Evening Reads: Playing the game, and playing it right…

Vintage poster

Good Evening

Oh boy, are you all sick of the Olympics yet?

Is that a loaded question?

I don’t know, one thing I get annoyed with is all the drama.  I won’t tell you all what I think of the Jordyn Weiber catastrophe, because I probably will disagree with some of you. (Here is a hint, she has no reason to cry…she is the team Captain, she should be supportive of her team mates. Besides…she is 17, she is young, there are competitors aged 24 and 27 out there...well, you get my drift.)

Then you have the China doping thing, gods forbid a woman can swim faster than a man! I got one thing to say, at least until the drug testing results come in…

Of course, this song is about Billie Jean King, and we know what she did.

There is also Twitter drama associated with NBC and a reporter from The Independent. Time delays? Don’t like ’em one bit. And like Boston Boomer mentioned earlier, the coverage of women’s sports is bothersome.  (I agree about all these criticisms of NBC completely btw.)

Perhaps I should just go on with the post, aye?

We’ve mentioned the GOP dude down in Florida,  Jim Greer, who is talking about the real game behind the Voter ID laws.   Here is a round-up and update on this story from The Grio:

Jim Greer, ex- Florida GOP chair, says party officials discussed black voter suppression | theGrio

Jim Greer, the former chair of the Florida Republican Party, has accused the GOP of engaging in voter suppression, in statements given under sworn testimony in a deposition surrounding a lawsuit he filed over an unpaid severance. Greer claims he became uncomfortable with leading the party when an official began to openly discuss voter suppression tactics that would keep blacks from participating in the electoral process.

While you are catching up on this at The Grio, you can check the latest news revolving around the Zimmerman case: George Zimmerman supporter Frank Taaffe arrested for DUI | theGrio

Frank Taaffe, the Sanford, Florida neighbor who has been one of George Zimmerman’s staunchest supporters as he fights second degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, now has his own case to argue.

Taaffe was arrested Friday night in Lake Mary, the town neighboring Sanford, and was released on $500 bond on Saturday. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). WFTV reporter Daralene Jones tweeted about the arrest, and Taaffe told her he mixed alcohol with prescription anxiety medication, which intensified the effects of alcohol.


He faced misdemeanor battery and domestic violence charges in 1997 and 1999, respectively,  in incidents involving his ex-wife, Susan. Both cases were ultimately dismissed. Taaffe told theGrio the incidents stemmed from his divorce.

More recently, Taaffe faced two separate requests for protective orders, in cases of “repeat violence.” Both were filed in Orange County court in 2008. One of the cases involved Joseph Andrew Amon, who Taaffe said was an acquaintance with whom he got into a “verbal altercation” while “out.” He would not specify where the incident took place, or the details of the encounter. In the second, Taaffe said he got into a verbal altercation “on the phone” with a co-worker, Wesley A. Marsh, who he said then filed a request for a protective order.

I did not know that he has a past similar to Zimmerman…by that I mean his protective orders and past “repeat violence” charges.  Just makes you think a bit, huh?

On the Romney front:  Just Wow | TPM Editors Blog

In his speech overlooking the Old City, Romney did in fact refer to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but in a pretty careful and calibrated fashion that didn’t really go much further than previous presidential candidates before him.

But in his comments at a fundraiser Sunday evening with well-heeled donors (chief among them current GOP mega-moneyman Shelden Adelson) Romney promptly disabused anyone of the notion that he either fully appreciates, or is terribly concerned with the punishing realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a salute to Israel’s economic growth, Romney compared the GDP of his hosts to that of the Palestinian territories as though they were just any old neighboring countries. “As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” he said.

Romney (who actually grossly overestimated Palestinian GDP) made no mention of the Israeli occupation, and its restrictions over Palestinian life as being perhaps somewhat determinative in the economic disparity he lauded as a sign of Israel’s success.

Benjy Sarlin has our report.

