Texas, Jake

 

ETA: Annnnnndddd….always read the fine print.  I was taken in by a fake news story at a parody site.  Mea culpa.

I’ll leave this up as (a) a warning to self not to be an idiot, and (b) as a reminder of how hard it is (at least for me), in this election year of our discontent, to tell the difference between what should be obvious parody, and what is.

***************

I’ll start by saying that no state could withstand a characterization drawn only from its most batsh*t crazy denizens.  So I apologize in advance for painting the great, diverse and fascinating state of Texas with a broad brush.

I’ll also note that it does matter a bit that so many of the most batsh*t insane Texans seem to end up in state government.  What this says about the too many of their fellow citizens* who put them there I’ll leave as an exercise for the reader.

Today’s Texan OMG S/HE SAID WUT???!!!! comes from TX state rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Planet Ten), who’s got a problem with the idea of one particular subset of her fellow double-X Americans doing their ladybusiness in public:

Rep. Debbie Riddle requested that the bill be modified to contain some conditions that not all mothers are going to like. Namely, the modified bill states, among other things, that “only women who possess the breast size C-cup or smaller shall be allowed to breastfeed in public areas.” Asked to comment on the discriminatory clause in the bill, Riddle simply stated, “Nature knows what it’s doing.”

I have to say that I really hope that this is somehow a hoax, that Riddle really didn’t say what she’s reported to said.  Because here’s where she is described as going next:

She also added, “It’s for the greater good. We already have more than enough distractions when walking the streets, and we don’t need this one as well.”

Lucas_Cranach_d.Ä._-_Madonna_mit_Kind_(Budapest)

You know that old line, “when you hit bottom, stop digging?”  Riddle apparently does not:

“…everybody knows what happens when a woman with a D-cup size breasts starts breastfeeding her child in the park or on the street. Everybody immediately stops and starts staring.

Riddle also added that“studies have shown that women with bigger breasts are not commonly associated with modest behavior.”

 

Alright.  If the Texan legislator really did say all that (and more! — check out the link!) I got nuthin.  Or perhaps, as our legal beagle friends might say, res ipsa loquitur.

Ladles and Jellyspoons, have at it.  For me, I despair of the Republic.  Or at least that part of it that gave us the Honorable Riddle.

*Somewhere Rousseau — and Jefferson — are weeping.

Image:  Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Virgin Giving Suck c. 1515

 



NC GOP “Bathroom Bill” Is A Steaming Load Of Crap

So North Carolina state Republican lawmakers called a special session of the General Assembly yesterday to stop Charlotte’s LGBTQ anti-discrimination law from going into effect on April 1, and it turns out it’s not just Charlotte’s ordinance they want to outlaw, but any real progressive change sought by cities and counties in the Tarheel State.

WBTV obtained a copy of the proposed bill, entitled “An Act to Provide for Single Sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities in Schools and Public Agencies and to Create Statewide Consistency in Regulation of Employment and Public Accommodations,” Tuesday night.

The legislation requires that multi-occupancy bathrooms be limited to just one gender, using anatomy and birth certificates as a guide and applies to executive branch agencies controlled by the Governor as well as Council of State members and the UNC System.

A provision in the five-page bill allows school districts to use single occupancy bathrooms to make accommodations for students in special circumstances.

DOCUMENT: Click here to read the full bill

In addition to the provisions of the bill seeking to repeal the bathroom-related portions of Charlotte’s non discrimination ordinance, the bill also addresses several workplace issues.

The second part of the bill is referred to as the Wage and Hour Act. Under the act, local governments would be prohibited from setting their own local minimum wage.

The next section of the bill seeks to declare that the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment is an issue of statewide concern and, as such, must be left to the General Assembly.

Finally, the last section of the bill is referred to as the Equal Access to Public Accommodations Act, which places issues of public accommodation in the jurisdiction of the General Assembly.

So in addition to killing Charlotte’s anti-discrimination law, with this stupid bigoted bathroom bill, the NC GOP is looking to undo all local anti-discrimination, minimum wage, labor protection and equal physical access laws. because smaller, more responsive government, right?

