Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Unprecedented oil spill"

This Gulf thing is unprecedented. No one could have foreseen this. This is certainly not exactly similar in every way to the Ixtoc I Gulf oil disaster in 1979, down to the failed attempts to deal with the oil, the failed attempts to seal off the the well, and even the company, Transocean. Rachael Maddow explains.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, May 28, 2010

Video of the day

Mother. Fucking. Hoverboards.



Do you even need an explanation?
It is a copy of the hoverboard from the movie Back to the Future II. Integrated into the board and the plinth is an electromagnetic system which levitates the board. A laser system stabilises the object in the air.

In the making of this work, this artist was thinking about different ways of presenting sculpture.

In fact it's a reflexion on the multiple possibilities of how to give a sculpture full spatial autonomy.

more infos : nilsguadagnin.com - whiteoffice.org

Picture of the day

This year heralds one of the most important anniversaries in human history. No, not you Argentina. Go fuck yourself and your bicentennial. I'm talking about the 30th anniversary of the release of the Empire Strikes Back. As such, Lucasfilm is engaging in a large orgy of self-congratulatory back patting in recognition of this event.

They're even releasing rare, never before seen behind the scenes photos of the film. Like these. There are many more, but we've decided to include the ones entitled Character People Obsess Over Based Entirely on His Design, Old Man Abuses Voice Actor, Spoiler Alert, and Learning How These Films Were Made Reveals A Lot of Surprisingly Cheap Methods and Largely Ruins the Magic.




Quote of the day

It seems like with reports finally classifying this spill as the largest ever, all kinds of ecological damage happening to coasts and marshes, that BP is willing to come out and say this is all kids of bad. Honest. BP CEO Tony Hayward said so.
“This is clearly an environmental catastrophe,” Hayward said today in a CNN television interview. He also called the situation “a very significant environmental crisis”
Of course when everyone else was saying the spill was an "environmental catastrophe" Hayward was telling us that the environmental impact was only going to be "very, very modest". So I just want to warn you all that this spill might be even worse than we imagined.

If BP is willing to classify things as a "Very significant environmental crisis", the Gulf must almost be an uninhabitable wasteland. The oil must have become a self-aware, sentient organism and is now starting to fight back; claiming the marshes for it's own purposes, seeding the beaches with tar balls that will become gruesome lumbering tar people, and dragging down ships into the murky, oily depths.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we're in a war against the oil now. That's the only conclusion one can make from BP admitting that this crisis is bad. They certainly can't be telling the truth. They're incapable of that, as we've learned over the past month. No, this is an attempt to cover up something even more sinister. May God have mercy on our souls.

TB Vacation Guide

It's summer! And with the ball sweltering heat comes weddings for couples who are inconsiderate to the plight of people in suits standing outside on a 90 degree day. Maybe you're one of those couples. So of course the question arises "Where should we spend out honeymoon?" or, if you're a true blooded American, "Where should me and the boys go for the bachelor party?" Well, have you ever considered a trip to beautiful Arizona? What will you do there? Would you be interested if I said "Whomp on fuckin' beaners who try to sneak over the border just because they want a better life for their families!"? Of course you would. Luckily there's a contest you can enter for this dream vacation.
In response, a local radio station launched a contest to send a listener to Phoenix to “spend a weekend chasing aliens“:

610 WTVN would like to send you where Americans are proud and illegals are scared, sunny Phoenix, Arizona! You’ll spend a weekend chasing aliens and spending cash in the desert, just make sure you have your green card!
Good luck and I hope it's the trip of your dreams. If you're down there, can I ask you keep on the lookout for this Dora character? She claims she's an "Explorer" but that's just an excuse to traipse across our border. And that monkey she pals around with has gotta be all kinds of fucking illegal.

Compare/Contrast

$60 billion to extend wars that will seemingly never end and don't seem to provide any benefit to the United States? Come right in Mr. War Spending, sit down, the supermodels will be in momentarily for the orgy.
The U.S. Senate approved a $60 billion war-funding measure as the conflict in Afghanistan has surpassed the Iraq war in annual cost and number of troops.

Senators voted 67-28 for the bill, which goes to the House for consideration next month. The Senate rejected a proposal to require President Barack Obama to submit a non-binding report outlining when he plans to end U.S. involvement in the almost nine-year-old Afghan conflict.
$24 billion for unemployed workers and state aid? Go fuck yourself, peasants. Go dig ditches or die in an abandoned train yard or whatever it is you people do.
anxiety over out-of-control budget deficits led House leaders to drop tens of billions of dollars in spending from a separate catchall bill anchored by an extension of jobless benefits.

Confronted with a rebellion by Democratic Blue Dog moderates, House leaders planned to dump overboard $24 billion in aid to states and allow generous health insurance subsidies for laid-off workers to expire. The changes were an effort to round up votes to extend unemployment benefits and renew more than 50 popular tax breaks that expired last year.
God love the Blue Dog Democrats and their concern over deficits. That is to say their concern over deficits when it looks like that money is going to be spent on actual people who actually need it. When it's billions of dollars being spent of wars or boondoggle defense systems with no plans to pay for them, then the Blue Dogs are totally cool with deficit spending. They just will not suffer an American being extended an unemployment benefit in the worst job market in decades.

Nice to know where our priorities are.

Raaaaaaaaaaandy

This post-primary period has been tough for Ran Paul. When everyone in the national media rushes to point out how childish your ideology is when it's said out loud and you have to spend all your time backtracking and assuring people that you want black people to vote, things aren't going great. Then the libertarians completely back away from you and Senate Minority Whip and fellow Kentuckian Republican Mitch McConnell starts intimating that you need to seriously consider shutting the fuck up and going away.

So what does one do to shore up these mistakes and prove your libertarian, Constitution loving bona fides? By advocating for insanely expensive methods of capturing Mexicans and opining how you'd love it if someone would pass a law that violated the 14th Amendment. Naturally.
I recently have been talking more about satellite observation. They say you can sit in front of the store here and a satellite can read the headline on your newspaper. So I think you could also monitor your border with satellites, and then you just have to have some means of intercepting people who come in illegally. You could have helicopters stations positioned every couple of hundred miles. . .

We’re the only country I know of that allows people to come in illegally have a baby and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop also.
Hey nothing says libertarian quite like government agencies using spy satellites to direct surveillance and black helicopter brigades to anyone suspicious on the border. But it's nice to know that a man who admits to getting nude and rubbing himself down with the Bill of Rights and feels that before passing a piece of legislation Congress “should point to where in the Constitution they get the authority for it” has no qualms with passing a law that directly violates the Constitution. I just wonder what part of the Constitution he's going to point to when he tries to pass this "Fuck you, freeloading babies" Law. Maybe he'll fake a siezure or claim he was being asked "gotcha" questions.

