOME (?) muslim clerics. The idea is that our lives should not be ruled by clerics at all, and sharia law, as religious law, keeps muslim clerics firmly in the judge’s seat, interpreting and ruling on important life issues under sharia. I mean, drawing the distinction may be good for islam, for sharia itself and for some muslims, esp. male muslims and muslim clerics, but does it do jacksh!t for women? I think not. Sharia law administered by liberal muslim clerics would be no better than biblical law administered by liberal christian clerics and I would not want to live under biblical law under any circumstances, no matter how liberal the clerics administering it.

        • dakinikat says:

          That same law is the basis of usury laws and many other laws that you live under. There have been clerics in the Senate and the House. It’s in our laws already. The only difference is that some sects want to embrace theirs as superior. There’s places in new york that are under hasidic law. There’s places in Utah under mormon law. What about the amish? It’s just bigoted to pick out one group of them and scream creeping shariah when most of that stuff was crept in via christianity or there were attempts to creep it in. What about DOMA? We’ve tried to limit any kind of religious law but somewhat unsuccessfully. Nearly all of them condemn women and GLBT to nonperson status and children to property status. All of the angry sky god religions come from the same source. My point is that you can’t pick and choose between cults and you can’t ignore we’ve already had a bunch of it inflicted on us. There’s a broad range of interpretations on some of this stuff. Basically, think of usury laws, which you would probably like to see reinstated. Every Muslim country has them. All the Judeo-Christian ones either still do or used to have them. Same biblical source for all three. But look at how a Hasidic jewish sect applies it compare to reform sect Jews and it’s like night and day. You can’t just blanket an entire religion with some comment like that. Some of that stuff is cultural too. Female Genital mutilation is typical West African tribal behavior and the christians do it too. The countries in africa that have laws that condemn homosexuals to death are just as likely to be christian as muslim. Religion can take on different complexions depending on how extreme the people are and what’s in a culture. Like I said, Indonesian Muslums and Bangladeshi Muslims aren’t Arabs and they aren’t West African. They do none of this. Bangledeshi Muslims are culturally more like Bengali Hindus. Indonesia has some of the most pro-women policies in the entire region. Just because its based in the bible or sharia or the torah doesn’t mean some wild eyed cleric is going to enforce it. I completely believe in things being secular but that’s not the world we live in so it’s best to recognize and encourage the nuances.

      • Branjor says:

        Sharia law (and other religiously derived laws) may be just fine for financial institutions, but women aren’t financial institutions and it is not fine for us! I am not picking out one group and “screaming creeping shariah”, I reject all those groups’ claims to hegemony over women – christian, muslim, jewish, amish, all of them! None of them are superior to any of the others.

        Anyway, the point of quixote’s comment was that women should be front and center in any consideration of revolutionary goals, be they the Egyptian revolution or OWS, and I find it distasteful that that should be derailed in favor of defending sharia law. And yes, I admit my part in that. I took the bait and replied in terms of sharia, so this is the last thing I will say on that subject.

      • dakinikat says:

        You’re completely missing the point. What you’re talking about isn’t in the hadith. You’re saying all sharian law is the muslim version of Pat Robertson’s view of what’s shariah law and it’s all aimed at oppressing women. That’s just nonense!! Shariah law tells Muslims they have to take care of widows and orphans. They–businesses and families–have to write a monthly check to do so. That’s also in the shariah. What you’re obsessing on is like the Pat Robertson interpretation of things ala the muslim world. You’re thinking about some stereotype of what’s in shariah law.

        What you are saying is based on some christian caricature of shariah.

      • dakinikat says:

        Let me repeat. Indonesia, the largest MUSLIM democracy has a cabinet level department that does nothing but ensure fair, equal and judicious treatment of women.

    • quixote says:

      Dak, you make some very good points. On the sharia thing, I pretty much second Branjor, though, at least for what I was trying to say. I’m only talking about its application “on the ground,” so it’s the clerics’ interpretation that matters and not the real thing. And I was talking about the damage done by loony clerics (of whatever stripe). The harmless ones aren’t harming anyone, so they’re not the issue. (They’re also not godbags, at least in my experience. Just religious. There’s a difference, at least to me.)

      • dakinikat says:

        My main point is that a lot of what gets labelled ‘sharia’ is simply cultural crap dressed up as religion. The clerics dress it up as that as well as the christian bigots. It’s like the religion/violence porn movie produced by mel gibson that’s anti-semitic being cloaked as only hyper christianity because the vehicle was the life of jesus. A lot of theologians were deeply offended by it as well. It was just a violent movie that was bigoted against jews that used the jesus life story as a plot device. The main points is that stuff is misogynist. The fact it’s cloaked in a religion is the plot device. I’m an atheist. I have no need for any godbaggery and I think it’s primarily a force of evil throughout history but even if you take away all the godbaggery the misogyny would still exist.

      • Branjor says:

        Points taken, dak. I am aware that culture is the major determinant of women’s status in various societies and that their religious interpretations, be they christian, jewish, muslim or whatever, largely reflect their cultures.
        At this point, culture and religion are so closely intertwined that it is almost impossible to distinguish them. And all religions did arise from their cultures, unless, of course, you believe that the religions really did fall down out of the sky from god.

  7. Woman Voter says:

    I am ashamed to say I ever voted for @BarackObama #NDAA And people wonder why I don’t vote. #ows

    More shock from former Obama supporters who are getting word on NDAA and SOPA…which they say he will sign to appear hard or is it STRONG on Terrorists by taking citizens Civil Liberties away to court Republicans.

    • northwestrain says:

      We told the 0bots that he would be a back stabbing, two faced, lying jerk — we got called a bunch of names — including racist.

      We were right about 0bambam — and all 0bots can go to hell.

      0bambam is campaigning again and he is going to screw the 0bots over and over again.

      Cue of graphic from “Not your sweetie” – 0bambam wearing the wife beater undershirt — saying he won’t do it again — with flowers in his hands.

      Nothing 0bambam says can be trusted — he is a proven liar.