Which just proves again that Republicans don’t care about government that works, they care about government that punishes those people whenever possible so that they become somebody else’s problem.  The best part?  It’s a combination of “bathroom bill”, home rule elimination, and “workplace protection” bill all rolled into one steaming pile of toxic GOP diarrhea.

By the way, the bill passed the NC General Assembly overwhelmingly, 83-24, the NC Senate 32-0 (as all NC Senate Democrats walked out) and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory signed this travesty into law last night.  Total time on this legislation from start to finish: about 10 hours.

They had this ready to go, in order to steamroll any opposition to it and to prevent the kind of boycott backlash from building that Georgia is facing now over similar legislation.  Blindside the opposition and dare them to react.

It’ll be up to the courts now to get the ball rolling on this.

One big hurdle, which reportedly killed South Dakota’s bathroom bill: Banning trans students from using the school bathroom that comports to their gender identity could violate federal law, particularly Title IX. The Justice Department and Department of Education interpret the law not just to ban sex discrimination in federally funded schools, but also ban anti-trans discrimination. So by passing an anti-trans bathroom law, North Carolina could risk big federal funds for public schools.

And my home state is well on its way to a complete disaster.



3-5-2-2-3-2-4-2-3-2-4-2-3-2

Apparently we’re supposed to be impressed that Rubio came in second to Trump in South Carolina.  Here are the numbers, per Google:

results

I guess if you assume that the others will drop out (why?) and that Rubio will pick up most of their support (citation needed), and if you squint the right way and hold your tongue at the right angle, you can see a path to victory for Rubio based on Saturday’s results.  So, for example, Rubio barely beats Trump (at a couple of points over 50%, not by a landslide) if you assume that he would get roughly half of Cruz supporters (my guess is a lot lower), half of crazy Carson’s (again doubtful) and almost all of Bush and Kasich’s lemmings (probable), only if all of those candidates decide to commit political seppuku as quickly as possible.

But, this scenario is not credible.  First,  most of those grifters aren’t going to drop out until well after Super Tuesday, so the anti-Trump vote will be split between the hateful 5.  After March 1, there are primaries in states like New York and Connecticut where Trump might be more popular than Rubio.  And, most importantly, Rubio is weak sauce.  He hasn’t taken the full brunt of Trump’s bullying, and he doesn’t strike me as someone quick enough on his feet to take on Trump one-on-one.

It’s too early to call but if you’re a member of the DC GOP establishment, you’re definitely chewing Xanax and downing martinis like an asteroid is about to impact the planet, because, for those dinosaurs, it looks like an extinction-level event is coming.








Live Suicide Watch

Jebus help me I’ve fallen into the black hole of listening to the last hold-out at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, the clearly mentally ill David Fry, talk to some Christian nutbags on the live stream. He has threatened suicide many times, and these people are keeping him talking, and arguing with him, diverting him from talking with the FBI negotiator.
“UFOs are real. You know the little alien things that fly around…The secret inventions act of 1951…We should be dependent on solar, not oil…”

If you’ve ever had a doubt about the amount of mental illness involved in these militia movements, listen for a few minutes, if you think you can stomach listening to a suicide attempt broadcast live.

Update: The awful people on the call are KrisAnne Hall, “Constitutional Attorney, Author, Speaker, Radio Host” [and worst suicide hotline operator on earth], and Gavin Seim, “Pictorialist, Portraitist, Civil Liberty Activist, Speaker, Christian”.

“So you guys [Gavin and KrisAnne] are Obama lovers now? … I should have called one of those Muslim Clerics … I wish I had the chance to talk to a real Muslim Cleric”

Update2: He turned himself in.








Here I Am, Stuck In The Pyramid-dle With You

As I said last night on the subject of GRAIN-STORING PYRAMID:

 

And it’s good to have a laugh at this, but over at TPM, Ed Kilgore argues that Ben Carson may be even more dangerous an ideologue than Donald Trump is, and unlike Herman Cain, he’s not going anywhere.

