Thursday Reads

Good Morning! It’s iced coffee weather, I love it! Now let’s see what’s happening in the news.

In one of the most childish episodes in an incredibly childish debt ceiling debate, the House Republicans yesterday used a scene from a Ben Affleck movie “The Town,” to fire themselves up to burn down the U.S. economy. Here’s the clip:

Transcript:

Affleck: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. We’re gonna hurt somebody.”

Friend: “Whose car are we gonna take?”

Yeah, they’re gonna hurt somebody, for sure. BTW, I noticed the media generally is leaving out that line about hurting someone. It must be some kind of oversight, right?

The Washington Post reported that

After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.

“I’m ready to drive the car,” West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full-throated support for the plan.

However, a leading conservative lawmaker, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), said enough Republicans appear to oppose Boehner’s plan that it would not be able to pass the House on GOP support alone.

At Huffpo, Sam Stein got Ben Affleck’s response to all this.

in a statement his spokesperson provided to The Huffington Post, he suggested that Republicans use a different one of his movies next time they need to whip votes.

“I don’t know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation,” said the actor, who is currently in Turkey directing and starring in “Argo,” an adaptation of the Tehran hostage crisis. “But if they’re going to be watching movies, I think “The Company Men” is more appropriate.”

That latter Affleck flick focuses on the plight of middle age men who have been laid off during the recession. (One of them, depressed about being unemployed, later kills himself.) Whether that message would resonate in the GOP caucus is anyone’s guess. But the likelihood is that McCarthy knows his members a bit better than Affleck. According to the Post, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla), one of the most intransigent Tea Party members of the Freshmen class, was won over by the gambit.

Good grief. Allen West is a complete dweeb. But “Tea Party activists” are “revolting against Boehner,” says Fox News.

“Boehner must go,” Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said in his blog on Wednesday, calling the speaker a “big government Republican” who “worships at the altar of massive spending.”

“We need a speaker who is a leader. We need someone with courage and vision. Boehner has none of those qualities. He is not a leader,” Phillips wrote. “John Boehner simply wishes to be the manager in chief of the welfare state. His vision of the GOP and the speakership involves golfing, drinking and not rocking the boat.”

But Tea Party-backed lawmakers on Wednesday stood up for Boehner, even though they prefer another plan – “cut cap and balance,” which would allows the nation to borrow $2.4 trillion more money in exchange for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. That measure passed in the House last week but died in the Senate.

“My Republican leadership in the House is doing a great job,” freshman Rep. Joe Walsh said at a Tea Party rally Wednesday. “Imagine having to negotiate with Barack Obama. Imagine having to negotiate with Harry Reid. Give John Boehner, give Eric Cantor all the credit in the world.”

Um…. No comment.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/27/tea-party-activists-revolt-against-boehner-amid-debt-crisis/#ixzz1TMhRq1j3

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/27/tea-party-activists-revolt-against-boehner-amid-debt-crisis/#ixzz1TMhKTmqX

Let’s hear it for Sheila Jackson Lee.

At a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security today about the radicalization of young Somali American Muslims by the al-Shabaab terrorist group, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said the committee should hold a hearing on “right-wing extremists” in the United States.

Jackson Lee used much of her allotted five minutes to question panelists with expertise on radicalization about the alleged hacking into telephones of 9-11 victims by the now-closed News of the World tabloid in England.

“I would add to that, that I would like to have a hearing on right-wing extremists, ideologues who advocate violence and advocate, in essence, the terrorizing of certain groups,” Jackson Lee said.

Yay Sheila!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a cold case that had been solved after 50 years, the abduction and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, IL. Yesterday Maria’s body was exhumed to allow for modern tests to be run.

Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, a former neighbor of the victim’s, was charged this month in her slaying.

Officials say they exhumed the body in hopes that modern technology will help their murder case.

McCullough, 71, a former police officer who was living in the Seattle area, waived his extradition rights and was released Wednesday to Illinois authorities. He arrived at the jail in DeKalb about 4:50 p.m.

Family members said they agreed to the exhumation, but it was difficult to face.

