Sunday Reads: No more…please!

Good Morning!

Did you catch the debate last night?  If you didn’t Wonk did an excellent job of hosting a live blog.

Presidential debates sometimes have their moments…a thousand points of light, Hillary is likable enough, I know there are more but I am just too exhausted to think of other fine debater examples. There wasn’t any gotcha moment last night, with the exception of Huntsman who was absent in the last few Iowa debates, the performance was pretty much the same as the last 12 or 50 GOP debates this past month.

Last night just emphasized the quality, or lack thereof, of the GOP offering. They are having another “forum” on Meet the Press today, so it will be yet another reason to sleep in this morning.

Here are a few links to get you caught up on what the media has to say about the freak show, I’ll save the best pundit remarks for last:

For a quick summary:  Five Takeaways From Saturday Night’s GOP Debate

When asked about those racist newsletters, Paul tried to pass off his hero-worship of MLK and his opinion on the unfairness of the justice system as proof he is not a racist. Ron Paul says he is not racist, slams drug laws as unfair to blacks

Paul said that Martin Luther King is one his heroes for practicing “the libertarian principle of peaceful resistance and peaceful civil disobedience,” and highlighted his understanding that the drug laws in the United States unfairly penalize African Americans.

Well, it still doesn’t answer the question about holding Ron Paul accountable for his racist newsletters. Ron Paul Calls MLK a “Hero”—After Newsletter Trashed Him as a “World-Class Adulterer”

If you need a refresher on what else these newsletters contained: 10 Extreme Claims in Ron Paul’s Controversial Newsletters

As far as Mittens is concerned. Meh…

Why Romney’s Answer on Contraception Doesn’t Add Up

Mitt Romney Is Confused About Iran Sanctions

Here is what Charlie Pierce had to say, see you could have just skipped over all the other links…I am betting most of you did. 😉

New Hampshire Debate: The Trickless-Dick Mitt Fix Is In, by Charles P. Pierce – Esquire

At this moment, I am still digesting the incredible farrago of gibbering nonsense, vengeful religious rage, political chickenshit, and Mandarin Chinese that combined to make the 45,670th of 62,390 scheduled Republican presidential debates the Level 4 biohazard that it was.

Oh yeah…you know Pierce take on the debate is going to be good.

In brief, Saturday night may have been the most naked piece of point-shaving and game-throwing since the 1919 World Series. I’ve seen fixed prizefights where the issue was more in doubt. The other candidates went so far into the tank for Willard that they may not dry off until next August. In the 1950’s, Frankie Carbo would have had them all killed because they made it look so damned obvious. Where was the promised Gingrich assault on the frontrunner? Where was the blood, the guts, the glory? Where was the damn slasher film we all anticipated? This was a waltz, and a clumsy one. If the people in that audience had any pride at all, they’d have attacked the ABC platform and demanded satisfaction for this massive piece of consumer fraud.

The coalescing has begun. The non-Romneys seem to be coming to grips with the fact that there’s virtually no chance that Willard isn’t the nominee. So, by and large, the rest of them started paying court staying away from him.

Pierce then breaks down the two things all this VP ass kissing accomplished.

1) Willard was able to get away with being even more banal than he usually is, except for that one moment when George Stephanopoulos tried to get him to give a straight answer on the right to privacy as derived from the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision in reference to contraception. “I don’t know any state that wants to ban contraception, George,” said Willard, running through all four of the expressions of which his face is capable, beginning with “Lordly Disdain” and ending with “Flog The Butler.” Stephanopoulos pressed on. (At one point, I thought he might throw a packet of Trojans at Willard and say, “These, motherfucker!”) Romney ducked, weaved, made his face work harder than he was, until he finally cried, “Hey, contraception works!”

Not exactly Webster’s Reply To Hayne, true. But not banal.