And while in Poland: Mitt Romney to rekindle cold war spirit with speech in Poland attacking Russia | World news | guardian.co.uk

Mitt Romney and Lech Walesa

Mitt Romney, right, with Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and founder of Solidarity. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Mitt Romney is to round off his campaign to boost his presidential foreign policy credentials by returning to a cold war symbol of anti-Soviet triumph and western-backed liberty in Poland.

Following a gaffe-strewn visit to Britain, where he queried the Olympic host’s fitness to stage the Games, and after stirring controversy in Israel by calling Jerusalem the Israeli capital and seeming to back unilateral Israeli strikes against Iran, the Republican White House contender arrived on Monday in Poland, where he is to deliver a setpiece speech on democracy and freedom.

The speech on the “values of liberty” at Warsaw University on Tuesday is expected to seek to rekindle the flames of US cold war righteousness by featuring a strong attack on Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s rollback of democratic gains, while also criticising the US president, Barack Obama, for allegedly sacrificing the interests and security of central European democracy in favour of realpolitik with the Kremlin.

Romney has previously described Russia as America’s “No 1 geopolitical foe”, in contrast with Obama, who has sought to press “the reset button” in relations with Moscow.

Well, he is keeping his press pool held back…like they are animal members of a petting zoo. Greta Van Susteren: No Press Access To Romney In Poland, ‘Like A Modified Petting Zoo’ | Mediaite

Greta Van Susteren is part of the press pool following Mitt Romney on his overseas trip. But earlier today, she wrote on her blog that press access to the candidate since they arrived in Poland, comparing the situation to a “modified petting zoo” because, as Susteren explained, the press pool is “trapped in a bus while Polish citizens take pictures of us.”

I know it is not Friday night but:

Cagle Post » Romney Foreign Policy

Romney Foreign Policy © Wolverton,Cagle Cartoons,Romney, Mitt, Mitt Romney, London, England, Olympics, Israel, Gaffs

Here is an update on a story I mentioned yesterday:

Southern Baptist Groups Ask Mississippi Church to Reconsider Racist Practices – Doris Nhan – NationalJournal.com

Southern Baptist groups are asking churchgoers of First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Miss., to reject racism, saying that the church’s decision not to marry Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson because of their race is wrong.

While Baptists share common beliefs, individual churches do not have necessarily have consistent practices amongst each other. The leaders of the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention have asked the First Baptist Church to reconsider their practices, the Associated Press reports.

And someone needs to tell this scientist, he’s got to play the game the right way…the Koch way:  Koch-funded climate scientist: I was wrong, humans are to blame | The Raw Story

The founder and director of a climate change study project funded heavily by the Koch brothers, who last year reversed course and said he believed global warming was real, has gone one step further, writing in a weekend op-ed in the New York Times that he is now convinced the phenomenon is caused by humans.

In a piece titled, “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic,” Richard A. Muller, a University of California, Berkley physicist who founded the Berkley Earth Surface Temperature study (BEST) wrote that his, “total turnaround, in such a short time,” was driven by a new report from the group that concluded for the first time that global warming is a man-made problem. That revelation brings Muller essentially full circle from his stance a few years ago, when he criticized other global warming studies as flawed and questioned whether the Earth was even warming abnormally, dangerously fast at all.

“Science is that narrow realm of knowledge that, in principle, is universally accepted,” Muller wrote. “I embarked on this analysis to answer questions that, to my mind, had not been answered. I hope that the Berkeley Earth analysis will help settle the scientific debate regarding global warming and its human causes.”

Guess they will need to change those little graphs at the Koch exhibit at the Smithsonian.

The BEST study, he wrote, found that the Earth had warmed by about two and a half degrees over the past 250 years, with the bulk of that spike occurring in the past 50 years. Moreover, he found that, “essentially all of this increase” was likely due to greenhouse gas emissions, a point climate change believers have accepted as fact for years.

