ProgressVirginia reported Tuesday afternoon that the Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee killed Sen. Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr.’s electoral college-rigging bill, despite an offer by Carrico to amend the bill to award electors in proportion to the state’s popular vote. The vote was 11-4 against the bill, although it will not be official until the close of the committee meeting.
Vincent Van Gogh captures Spring. Open thread below...
I am a big cryer. Ask my kids, they're embarassed for me. There are just some things that reduce me to tears in no time at all.
Natalie Merchant's voice and lyrics get me teary each and every time I listen to her. I was pregnant with my eldest when her song "Wonder" came out and I couldn't get through it without tears rolling down my face, no matter how many times I heard it. Still get a catch in my throat just thinking about it.
So when I went looking for "Kind and Generous" to include in my last bobblehead thread, I found out that Natalie Merchant has a new album (are they even called albums anymore?) being released May 6th, and the first track is "Giving Up Everything".
And yes, she did it to me again. I'm crying.
Goodbyes are also a big crying opportunity. I don't do well with them, so I tend to avoid it as much as possible. So this isn't a goodbye from me. I'll be back.
So my last themed LNMC: whose music just moves you to tears?
My husband, the attorney, has a golden rule for asking questions of a witness in a trial: never ask a question in such a way that you don't already know what will be the answer.
I can only presume that David Gregory, rather than playing at being a journalist and letting facts unfold as they will and informing his viewership, decided that he was in fact an advocate for a cause. However, he is such an inept one that he found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to constantly interrupt DNC Chair and Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz rather than let her finish a sentence that might be good for populism.
Moreover, for the comfortably ensconced David Gregory, all these issues--the Keystone XL pipeline, the Affordable Care Act, the 2016 midterm elections though political lenses...not how if affects people and chides Wasserman-Schultz a few times for "arguing on the merits".
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, that's Legislation 101. I mean, that is how we have handled laws and their evolution throughout American history. The president is right, and Jeanne Shaheen is right. We have a law that is working: 8 million people have gained health care coverage as a result of signing up for the Affordable Care Act plans. 129 people with pre-existing conditions no longer have to be worried about being dropped or denied coverage; I'm one of them, as a breast cancer survivor. You have millions of seniors who are paying lower costs on their prescription drugs.
When I read The Shock Doctrine for the first time, I wrote that it was a little like watching pieces of a puzzle fall before me and being able to see the larger picture for the first time ever. It completely changed the way I filter news and issues.
I've been watching the events in Ukraine and the American response to it with an eye to how this would be exploited. When I read the Big Oil was taking meetings with Putin and ignoring the threat of sanctions, I realized that the Shock Doctrine was in play in Ukraine as well. The author, Naomi Klein, has noticed the same thing:
Now the crisis du jour is conflict in Ukraine, being used as a battering ram to knock down sensible restrictions on natural gas exports and push through a controversial free-trade deal with Europe. It's quite a deal: more corporate free-trade polluting economies and more heat-trapping gases polluting the atmosphere – all as a response to an energy crisis that is largely manufactured.
Against this backdrop it's worth remembering – irony of ironies – that the crisis the natural gas industry has been most adept at exploiting is climate change itself.
I have to admit, this made me giggle when I saw it.
With the spectre of the horrific events of last year's Boston marathon, it's not particularly surprising that the media was focused on tomorrow's events and the security preparations surrounding it. MSNBC's Craig Melvin threw an intro to Ron Mott, who was there to cover preparations at Boston Common.
But in addition to being Easter, today is 4/20, which is celebrated nationally as "Weed Day."
Every April 20th weed smokers all over the country “observe” a sort of underground holiday of sorts, where marijuana is consumed on or around 4:20 pm — and depending on the circumstances, for an entire day.
As far back as pot smokers can remember this “Weed Day” has been celebrated, but few can accurately recall its origins.
Some credit the seminal ’60s rock band The Grateful Dead. Supposedly some Dead fans coined the term “420-ing” when determining the best time and location to use the illegal drug.
