Friday Late Night News Reads and Open Thread: Throwing beaucoup shade, Stormtrooper style…

Another Friday is upon us…

Again, I had planned to write an easy post tonight…since all the wacko debates, I’ve noticed my irritant level rising, have you all been getting that itchy feeling? The kind that makes you crinkle up your nose in disgust?

So here I am trying to write the fun Friday evening news post, and I see this crap on Memeorandum:

North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers

Oh…the inhumanity!

The last legal public hanging in America took place in 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The “event” attracted 20,000 people and turned into such a sickening spectacle that many credit it with ending the practice in the U.S.

But one North Carolina Republican believes that as a country we’ve grown soft since banning public hangings and is calling for them to reinstated as a deterrent to crime. If Rep. Larry Pittman had his way, “abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers” would be first in line for the gallows:

Republican Rep. Larry Pittman, who was appointed to the District 82 House seat in October, expressed his views in an email sent Wednesday to every member of the General Assembly. […]

“We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.”

As ThinkProgress reported, last year Republicans in South Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa pushed legislation that would essentially legalize the murder of abortion providers. Such radical sentiments have been echoed by prominent conservatives like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who said during his 2004 campaign, “I favor the death penalty for abortionists.”

What the hell can you say to that? It is so surreal…and crazy, absolutely crazy.

Then we have the latest from Family Research Council…Tony Perkins: Star Wars ‘surrenders to gay empire’

An evangelical leader is calling on his army of followers to take action against a software company for allowing same sex relationships to be represented in a new Star Wars video game.

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council — a hate group, according the the Southern Poverty Law Center — took to the radio to denounce Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game.

“In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists!” Perkins announced during his daily radio commentary. “In a galaxy not so far far away, Star Wars gamers have already gone to the dark side. The new video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, has added a special feature: gay relationships.”

“That surprised a lot of gamers, since Bioware had made it clear in 2009 that ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ don’t exist in the Star Wars universe. Since the announcement, homosexuals have been celebrating the news, but parents sure aren’t.”

He continued: “On the game’s website, there are more than 300 pages of comments–a lot of them expressing anger that their kids will be exposed to this Star Warped way of thinking. You can join them by logging on and speaking up. It’s time to show companies who the Force is really with!”

If only we could send all these people to the moon, or at least to Alderan…prior to the Death’s Star visit. I guess to make it more “homosexual” and to get in the spirit of the man on dog debauchery, I suggest that the Death Ray be rainbow-colored.

A quick search of Bioware’s forum shows that there are probably not “300 pages of comments” on the topic — and very few if any of the commenters were “angry” about the idea. In fact, most players were more concerned that the featured had not already been released.

“[I]t does feel a bit like bioware neglected the same sex community,” a player named Romanticyde wrote. “I hope this will be fixed, in any way.”

See, why can’t these people realize that the average person doesn’t give two “Star Warped” shits about the Dark Side with the Gay Force a plenty on a video game…or in real life…and as far as the abortion providers being hung in the town square, I still don’t have any words to write about that.

That is all I have tonight…may the “break the dawn” force be with you!

(And btw, you must click that link or this one to find out what the phrase means. RuPaul’s Drag Race Slang: Tuck, Sickening, and More Drag Terms – The Daily Beast)

This is an open thread, have at it!

Oh, but one more thing…you need to see this amazing photo of the Aurora Borealis Solar Storm.

More images here Flickr: Northern Lights


Evening News Late Night Thread: Newt, Ablow and Nuts

Good late evening…

Originally I was going to do a light airy post for tonight’s evening news reads, but instead I’m doing a batshit crazy thread.

We heard Rush’s rationalization yesterday, that because Newt asked to cheat, is shows a “mark of character.”  Well, according to Fox News Dr. Ablow…yeah the guy who has a problem with little girls pretending to breast feed their baby dolls, Newt Gingrich’s Three Marriages Mean He Might Make A Strong President

I want to be coldly analytical, not moralize, here. I want to tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s behavior could mean for the country, not for the future of his current marriage. So, here’s what one interested in making America stronger can reasonably conclude—psychologically—from Mr. Gingrich’s behavior during his three marriages:

1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.

