Sunday Reads: Volcanic Ash, Elephant Speak and Secret Pigeons of War

Good Morning

This morning’s post has many items that are not about Romney, Ryan or the election. I suppose however, we should get a few of the newsy links out-of-the-way first.

The forecasters are predicting cold weather in the Northeast. U.S. disaster relief in a race against freezing cold

The power restorations relit the skyline in Lower Manhattan for the first time in nearly a week and allowed 80 percent of the New York City subway service to resume, but more than a million homes and businesses still lacked power, down from 3.5 million on Friday.

The power outages combined with a heating oil shortage meant some homes could go cold as unseasonably frigid weather sets in. Forecasters saw temperatures dipping into the upper 30s Fahrenheit (around 3 degrees Celsius) on Saturday night with freezing temperatures expected next week.


The weather forecast remains bleak. An aggressive early-season “Nor’easter” storm was expected to hit the battered New England coast next week with strong winds and heavy rain.

Another storm has been brewing over the last year, the disaster cyclone that is Romney. Over on the Maddow Blog, Steven Benen has been chronicling the Romney Lies. His latest entry can be found here: Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XLI – The Maddow Blog

In a way, I blame my friend Greg Sargent. In the first week in January, he noted, almost in passing, that Mitt Romney seemed to be making a lot of false claims, and someone “really should document them all.” That struck me as a good idea, so I decided to tackle this on my own.

After all, I thought at the time, how hard could this be? Once a week, I’d let readers know about Romney’s whoppers, which I assumed would total about a half-dozen a week, and maybe after the election, I’d do a top 20 list of my favorites. The project would be a nice little Friday-afternoon feature.

Little did I know at the time that Romney would become an ambitious prevaricator, whose rhetoric would come to define post-truth politics. Nearly 11 months after Greg Sargent’s harmless suggestion, I’ve published 40 installments in this series, which, before today, featured 884 falsehoods. (If you include today’s edition, the new total is 917 falsehoods for the year.)

I wish that were a typo. It’s not.

I have followed this series from the beginning, and actually have linked to a few articles now and then. If you want to skim over lies upon lies, then check out the full Mendacity series here.


I’ve got several links for you on the GOP’s War on Women:

Bush Appointed Judge Rules Against Obama Administration’s Guarantee of Access To Birth Control

Judge Robert Cleland, a George H.W. Bush appointee and former Republican candidate for Michigan Attorney General, held yesterday that a private, for-profit outdoor power equipment company can ignore new rules requiring most employer-provided health plans to offer contraceptive coverage to womenbecause the new rules conflict with the company’s owner’s religious beliefs.

There’s a lot to not like about Judge Cleland’s opinion, which often relies on cursory reasoning or fails to apply the correct legal standard. The plaintiffs, for example, sought what is known as a “preliminary injunction” which means that they wanted their client to be held immune from following the law until the court has sufficient time to fully consider the case. Under binding Supreme Court precedent, “[a] plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits.” Yet Judge Cleland never determines that this is the case. At one point, he says that it “remains uncertain” how to resolve a key prong of this case. At another point, he outright states that “[n]either Plaintiffs nor the Government have shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits.” For this reason, an appeals court should reverse Cleland’s order solely because he failed to apply the correct legal standard.

There are many other observations about the ruling at the link.

Do you remember that Bishop that compared Obama to Hitler, well…he is making all catholic priest read a letter at this morning’s mass. Here is a good Catholic’s take on the letter and The Vatican’s Merger With The GOP via Andrew Sullivan

In Peoria, Illinois, Catholic Bishop Jenky, who has previously compared president Obama with Hitler and Stalin, has ordered a letter to be read at all masses next Sunday by the priest. This instruction gives you a taste of the legacy of Benedict XVI in his restoration of total clerical and episcopal obedience:

By virtue of your vow of obedience to me as your Bishop, I require that this letter be personally read by each celebrating priest at each Weekend Mass, November 3/4.

It’s a screed about religious liberty, with respect to the liberty of Catholic hierarchs to prevent the 99 percent of their female parishioners who use contraception from getting it from their health insurance via Obamacare. Money quote from the unhinged letter which all but instructs Catholics to vote for Romney-Ryan:

Nearly two thousand years ago, after our Savior had been bound, beaten, scourged, mocked, and crowned with thorns, a pagan Roman Procurator displayed Jesus to a hostile crowd by sarcastically declaring: Behold your King. The mob roared back: We have no king but Caesar. Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord. They are objectively guilty of grave sin.

For those who hope for salvation, no political loyalty can ever take precedence over loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his Gospel of Life.

Democrats are the equivalent of the mob who called out to crucify Jesus. The man has lost his sense of proportion and compassion and restraint entirely. But so, alas, has the hierarchy he serves.

Here is an update on Planned Parenthood in Texas. Errors in Texas database pose barriers to health care access

Texas health commissioner Kyle Janek said Wednesday that errors in a state-crafted database intended to help women find reproductive health care providers are “a real problem.”

