Friday Reads

vintage_arthur_rackham_alice_in_wonderland_art_postcard-r4cfe5ddbcc0a40a39a326a71b12407dd_vgbaq_8byvr_512Good Morning!

I often wonder if today’s Republican Party has gone so far down the rabbit hole that no one in the so-called establishment or business community of donors can rescue it.  Can they control their right wing any more now that they infiltrated every level of government?  Interestingly enough, the suggestion to eliminate caucuses which are easily stacked by activists is one of the suggestions.   We all know how the results from caucuses differ greatly from state primaries.  It’s an interesting concept.  But, can it happen?

The party leaders pushing for changes want to replace state caucuses and conventions, like the one that nominated Mr. Cuccinelli, with a more open primary system that they believe will draw a broader cross-section of Republicans and produce more moderate candidates.

Similar pushes are already underway in other states, including Montana and Utah, and last week Mitt Romney said Republicans should consider how to overhaul their presidential nominating process to attract a wider range of voters. He suggested that states holding open primaries be rewarded with more delegates to the party’s national convention.

While the discussion may appear arcane, it reflects a fierce struggle for power between the activist, often Tea Party-dominated wing of the Republican Party — whose members tend to be devoted to showing up and organizing at events like party conventions — and the more mainstream wing, which is frustrated by its inability to rein in the extremist elements and by the fact that its message is not resonating with more voters.

“Conventions by nature force candidates and campaigns to focus on a very small group of party activists,” said Phil Cox, executive director of the Republican Governors Association and a longtime Virginia-based strategist. He grimaced at the successful movement by conservative activists in his state earlier this year to switch from a primary system to a convention system. “If the goal is actually to win elections, holding more primaries would be a good start.”

Odd to think that today’s Republicans think that enfranchisement is the answer to their problems given all the voter suppression laws taking effect all over the country.

Meanwhile, they are not getting any kinder or gentler on the ground.  The war on women is now enjoined by Lindsay Graham who fears he prof2may lose his primary for re-election to a winger.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday introduced legislation that would ban abortions nationwide for women more than 20 weeks pregnant, the senator’s office announced.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act draws on scientific evidence that says an unborn child can feel pain, according to Graham’s office. The legislation would make it illegal for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion after 20 weeks, or six months, of pregnancy and would mandate a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child prior to any abortion operation.

The legislation would make exceptions only in the case that an abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, or if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest against a minor.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement that the legislation “blatantly” disregards the Constitution and seeks to “insert politicians between women and their doctors in complicated, highly personal medical decisions.”

“Every pregnant woman faces unique circumstances, challenges, and potential complications, and must be able to make her own decisions based on her personal values, the advice of the medical professionals she trusts, and what’s right for her and her family,” Northup said in the statement. “We strongly urge the leadership in the Senate to do what the House failed to do and refuse to consider this harmful and patently unconstitutional attack on women’s health and rights.”

Meanwhile, the religious right is “flummoxed” that some Republican officials don’t believe discrimination on the basis of sexual preference is worthy of day long rants.  They feel their religious beliefs are under attack and that’s the constitutional issue and they want all Senate Republicans to have public hissy fits.

As the Senate passed the Employee Non-Discrimination Act on Thursday, just one Republican senator — Indiana’s Dan Coats — took to the floor to oppose it.

The silence from the Senate Republican caucus stunned social conservatives, who have been arguing that the legislation, which provides workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees, will undermine religious liberty.

“I’m mystified and deeply disappointed, because there are profound constitutional issues at stake here,” said the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. “The entire First Amendment is being put up for auction by this bill and it’s inexcusable that no Republican senators are willing to stand up and defend the Constitution.”

“I believe they have been intimidated into silence by the bullies and bigots of Big Gay,” Fischer added. “They know if they speak out … they will be the target of vitriol, the target of animosity, and very likely, the target of hate.”

Groups like the Family Research Council and Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition have been forcefully opposed to the legislation. In a USA Today op-ed, Reed said that the bill was a “dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom for millions of Americans. The bill’s so-called religious exemption is vague and inadequate.”