2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.

3 ) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.

Conclusion: When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.

4) Two women—Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives—have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.

Conclusion: I can only hope Mr. Gingrich will be as direct and unsparing with the Congress, the American people and our allies. If this nation must now move with conviction in the direction of its heart, Newt Gingrich is obviously no stranger to that journey.

5) Mr. Gingrich’s daughters from his first marriage are among his most vigorous supporters. They obviously adore him and respect him and feel grateful for the kind of father he was.

When I want to know who in a marriage (or, for that matter, a series of marriages) is the one who actually was aligned with their best interests, I never dismiss evidence of who the children gravitate toward and admire. In this case, they have judged the father who left their family, then remarried twice. And they judge him 10 out of 10. I only hope my own children love me and respect me as much when they are adults.

So, as far as I can tell, judging from the psychological data, we have only one real risk to America from his marital history if Newt Gingrich were to become president: We would need to worry that another nation, perhaps a little younger than ours, would be so taken by Mr. Gingrich that it would seduce him into marrying it and becoming its president. And I think that is exceedingly unlikely.

Oh, giggle…giggle…that Dr. Ablow is such a cheeky bastard. Believe me, if there was a country out there with appealing tits and a nice ass, I can guarantee Newt would be all over it.

Another bit of crazy from Fox News: Neil Cavuto Gives John King A Strong Pat On The Back For ‘Open Marriage’ Question | Mediaite

Fox News’ Neil Cavuto defended CNN’s John King for opening Thursday’s debate by asking Newt Gingrich a question about his alleged “open marriage.” “Enough! Enough with making a big deal out of a question that was fair and an issue that was and is germane. Enough with making CNN’s reporter a villain and Newt Gingrich a hero for dodging it. He was perfectly in his rights trying to make him the issue, for even discussing the comments, but the reporter would have been derelict if he did not raise this. I respect Speaker Gingrich for the energy and intelligence that he brings to this race, but, frankly, his pile on the questioner because you do not like the question, is getting a little long in the debate tooth in this race,” Cavuto scolded.

RELATED: Chris Wallace: I Also Would’ve Asked The ‘Open Marriage’ Question First

“The reporter is an excellent journalist — Newt Gingrich is an excellent politician. The excellent politician swats away an embarrassing question by trying to embarrass the guy who asked it. That is to be expected. The excellent journalist nevertheless asked knowing full well a crowd and a big one will frown on him because he did ask it. That, too, is to be expected. That doesn’t make him bad for raising an issue that has become the elephant in the room,” Cavuto continued. “Fair is fair! Now, argue all you want, that the media is unfair to Republicans on this kind of issue but if memory serves me right, when this stuff happens for pure ratings, they love this kind of issue. Gingrich is free to swat it away and say he has made peace with god for past transgressions but save the piety.”

One more 2012 Primary link for you tonight, Colbert and Cain: Absurdist Politics in South Carolina – Josh Kraushaar – NationalJournal.com

How about this as a sign of how strange things have become in the Republican presidential race?

Newt Gingrich, the candidate with all of the momentum in the South Carolina primary, canceled a morning appearance on Friday because of concerns about sparse attendance. But just a few blocks away and a few hours later, comedian Stephen Colbert packed a crowd of more than 3,400 students into the College of Charleston quad – with another thousand or so waiting outside the perimeter — to see his mock campaign rally with Herman Cain, who suspended his actual campaign in December.

“Mr. Colbert could not get on the ballot,” Cain joked. “I could not get off the ballot.”

In the days before Saturday’s primary here, the GOP race has taken on a circus-like aura. Gingrich’s second ex-wife aired her grievances about his affairs on late-night television, as her husband thundered against the media for asking about her comments at Thursday night’s debate. Cain reappeared on the campaign trail to make a much-anticipated endorsement -– not of a candidate, but of “We, the people!” Sarah Palin, the original politician-turned-celebrity, emerged from the political diaspora, on television, to say she would support Gingrich — just to extend the primary. And on Friday, macho actor Chuck Norris endorsed Gingrich.

Welcome to the freak show.

Welcome? No…No my friend, this years GOP primary season was a freak show from the very beginning.

