Open Thread: United GOP Church of Christianists, Hypocritical

The Christianist’s God must love hypocrites, He made so many of them…

When President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky made national headlines, CNN reported that then-Family Research Council President Gary Bauer was considering a television ad campaign demanding that Clinton explain his relationship with her.

But the group seems to have a very different reaction when it’s a president the conservative organization supports…

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins recently told Politico that evangelicals were willing to give Trump a “do-over.”

“We kind of gave him — ‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,’ ” Perkins said in an interview for the latest episode of Politico’s Off Message podcast…

The great Mr. Charles P. Pierce for the rebuttal:

It’s the 20th anniversary of the Great Penis Hunt of 1998. This happens to be when modern American political journalism went into a very bad tailspin out of which it has not yet recovered…

Without Whitewater, there is no Lewinsky scandal and without awful journalism, there is no Whitewater. Without Whitewater, there is no endless drumbeat of faux scandals—TravelGate! FileGate! Vince Foster! Billing records! Cattle futures!—fed to eager young reporters by professional Republican ratfckers, pool-hall liars in Arkansas, conservative congressional aides and, ultimately, from sources within the investigation run by Kenneth Starr who, subsequent events at Baylor University have proven, is one of the most ludicrous charlatans ever to stumble into public life. And Whitewater was a pile of horse hockey, and it always was…

Without the journalistic malpractice of the era of the Great Penis Hunt, there wouldn’t have been the journalistic malpractice that bedeviled the 2000 presidential campaign of Al Gore. (Billing records = Invention of the Internet). And, without the journalistic malpractice of the era of the Great Penis Hunt, there wouldn’t have been the journalistic malpractice that erupted with stunning power in the 2016 presidential election. I hate to break it to this panel of the greats of my profession, but what elected Donald Trump was less about what he learned from Bill Clinton about lying, and more about what the ratfcking community learned about how easily elite political journalism can get played, especially on the subject of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Some things never die.

Coda:



Cat Rescue Bleg — Ann Arbor, MI


.

From “longtime BJ lurker/infrequent commenter” Alexi:

I’m hoping you might help lend your megaphone to the effort to find a home or homes for Sweetpea and Freya.

Sweetpea is a neutered male, 5 years old, dark chocolate colored with black markings. His name comes from his bright green eyes. He is affectionate with family, though shy with strange humans. He gets along well with other cats and dogs.

Freya is a spayed female, about 3 years old, tortoiseshell. She is friendly to humans, dogs, and other cats.

Both cats currently live in Ann Arbor, Michigan; we are looking to place them together or separately. They have only lived with each other for a year, so we think they could adapt if separated.

They belonged to a good friend of mine who died in December. Her family doesn’t have any resources to take care of the cats due to the inhumane nature of the Medicaid/SSDI system. My friend had spinal muscular atrophy, which causes progressive paralysis. She wasn’t allowed to have savings of more than $2000, and her partner (also disabled; they couldn’t marry due to Medicaid) was employed as her care aide for the last 20 years, so now the partner has no income until she can get herself back on SSI. It’s just a tough situation, and it would be a big help if we could find placements for the cats.

I have attached photos of each kitty. Apologies for the quality on Sweetpea’s portrait.

If you’re interested / know someone who might be / have a lead for an alternate placement, leave a comment below, or email me directly at annelaurie.bj@gmail.com.








Expanding the electorate

Two pieces of good news today.

First in Florida:

And then in Michigan:

Open thread



Shitgibbon to hit the fan?

Breaking news from The Post:

Mueller seeks to question Trump about Flynn and Comey departures

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is seeking to question President Trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with his plans.

Mueller’s interest in the events that led Trump to push out Flynn and Comey indicates that his investigation is intensifying its focus on possible efforts by the president or others to obstruct or blunt the special counsel’s probe…

People close to Trump have tried to warn him for months that Mueller is a “killer,” in the words of one associate, noting that the special counsel has shown interest in the president’s actions.

Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to Trump, said he should try to avoid an interview at all costs, saying agreeing to such a session would be a “suicide mission.”

“I find it to be a death wish. Why would you walk into a perjury trap?” Stone said. “The president would be very poorly advised to give Mueller an interview.”

There have been tantalizing bits of evidence for months now that Mueller is looking at the question of whether Trump tried to obstruct justice — as well there should be since shart-fer-brains confessed as much to Lester Holt in front of a camera crew.

Here’s hoping Preznit Oppositional Defiance Disorder disregards the warnings of advisers and attorneys and decides to rely on his own superior genes and very good brain to shield himself from legal peril.

A promising interview strategy might be to give Trump openings to throw his co-conspirators under the bus, knowing that Trump would pounce on those opportunities like they were a leggy Miss Norway carrying TWO buckets of KFC, then haul the co-conspirators out from the undercarriage and persuade them to flip on Trump.

