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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Today in History

97 To placate the Praetorians of Germany, Nerva of Rome adopts Trajan, the Spanish-born governor of lower Germany.
1553 Michael Servetus, who discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood, is burned for heresy in Switzerland.
1612 A Polish army that invaded Russia capitulates to Prince Dimitri Pojarski and his Cossacks.
1791 President George Washington transmits to Congress the results of the first US census, exclusive of South Carolina which had not yet submitted its findings.
1806 Emperor Napoleon enters Berlin.
1809 President James Madison orders the annexation of the western part of West Florida. Settlers there had rebelled against Spanish authority.
1862 A Confederate force is routed at the Battle of Georgia Landing, near Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana.
1870 The French fortress of Metz surrenders to the Prussian Army.
1873 Farmer Joseph F. Glidden applies for a patent on barbed wire. Glidden eventually received five patents and is generally considered the inventor of barbed wire.
1891 D. B. Downing, inventor, is awarded a patent for the street letter (mail) box.
1904 The New York subway officially opens running from the Brooklyn Bridge uptown to Broadway at 145th Street.
1907 The first trial in the Eulenberg Affair ends in Germany.
1917 20,000 women march in a suffrage parade in New York. As the largest state and the first on the East Coast to do so, New York has an important effect on the movement to grant all women the vote in all elections.
1922 In Italy, liberal Luigi Facta's cabinet resigns after threats from Mussolini that "either the government will be given to us or we will seize it by marching on Rome." Mussolini calls for a general mobilization of all Fascists.
1927 Fox Movie-tone news, the first sound news film, is released.
1941 In a broadcast to the nation on Navy Day, President Franklin Roosevelt declares: "America has been attacked, the shooting has started." He does not ask for full-scale war yet, realizing that many Americans are not yet ready for such a step.
1954 Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the US Air Force.
1962 American U-2 reconnaissance plane shot down by a surface-to-air missile over Cuba, killing the pilot, Maj. Rudolf Anderson, the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
1962 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev offers to remove Soviet missile bases in Cuba if the U.S. removes its missile bases in Turkey.
1964  The political career of future US president Ronald Reagan is launched when he delivers a speech on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
1971 The Democratic Republic of the Congo renamed Zaire.
1986 London Stock Exchange rules change as Britain suddenly deregulates financial markets, an event called the Big Bang.
1988 US President Ronald Reagan decides to tear down a new US Embassy in Moscow because Soviet listening devices were built into the structure.
1997 Stock markets crash around the world over fears of a global economic meltdown.

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Non Sequitur


Saudi women inching closer ever to the wheel

by Acil Tabbara

Saudi female activists are gearing up to test a long-standing driving ban, with more defiant women already getting behind the wheel as the authorities seem to be taking a more lenient approach.
Under the slogan "women's driving is a choice," they have called on social networks for a turn-out on Saturday in a campaign in the world's only country that bans women from driving.
"October 26 is a day on which women in Saudi Arabia will say they are serious about driving and that this matter must be resolved," said Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested and held for nine days in May 2011 for posting online a video of herself behind the wheel.
In a protest she led the following month, a number of women were stopped by police and forced to sign a pledge not to drive again.
The 34-year-old computer engineer who now lives in Dubai told AFP women have already begun responding to the call, and "more than 50 videos showing women currently driving" have been posted online during the past two weeks.
With the exception of two women who were briefly stopped by police, authorities have so far not intervened to halt any of the female motorists.
This, combined with what seems to be more social acceptance to the new phenomenon is encouraging more women to get behind the wheel along major roads across the kingdom.
A video posted on social networks this month shows a fully veiled woman driving in Riyadh as male motorists and families give her the "thumbs up" in support.
"There will be a November 26, December 26, a January 26, until authorities issue the first driving permit to a Saudi woman," said Sharif.
To reduce the risk of accidents, only women who have driving licences issued abroad are being invited to participate in the campaign. Obviously, none are issued in Saudi Arabia.
Dangerous for the ovaries?
But conservative religious figures are still opposed to women driving.
A Saudi cleric's warning last month that driving was dangerous to the health of women and of their children sparked an online wave of mockery.
"Physiological science" has found that driving "automatically affects the ovaries and pushes up the pelvis," Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaydan warned in remarks to news website Sabq.org.
"This is why we find that children born to most women who continuously drive suffer from clinical disorders of varying degrees," he said.
One female tweeter retorted: "When idiocy marries dogma in the chapel of medieval traditions, this is their prodigal child."
"What a mentality we have. People went to space and you still ban women from driving. Idiots," said another comment.
Women who have been calling for three decades for the right to drive in the ultra-conservative kingdom have learned that public gatherings can get them in trouble in the absolute monarchy where any protests are officially banned.
In 1990, 47 women were arrested and punished after demonstrating in cars. The minister of interior subsequently banned women from driving but no law was ever promulgated.
This time, "there will be no demonstrations or rallying points," activist Aziza al-Youssef told AFP.
Youssef spoke of "positive indications" from authorities. In particular, she cited the chief of the notorious religious police, Sheikh Abdullatif al-Sheikh, and Justice Minister Mohammed al-Issa affirming this year that no religious text bans women from driving.
Even so, Saudi Arabia's appointed advisory Shura Consultative Council rejected on October 10 a move by three female members to put the ban up for discussion.
Activists argue that driving does not violate Islamic law (sharia) as claimed by conservatives who support the ban.
"Just as wives of the (Muslim) Prophet (Mohammed's) companions travelled on camel and horseback, it is our right to drive using the transportation means available during our modern era," activists said in an online petition linked to Saturday's campaign.
The petition has amassed more than 16,000 signatures since September, despite being blocked only two weeks after its launch.
In another argument, activists point to the kingdom's underdeveloped public transport system and say many families cannot afford to hire drivers.
"My salary is 3,500 riyals (around $941/682 euros) and a driver costs me 1,200 riyals," a divorced mother wrote on the campaign website.
Women's rights have always sparked controversy in the kingdom.
King Abdullah's appointment of 30 women to the 150-member Shura Council in January drew protests from radical clerics in the kingdom.
His predecessor, king Saud, had to dispatch troops to protect the first girls' school in the 1960s.
For Sharif the campaign aims to push women in the kingdom to demand "rights which are even more significant than the right to drive."
Diplomats at a UN review of Saudi Arabia's human rights record on Monday condemned the kingdom's failure to abolish a system requiring women to seek permission from male relatives to do basic things such as leave the country, and criticised the ban on driving.
Saudi women, forced to cover from head to toe, still need permission from a male guardian to travel, work and marry.