To arrive at that conclusion, the group mapped the past two and a half centuries of global temperatures against various events, like solar flares and volcanic eruptions, and found that the temperature swings most closely corresponded to levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide whose historical levels could be measured in arctic ice. Further, they also examined possible methodological problems skeptics cite about past studies, such as questions about the scope and selectivity of data, ultimately determining that those questions did not impact their finding.

“These facts don’t prove causality and they shouldn’t end skepticism, but they raise the bar: to be considered seriously, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as carbon dioxide does,” Muller wrote.

And lastly, and finally…if anyone knows how to play the game, it is the one…the only…Samuel L. Jackson.

Samuel L. Jackson’s Olympic tweets are golden | theGrio

I love this guy!

Are you following the legendary Samuel L. Jackson on Twitter?  If so you’ve been treated to some one-of-a-kind tweets from one of the most distinctive movie stars on the planet. Jackson’s observations on the Olympic Games in London have become a viral sensation. Entertainment Weekly reports:

Hypothesis: Samuel L. Jackson is amazing.

Evidence: In addition to his movies, and other lists EW has compiled, we’re impressed by his recent tweeting of the Olympics, where the actor has been giving his off-the-cuff reactions to the events along with — of course — some signature color commentary.

Some examples: “OK! Getting that MOLYMPICPHUKKEN Fevah! GO TEAM USA!!!!!” and “Now, for that Field Hockey Gold….how we feelin’? Speak up MUFEXPERTFUKKUHZ!”

Click here to read more.

And on that note I am PHUKKEN outta here!

This is a MUTHAFUKKENOPINZ thread…

Friday Nite Lite: Olympics, Mitt and More

It’s Friday Nite!

And you know what that means…

Well, tonight was the Opening Ceremonies…as I write this, we still have not gotten a chance to see the show…it airs at 7:30.  But from the pictures I have seen the Opening Ceremonies must be sponsored by the folks who are bringing the Hobbit to the big screen. Those “things” are the Olympic Mascots…you can click the link to find out more about them. (No, that is not a joke either!)

The mascots for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Wenlock and Mandeville, have been revealed and if you’re like me, you’re wondering what exactly are they?

What we know for sure: they’re metallic, have one eye each and no visible feet.

They also have an official website, and are on twitter — although with hands shaped like mittens, it could be difficult to tweet.

Organisers for the London Games say the mascots will be hit a with kids — and why not? Doesn’t every child crave a toy moulded from steel left over from the last girder on the Olympic stadium?

The question is, what do you think of Wenlock and Mandeville? How do they represent London, the UK or the Olympics in general?

I don’t know…they look like giant prophylactics to me. One eyed ones at that!

Let’s get to the cartoons. Some are not very “funny” and they are going first.

This one is important to me, because here in Banjoland, a young K-9 police officer…and former Army Bomb Dog trainer and handler, killed himself last week. He was a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Cagle Post » Military Suicides Epidemic

Another tribute to Sally Ride:

One more tribute, to Sherman Helmsley:  AAEC – Political Cartoon by John R. Rose, Byrd Newspapers of Virginia – 07/27/2012

Now for some fun…

Cagle Post » Mitt at the Olympics

Mitt at the Olympics © Nate Beeler,The Columbus Dispatch,mitt romney,olympics,london,sports,campaign,2012,election,taxes,tax,returns,torch,flame,politics

Cagle Post » Romney on the Olympics

Romney on the Olympics © Adam Zyglis,The Buffalo News,romney, mitt, olympics, tax returns, swiss, bank accounts, off shore, money, investments, 2012, election, london, washington, politics, believe in america

More on the Olympics: AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 07/27/2012

Cartoon by David Horsey -

Cagle Post » Shot Putter Steroids

Shot Putter Steroids © Bill Schorr,Cagle Cartoons,olympics,steriods,shot put,sports,athlete,drugs,167,242,37,

