Kimmel to Palin: “You Just Got Served!” ($&@#, Do People Still Say That? Am I Just Showing My Age Again?)

So if you’ve been able to peel your eyes away from the trainwreck currently taking place in the GOP presidential primary, then you are probably aware that climate science deniers have a new “movie” out, promoted by esteemed scientist Sarah Palin as well as Weather Channel founder John Coleman.  Climate Hustle is the latest attempt  by the deniers to trick the general public into believing man made climate change is some vast, underpants gnome-like conspiracy the left is using to fuck over white working class Christians, rather than an actual problem that we’ve already ignored for far too long that 97%* of scientists working in related fields agree is definitely taking place.

Look guys, I get it.  Climate change is scary.  It is a serious problem and we’re at the point now that any effective effort to fix it is going to be painful, especially to our wealthy western way of life.  I’m not immune.  I love steak.  Fucking love it.  I run an air conditioner constantly in order to make my attic room livable rather than just moving everything downstairs into a spare room each summer.  I take long, meaningless drives so my Chow can hang her head out the window and have her excitement.  Sure, I’ve taken steps to have a smaller carbon footprint, but the vast majority of changes I made were relatively pain free.  Ignorance is bliss; it means I can run my AC unit as much as I want and eat that 16 oz ribeye guilt free.  But it is happening.  Fast.  It is the climate changing, not necessarily the current weather, so just cause we get some snow doesn’t negate the fact that we keep setting records for hottest year, practically every year.  I don’t want to give climate change credit for things it didn’t cause, and I know we had an el nino this year, but damn, if you live in Pennsylvania tell me this wasn’t the strangest fall/winter/spring you have ever lived through.  Globally, the temperatures are rising, the ice is melting, and the oceans are rising.  And this is all shit that a layperson can figure out without an advanced degree in the relevant science.  What kind of a world are we leaving for the future generations?  Are we really that selfish, that deniers with conflicts of interest that make Andrew Wakefield blush can cause so many of us to doubt 97%* of climate scientists?

But, but, but….the founder of the Weather Channel!!!!  What about him, hmmm?  Checkmate, atheist liberal progressive person who accepts scientific consensus.  Wow, the founder of the Weather Channel?  That’s incredibly….meaningless.  Is John Coleman a climate scientist?  Is he publishing current research that challenges the results the rest of climate science keeps coming up with?

Both Fox News and CNN have recently invited John Coleman, one of the founders of The Weather Channel and former TV meteorologist, to express his views about climate change to their national audiences. Coleman is simply an awful choice to discuss this issue. He lacks credentials, many of his statements about climate change completely lack substance or mislead, and I’m not even sure he knows what he actually believes.

To begin, Coleman hasn’t published a single peer-reviewed paper pertaining to climate change science. His career, a successful and distinguished one, was in TV weather for over half a century, prior to his retirement in San Diego last April. He’s worked in the top markets: Chicago and New York, including a 7-year stint on Good Morning America when it launched. If you watch Coleman on-camera, his skill is obvious. He speaks with authority, injects an irreverent sense of humor and knows how to connect with his viewer.

But a climate scientist, he is not.

“Many people don’t accept my position that there is no significant man-made global warming because I am simply a Television Meteorologist without a Ph.D.,” he admitted in a blog post. “I understand that.”

I urge you all to go and read that whole article, it makes the point perfectly why it is one thing for a non-scientist to examine the data and agree that climate change is man made and happening, yet a completely different animal for them to look at the issue and declare that practically every climate scientist in the world is wrong or lying.  But the main point I’m concerned with is the meaninglessness of John Coleman’s scientific opinion on any subject.

Palin is actually worse.  No matter the subject, there is only one person I trust less than Sarah Palin in the United States and that person lived in Sarah’s womb for 9 months.  Yet sadly, for some reason probably related to why Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee for President, some people out there continue to not only care what she has to say, but actually consider her opinion when forming their own.  And when faced with Sarah Palin’s endorsement of this oil company propaganda film, today’s best course of action is to turn it over to Jimmy Kimmel**.

Boom, mic drop.  (There, that’s more current, right?)


** Yes, those were 13 words I never thought I would write in that order.

*Okay, time to make the climate deniers change their pants.  Saying that 97% of climate scientists agree that man made climate change is real and currently happening is misleading and I will never quote the statistic again after this post.  Why?  Well, sorry deniers, you shot your wads a bit prematurely, which I am sure has never happened to any of you before.***  Let’s go to volume 39.6 of the Skeptical Inquirer to check out an article by James Lawrence Powell: (Bolding is mine, as always.)

Since it is inconceivable that any climate scientist today could have no opinion on the subject, if 97 percent accept AGW it follows that 3 percent reject it. To those outside of science, 3 percent may seem an insignificant percentage. However, we scientists know that a small minority has often turned out to be right, otherwise there would have been no scientific revolutions. In the 1950s, for example, the percentage of American geologists who accepted continental drift was likely less than 3 percent. Yet they were right.

If there were a 3 percent minority on AGW it would matter, but there is not. The “97% consensus” is false. The percentage of publishing climate scientists who accept AGW is at least 99.9 percent and may verge on unanimity.

*cut out tweet from Obama here*

How, then, has nearly everyone from President Obama on down come to buy the claim of a 97 percent consensus? The figure comes from a 2013 article in Environmental Research Letters by Cook et al. titled “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature.” They reported that “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming” (emphasis added). The 97 percent figure went viral and, not surprisingly, the qualifying phrase “expressing a position”—the fine print, if you will—got dropped. But those three words expose the false assumption inherent in the Cook et al. methodology.

Cook et al. used the Web of Science science-citation research site to review the titles and abstracts of peer-reviewed articles from 1991–2011 with the keywords “global climate change” and “global warming.” They classified the articles into seven categories from “(1) Explicit endorsement with quantification” to “(7) Explicit rejection with quantification.” In the middle was “(4) No position.”

The sine qua non of the Cook et al. method is the assumption that publishing scientists who accept a theory will say so—they will “endorse” it in the title or abstract. To count an article as part of the consensus, Cook et al. required that it “address or mention the cause of global warming.” Of the 11,944 articles that came up in their search, 7,970—two thirds—did not. Cook et al. classified those articles as taking no position and thus ruled them out of the consensus.

Do we need to know any more to realize that there is something wrong with the Cook et al. method? The consensus is what the majority accept; you cannot rule out a two-thirds majority and still derive the consensus.