Honestly, I try not to get too excited about developments in the Mueller probe and am fully prepared to be disappointed if it all comes to naught. But how sweet it would be if Trump’s big fat mouth and compulsion to point fingers at everyone else brought him down.

Open thread!



I Bet Eric Garner Wishes He Got Just One of These

Thug life:

The city’s police-officers union is cracking down on the number of “get out of jail free” courtesy cards distributed to cops to give to family and friends.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association boss Pat Lynch slashed the maximum number of cards that could be issued to current cops from 30 to 20, and to retirees from 20 to 10, sources told The Post.

The cards are often used to wiggle out of minor trouble such as speeding tickets, the theory being that presenting one suggests you know someone in the NYPD.

Damn it’s good to be a gangster.



Strangers Passing in the Street By Chance Two Separate Glances Meet

Guys, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I’m Aware of All Internet Traditions and know I must present my pets for inspection. Meet Echo the basenji.

!olleH

We have been rescuing basenjis since 1998. They are a peculiar and somewhat un-doglike breed. People buy them for their barklessness and hypoallergenic coat, expecting maybe a terrier temperament. Instead, they end up with a half-dog, half-cat, half-person in their house. (To wit: One of the other basenjis up for adoption at the same time as our first rescue basenji came with her own lock for the refrigerator since she’d mastered the art of opening it.) Even “good” basenjis are a handful, and we rescue the less-than-good kind.

Whatcha readin? A book? Looks like some kinda book!


Poor Echo was a hard-luck case. When her original parents had a new baby, she was tossed out of the house to live in the backyard. You can’t do that with a basenji, especially not one like Echo, who needs a steady infusion of cuddles throughout the day. She became an expert escape artist and roamed her New Orleans neighborhood, a lovable vagrant searching for food scraps, unwary squirrels, and human affection. Her owners decided to do the responsible thing and relinquish her to a breed rescue. She arrived at our house coming down off of a bunch of mood-altering medications she didn’t need, which her previous owners put her on in a last-ditch effort to make things work. She’s snappish and unpredictable at times, but getting better all the time. 

I would grow my beard down to my knees if left to my own devices, but for some reason my wife does not want to be married to Gabby Hayes. She is a dab hand with the old trimmer and neatens up my beard every two to three weeks. What does this have to do with Echo? From the time we got her, the beard trim has always stirred great pity and concern in her little heart.  I know she is concerned on my behalf and not her own, because she doesn’t flee the trimmer like she does the Dread Vacuum. She insists on sticking close to my side while I undergo this cruel ordeal, nuzzling her head under my hand and making sure I know she’s there to stabilize me and help me through my difficult time.

Hang in there, man.

Can we get this guy some help or something?

Have mercy on your soul.

Update:How did WP eat this in the first place? Anyway, here is the fund that’s split between all eventual
Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans so maybe Echo does not have to suffer under the idiot tyranny of Darin LaHood come 2019.

Goal Thermometer



More from the #WomensMarch: Photos from BJ Jackals

A beautiful bunch, one and all!

From commentor JackMac:

About 2,000 people attended a march through downtown Rockford, Ill. last Saturday. My favorite sign from the day.

===========

From commentor ST:

Portland, Oregon. Over 100,000 estimated attendees. Zero arrests, and security provided by some antifa as well as police. No black bloc!

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From commentor Suzanne:

Phoenix. A great time was had by all!

Read more



Thots & Prars

Looks like the Tree of Liberty needed to be watered with the blood of schoolchildren and/or staff again, this time in Kentucky:

The sanctimonious, stoat-faced prick has a point about speculation. But yeah, another school shooting, so we can safely conclude a poor, innocent gun was involved and that access to blameless weaponry will be inexpertly decried by people who don’t know a magazine from a clip and are unable to precisely define an “assault weapon.”

This is the same Governor Bevin who is loudly crowing about his plan to harm constituents by shoving them off Medicaid. Perhaps the layabout grannies and grandpas he flushes off “the dole” will find gainful employment in the aluminum can recycling industry or enjoy a cruise on an ice floe. Or perhaps they can be put to work patching bullet holes in schools.

Anyhoo, thots and prars* all around.

*Nomenclature appropriated from valued commenter Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes.



Medicaid as a cost savers

Matthew Martin makes a very cogent point about CHIP reauthorization yesterday:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored CHIP as a deficit reducer over ten years because the CBO figured that if there was no CHIP, some parents and kids would access Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies. Those subsidies would cost the government as much or more than CHIP to cover fewer people.

ACA plans tend to pay their networks somewhere between Medicare and Commercial rates. CHIP tends to pay somewhere between Medicaid and Medicare rates for their doctors. This matters a lot. I am touching back on a recent Health Affairs article on what a standard office visit costs by type of insurance.