Cagle Post » USA At the Olympics

USA At the Olympics © Bob Englehart,The Hartford Courant,

Now for some cartoons about the Tea Party, ABC, North Korea and Bachmann…

Cagle Post » ABC NEWS

ABC NEWS © Randy Bish,Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,George Stephanopoulos, Brian Ross, Colorado, shooting, theater, Tea Party, member, ABC, news

Cagle Post » Land of Opportunity

Land of Opportunity © Bill Day,Cagle Cartoons,Romney, racism, Tea Party, GOP

Steve Sack on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent

Cagle Post » Michelle Bachmann

Michelle Bachmann © Steve Sack,The Minneapolis Star Tribune,michelle bachmann,embarrassed,minnesota,166,181,

Have a wonderful evening…this is an open thread.

Lend/Lease….Burning Braziers…and Mitt Romney

Good Evening

Mitt Romney met with some of Britain’s important politicians and leaders today…below you will find a video clip of his meeting with Tony Blair, former PM of Great Britain.

Ha, that was my attempt at a joke, it is a scene from It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World  .

Here is the dialogue from the scene:

J. Russell Finch: You want me to tell you something? As far as I’m concerned the whole British race is practically finished. If it hadn’t been for lend-lease. If we hadn’t have kept your whole country afloat by giving you billions that you never even said “Thank you” for, the whole phony outfit would be sunk right under the Atlantic years ago.
[Hawthorne screeches to a stop]
J. Russell Finch: What are you stopping for?
J. Algernon Hawthorne: Get out of this machine.
J. Russell Finch: Get out? You can’t…
J. Algernon Hawthorne: It’s my machine, I will do as I bloody well please. Out!
J. Russell Finch: I’m awfully sorry. I’ve been very edgy today and if I said anything about England, I apologize.
J. Algernon Hawthorne: Glad to hear you say so.

J. Algernon Hawthorne: I must say that if I had the grievous misfortune to be a citizen of this benighted country, I should be the most hesitant of offering any criticism whatever of any other.
J. Russell Finch: Wait a minute, are you knocking this country? Are you saying something against America?
J. Algernon Hawthorne: Against it? I should be positively astounded to hear anything that could be said FOR it. Why the whole bloody place is the most unspeakable matriarchy in the whole history of civilization! Look at yourself! The way your wife and her strumpet of a mother push you through the hoop! As far as I can see, American men have been totally emasculated- they’re like slaves! They die like flies from coronary thrombosis while their women sit under hairdryers eating chocolates & arranging for every 2nd Tuesday to be some sort of Mother’s Day! And this positively infantile preoccupation with bosoms. In all time in this wretched Godforsaken country, the one thing that has appalled me most of all this this prepostrous preoccupation with bosoms. Don’t you realize they have become the dominant theme in American culture: in literature, advertising and all fields of entertainment and everything. I’ll wager you anything you like that if American women stopped wearing brassieres, your whole national economy would collapse overnight.

No…but seriously, that scene up top is the way I would imagine that meeting would go.  I am going to stick with Romney for a bit more.  There is a new “flub” making the rounds, Romney calling Britain a Tiny Island…Mitt Romney Dismissed England As “Just A Small Island”

“England [sic] is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn’t been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler’s ambitions. Yet only two lifetimes ago, Britain ruled the largest and wealthiest empire in the history of humankind. Britain controlled a quarter of the earth’s land and a quarter of the earth’s population.”

What a minute…that part about Britain being lost to Hitler is sort of like what Milton Berle said up top.

And then there is this: Mitt Romney Issued Comically Bizarre Cartoon-Mitt-Romney Olympic Pins

Via: google.com

H/T to Boston Boomer via PDGray for those two links to Buzzfeed.

Romney is in London, personally insulting the Brits left and right...watch as Romney causes a stir in Britain

“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” Romney told NBC News, and he called the late-developing concerns over security staffing “disconcerting”.