Daniel Horwitz, policy director at the Madison Project, blamed Republican leadership for not doing more to fight against the bill and wrote on RedState that “GOP leaders refused to marshal opposition against cloture.”

“With leadership that refuses to fight on anything, leaves the carcass of the fractured conference to Democrat scavenging, and completely surrenders on even the most bedrock social/liberty issues, what is left of the GOP in the Senate?” he wrote.

AdventuresIntoDarkness1001Meanwhile, Rand Paul and his plagiarist ramblings head for the safety of Brietbart DOT COM.

John Kemper, founder of the United Kentucky Tea Party, called the plagiarism flap a “minor detail.”

Jane Aitken, founder of the New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition, called the Paul controversy “a tempest in a teapot.”

“This is why the mainstream media is so off the wall,” she said. “I wish the media would call us about more important stuff than whether Rand Paul copied something from Wikipedia.”

Michael Baranowski, a political scientist at Northern Kentucky University, said the plagiarism charges are only a temporary setback.

“Potential opponents may try to bring this up, but outside of political junkies, very few people will remember any of this” in 2016, Baranowski said.

Paul has signaled that he is taking no chances when he delivers an address at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., next week.

“Ninety-eight percent of my speeches are extemporaneous and have never had footnotes,” he told CNN. “We’re now going to footnote everything and make sure it has a reference because I do take this personally, and I don’t want to be accu of misrepresenting myself.”

Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along. So what’s on your reading and blogging list today?

69 Comments on “Friday Reads”

  1. ANonOMouse says:

    “The silence from the Senate Republican caucus stunned social conservatives, who have been arguing that the legislation, which provides workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees, will undermine religious liberty.”

    Because nothing is a bigger threat to religious liberty/christianity than “big gay” trying to make a living.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      According to Ted Cruz’s lunatic father, god “approves” the death penalty!

      I love it when screwballs interpret “god’s will” don’t you? Most of the 2012 GOP candidates insisted they had a “mandate” from god to run for POTUS since they had received a “message” from on high to do just that.

      This faction will not rest until they push, pull, throttle the rest of us to accept their theories by inserting them into law one way or the other. They inhabit every form of government, from local right up to the congressional level and the only way to get rid of them is to vote them out. But it won’t happen anytime soon since they are supported by big money floating into their coffers by way of Citizens United which makes the “culture wars” their main focus.

      As long as they can be useful to these corporate honchos we will be fighting these nonsensical wars for the next generation.

      Apparently god “approves” of the Koch Brothers as well.

    • NW Luna says:

      The “Big Gay”!!!


  2. Morning y’all, I’m just going to put this here too…Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever seen, hit the Philippines with record force – Quartz

    Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines at 4am local time today with winds near 195 mph, making it the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded world history, according to satellite estimates. That astounding claim will need to be verified by actual measurements at ground level, which should be collected over the coming days.

    The storm (known as Yolanda in the Philippines) has officially maxed out the Dvorak scale, which is used to measure strong strength using satellites. That means Haiyan has approached the theoretical maximum intensity for any storm, anywhere. From the latest NOAA bulletin:


    Put another way, the most commonly used satellite-based intensity scale just wasn’t designed to handle a storm this strong. At its peak, one real-time estimate of the storm’s intensity actually ticked slightly above the maximum to 8.1 on an 8.0 scale. This meteorologist, for one, has never seen that before.


    It’s nearly inconceivable that any weather station would survive such conditions for very long to verify, so we may never know exactly how strong this storm was. There have only been a handful of storms anywhere on Earth (pdf) that have reached this estimated intensity—and only three since 1969. Such strong storms usually remain out at sea where wind speed verification is impossible without aircraft.

    If verified, the storm’s wind speed at landfall would top the sitting world record holder, the Atlantic’s Hurricane Camille, which hit Mississippi in 1969 with 190 mph winds.