Moreover, is it true that scientists routinely endorse the ruling paradigm of their discipline? To find out, I used the Web of Science to review articles in three fields: plate tectonics, the origin of lunar craters, and evolution.

Of 500 recent articles on “plate tectonics,” none in my opinion endorsed the theory directly or explicitly. Nor did a single article reject plate tectonics.

…..

What of lunar craters? As recently as 1964, nearly every scientist who had studied the moon believed that its craters were volcanic. Then in July of that year, the first successful Ranger mission returned thousands of photographs showing that the moon exhibits craters ranging in size from the colossal to the microscopic. Except for a few senior holdouts, scientists quickly embraced the meteorite impact theory.

….

I reviewed the abstracts of the most recent 100 articles, which go back to 1997. As with plate tectonics, none explicitly endorsed meteorite impact, nor did any reject it.

…..

Do biologists writing about evolution routinely endorse Darwin’s theory? I reviewed the abstracts of articles in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology from 2000 through 2014. Of 303 articles, 261 had abstracts. Not surprisingly, none of the 261 rejected the modern evolutionary synthesis; neither did any endorse it.

That’s all I’m going to quote from it, but seriously, if you are interested in that 97% number and ever wondered about the apparent 3% who do not accept climate change, you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing.  The actual number is far closer to 99.9%.

***Yeah, I once received constructive criticism that I should leave out little digs like that, or my insinuations that MRAs possess micropenises, and while I understand the critique, in the famous words of Popeye, I yam what I yam.

We Knew Louie Gohmert Was Hateful, Stupid, and Ignorant, But He is Also Kind of a Pig.

It is really tough to figure out what is the most objectionable facet of the far right’s disingenuous war against the bathroom freedoms of transgendered Americans, but my vote for most hilarious part is their fantasy fixation on the movie Porky’s.  First it was Mike Huckabee fantasizing on stage about pretending to be transgendered so he could have showered with the girls back in high school, and now it is Louie Gohmert, possibly the dumbest person in Congress, to step up to the plate.  Louie however doesn’t want to shower with the gals, no, seventh grade Louie would have been happy just to pee with them.  (Again, from the kind folks at Right Wing Watch)

Citing his own childhood, the congressman said that boys would be unable to resist the temptation to see girls while they are in the bathroom.

Gohmert recounted to “Washington Watch” host and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins his junior-high fantasies.

“When it comes to this current legislation where — in most of the world, in most of the religions, the major religions, you have men and you have women, and there are some abnormalities but for heaven’s sake, I was as good a kid as you can have growing up, I never drank alcohol till I was legal, never to, still, use an illegal drug, but in the seventh grade if the law had been that all I had to do was say, ‘I’m a girl,’ and I got to go into the girls’ restroom, I don’t know if I could’ve withstood the temptation just to get educated back in those days,” he said.

Gohmert then said that businesses like PayPal are now “telling states that you have to let boys into little girls’ restrooms or we’re pulling our business, it’s just the height of lunacy.”

Sigh.  Insert amusing comment about how Gohmert’s lack of intelligence is as dangerous as fire.

 

I Wonder What They Talk About on “Gun Owners News Hour”?

Did you know that Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt hosts a show called “Gun Owners News Hour”?  Neither did I!  I wonder what they talk about on that show?  I bet it is about new products the gun industry is bringing out for law abiding, responsible gun owners, such as handguns that can fire legal armor piercing rounds, new triggers to make your AR-15 practically fully automatic (since the evil government has overreached and attempted to stop sales of the ARFA kit to make it full auto.  Thanks, Obama.), 30 round handgun clips (for self-defense.  duh.), youth rifles that come in pink, and children’s books such as “101 Things to Do in the Backseat with Mom’s Handgun.”  (Okay, I made the book up.  I was actually going to make up 4 or 5 crazy gun related products, but I kept finding real ones.  Sigh.)  Anyway, let’s see what the show is all about!

Conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson appeared on the “Gun Owners News Hour” with Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt last weekend, where he repeated the thesis of his most recent book , which is that racism in America does not exist, but rather is a myth perpetuated by people like President Obama who was raised to hate white people and is incapable of feeling love.
God damn it.  Now there’s coffee all over my monitor.  What the fuck did they just say?

Peterson told Pratt that once Americans “dispel that notion that racism exists,” liberals will lose power because “their father the Devil” feeds on such lies.

The two then, for some reason, started comparing and contrasting Dr. Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential candidate, with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor who became a right-wing lightning rod during Obama’s first presidential campaign.

Peterson told Pratt that African American voters didn’t support Carson’s presidential bid because they’re in an “evil state” and “prefer evil over good.”

“And yet, in their fallen state of anger, most blacks see Dr. Carson as the enemy and they see Jeremiah Wright as the good guy,” he said. “And even though Jeremiah Wright speaks evil, he is evil, but because they’re in that evil state, they identify with him over a good, decent man like Dr. Ben Carson. And blacks would never vote for him, the majority would never vote for him because any time a person who’s good like that, they see them as a sell-out, they don’t accept good, they prefer evil over good and they call evil good and they call good evil.”

So blacks who vote Democratic are in an “evil state?”  OMG!  If you add a “n”, it becomes the Demoncratic party!  Why didn’t I ever see that before!  The horror, the horror!

Earlier in the program, Peterson expounded on his theory that President Obama has been sympathetic toward the Black Lives Matter movement because he was raised by a mother who “hated her own race” and grew up without his father so “he doesn’t feel love, he has nothing but anger in his heart.”

Pratt evidently thought this was very perceptive and said that the president “has developed a very cold shell to cover that with and when I see him, it’s almost like looking at a robot, the lack of human emotion that’s on display.” Meanwhile, he said, the president has a “Mt. Vesuvius” of anger bubbling underneath.

Peterson agreed that “Obama is evil, he’s cold-hearted, he doesn’t care about anyone but Obama” but voters have never really understood “how wicked this man is.”

You know, as a 40 year old white man, I’m going to refrain from making the obvious point about who really “hated her(his) own race” and instead just wonder what the fuck any of this had to do with guns.  Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  Obama is coming to take away our guns.  Run for the hills.  Hide your weapons (and your white women).  The bad black President is coming to take them all away.

Any day now.
Definitely before the election.
Or maybe right after.
Or after he declares martial law and makes himself President for life.
Yeah, definitely that last one.  Bet the farm on it.

A “Wait, What?!?” That Caused Me To Cover My Monitor In Coffee.