Cain was not a revered figure before running in 2012, beyond those who listened when he sat in for an Atlanta-based radio host. He also was not exactly a non-politician, having run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. But the most important reason to stop identifying Carson with Cain is simple: Cain’s loss of his once-high poll ratings were not caused by a voters getting tired with a “flavor of the month” or realizing his slim qualifications; he was brought down by a series of sexual allegations that escalated from multiple claims of sexual harassment to a long-term extramarital affair. Cain never admitted any wrong-doing, but he also never convincingly rebutted the allegations, and all the smoke convinced many observers there might be fire. He left the race on his own terms, but after losing most of his altitude.

There’s zero reason to think Carson has any such skeletons in his closet. The one thing we know about his background that is politically dangerous is his testimonial work for a subsequently fined nutritional supplement company. But unless it turns out he was paid a lot more than seems to be the case, he’s only in hot water if he cannot soon keep his story straight. Being a straight shooter is extremely important to his image.

He seems to have successfully back-pedaled on his one easy-to-understand policy heresy, a proposal to replace Medicare and Medicaid with heavily subsidized health savings accounts, which he now describes as an “option” for beneficiaries (that, too, is problematic, but not as much as his original “idea”).

So there remains what should actually disqualify Carson: his extremist, paranoid “world-view” which treats regular boring old center-left liberals as conscious and systematically deceitful would-be destroyers of this country bent on imposing a Marxist tyranny via “politically correct” suppression of free speech and confiscation of guns.

There’s unquestionably a constituency for this point of view, but we may never know whether it would outnumber the Republicans baffled or horrified by it until such time as one of his rivals or the heretofore clueless media start talking about it. If they don’t pretty soon, then one theory of the 2016 GOP nominating process could come true: conservatives want to rerun the 1964 elections, and they’ve finally found their Barry Goldwater.

And that’s some relatively scary stuff.  Carson may be soft-spoken and somewhat obsessed with weird stuff like grain-storing pyramids, but the man’s worldview is pretty clear: liberals aren’t just politically opposed to Carson and the GOP, liberals are Communist enemies of the state that must be purged from the country. As Ed points out in his piece, MoJo’s David Corn has documented Carson’s hero, Bircher nutbag Cleon Skousen, pretty well.

Carson swears by Skousen, who died in 2006. In a July 2014 interview, Carson contended that Marxist forces had been using liberals and the mainstream media to undermine the United States. His source: Skousen. “There is a book called The Naked Communist,” he said. “It was written in 1958. Cleon Skousen lays out the whole agenda, including the importance of getting people into important positions in the mainstream media so they can help drive the agenda. Well, that’s what’s going on now.” Four months later, while being interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Carson denounced unnamed Marxists who were presently seeking to destroy American society: “There was a guy who was a former CIA agent by the name of Cleon Skousen who wrote a book in 1958 called The Naked Communist, and it laid out the whole agenda. You would think by reading it that it was written last year—showing what they’re trying to do to American families, what they’re trying to do to our Judeo-Christian faith, what they’re doing to morality.” (Skousen had been an FBI employee—not a CIA officer—and mainly engaged in administrative and clerical duties; later he was a professor at Brigham Young University and police chief of Salt Lake City.) And the most recent edition of this Skousen book boasts Carson’s endorsement on the front cover: “The Naked Communist lays out the whole progressive plan. It is unbelievable how fast it has been achieved.”

Skousen’s book was a hyperbolic, far-from-sophisticated Cold War denouncement of communism and the Soviet Union. Marx, Skousen claimed, had set out “to create a race of human beings conditioned to think like criminals.” And in McCarthyesque fashion, Skousen contended that “agents of communism” had “penetrated every echelon of American society—including some of the highest offices of the United States Government.” He insisted that many “loyal Americans” had been duped by Communists into doing the Reds’ dirty work because “they are not aware that these objectives are designed to destroy us.” Thus, these fellow travelers and naive citizens were part of a “campaign to soften America for the final takeover.”

Skousen listed dozens of the goals of the commies and their useful idiots, including pushing free trade, promoting coexistence with the Soviet bloc, capturing “one or both of the political parties in the United States,” winning control of schools (“use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda”), and infiltrating the press (“get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, and policy making positions”). He said they wanted to control “key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures,” weaken American culture by degrading artistic expression (and substituting “good sculpture from parks and building” with “shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms”), and present homosexuality as “normal, natural, and healthy.” What’s more, he claimed, they wanted to discredit the Bible, eliminate prayer in schools, demean the American Founding Fathers as “selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the ‘common man,'” and support “any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture—education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.” He said they also wanted to encourage divorce and promiscuity, incite “special-interest groups” to “rise up…to solve economic, political or social problems,” and seize control of unions and big business.

If this all sounds like Glenn Beck-level “blackboard full of plans for fluoride to become the next caliphate” insanity, that’s because it is. It’s quite easy to laugh this garbage off as funny, but it’s not.

 

This guy is leading some polls now among the GOP, and the last laugh my be on us.



Open Thread: Sore Losers Of Soreness

If this PPP poll of NC Republicans is any indication, a Clinton presidency in 2017 is going to be splendiferous quantities of awesome from day one.

Capture

Dragon and Phoenix must fight, for it is the way of all things. They have fought since the dawn of time and will still battle across the skies long after the memories of our deeds have faded into dust.

Or something like that.  I know it involves eternity and mythical creatures.  You know, like “moderate Republicans” and stuff.

Open thread.



The Carson Show Rolls On

The petabytes of information that would compose the voluminous tomes of Things Ben Carson Doesn’t Know A Damn Thing About now includes an updated entry on the debt ceiling in this interview with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal.

Ryssdal: All right, so let’s talk about debt then and the budget. As you know, Treasury Secretary Lew has come out in the last couple of days and said, “We’re gonna run out of money, we’re gonna run out of borrowing authority, on the fifth of November.” Should the Congress then and the president not raise the debt limit? Should we default on our debt?

Carson: Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut.

Ryssdal: To be clear, it’s increasing the debt limit, not the budget, but I want to make sure I understand you. You’d let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit.

Carson: No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, “Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period.”

Ryssdal: I’m gonna try one more time, sir. This is debt that’s already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?

Carson: What I’m saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops. You’re always gonna ask the same question every year. And we’re just gonna keep going down that pathway. That’s one of the things I think that the people are tired of.

Ryssdal: I’m really trying not to be circular here, Dr. Carson, but if you’re not gonna raise the debt limit and you’re not gonna give specifics on what you’re gonna cut, then how are we going to know what you are going to do as president of the United States?

Carson: OK, let me try to explain it in a different way. If, in fact, we have a number of different areas that are contributing to the increasing expenditures and the continued expenditures that are putting us further and further into the hole. You’re familiar I’m sure with the concept of the fiscal gap.

Ryssdal: Why don’t you explain that a little bit, though.

Carson: OK, well, the fiscal gap is all of the unfunded liabilities that the government owes. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, all the departmental programs, all the agency and sub-agency programs extending into the future, which is a lot of money, versus the amount of revenue that we expect to collect from taxes and other revenue sources. Now if we’re being fiscally responsible, those numbers should be fairly close together. If we’re not, a gap begins to occur. We bring that forward to modern day today’s dollars, and that’s the fiscal gap, which sits at over $200 trillion and is continuing to grow. Now the only reason that we can sustain that kind of debt is because of our artificial ability to print money, to create what we think is wealth, but it is not wealth, because it’s based upon our faith and credit. You know, we decoupled it from the domestic gold standard in 1933, and from the international gold standard in 1971, and since that time, it’s not based on anything. Why would we be continuing to do that?

Oh good, in addition to knowing jack squat about foreign policy, criminal justice issues, the workings of the US Constitution, and basic civics, ol Doc McNothins here has no idea how modern macroeconomics works either, because we owe a bajillion zillion trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities because America’s GDP is just going to go to zero tomorrow and how can we pay for Medicare in 2065 because argle bargle collapse of all fiat currency GOLD WEED END THE FED.

Meanwhile, Ben’s over here reading Louie Gohmert’s bookmarked posts on Zero Hedge and going “You know, we don’t really need to pay for budget debts we’ve incurred because I’ll just magically cut waste so we don’t need to ever raise the debt ceiling.”

That seems like it’ll work.  Can’t wait until he overtakes Trump on which cartoon idiot is winning the beauty contest.