“420 started somewhere in San Rafael, California in the late ’70s. It started as the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress. After local heads heard of the police call, they started using the expression 420 when referring to herb — Let’s Go 420, dude!” read a flyer distributed by Deadheads in the early ’90s.
(h/t Heather the Amazing for vid)
I'm trying to wrap my head around what the media elites think foreign policy is supposed to be. Clearly, there's a distinct disregard for human lives, be it Russian, Ukranian or American. The overarching need appears to be dick-swinging to prove who has the biggest one hanging. Seriously, it's a Freudian wet dream to listen to these guys.
So that's why Dancin' Dave Gregory is so worried that Putin isn't learning the "right lessons" by our lack of military aggression towards him. What are these lessons, Dave? That we're packing bigger 'guns'? And what does that mean? That every country should concede we are the "big man" on the global campus? Why? I'm still confused as to why we should feel obligated to be involved in what's happening in Ukraine. It's not for the sake of global peace to hear Gregory speak about it. It's all about being the alpha dog and establishing dominance.
Ahem...that's not global peace, you nimrod.
And as for Putin feeling no penalty for his actions, I'm more concerned by the consequences that we don't apply in this country and what that means for the continued existence of this republic. Entities like the Bush administration and Wall Street have done more to devastate the lives and well-being of Americans than Vladimir Putin could ever do with his actions in Ukraine, and they've not only gotten off scot-free, they're lauded as supermen by the Beltway elites.
Fox News media analyst Lauren Ashburn speculated on Sunday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have "planned" her daughter Chelsea's pregnancy to coincide with a 2016 presidential bid.
After the younger Clinton announced that she was expecting a child last week, so-called "Chelsea Truthers" in the conservative media began dropping hints that the timing may not have been a coincidence.
During a Sunday panel segment on Fox News' Media Buzz, host Howard Kurtz asked, "Are we perhaps over-analyzing, over-thinking what ought to be a routine, joyous occasion?"
"You've been in this town for how many years, and you don't have a cynical bone in your body?" Ashburn quipped. "I think a lot of reporters think maybe this was planned."
"Maybe this was planned!" Kurtz exclaimed. "You don't think that Chelsea Clinton and her husband are entitled to try to have a baby whenever they want? And by the way, if it was going to be planned, it would be planned for next year when the campaign might actually be underway!"
Fox News contributor Jim Pinkerton offered the theory that the pregnancy "was a happy providential event, and then the mainstream media, trying to help Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign, decided to make this baby the royal baby."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan says that Christian businesses like Hobby Lobby should not be forced to obey government rules that require all health care insurance plans provide access to contraceptives because women can already buy birth control at 7-11.
In a interview that aired Sunday on CBS, host Norah O'Donnell asked Dolan where he stood on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.
"I would be inspired by the Hobby Lobby [owners]," Dolan said. "I think they're just true Americans. They're saying, look, the genius of America is that religious convictions affect the way we act... They sure have my admiration."
"But doesn't that set a dangerous precedent?" O'Donnell wondered. "If a private company can use religion to deny benefits to its employees?"
Dolan acknowledged that it could be dangerous in extreme circumstances, but he doubted that the Hobby Lobby argument was a detriment to the common good.
"Is the ability to buy contraceptives, that are now widely available -- my Lord, all you have to do is walk into a 7-11 or any shop on any street in America and have access to them -- is that right to access those and have them paid for, is that such a towering good that it would suffocate the rights of conscience?"
This Week with George Stephanopoulos notes the death of one service member in Afghanistan:
US Army SPC Kerry M G Danyluk, 27, Cuero, TX
The total number of allied service members killed in Afghanistan is now 3,431. There have been 22 casualties to date in Afghanistan this year.
In addition, the following notable names lost their lives this week:
Rev. Franklin Graham on Sunday said that he stood by earlier comments agreeing with so-called gay "propaganda" bans in Russia because President Vladimir Putin was doing "what's right" for the country.