And:

2) Because they declined to be dicks to Willard, because they’re all going to spend most of next autumn getting sockless, drunk, and standing behind him on a stage, pretending they don’t want to hit him with their shoes, the rest of the cast decided to be dicks toward each other, toward the president, and toward large numbers of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen. Ron Paul called Newt Gingrich a chickenhawk, and Newt responded by saying that he’d never asked for his deferment, which he received because he was married at the time to the first of his future ex-wives. Paul came back at him. “When I was called, I was married and had two kids. I went.” Dr. Paul has a dickish side to him that has been heretofore covert. Not anymore.

However, not to be outdone…

Newt rallied his well-wrought dickness, though, right after a lengthy wrangle over gay marriage that might have been the most pointless discussion of that particular controversial issue ever conducted, by attacking the “liberal news media” for paying so much attention to discrimination under the law aimed at gay people, and none at all to the fact that Catholic organizations have been forbidden from arranging adoptions and performing other social services because they choose to practice discrimination based on religion. “There’s anti-Christian bigotry and none of it gets covered,” thundered Gingrich, who earlier in the discussion said that being nice to gay couples (Hey, you can visit your partner when he’s dying. Is this a great country or what?) didn’t mean adjusting the sacrament of marriage. It apparently has eluded his Holiness, Pope N. Leroy I, that not only is secular marriage not a sacrament, but also that a lot of Protestant denominations don’t believe it is, either.

Just go over to the link and read the whole thing…

The thing that stood out to me was the misleading remarks when it came to Obama and his weak liberal stance on Iraq, and his European socialist policies. Misleading is putting it mildly. Obama follows in Rumsfeld’s footprints

Defense analysts almost immediately drew the comparison between Rumsfeld’s vision and the one spelled out in Obama’s plan.

“It is easy to emphasize Asia, technology, and quality over quantity,” Pentagon adviser and Center for Strategic and International Studies analyst Anthony Cordesman said Thursday. “In fact, this is what Secretary Rumsfeld did.”

Center for Defense Information analyst Winslow Wheeler, a former congressional defense aide, said the Obama plan is “very much like Rumsfeld’s ‘Transformation’ agenda.”

What’s more, Wheeler said, the Obama plan’s shifting of the nation’s defense strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region “re-emphasizes the focus on the Air Force and Navy as the ‘transformative’ military services — Rumsfeld’s word, not theirs — but they seem to mean very much the same thing.”

As far as the European Socialist remark made by Newt, let’s go back to Pierce for a moment:

The trademark Gingrichian sneer was mostly leveled at President Obama, who, Gingrich said, “in his desperate attempt to create a radical socialist European model is undoubtedly sincere.” Ooooh, snap! Look upon my adjectives, ye mighty, and despair!

I won’t spend any time on the frothy dick, aka Santorum, you can read Pierce for that…

In other news…Musharraf Will Be Arrested on Arrival in Pakistan, PTI Reports

Pervez Musharraf, who resigned as Pakistan’s president in 2008, will be arrested on arrival in the country later this month, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a prosecutor.

Musharraf is a “proclaimed offender” and there’s no need for a warrant for this arrest, PTI reported today, citing Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, prosecutor at the Federal Investigation Agency. Musharraf lives in Dubai and London and plans to return to Pakistan on Jan. 25 or Jan. 27, according to the report.

In Texas, CVS Refuses To Sell Texas Man Emergency Contraception For His Wife, Suggests He’s A Rapist

A Texas man has enlisted the ACLU to help him sue CVS for gender discrimination after a pharmacist refused to sell him emergency contraception.

Jason Melbourne had already visited four pharmacies in search of Plan B for his wife when he was referred to a CVS in Mesquite, Texas, some 15 miles away from his home. They had one box left:

But when he finally got there, the overnight pharmacist, Minni Matthew, told Melbourne she wasn’t going to sell it to him.

In order for him to buy the meds, the pharmacist said, she’d need to talk to and see the ID of his wife, who was at home with their two young children. He asked why, and she pointed to the fine print on the medication’s box, which says it can only be sold to someone age 17 or older. Melbourne pointed out that he was well over 17.

“I’ve bought this plenty of times in my life, and it’s never been a problem,” he said. “Are you telling me every other place I’ve bought it from has been wrong?”

Didn’t matter, Matthew said, since the medicine obviously wasn’t for him.