    That’s certainly foreboding enough, but the humanitarian disaster that may unfold in the storm’s aftermath could be immense. Haiyan passed very near Tacloban, a city of a quarter million people, and Cebu, a city of nearly one million people.

    I think this is going to be a big story in coming days.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      That is the most frightening storm I’ve ever seen. The radar images are freakish. I can’t imagine how much carnage it will dump on the people of the Philippines.

      • ‘Most powerful storm ever to make landfall’ batters Philippines; 3 deaths confirmed – World News

        “It is the most powerful storm ever to make landfall,” Weather Channel lead meteorologist Michael Palmer told NBC News. “It is as strong a typhoon as you can get, basically.”

        Haiyan made landfall with winds near 195 mph. Typhoons and cyclones of that magnitude can blow apart storm-proof shelters due to the huge pressure they create, which can suck walls out and blow roofs off buildings.

        Authorities in the Philippines earlier warned that 12 million people are at risk.

        “The humanitarian impact of Haiyan threatens to be colossal,” said Patrick Fuller, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

        The storm pounded the islands of Leyte and Samar and the northern part of Cebu Province felt its wrath early Friday.

        “Please do not underestimate this typhoon. It is very powerful. We can feel each gust,” Roger Mercado, governor of Southern Leyte province, told DZBB radio. “We lost power and all roads are impassable because of fallen trees. We just have to pray.”

        Mercado added that more than 100 coastal homes were flattened, while landslides destroyed houses in the hills.

        Palmer said gusts of 220 mph had been recorded. “That is the equivalent of EF4 tornado winds — even EF5,” he added. “You would not be able to stand up, it would knock you off your feet and blow you away. And it’s going to obliterate poorly constructed homes and outbuildings. Sturdier buildings will withstand it but with damage.”

        Despite the strong winds, Palmer warned the storm surge presented the most danger. “Usually that’s what causes the most death and destruction,” he said.

        Storm surge over thirty feet…Mouse it is hellish. And like you, I’ve never seen anything like it.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Do you think the TP’ers and the far right anti-science folk are going to say this Freak-a-storm, that is so enormous advanced weather instruments can’t even measure it, ‘Is not the result of global warming” ? 🙂 I can’t even imagine something like that in the Gulf of Mexico or moving up our Eastern Seaboard. What a nightmare!!!!!

          • Pat Johnson says:

            I’ll reserve judgment on that question until I hear the answer from Pat Robertson.

            Another one who has a “pipeline” to god. The explanation will lie somewhere between something the Philippinos have done to incur his wrath and the number of gays who live on the island.

            Stay tuned.

          • bostonboomer says:

            That storm image is incredible!

          • dakinikat says:

            Obviously this is the fault of uppity womenz and teh gay in the Philippines ….we will have to hear what gawd told Pat Robertson

          • ANonOMouse says:

            You know, according to Robertson, god speaks directly to him. Still I’m thinking that since, according to Pat, the world is less than 6000 years old, maybe god doesn’t have enough background information on MEGA-FREAKY-OFF-THE-CHART Super Storms to tell Pat who’s to blame………….yet.

            But you’re probably right Dak, Teh Gay are the likely culprits, followed by the Womenz and the Liberals. And maybe the poor too, especially the poor who can’t tithe and the Docs and Nurses who provide reproductive care to the WOMENZ. You know god has to smite someone or else HE can’t prove that HE’S god!!!

          • dakinikat says:

            Actually Robertson isn’t a young earther. He actually makes fun of them. One of his few moments of lucidity

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Dang Dak!!!…….Just when I thought I knew what Pat Robertson was thinking you burst my bubble. Obviously I’m not god.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Isn’t Robertson the guy who blamed Katrina on teh Gay? I remember him predicting that a meteor was going to strike Florida Gay Days at Disney World. It’s hard to tell one of these nutz from the other. .

          • Beata says:

            Yes, I believe the former-Rev. Robertson has blamed Katrina and various other disasters in the U.S. on the Big Gay; particularly the Big Gay who support reproductive rights, SNAP benefits, and Head Start.