“Although the events are very difficult and very unsettling, we understand the necessity for these things and we are in complete agreement and thankful for the way that this case is being handled,” said Charles Ridulph, 65, Maria’s older brother.

Finally, there may be justice for Maria and her family.

At the Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan has the “dish” on CNN’s obnoxious replacement for obnoxious Larry King, Piers Morgan. Piers denies he was ever involved in phone hacking when he worked for the News of the World, but Sullivan says Piers is l-l-l-l-lying.

The Texas ACLU is planning to organize a “family, faith, and freedom” event to compete with Governor Rick Perry’s “Christian” prayer rally.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas announced Wednesday they would be partnering with Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) to host an alternative to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally in Houston.

“Gov. Perry’s decision to sponsor a ‘Christians-only’ prayer rally is bad enough. That he turned to an array of intolerant religious extremists to put it on for him is even worse,” said Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“This event unites us in our conviction that government should have no favorite theology and that it must always strive to ensure that all citizens – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and others – are full and equal partners in the public square.”

The event, called “Family, Faith and Freedom” be held Friday evening August 5, one day before the start of the “The Response,” an evangelical Christian prayer rally in Houston.

Good idea. Well that’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today?


Yeah, You Right!!

Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee gave it to Pepsi on the House floor on Tuesday.  Her focus was a disturbing commercial run during Sunday’s Superbowl.  The commercial basically lit up the scoreboard for gender and race stereotypes.

“In this month of African-American history where we’re trying to celebrate what is good and great, it certainly seems ridiculous that Pepsi would utilize this kind of humor,” she said. “It was not humorous. It was demeaning — an African-American woman throwing something at an African-American male and winding up hitting a Caucasian woman.”

Jackson Lee said she has a sense of humor and believes in the First Amendment. She also said the Super Bowl is a great time for “fellowship” with family members.

“That is why I’m so disappointed with the Pepsi advertisement that showed a demeaning role for African American women, in an ad that showed a can being thrown and being utilized to wound someone else or hit someone else,” she said.

“I think that we can come together in a much better way, sell Pepsi, and as well talk about good nutrition,” she said. “But, frankly, I consider this insulting, and so did many other women of all colors.”

There were a ton of ads on display that were an insult to women including at least one  Go Daddy ad.   You all know I’m the ultimate football grinch.   I think it’s the modern day American Empire equivalent to panem et circenses. One important item mentioned by the Congresswoman was the number of views of the thing by families.    Couldn’t advertisers give the traditional bimbo and beer sports ads a rest for a change? This has been a staple of sporting event advertising for years. It still shows no sign of going away. Here’s a sexist blast from the past of 10 years ago.  Remember this one?

“It just doesn’t get any better than this,” boasts Old Milwaukee beer’s TV campaign, which features a gyrating “Swedish Bikini Team” descending upon male campers. But Stroh Brewery, the beer’s maker, is discovering that things $ just might get worse. Five women employees have sued the company, charging that the ads foster a work environment that encourages sexual harassment. “These ads tell Stroh’s male employees that women are stupid, panting playthings,” says attorney Lori Peterson. Her clients have been confronted with pornography, taunted with lewd remarks and slapped on the rear, she contends. The company describes the allegation as “a preposterous link” and says Stroh has a strong policy against sexual harassment.

This particular ad just couldn’t resist the entire racial tie-ins either.  Since I don’t drink Pepsi or watch football, I’m in no position to boycott either.  I’m just glad to see the Congresswoman do what she could do to condemn the ads.  Hopefully, we never have to view the silly thing again.

But, wait!  There’s more!  Here’s another one for you from the same corporate idjits that we will see on a TV near us per CNN and via elephant.

Can a soda can be sassy? Pepsi thinks so.

Diet Pepsi will soon be available in a “taller, sassier new Skinny Can” that the company says is a “celebration of beautiful, confident women.”

Right.  Taller, sassier, anorexic-looking cans define beautiful and confident women.   Can the Congresswoman please go back to the House Floor and make a statement about this too?