Did you know ...

That the world will have new climates by mid-century

That prisons are big business

That James Baker says repugicans are the losers in the shut down

That old people aren't necessarily bigots

Answer: Because He's Black, That's Why

Question: Why do teabaggers hate their President?

The examples are plentiful: Rep. Joe Wilson shouting "You Lie!" to Obama.  

Rep. Ted Yoho (FL) responding with "I'm not gonna comment" when asked if Obama's a "born American." Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) saying he doesn't want to be associated with Obama because "it's like touching a tar baby." 
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) telling supporters "I stood 12 feet away from the guy, and couldn't stand being there." 
Or Sen. Dick Durbin recalling how Boner told the president "I can't even stand to look at you."  
And then there was Newt Gingrich's bizarre statement that we can only begin to comprehend Obama's actions if we understand "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior."
Do I even need to bring up Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Trump, Lush Dimbuld and other repugican leaders?

What does all this point to? 

A visceral hatred of Obama because he's black. 
Anyone who refutes this charge is either a racist themselves, monumentally naive, in supreme denial or all of the above.
The tea party, and even many "mainstream" repugicans I'm sure, are sickened by the fact that
a black man lives in the White House. 

With his black wife. And black children. 
These are bigoted people who grew up in an America where the only black people walking around the White House were servants. 
They're disgusted, angry, resentful and frustrated that a black man is the most powerful person in the world; a job that's been reserved for whites since the birth of America.


The repugicans Set The Constitution Ablaze While Killing One Million American Jobs