Medicaid pays significantly less per unit of service than an Exchange plan. That means the total premium for an identical risk pool is substantially less for a CHIP/Medicaid program than for an Exchange based program. And since states and individuals often kick in a higher percentage of premium for CHIP the Federal costs are significantly lower.

Covering more people through Medicaid or CHIP buy-in is a net expense reducer for the federal government. States may scream unless there is an adjustment to the matching funds rate as right now people who are covered on the Exchange cost the state budget nothing and moving people to CHIP or Medicaid would shift significant costs to the states.



On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

So please, speak up and share some of your adventures and travel news here, and submit your pictures using our speedy, secure form. You can submit up to 7 pictures at a time, with an overall description and one for each picture.

You can, of course, send an email with pictures if the form gives you trouble, or if you are trying to submit something special, like a zipped archive or a movie. If your pictures are already hosted online, then please email the links with your descriptions.

For each picture, it’s best to provide your commenter screenname, description, where it was taken, and date. It’s tough to keep everyone’s email address and screenname straight, so don’t assume that I remember it “from last time”. More and more, the first photo before the fold will be from a commenter, so making it easy to locate the screenname when I’ve found a compelling photo is crucial.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

On the political-cum-local beat, C.H.I.P. affects children I know and love, and so many I don’t know, in Fremont, Custer, Park, El Paso, and Pueblo Counties, Colorado. So I see a significant “win” on this round of the budget, but we’ll see how it all shakes out. I know that Trumpism (ptui!) celebrates cruelty and so progress is being reversed, in our face, almost daily. Personally knowing children who will benefit from the CHIP Extension until they are adults makes these developments so very concrete. And so we celebrate a win for worthy children and the families that love them. Now let’s secure Dreamers and reveal our fundamental wall of tolerance, for that’s what it means to be American!

Read more



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Our “New” Not-Normal

When it comes to apportioning blame for the #TrumpShutDown, let’s not forgot those two stalwart standardbearers. Catherine Rampell, at the Washington Post, paper of record for the company town whose monopoly industry is national politics:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) are responsible for the completely avoidable three-day federal shutdown that Congress moved to end on Monday. They will likewise be responsible for the catastrophe coming in a few weeks if Congress can’t get its act together to raise the debt ceiling.

McConnell and Ryan, after all, not only lead the majority party. They also control the legislative agenda. They determine which bills come up for a vote and when. And they knew far in advance the drop-dead deadlines for keeping the government funded.

They also knew the Democrats’ conditions for cooperating.

But McConnell and Ryan chose to do nothing. Worse than nothing: They frittered away their precious time and political capital on policy pursuits that were totally irrelevant. Worse than totally irrelevant: actively destructive…

The only thing McConnell and Ryan felt any urgency to work on was stuff their donors care about. They focused on that, and orchestrated more stopgap budgetary measures in their spare time. Monday’s, in fact, represents the fourth stopgap 2018 funding bill, with this one set to expire on Feb. 8. It does, at least, include a six-year reauthorization of CHIP.

Don’t get me wrong. Trump has not exactly been helpful in brokering a deal on budgets, health care, immigration or other major policy issues. When he has gotten involved, he’s often struggled to remember what’s existing law, what his own positions are and how the legislative process even works.

McConnell and Ryan have no such excuse. Collectively, they have served five decades in Congress. They know Congress’s arcane procedures and obligations and, again, they set the agenda. To date, that agenda has not included a single serious budget deal…

Never let it be forgotten: Trump is the GOP, and the GOP is Trump. For all their wide-eyed protestations of innocence, he’s the (figure)head of their party because he represents everything they want, in its grossest and most obvious form.



Open Thread

I’ve been laughing at this for fifteen minutes:

Yeah, Karen.








North Carolina Man Loves His Donuts!

You have to appreciate the commitment to one’s craft!

Charlotte Observer, take it away!

A North Carolina man who made headlines when he was caught for break-ins after winning a doughnut-eating contest has been arrested again. And this time he’s accused of stealing from a doughnut shop.

The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports 27-year-old Bradley Hardison of Elizabeth City was charged Thursday with stealing from a Dunkin’ Donuts in November.

An Elizabeth City Police Department statement says he’s charged with felonies including breaking and entering and larceny. It wasn’t clear if he helped himself to any doughnuts.

A phone listing for Hardison rang disconnected.

Obligatory:

Stay frosted!

Open thread.



Blog Chewtoy Long Read: “Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?”