          • dakinikat says:

            Yup and uppity womenz who refuse to be good breeders and slaves to their owners errr husbutts.

    • NW Luna says:

      Those images of the eye of the typhoon remind me of the Eye of Sauron.

    • Beata says:

      That’s the scariest storm image I’ve ever seen. Absolutely terrifying.

  3. janicen says:

    Odd to think that today’s Republicans think that enfranchisement is the answer to their problems given all the voter suppression laws taking effect all over the country.

    Exactly what I was thinking as I was reading this. These ideological purists keep forgetting that government of the people, by the people and for the people is the cornerstone of our nation and while imperfect, it is the only way to run a democracy. Some of them are beginning to see that they have strayed from the very principles they claim to be defending but only because they lost, not because they want to do right by our country.

    • janicen says:

      well, I messed up my blockquote. the first paragraph above is a quote from dak’s post. the second is my words.

    • NW Luna says:

      Interesting that they want to retire the caucuses and go to regular primaries. If only the Dems would do that too.

      We’re cursed with caucuses here in WA state. So those who work, or can’t get child care, or are sick, or with mobility impairments, or just can’t spare several hours out of their day, can’t go. Plus the caucuses work on an arcane counting system which is far removed from 1 person, 1 vote.

      Back in ’08 I asked my state Rep, a Dem, why we didn’t have a primary rather than a caucus. She replied that the Dem “leadership” didn’t want that, because they wanted the names and addresses (to use for marketing/fundraising lists) which they got through the caucuses, and would not be able to get through a primary. So there you have it — getting mailing lists is more important than ensuring the 1 person, 1 vote principle.

      • janicen says:

        Yeah, I was a delegate in WA State in ’04 and ’08 in the Dem caucuses and it’s no different than a convention. The party insiders decide who they want and that’s who they get.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    “I believe they have been intimidated into silence by the bullies and bigots of Big Gay,” Fischer added.


  5. RalphB says:

    CBS bails on their Benghazi BS…

    NYT: CBS Correspondent Apologizes for Report on Benghazi Attack

    The correspondent for the disputed “60 Minutes’’ segment about the attack on the United States Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year apologized on the air Friday morning, saying it was a “mistake’’ to put on a security officer whose credibility has since been undermined by his diverging accounts of his actions that night.

    The reporter, Lara Logan, said on “CBS This Morning’’ that the news division was misled by the officer, adding, “We will apologize to our viewers, and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s about time!

      • RalphB says:

        They worked on that story for a year and it took less than a week for the WaPo and NYT to discredit it? Lara Logan puts the BS in CBS. 😉

        • Prolix says:

          Let’s see, could it have been the book he was seling, or maybe the price he had quoted for previous interviews, or maybe his pogo stick allegiances, or maybe just reading the discrepancies in his reports and previous statements? In any event, he is now Darrell Issa’s bestest bed buddy who is being wrongly accused of something he didn’t do in a place he never was at a time prior to his birth by people from outer space or partisan Democrats. Long live “Viper Alert.”

    • ANonOMouse says:

      CBS tied their testicles to the lawn furniture and jumped off the balcony. It will take a while for that to stop smarting.

      • RalphB says:


        • ANonOMouse says:

          CBS should have done their due diligence. If they found out this guy was lying after they aired it, they could have found out he lied before they aired it. And everyone on the planet, except Fox News, is sick to hell of the politicization of Benghazi.

          • Beata says:

            I’m so old that I remember when CBS provided the best network news in the country. Real investigative reporting. Sad to see that they have fallen so low.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            I’m old enough to remember too. I always liked Dan Rather, but Walter Cronkite was the greatest of the CBS journalists imho. I’ll never forget Cronkite’s coverage on the day JFK was assassinated and the many days of National shock, confusion and mourning that followed.

            NBC had a few good journalists too in particular I liked Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Beata…..How’s your mother doing?