And since we are on the subject of freaks, check this out: Ga. judge orders president to appear at hearing – Boston.com

Yup, one of “them thar birthers” (my best redneck accent) has actually got a feather in his cap now…

A judge has ordered President Barack Obama to appear in court in Atlanta for a hearing on a complaint that says Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen and can’t be president.

It’s one of many such lawsuits that have been filed across the country, so far without success. A Georgia resident made the complaint, which is intended to keep Obama’s name off the state’s ballot in the March presidential primary.

An Obama campaign aide says any attempt to involve the president personally will fail and such complaints around the country have no merit.

The hearing is set for Thursday before an administrative judge. Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi on Friday denied a motion by the president’s lawyer to quash a subpoena that requires Obama to show up.

Nuts!

And finally, this last link is more news worthy than all the other crap I posted up top, h/t Maddow Blog: How much energy would the Death Star require to destroy Earth?

As iconic as the spherical death-bringer is, the inner tinkerings of the Death Star still remain a great mystery. For example, if the Death Star suddenly materialized in the Solar System, how much energy would the vessel require to pulverize the Earth into bloody gravel?

A group of physics students at the University of Leicester took it upon themselves to divine the Death Star’s energy requirements (using many an admittedly radical assumption). From the paper titled “That’s No Moon”:

This planet is going to be modelled after earth with the exception that it is a solid planet. It is then possible to use the gravitational binding energy of the target planet to estimate the amount of energy required to be supplied to the Death Star’s laser beam in order to destroy it […] The energy required to destroy the planet in question is 2.25 ⨉ 10^32 J. However, the destruction of large planets such as Jupiter can require much larger energy demands […] we can estimate this energy to be 2 ⨉ 10^36 J […]

Since the Death Star outputs energy equal to several main-sequence stars, even if the actual composition of Earth is used in equation, the value yielded is only a few orders of magnitudes larger and the Death Star can still easily afford to output that energy due to its tremendous power source. However as mentioned above Jupiter requires much greater energy demands which would put considerable strain on the Death Star. To destroy a planet like Jupiter it would probably have to divert all remaining power from all essential systems and life support, which is not necessarily possible.

I think with Newt’s fondness for space, and those grandiose ideas of his, this information would be key to his diabolical plan to give Obama more than a bloody nose!

Well, that is it for me, have a great Friday night!


SDB Evening News for 091611: Is it Friday yet?

Good Evening…Friday Evening!

This Sunday is my daughter’s birthday, she is turning 13…ah, it is a lovely age, cough…cough. It has given me time to reflect on just how fast those 13 years went by. It seems like yesterday we saw her blinking and sucking her thumb in the last sonogram I had before they delivered her. Seeing her bat the needle of when the doctor was giving me an amniocentesis, to make sure she was able to breathe on her own. (Preterm labor from 13 weeks for both kids had me on my back in High Risk for 7 months each.) That was strange to see the big specimen needle jerking back and forth as it stuck out of my belly.

Why do I bring it up, because damn it flew by so fast. The big stink at that time was Clinton and the “intern” smoke a cigar…but aside from that, things were really going well.  I mean, 1998 was a good year right? Economy was good, people had jobs, not every damn person was texting each other 24/7.  With the exception of the “what you consider it” scandal, and Titanic winning best picture, it was a dream of a year…

Look how fast it turned into shit. Especially since the last four years. Where the hell are we heading? And WTF is going to be done to keep us from going there?

If this is the kind of obstacle to government-funded jobs crap we are dealing with, how can we get out of the mess we are in…Tea Partiers: Light Rail an Invitation to Al Qaeda | Mother Jones

The citizens of Cobb County, Georgia are currently mulling a proposal that would increase property taxes for 10 years in order to fund a new light rail line between Atlanta to its suburbs. It’s a fairly straightforward proposal, the kind of thing that pops up all the time in communities across the country. But if there’s been one lesson of the past few years, it’s that mundane policy debates have a tendency to become a lot less mundane once tea partiers get involved.