Since 2009, repugicans have broken their oath of office repeatedly by deliberately undermining the government's ability to function and creating as much economic damage by killing Americans' jobs.…
At the beginning of each session of Congress, every member swears a straightforward oath that they will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and “faithfully discharge the duties of the office.” One of their duties is keeping the government running and paying its bills, but since January 2009, repugicans have broken their oath of office repeatedly by deliberately undermining the government’s ability to function and creating as much economic damage as possible with an emphasis on killing Americans’ jobs. It is likely teabaggers and repugicans do not understand the purpose of the Constitution, and it is curious because it is concisely stated in the preamble that says, “We the People, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general Welfare.” Obviously, repugicans violated their oath when they closed the government on October 1st and threatened to default on its debts that exposed their purpose of preventing domestic tranquility and undermining the general welfare of the people and the government. Last week, 18 repugicans in the Senate and 144 in the House violated their oath again when they voted to default on the government’s debts and against re-opening the government that damaged private sector businesses as well as cost the nation $24 billion.
The repugicans’ latest legislative malfeasance was a continuance of their three-and-a-half year crusade to keep the government in crisis that has cost Americans over one million jobs and reduced GDP growth by 0.3% each year that translates into nearly one percentage point of economic damage since repugicans won control of the House in 2010.  Despite killing jobs and retarding economic growth with their numerous fiscal crises, wingnuts are panting to increase economic damage in the future by removing or replacing any repugican who did not vote for a default and continued shut down by electing candidates who will “not look to meet in the middle.” Apparently, the shutdown that killed 120,000 American jobs and reduced fourth quarter GDP by at least 0.6% was not enough damage for extremist wingnuts and they are livid with repugicans that Rafael Cruz saiddamaged the repugican brand” by “caving” and fulfilling their oath of office.
If Americans thought freakoid revolutionaries like Ted Cruz (tb-TX) and Mike Lee (tb-UT) were discouraged by their low approval ratings and damage they wrought on the repugican cabal, they can rest assured there are more wing-nuts waiting in the wings to join them and disavow their oath of office and the U.S. Constitution. The teabaggers’ goal was best summed up by then-candidate Cruz who said in 2011 that it would “fundamentally shift the character of the Senate if the five or six strong conservatives elected to the Senate in 2012 became 10 or 12,” and it portends more damage to America and its people from wingnut extremists panting to win seats in the Senate and begin shredding the Constitution on the way to dismantling the government.
Anti-government wingnuts are lining up at least three Cruz-like cretins to run against establishment repugicans who voted to re-open the government and pay the nation’s bills according to the Constitutional mandate that “the public debt of the United States, authorized by law…shall not be questioned.”   The three challengers said they would have voted in concert with Lee and Cruz to default on the nation’s debt unless the President paid a ransom, and would have opposed every deal that settled any of the repugicans’ fiscal crises because as Ben Sasse, a 42-year-old former Health and Human Services assistant secretary calling himself “the anti-Obamacare candidate” says; “I’m not looking to meet in the middle.” Sasse is one of the anti-constitution challengers pledging to break the oath of office if he is elected to the Senate and was promptly endorsed by the Senate wingnuts Fund that backed Cruz and Lee. Sasse is running for retiring Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns’ seat who voted according to the Constitution to pay the nation’s debts and re-open the government. The only thing Sasse has not yet touted is how breaking the oath of office and rejecting the Constitution is tantamount to fighting for liberty; a claim two other Cruz acolytes and Senate hopefuls say is what defaulting on the nation’s debt is all about.
The man challenging Senator Thad Cochran (r-MS) is Chris McDaniel, a 41-year-old Mississippi state senator who said, “I am reminded of that first revolution. I stand here with you, with the silent majority of Americans who believe we can retake this country, who still believe in liberty.” According to McDaniel, paying the nation’s debt without “concessions out of the compromise” is untenable and he claims he would have “stood and fought  because you fight every day, you get in the trenches, you do the right thing for your republic even if it hurts.”
McDaniel, like repugicans who voted for a credit default, reveals that in his dysfunctional mind rejecting the constitutional mandate to pay the nation’s debts is good for the republic even though it hurts the republic, the people, and the world’s financial system. His primary challenge so excited the wingnut Club for Growth that they immediately gave him $1 million to unseat “a career politician bankrupting our country” by paying the country’s debts. The dysfunctional thinking is only matched by the probability that a freak-of-nature like McDaniel could actually unseat an establishment repugican who faithfully discharged the duties of the office and fulfilled his sworn oath.
A South Carolina state senator, Lee Bright, is challenging Senator Lindsey Graham because he voted against Cruz and Lee to pay the nation’s debts. Bright said “I would have voted with Cruz and Lee. There’s nothing they’ve done up to this point that I disagree with. We lost, but at least we’ve got a roll call vote in the Senate, and we know which senators fought for liberty, and which ones put up the white flags before the battle started. We’ve got a list.” Bright is hopeful that more wingnut senators will put the fear into “squishy moderates” the next time Congress is expected fulfill their sworn oath to fund the government or raise the debt limit; two Constitutional obligations Senators swear to faithfully discharge as duties of the office.
It is really unclear where, or why, these dysfunctional teabaggers come up with their idea that liberty is equated with opposing the United States Constitution or a sworn oath to discharge the duties of the office they either seek or already hold. The Constitution, like the “public debt, shall not be questioned,” but for extremist conservatives the Constitution, like the oath to support and defend it, is an arbitrary concept repugicans and teabaggers will shred as they “fight for liberty” to dismantle the government because Americans twice elected an African American man as President.

Never let it be said that repugicans and fact coexist

Texas AG Admits If Minorities Voted For Us, repugicans Wouldn’t Have to Suppress Votes

In response to the DOJ's challenge of Texas's redistricting plan and voter ID laws, Attorney-General, Gregg Abbott admitted what we already know.…
Wingnuts never did embrace voting rights for women and minorities.  Paul Weyrich  said it back in the 1980′s.  The more people vote, the worse Republicans do in elections.
When the tea party’s Judson Phillips  said that restricting the vote to property owners is a “wise idea”  he was simply restating the general thrust of Paul Weyrich’s sentiments.
First they combined gerrymandering with rigged and faulty voting machines.
Vote suppression reached a level of intensity unseen since Jim Crow after the 2008 presidential election.
As we observed, wingnuts never could lose graciously.  The very notion of Americans rejecting Sarah Palin aka god’s gift to Birchers was just too much for them to take.  So rather than long for the good old days when voting was a privilege bestowed on propertied white men, state repugicans decided enough is enough. They are going to get your votes my pretties, and your ability to register too.
Of course, they underestimated our intelligence,when they claimed that vote suppression was the solution to the statistically non-existent problem of voter fraud.
Their best efforts backfired big time. In 2012, voters braved all that the tea party repugicans dished out and re-elected Barack Obama.
Since then, the Supreme Court of the United States gutted the pre-clearance formula in the Voting Rights Act and the wingnuts went to town passing laws that courts had previously ruled unconstitutional.
The excuse du jour for vote suppression is it’s just another form of gerrymandering.
Some admit, with pride, that suppressing votes gives repugicans an electoral advantage  In the tea repuglican logic, if it’s about electoral advantage, then it can’t be about racism.
In response to the DOJ’s challenge of Texas’s redistricting plan and voter ID laws, Attorney-General, Gregg Abbott admitted what we already know. Republicans want to suppress votes by racial minorities because that’s the only chance they’ve got at winning elections . Evidently, even that’s not enough suppression because Abbot wants to target women  too.  But hey, no racism was intended and no sexism intended.  This is just good old fashioned gerrymandering.
In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large repugican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the repugican cabal’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats. It is perfectly constitutional for a repugican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates. …. The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated by partisan rather than racial considerations,
Last year, Abbott claimed the purpose of ID laws was to stop voter fraud.  But the absence of evidence to support that excuse meant he had to come up with another reason to tell the courts.
This year, it’s just about cabal politics as usual.  The fact that voter ID laws disproportionately affect racial minorities is merely coincidence.  It’s about the fact that “those people” keep voting Democrat so that they can get free stuff.  If they voted repugican instead of the “food stamp” President, repugicans wouldn’t need to suppress their votes.
In reality, repugicans are trying to hold our votes for ransom just as they tried to hold the government and the economy for ransom because things didn’t go their way.