As the state attempts to implement a rule barring Planned Parenthood clinics from participating in the government-funded Women’s Health Program, the health commission has directed low-income women­ to use its online database to search for a new provider.

Nearly half of the women served by the program currently rely on Planned Parenthood. The commission says that more than 3,000 providers are available to serve these women, but many experts are skeptical that these facilities will be able to accommodate the women displaced by the new rule.

Read the rest of the horrible situation women in Texas must face for basic services.

The database has garnered complaints from health care providers and patients for producing what they see as inflated and “misleading” search results. It includes a number of duplicate entries, facilities that do not provide reproductive health services (such as children’s clinics), and listings for clinics that are unable to see new program clients.

When confronted about the issue by The American Independent at an event hosted by The Texas Tribune, Janek insisted that the “3,000 providers” figure was accurate and that the error-prone database is “a separate list.”

“When we say that we’ve got 3,000 providers out there ready to participate in this program, there’s no duplicates,” he said.

Still, Janek admitted the inaccurate database is “a real problem.”

Very upsetting, please read more at the link.

More disgusting stuff about violence against women Rapists, Beware: Detroit Prosecutor IDs 21 Attackers in ‘Rape Kit’ Probe  I realize that headline may sound promising but it is not.

Twenty-one serial rapists have been identified in a massive investigation led by Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy—and her manhunt has only just begun.

Worthy is leading a charge to investigate more than 11,000 police “rape kits”—which contain swabs of semen, saliva, and other evidence of rape—so the rapists can be brought to justice. The thousands of rape kits had piled up in a dusty police warehouse in Detroit for years, ignored, until one of Worthy’s colleagues stumbled upon them in 2009. Since then, an outraged Worthy has been fighting to get the kits logged, tested for DNA, and then entered into the national DNA database.

11,000 rape kits that have yet to be worked over? WTF…

The logging of the kits alone has been a staggering project. “There were no police reports attached to the kits,” she says, explaining that her colleagues “literally had to dust them off” and “physically go through and open them to get the name of the victim, the date that it happened.” A federal grant for $1 million—the first of two such grants of its kind, with the other going to Houston—has helped her get all the kits logged, she says, but the grant won’t cover the DNA testing of all 11,303 kits. “Unfortunately money’s not falling from the sky,” she says.

Rape-kit pileups aren’t just a problem in Detroit. In recent years, cities across the country have reported mountains of kits—11,000 in San Antonio, 1,200 in Albuquerque, 4,000 in Houston—according to Sarah Tofte, who has studied the national debacle for the advocacy group Human Rights Watch. Experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of kits are languishing in police warehouses.

When Worthy learned of the Detroit pileup from the colleague who discovered it by chance, she says, she demanded immediate action from the police chief at the time. “No one really paid attention to what I was saying and yelling about till about four months in,” she says. People finally took notice, she says, when someone in the police department leaked the news to the press.

I can’t quote the rest, you have to read it for yourself. It is maddening! Women don’t matter, and the treatment we receive from the right-wing assholes is sometimes more than I can bear.

For some perspective on this, check out how a typical white male GOP loving Fox News celebrity views women voters. Bill O’Reilly on single women voters: hot, good at costumes, not too smart.

Bill O’Reilly has been very concerned about the problem of degrading women lately. So concerned, in fact, that he worried out loud that Sandra Fluke had degraded women with her immodest suggestion that insurance benefits cover contraception. With Bill O’Reilly as a fierce protector of ladies, you can imagine that his show’s segment on single female voters last night was a chaste, respectful affair that represented the wide diversity of this important portion of the electorate: the never-married, the divorced, the widowed, the single mothers and the non-mothers, the cohabitating but unmarried, the young and the old, and, of course, women from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Just kidding! O’Reilly sent his producer Jesse Watters out on Halloween weekend to interview sexy young white women on the street, all of them in costume and ready to party, so that Watters could leer at their single lady voter breasts and condescendingly make “can you believe they have a right to vote?!” faces at the camera in response to the women’s selectively edited answers to his questions.

My favorite part is when Watters asks one woman, an Obama supporter, if she’s a “radical feminist” in the same tone adults use when asking kindergartners what they want to be when they grow up. After she points out that feminism is simply a matter of believing women have equal rights, the audience is reminded that we’re supposed to find that answer ridiculous with a sarcastic quick cut to a man saying, “I sure do appreciate knowing that.”

Read the rest of Amanda Marcotte’s article, where she touches on the Fox News audience…a bunch of dirty old men. If you missed Dak’s article yesterday on the Fox Assholes...then go read it. Wow!

I’ve got another article for you, about Why Frightened White Men Love Romney

These are the facts you don’t want to know. This is the hard data that can make you cringe, that can despoil the soul and make you wonder at the sad state of the modern world, and gender politics, and the tragically deceived hearts of (ahem) men.