There is so many delusional people in the United States today that it is difficult to pick a most delusional faction of the populace.  Is it members of the GOP who insist they had nothing to do with the rise of Trump?  Members of the GOP who still think Marco Rubio will become the GOP nominee?  Voters who believe Ted Cruz wouldn’t strangle a puppy on camera if it got him the nomination?  Progressives who apparently think the Tea Party and the House Freedom Caucus are on to something and claim they will sit out the election if HRC wins the nomination, refusing to acknowledge that another Clinton in the White House would be better than the modern GOP having control of every branch of government for a few years?  Pro-lifers who honestly believe Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts out of the trunk of their car to the highest bidder?  Gun owners who seriously believe the authors of the Bill of Rights would agree that the private ownership of an assault rifle is a right, not a privilege?  Citizens that truly believe we are living in a post-racial society, even after being smacked in the face with the crime that is the poisoning of Flint?

Just when I think it is impossible to choose a winner, Ed Brayton rescues me, drawing my attention to indeed, the most delusion segment of the population, hands down.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your hysterical overreaction of the day. In an article on Pat Robertson’s CBN website, unhinged anti-gay bigot Brian Camenker of MassResistance says that Christians today are being treated just like the Jews were in Nazi Germany because they’re being “demonized.”

 

Some say American Christians are paranoid, that they’re feeling targeted and persecuted. But is it possible America is facing a growing anti-Christian agenda?

Some on the frontline of the culture wars have responded with a resounding “yes.” They feel it up close and personal – right in their faces.

“I’m particularly sensitive to that because I’m Jewish,” Brian Camenker, with Mass Resistance, told CBN News.

“I saw what happened to Jews in the 1930s and 40s and much of that same thing is happening to Christians now,” he said. “There’s an organized movement to demonize Christians.”

Maggie Gallagher, with the American Principles Project, agreed.

“What we’re seeing very clearly is an effort to target them [Christians] legally when possible and then to humiliate or deprive them of social respect,” she said.

I’m honestly speechless.  Thanks Ed.

Move Over Todd Akin, It’s Pete Nielsen Time!

Remember Todd Akin?  Remember how he said that abortion restrictions didn’t need exceptions for rape because “legitimate rape” doesn’t result in pregnancy?  Remember how he lost a senate race that should have been a cake walk mainly due to that comment?

After the amazing crash and burn Akin performed for the nation back in 2012, you would think that Republicans would learn a lesson from the whole fiasco.  You’d be wrong, of course.  Why?  Damned if I know.  Maybe it’s because some of them really believe, with zero evidence, that, ahem, “legitimate” rape is too traumatic to result in conception.  Or maybe it is an “ends justify the means” situation, where as long as it results in punishing women for being sexual beings.  What, you thought I was going to strike that out and end the sentence with “less abortions?”  Why?  When has the so-called “pro-life” movement ever supported something with an actual chance of lowering the number of abortions?  They can say they care about the unborn child all they want, but until they stop opposing common sense measures, like Colorado’s long term contraception initiative for an example, measures that are actually effective at lowering the rate of abortion, why should any of us give them the benefit of the doubt as to their motives?  They aren’t just protesting Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities; they want it all shut down, because this has much more to do with women’s sexuality than the fate of some fetuses.  Nothing should prove that faster than the speed at which they cease caring about the child upon birth.

Whatever their reasons may be, they keep beating that same old drum.  Today’s “Wait, What?!?” is brought to you by the Idaho legislature.  “I da Ho?  Well then close your damn legs, ya slut!”

From The Spokesman-Review:

During the hearing Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, said, “Now, I’m of the understanding that in many cases of rape it does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident. That may be true with incest a little bit.”

….

Nielsen stood by his remarks after the hearing, saying pregnancy “doesn’t happen as often as it does with consensual sex, because of the trauma involved.”

Asked how he knew that, he said, “That’s information that I’ve had through the years. Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know.”

He added, “I read a lot of information. I have read it several times. … Being a father of five girls, I’ve explored this a lot.”

Why, may I ask, has this man “explored this a lot”?  Hopefully it is for work, and not an attempt to figure out how likely his daughters would be to get pregnant if he…….

Moving on….

The scientific consensus on the issue is that rape is as likely to result in pregnancy as consensual sex, and some studies suggest the rate of pregnancy is higher in rape. A 2003 study that appeared in the scientific journal “Human Nature,” for instance, found that the rate of pregnancy from rape exceeded the rate of pregnancy from consensual sex by a “sizable margin.”

Is it any wonder if a percentage of the anti-choice brigade decides to ignore scientific consensus?  Members of the GOP already freely ignore the scientific consensus when it comes to evolution and global warming, what would make this a bridge too far?  Of course, in those cases the only people being called “liars” are scientists and biology teachers.  I wonder if they stop and think that by holding on to the “legitimate rape doesn’t cause pregnancy” thing that they are directly calling every rape victim who got pregnant from her attack a liar?

Something tells me they just don’t care.

“Things Old White Men Probably Shouldn’t Write” and Thomas Sowell Go Together “So-Well” (See What I Did There!!!!)

From the “Letters to the Editor” page in the Altoona Mirror, I bring you today’s installment of “Things Old White Men Probably Shouldn’t Write, ” submitted to the Mirror by a John K. Coyle (NOT THE SPEEDSKATER!!!) from Bedford, Pennsylvania.  (Bolding is mine as always)

Award-winning syndicated columnist Tom Sowell’s column on “racial representation” is a must read.

In it, he offers his opinion on whether the black race should be continuously complaining of how they are not equally representative in every phase of “what matters.”

He writes with “tongue-in-cheek” of how even the NFL comes up short, with his perfect example of “failure to represent.”

I quote Sowell, “I have seen hundreds of black players score touchdowns, but I have never seen one black player kick an extra point.”

I’m surprised there wasn’t a group of professional protesters at the Super Bowl.

And as always, Tom says it “So-well.”

– See more at: http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/630747/Sowell-makes-his-point-well.html?nav=737#sthash.p016CZLe.dpuf

Oh God, what is that “black race” complaining about now?  I bet it’s something really petty, amirite?  Let’s go to The Jewish World Review to check out the column in question, shall well?

The latest tempest in a teapot controversy is over a lack of black nominees for this year’s Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Wait, what?  That’s the controversy Sowell is writing about?  Is Mr. Coyle misrepresenting Mr. Sowell’s column by only quoting that eye roll worthy joke example of NFL placekickers?  I mean, I admit that I don’t really like Thomas Sowell’s political and social ideas, but he is a nationally known columnist.  Surely he wouldn’t dismiss the lack of nominations for blacks at the Academy Awards the past two years, while the nominations are decided by a voting body that is overwhelmingly white with just that weak ass example.  Right?  I mean, just because he never saw a black place kicker in the NFL doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  At the time this article went to press there had been 4 black NFL place kickers.