I guess that libertarian/strict constructionist line of thought goes out the window when it either deals with issues that affect Rand himself or deals with Mexican bashing making it easier for him to get elected.

Ah, but we're talking as if gross hypocrisy and appearing to be a little bit racist against blacks and Mexicans is actually a negative in a Kentucky political contest. He's ahead right now anywhere from 3 points to 25 points. We at TB Industries look forward to Raaaaaaaaaaandy dragging down the intelligence level of the US Senate. We didn't think that was possible.

Headline of the day



Is there more? Of course there's more.
Everything was fine until, witnesses said, Captain America started getting too forward with a burrito he kept tucked inside his blue tights, a burrito that ultimately landed him in jail.
...
Police said Adamcik had a burrito stuffed below the waistband of his costume and was asking women if they want to touch it. When one refused, he allegedly took out the burrito and groped her.

The woman called police and, when they arrived, the officers wrote in their report "there were so many cartoon characters in the bar at the time, all Captain America's were asked to go outside for a possible identification."The woman pointed out Adamcik and the burrito was found in his boot.
Thankfully for the sake of freedom and America's fight against the Red Skull, Captain America will not do jail time.

Yes, this did happen in Florida. Did you even need to ask?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Picture of the day

Now that we know the happy fact that it's basically "top kill" or months of oil flowing into the sea and now that the disaster has officially been named "the worst in US history", the Big Picture blog brings us a look at what environmental devastation has already occurred.

It is, of course, damage that is happening to Louisiana. Always willing to take the brunt of an disaster they are. West Virginia is thinking of contracting out a few mine collapses to them.

As always, click to embiggen






Video of the day

We take a break from our daily ritual of cataloging all that is cheap and stupid to pause and listen to a smart and erudite comedian opine on things. Stephen Fry is interviewed by Peter Samuelson in something called What I Wish I'd Known When I Was 18.

Stay classy, New York Post

Maybe you watch Dancing With the Stars and already knew this, but Professional singer and dancer Nicole Scherzinger beat Olympic Ice skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek for the prestigious crown. Yes, a show that is ostensibly about celebrities making asses out of themselves and learning to dance effectively had a final three (including ESPN reporter and former college cheerleader and Florida Gator dance team member Erin Andrews) that basically comprised three people that were as close to professional dancers as they could possibly be. Yeah, I bitter about the competitive purity of celebrity dance competitions. Whatever.

How do you think the New York Post decided to announce the pop singer beating the skating champion?Get it? Because all male figure skaters are giant homos. Hilarious. Nicely played. I'm sure it beats your original headline of "Jiggle tits beats faaaaaaaaaaaaag". Stay classy, Post.

Your daily dose of brightness and sunshine

With the 'top kill' efforts seeming to show some progress, people are starting to be optimistic about finally stopping all that oil from gushing into the Gulf. But make no mistake, the 'top kill' procedure is a measure of last resort, before they basically have to throw their hands up and say "any crackpots have some off the wall ideas out there"? And then we start talking about detonating nukes underwater. Seriously.

But if this doesn't work? Well... all the clamoring for President Obama to send in the military, take over, and so on isn't going to help. David Roberts of Grist explains.
The BP Gulf oil disaster is reaching an interesting phase. People's gut instinct, their first reaction, is to find someone to blame. They blame BP for negligence; the Obama administration for its tepid response; the Bush administration for lax regulatory enforcement. People have been casting about for some way to compartmentalize this thing, some way to cast it as an anomaly, an "accident," the kind of screwup that can be meliorated or avoided in the future.

We are, however, drifting toward a whole different kind of place. [Today] BP is attempting the "top kill" maneuver -- pumping mud into the well. If it doesn't work, well ... then what? Junk shot? Top hat? Loony stuff like nukes? Relief wells will take months to drill and no one's sure if they'll work to relieve pressure. It's entirely possible, even likely, that we're going to be stuck helplessly watching as this well spews oil into the Gulf for years. Even if the flow were stopped tomorrow, the damage to marshes, coral, and marine life is done. The Gulf of Mexico will become an ecological and economic dead zone. There's no real way to undo it, no matter who's in charge.

I'm curious to see how the public's mood shifts once it becomes clear that we are powerless in the face of this thing. What if there's just nothing we can do?
We'll know if there's nothing we can do by tomorrow. Feel better yet?

He goes on to make points about how we do this kind of irreversible damage to the Earth every day in the search and excavation of energy and wonders that if having that sort of catastrophe shoved in our face like this will make us reconsider how we go about things. Easy answer: we're Americans, it won't.

But there we are. The damage has been done already and all the yelling about Superman, big business, or the Government to come in and do something is moot. The 'top kill' move is pretty much it before we have to resign ourselves to a minimum of months of this well throwing oil into the ocean. So then what? Do we just keep bitching, like we always do, and keep trying to retroactively blame someone and take measures to close the barn door after the horses got out... and spilled oil everywhere? Or do me actually try to move forward as a society and actually, for once, try to make a commitment to transforming our energy needs into methods that don't contain a potential "colossal environmental disaster" scenario? I think you know what I think we'll do. But, I do like to be surprised.

The military got gayed

After months of promises and years of work, finally a compromise has been reached that will allow gay men and women to serve in the US military. This is, of course, the end of the world. Now we'll have gays all up and down our armed forces... something that has never before occurred in the history of combat or something. They'll be in there, translating things into and from Farsi and Arabic... in a gay way. They'll be gaying up combat, shooting terrorists all gay like. They'll be wearing sequined camo, talking about how such and such a tank is faaaabulous. A tank is not fabulous, it is a machine of war!

Because this is terrible and the end of US military dominance or something, the usual suspects have been out in full force to tell us how Obama just ended the world in a hellstorm of ultra gay fire. I think you'll be surprised in the direction they took this.
During a radio broadcast, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association explained:

So Hitler himself was an active homosexual. And some people wonder, didn't the Germans, didn't the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.
And here you thought the main objection from religious types and social conservatives was that gays were too weak and girly to be in the military. Some terrorist would come over the horizon and a gay soldier would shriek like a woman, throw his purse at the enemy, and then spring out of the bunker to strike at the enemy with limp wrists, screaming "You brute!"