All that progress! All that supposed enlightenment! All that push and desire, that evolution and that open-hearted possibility! And for what? For naught! For shame!

That is just a taste…being married to one of those white men with a fondness for Mittens, I can tell you that I still don’t get why anyone would vote for Romney.

Great, now that all those terrible links are posted, let’s get to the fun.

More after the jump…

I don’t know where to begin…first an update, during the beginning of the year we had stories of mass bird deaths, not only in the US, but in Britain as well. Check it out, I have heard of cattle getting drunk (they eat apples which ferment as they digest them) but I’ve never heard of drunk birds: Mass blackbird deaths attributed to intoxication from fermented berries

bizarre spate of young blackbird deaths at a school in England was likely caused by the feathered teens getting drunk on fermented berries, crashing mid-air and falling from the sky, according to vets.

Police and animal experts were called in after more than a dozen birds were found dead at a primary school in Cumbria last August — many of them sporting serious injuries.

One of the juvenile blackbirds was found alive but appeared “drunk”, pressing its wings into the ground to steady itself and trying to stay upright by leaning against the walls of the enclosure it was taken to.

Foul play was initially suspected, but post-mortem examinations ruled out a murder spree or diseases like bird flu.

Instead, the examiners found berries in the birds’ stomachs that had a smell of fermentation, said a report in the BMJ Group journal Veterinary Record.

Alcohol levels were very high in blood of these birds. Most telling however was that once that one bird who was found in a stupor had a night’s rest, he woke up fine.

“Some of the birds had died from traumatic injury, possibly related to in-flight collisions secondary to intoxication,” wrote investigators from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

“Unsteadiness on the feet, a tendency to fall over and losing the ability to steer is considerably more of a problem when life is normally spent in trees or in the air,” added a media statement.

The lone survivor made a full recovery and was released back into the wild after sleeping off its hangover.

That bird must have had one hell of a headache.

On to a quick interview with another bird who is best known for her alcoholic benders. I should say her portrayal of drunken floozy.  I am speaking of Joanna Lumley, aka Patsy Stone.  My Secret Life: Joanna Lumley, 66, actress – Profiles – People – The Independent

This next story is really something, you need to hear and see the video of this elephant who speaks Korean.  Elephant mimics Korean with help of his trunk Yeah, it manipulates the sound with his trunk. Cool huh?

Alright, the next few links will be a series of articles, photos and video in a timeline of Earth’s history…

This first one is special to me because when I made handwoven jewelry, my shop was called Painted Bull, after the cave paintings in France.

Gorgeous Cave Paintings and Sculptures from Tens of Thousands of Years Ago

Credit: Prof saxx, Wikimedia Commons

Painted aurochs and antelopes, estimated to be around 17,300 years old, caper across the wall of a cave in Lascaux, France.

 More cave paintings at the link.

Next we have one that dakinikat will like, Bulgaria archaeologists find Europe’s most prehistoric town Provadia-Solnitsata

Archaeologists find Europe's most prehistoric town

The remains of a man with a ceramic bowl Photo: AFP/GETTY

Experts believe the key to the development of the town was salt, which at the time was as valuable as gold.

Remains of the ancient settlement, including the ruins of two-storey houses, fortification walls and parts of a gate, have been unearthed near the modern-day town of Provadia, close to the Black Sea resort of Varna.

It dates back to between 4,700 and 4,200BC – more than a millennium before the start of Greece’s ancient civilisation.

Jump forwards quite a bit, to Alaska…Ash from 100-year-old Novarupta volcanic eruption sweeps over Kodiak Island

Strong winds swept ash from the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century into the atmosphere Tuesday, creating a haze over Alaska’s Kodiak Island and prompting the National Weather Service to issue flight warnings for the area.

Powerful northwest winds funneled through the mountains at the Katmai Bay, sending ash around 4,000 feet into the sky southeast toward Kodiak.

Brian Hagenbuch, general meteorologist at the National Weather Service Anchorage office, was the first to spot the ash. “When the sun came up yesterday, I noticed it looked foggy on the Larson Bay camera,” one of many cameras set up by the FAA to monitor weather conditions. But as the sun continued to rise, he noted the fog looked smoggy and brown.

Around 10 a.m., Hagenbuch checked the visible satellite and found a “milky, dome-shaped plume.” He then double-checked on infra-red equipment that is used specifically to spot ash even through cloud cover, which verified his findings.

Having confirmed his suspicions, Hagenbuch put together a “Significant Meterological Event” warning, called a SIGMET, to alert pilots of the hazardous conditions in the area.

Hagenbuch says that very strong winds “from time to time” will stir up the ash from Novarupta.

Flying volcanic ash that is one hundred years old? This is something I’ve never heard of…have you?