In this case, the Georgia Tea Party is arguing that the county should abandon its light rail proposal because if the light rail line were to be completed, it would become a magnet for terrorist attacks. Here’s the group’s chair, J.D. Van Brink:

If anyone doesn’t believe me—England and Spain. Now, if we have a more decentralized mass transit system using buses, if the terrorists blow up a single bus, we can work around that. When they blow up a rail, that just brings the system to a grinding halt. So how much security are we going to have on this rail system, and how much will it cost?

In other words, Van Brink is arguing that because terrorists fantasize about blowing up American infrastructure, we should avoid spending any money on infrastructure.

Damn, this nut is from Georgia, I swear my state is becoming the Poster Child for Idiot Causes.

The Light Rail Terror Threat | ThinkProgress

This just has to be a sign of how weirdly enmeshed in culture war politics American transportation policy has become, right? Even in the Georgia Tea Party people must understand that terrorists detonate a bomb that blows up a section of the Downtown Connector freeway that’ll be a huge problem for automobile traffic and bring the system to a grinding halt, right?

Hey, you people from Atlanta will understand this, no interstate coming in and out of this city would be a huge improvement. (No I am not supporting a bomb on I75.) I am just saying those highways are like parking lots these days, not having to get on the road and sit for hours in one of those traffic jams would be a dream.

But this anti-rail claim is coming from the same folks who think the solution to the US job problem is python regulation, from Matthew Yglesias: New Jobs Plan: Snakes On A Swamp | ThinkProgress

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has been pushing the Interior Department to enact regulatory curbs on the importation of Burmese pythons into the United States. Apparently they’ve been infesting the Everglades and doing a great deal of damage. And according to the House GOP, this sort of thing is exactly why unemployment rate is over 9 percent:

But in a report released Wednesday, Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee denounced the proposed rule as part of the Obama administration’s “regulatory tsunami.” They said the snake ban could “devastate a small but thriving sector of the economy.”

I, personally, am an invasive species sympathizer (who are we, humans, if not the ultimate invasive species?) so I see where the critics are coming from, but this highlights precisely how petty and absurd efforts to tackle mass unemployment purely on the supply side are going to be. We don’t need four jobs selling snakes somewhere. We need millions and millions of jobs. We need well over a million new jobs per year just to keep up with the growing population rate.

Yglesias goes on to say that snake imports are not going to achieve that number…

Trade deals with tiny countries like Panama aren’t going to cut it. Picking nits about where Boeing does and doesn’t open factories isn’t going to cut it. The United States of America is a gigantic country with a gigantic economy and a gigantic labor force and a gigantic problem of joblessness. You need to move it with big levers. Snake-led growth doesn’t cut it.

“Snake-led growth” I like that phrase…it has a few different meanings doesn’t it?

You got your “snake in the grass” meaning:

Leaked Documents Name Names: Hedge Funds, Wall St., Koch Brothers, Big Banks And Oil Companies Were Behind 2008 Oil Price Shock | Crooks and Liars

Lee Fang at ThinkProgress follows up on the Sen. Bernie Sanders’ leak of oil speculator names. Major players include the Koch brothers and the Wall Street banks:

Last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leaked confidential data about oil speculation to a number of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. Ordinarily, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the regulatory body that oversees futures trading, does not provide identities of speculators to the public. However, the data leaked by Sanders provides a rare snapshot into the trading volumes by major speculators right before the oil price spike in the summer of 2008.

As experts from Stanford UniversityRice University, the University of Massachusetts, andauthorities have concluded, rampant oil speculation was the prime driver of the record highprices for crude oil three years ago.

To view a copy of the data, click here for documents leaked by Sanders. To view an organized spreadsheet, click here.

Notably, the top speculators are noncommercial players, meaning they are companies that simply and buy and sell crude contracts with no interest in actually refining and selling the product. Each contract in the list represents 1,000 barrels of oil. The documents show the total volume of trades made on one specific day shortly before the record high price of $148 per barrel.

The data, though revealing, still does not give a complete picture of trading strategies. Speculators invest in multiple private exchanges, and trading tactics can shift from day to day. Moreover physical plays, such as buying up large quantities of actual oil and storing it on tankers or in large containers, are still largely hidden from public view.

Go to the link and see who the snakes in the grass are!