What committed activist could resist the lure of a long-form profile in a glossy NYC-based magazine, nestled between full-page ads for Rolex watches and Broadway hits? Unfortunately, despite Simon van Zuylen-Wood’s best beat-sweetening efforts, Greenwald’s logorrheic arrogance and simmering resentment of all the mundanes who fail to appreciate his brilliance make him sound less like Andrew Sullivan and more like Ted Cruz:

It’s 10:45 p.m. Rio de Janeiro time. Glenn Greenwald and I are finishing dinner at a deserted bistro in Ipanema. The restaurant, which serves its sweating beer bottles in metal buckets and goes heavy on the protein, is almost aggressively unremarkable (English menus on the table, a bossa-nova version of “Hey Jude” on the stereo). Greenwald avoids both meat and alcohol but seems to enjoy dining here. “I really believe that if I still lived in New York, the vast majority of my friends would be New York and Washington media people and I would kind of be implicitly co-opted.” He eats a panko-crusted shrimp. “It just gives me this huge buffer. You’ve seen how I live, right? When I leave my computer, that world disappears.”

Greenwald, now 50, has seemed to live in his own bubble in Rio for years, since well before he published Edward Snowden’s leaks and broke the domestic-spying story in 2013 — landing himself a Pulitzer Prize, a book deal, and, in time, the backing of a billionaire (that’s Pierre Omidyar) to start a muckraking, shit-stirring media empire (that’s First Look Media, home to the Intercept, though its ambitions have been downgraded over time). But he seems even more on his own since the election, just as the agitated left has regained the momentum it lost in the Obama years.

The reason is Russia. For the better part of two years, Greenwald has resisted the nagging bipartisan suspicion that Trumpworld is in one way or another compromised by a meddling foreign power. If there’s a conspiracy, he suspects, it’s one against the president; where others see collusion, he sees “McCarthyism.” Greenwald is predisposed to righteous posturing and contrarian eye-poking — and reflexively more skeptical of the U.S. intelligence community than of those it tells us to see as “enemies.”…

Thanks to this never-ending hot take, Greenwald has been excommunicated from the liberal salons that celebrated him in the Snowden era; anybody who questions the Russia consensus, he says, “becomes a blasphemer. Becomes a heretic. I think that’s what they see me as.” Greenwald is no longer invited on MSNBC, and he’s portrayed in the Twitter fever swamp as a leading villain of the self-styled Resistance. “I used to be really good friends with Rachel Maddow,” he says. “And I’ve seen her devolution from this really interesting, really smart, independent thinker into this utterly scripted, intellectually dishonest, partisan hack.” His view of the liberal online media is equally charitable. “Think about one interesting, creative, like, intellectually novel thing that [Vox’s] Matt Yglesias or Ezra Klein have said in like ten years,” he says. “In general, they’re just churning out Democratic Party agitprop every single day of the most superficial type.” (Reached for comment, none of these people would respond to Greenwald.)

All this has led to one of the less-anticipated developments of the Donald Trump presidency: Glenn Greenwald, Fox News darling. For his sins, Greenwald has been embraced by opportunistic #MAGA partisans seeking to discredit the Trump-Russia story. When alt-right ringleader Mike Cernovich sat for a 60 Minutes interview last year, he praised only one journalist: Greenwald. “My opinion of Glenn ten or 15 years ago was entirely negative,” says Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who now heralds him as one of the “clearest thinkers” in media.

This, by the way, is the reason we’re eating dinner so late on a Tuesday: Greenwald has to be at a TV studio in a few minutes to be interviewed by Carlson. We leave the restaurant and head across the street to the garage where he parked his Mitsubishi Outlander. Unexpectedly, the gate to the entrance has been shut and the attendant is missing. Mild panic sets in. Greenwald begins rattling the gate. Even if we catch a cab to the studio, his TV clothes are in the car, and he is currently wearing shorts and an old polo shirt. “How,” he frets, “can I go on Fox News dressed like this?”…
Read more



You can check out anytime you like…

So, I got a trap to capture the feral cats an irresponsible neighbor feeds* so I can have them spayed/neutered and returned to the ‘hood, which is the way such situations are handled in my county (i.e., at taxpayer expense and with no enforcement of existing regulations). This dude showed up for the Fancy Feast instead, and now the fucker won’t leave my trap!

At first, I was thinking, “Oh, poor thing! Maybe his tail is caught or something,” but he has turned around inside the trap multiple times and does not seem to be injured. Several times, he’s faced the open end of the trap with freedom just inches from his pointy little snout and humans completely out of sight (but watching from the window). He hisses and bares his teeth when approached, but he doesn’t seem inclined to leave. Somehow, this is a metaphor for my entire life.

*I’ve got no problem with people feeding feral cats if they also take responsibility for the resulting colony, including the obligation to trap, neuter and release the cats so the population doesn’t get out of control. The neighbor in question does not, so I have to take on the expense and time involved instead. This makes her a terrible neighbor, IMO.

Update: Now he’s moved to the end of the trap and is sort of using it as a sun porch:

He’s never going to leave, is he?

UPDATE 2: He skedaddled!