The Novarupta volcanic eruption of June 6, 1912, occurred in what is now the Katmai National Park and Preserve. For three days, the volcano spewed 100 times more material than the Mount St. Helens eruption, shooting plumes 20 miles into the air and burying the valley downwind in over 500 feet of ash and volcanic rock. Four years later, when botanist Robert Griggs visited the valley, steam still poured from vents across the valley, prompting the crew to name it The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

Let us move forward again, to World War II…Undercover pigeon carrying WWII secrets found in chimney

Pigeon skeleton and the coded message it was carrying during World War II.

Pigeon skeleton and the coded message it was carrying during World War II. Credit: Bletchley ParkThe remains of a carrier pigeon from World War II have been found in the chimney of a house in Bletchingley, Surrey, with the top-secret coded message it was meant to deliver still attached to the bird’s foot.

The pigeon could have been dispatched from Nazi-occupied France during the D-Day invasions and was thought to have been headed for Bletchley Park with the coded message.

More info at the link…

And finally, a video…a quick look at the history of the world, from the very beginning of time! Watch the entire history of the planet in under two minutes

I guess this was two big post in one, so you all can take it in bits at a time. Well…what sort of things are you doing today? What are your reading about? Comments below…have at it.

76 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Volcanic Ash, Elephant Speak and Secret Pigeons of War”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Fantastic post jj. The history of the Earth video is awesome.

    The story of backlogged rape kits isn’t new. I remember when the backlog in Los Angeles was big news. I did a search & found these links from 2009 – & (this one from the rape of a then 13 year old girl in Texas)

    The pigeon story saddened me. War is bad, period. The real victims, primarily women & children get little coverage, but the animals’ lives are rarely discussed at all. All of the horses, dogs, pigeons & others used, killed, lost or left behind. If only we humans could have serious discussions about peace & the avoidance of war. If only those who profess to be pro-life actually were defenders of the living at least as vociferously as they are of potential life.

    Can anyone in SD Land suggest a website with polls for the House races? I was curious about Ryan’s & Cantor’s races & I can’t find any polls or anyone talking about these races recently.

    It’s too early for me to deal with either O’Reilly’s outrageousness or read about more angry white men. I’m hoping to make this a Stupid Free Day. I just don’t think I can “laugh it off” today.

    Oh, and here’s a link to the bomb scare at the Winter Park Public Library polling place yesterday:

    Thanks for a super duper post.

  2. peregrine says:

    Joanna Lumley — I loved the Brit sitcom, “Absolutely Fabulous” or Ab Fab, that she and Jennifer Saunders (the writer) starred in back in the ’90s. I watched enough repeats not to want to watch those again. These comedies went on to this summer, but I never saw a listing for them. I wish Saunders and Dawn French would give us a new comedy series.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Great post, mink!

    I put myself on a self imposed “mini sabbatical” for the remainder of the election but I just keep tuning in. The masochist in my just won’t quit.

    To think that this election featuring one of the worst candidates to ever emerge from any primary is merely a few points apart from winning this thing is astounding. You need not be an Obama supporter to truly appreciate what is at stake in this race – more so than any other time in history IMHO – and this lying sack of spoiled meat could actually pull it out is beyond comprehension.

    More so when considering that few people really understand who this guy is and what he stands for. Pathetic.

    It should not be this close but there you have it.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      This election is of epic proportions. When the Repugs & their mouthpiece (Willard the Rat) say “we want to take America back”, they really mean it. But they don’t want to take it back for the Americans they’ve fooled into voting for them. Oh, no! They want it ALL back for themselves. They’ve been trying to regain the income inequality levels they – the rich white men – had before the Great Stock Market Crash & subsequent Great Depression. Damn it, the Founding Fathers guaranteed a country ruled by white landowning (& slave owning, often) MEN. See, they’ve left off the beginning of the phrase. Completed it would say:

      IT’S OURS AND WE WANT TO TAKE IT BACK. Most repugnant to them? The fact that the descendant of a slave was elevated to the office of the presidency. Uppity? You betcha. And it was those others – the wimmin folk & the “colored” (African American & Latino) who illegally gave him that position. Don’t forget the wimmin & the 3/5ths humans were not included in the right to vote guaranteed by the Constitution. And they are so close to having it all & they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal and regain all of the power & money. “You people” (read us) need to crawl back into your hovels & STFU. Yeah, I got the message & I totally reject it.

      • peregrine says:

        You scream it from the roof-tops, ecocat! This campaign has proven in spades that millions of Americans slavishly watch and heed their foxnews masters, and are turning out to vote for the radical republican cretins without the foggish notion why. Something about losing their religious freedoms (?), or the President is a muslim, commie, fascist (?), or “I forgot why”. 79% of the French support Obama and I’d bet you real money they know why. We’ve become a scary people who like to cram “our democratic values” down other country(wo)men’s throats.

        I’ve been thinking about how to change our political landscape and it will take a rising up…and soon.