Why don’t you show me the law that says you can’t sell this to a man?” Melbourne replied.

The situation got worse from there. Melbourne put his wife on the phone and even Googled the medication to show the pharmacist there was no law against selling it to a man. But “she didn’t want to see it,” he said.

That’s when a male pharmacy technician informed Melbourne that they didn’t want to sell emergency contraception to men because they might be giving it to “rape victims.”

Jezebel notes that Melbourne’s ordeal happened around the same time that a Houston CVS store refused to sell another man Plan B. CVS apologized for that last month, calling it an “isolated incident.” It wasn’t.

CVS isn’t the only pharmacy that has issues with selling Plan B to a man…

In fact, in 2010 ACLU received reports that Walgreens stores in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma were refusing to sell emergency contraception to men. Walgreens relented when the ACLU confronted them publicly.

Moving on, yes I am too tired to keep this up much longer.

‘Whooping cranes plane’ runs afoul of FAA

Ten young whooping cranes and the bird-like plane they think is their mother had flown more than halfway to their winter home in Florida when federal regulators stepped in.

Now the birds and the plane are grounded in Alabama while the Federal Aviation Administration investigates whether the journey violates regulations because the pilot was being paid by a conservation group to lead the cranes on their first migration instead of working for free.

FAA regulations say only pilots with commercial pilot licenses can fly for hire. The pilots of Operation Migration’s plane are instead licensed to fly sport aircraft because that’s the category of aircraft that the group’s small, open plane with its rear propeller and bird-like wings falls under. FAA regulations also prohibit sport aircraft — which are sometimes of exotic design — from being flown to benefit a business or charity.

From Minx’s Missing Link File: An interesting health link for you today…

Radical liver surgery saves life of young mom, California first

A team led by Alan Hemming, MD, transplant surgeon at UC San Diego Health System, has successfully performed the west coast’s first ex-vivo liver resection, a radical procedure to completely remove and reconstruct a diseased liver and re-implant it without any tumors. The procedure saved the life of a 27-year old mother whose liver had been invaded by a painful tumor that crushed the organ and entangled its blood supply.

“During a 9-hour surgery the team was able to remove the basketball-sized tumor,” said Hemming, professor and surgical director of the Center for Hepatobiliary Disease and Abdominal Transplantation (CHAT) at UC San Diego Health System. “This is a surgery that carries a 15 to 20 percent risk of mortality. In this case, the patient would not have survived if she did not have surgery. This was the only way we could save her liver and her life.”

During the procedure, the diseased liver was detached from the body, flushed with preservation solution and cooled to a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius. This allowed Hemming to carefully remove the tumor from the liver in a bloodless field while preserving vital structures. Hemming then removed the tumor which weighed as much as the liver itself. Once the tumor was removed, the vessels were meticulously reconstructed. The liver was then successfully reimplanted.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week: A few weeks ago I wrote about the Congo’s version of the Loch Ness Monster. Well, there is a guy heading into the jungle to find the Congo mokele mbembe. Dom Joly: If I’m munched by a mokele mbembe, farewell, dear readers – Dom Joly – Columnists – The Independent

I’m off to the Congo for two weeks. I’m still travelling the world looking for reputed monsters to put in my new book, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps. This time I’m going after the mokele mbembe, a dinosaur-type creature that is supposed to inhabit Lake Tele in the far north of “good” Congo.

In case you didn’t know, there are two Congos: the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) is the “bad” Congo. The giveaway being the use of “democratic” in the name – this is always a sign that it is not democratic and not much fun (see the German Democratic Republic and the Democratic People’ s Republic of North Korea). I’m off to the Republic of Congo to try to find the elusive beast that has apparently forced tribes of pygmies to build huge stockades around their villages.

Lets hope he doesn’t become lunch.

That is it for me, it is 3am and I just want to go to sleep. So if you come accross any typos…you know why.

What are you all reading and blogging about today?