I doubt whether any of the guys who grew up in my old neighborhood in Harlem ever went on to become ballet dancers. Nor is it likely that this had anything to do with either genetics or racism. The very thought of becoming a ballet dancer never crossed my mind and it probably never occurred to the other guys either.

Oh, okay.  See?  I knew good old “So-Well” wouldn’t just bring that one sad example.  He has two sad examples.  It took me two clicks on Google to find this story featuring 2 black male ballet dancers from Brooklyn.   I really have no idea what Sowell is playing at by bringing up these two examples.  There are non-racist reasons why some fields (such as NFL place kicking) have lower than normal participation by African Americans.  As the 2012 article said on place kicking:

The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview minorities for coaching jobs. The difference is there were plenty of candidates being ignored when the rule began.

Black kicking prospects aren’t being ignored. They aren’t turned into defensive backs or wide receivers, like promising black quarterbacks used to be. Nobody’s pulling a Jimmy the Greek and saying they lack the leg strength or other “necessities.”

There simply aren’t many out there.

“The hard part is finding a kid who’ll stick with it,” said Oglesby, who runs a kicking camp in Atlanta. “I come across kids who have the talent, but either they’re not interested or don’t have the money to attend camps. Or they play on a team that doesn’t put any emphasis on it.”

Almost all young kickers played soccer, which is not popular in black communities. They get specialized training and don’t depend on high schools developing their skills.

That’s a good thing, since kicking is often an afterthought on the high-school level. And even if a kicker is a young Sebastian Janikowski, the position doesn’t have much sex appeal to an impressionable kid of any race.

As for the ballet dancing, I must admit that I also didn’t know any male ballet dancers growing up.  The thought never crossed my mind, and I doubt it really ever did for most of the guys I went to school with.  Yet I grew up in a school that was 99% white.  How can that be?  Shouldn’t I have been swimming through future ballet principles?  Could it be that some forms of dance, like, ballet maybe, are favored more by girls growing up than boys?  The stereotype when I went to school, which was ages ago, granted, was that little boys played sports while little girls did gymnastics and dance.  Was it sexist as all get out?  Hell yeah.  It wasn’t as divided as I make it seem, girls did play basketball (soccer had yet to catch on) and eventually softball, but the now common sight of a girl playing Little League certainly didn’t occur during my childhood.  The point is that although not the common path, some little white boys and little black boys do decide they want to do ballet.  And if Mr. Sowell, or Mr. Coyle seriously think racism isn’t an obstacle for those black children who want to dance ballet, then they have never done any research into ballet.  Ballet has a serious obsession with “the look.”  Women must be lithe, flat-chested, and delicate while the men must fit their own mold.  The ballet company, the director, and the audience all have an image of what a ballet dancer should look like, and all too often that mental image is of a white person.  Look at Misty Copeland’s rise to Principle dancer and the pitfalls she had to face in spite of her unquestionable talent because she was black with a body outside the classical image of a ballerina.

Even with his pitiful examples, the most audacious part of Sowell’s column is his attempt to obfuscate the  actual argument against the Academy Awards.  Black actors point out the complete white-out for acting nominations, two years running, and Sowell does some quick slight of hand and is suddenly talking about professions where African Americans are underrepresented.  But that misses the point entirely.  Acting is not a profession that is void of black talent.  There were legitimate candidates for nomination the past two years.  This isn’t a case of “well, maybe black folks don’t act, ” or “maybe black folks don’t like to kick balls,” or “none of my black friends danced ballet.”  It’s more “gee, isn’t it funny that this incredibly white voting bloc keeps giving all the nominations to white people, even though there are deserving candidates with differing skin tones.”  It has much more in common with the old “so if white people and black people use drugs at similar rates per capita, then why does such a massive amount  more black people wind up getting arrested?” than Sowell’s sad sack examples.

For Thomas Sowell?  I know, it’s not hard.  As a black conservative columnist, you can pretty much say anything and your intended audience will lap it all up.  But judging by your CV, you are not a stupid man.  So come on, out of intellectual integrity at the least, a bit less baiting, and a bit less switching.

And Mr. John K. Coyle (Not the Speedskater!  Seriously, don’t mess with the speedskating guy, he didn’t say anything.)?  As a fellow white person, although a few decades your junior, I urge you to refrain from ever telling “the black race” what you think they should do.   Especially in a public forum with your name attached while possessing a non-private (not mean enough to link it, it’s easy enough to find.) Facebook account.  I assure you, they do not care what you think, and you sound like your next words will be  “I’m not racist, but…”

Moderate Republicans Probably Still Exist, They Just Aren’t Running For President

There is a major difference between being “too moderate to win the GOP presidential nomination” and actually being a moderate.  John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio is indeed, frighteningly enough, more than likely a member of the former category.  He may even be the most moderate member of the GOP to run for the 2016 nomination.   What he certainly is not is a moderate.

Don’t get me wrong here, compared to the other candidates, Kasich sounds like he belongs in a different party at times.  He used his faith as a reason to accept the ACA medicaid expansion, he doesn’t think deporting 11 million people is a realistic goal,  and he believes climate change is taking place.  Yay?

But check out all of his views.  Sure, his faith caused him to go along with the medicaid expansion, but it also seems to color his opinions on all the issues.  He believes the death penalty is compatible with Christianity, has a nice, fresh “A” rating from the NRA, seems to subscribe to the “just say no” school of drug policy. he supports tax cuts for “job creators” while he deceives people about the so called “death tax” that he wishes to eliminate.  I’m not going to spell out all his views for ya, if you are interested, click the above link.  I just want to point out one of his “moderate”moves as governor of Ohio, as seen on Wonkette today:

still drinking the delicious Kool-Aid flavor called “John Kasich is actually a moderate.”

We are here to tell you that flavor is garbage. That flavor is a lie. Witness Kasich’s latest super moderate action: defunding the ever living fuck out of Planned Parenthood in Ohio.

The bill strips state and some federal funding from health clinics that perform and promote “nontherapeutic abortions,” including Planned Parenthood facilities.

while the bill grants an exemption to abortions performed in cases of rape, incest and preserving the life of the mother, it jeopardizes the fate of other vital women’s health programs.For example, the $1.3 million in state grants that Planned

Parenthood is slated to lose was allocated toward HIV testing, cancer screenings and programs that help prevent domestic violence and infant mortality.