The repugicans Admit Voter-ID Laws Are Aimed at Democratic Voters

It’s been clear for a while that the voter-identification laws the repugican cabal has been pushing are aimed at suppressing Democratic constituencies. And repugicans are fessing up, says Jamelle Bouie.
When liberals decry voter-identification laws as tools for voter suppression, they aren’t arguing ex nihilo. The evidence is clear: identification requirements for voting reduce turnout among low-income and minority voters. And the particular restrictions imposed by repugican lawmakers—limiting the acceptable forms of identification, ending opportunities for student voting, reducing hours for early voting—certainly do appear aimed at Democratic voters.

Voting Rights-The South
A voter holds a voting permit and ID card at Washington Mill Elementary School near Mount Vernon, Virginia, in November 2012.

Indeed, in a column for wingnut clearinghouse WingNutDaily, longtime wingnut activist Phyllis Schlafly acknowledged as much with a defense of North Carolina’s new voting law, which has been criticized for its restrictions on access, among other things. Here’s Schlafly:
“The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that ‘early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.’

“The Obama technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote. It may take several days to accomplish this, so early voting is an essential component of the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote campaign.”

She later adds that early voting “violates the spirit of the Constitution” and facilitates “illegal votes” that “cancel out the votes of honest Americans.” I’m not sure what she means by “illegal votes,” but it sounds an awful lot like voting by Democratic constituencies: students, low-income people, and minorities.
Schlafly, it should be noted, isn’t the first repugican to confess the true reason for voter-identification laws. Among friendly audiences, they can’t seem to help it.

Last spring, for example, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai told a gathering of repugicans that their voter identification law would “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” That summer, at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation, former Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund conceded that Democrats had a point about the repugican cabal’s focus on voter ID, as opposed to those measures—such as absentee balloting—that are vulnerable to tampering. “I think it is a fair argument of some liberals that there are some people who emphasize the voter ID part more than the absentee ballot part because supposedly repugicans like absentee ballots more and they don’t want to restrict that,” he said.
One could spend hours going through the abundant evidence that these laws are meant to discourage Democratic voting.
After the election, former Florida repugican cabal chairman Jim Greer told The Palm Beach Post that the explicit goal of the state’s voter-ID law was Democratic suppression. “The repugican cabal, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for repugican cabal candidates,” Greer told the Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only ... ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’” he said. Indeed, the Florida repugican cabal imposed a host of policies, from longer ballots to fewer precincts in minority areas, meant to discourage voting. And it worked. According to one study, as many as 49,000 people were discouraged from voting in November 2012 as a result of long lines and other obstacles.

One could spend hours going through the abundant evidence that these laws are meant to discourage Democratic voting with burdens that harm blacks, Latinos, and other disproportionately low-income groups. In 2011 an Associated Press analysis found that South Carolina’s proposed voter-identification law would hit black precincts the hardest, keeping thousands from casting nonprovisional ballots. Likewise, if Alabama’s voter-ID law goes into effect, it will place its largest burden on black voters who lack acceptable forms of identification and don’t have immediate access to alternatives. And while most of these laws—which, it’s worth noting, have been passed in most of the states of the former Confederacy—provide for free identification, it’s not an easy reach. To get one in Mississippi, for instance, residents need a birth certificate, which costs $15 and requires the photo identification they don’t have. They’ll also need time to travel to the state office to pay or a computer to do the transaction online.

For the one in five Mississippians who live below the poverty line, there’s no guarantee of the time to go to an office, a computer to access the website, or a credit card to make the transaction. After all, more than 10 million American households don’t have bank accounts, and the large majority of them are low income. Most voters will know the steps they need to get an ID. They just aren’t easy to complete, and that’s the point.

So we should be thankful for Schlafly’s candor. The more repugicans acknowledge that these laws are designed to suppress the votes of blacks, Latinos, and others, the easier building a movement to stop them will be.

Ever wondered why the repugican cabal focuses on idiots ...

Well, Now you know!

That repugicans are dumb is a given ...

More evidence House repugicans are the dumbest political creatures on Earth

House repugicans discover another nefarious partisan plot by the Obama administration to use Obamacare as a weapon to freeze the repugican cabal out of the political process:

House repugicans say they're being left out of an Obamacare briefing from a White House officials who are coming to the Hill to brief Democratic allies on Wednesday. Mike Hash, who leads the HHS Office of Health Reform, is scheduled to brief Democrats on implementation of the law at the Democrats' weekly caucus meeting.

This is really awful news, because wow! The repugicans being denied access to a policy briefing for House Democrats should be the lead story in every newspaper from here to there. Because health care shouldn't be used like a pawn in the battle royal between Democrats and repugicans, am I right?

So why is that the briefing is being held at all? What dirty truth is at the bottom of this?

House Democrats requested the meeting with Hash.

Oh. House Democrats requested a briefing. A briefing that repugicans could have requested. But didn't. Because they don't give a shit about making Obamacare work. Unless they can make it work to help them win the next election. Because for them, your health is a pawn in a political struggle.

You don't need to write jokes about repugicans ...

... they write them themselves.