 

**Updated**

The New York Times has a review of this mornings debate: <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/us/politics/romney-is-the-main-target-in-a-caustic-gop-debate.html”>Romney Is the Main Target in a Caustic G.O.P. Debate – NYTimes.com</a>


36 Comments on “Sunday Reads: No more…please!”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    You gotta just love Charles PIerce who sums it up so beautifully! And CVS is just a preview of what these schmucks want to do across the nation if given the opportunity.

    If there ever was a more lackluster group of dimwits gathered on one stage I’ve yet to see it. Imagine declaring you want to be the leader of this nation but only for those who think just as you do.

    Gays, women, seniors and the handicap just don’t measure up. MItt is the biggest purveyor of crap going with his lame sense of humor and convoluted answers delivered with a smirk on his stupid face.

    Newt just handed Fox News its latest headline and faux outrage with “the War on Christians” stupidity.

    Great round up, Mink.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Thanks Pat, speaking of headlines…on Drudge:

      STEPHANOPO-MESS

      ABCNEWS ANCHOR REVERTS TO DEM OPERATIVE IN DEBATE…
      DECLARES ‘ROMNEY IS WEAKEST’ VS. OBAMA…

  2. Debated out, but I nearly choked last night when the newly devout Newter told everyone that marriage was a sacrament…for 3000 years. Gosh if anyone KNOWS marriage, now that Liz Taylor has died, Newter is The Man. And, oh no, the poor Christians are under attack and no one cares – guess he isn’t watching FOX.

    What disturbs me the most is the grounding of the plane leading the whooping cranes on their first migration. This unscheduled stop could jeopardize an entire generation of whooping cranes. Several years ago all but one of the group was lost at their enclosure in Crystal River, FL due to a freak weather event. This species was almost extinct and has been brought back from the brink. More info here: http://www.operationmigration.org/ Way to go FAA – this flight has been taking place since 2001!

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    If “familiarity breeds contempt” than these candidates have proven it.

  4. Sophie says:

    They’re baaaack…this time on Meet the Press from Concord, NH.

  5. mablue2 says:

    Better moderators please.

    Gregory is killing me. Have these guys received marching orders to protect Romney?

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    What’s wrong with me that I prefer to listen to Newt than to Mittens?

    I need meds.

    • mablue2 says:

      I think I have the same problem.

      Has there ever been anyone as phony as Mitt Romeny in public life?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Newt really had Mitt nailed when he said Mitt had been running for president for years–even while he was governor. And Mitt’s excuses for not running for reelection were hilarious! He didn’t run because he’s not a full-time politician–just a patriotic American businessman. LOL

      No there has never been anyone as phony as Mitt, not ever!

      • dakinikat says:

        Newt did have him nailed. It was a kodak moment. Willard had that deer in the headlights look. He can’t do anything off script.

        Loved it when Willard said he’d never seen the super pac ad, oh, but wait once, and then gave a blow by blow description of the entire thing.

  7. Riverbird says:

    One debate moment I remember from 2008 is when the moderators asked Hillary tough questions about international leaders while giving Obama softball questions. SNL did a parody of that debate.

    I decided last night that, much as I hate to, I will vote for Obama this November instead of abstaining as I did in 2008. I can’t stand the thought of any of those clowns having the power to nominate people to the Supreme Court. (Yes, I would consider voting for Huntsman but he has zero chance of being nominated.) Ugh.

  8. mablue2 says:

    Where do I get my 90 min back?

  9. Newter’s comment about the dump (?) in NH as a reason to bash the EPA intrigued me. I Googled it and had a hard time finding something, but I persisted. Here’s a link: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/942499-196/nashuas-landfill-smells-something-strange-with-epa.html in the event anyone else was curious. Newter made it sound like a Really Big Deal. Doesn’t seem like much at all and the local newspaper made a phone call & cleared it up. Newter – you are a Drama Queen! I’m giving you a Pinocchio nose of your very own!

    • HT says:

      If you don’t have anything concrete, you make stuff up right?

      • Agreed. That, however, is my main concern. These guys (along with the bozos on FOX) say “things” and no one ever seems to question it, ask for the facts, demand they cite their references & the acolytes simply accept it as gospel. If I wanted to live in Fantasy Land I’d go to Disney. Are the Right Wing electorate all brain dead zombies?