I really don’t give a shit about your views on abortion.  Why?  Because none of that fucking money was going towards abortions.  Cause it isn’t about abortions.  If it was, then the “pro-life” advocates would be screaming for universal access to long term contraception.  You know, something that actually reduces abortions.

Until proven otherwise I have to assume this war against Planned Parenthood is just what it seems.  The policy position that sexually active women do not deserve reproductive health care and cancer screenings because they are slutty slut sluts who should have kept their knees locked.

The Joy of Groups

As part of my on-going treatment for my previous addiction to opiates, I do an hour a month of counseling, either in a one on one format with my actual counselor, or in a small group setting.  Normally I always try to fill my time with a one on one, since I have some serious issues with group treatment (which I will lay out below, after the main point of the post), but with the Thanksgiving holiday this month, I was forced instead to attend a group.  The group was billed as a “Men’s Issues” group and was being run by my counselor, so I figured it would be fairly painless.  Rather than “Men’s Issues” (whatever they may happen to be) the group quickly turned into a discussion of current events when the counselor asked the groups opinion on Syrian refugees.  While some things were completely unsurprising (I was alone out of the 11 in the room who supported admitting Syrian refugees to the United States), the rate of participation in the discussion was shocking (everyone participated, which could be a first in any group treatment setting), and some of the misinformation was simply depressing.

Why do I bring this up?  Because something I forget many times, in fact, something I think a lot of people forget from time to time, is that those of us who are well informed politically are not in the majority.  Sure, it is every citizen’s responsibility to be well informed in a democracy, but let’s be completely honest.  People have lives.  They have a thousand things competing for their limited time, and somethings, especially things that don’t immediately affect their day to day lives, are going to get shorted.  I spend a lot of time making sure I am well informed on issues.  I know how the media can mislead people, so I try to always read stories from various sites, including at least one from a comparatively unbiased news source.  I want to know what arguments I will be hearing, so I typically try to see what Fox News is saying about an issue as well.  Sure, it would be easier if I would just get my news from MSNBC or the Raw Story, but then I would be a picture perfect hypocrite since one of my main complaints about the right is the media bubble so many of them seem to live within.  Others who try to stay as informed can probably back me up on this, but some things have to be sacrificed.    For me it is largely television.  I normally have a documentary on in the background while I read or write, but my entertainment based television watching over the past five years is as follows:

  • Game of Thrones (because I am a huge fan of the book series.  Thankfully the showrunners have the show and their heads so far up their ass that since the sixth episode of the fifth season, I now have an extra hour free in the spring on Sundays.  To think, I actually subscribed to HBO for that show.)
  • One episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. (Though I’ve seen every musical number online.)
  • Cosmos
  • Random sporting events that my mother is watching.
  • Random episodes of Arrow and The Flash that my best friend put on while we were hanging out.
  • Random episodes of Blue Blood and Criminal Minds that my mother watches.
  • True Detective

And Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  That’s it.  Seriously.  I’ve seen one episode of The Walking Dead.  Never seen Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Good Wife, Hannibal, or The Americans, even though I hear they are all great/at least worth watching shows.  It’s not because I don’t like television either.  Hell, I even like bad television.  I’ve seen every single episode of Perry Mason and Matlock thanks to my father’s love of those shows.  I think I’ve seen every Walker, Texas Ranger.  Most of Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza.  If I have the flu or something, I will watch 30 straight hours of Law and Order or Law and Order:SVU.  I used to adore Adult Swim.  Now?

We switched to Direct TV last year about this time and my room got a box installed.  I took the HDMI cable off the Direct TV box and used it to hook my television up to my new video card.  I have yet to watch television in my room on my new DTV box.  Why?  Because it is the entertainment I sacrifice to stay as well informed as possible.  And as much as I’d like to say that I do that because of a sense of civic responsibility, the fact is that I love politics.  Yeah, I care about the issue and everything, but I also am fascinated by it all; the inner workings of the system, the polling numbers, the psychological tactics employed to win voters, the debates, the lies, the amount of bullshit people will forgive as long as it comes from politicians in their own party, the idiocy, the insanity, every now and then the brilliance.  I love politics, and I have a very hard time thinking I would be anywhere near as well informed as I try to be if I didn’t enjoy it.  Politics is my thing.  And for many of those who are reading Think Progress, Right Wing Watch, Salon, Mock Paper Scissors, and Brad’s Blog to name a few sites, politics is their thing as well.  And sometimes, just like the right wing media bubble that some conservatives live in, listening to only rightwing talk, watching only Fox and Newsmax, reading only WND and Brietbart, we live in a bubble consisting only of people who care about politics.  Then we get frustrated when people don’t see our points or fail to understand what we think is a simple concept, forgetting that we are not only drawing on our built up over time knowledge of the middle east situation, but also the hours we’ve put into the latest crisis while the person we’re arguing with knows the following:

  • there was a bad terrorist attack in Paris
  • there is a Syrian refugee crisis
  • a lot of people are very adamantly saying that it would be dangerous to allow those refugees into the United States.

Now honestly, other than frustration, what are the possible outcomes of such a debate?  Especially if we don’t realize that both parties are coming at the debate from different places.

Look, I’m not saying these people are stupid.  Not at all.  By definition they are politically ignorant, but how much blame do they deserve for that?  Our brains did not evolve for the information driven life we now live, and for the vast amount of people, being politically well informed isn’t give that much priority when compared to the countless other things that demand our time and effort.  Sure, Trump may be leading in the polls right now, but remember, he has name recognition and the vast majority of the nation isn’t paying serious attention to the race yet.  If everyone was as passionate about politics as I am and he was still leading the polls, then that would be horrifying.  Sure, there’s a chance he’ll win the GOP nomination, and sure, even if he doesn’t, every damn one of their candidates cause me to shiver uncontrollably, but for me at least the real race won’t start until the voting starts and people start to pay attention.

Honestly, I don’t really know what point I am trying to make here.  It should be obvious to those of use who live politics that not everyone shares our passion, but then it should be obvious to the far right that they are a fringe group in the United States, yet they seem to believe the majority of citizens support the 40 member strong House Freedom Caucus.  We all project ourselves onto other people, because the only experience we have is inside our own head.  How can we have a debate about the Syrian refugees when the following issues, which all came up today in my group, are still around?  (11 people in the group. 2 proclaimed Democrats, 3 proclaimed Republicans, 6 apparent independents.  All men, since it was a “Men’s Issues” group.)