Meet the guy House repugicans wanted to 'guide' their oversight of Obamacare

I. Just. Don't. Even.

A 67-year old former murder suspect and American fugitive living in Central America whose drug use is legendary and who bragged about sleeping with ten 17-year old girls [aka McAfee Virus founder John McAfee] was contacted by the House repugican cabal last week to advise them on their investigation of the rollout of the Obamacare website, healthcare.gov.

Even CNBC, which reported the news, could barely suppress their shock and awe:

The House committee responsible for Obamacare oversight asked for expert guidance last week about the troubled launch of the federal Healthcare.gov site from John McAfee, the tech legend once suspected in the murder of his neighbor in Central America, CNBC has learned.
That repugican-controlled committee wanted the McAfee Associates founder to "guide our oversight and review of" the implementation of the federal marketplace selling Obamacare insurance, according to an email obtained by CNBC.com.
After arranging for McAfee to fly to D.C. to share his wisdom, CNBC reports that repugicans pulled the plug on McAfee visit last Wednesday and aren't commenting on the record about it now. Still, how on Earth did this even enter the realm of possibility? It's completely nuts, but the craziest thing of all is that this is nowhere near the craziest thing the repugican cabal has done on Obamacare this month.

The repugican cabal Harms More than ACA Site

The Rude Pundit's not in the Mood!

Let us stop talking about the goddamned healthcare.gov website for two seconds here.

Yeah, yeah, it's a programming clusterfuck of Windows Vista proportions, although repugicans bear a great deal of blame here for trying to undermine it every step of the way because they're sore loser motherfuckers whose ideological narcissism would make them suck their own dicks if they could contort themselves enough. 
But, no, no, let's not talk about the website for a moment. 
That's easy to grapple with. 
It's a big problem with a small cause.

Instead, let's turn to the real Obamacare crisis caused by repugican governors around the nation.

See, one of the underreported stories is that the main reason the Affordable Care Act will fail to
cover millions of Americans is because states run by the aforementioned cocksuckers refuse to
accept the 3 years of 100% funding for expanded Medicaid for people who are dirt poor, but not
dirt poor enough for Medicaid in its current form and who can't afford insurance because they
don't qualify for the tax credits that offset the price. 

For 25 states (it used to be 26, but Ohio got infected by sanity recently), this action alone will ensure that a large number of their uninsured citizens remain uninsured, thus potentially costing the states far, far more than accepting the funding, even in the long term, would have 

Yep, nobody tells it quite like the Rude Pundit.

I see where congress is holding hearings on the ACA web site "debacle."
How many hearings did they hold on shrub's lies that killed 5,000 soldiers?
"Not enough!"

Sarah Palin Mocks the Pregnant Diabetic Who Fainted at President Obama’s Speech

Type 1 diabetes while pregnant? Sarah Palin thinks you’re a big liar and also, she laughed when you fainted, ‘cuz pregnant ladies fainting is SO FUNNY in that pro-lifey kinda way. Palin wrote on her Facebook page,
Whether accurate or not, for some reason I found this hilarious! Am I out of bounds for cracking up when I saw this take on a nauseated Obama fan, her absentminded pal, and our President’s heroics this week? If so, penance paying I’ll accept. With the Obama White House’s total lack of transparency, it’s no wonder that some will ask whether they staged even a fainting lady in the Rose Garden. What was once a major leap in logic has become a single step because President Obama has lied so often and so blatantly (“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your plan” comes to mind!).’
“Some will ask” whether Sarah Palin is really as bitter as she appears and some others will ask if Sarah Palin ever sorted out that Paul Revere ride bit that confused her. “Some will ask”, indeed. SOME. WILL. ASK.
Palin linked to an article from Drudge by a conspiracy theorist who claimed that female audience who fainted was a fake. No, she wasn’t a fake. The fainting “nauseated Obama fan” is Karmel Allison, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes and is pregnant. This is so funny, y’all! The things Obama does to this country.
Ms. Allison’s blog on how scary her diabetes is during pregnancy:
I had been trending insulin resistant for a few days — requiring on average about 22 units of insulin per day rather than the standard 14 or 15. This was not too surprising, as — well, I suppose I meant to write a piece announcing this, but it hasn’t happened yet, so here goes nothing- I’m pregnant, and the hormonal ups and downs lead to periodic changes in insulin requirements. Still, heading into Friday night, my insulin behaved like water, and I was just pumping it in with relatively little return on investment. By the evening, I had used some 25 units for the day.
Now, being pregnant, hyperglycemia is my bogeyman. Hyperglycemia is bad bad bad. And not just standard, over 200 hyperglycemia. I now begin to panic when I hit 130 mg/dL. So before bed, when I began to climb to 120, 130, I bolused excessively and walked in circles, trying to bring myself back down. I stayed up for an extra hour, waiting, walking, bolusing. Finally I was closer to 100 mg/dL, and went to bed, annoyed to have had to stay awake longer than desired
You may think it’s not very “pro-life” to mock the fact that a pregnant diabetic fainted and then accuse her of lying, but hello: Said diabetic went to Berkley and lives in California, which means she must be an Obama worshiper who is allowed to stand next to President Obama, unlike Obama-stalker Sarah Palin, who is not allowed anywhere near POTUS.
This is unfair. So, the fainter asked for it. “Am I out of bounds for cracking up when I saw this take on a nauseated Obama fan…” Oh, gosh no, Ms. Palin, especially not in light of pallin’ around with terrorists and supporting the right to “ask questions” about the President’s birth certificate, because you know, SOME WILL ASK.
This might look all mean girl, oxymoronic “repugican feminism” but don’t hate on Ms. Palin, she can’t help it. It hurts to lose an election god promised just to you. Especially to one of those dark, “exotic” types.
But anyhoo. Sarah Palin, who crept over the border once to use the great Canadian healthcare system, now thinks the idea of 40 million Americans having access to healthcare a super bad idea because if you can’t keep your same insurance (aka, NONE, for many), well, that sucks so bad that we might as well let you die. Don’t say Palin isn’t an ideas gal.
At least Palin didn’t instruct her dwindling followers to stop and harass any pregnant diabetics who may have signed up for Obama Care like she told her cult to harass anyone with an Obama bumper sticker.
Pregnant diabetics fainting – HAHAHAHAH! SO FUNNY. Clearly no one except Sarah Palin needs health insurance.
This message was brought to you by the pro-life faction of the repugican cabal.