      • ralphb says:

        Yes and yes.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        These guys (along with the bozos on FOX) say “things” and no one ever seems to question it, ask for the facts, demand they cite their references & the acolytes simply accept it as gospel.

        Connie, that is what Pierce is talking about in his book Idiot America.

        From the book:
        Chapter Two: The war on Expertise

        Pierce quotes Charles Freeman,

        “Christian thought…often gave irrationality the status of a universal ‘truth’ to the exclusion of those truths to be found through reason. So the uneducated was preferred to the educated, and the miracle to the operation of the natural laws.”

        In America, the founders were trying to get away from all that, to raise a nation of educated people. But the were not trying to do so by establishing an orthodoxy of their own to replace the one at which they were chipping away. They believed they were creating a culture within which the mind could roam to its wildest limits because the government they had devised included sufficient safeguards to keep the experiment from running amok.

        A bit further:

        The failure of the Idiot America is a failure of imagination or more specifically, it is a failure to recognize the utility of the imagination. Idiot America is a bad place for crazy notions. It neither encourages them nor engages them. Rather its indolent tolerance of them causes the classic American crank to drift easily into the mainstream, whereupon the cranks lose all their charm and the country loses another piece of its mind.

        Pierce feels television has something to do with it..

        …television that has enabled Idiot America to run riot within modern politics and all forms of public discourse. It’s not that there is less information of television than there once was. In fact, there is so much information that “fact” is now defined as something believed by so many people that television notices their belief, and truth is measured by how fervently they believe it.

        .I think the internet is making the situation even worse…information at the tips of your fingers…whether it is true or not, who cares.

  10. Sophie says:

    Pundits are funny…the right wing is talking about how well Romney did and the lefties talking about how poorly he did!

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    At last Huntsman appears to be human. The others, not so much.

    Plastic Pants Mitt, Google Eyed Ron Paul, Deer in the Headlights Perry, “Jesus” candidate Santorum, and Windbag Newt, Huntsman looks and acts like someone who knows where his butt is located and chooses not to speak out of it like the rest of them.

    Which may mean much but there it is.

    • peggysue22 says:

      >>>Huntsman looks and acts like someone who knows where his butt is located and chooses not to speak out of it like the rest of them.<<<<<

      Which is why Huntsman is at the bottom of the pack. Even Mr. Goodhair–let's send our boys back into Iraq, get the job done–has received more attention because he's so incredibly not with it.

      The whole thing is charade. Ron Paul, despite his odious libertarian ideology, offers the biggest threat to Republican ideology, the party that worships war and banking cartels.

      Obama should be sweating over his chances for reelection. Despite the jobs report [200,000 created and a reduction in unemployment to 8.5] the actual workforce numbers continued contracting, which is why the 8.5% is a load of BS. We've been lied to repeatedly by this Administration, watched example after example of botched leadership.

      But with this GOP crew, the electorate is given no choice. Which I don't think is an accident. The ultimate decision will be made by the 'powers that be.' John Smart has an interesting take–if we don't see the scandal machine pickup by March against Obama [and there's plenty of fodder], we'll know which way the election will go. Scandal headlines = Romney; no scandals = Obama.

      This is a puppet show at best.

  12. Any thoughts on how the MTP debate might have changed polling #s? Huntsman got a few good comments in & everyone was piling on Mittens. BTW, I heard today on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me that 2% of people polled actually think Willard’s real first name is MITTENS. Funny!

    I just checked the latest polls & Romney is losing points, Huntsman has moved up a bit and Santorum is down a bit. There are still an estimated 15% Undecided.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      You know Connie, whenever I hear or read the name Willard, I think of that creepy movie where the dude has some crazy control over rats…Willard (2003) – IMDb

      A young man with an unusual connection with rats, uses them at his own sociopathic will.

      And when I think about the GOP in general, that premise is not too far of.

  13. ralphb says:

    I think we’re due a little palette cleanser after the whackadoodle debates. There are some very nice short videos from Rick Mereki here … http://vimeo.com/rickmereki

    3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films.