  • Obama is a Muslim.
  • Europe is on the verge of becoming majority Muslim.
  • In order to appear “tolerant,” European countries have installed Sharia courts for their Muslim population.
  • No-go Zones.
  • Muslims are having huge families in order to breed their way to political dominance in Europe and the United States.  (Amusingly the exact thing Quiverfull families are doing, for the exact same reasoning.)
  • The US is overflowing with Muslims already.
  • Europe will be dominated by Islam within a generation.  The US within 50 years.  (Unless we stop them, of course.)
  • Islam is the 2nd largest faith in America, only losing out to Christianity.

Good luck with your “admitting Syrian refugees” debate when you are already facing this grab bag of misconceptions.  Somethings did surprise me though.  Just about the whole room understood that the refugees were running from ISIS.  They knew that even Al Qaeda thinks ISIS is insane.  They all know that ISIS mainly kills other Muslims, or if they didn’t know, quickly accepted that as fact.  A majority realize that most refugees are women and children, no matter how much propaganda the right puts out that they are all “fighting age warriors.”  A super majority knows ISIS is attempting to draw the west into an apocalyptic war.  Every person in the room knows that ISIS wants the United States to put “boots on the ground.”  Just about everyone spoke up about how any backlash against Muslims gives ISIS just what they want.  They know that the reality is Everyone vs ISIS while ISIS wants it to be the West vs Islam.

And yet I was still the only voice in the room for admitting Syrian refugees.  Some used the obvious “what if we let in a terrorist” argument, but others ranged from confusing to jaw-dropping.  One of the people who claimed Europe would be dominated by Muslims within a generation stated that Europe should take in all the refugees.  Two took the stance that they should all go to China, because…..it’s closer I guess?  A popular option was relocating the refugees only to other Islamic countries, ignoring the Syrian Christian refugees I guess.  By far, however, the response that pissed me off the most, a position that was accepted by the majority in the room, was as follows”

“How are we going to admit refugees into the United States when we have homeless and hungry people living here already?  I feel bad for them, but we have our own citizens to worry about before we can start helping people from other nations.”

I’d like to say that I destroyed that argument as soon as it was stated.  I didn’t.  I’d like to say that the reason I didn’t was because the group ended as soon as he made that statement.  That would be a lie.  After he dropped that bomb, the group continued for five more minutes, mostly of people agreeing with that statement.  I’ll be honest.  I just sat there, slack-jawed, in total disbelief, with no real idea of how to combat that statement without turning the rest of the group into a literal shouting match.  The statement is so nonsensical that it isn’t even wrong.

You do not get to use the existence of America’s poor, hungry, and homeless, who we routinely ignore, sweep under the rug, and hide away out of sight while providing them the bare minimum (if even that) of aid to satisfy our sense of ethics, often demonizing them while complaining about what they spend their limited funds on, (Omg, that person on food stamps has a tv!!!! Burn them!) as an excuse to avoid helping other people in need.  If the money to help the 10k refugees coming to America was coming directly out of programs that help the homeless and hungry, then okay, make the argument.  But as of now, here is that argument explained:

  • We’d like to help the Syrian refugees, but we have our own hungry and homeless people to help first.
  • We do not help Syrian refugees.
  • We continue giving our homeless and hungry the ethical bare minimum (if that) of aid.  The same amount they would get if there was no Syrian refugee crisis.

We live in a wealthy western nation.  Americans do not like to hear this much, but we have hungry and homeless people in the United States because we choose to have them.  You can not make the argument that the United States is not rich enough to build a few less fighter jets and eliminate homelessness and hunger in the nation.  You can argue against us doing that, some people argue against any social safety net.  The voting public and their elected officials have made the decision that homelessness and poverty are acceptable consequences of our societies system.  Perhaps they are correct.  I don’t know.  I know that in the future, as machines take over more and more jobs, something like every citizen receiving a minimum income from the government is going to be a requirement, but that is still a future concern.  I know that if it really was as obvious as I think it is that food, housing, and health care should be fundamental rights in a wealthy nation, then that would be reality.

But what is obvious is this.  You do not get to use the homeless people we are already not helping as an excuse not to help other people.

 


Why do I normally attempt to avoid group counseling in favor of one on ones?  For those of you who have never done any drug and alcohol treatment, I’ll throw in a quick run down:

  • Groups where no one wants to participate are depressingly common.  Watching 10 people sit in a room silently is not one of the most entertaining usages of time that I can think of, so I normally talk the whole group once I realize no one else is going to.  Which makes it a one on one with an audience.
  • Even groups that are actual group discussions normally break down into 3 or 4 people discussing the topic and 6 or 7 people watching the clock.
  • Know what’s really fun at a methadone clinic?  A group where one of the participants is either obviously on way too high of a dosage or a handful of Xanax as well.  Sure, if they are really obvious they may get in trouble.  They may even get removed from group.  But as any ex-opiate addict will tell you, we can instantly tell if someone is high.  It doesn’t bother me now, but early on in your recovery high people can be instant triggers.
  • How much does the counselor leading the group want to be there?  Every counselor has to run a certain number of groups each month.  Half the time the group therefore consists of watching an episode of Drugs; INC.  In which case I have to leave the group, because ya know what is a trigger to me still, and probably will be my whole life?  Watching someone shoot up.  The sight of an insulin syringe causes my heart rate to increase.  I have years of clean drug tests now, but overconfidence can take down the best of us.  I know my triggers and limit my contact with them.
  • Going off the attitude of the group leader, do they want to run a good group or just get the hour over with?  If it’s the latter expect people to be allowed to cross talk endlessly or just fuck around on their smartphones.    So much fun, especially when you can hear the cross talk and the discussion is about the Xanax they are buying when group is over.
  • Speaking of phone usage, I have seen some people bring up some really heavy shit in group treatment.  People breaking down, crying, admitting things that take the whole room by surprise.  I’ve never seen or heard of this being done, but if someone is fucking around on their phone, how does anyone know they aren’t taping the break down to laugh about with their friends later?  I’d be more comfortable if no phones were even allowed in the group room, and I’ve already dealt with my embarrassing shit years ago.

Group treatment is very effective when done right.  I’ve done multiple groups in the past that I believe really helped me.  That being said, too often in drug treatment, especially when the group is a time requirement and not filled with just people who want group treatment, the problems trump any possible positives.  Why bother?  I’ll just take the one on one.  (Even though I know my next one on one is going to be an hour of me looking at my counselor with my mouth open stammering “Why the fuck do you think Obama is a Muslim again?”)