During a March interview with the Charlotte Observer, Graham had asserted that LGBT people were trying to "recruit" children by adopting them, and suggested that it was "exploitation."
He also said that he "agreed" with Putin because "protecting his nation's children was a pretty smart thing to do."
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Graham doubled down on his praise of the Russian president.
"Putin is going to do what's right for Russia, and not what's right for America, but for Russia," he opined. "We used to have a president in this country that did what's right for this country, but we don't seem to have that right now."
"Putin is going to make these decisions that he thinks is best for the Russian people, and he thinks that taking advantage of children -- exploiting children -- is wrong for any group so they passed a law," Graham added. "So, I do agree with him."
When asked about his father, Rev. Billy Graham, he again brought the discussion back around to the issue of same-sex parents.
And the wanking never dies.
The NY Times' David Brooks is a platinum card-carrying wanker of the highest order as he and other conservatives continue to portray President Obama as Weak and Weaker in matters of foreign policy. If Democratic politicians had attacked George Bush in this way during his presidency, the Beltway and right wing villagers would have attacked and vilified them as traitors for sure.
Even Chuck Todd joins the David Brooks party when he parroted Bill O'Reilly's crazy Doomsday scenario.
Here's Brooks on presidential testicles:
DAVID BROOKS: And, let's face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a (I'll say it crudely) but a manhood problem in the Middle East: Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair. But certainly in the Middle East, there's an assumption he's not tough.
Brooks' crack analysis is that in foreign affairs, if you talk tough and threaten military action at every turn, then you've got balls of steel, but if you try to find solutions without sounding like a nut, you've been castrated.
Chuck Todd then outlined Bill O'Reilly's psycho worldwide doomsday theory which was instigated because Obama just hasn't been "alpha male" enough while going up against the very manly Putin. This is truly mind boggling.
Poor widdle Sharyl Attkisson, victim of that crusading liberal bias in the media. She knew she had no chance to do the kind of journalism she wanted to do when the suits at CBS News started questioning her story pitches.
Why, they didn't want her to report anything bad about the administration, donchaknow?
It had nothing to do with the irresponsibility of her reporting, right? Just because she...
Elizabeth Warren continues to give her best Shermanesque reply that she's not running for President in 2016.
Elizabeth Warren is a freshman Senator from Massachusetts whom some Democrats are talking up as a Presidential candidate -- reason enough for Mark Strassmann to seek her out for some Questions-And Answers:
If you ask many progressives voters from Harlem to Hollywood, they'll say a woman should run for president in two years: Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The Massachusetts Democrat is both revered and reviled; her style is aggressive, and her message is economic populism ("Everyone who works hard and plays by the rule should have a real chance to get ahead."), that Main Street is under siege by Wall Street.
"How can it be," she told Strassmann, "that if you're just big enough and you commit big enough crimes, that there's no one out there who wants to hold you accountable? This is the consequence, again, of too much concentration of money and power."
Fox News contributor George Will on Sunday argued that the United States Supreme Court had inadvertently made President Barack Obama's health care reform law unconstitutional when the justices ruled that it was not unconstitutional.
In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court decided in 2012 that the Affordable Care Act's individual insurance mandate fell within Congress' power to levy taxes.
Almost two years later, Will used this decision to bolster the idea that Republicans could run for office in the 2014 midterms on the platform of destroying the health care reform law.
"On May 8, here in the second-most important court in the land -- the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- there will be an argument that this is objectively a revenue measure," Will explained. "The Supreme Court said as much, a tax measure."
"It did not originate in the House. And under the standards of origination, the whole thing is unconstitutional," he added. "So this argument, again, is far from over."
The Atlantic's Jack Balkin pointed out in 2012 that past Supreme Court decisions had held up laws with tax amendments that had been added to bills by the Senate.