      • peregrine says:

        Since I yell about cretins all the time, I took the test that candidates for citzenship take provided in the paper today (8 not the 10 usual questions). I missed one.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “To think that this election featuring one of the worst candidates to ever emerge from any primary is merely a few points apart from winning this thing is astounding”

      Pat……It is astounding. But, as you’ve pointed out many times, this election for the GOP/TP is about hate, hate and hate. You nailed this months ago.

      BTW….I strolled by the old ratfucker blog last night out of morbid curiosity, LO AND BEHOLD he’s dropped all pretense of not being a ratfucker. Obama hate, hate, hate is all that remains there. He actually interviewed the HillBuzz blog guy, Kevin Dujon, on his internet radio show. I couldn’t bring myself to even listen to it. What a spectacle those blogs have become.


      • ANonOMouse says:

        Even though I believe Obama will win, I know watching the results will be a slow agonizing slog. So, I’ve made the decision not to stay up all night and torture myself over it. I’m going to bed at 10, when I wake up during the night, which I always do, I’ll check the results. If they’re good, I’ll shout hooray and go back to bed, if they’re not I’ll still go back to bed,.It is what it is. Peace!!!

      • peregrine says:

        mouse, it’s a nice try, but you don’t fool me for one NY second. You’ll be all over the results Tuesday, either getting up 25 times during the night to check or getting 25 minutes of sleep. Come on, you’re a political junkie and Tuesday is the biggest night of the last 4 years!

      • dakinikat says:

        That blog is the edge of nowhere …it’s ranking is like 4.5 million on Alexa. A pure vanity endeavor.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “Come on, you’re a political junkie and Tuesday is the biggest night of the last 4 years!”

        Ok, so I’ll go to bed at 10pm and leave the TV on. 🙂

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “That blog is the edge of nowhere …it’s ranking is like 4.5 million on Alexa. A pure vanity endeavor.”

        LOL!!!! “A pure vanity endeavor” describes that it perfectly. Thanks Dak for making my day.

      • peggysue22 says:

        Anon, I was positively astounded [and saddened] when I saw the announcement on the Dujon interview, not to mention the election forecast with accompanying map. Enough to make my head spin in all honesty. Where did that come from??? How could you turn from a liberal Dem/Hillary supporter to a right-wing cheerleader. If you remember Dujon was apologizing to GW shortly after the 2008 election and comparing Hillary to Palin [as if they weren’t light years of differences and accomplishments between the two women].

        But to see that on a site I once frequented? I’m still flabbergasted.

      • socalannie says:

        Mouse, when I think of that blog, and the hours I wasted there over the years, I think of this:

      • Riverbird says:

        Your mention of that blog rang a bell, and after a few minutes of searching I was able to find it and read it for the first time in a couple of years. Ewwww. I need a shower after reading some of the comments.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Peggy & SoCal:

        Yeah, I couldn’t believe the JWS Flip-flop either, although it began to come into focus for me the summer before the GOP primaries when all of the ratfuckers began to show up there. After the GOP primaries began it became apparent. I argued against it until I began repeating myself 50 times in the same thread. It was then that I decided to say goodbye and I dumped it like a bad habit.

        I was so angry after Hillary lost the nomination, I allowed myself to be taken in by people I thought were libera/progressivel Hillary supporters, but who I now understand were no such thing.

        The moral of that story is, Live & Learn

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Thanks for the Fleetwood SoCal. Love it

    • I know Pat. Lying sack of shit, over 900 flat out lies in 10 months? How can he still be out there running?

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    Good post this morning JJ, Thank you!!

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    What we have failed to realize is that Mittens is The Perfect Candidate. Grover Norquist, the high priest of the sanctum santorum – POWER – decreed that all the Repugnants needed was a candidate who could hold a pen & sign his name. Willard can do that!

    Willard has an extra plus – he’s an empty vessel & is one of Them. He won’t let the privileged sacrifice anything. All you gotta do with Willard is make a new tape & insert it into his slot. He’ll say whatever you need him to say.

    They don’t need a candidate who can connect with “the people”. Those people could have cooties, leprosy, AIDS, or some other unclean disease, or just plain uncleanliness. They were born to do all the actual labor. They can get their hands dirty, mowing our lawns, picking our cotton, fruits & vegetables. They can spray our pesticides and get exposed to most of it. If it kills them, so what. They’ll keep having unprotected sex, that’s all they can afford to do. There will always be an available supply of serfs to do their bidding for a crumb of bread. After all, that’s the natural order of things – it’s god’s plan. Remember- be fruitful & multiply was directed at the fools who believe they will get their “reward” in heaven.

    peregrine, you really shouldn’t encourage me.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    What is most offensive to me is that candidate like Mitt Romney, a man without any discernible principles, whose facility for lying is breathtaking, who has stood for nothing when examining his career, is supported by almost half of the electorate.