          • Beata says:

            Mouse, she’s in pain and the nursing home was not controlling it properly. Yesterday, when I went to see her, the first thing she said to me was “Help me. help me”. I quickly got the doctor to order a morphine drug for her. She’s on it now and more comfortable. I also made sure she is being handled VERY carefully. She has not been able to stand or walk for years, yet the nursing home denies that the leg was broken as the result of anything the staff did. They claim the femur “just broke” while she was in bed. The ER doctor told me that was impossible; he said the femur is the strongest bone in the body and doesn’t break without some force involved, even in the elderly.

            Thanks for asking about her, Mouse. And thanks to all the Sky Dancers for their positive thoughts and wishes. It means a lot to me.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            That is heartbreaking that she was in such pain and the staff was doing nothing to help her. I’m glad you were able to get her the med she needed.. She has a wonderful. loving and loyal daughter and advocate in you Beata. I will keep you both in my thoughts..

          • NW Luna says:

            Beata, good to hear your mother finally got effective pain meds, and what a damn immoral shame that effective meds weren’t given right away.

            If bones are very weak from osteoporosis, they can shatter or crumble under very little force. It might only take turning over to do it. But in that case I’d expect the ER physician would have said something about seeing bad osteoporosis on the XR. So good your mom has you as an advocate. Everyone in a healthcare facility needs an advocate these days, which is scary. Hope all goes well with her recovery.

  6. RalphB says:

    Yet Another Challenger Jumps Into GOP Primary Against Lindsey Graham

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) now has four contenders running against him in the Republican primary for his Senate seat.

    Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor became the latest challenger to jump into the race, according to The State newspaper.

    In 2010 Connor lost the South Carolina lieutenant governor race in a runoff against Ken Ard (who would eventually become lieutenant governor).

    Huckleberry better butch up some more I guess.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Yeah. he better butch up. Two days ago he voted against ENDA and yesterday he introduced ANOTHER Senate bill aimed at banning abortion. Don’t you know that old Huck voted against ENDA cause nothing helps you to “butch up” better than voting against Big Gay? 🙂
      When in the hell is someone going to out him?

      • Beata says:

        Is Larry Flynt still around? He must have pictures of Graham stashed away somewhere. Pictures are his specialty.

  7. RalphB says:

    It’s been obvious for so long, I was beginning to think no one would ever acknowledge it but leave it to the head of the NY Fed …

    Huffpo: New York Fed Chief Levels Explosive Charge Against Big Banks

    William Dudley, one of the nation’s top banking regulators whose organization helps oversee Wall Street banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, made the comment during a speech focused on the problems posed by banks perceived to be “too big to fail,” and possible solutions to correct them.

    But in an abrupt turn, Dudley suggested that regulators may be stymied by “cultural” issues that have negatively affected the nation’s biggest banks.

    “Collectively, these enhancements to our current regime may not solve another important problem evident within some large financial institutions — the apparent lack of respect for law, regulation and the public trust,” he said.

    “There is evidence of deep-seated cultural and ethical failures at many large financial institutions,” he continued. “Whether this is due to size and complexity, bad incentives, or some other issues is difficult to judge, but it is another critical problem that needs to be addressed.”

    Dudley’s comments come as the world’s biggest banks collectively face tens of billions of dollars in potential fines and government-driven settlements arising from alleged lawbreaking in markets ranging from home mortgages to interest rates and currencies. …

    • NW Luna says:

      “apparent” lack of respect for law? No need for euphemisms; they have no respect for law and the public trust.

  8. jackyt says:

    “The legislation would make it illegal for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion after 20 weeks, or six months, of pregnancy…”

    I realize that what I’m about to type demonstrates conclusively that I can’t see the forest for the trees, and that, likely, I staking claim to a spot on the Aspergers spectrum, BUT:

    6 x 4.3 = 25.8

  9. dakinikat says:

    They’re finding more evidence of Rand Paul Plagiarism. He appears prolific in stealing others words and thoughts.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Former 60 Minutes Producer Mapes: Benghazi Story Aimed At “Obsessed” Right-Wing Audience