The most dangerous states in America

Memphis at night. 
Memphis at night. 

You might expect California or New York to top a list of most dangerous states. But in fact, neither was even in the top five for the nation’s highest violent crime rate last year.
The FBI’s latest statewide statistics offer a snapshot of the underside of the 50 states: where violent crime -- murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault -- is most common. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the states with the highest rates of violent crime in the country.
Last year violent crime rose slightly, just under 1%, after 20 years of steady decline. Crime peaked in the late 1980s, fueled by the crack cocaine epidemic. Although the exact cause of the decline remains unclear, experts have pointed to factors such as better policing, demographic changes, higher incarceration rates, a drop in cocaine use, and the introduction of a variety of social programs.
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Urban Institute senior fellow John Roman pointed out that the crime decline has not been uniform. Crime has fallen markedly in some large cities, like New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C. However, the decline has been less impressive in cities like Baltimore and Detroit, where economic and racial segregation limit the ability of the poor to move into the middle class.
The more integrated the population is, the less common serious crime is, Roman explained. Most crime is committed by people at the bottom of the economic totem pole, he said.
The apparent relationship between low income, low education and higher crime rates has been well documented, although identifying the cause and effect is still a matter of debate. It is clear, though, that these states for the most part match the national trend. Of the 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime, eight have lower rates of adults with bachelor’s degrees, and most of them had median income levels below the national figure in 2012.
Yahoo Homes is publishing the top five states here. To see the full report with the rest of the top 10, visit the 24/7 Wall St. website:
On its website, the FBI instructs readers to avoid comparing state violence because rankings tend to be simplistic and ignore factors that influence crime, as well as the different ways crimes are measured and reported. For this reason, Roman cautioned against directly comparing states based on their individual crime rates. However, because the states with the highest and lowest violent crime rates have remained consistent for many years, “this exercise is worth doing," he said. "I don’t know how you make policy without doing this kind of thing.”
24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the highest rates of violent crime per 100,000 residents. Using estimated populations and crime incidents from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, which measures incidents of eight types of violent and nonviolent crime for 2012, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the incidence of the four types of violent crime per 100,000 persons for that year: murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In addition to crime data, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed income, poverty and education statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2012, the most recent available year.
These are the most dangerous states in America.
5. South Carolina
• Violent crimes per 100,000: 558.8
• Poverty rate: 18.3%
• Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 25.1%
• Property crimes per 100,000: 3,822.2 (the highest)
South Carolina’s 18.3% poverty rate is the ninth worst in the country, and well above the U.S. average of 15.9%. Though it has been transforming itself into a hotbed of manufacturing, with companies such as Boeing and BMW opening manufacturing facilities, South Carolina has the nation’s fifth highest violent crime rate. Its murder rate of 6.9 per 100,000 is the fifth worst in the country. Its aggravated assault rate is the third worst. Roughly 25% have bachelor’s degrees, among the nation’s lowest figures.
4. New Mexico
• Violent crimes per 100,000: 559.1
• Poverty rate: 20.8%
• Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.1%
• Property crimes per 100,000: 3,600.7 (4th highest)
For many Americans, New Mexico is Taos, Santa Fe and the big nuclear laboratory at Los Alamos. It is also a poor state. Its violent crime rate is the fourth worst in the country; its forcible rape rate is also fourth worst. It has among the highest rates of drug use in the country, which is known to encourage criminal activity. Its burglary rate is second worst. “We dare not pretend this does not have an effect on our economy or our overall quality of life,” former New Mexico legislator Dennis Kintigh wrote in the Albuquerque Journal earlier this year about the levels of violence in the state.
3. Alaska
• Violent crimes per 100,000: 603.2
• Poverty rate: 10.1%
• Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 28.0%
• Property crimes per 100,000: 2,739.4 (24th lowest)
It may seem incongruous that Alaska, which has a low poverty rate and high levels of high school and college graduates, would be among the states with the worst crime rates. It has among the worst violent crime rates in part because of its forcible rape rate: 79.7 per 100,000 residents, the nation’s highest rate. (Next is South Dakota, with a rate of 70.2 per 100,000.) Also disturbing, a 2010 study suggests that 37% of women who live in Alaska say they’ve “suffered some form of sexual assault in their lives,” the Anchorage Daily News reported. Alaska is also second in aggravated assaults. While rape and assault rates are high, other crime levels are average.
2. Nevada
• Violent crimes per 100,000: 607.6
• Poverty rate: 16.4%
• Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 22.4%
• Property crimes per 100,000: 2,809.4 (23rd highest)
Nevada ranks among the worst in the country for its robbery rate, motor-vehicle theft rate and aggravated assault rate. It also ranks high in categories like burglaries and forcible rape. Much of the crime, state officials maintain, comes from the swarms of tourists who visit Las Vegas, Reno and other cities with casinos and related entertainment. Factor out the casino traffic in Reno, and local crime rates are similar to the rest of the nation, Emmanuel Barthe, a criminal justice professor at the University of Nevada Reno, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Nevada also has among the lowest high school and college graduation rates.
1. Tennessee
• Violent crimes per 100,000: 643.6
• Poverty rate: 17.9%
• Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 24.3%
• Property crimes per 100,000: 3,371.4 (10th highest)
Tennessee has the dubious distinction of having the worst violent crime rate in the country. The state was among the top 10 in the country for murders and robberies and was first for aggravated assaults, with an estimated 479.6 for every 100,000 residents. Tennessee’s 41,550 violent crimes in 2012 were up 6.8% from 2011 but down 10% from 2007, when there were 46,380 violent crimes. There were 388 murders in the state in 2012, up for a second straight year. To be fair, Tennessee’s violent streak is concentrated in some of the major metropolitan areas. Memphis’s violent crime rate was the nation’s fifth worst, while Nashville’s was the 18th worst. Like many states with high violent crime, poverty in Tennessee is acute, and high school and college graduation rates are lower than most of the country.