We’re Not a Swing State

Ohio is a swing state.  Florida is a swing state.  There may have once been a time that Pennsylvania was a swing state as well, but those days are over.  No matter how much the voters residing in the state’s thinly populated rural counties believe otherwise, Pennsylvania is blue, a fact highlighted by the Democratic sweep yesterday of state-wide elections.

If you live in Pennsylvania, you could be forgiven for believing the opposite.  Any study of the problems of our system of representative democracy and single-member districts would have to dedicate at least a chapter to Pennsylvania.  While Pennsylvania hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, we have a US Senator from each party, the GOP holds a 13 to 5 advantage in US Representatives, and the PA General Assembly is Republican controlled as well, with the Senate split 30-19 (with one vacancy) and the House 119-84.  While some of this discrepancy (such as the GOP Senator) can be explained by Democratic voters baffling inability to find the polling locations in non-presidential election years, much of it can only be explained by problems inherent in our system of choice (cause of course North Dakota should get two Senators, for a non-Pennsylvanian example….),  and that enemy of democracy no matter who wields the power, gerrymandering.

Pennsylvania was typical of those states where Republicans benefited in 2012 from the decennial redrawing of congressional district lines. Democratic candidates drew more than half of the total votes cast statewide for the U.S. House last fall, but Republicans won nearly three–quarters (13 of 18) of Pennsylvania’s congressional seats. The GOP–controlled state government approved a map that packed Democratic votes into the five districts that they carried, where the party’s candidates posted winning percentages ranging from 60% to 89% of the total vote. Meanwhile, the Republican vote was spread more broadly, with nine of the GOP winners drawing less than 60% of the vote in their districts.

Source: Rhodes–Cook Letter, Feb. 2013

How anyone can look at those numbers and believe something even close to “political justice” carried the day is beyond me.  Sure, the GOP gained seats, but they didn’t gain them through the will of the people, rather they gained them through slight of hand trickery.  Republicans may be fine with this at the moment, especially since it gives them much more power than state-wide or nation-wide polling would predict for their party, but it is yet another short sighted vision.  Gerrymandering is an evil that both parties engage in, yet the Republican gerrymandering effort after the 2010 census went much further than previous district drawings.  When taken along side the push for Voter ID, especially here in PA where the GOP publicly admitted Voter ID was a political strategy to elect Republicans, it reeks of desperation.  With the current GOP presidential candidates veering so far off to the right in a nation that is rapidly becoming center left, actions such as the blatant gerrymandering and the push for Voter ID risk painting the GOP as a party that upon losing the culture wars, is willing to do anything to hold on to power.  But removing image issues from the discussion, the GOP has to be aware that eventually the other party will get to draw the districts, and by tossing any idea of subtlety out the window, they have given the Democratic party no reason not to respond in kind when they have the power.  The damage to our system of government, the destruction of the GOP’s image, and the future threat of retribution; is a few years of unearned power really worth it all?

It is the Wednesday after election day, 2015.  The only state-wide races on the ballot were judicial.  The stage was set once again for the GOP to gain largely undeserved power in Pennsylvania, as control of the state Supreme Court was up for grabs.  And yet….

And yet that isn’t what happened.  Michael Wojcik carried close to 53% in his race for Judge of the Commonwealth Court.   For Judge of the Superior Court, Alice Dubow did indeed break the 53% mark.  And the State Supreme Court race resulted in a sweep, with the win for the three Democrats, David Wecht (18.37%), Kevin Dougherty (18.52%) and Christine Donohue (18.17%), making it clear who PA residents want in control of the State’s highest court.

Across the nation, their are certainly some results that the GOP can point to and celebrate.  But this defeat in PA in an off year election has to make them a bit uneasy.  Is the damage the extreme conservative wing keeps inflicting on the party hurting the brand to the point where even off year elections favor the Democrats?  That is a question that will take much more time and evidence to answer.  But yesterday’s election did make one thing abundantly clear, no matter how much the major media will try to convince you otherwise next year:

Pennsylvania is not a swing state.

 

Really Rachel? Really?

I have to admit, I was so caught up shopping for a gay wedding present for the totes-legal-now-that-the-Supremes-said-that-everyone-needed-to-stop-kung-fu-fighting-long-enough-to-get-gay-married-everybody-even-puppies-goats-llamas-cable-news-shows-websites-and-straight-men-except-not-Jared-from-Subway-cause-seriously-fuck-that-guy impending nuptials joining The Wonkette and The Rachel Maddow Show in the bonds of holy matrimony, wondering what happens on the honeymoon for a website/cable news show marriage, who would get pregnant, and if they would give birth to little podcasts and oh my god this sentence ran on so long I got lost.

Okay, so I was busy doing that thing mentioned in the above sentence so I almost missed this little comment from Rachel Maddow on her show last night, and that would have been a shame because I so disagree with her for once.

There`s no reason to think that Jeb Bush is a terrible person.

I understand, Rachel.  You are always trying to get Republicans to come on your show, and those that do are always treated fairly.  Perhaps in the not too distant future (na na na), when elected Republicans can once again govern like adults without fear of being primaried for the sin of compromise, more members of the GOP will realize appearing on your show is not like a progressive on The O’Reilly Factor.  Of course, for that possibility to, well, be possible, you can’t exactly go around calling Republican candidates for President “terrible people,” now can you?

But I can.  Especially when the Republican in question actually is a terrible person.  In fact, one of the most pressing questions I hope to answer in my 17 part on-going series, Getting to Know the Trip, is if there is a non-terrible person in the field.  (Preliminary answer?  No.  They’re all pretty terrible.)  Things need to change if we have any hope of reclaiming our democracy and building it back up to something other than a world wide joke.  One thing that really needs to change is that the press needs to live up to the responsibility the Founding Fathers gave it by enshrining Freedom of the Press in the Bill of Rights.  The only bias a news anchor/reporter should have is an overwhelming bias towards reality. Stop covering politics like sports and stop being afraid of offending people if a political party takes a stance in opposition to objective fact.