    A true “empty suit” with very little to offer when it comes to “trust” is in a dead heat with the current office holder based on lies, distortions, and outright shape shifting that would leave any reasonable person questioning just who he is and where he intends to take the nation if elected. There is “no there there” at all yet look at the polling numbers.

    I guess there is still a glimmer of “idealism” within me that just won’t die. It just seems to me that my idealism no longer has place in this society. Just lie all you want even if disproved and the rewards await!

    How does one support the proposition to eliminate very social safety net that has benefited the majority for decades? How does one support a man who only asks “trust me” without offering any reason to? How does voting against your own self interests better this nation? How can women be treated as nothing more than baby making machines seriously consider placing their futures into the hands of those who desire nothing more than to enslave them?

    This is what is so insensible for me to understand. Liars, panderers, obstructionists, power hungry politicians, bigots, racists, and hate baiters should never be rewarded for their behavior yet we are witnessing the potential that they could.

    It leaves me with a fear that we have lost our moral compass that no longer applies.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      As peregrine suggests above, “I’ve been thinking about how to change our political landscape and it will take a rising up…and soon.”

      I’m too old to do much rising up, I can do my share of shouting, but that’s about it. If the Romney/Ryan plans for America are ever implemented, I expect unrest to follow.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        An American Winter? Problem is, our opposition has most, if not all of the guns, & they control the military & defense department. I guess the NRA would be happy if all of us Lefties hit the gun shows & stocked up on AK47s, rocket propelled grenades & rocket launchers.

        Pat, why do you think the Repugs have waged an all out assault on public education? If we don’t teach our children, they will grow up (have grown up) to be Republicans.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I did my tour of “war duties” when the ERA was influx. I counted myself then as a “femimist” then watched that label distorted when Sarah Palin was granted the same title based on nothing more than that she ran for office and was female.

        I fear for my granddaughters and those who women who will bear the brunt of these proposals should Roe v Wade itself on the ash heap of history and women are relegated back into the shadows because of some fool’s “religious beliefs”.

        A win for the GOP ticket will set civil rights and women’s rights back into the Dark Ages. As a nation who for years fought for “progress” we may be welcoming back an era where progress is impeded by superstition and greed.

        If the GOP wins it means we have honored ignorance above all. There is no way to progress when the bible trumps the Constitution and total fools are placed in charge.

  7. RalphB says:

    Great post JJ! Now for the important pre-election news.

    The Onion: ‘New York Times’ Bully Knocks Stack Of Polls From Nate Silver’s Hands

    NEW YORK—As part of his continued effort to torment the 34-year-old statistician and blogger, feared New York Times bully Derek Kriesel reportedly slapped a stack of opinion polls from Nate Silver’s hands Friday, scattering the surveys across the floor of the organization’s newsroom. “Pick them up, you little fuckin’ dweeb,” said Kriesel, who eyewitnesses confirmed kicked the papers down the hallway before Silver could gather them up. “Hey, Silverdork, I got a poll for you. It says there’s a 90 percent chance that I’m going to beat the shit out of you, what do you think of that?” At press time, sources said Silver was hiding in a supply closet and analyzing the latest electoral data as a menacing voice from across the hall called out, “Oh, Silver! Where are you, Silver?”

    • Pat Johnson says:

      And the Right is questioning his sexuality as if that alone makes a difference.

      I really and truly hate these people with a red hot passion!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Because questioning a person’s sexuality is what the right does when they are out of bullets and are intellectually incapable of launching a rebuttal. They’re a bunch of ignorant homophobes.

  8. RalphB says:

    Another hit from The Onion. I gotta believe Obama is gonna kick ass or I may not make it to Wednesday.

    Romney Pitches In To Repair Thousands Of Downed Romney-Ryan Lawn Signs

    MANTOLOKING, NJ—Saying he had been deeply shaken by the extent of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney visited the storm-battered mid-Atlantic coast Thursday to help victims repair and re-erect thousands of downed Romney-Ryan campaign signs. “I’ve toured up and down the coastline, and I can tell you that the level of damage to campaign signage is unimaginable,” said the visibly concerned candidate, wading through calf-high water and debris to place a tattered “Romney: Believe In America” sign back in the window of a flooded house. “The high winds and storm surge absolutely devastated the signs in their path, and sadly, a number were even washed out to sea. But my team and I will do everything we can to make sure these lawn signs receive the care they need and get back on their legs as soon as possible.” Staffers confirmed the GOP candidate had also donated 10,000 Romney-Ryan baseball caps to families left homeless by the storm.

  9. RalphB says:

    An email to Josh from a reader in Texas. The GOP Super PACs are just burning money to spend it all.

    TPM: The Hot Prez Race in Texas

    Regarding dumping money into non-competitive states, here in Dallas nearly every other commercial is an anti-Obama ad from the superPAC, “Restore our Future.” I’m trying to figure out why they’re dumping so much money into the Texas ad market when I’d assume Texas is about as solidly red as it gets. I have two theories:

    1. It’s to build up GOP enthusiasm for down-ticket races.

    2. They need to spend some of their donations on something other than lining their own pockets to help keep people from realizing they’re nothing but grifters who have been lining their own pockets with all that political donation money.

    That, or they’re secretly scared that Romney could actually lose Texas. Since that seems crazy to me, I think it has to be either 1 or 2. I’m going with 2.

    • I think what bothers me most about my state possibly having a super-majority in both houses is that is exactly what Rove and the other shitblossoms have been working toward. To get the states completely in their grips…now that is scary.

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    My mind keeps returning to the 2010 midterm election that was all about “sending a message” that gave us Joe Walsh, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Alan West, and a host of GOP governors and Fruit Loop members of congress whose very first order of business was going after the unions and women.

    So for me it is not impossible to assume that like or not we could be getting more of the same and by that I mean Mitt Romney.

    Until the last vote is counted and a winner actually declared I will remain unsettled since I no longer trust in the mindset of half the nation to use their commonsense.

    Do I want Obama to win? Yes. Do I trust that he will. Not so much.

    • peregrine says:

      Pat, we dems here might be watching the lights go off in our state Tuesday if the republicans win the governorship and keep Legislature majorities. We could be looking at decades of despair as a result of nutjobs and become like mouse’s state. Ok, mouse, “years of despair….”

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I can’t argue that. The only Dems we’ve sent to Congress in the last 15-20 years are Blue Dogs. We only have 2 Dems in the U.S. Congress, both in the House. Our State Legislature has gone GOP/TP and we have a GOP Governor. We’re a fucking mess

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Eco…..And to think, my partner and I are trying to relocate to FL. I suppose we’ll be jumping from the fire back into the frying pan, but at least we’ll have the ocean.

    • socalannie says:

      I think Obama will win. Thought so even before Sandy. All of my repub/conserv relatives have already voted for Obama, and I never hear anyone talk about R/R except to find something funny or annoying about them. I know there are a gazillion blogs for R/R and theres rethug media, but I don’t think most people pay attention to that. I think we bloggers are a tiny percentage.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m with you SoCal on the “tiny percentage” of us who are political bloggers. We discuss in-depth politics so much, we think everyone else does too, when in fact most people don’t. What surprises me is how many people don’t pay any attention to the candidates at all untll a month or two before the election. Amazing!!!

    • NW Luna says:

      I think most people who voted in 2010 to “throw ’em all out” in disgust saw that things got even worse.

  11. ecocatwoman says:

    MHP just did a segment on True the Vote. The show had sent someone from their staff to a True the Vote training session. Katon Dawson, loyal Repug, said “both sides are doing it.” Well, they aren’t & I’m sick of that line. Dems, Independents are NOT intimidating voters or administering what amounts to a transvaginal ultrasound before someone can vote. Freedom? Liberty? Not so much. Karen Finney came back & said we have Americans fighting & dying in foreign countries to protect & preserve our democracy. It’s unconscionable that guaranteeing free & fair elections in the US is not a bi-partisan issue. (I’ve paraphrased).

  12. ANonOMouse says:

    This one’s for BB

    Nate Silver

    Chance of winning as of today

    Obama 85.1%
    Romney 14.9%

    • RalphB says:

    • peggysue22 says:

      Something to make you feel better, Anon. Aides to Ryan have already publicly expressed what Ryan might do if the Romney/Ryan ticket fails. They’re suggesting he resign from Congress and possibly become a lobbyist or teach, while preparing for a presidential run of his own in 2016. This is a little deja vu from the Palin supporters as the 2008 election was winding down and the numbers looked increasingly grim. Hardly the kind of statement you’d be making if you were confident of a win. Plus I caught a Romney&wife speech to supporters Friday night. Both were wistful in tone, thanking supporters and expressing gratitude. It sounded like a goodbye speech, not something a winning team would come up with.

      The GOP knows that the numbers simply are not there. Even Karl Rove said that Sandy had broken Romney’s much-heralded momentum. When pols start framing the loss, the gig is up. The only question now is voting irregularities, particularly in Ohio. But the legal teams are on the ground and everyone remembers 2000. I suspect they’re prepared this time.

  13. ecocatwoman says:

    Well, I just got my first robocall of the morning. A woman, claiming to be a doctor, called with a message saying the ACA will cost individuals an extra $2000 & turn medical decisions over to the government instead of a person’s doctor. It was sponsored by Independent Women’s Voice. Independent my a$$. I sent them an email:
    Fortunately I have already voted, even though your robocall would not have changed my mind. You see, I don’t vote for LIARS & CROOKS, which is exactly what Mitt Romney & Connie Mack are. In fact, nearly every Republican falls into that category.

    I am sick and tired of all of the lies, including lying to the American people about the ACA. Insurance and pharmaceutical companies have been robbing people & businesses for far too long. I’d prefer a single payer system, but the ACA is certainly better than what we’ve been suffering under for far too long.

    If you REALLY spoke for women, you would support the ACA, which will help women & their children more than any other groups.

    A registered Green Party voter in Orlando, Florida.

    “One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Their website is:

    • NW Luna says:

      blockquote>the ACA will cost individuals an extra $2000 & turn medical decisions over to the government instead of a person’s doctor.

      Oh yeah? Right now medical decisions are turned over to corporations.

      I have a patient who just got new insurance coverage from his new job, instead of his previous student health insurance. This new insurance refuses to cover a medically necessary prescription drug that the patient’s been on for 3 years (the other drugs didn’t control the disease). I had to do paperwork for a “prior authorization,” which goes to a bean-counter with no medical background. They may deny, and then I have to do appeal paperwork, and back and forth, till it gets covered. This is getting to be standard policy for insurance companies.

      The insurance companies have been sending back denials with a “reason,” usually that it’s not necessary. Then we have to fax them pages of guidelines from medical societies and publications that justify the medical necessity. It’s a game. My nurse told me she just got something back from an insurance company that doesn’t even bother to give a reason for denial. Just: “Denied.” Well, of course, we told each other–If they had a reason, we’d know how logically argue against it, so they’re not even bothering with a reason.

      Billions to bail out fraudulent bankers, while my clinic has no social worker. OK, I must go calm down my BP….

      • ecocatwoman says:

        I’m with you Luna. I’m diabetic & not only do I not know what I’ll pay when I refill, compared to what I paid last, but we switched insurance companies. The 2, on the description, were the same co-pays with a reduction in premiums. Test strips went from $10 to $59. Yeah, that’s comparable. I just stopped testing until I can call & see what machine uses the cheapest strips. Good way to manage my healthcare.

  14. RalphB says:

    The shrill one from yesterday.

    Krugman: Reporting That Makes You Stupid

    Today’s Financial Times bears a banner headline on p.1: “US election hangs on a knife edge”. Aside from everything else, surely this gets the cliche wrong: you rest on a knife edge, don’t you? If you try to hang on one, I think you just cut off your fingers.

    More important, though, this headline deeply misleads readers about the state of the race — and in so doing, it echoes a lot of political reporting right now. Quite simply, many of the “analysis” articles being published in these final days leave readers worse informed than they were before reading.

    As Nate Silver (who has lately attracted a remarkable amount of hate — welcome to my world, Nate!) clearly explains, state polling currently points overwhelmingly to an Obama victory. It’s possible that the polls are systematically biased — and this bias has to encompass almost all the polls, since even Rasmussen is now showing Ohio tied. So Romney might yet win. But a knife-edge this really isn’t, and any reporting suggesting that it is makes you stupider.

  15. RalphB says:

    Washington Post pundit predictions. Jim Cramer is a little too bullish on Obama 😉

    Outlook’s 16th Crystal Ball contest

    For our biennial competition, the Outlook section decided to mix it up a bit. We invited several pundits and strategists, as usual, but also people who specialize in forecasting that is decidedly not political. Can the pros hold off the amateurs? We’ll announce the winner next week.

  16. socalannie says:

    Thank you for the great Sunday morning post. So much interesting information.

  17. RalphB says:

    Matthew Dowd told ABC News that every time “you feel a losing campaign, these three things happen”:

    “The first thing happens is, don’t believe — the public polls are wrong. That’s the first sign of a campaign that’s about to lose. The second thing, we’re going to change the nature of the electorate, and you’re not seeing it reflected in the polls. And the third thing is, the only poll that counts is Election Day. When you hear those things, you know you’re about to lose.”

    Number one: Karl Rove on Fox

    “The quality of these state level polls is questionable.”

    Number two: Mark Halperin notes the public polls are still “mostly consistent with what the Obama campaign claims — that the President’s small but durable leads are holding in enough places to checkmate Romney and block him from 270. Much of the press agrees with that conventional wisdom, but there is enough confusion and uncertainty that Romney has achieved an important milestone: he enters the final days cast in the media as tied or just a little bit behind, not a long shot.”

    “Boston is telling its allies what it is telling reporters: their polling, modeling a different electorate, shows a Romney win, including in Ohio.”

    Can number three be far behind? I’m sure it’s being said several times a day because it’s the only one that’s undeniably true.

  18. NW Luna says:

    Flying volcanic ash that is one hundred years old?

    I can believe that. I’ve seen places around here where a layer of volcanic ash from the 1982 St. Helens eruption gets exposed in a roadcut or landslide. If there’s a thick enough layer of ash over the right type of ground, in an area without vegetation to grow back and decompose to cover the ash layer, it could become airborne again.

  19. pdgrey says:

    I’ve been working and have not be able to join in on the fun. But there is some good news in Florida. A judge just ruled on part Of the Democrats lawsuit.
    JJ, I’m going back to look at your post now!