Nope. Turns out gays were not only the backbone of the Nazi party, the Nazi war machine, and the Nazi SS, but they were in fact too brutal and savage. So violent and unhinged that we can never let them serve. I'll say this: he might have got his history completely wrong and tried to tie gays and Nazis together in one of the most ugly ways possible, but at least he moved his stereotypes forward a little bit from a foppish, effeminate caricature to some sort of overly manly savage killer. That's... a kind of progress.

The kind of progress the Family Research Council was not ready for.
On a conference call with reporters today, FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg delivered the results of what he said was the first-ever study of "homosexual assault" in the military.
...
"We are today releasing an analysis of publicly available documents which show that homosexuals in the military are three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals are relative to their numbers," Sprigg said. "We believe this problem would only increase if the current law against homosexuality...were to be repealed."
...
"If open homosexuality was permitted in the military, these numbers can only increase," Sprigg said. "The number of homosexuals would grow, the threat of discharge for homosexual behavior would be eliminated and protected class status for homosexuals would make victims hesitant to report assaults and make commanders hesitant to punish them for fear of appearing homophobic."
That's right. Repealing DADT will turn the military into some internal gay rape factory, where innocent straight men are wantonly raped by gays and are afraid to report it because the gays have been made emperors of the armed forces. And he backed it up with a completely scientific study that I'm sure would stand up to scrutiny from an independent, outside source.

So I think you can see the clear case for why this is the end of the world. Stripping DADT will not allow men and women to proudly serve this country openly and without fear of discharge. No, it'll create the gay rape SS. Do we really want that?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Video of the day

Good Morning America goes under the water oil in the Gulf. Things are about as terrible as expected.

Picture of the day

Via the Bad Astronomy blog and Thierry Legault comes this look at the International Space Station crossing in front of the sun.

There is also some sort of blobulous space monster about to attack it.

Click to really embiggen.

Comic of the day

Among my many anti-science pet peeves is the seemingly increasing ignorant din over getting kids immunized. Or should I say, not getting kids immunized. So the story goes that in order to protect kids, they should not be vaccinated. Why? Because they'll get The Autism. So ironically in communities where this kind of thinking takes hold, vaccination rates drop, herd immunity is weakened, and kids start dying of easily preventable diseases.

The anti-vaccine nonsense stems almost entirely from a fraudulent study from a British doctor by the name of Andrew Wakefield. A man named Darryl Cunningham decided to tell the tale of Wakefield in comic form. Here is the first panel of the epic strip. Go check the rest out.

I'll note that the story has a happy ending. Last week Wakefield was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and of acting in a "dishonest", "misleading" and "irresponsible" manner by the General Medical Council of England. He was struck off the GMC register, which is essentially the British medical equivalent of being disbarred.

On the negative side, he's still allowed to spout his nonsense, having retreated to Texas (obviously) to set up his base of operations for what he calls "educating" but is more like "getting kids killed from easily preventable diseases." And he's still making appearances on TV as an "expert", hitting NBC Today on Monday. Yay America.

Quote of the day

There are certain times when you just well up with pride over the state of American democracy. Like when lobbyists and business leaders talk openly to a newspaper about their "connections", "fundraising", and plans for if the the GOP takes back the House in November and John Boehner becomes speaker. You might otherwise know it as "bribery", "kickbacks", "Using the apparatus of government to fuck over citizens in favor of corporations" and "wanton open corruption." Business as usual.
Several GOP lobbyists said they are advising their clients to try to make inroads with Boehner before the 112th Congress, even though a Republican takeover next year is far from assured.
...
“Being bullish on Republicans in the House is a good investment right now.”

For many lobbyists, that means advising clients to increase their campaign contributions to Republican incumbents — particularly to vulnerable Members whom Boehner has put at the top of his political priority list.

The message from K Street seems to be resonating. The Minority Leader, optimistic about the prospect of taking back the House, is raising money at a fast clip.
...
Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, whom Boehner tapped earlier this year to serve as the chairman of the GOP leadership, said that when he announced Boehner would hold a fundraiser for him in Portland, he noticed an increased interest among his donors about meeting the Republican leader.

“Business leaders are saying, ‘I’d like to meet him,’ ‘I want to meet him,’ ‘I’ve seen him,’ ‘I like him,’” Walden said. “And they know they are not coming for free.”
Splendid. For his part, Boehner has assembled a massive array of lobbyists to run his fundraising efforts an court business leaders, while simultaneously talked about creating the openest and most transparentest Congress ever if he becomes Speaker. Apparently corporations will have to hand over burlap sacks with dollar signs on them on the floor of Congress now.

So... that bodes well. You just love it when a bunch of politicians and lobbyists will talk to a newspaper on the grounds that they really want you to know how well oiled their bribery and kickback machine is should you let them run things.

Politician: "Hey, would anyone like to trade money for access? We're willing to do your bidding in exchange for cash." Corporation: "Sure, we have money and would like access. Here is an incredible sum of money and a list of things we want done." Newspaper: "Isn't this interesting? We will make no comment about how shady this all seems and treat what seems like massive open corruption as business as usual."

Shit, I bet Democrats are still dirty dealing in smoky back rooms. Hah, just kidding. No one who gives money to Democrats gets what they want.

Immediate failure

Once must applaud the speed at which much heralded House GOP initiatives proceed to immediately fall on their face. The previous record was something in the vicinity of 30 seconds after unveiling. They might have just beat that.
House Republican leadership unveiled a new interactive website on Tuesday which they hailed as "revolutionary" in its democratization of the political process.
...
On Tuesday morning, GOP leaders unveiled americaspeakingout.com, a website that they pitched as a "giant step forward" towards popularizing the Republican platform. The idea is simple -- allow viewers to suggest legislative remedies that they and others could then debate and vote upon. The top suggestions would, naturally, rise to the top.
Do you see where this is going?
But opening up the process of debate means inviting in uncomfortable voices. Within minutes, a poster on the site suggested repealing Section II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because it was "UNCONSTITUTIONAL, PROGRESSIVE and HITLER."

That entry has since been shut down by the GOP.
That and numerous other suggestions have had to be shut down by the GOP for reasons ranging from too racist, to too teabaggy, to too racist and already under consideration by GOP leadership, to too hateful, to too obviously illegal. It's almost as if they didn't foresee their own fringe voters pushing politically embarrassing ideas to the forefront of their new "vote on it" website. Senate Republicans have already distanced themselves from the site and are moving to create their own version that isn't so much tainted by the stench of low-grade partisan racism. It's slated to immediately fail a few months from now.

At the very least we did have someone use the name Hitler as a adjective for the very first time in human history. That is an achievement the GOP can look at and nod their heads in pride over.

What next for House Republicans? Eventually they're going to create a quantum state where ideas of their simultaneously fail at the very moment of their inception. What this will mean for the world of theoretical physics is unclear, but it will prove Heisenberg's LOLFail Principle correct. Well done.