Woman Rides Horse to DMV to Get Her Driver's License Back

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles suspended Ashlee Owens’s license. It said that it did not have proof of her car insurance. Ms. Owens insisted that the DMV was wrong and that she had mailed it in. She made a good faith effort to resolve the problem over the phone. But the DMV kept her waiting on hold for very long periods, then hung up on her.
Over and over again.
Ms. Owens was sick of it all and decided to head down to the local DMV office to resolve the issue in person. But she was no longer legally able to drive.
So she rode her horse:
It was illegal for her to drive all the way from her home in Amelia, to Richmond, so Ashlee had a friend drive her to Richmond with a horse trailer...and that's when Ashlee, Sassy and her dog, Tuff, had their protest parade.
Ashley left Sassy and Tuff, for a tough battle. $645 dollars in fees, just to get her license back. While she was inside, the DMV came outside. Drawing a crowd of people who said, now, they've seen everything at the DMV. And after two hours…victory.
"I went in. The lady that's the head of DMV came and found me and she asked me if I was the lady with the horse outside and said ‘well come over here'. Took me to the side and she took all my paperwork upstairs and handled it immediately and sent me on my way," Ashlee said.

Random Celebrity Photos


Rockstars’ Garage: Brigitte Bardot’s Solex 2200
More pics on: http://www.claspgarage.com/2013/10/rockstars-garage-brigitte-bardots-solex.html
Brigitte Bardot

How Exactly Does the Tea Kettle Whistle?

Fresh from solving the mystery of why coffee rings form, physicists were eager to tackle life's next big question - one that has been puzzling scientists for over 100 years - namely, how does the tea kettle whistle?
In a basic sense, the reason why a tea kettle whistle when the water inside it reaches boiling temperatures, is obvious (it's the steam, duh!) But the physical source of the noise and the specific reason for the whistling sound had been unknown - until now.
Cambridge physicists Ross Henrywood and Anurag Agarwal made a series of simplified kettle whistles in a rig, then tested them by forcing air through them at various speeds and recording the sound they made. Here's what they found about how the tea kettle whistles:
Their results showed that, above a particular flow speed, the sound itself is produced by small vortices – regions of swirling flow – which at certain frequencies can produce noise.
As steam comes up the kettle’s spout, it meets a hole at the start of the whistle, which is much narrower than the spout itself. This contracts the flow of steam as it enters the whistle and creates a jet of steam passing through it. The steam jet is naturally unstable, like the jet of water from a garden hose that starts to break into droplets after it has travelled a certain distance. As a result, by the time it reaches the end of the whistle, the jet of steam is no longer a pure column, but slightly disturbed.
These instabilities cannot escape perfectly from the whistle and as they hit the second whistle wall, they form a small pressure pulse. This pulse causes the steam to form vortices as it exits the whistle. These vortices produce sound waves, creating the comforting noise that heralds a forthcoming cup of tea.
Well, that's neat, you may say, but what's the big deal about figuring that out? Henrywood explained that the whistling effect is actually quite common and figuring out how the sound is made is the first step toward getting rid of it. "The effect we have identified can actually happen in all sorts of situations - anything where the structure containing a flow of air is similar to that of a kettle whistle."
"Pipes inside a building are one classic example and similar effects are seen inside damaged vehicle exhaust systems. Once we know where the whistle is coming from, and what’s making it happen, we can potentially get rid of it," he added.

Failure to Launch

While Congress bickers and pat themselves on the back, they aren't doing anything about a grown public health threat.
Congress isn’t taking any meaningful steps to protect Americans from the ever-increasing threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the food industry, according to a new report issued on Tuesday. Every recent legislative attempt to stem the use of antibiotics in animals has been blocked by the farm and pharmaceutical industries — and public health researchers warn that’s putting Americans at risk, even though the issue could easily be prevented with additional regulation. - More

Burned girl receives face transplant that was grown on her chest

A 17-year-old girl from southeast China's Fujian Province has received a face transplant that was grown on her chest. Xu Jianmei, a resident of a small fishing village, was severely disfigured in a fire that occurred when she was five years old. She lost her chin, eyelids, and a large part of her right ear.
She was not able to receive treatment during the optimal treatment time, as her family could not afford it. But last year, the chance to get a new face came to her after doctors boldly proposed growing a new face on her chest using tissue grafted from her leg. "First, we took a piece of blood vessel fascia from her thigh and implanted it in her chest.