Fox News broke the news Easter morning that the image of Jesus Christ had been found on a pancake, and even had a Catholic priest on hand to evaluate the breakfast food prior to a segment about the "War on Easter."
KABC on Friday reported that employees at a Southern California restaurant were making a "Mickey Mouse" pancake for a child customer when the "face of Jesus" appeared on the pancake.
"A pancake cooked up on Good Friday had an image of Jesus Christ," Fox & Friends host Wendell Goler told Father Jonathan Morris on Sunday.
"It looks like Forest Gump when he was running," co-host Ainsley Earhardt pointed out.
"Or John Lennon," co-host Clayton Morris added.
"Is it Jesus?" Goler laughed.
"Let's ask Father Jonathan Morris to weigh in on it," Morris said, turning to the Fox News contributor.
"I did not make that pancake, and I don't claim that is Jesus," Morris insisted. "For the record."
"Jesus is not a pancake!" Earhardt announced.
From this Friday's PBS Newshour, NYT's columnist and regular, David Brooks did his best to downplay the antigovernment 'Patriots' that gathered near the scene of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's dispute over cattle grazing rights.
It looks like Bobo and Dana Milbank were reading the exact same set of talking points, with both of them claiming that this protest in no way is representative of a rebirth of the militia movement. Brooks wants us to believe these people only engaged in "pseudo-militia activity" and that they're "otherwise politically un-ideological." I would beg to differ.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, David, is this something — I mean, does this man have a legitimate grievance against the federal government?
DAVID BROOKS: Not the way he’s doing it.
I mean, he’s self-discrediting, the way he’s doing it. You know, you go out West and you hear grievous against the BLM constantly. There’s — and I think there’s probably a lot of frustration with working with the BLM. But it comes in waves. And I would not say we’re at a high wave.
Frankly Curious: Those who pay no income tax aren't so "lucky".
Fair and Unbalanced: Monsters seldom realize they're monsters, and often, neither do we.
Sarah Jones: The readers at fringe-right sites aren't quite what they say, but they're what you'd expect.
Earth-Bound Misfit: Remember real history, not worthless thugs.
Blog round-up by Infidel753. Tips to mbru [at] crooksandliars [dot] com.
Natalie Merchant--"Kind and Generous"
I hope the Easter Bunny has left some yummy treats out for you. As Easter is the season of rebirth, perhaps it won't surprise you to read that this is my last Bobblehead post with you fine people, for at least a little while. I have an opportunity to pursue a project I've been working on and off on a more full-time basis, so I'm going to focus on that until at least the end of the year.
And frankly, I have begun to change my mind about the Sunday news shows. For years, I insisted to everyone who asked me how I could stand to monitor the shows that it was important to focus on how the Beltway Bubble framed the debates to all of us , the "bungled and the botched" masses. But frankly, now that we have studies confirming what we've suspected for years: we are an oligarchy. And moreover, as the inequality beomes more entrenched, it's killing those of us not privileged to be among the elites, literally. So I don't know that it matters any more what they want us to believe. It's wrong. Period. It's all designed to promote the oligarchy.
Sarah Manning is looking for her daughter and she's pissed. The second season of the wonderful BBC America's Orphan Black premiered Saturday night and it picked up right where season one left off, both in plot and excellence. I'm not going to write up a full recap, but I will say it was the best new show of 2013 and it made Tatiana Maslany an instant star.
If you haven't seen the show yet, I'm sure BBC America has it on VOD and it's also streaming for free on Amazon Prime if you have an account. Believe me, it is worth your time. As I re-watched the season one finale Endless Forms Most Beautiful, I realized who my favorite clone is from the 2013. All the characters were completely fleshed out by Tatiana so there's not one right choice. Are you ready? Allison Hendrix. There's something about her frenetic character that makes me laugh. Maybe I have a secret passion for soccer moms? I loved Helena too, but she was killed by Sarah and I wanted to choose someone who's in the second season.
So far there's been eleven clones uncovered: