Monday? Evening Reads: Steve King, Duck Livers, Women’s Ovaries and The World’s Biggest…

Good Evening!

It is hot as hell out there! All day today I’ve thought it was Tuesday…not sure why, because of all the days out there,  Monday definitely has a feel.

*Jerry, Kramer and Newman in the Saab*

Kramer: What’s today?

Newman: It’s Thursday.

Kramer: Really? Feels like Tuesday.

Newman: Tuesday has no feel. Monday has a feel, Friday has a feel, Sunday has a feel….

Kramer: I feel Tuesday and Wednesday…

Jerry: All right, shut up the both of you! You’re making me nervous.

Anyway, here are tonight’s links…in link dump fashion.

The heat was getting to Boston Boomer today, hopefully it has cooled off for her. I know it has been hot down here in Banjoville, but it looks as if the drought we are experiencing has hit a milestone. Check this out:

2012 Drought Rivals Dust Bowl

10 Largest Droughts Since 1895

10 Largest Droughts Since 1895

The 2012 drought disaster is now the largest in over 50 years, and among the ten largest of the past century, according to a new report released by the National Climatic Data Center today.

As The Weather Channel reported in an exclusive preview of the report Sunday, data computed from the Palmer Drought Severity Index shows that 54.6 percent of the contiguous 48 states was in drought at the end of June, the highest percentage since December 1956, and the sixth-highest peak percentage on record.

The June State of the Climate drought report from NCDC, released today, shows that in records dating to 1895, only the extraordinary droughts of the 1930s and 1950s have covered more land area than the current drought.

And by a slight margin, the current drought actually covers more area than the famous 1936 drought, though other droughts in the Dust Bowl years – particularly the extreme drought of 1934 – still rank higher.

That is something, isn’t it?

For another hot topic, remember that douche, Tosh?  Tennessee Guerilla Women: Misogynist Daniel Tosh Makes One Rape Joke Too Many

Someone, it may have been Ralph,  had posted a link to this petition below, I signed it, but I thought it would be good to front page the link.

At long last, there appears to be a serious outcry about Comedy Central’s famed Rape-Joker Daniel Tosh, a low-life who has long earned his living by encouraging similarly mindless young men to rape and think lightly of it.  Tosh earns his living by spewing forth loathsome misogyny in the form of rape ‘jokes.’

After Tosh ‘joked’ at a comedy show that it would be so very ha-ha funny if five guys would only rape a woman in his audience (the woman had dared to object to his rape jokes), the loathsome misogynist is suddenly the talk of bloggers everywhere. Tosh, the Rape Joker, is said to be furiously scrambling to remove the rape jokes from his new, about to debut, rape joke show. But without his rape jokes, does Tosh have an audience?

[SIGN THE PETITION: CEO, Comedy Central: Take Daniel Tosh off the air]

I don’t know how I feel about this next link, so perhaps you all could give me your thoughts on it: Science Cheerleaders: Give Us an S, T, E, M! (Video)

Science Cheerleaders: Give Us an S, T, E, M! (Video)

Go science!

Or rather, go scientists. The Science Cheerleaders are 175 former NFL and NBA dancers who are scientists and engineers, mathematicians, IT professionals, molecular science Ph.Ds. That is, these ex-professional cheerleaders all have now had to “lower their standards” and  work in the STEM fields, in science, technology, engineering and math, as  tongue-in-cheekly puts it on CNET.

Here are the Science Cheerleaders performing at the US Science and Engineering Festival in what Jezebel describes as the “perfect antidote for that crappy EU Science: It’s a Girl Thing! video we all rolled our eyes at a month ago

You can click the link to see the video.

According to their website, the Science Cheerleaders aim to “playfully challenge stereotypes, turn everyone onto science by encouraging participation in citizen science activities, and inspire young women (including 3-4 million U.S. cheerleaders) to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” while making the point that, yes, “science is accessible to ALL!”

It’s no secret that women are under-represented in the STEM fields. Just recently, a student (an English major) sat in my office and said she regretted that she hadn’t had a stronger foundation in science in high school and earlier, as she could see that jobs in the STEM field (vs. in journalism) were numerous and well-paying and, even more, seemed interesting. She was well aware of the numerous courses in math, biology, chemistry and physics she had never taken and, two years into her college studies, cannot suddenly change her major and stay beyond her scholarship.

But I do have to agree with Jezebel that

It’s a shame that it takes a team of dancing Disney Princesses to give girls permission to want to enter the fields of science and technology (you can do it because conventionally beautiful women do it!), but it’s also a shame that smart women can’t be pretty, and pretty women can’t be smart.

Why does it even need to be said that “yes, smart women can be pretty!” or “women can both be professional dancers wearing skin-tight spandex-y cleavage revealing outfits AND chemical engineers!”? It shouldn’t be news that women can look good and be smart.

On to some other news of the day, MSNBC is a thing of the past, I like what John Cole has to say about it…Dear Microsoft: Please give us Non-Profit News

We don’t need another source of corporate news online. We certainly don’t need more portals that exploit real news operations like Britain’s The Guardian, which is struggling to stay afloat.

As for MSNBC’s original arena, television news, only 6 major corporations own most broadcast television news outlets in the United States. There has also been alarming concentration of ownership in radio, e.g. Clearchannel, which has boycotted artists for their political views. The situation in television news won’t be better if there are 7 corporations. Corporate-owned news has served us very badly as ownership has become concentrated. This, despite the valiant efforts of many honest journalists and editors, who, however, operate in an extremely unfavorable business environment and are often shunted aside in favor of infotainment and fluff or political misdirection. Much of the pressure comes, not just from the corporate higher-ups, but from the advertisers who pay for the news to be carried on the airwaves. In essence, cornflakes and tampons rent the news for us, but only as they please.

Read the rest at the link. I wonder if we will have to change all our MSNBC blog RSS feeds…hmmm.

This next article is tongue in cheek…I wonder if it is goose tongue?  I love this bit from Jezebel, it is about Steve King, Congressman Thinks Birth Control Is Worse than Animal Cruelty

Iowa Republican Steve King currently fighting to oppose California’s right to regulate eggs from out of state, but he argues against Affordable Care Act on the grounds that the government shouldn’t have the right to tell states what to do. He’s also against letting states outlaw fois gras, and in favor of letting states outlaw birth control. Regulate the shit out of human ovaries but, my god, do not intrude onto the sacred ova of poultry. How did we get here? What in tarnation is going on?

The tea party at it’s hypocritical best:

Rep. Steve King is an unfortunate victim of what’s known as Obama psychosis, a tragic condition affecting thousands of Americans, with no cure in sight. You see, since declaring that the first priority of the 112th Congress was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one term President, conservatives have launched a campaign of NO that might rival that of the most dogged toddlers. They’ve blocked judicial nominations, further inflamed a global economic scare when they threatened to block raising the debt ceiling to make a point about how much they hate spending money, almost shut the government down over Planned Parenthood funding, and fought the Affordable Care Act tooth and nail. It should come as no surprise that in their campaign to stymie the President at every turn, congressional Republicans occasionally opposed issues that turned them into goofy looking hypocrites.

According to ThinkProgress: GOP Congressman: States Can Ban Birth Control, But Not Foie Gras

Californians have recently voted to enact laws banning the sale and production of both eggs from cruelly housed hens and foie gras, a delicacy created by force-feeding ducks. While this may seem within the legal bounds of a state’s ability to regulate local commerce, one Congressman is up in arms about it: Steve King (R, IA). King, despite being one of the most outspoken proponents of states’ rights in Congress, is so convinced that California’s laws violate the Commerce Clause that he pushed through legislation overturning the animal rights acts and similar statutes in other states:

Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who represents the country’s leading egg-producing state, said he introduced the amendment because the California law and others like it “scrambles and creates a patchwork quilt of state regulations.”

“If California wants to regulate eggs that come into the state, fine,” King said. “But don’t be telling the states that are producing a product that’s already approved by the USDA or the FDA how to produce that product.”

He said that the California requirement violates the commerce clause of the Constitution, which gives the federal government jurisdiction over interstate commerce issues.

King believes the entire Affordable Care Act – not simply the mandate, but the whole law – is an unconstitutional use of federal power under the Commerce Clause. This means that, according to King, any federal regulation of the insurance industry is unconstitutional. King also thinks states can ban contraception. These radical beliefs aren’t a surprise: King adheres to an extreme interpretation of the Tenth Amendment which aims to gut federal power.

So King appears to to think federal regulation of farming is constitutional, but regulation of the health care industry is not. A state ban on birth control is fine, but banning foie gras isn’t.

Of course, King has a perfectly good reason for going against his principles: saving his own skin. King is in the midst of a bruising reelection battle as a consequence of redistricting. The largest industry spending on his behalf is big agribusiness, which isn’t thrilled about California’s laws. King’s home state of Iowa has no standards for ethical caging of egg-producing hens, a fact which was linked to a significant salmonella outbreak in 2010.

Only looking out for his best interest..or should I say his supporters best interest. Back to the Jezebel link, in which King:

wasn’t so keen on federal authority back in February, when he argued that Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court case that determined that it was illegal for states to outlaw contraception and set the privacy groundwork for Roe v. Wade, was a bunch of crap because states have the right to act in ways they see fit. He said,

Why should I care about the conclusions that have been brought forward by the Supreme Court if we can race from 1965, Connecticut having a Tenth Amendment right to establish a policy, a Supreme Court that creates a right to privacy that’s the foundation for mandated abortion, and here were are discussing whether we’re going to mandate everybody in America fund and provide that contraceptives. … Why should I care?

I get it now! States’ Rights means “states” have the “right” to agree with Steve King.

So there you have it — everyone should have the right to interfere with the sale of birth control to women who don’t want to be pregnant, but no one should have the right to violate a woman’s right to force feed a duck until its liver becomes engorged with fat, and then killing the duck and eating the liver.

Would that be served with “Fava Beans, and a nice Chianti?” What An Ass…uh, Rep. Steve King that is…

Hey, speaking of dicks…Jonah Falcon, Man With World’s Largest Penis, Frisked By TSA At California Airport

Turns out it’s legal to have a weapon of mass conception at the airport.

Jonah Falcon was stopped and frisked by the TSA at the San Francisco International Airport on July 9 because of a bulging package hidden in his pants. But the 41-year-old New Yorker wasn’t packing a dirty bomb, drugs or a Costco-sized tube of toothpaste. The New Yorker has the world’s largest recorded penis.

In an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post, Falcon described his hard times with security guards after his extra carry-on became suspect.

“I had my ‘stuff’ strapped to the left. I wasn’t erect at the time,” said Falcon, whose penis is 9 inches flaccid, 13.5 inches erect. “One of the guards asked if my pockets were empty and I said, ‘Yes.'”

Falcon said he knew that his interview was about to get a lot more personal when he was led through one of the X-ray body scanners and passed a metal detector.

“Another guard stopped me and asked me if I had some sort of growth,” Falcon said, laughing.

Indeed he did have a growth.

There are some…er…pictures at the link.

And lastly, this video is fabulous, h/t FDL. Makes the world seem small, a place where we all can enjoy a dance or two…well, except for the folks in Syria who have to have their faces blurred out. Enjoy it:

That’s all folks….stay cool!