"Then we inserted a skin expander beneath the part of skin where the blood vessel fascia was planted, so that the part could expand and produce enough skin for her new face," Jiang Chenghong, Xu's surgeon, explained. After making sure that the tissue making up a new face can be kept alive, it can be transplanted to the patient's face.

The last stage of the surgery was completed last Monday. Xu's new face was successfully transplanted. Doctors believe that the wounds left by the surgery will heal over the next several weeks. "With her new face, she will be able to express herself in a more precise way. She will even be able to blush when her emotions change", said Jiang," but it may take a long time."

Daily Comic Relief


Research Helps Understand Dolphin Talk

The same algorithm used to find tunes in music retrieval systems has been successfully used to identify the signature whistles of dolphins, according to research done at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis […]

Aboriginal Hunting Practice Increases Animal Populations

In Australia’s Western Desert, Aboriginal hunters use a unique method that actually increases populations of the animals they hunt, according to a study co-authored by Stanford Woods Institute-affiliated researchers Rebecca and Doug Bird. Rebecca Bird […]

Soddy-Daisy man recovering after falling 70 feet from tree while chasing mountain lion

A man from Soddy-Daisy in Tennessee is in the hospital recovering after spending all day trapped in the woods, calling for help after a 70 foot fall from a tree on Tuesday. 33-year-old Jason Newman told rescue workers he was chasing after what he says was a "mountain lion," when he climbed out on a tree and fell. Reports say he is lucky to be alive. He has several broken bones. His neighbor Brian Henry says rescue workers should be praised for navigating the rough terrain to get Jason off the ridge.

Surfer with boxing skills fights off attacking shark

Jeff Horton says he landed about eight blows in persuading large predator to back off; board now has a crescent-shaped bite, an inch deep
 attacking shark
Jeff Horton’s surfboard, with visible bite marks, is now a souvenir.
A surfer on the Hawaiian island of Kauai claims to have used boxing skills to fend off an attacking shark that bit into his board, narrowly missing his leg.
Jeff Horton (pictured at right) was surfing earlier this week at Pila’a Beach near Kilauea. He told the Garden Island that he saw the shark, presumably a tiger shark, swimming toward him as he sat on his board.
“It came flying straight toward me,” he said.
Upon impact, Horton rolled off of his board and onto the shark, which he briefly rode before unleashing a barrage of punches.
“I started punching as hard as I could,” he said, adding that he landed about eight blows and caused the shark to back off with a knuckle punch to the eye.
Horton said he used to be a boxer, and that he was just reacting instinctively.
“I was pretty scared,” he said.
There were about 10 others in the water, watching the chaotic incident, and many others on the beach, 200 yards away.
Horton managed to climb back onto his board and paddle ashore. Aside from abrasions on his hands, he was not injured. The surfboard is left with a crescent-shaped bite mark, an inch deep.
attacking shark
Horton told the Garden Island that he was greeted with a group hug on the beach, and that a tourist gave him $50 and told him to go celebrate.
The surfer presumably complied, and said he’ll be hanging the board on his wall as a souvenir.
Will Horton continue to paddle out on another board?
“I’ll surf the rest of my life,” he said.

Humpback whale ‘punches’ an underwater photographer

Diver Chris Coates takes a hit to the head and hand from pectoral fin as whale passes within a foot; ‘scary’ moment caught on video off Africa
In boxing parlance, it was a right hook that landed. Fortunately, the swinging pectoral fin didn’t knock out cameraman Chris Coates, who got a little too close for comfort while videotaping an approaching humpback whale and its calf in waters off the eastern coast of Africa.
You can hear a whale talking, as if admonishing Coates for his role as an underwater paparazzi. And you can hear Coates grunting out some sort of message, presumably telling the whale to watch out or change course, since it was swimming right at him. JukinVideo posted the rare showdown in this video from the professional underwater cameraman:
Coates, 38, was diving off one of his favorite spearfishing spots and he told JukinVideo’s Mike Skogmo that he always takes a camera, saying “you will be amazed at some of the crazy stuff we see out there. This, however, ranks with some of the craziest I have ever seen.”
Coates had been seeing whales all day, so seeing the whale in the distance was not surprising to him.
“But I must admit, I got quite a shock when it swam right up at me,” he told Skogmo. “At one stage it was only one foot away, and even though I know that they generally don’t hurt people, it’s so big and strong, it is still scary.”
So where did the whale hit Coates?
“The whale hit me on the head and hand,” he said. “I could feel its barnacles scraping over my forehead. The slap with the fin was quite hard, but I don’t think it was trying to hurt me or it would have been way harder. It also must have hit the camera because it hit my hand that was holding the camera.”
On our card, we’re calling it a technical knockout.

Escaped bull headbutted traffic cop

A bull escaped from a truck and ran wild in the streets of a busy Romanian town on Wednesday.
The 300 kg bull had escaped from a farm near the town of Braila .

Surveillance cameras caught the bull headbutting a traffic policeman, who was later transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Finally, the bull was caught on a narrow street and tranquilized, before being taken back to the farm where it came from. It’s still unclear how the animal managed to escape.

Animal Pictures