Romney, a former businessman and one-term governor who managed the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, is largely untested on the world’s political stage, and he hopes to assert himself in a tight and highly expensive presidential race with foreign visits that also include Israel and Poland.

He ended up putting British Prime Minister David Cameron at least briefly on the defensive.

In response to Romney’s remarks, Cameron said: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

Why doesn’t Romney just kick him in the balls, and tell Cameron he has ugly children…Hmmm, he is on his way to Poland next, wonder what sort of insults he will let fly there. Like BB says,

How much do you want to bet Romney will ask Lech Walesa how many poles it takes to screw in a lightbulb?

Meanwhile…his campaign is getting some criticism about how they are handling Obama’s recent speech about people getting help to start a business. Have you seen Romney’s answer to his campaign’s  Obama misquote about small businesses? Two local businessowners tapped by Romney to speak out on Obama have bios that contradict message

Two local business owners the Mitt Romney campaign tapped on Wednesday to speak out against President Barack Obamaand government interference couldn’t have been more contradictory choices to speak out on the topic.

The point of the 11 a.m. news conference was to stress that small business owners succeed because of their own grit and determination and don’t need government to do it. It’s part of a Romney campaign line of attack that’s trying to capitalize on comments Obama made in July 13 speech. Obama was talking about how even the most successful business owners didn’t do it completely alone, that they were helped by others, including those in government.

The Romney campaign is using a snippet of the speech to suggest that Obama is instead saying that government is solely responsible for the success of private business owners. That’s not so. Obama isn’t anywhere close to saying that. But in TV ads, that’s the point Romney is making.

And it appears to be working. The line of attack spread Wednesday to 24 events in swing states across the country, from Columbus, Oh., to Palm Beach and Raleigh, N.C. In Tampa, the campaign spotlighted Rebecca Smith, owner of the construction company A.D. Morgan Corp., and Lou Ramos, owner of Value Enterprise Solutions, an information technology company.

“None at all,” Ramos said, when asked what role government have fed into their success.

“I was asked the other day on whether I feel if government doesn’t support small business,” Smith said. “And I think the answer is resounding. Not only does (Obama) seem not to understand business, and he doesn’t seem to want to accord the business leadership with the credit of making the choice to lead and risk in starting a business, I would go one step further and say that our president seems to oppose the success of small business.”

One problem with having Ramos and Smith, both registered Republicans, as speakers on this topic: they both said they didn’t see the entire Obama speech that they find so personally insulting. Ramos said he later read the complete trancript, but couldn’t remember from where he got it. Smith acknowledged she saw only news reports of the speech, either on NBC or Fox News.

Are you ready for the second problem?

But the other, more puzzling problem the two have for this particular Romney message is that rather than wanting to get out of the way of big government, Smith and Ramos have embraced it and benefitted from it greatly.

Read the rest at the link above.

All these strange things coming from the Romney camp. What do you expect from someone who has, what Andrew Sullivan calls : The Persistent Oddness Of Mitt Romney

…something else he said in his “insult to England” interview:

I have to tell you. This is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well.

WTF? If your spouse’s horse were in an Olympic contest, would you not even watch? This is either a fib, designed to insulate him from whatever minimal fallout there is from owning a dressage horse; or it’s true and he’s just unlike other human beings. I mean, Obama makes sure he sees his daughters’ high school sports games. But Romney won’t even watch his wife’s horse at the Olympics?

Wow, I think this remark is not a way to distance himself from the rich “sport.”  I believe the man does not give a shit…because it is not his horse, it is his wife’s horse. If something deals with a subject other than Mitt Romney, he does not have the compassion to be even slightly involved or interested with it.

I have plenty of links for you tonight, so let’s get on with it.

One of the latest Obama ad: ‘It’s a scary time to be a woman’ – No Shit! 

But as Susie Madrak points out, the Republicans will only “care” about women when it benefits their agenda : Gee, the GOP suddenly cares about women’s health

Glenn Greenwald hits on the Chick-fi-la “gay” problem: Rahm Emanuel’s dangerous free speech attack

And another asshole’s twitter is getting him in trouble…James Taranto: A-Hole!

I figured after a little time off I wouldn’t get so sick reading and writing about the twisted minds of the conservative/TeaCrack Party, but I was wrong. Twitter has really fueled their lunatic scribblings. Check this out.

John Cole:

James Taranto, the WSJ rightwing nutjob whose job is the Best of the Web feature, which invariably means reposting whatever Glenn Reynolds or the halfwits at NRO write every day:


Credit: BalloonJuice

Nasty James Taranto tweet

He is, of course, referring to the reports that a number of men used their bodies to shield their loved ones during the Aurora massacre. Most of us thought of this as a noble and amazing sacrifice, but to the American Taliban, these may have been slutty slut sluts who use birth control (or even worse, vote for Democrats!) and make their own decisions, so whether or not they deserved to be saved is up to wingnut judgment.

I simply had to put that dickish tweet in this post…read the rest at the C&L link.

Of course,  Taranto is not the only ass making the Conservative Tea-Party scene…Nugent Doubles Down, Claims Aurora Shooter Could Have Done “More Damage” With Single Shot Rifle

And with all the talk of losing American Liberties, we have this commentary on Bloomberg and his soda ban.  In Bloomberg’s Healthy NYC, Still Afraid to Take (on) Sick Days

Connie posted this next link in the comments, but I think it is too cool not to be mentioned on the front page.

Dramatic Time-Lapse Videos Show Changes to Earth’s Surface Using 40 Years of Satellite Images

There are more videos at the link.

In other science news,  Ground-breaking windpipe-transplant child ‘doing well’

The first child to have pioneering surgery to rebuild his windpipe with his own stem cells is doing well and is back in school.

Ciaran Finn-Lynch, who is now 13, had the ground-breaking surgery at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2010.

Using Ciaran’s own cells meant his immune system would not reject, and attack, the organ.

His surgeons said things were going well so far and that Ciaran could live the life of a normal teenager.

All you anti-stem cell research GOP nuts…stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

And lastly, this…h/t to Lawyers, Guns and Money.  ‘Secundus Defecated Here’: What Ancient Graffiti Means Today

Easily the best thing I’ve seen on the internet in a while I found late last week while cruising around Tumblr. It was a link to Pompeiana.org, a website from some classics scholars interested in educating the public on Pompeii, which was destroyed in the first century by Mount Vesuvius. The whole site is interesting, if not a little dated aesthetically, but what I found most intriguing was the graffiti page.

Indeed, in an effort to more deeply understand Pompeii, researchers have delved not only into the city’s architecture and frescoes, but also all the graffiti to be found throughout its ancient walls. But before you go assuming the ancient Pompeiians vandalized with only the most brilliant bons mots—“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” everywhere, perhaps—I suggest reading exactly what the excavators have dug up. Here, a list of some of my favorites:

  • Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!
  • Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates.
  • I screwed the barmaid.
  • Apollinaris, the doctor of the emperor Titus, defecated well here.
  • I screwed a lot of girls here.
  • Sollemnes, you screw well!

If you’d like to read all the graffiti (and I recommend you do), you can do so here. But you needn’t read it all to see one thing very clearly: Despite whatever beliefs you may have about the dignity of the Roman Empire, a whole host of Romans, it seems, were foul-mouthed, hyper-sexual, and frequently prone to sophomoric humor. The Pompeiians were a smart people, of course, and they built a beautiful city well ahead of its time. But it turns out that they were also kind of juvenile. Go figure.

I love it!

Personally, I think the insults are the best:

VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1816: Epaphra, you are bald!

VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1826: Phileros is a eunuch!

VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1820: Chie, I hope your hemorrhoids rub together so much that they hurt worse than when they every have before!

Surprised there is no quote that says, “I fart in your general direction.”

Well, that is it for tonight’s evening reads. What is going on in your world tonight?