It begins...

Few weeks back we made sport of the Georgia state senate for passing a bill banning microchip implantation without prior consent. You may remember it as part of our Mock The South For Any And All Reasons series. Well it turns out that perhaps we were too hasty in our giggling, snorting, and pointing. You see, the Georgia lawmakers blinkered fear on UN black helicopters, microchip implants, and Muslims in the White House may have prevented an epidemic. Well, if anyone actually had microchip implants. Let me explain.
A British scientist says he is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus.

Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading contaminated a computer chip which was then inserted into his hand. The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips usedto tag pets.

In trials, Dr Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems. If other implanted chips had then connected to the system they too would have been corrupted, he said.
I think you see where this is going. Bible Shit. 666. The End Times. One of the things that can be easily interpreted as being the loosely defined Mark of the Beast. Not only are these microchip implants against what God wants, assuming God is a dowdy technophobe, like we always assume he is, but now they can carry viruses much like we can carry viruses... turning doors and mobile phones against us. The beginnings of the robot war.

I always knew doors would be the first to turn on us. One of man's oldest friends, now an enemy. It's the hinges, I never trusted the hinges. The locking mechanisms always seemed a bit evil as well. I'm not surprised about the cell phones, they've already been trying to kill us with the brain tuor causing radiation.

But there we are: the world's first man infected by a computer virus and virus carrying microchip implants. If Satan is a hacker, this is how he's going to get us all. We all wear his "mark", naively hinking that this will make our lives easier. Beelzebub hacks the global mainframe, turning doors, cell phones, credit card swiping spots at grocery stores, and EZ Pass lanes against us. Robot War and Biblical Armageddon rolled into one. Do you see how I've combined these fears? If I could only find a way to work in zombies.....

So a hearty apology to Georgia. You weren't just baselessly reacting to imaginary fears. You had the foresight to recognize this problem. By the way: The South being ahead of the curve on an issue of technology? Sign of the Apocalypse. I'm just sayin'...

Give chickpeas a chance

Jews and Arabs. They go together like Jews and Arabs. You know the story: one launches rockets at the other, one invades the other, one is accused of violating international law and the Geneva conventions by the other. Oh the hijinks they get into. But if there is one common theme to this seemingly endless series of conflicts,k it is war. War... over hummus. That's what this conflict is all about, right?
Lebanon set a record for the largest plate of hummus Saturday in the continuing gastronomic war with Israel over the regional delicacy.

The war has played out publicly for years with two sides outdoing each other for the title of world's best or world's largest hummus dish.

On Saturday, about 300 Lebanese chefs in the village of al-Fanar -- about 8 km (5 miles) east of Beirut -- lay claim to the latter title with a dish that weighed 11.5 tons. That's 23,042 pounds or 10,452 kg.

The achievement more than doubled the previous record -- set in January in the Arab-Israeli village of Abu Gosh.
Israel has responded by sending tanks over the border and building a series of walls around Lebanese chickpea farms. Hamas has responded by slingshotting bowls of tahini randomly into Jerusalem.

This is just the latest battle in the war over hummus, with each side trading Guinness World Record attempts as the public front over a various serious battle over who can claim the rights to having originated hummus. Lebanon wishes to have the European Commission grant them a "protected designation of origin" order on hummus, so that only Lebanon will be able to label mashed chickpea dishes "hummus". Much like the Greeks with feta cheese, where every other country that produces it must refer to it as "Greek style cheese". Israel claims that this is tantamount to a country trying to claim the invention of bread or wine. In any event the special designation could mean millions or billions in export rights and I'm sure this fight won't escalate into increased hostilities and America vetoing things in the Security Council.

But despite this battle and the charged record attempts it engenders, some are hopeful.
"If you enter any good hummus restaurant in this region, you will see Jews and Muslims, Palestinians and Israelis sitting at the same table, eating the same food. I think in the end this rivalry will show that we in the Middle East have far more in common than the things that divide us."
Well, when food opinions supercede religion, territory, and who scuffed whose sandal first two thousand years ago, the rest of the world will breathe a sigh of relief. Until then, we're just hoping that a turf battle between Famous Original Ahmed's Hummus and Original Famous Ahmed's Hummus over stolen recipes doesn't touch off an international incident. All I can say is thank God Iran isn't trying to build the World's Biggest Falafel. That could really set something off.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't Forget Your Towel

Happy Towel Day, everyone.

Broken News: BP Exhausts Giving-a-Shit Reserves

NEW ORLEANS—Facing increasing public scrutiny, righteous indignation, and calls for the government to take the lead in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, today executives from British Petroleum announced that they would no longer squander resources by pretending to care about this crisis, much less what people think.

“After much soul searching and consultation with our legal counsel in the time since this unfortunate event that was in no way our fault, we feel that legally there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it,” announced BP CEO Tony Heyward, whilst lazily cycling through sports scores on his Blackberry and gesticulating his hand back and forth in front of his crotch.

“You can’t really make us care or even feign concern. Hell, the funny thing is that the bad PR, the cost of this lost oil, and the ‘clean-up’ we’re ‘attempting’ barely even makes a dent in our bottom line. So we aren’t even going to bother wasting money on it. Just pump it back into the company and give us some nice bonuses,” Heyward said, stifling an intense yawn.

“We just don’t give a damn. Don’t know why we even bothered to schedule this press conference to tell you….” He finished, slowly nodding off into sleep, before he was shaken awake by a colleague and they exited.

As the assembled press shouted questions at the BP leadership, the group of executives and board members just laughed, flipped numerous birds to the media, and then went outside to compare the different deluxe packages each had gotten on their Bentleys. When the media followed them out into the parking lot, the executives proceeded to talk loudly about expensive things they were going to buy, before motioning to security to have the press doused in oil and then removed.

Following this display the Obama Administration announced that it was very disappointed in BP and that several more of these types of actions would result in them seriously considering possibly having the federal government take over clean-up and leak plugging duties.

Spokesman for the oil conglomerate said they could barely be bothered to care.

Monday, May 24, 2010

This puppet hates Mexicans

You know this immigration situation in Arizona is a difficult one. A day doesn't go by where Sean or I doesn't hear someone ask "I know that illegal immigration is a problem, but I'm not sure about this Arizona law. Is there something that could explain this to me in an insulting manner... as if I were a stupid child?"

Well, what would you say to a video put up by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in which a singing frog hand puppet essentially calls you a dumb douche for not getting on board with the "All Mexicans Are Suspects" Law?