While I am going to save most points for when I get to Jeb in my Goat Countdown, hearing Rachel last night compelled me to let you all know a few reasons why yes, Jeb Bush is a terrible person.  And we’ll start off with the two words that should immediately disqualify him from the Presidency:

Terry Schiavo

Raise your hand if you remember this ghoul trying to score political points by reinserting the feeding tube into a women in a persistent vegetative state, forcing her to “live,” against the wishes of her husband (and guardian) and, if you believe her husbands word, and I have no reason not to, against her own wishes as well.  Die with dignity? Not with Jeb on duty:

She had left no will. No written instructions. She was 26. To try to determine what she would have wanted, there was a trial, in the Pinellas County courtroom of circuit judge George Greer, in which Michael Schiavo relayed what she had told him in passing about what her wishes would be in this sort of scenario. Others did, too. She also had next to no chance of recovery, according to doctors’ testimony. Greer cited “overwhelming credible evidence” that Terri Schiavo was “totally unresponsive” with “severe structural brain damage” and that “to a large extent her brain has been replaced by spinal fluid.” His judgment was that she would not have wanted to live in her “persistent vegetative state” and that Michael Schiavo, her husband and her legal guardian, was allowed to remove her feeding tube.

But that was before the Jeb signal went up!

So on October 15, 2003, Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube came out. Judge’s orders. She would die within two weeks. This stage of the case looks in retrospect like the start of a test. Just how much power did Jeb Bush have?

HB 35E was filed after 8 at night on October 20. Many lawmakers already were gone for the day. Gelber, the state representative from Miami, put his suit back on at his apartment in Tallahassee and hustled back to the Capitol. Fellow Democrats gathered around as the attorney and former prosecutor began to read the bill one of Bush’s staff attorneys had helped to write.“Authority for the Governor to Issue a One-time Stay …”

Gelber looked up.

“I don’t have to read anymore,” he said. “It’s clearly unconstitutional.”

“The governor can’t just change an order of the court,” Gelber explained this month. “It’s one of the most elemental concepts of democracy: The governor is not a king.”

But the governor is Jeb!  He’s better than a king.  Letters poured into his office, each attempting to suck his dick a little bit better than the previous one.  Oh, it must have been good to be Jeb in those heady days.  Unfortunately, those pesky courts, you know, the ones who had earlier ruled in favor of Terri’s right to die with dignity?  Yeah, those ones.  Well, they were about to meddle around and ruin poor Jeb’s good day.

Back in Florida, though, the courts were focused not so much on what was “morally obligatory” but more on what was legally mandatory.

A circuit judge ruled Bush’s “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional.

Well, that’s only a circuit court.  Wait til it gets to the Florida Supreme Court.  They’ll see it Jeb’s way, I just know it.

The seven state supreme court judges took less than a month to dismiss unanimously “Terri’s Law.”

Oh.  Well, that was embarrassing.  Unanimous?  Damn.  The only thing worse would be if the Chief Justice released a written smackdown that Foster could mark up with bolding and italics on his blog, in this article.

“If the Legislature with the assent of the Governor can do what was attempted here,” chief justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her ruling, “the judicial branch would be subordinated to the final directive of the other branches. Also subordinated would be the rights of individuals, including the well-established privacy right to self-determination. No court judgment could ever be considered truly final and no constitutional right truly secure, because the precedent of this case would hold to the contrary. Vested rights could be stripped away based on popular clamor. The essential core of what the Founding Fathers sought to change from their experience with English rule would be lost …

But that was like, forever ago.  Surely Jeb has learned from his attempt to destroy the system of checks and balances to score cheap pro-life points.  No matter how many letters from supporters he received over the matter, he had to hear the overwhelming outcry in opposition to his privacy and self-determination shredding power grab.  Right?

No, not really.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he had no regrets about fighting to keep Terri Schiavo alive, addressing the mid-2000s controversy on his second trip to New Hampshire this year.

“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he told New Hampshire business leaders at St. Anselm College’s Politics and Eggs breakfast in response to a question about whether he would have handled things differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Speaking of the past, it turns out that Jeb longs for the good old days, back when adulterous women were forced to wear large letter “A’s.”

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red “A” for “adulterer” on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. “Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

Who’s a cute little misogynist?  Come on, Jeb, make that “grrr” noise.  It will go great with this quote from Alternet:

After all, we’re talking about a man who once put the life of a disabled woman who’d been raped at risk by intervening legally to force her to carry her child to term — a move a Florida court later found illegal.

We’re talking about a man who, as governor, signed a controversial abortion ban into law — and praised a similar measure passed by the House on Wednesday as “humane and compassionate.”

We’re talking about a man who likes to defend his anti-choice record by saying “the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected” — even though he’s shown he’s not above playing politics with a child’s body, once going so far as governor as appealing the decision of a court that ruled a 13-year-old girl could have an abortion when her pregnancy posed an extreme risk to her health.

We’re talking about someone who likes to talk a big game about how taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund abortions — even though he slipped millions in taxpayer dollars to Florida “crisis pregnancy centers” notorious for lying to and misleading women about their reproductive health choices. (This, in a state where 73 percent of counties have no abortion providers and crisis centers may be the only places women have to turn for the medical care they desperately need.)

And let’s not forget that Jeb once held $1 million in family planning grants hostage until the programs receiving the money agreed not to discuss birth control at all.

And since I want to save most of the ammo for my 6k or so word introduction of Jeb that is still probably a couple months away, I will leave you with this recent little gaffe.  Wasn’t Jeb supposedly the establishment candidate who wouldn’t make stupid gaffes?  From Correct the Record, though you can find it just about anywhere:

 Jeb Bush: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

I know you were trying to be nice, Ms. Maddow, but he is a terrible person.

Now I’m going to do a knife hit to get the taste of yet another bush out of my mouth.  Have a good weekend, I’ll try to get a few posts up during the weekend.

For those interested, here is the order for the next few parts of Getting to Know the Trip

  1. Bobby Jindal
  2. Lindsey Graham
  3. Rick Perry
  4. Jim Gilmore
  5. George Pataki

I will try to have Gov. Jindal up on Monday, although his is going to be so much fun that it may take til Wednesday.  I mean, this is a Governor who has pissed off just about every single voter in his state in his hopeless attempt to win the presidential nomination.  A legitimate answer to the question “What is wrong with the United State’s method of electing a President?” would be simply pointing at Jindal.  He is a guy who got himself elected Governor of a state solely as a stepping stone to higher office, and every single decision he makes as Governor is informed by his higher goal.  Yes, it will be fun.

After I finish out the under 2% gang I’ll make a schedule for the other candidates.  I’m thinking of going by national poll numbers, which is meaningless, but hell, Fox News thinks they mean something, so why not?  We’ll see.

If you have a few minutes, I urge you to read the whole piece on Jeb and the Terri Schiavo over at Politico, titled “Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’.”  It’s worth checking out, if only to remind you of the situation.