You got your “snake in the pants” meaning: Women slow to embrace Rick Perry – The Washington Post

Multiple polls shows the Texas governor does well among male voters but not isn’t getting as much love from female voters.

In other words, the voters with those one-eyed snakes are more supportive of Perry…

And then the “snake in the hole” meaning: Not Letting Up | Talking Points Memo

Michele Bachmann is still going after Rick Perry over the HPV vaccine, in a campaign email a short time ago:

As a mother of three daughters, I believe that parents, in consultation with their doctor and family, should decide whether or not our young women should receive injections for sexually transmitted diseases. These personal decisions are best left between parents and doctors, taking into consideration a child’s personal health and family’s values.

It almost reads like Perry was proposing to inject young girls with sexually transmitted diseases — personally.

She’s also lumping Perry’s HPV plan with Obamacare. A two-fer.

Ah, what does it all matter anyway, in 2012 we will all be gone…and then some day far into the future, a new species of apes will find Trump’s hair locked away in some amber-like plastic mass in an area once known as Manhattan… Feathers Trapped in Amber Reveal a More Colorful Dinosaur Age – NYTimes.com

Science/AAAS

An isolated barb from a vaned feather, trapped within a tangled mass of spider’s web. Pigment distribution suggests that the barb may have been gray or black.

Color is coming to the formerly black-and-white Mesozoic world of dinosaurs and early birds.

Not exactly high-definition color, and some formidable characters may show up in the same old drab and scaly wardrobes; they are dinosaurs, after all, with a reputation for resistance to change. But in time, you can look for splashes of color in museum dioramas of feathered figures from the age of dinosaurs.

For more than a decade, hardly a season has passed without more discoveries of dinosaur and bird fossils in China bearing impressions of feathers and traces of chemical coloring agents. Now, in Canada, paleontologists have found 70-million-year-old amber preserving 11 specimens showing a wide diversity of feather types at that time.

One specimen of so-called proto-feathers had a single bristlelike filament and some simple clusters. Others were complex structures with hooklike barbules that act like Velcro; in modern birds, this keeps feathers in place during dives. Still other specimens revealed feather patterns for flight and underwater diving.

Preserved pigment cells encased in the amber, along with other evidence, suggested that the feathered animals had an array of mottled patterns and diffuse colors like modern birds, scientists at the University of Alberta, led by Ryan C. McKellar, said in a report published Thursday in the journal Science.

Let’s end with this…you know that we have reached that altered sense of reality when NASA finds a Star Wars like planet that revolves around two suns and Darth Vader aka Dick Cheney is alive because of some bionic heart pump device.

NASA’s Kepler Telescope Finds Planet Orbiting Two Stars – NYTimes.com

Sometimes the orange sun rises first. Sometimes it is the red one, although they are never far apart in the sky and you can see them moving around each other, casting double shadows across the firmament and periodically crossing right in front of each other.

Such is life, if it were possible, on the latest addition to the pantheon of weird planets now known to exist outside the bounds of our own solar system. It is the first planet, astronomers say, that has been definitely shown to be orbiting two stars at once, circling the pair — which themselves orbit each other tightly — at a distance of some 65 million miles.

A team of astronomers using NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft announced the discovery on Thursday in a paper published online in the journal Science, in a talk at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and in a news conference at NASA’s Ames Research Laboratory in Mountain View, Calif., Kepler’s headquarters.

The official name of the new planet is Kepler 16b, but astronomers are already referring to it informally as Tatooine, after the home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker in the George Lucas “Star Wars” movies, which also had two suns.

“Reality has finally caught up with science fiction,” said Alan P. Boss of the Carnegie Institution, a member of the research team.

Oh, y’all know the scientist are loving this, and I bet it is only a matter of time before the official name of Kepler 16b becomes…Tatooine.

And for the Darth Vader heart pump thingy, there is this clip of him on the View, where he explains that he no longer has a heart…and proceeds to prove it by sounding the alarm when he disconnects his battery:

The Humanization of Dick Cheney – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 09/14/11 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

So I ask again, where the hell are we heading too?

Can somebody help me out here?

Please y’all, give me a clue…comments section is down below.