Ehhhh. I'd be more convinced if they used a cartoon hippo rapping about sharing. But it'll have to do. I'm sold. No one who could have read the law could possibly be against it.

Your daily update of what constitutes education in Texas

Well the madness is over and Texas has finally passed the last of their historical "adjustments" to make sure the children of Texas are readily aware that history has a nefarious liberal secular bias. They didn't get to add in all the parts about Indians turning into Mexicans and copious Dracula references that they wanted, but they have enough for now.

Of interest, one of the women on the Texas Board of Education came out and said that public education was a "tool of perversion" and another man referred to any opposition as coming from "the pagan left". So it's nice that the sane people are exercising control over this process.

So what were they able to sneak in at the last moment?
Elevating Confederate Leader Jefferson Davis To The Level Of Abraham Lincoln.

Requiring That Historical Figures — Except Conservative Ones — Must Be Dead For Students To Study Them.
That's right. As the argument went, keeping Davis out was "an attempt to “whitewash” history." Which, given the board's attempts to remove blacks and Latinos from their history books, even rechristen the Atlantic Slave Trade as the Atlantic Triangular Trade, is something the board would know a great deal about. So Davis' speeches are kept in to contrast with Lincoln's speeches. One notable thing about Davis' speeches? They're ones that don't talk about slavery being one of the main reason for secession and the Civil War.

As for the second, yeah, if you're a minority or viewed as a dirty liberal, you can't get into the history books unless you're dead. Even if you're dead, you might not make it in if you've offended these people's imaginary conception of Jesus. Just ask Thomas Jefferson. But if you're white and really conservative? Please, come right into the textbook, if you're having trouble finding room just elbow a founding father or a civil rights pioneer out of the way and have a seat.

But surely not every crackpot idea these goons have gets into these textbooks, right? Shockingly, that's true. Referring to President Barry as Barack Hussein Obama, probably with a couple of Islamic crescents and a black power fist encircling it, was apparently too nakedly political and openly race bait-y for the board. Instead, he's referred to as Barack H. Obama, or, alternately, "The black one that done usurped the White House" and is listed again in the section "12 signs that the rapture is imminent" under the header "Blacks in places blacks shouldn't be."

It's a shame this is over for now. I would have liked to have heard the board opine on European history as well as English Lit requirements. Sadly God doesn't love me enough to have these people take a whack at science requirements. Maybe they did and Bibles have replaced Biology 1010 textbooks. I guess we'll find out. Godspeed, Texas schoolchildren. Just remember, when it comes times to take your SAT's, remember to fill in the bubble for what seems to be the exact opposite of the things you just spent 12 years learning.

Ad of the day

An increasingly manic Gilbert Gottfried narrates an increasingly pathetic series of people who can't seem to deal with putting on shoes.

Picture of the day

It is time for us to leave the stupidity and pettiness of the ground apes and move into the splendor of the universe. Via Wired Science and NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer we are shown a glimpse of the Heart and Soul nebula, so named because... it looks like two giant sky hearts. I would have though that by now I wouldn't have to explain these kind of things to you.

They would have called it the Hart to Hart Nebula, but that had already been used for a cluster of stars that looked like Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers acting as amateur detectives and investigating a case of international intrigue. Don't believe me? It's up there in the sky right next to M83. Go get a telescope and look.

Yes, the cosmos has two hearts. Who knew the universe was a Time Lord? And fuck you if you didn't get that reference. You should all be watching Dr. Who.

As always, click and embiggen

On those war things that are still happening

Rep. Alan Grayson is fed up with our two wars and how we pay for them. Yeah, that's right, we're still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surprised the hell out of me when I heard it too.

Grayson isn't happy about this. Moreso, he isn't happy about all the money we have to pay to keep these wars going. Especially considering that Congress is just about to pas a $159 billion “emergency” spending bill to cover the most recent tab. So, he's proposing some new legislation. He call sit The War Is Making You Poor Act. Let him explain.
“The purpose of this bill,” wrote Grayson last week, “is to connect the dots, and to show people in a real and concrete way the cost of these endless wars.” It’s not just the costs of active shooting wars; with hundreds of bases overseas, as far as the defense budget is concerned Americans have been on a permanent wartime footing, to varying degrees, since Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. “War is a permanent feature of our societal landscape,” wrote Grayson, “so much so that no one notices it anymore.”
So what does the bill do?
* Limits the amount of funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
* Takes the $159 billion and uses it as a tax cut for Americans, effectively eliminating the federal income tax on the first $35,000 of every American’s income ($70,000 for married couples)
*Makes the Pentagon take the $159 billion for the wars out of their $559 billion dollar defense budget.
* Cuts the Federal deficit by $15.9 billion.
This makes sense, people would like it, it would cut the deficit, and rein in the ridiculous amount we're spending of defense. So of course it'll go over like a loud fart in church and will probably never be allowed to be voted on.

Even Secretary Gates, who is openly advocating for the cutting of billions of dollars worth of projects and telling the President to veto any defense bill that doesn't make the cuts he wants, has to be looking at Grayson and going "Pay for these wars out of money already appropriated?" *makes wanking gesture* "Get fucked, buddy."

So even though nothing will probably happen, Grayson's attempt to make sense will never get through and Gates' request that that Congress stop wasting money on pet military projects for their own districts that the military has no use for will also be ignored, it's nice to see the two attempting to inject a little rationality into our defense debate. Combating the conventional wisdom that wars are free and that defense spending doesn't count as spending is hard to do. Here's hoping that these forthcoming failed attempts don't scar them so badly they they never try again.

Naive kids, trying to act all reasonable and shit. Will wonders never cease?

The Empire Provides Medical Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

The Secret Life of Toys by Argentine photographer, Marker.

Keep on staying classy, Arizona

Pop quiz, hotshot. How do you know someone is a fierce advocate for Constitutional rights?

Well, for one, they're probably shouting it at the top of their lungs. Secondly, if they're a lawmaker, they're shouting it right in the moments before they try to do something grossly and nakedly unconstitutional.

In this case, our example comes from the Great State of Arizona. "Great" being infused with all the sarcasm and bile I can possibly muster, which is considerable. You remember Arizona, right? In order to protect themselves from Santa Anna's new covert invasion and protect the Constitution that Jesus died writing, they passed a law basically saying they could stop anyone for anything and then demand they prove citizenship or face jail and deportation. You know, like our founding fathers intended.

They followed that up with an attempt at some small bore racism against Mexicanos by prohibiting ethnic studies classes and proclaiming that people with accents couldn't teach English classes. Because I think that they think what you learn in High School English is actually how to speak English and not how to get by without fully reading the ultra-gay books of Salinger, Shakespeare, and Chaucer.

