A meow in the dark

Oh no. I’ve been dreading this day. This town is just teeming with abandoned cats and it’s stray kitten season. Went down to the porch for a breath of fresh air and a sweet little gray Tort kitten came running up to me. Not at all feral. Jumped in my lap and purred its little heart out.

I can’t have pets. I couldn’t bring him inside. But he was so skinny. And alone. And hungry. Yes, I fed him the fish I was going to have for dinner. He’s gone now. Maybe he won’t come back.

Update 12:12am: Hot bear on salmon action happening right now. Waterfall bear has a close friend.

Open Thread: Voting Fraud IOKIYAR

(Nick Anderson via GoComics.com)
Rebecca Schoenkopf at Wonkette says “Good Job, Republicans, You Finally Found A Dead Voter!“:

Well, you finally found a dead voter besides the one James O’Keefe found, who wasn’t actually dead. But sad face, that is because your candidate for Pinal County, Arizona, supervisor, was voting for his dead girlfriend for five years. Oops…

Good job, Ms. Schoenkopf, for datapoint #3,487,212 on the “When It Comes to Republican Accusations, It’s Always Projection” graph (and also for filtering one of our most-used acronyms further up the blogworld food chain).
Apart from the usual criminal fraud, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Olympics Open Thread

Feeling a little tired and under the weather, but psyched for a night of Olympics.

Apropos of Nothing At All (Open Thread)

Separated at birth?



That’s Ben Bernanke on top, King Hussein (of Jordan) below.

Mon semblable, mon frère — in perhaps more ways than the author of that tag intended.

Got to this from Yglesias’s (merited) slam on Bernanke, pointed that way by the ever-succinct Atrios. What I’ve done with those much more useful posts is evidence of my own brain bubbles.  You should consider this an open thread.


Bernanke via

Hussain via



Mr. Romney builds an app

You could be the first to know who gets to be Mittster’s number two. Stealing a page from Obama’s 08 playbook, Team Rmoney developed a smartphone app to make the big announcement and it shall be called “Mitt’s VP.” I can hardly contain my excitement.

And it appears Team Rmoney is taking the data harvesting aspect to the next level.

But depending on how the Romney app works, it could provide even more demographic information to the Romney campaign. Upon instillation, the application asks permission to access data about where a user is located, and urges supporters to log in using social networks like Twitter. That could allow the campaign large-scale data harvesting, an invaluable tool for campaign staff looking to tailor advertising and fundraising efforts.

So far, it’s not flying off the shelves at the app store. The twitter just told me Obama’s new grassroots organizing app is swamping Mitt’s VP app in downloads.

Meanwhile the pride of the South Carolina, appearing “in Ann Arbor as part of a ‘Built By Us’ rally,” Gov. Nikki Haley says she doesn’t want to be VP or anything else in a Rmoney cabinet. Reasonably sure they weren’t planning on asking her.

Update: Apparently the plot hatched in the comment section is already working. Buzzfeed now reporting Romney is at #14 on the top free apps on the App Store, Obama’s app is at #165.

I have a feeling they are not all Romney supporters.

Turning the Screws

Love it:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has what he says is an informed explanation for why Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns. According a Bain investor, Reid charged, Romney didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Huffington Post from his office on Capitol Hill, Reid saved some of his toughest words for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Romney couldn’t make it through a Senate confirmation process as a mere Cabinet nominee, the majority leader insisted, owing to the opaqueness of his personal finances.

“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said, in reference to George Romney’s standard-setting decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the late 1960s.

Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?

Let’s just see how much of this sustained kind of assault he can take before deciding it is no longer worth it to hide all his tax dodges.

Will the Religious Right Succeed? An Examination of the Hercules Ruling on the Birth Control Benefit

My latest post for RH Reality Check has been published:

In May of this year, Jan Brewer signed into law Arizona HB 2625, a bill that would allow employers to opt out of the policy under the Affordable Care Act ensuring that all insurance policies cover preventive health care services for women, including contraception, without a co-pay.

It’s a simple concept, really: contraception is health care. Health insurance plans offer coverage for health care. Ergo, health insurance plans should offer coverage for contraception. Ta da!

Laws like Arizona HB 2625 undercut this simple concept. According to supporters of laws like HB 2625, contraception is of the devil. And because the Catholic Church’s official position on contraception is that it is sinful, the Church seems personally offended at the notion that any employer be required by the government to exist in the same space as women who are using their hard-earned wages to pay for contraceptive and other health care services that are anathema to church doctrine.

A couple months ago, I published a piece that described what I saw as a dangerous slippery slope regarding Arizona HB 2625 (and laws like it), which permit employers to claim some sort of religious affiliation and thus excuse themselves from providing critical health-care services to women employed by them.

In that piece (and in the lively discussion that followed in the comment section), I noted that the exemptions provided by the Arizona legislation for “religiously-affiliated employers” went far beyond the exemptions provided by the Obama Administration to religious institutions, insofar as the Arizona law permits any employer to, essentially, pinky swear that its business is steeped in Jesus.

Read more