So it's with those two laws in mind that the architect of the immigration one deciding that in order to protect the United States of Freedom and the Constitution, he had to declare war on America's newest enemy: babies. Freeloading babies.
A Phoenix news station (KPHO) is reporting that the state Senator behind Arizona’s new immigration law, Russell Pearce (R), does not intend on stopping at SB-1070. In e-mails obtained by the local CBS affiliate, Pearce said he intends to push for an “anchor baby” bill that would essentially overturn the 14th amendment by no longer granting citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil.
...
KPHO obtained a troubling email from one of Pearce’s constituents who is encouraging him to pursue the “anchor baby” legislation. KPHO reports:

One of the e-mails written by someone else but forwarded by Pearce reads: “If we are going to have an effect on the anchor baby racket, we need to target the mother. Call it sexist, but that’s the way nature made it. Men don’t drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do.” [...]

Pearce said his new idea is not only legal but constitutional. “It’s common sense,” Pearce said.
This law that he says is Constitutional is otherwise known as completely violating the 14th Amendment. You know, the one where it says you're a citizen if you're born here. Who can be bother with reading the fine print on an Amendment? There's Mexicans tunneling under the border to pick strawberries! Our way of life is being threatened!

But I think we all understand where Pearce is coming from. I mean these Mexican babies haven't done all the hard work to be an American that Pearce and his fellow Arizona GOP members did when they were born: namely being born white. I mean if these Latino babies were smart and truly worthy of being Americans, they would have known better than to have been born Latino. It's common sense.

So congrats to Arizona. You've moved beyond merely violating the spirit of the Constitution to assuage your right wing rage at the brown people and gone straight to picking out specific amendments you wish to violate. Well done. Toss those babies over the border, no matter what that 14th Amendment say. If it was meant to be taken seriously they would have placed it higher than 14th. Keep on stayin' classy.

Sarah's back

If there's one you can say about Sarah Palin it's that she spends an awful lot of time needlessly barging into situations without ever showing that she knows why she initially felt the need to barge into said situation in the first place.

Take the BP oil spill, for instance. With the Obama Administration taking increasing criticism for letting BP handle the cleanup and spill stoppage ineffectively, the best thing to do would either be to let the pressure mount organically or dip in and deftly lay in a few intelligent shots. Or, you could loudly shout that Obama is in bed with Big Oil, try to claim that all of Obama's oil connections and oil money are clouding his judgment, and then try to build some bizarre case that the Democratic Party is the party of Big Oil. She does realize she's the former governor of Alaska, is in the Republican Party, and essentially pours oil on her pancakes each morning and eats it with a smile, right? Now to some, this all might be seen as "intensely and obviously stupid", but our minds do not work like the well oiled steel trap that is America's Dumb Rural Mom.

So when most of the GOP has started backing away from Rand Paul, mouths agape, marveling over the fact that he found a way to make the Republican Party look worse to black voters, what do you think Sarah Palin decided the smart thing to do was? Accuse the interviewer of prejudice and cloak easy, straightforward questions as the Machiavellian machinations of a malevolent media.
"One thing we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don't assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda, who may be prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your answer may be," Palin said. "You know, they are looking for the gotcha moment. And that evidently appears to be what they did with Rand Paul..."
Hmm, yes. I think when America saw the interview they clearly saw that the agenda and prejudice was coming from the interviewer and was not wafting off the guy who just said he was cool with discrimination. And everyone knows that asking a question about Civil Rights so easy ("Civil Rights Act of 1964: Good thing?") that even the most embittered Klansman would know how to answer it on the TV, is just a cheap gotcha question much in the same vein as "What do you read?" "What is your foreign policy experience?" and "Is there something in your eye? You keep winking."

At least she added in a bunch of comments calling for stricter action on BP by Obama... which I'm sure will not come back to bite her in the ass when Obama takes stricter action on BP and she feels the need to decry the onerous pressure of the government on business. Ah well, at least it gives me one chance in my life to say "I agree with Sarah Palin". So, if any large chunks of the earth fall into the sea or the sky turns blood red, I'm sorry. She just happened to make a valid point, however accidentally, inherently dishonest or nakedly political it may have been. There's a first time for everything.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Su pronóstico es muy grave

Yeah, that's a bull giving a matador the ole "Timothy Dalton at the end of Hot Fuzz" treatment. Horn right up the windpipe, right out the mouth. Don't worry, the man is still alive... somehow, but he's described as being in critical condition. I'd say so. As one of the posters of Deadspin so astutely pointed out, I bet it was easy to intubate.

Normally there would be cause for consternation and condolences for the poor man getting a horn in the jugular. But, seeing as how he was engaged in slow, ritualized, artistic animal murder, it's only fair that the bull gets to put points on the board as well. Fuck him. Yay bull! Don't mess with mother nature, Spain.

And just in case you were wondering... yeah, that photo does enlarge. Click to embiggen.

holyfuckingshitbulls

Map of the day

Via Warren Ellis, comes this look at a 1927 Paramount Studios map of what areas of California could be used as reasonable facsimiles for other countries when filming.

Quote of the day

So what do you do when you seemingly endorse repealing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, set off a firestorm, and have to walk things back so much that at the end of the day you are not only disavowing any connections you have to yourself, but you're seriously considering claiming you have a big tattoo of Martin Luther King high fiving Sojourner Truth across your back?

If you're Rand Paul, you criticize the President and stick up for BP in the midst of a massive ecological nightmare. Of course you do.
On Good Morning America today, Paul also steered the conversation toward something more recent, President Obama's criticism of BP following the oil spill. Paul said: "This sort of, you know 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,' I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business."

Paul continued: The President's reaction is "part of this sort of blame game society" where "it's always someone's fault." Paul added: "Maybe sometimes accidents happen."
"Accidents happen." That's one way of putting it. I'm no political expert, but maybe the best pivot point off of "Businesses should be allowed to discriminate. A pox on the Civil Rights Act" isn't "How dare the President criticize a corporation just because it's extreme negligence is causing an unprecedented environmental disaster." At least Rand took out time to also intensely whine about the criticism he received yesterday.

But, maybe we're being too harsh on Raaaaaaaaandy. As Orrin Hatch explained
“If I were you guys I’d give him a little leeway,” Hatch told reporters. “He just got elected. It’s a tough thing for him to get in the middle of this cauldron.”
Yeah, it's his first day on the job. How's he supposed to know criticizing one of the landmark bills in US history and openly endorsing the right to discriminate would make him look like an ass? C'mon, lay off.

I don't know, Rand, what's on tap for tomorrow? Feel a need to praise the Pope's handling of the whole child molestation thing? Opine on the sporting excellence of the Pittsburgh Pirates? Start an intensive discussion on all the good policy ideas Hitler had? Talk about the chilling effects the Emancipation Proclamation had on business; especially the cotton industry? Whatever it is, I'm sure you'll do it in your trademark smug, entitled style. Never pausing to actually think about how what you're saying sounds. Keep it up, Rand. We need a new punching bag now that Palin and Bachmann have seemingly learned to shut up.

FinReg

Our elected betters finally deigned it important enough to get off their asses and cobble together some shambling document that they could all claim was financial "reform". The vote was 59-39 in favor as was notable for a few Democrats with principles jumping to vote against and a few Republicans without principles jumping to vote for. Then bank stocks rose after the bill passed. Not great signs. While tackling a broad cross section of issues and new forms of regulation the Senate bill didn't seem to think it was important to address "too big to fail".

Yeah. They probably should have done that. Not like it was too recent a problem or anything.

As I know little about what constitutes smart policy vs. glaring horrific oversights in this bill, as well as what crafty loopholes our betters put in to keep Wall Street able to shove its blood funnel into America's money orifice, I turn over the pros and cons to America's foremost bearded economist: Paul Krugman.
What’s good? Resolution authority, which was sorely lacking last year; consumer protection; derivatives traded through clearinghouses; ratings reform, thanks to Al Franken; tighter capital standards for big players, although with too much discretion to regulators.

What’s missing? Hard leverage limits; size caps; not much in the way of restoring Glass-Steagall. If you think that too big to fail is the core problem, it’s disappointing; if you think that shadow banking is the core, as I do, not too bad.

Now, the truth is that we won’t know how good a reform this is until the next crisis (which is very different from health care, where there will be ample opportunities to learn from experience.) And the new system clearly won’t be robust to really bad leadership: once President Palin appoints Ron Paul as Treasury Secretary, all bets are off.

But I still think this counts as a qualified win.
Ahh, way to slap a silver lining on my grey cloud. Bastard. Edmund Andrews also paints a nice coat of happy on things as well. If you wish to further understand what just happened, the NYT has a nice little graphic up about what's happening, the differences between the House and Senate bills, and good ideas that were shouted down.

So what next? The House and Senate hammer out the differences in their version. Which is to say the Senate goes "Hey, it's a complete shitshow over here. You have to take our version and pass it." like they do on every bill.

Luckily, macho gamesmanship and threats of "You don't have the balls to do it!" "Yeah?" "Yeah!" "Fuck it! We're doin' it then!" has led to the negotiations being televised. So we have that entertainment to look forward to. Great financial reform legislation? Not so much. But it isn't as bad as it could have been. That counts as a tremendous win in today's American political arena.

Your daily update of what constitutes education in Texas

You have to admire the education board goon in Texas. They've become national pariahs and jokes, they've become a symbol for all that's wrong in our educational system and prioritizing politicization and ideologies over facts, and they've even engendered the beginning of a backlash in their state. Yet still they go on, rewriting history so that maybe, just maybe, kids will have a more positive view of the Republican Party and definitely, definitely have to retake a bunch of basic, high school level history courses if they want to meet the minimum requirements to graduate from college.

So what constitutes history today? What race has been getting it too good in our history books? What awful historical event needs whitewashed? What relatively unimportant event within the conservative movement needs to replace a bit of actual history? Let us find out.
Several changes include... introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.

The new curriculum asserts that "the right to keep and bear arms" is an important element of a democratic society. Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology.
...
The education board has dropped references to the slave trade in favour of calling it the more innocuous "Atlantic triangular trade", and recasts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as driven by Islamic fundamentalism.
...
Dunbar backed amendments to the curriculum that portray the free enterprise system (there is no mention of capitalism, deemed to be a tainted word) as a cornerstone of liberty and argue that the government should have a minimal role in the economy.

One amendment requires that students be taught that economic prosperity requires "minimal government intrusion and taxation".
...
On the education board, Dunbar backed changes that include teaching the role the "Jewish Ten Commandments" played in "political and legal ideas", and the study of the influence of Moses on the US constitution. Dunbar says these are important steps to overturning what she believes is the myth of a separation between church and state in the US.
Ahh Newton you hack, go sit with Jefferson on the swings, we need to learn how George Wallace is the exact same kind of fighter for racial rights as MLK (true, according to Texas curriculum). And thank God the softened the language on the slave trade. Otherwise kids might get an idea that slaves were the only thing being traded. I think some tools and a couple barrels of molasses were involved.

Finally someone is willing to stand up and say that the separation of church and state is a myth. Sure, some wags might point out that it's in the 1st Amendment or that Thomas Jefferson talked about how the combined effects of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause in the 1st formed a separation of church and state. But if Jefferson was so important, wouldn't he be part of Texas educational guidelines?

Go read the article and get a little insight into the mind of the Texas school board. The phrase "paranoid persecution fantasies" and "rampant flag eating bullshit" don't even begin to explain their mindset. They believe that God has called them to indoctrinate kids with conservative dogma. Kind of frightening to think about what they'd try to pull if they thought no one was paying attention and they weren't being made national lightening rods. Then again, maybe schoolchildren haven't learned enough about President Jesus H. Christ and His victorious fight against the Kaiser.

Ad of the day

Nike on the World Cup and the moment to moment declaring Godhood/wishing death that fans go through as a game progresses.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cheap Blogging Crutch - 5.20.10

Happy Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!

Hey, Internet, can you keep a secret? Good. I have something to confess. Remember a few days back when Miss USA won the scandalous competition after pictures of her pole dancing surfaced? I really should have mentioned it at the time, but I'm the pole. Yeah, I know, conflict of interest and such. But if you'd been me, would you have stopped her? Exactly. Envy me. And now, for delicious linkage:

As
some five or six of you might have noticed, the World Cup begins three weeks from tomorrow. Given that most of our audience is American -- no, we haven't forgotten about our loyal following in Slovenia -- we wanted to pass along this handy guide from The Unlikely Fan, which translates the personalities and skill levels of all 32 World Cup qualifiers into easily recognizable American sports franchises.

Pennsylvania Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett has subpoenaed Twitter in an attempt to identify anonymous critics. We, for two, are shocked, SHOCKED that a state AG who, for purely political purposes, joined in baseless lawsuits questioning the constitutionality of health care reform turned out to be a thin-skinned prick willing to bend the law in order to intimidate and punish anyone who criticizes him. The best part? This awful jackass is going to force Matthew to vote for Dan Onorato.

Tea Party champion and enemy to balanced breakfasts everywhere, Rand Paul, won the Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky largely on his reputation as an enemy of federal spending and its overwhelming effect on our daily lives. That is, he's an enemy of federal spending unless cuts would take some of those juicy Medicare dollars out of his pocket. Yeah, that Libertarian streak always runs real hard... right up until its proponents have to apply it to themselves. I guess he's just not that big on the "hard parts of freedom," unless they're being endured by black people.

With all the recent oil spill coverage (ha!), Texas school board fuckery, and election news, the Catholic Church has been getting a bit of a pass on TheseBastards. First, we would like to apologize. Won't happen again. Second, we would like to point out that in Catholicism, if a Priest rapes and tortures innocent children, he is moved to another parish. If a nun at a Catholic hospital allows a woman to undergo a life-saving abortion procedure, she is excommunicated. Think if she'd raped either mother or fetus, they'd have let her stay on?

We leave you, on this glorious Thursday, with the best piece from this week's Onion.

Broken News: Rand Paul Unwilling to Articulate Alternative to Waffles

FRANKFORT, KY--Two days after trouncing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the state's Republican Senate primary, upstart conservative candidate Rand Paul has begun to lay the policy framework for this November's election.

"My victory in this primary sends a message, loud and clear, to the breakfast establishment. No more will the American people tolerate batter or dough-based cakes cooked in a waffle iron to give a distinctive shape," said Paul at a press conference held outside his offices in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

When asked by one journalist if he was advocating wider ingestion of alternative breakfast foods such as cereal, pancakes, or perhaps an omelette, Paul grew visibly irritated.

"I'm sure the liberal media would love to paint me as an omelette advocate," sneered Paul. "But this is not about carefully considered logical alternatives to a dominant institution. This is not about building consensus around new and better ideas. This is about cantankerous politicking fueled by a vague, largely irrational opposition to an abstract idea. That is why the good people of Kentucky nominated me and that is why, come November, they will send me to Washington."

Of course this answer led to the question of whether this was part of a broader attack on the institution of breakfast itself.

"Look," Rand said, pausing to mark his place in the Fountainhead with his objectivist boner. "I'm not against the concept of breakfast; I've had breakfast many times before. I'm just against the government decreeing, with their oppressive food pyramids, that the morning shall be the time for these Belgian cakes and raisined brans. The hard part of freedom is allowing people to eat a grilled Reuben the second they wake up, not advising that they partake in eating a muffin or grapefruit wedge."

Rand closed by stating that he was not being an "self-absorbed, up-his-own-ass, navel gazing prick" about this to a disbelieving audience, before congratulating himself for his bravery in speaking out for his beliefs.

The important questions

As asked by our friends at CNN


I'm going to go with spy. Clearly a spy. Hiding in plain sight on a stripper pole.

Actually, what with womens having all the new rights and privileges and stuff in this the 21st Century, I'm going to say she could very well be both. She's a multi-tasker.

Just a reminder, American Muslims: no there is nothing you can do in this country without large scale accusations of you being a terrorist, a terrorist-sympathizer, or symbolizing "teh choking of teh freedomz by teh encroaching moozlam menace!" Not even beauty pageants. Sorry.

Picture of the day

It's been hard going as of late for the Picture of the Day feature. Well, unless you want to see another photo of an oil covered turtle or something. But we decided that maybe it was time to stop the focus on man made environmental disaster and start focus on naturally occurring ones. Namely the Mount St. Helens eruption, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. If you can "celebrate" such a thing.

See, Mother Nature can be just as destructive as oil corporations. I'm sure we'll be hearing that from a BP executive any day now.

So, via the Big Picture Blog: Mount St. Helens, 30 years ago to today. Also, as a bonus... because I'm lovely: a 30 year time lapse video of Mount St. Helens' recovery... as seen from space






Quote of the day

Look, it's clear that people are overreacting to this unprecedented oil spill thingy dingy in the Gulf. I mean BP CEO Tony Hayward spelled it out for us last week when he explained that the spill was "relatively tiny" when compared to the overall size of the ocean and it's total water volume.

I mean, yeah, when you think about it, covering the entire Gulf of Mexico in oil isn't that big a deal when you consider the earth is over 70% water. Plus it's only the top of the water that's covered in oil. What about all the water underneath that's still perfectly good? What about the depth of the ocean? That's a lot of water, BP could have only massively polluted a small fraction of it. When you think about it, taken against the entirety of human achievement and failure, this is only a small failure on Heyward's part.

Proving that no one in BP's PR Department was brave enough to smack him in the back of the head and ask Heyward what the fuck he was doing, Tony went right back out there to keep hitting that line of defense.
I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest. It is impossible to say and we will mount, as part of the aftermath, a very detailed environmental assessment as we go forward. We’re going to do that with some of the science institutions in the U.S. But everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest.
Yes... modest. Very, very modest.

Plus, it's not like this is the only Gulf. If people want to see a Gulf they can go to the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Gulf of Tonkin, or the Gulf of Riga. Everyone loves Latvia, right? So when you think about how many Gulf's there are and how much ocean water there is by area and volume, it's like this didn't even happen. You hear me? THIS DIDN'T HAPPEN!

Stay classy, Rand

Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, is the GOP's candidate in Kentucky for their open Senate seat. Let's see, he's the son of Ron Paul, is named after Ayn Rand, claims to be a libertarian, and was elected by a combination of Paulites and fervent teabaggers. Gee, there's just so much to like there. I bet he's not an asshole at all.
INTERVIEWER: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that.

INTERVIEWER: But?

PAUL: You had to ask me the “but.” I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant—but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.
Ah yes, he's so committed to freedom and the flag that he realizes that large parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Act need to be removed. But he's not racist. He hates racism. He just wants to strip huge chunks out of civil rights legislation so that people can be more free to discriminate on racial grounds.As he goes on to explain, sometimes in a free society we have to tolerate "boorish people". "Boorish people" being sixties era Southern racists. Wonderful people they all were.

Hey, no worries though. He's theoretically against racism and discrimination. Just tacitly against laws that do anything about them.

Hey, at least he didn't come off as a smug prick during a separate interview with Rachael Maddow where he expressed the exact same thoughts. Oh wait... At least there he had the class to reduce the struggle people went through fighting for civil rights as "not a very practical discussion" and a mere "philosophical debate". At least he realized his mistake today... talking to Rachael Maddow in the first place.

Stay classy, Rand. You and your "libertarian" tea baggers. We'll get those segregated lunch counters back, buddy. We'll get them back. Fuck those cripples too.