Friday, February 05, 2016

People magazine flatly states out loud that Bristol Palin's newest child was born in November.

So People magazine has up a rather innocuous article about some new photos that Bristol posted to Instagram featuring Tripp holding Sailor Grace.

It's all mostly fluff of course, until you get to this portion:

Palin welcomed the newest addition to her family in November, announcing the news in a sweet Instagram snap of herself and her bundle of joy. 

Wait, November? 

Well that is certainly not in line with the official Palin family version of events, now is it?

Of course we have long argued that the baby was born on November 4th, but the official, Palin family approved, version states that Sailor Grace was born on December 23, 2015.

So did People magazine make a boo boo? Or do they know something that we are not supposed to know?

Jeb Bush brings his mommy onto the campaign trail with him, and then jokes that she was an abusive parent. Yeah that should help.

Courtesy of Mediaite:

Jeb Bush brought his mother Barbara Bush to a campaign rally in New Hampshire tonight and made things just a teensy bit awkward. 

Bush said he’s heard from plenty of people about how much they love his mother, before saying, “She’s not as great as everybody thinks she is. I can tell you that one.” 

“I jokingly say,” he quipped, “that when we were growing up in Midland and Houston that mom was fortunate not to have a child abuse hotline available, because the discipline of learning right and wrong was her doing.”

"Hey everybody here's my mom, but she's not really that great, and she used to beat the shit out of me when I was a kid. Hey vote for me!"

But don't worry about how awkward that was, because his Right to Rise SuperPAC completely outdid it by having his brother, you know the guy who trashed the economy and started two unnecessary wars that cost thousands of American lives, make a commercial for him.

See now you completely forgot about the fact that Barbara Bush used to physically abuse her children, because now you are in shock that anybody would think that having George W. Bush make a commercial for his brother was a good idea.

What's on the agenda for tomorrow? Will one of Jeb's kids talk about how their father's parenting forced them into a life of drug addiction?

Because you know that's a thing too.

Sarah Palin accuses Ted Cruz of being a "typical politician" and begs the Carson and Trump supporters to grab their pitchforks and torches and storm the "GOP machine."

Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz before Donald Trump bought her support.
Courtesy of the the Trump Tramp's Facebook page:  

Phony GOP Establishment Preaches "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" 

Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump are RIGHT for trying to get SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY to hear what We, the People are saying!  (I swear every time she says "We the people," I visualize it as being "We the people who have never read the Constitution.") The shenanigans in the bogus Iowa vote count tell you what the GOP machine is all about. It's sick. It rails against Obama's unethical practice of never holding his people accountable when they engage in obvious deception, yet must idolize the guy because they're doing the same thing he does. 

(I actually had NO idea what that last part meant.) 

No more politics as usual! These corrupt, unaccountable actions of typical politicians are why our Republic is in jeopardy. (She does know that this is HER party she's talking about, right?) Carson and Trump: you are right, and shame on these establishment shills and candidates for trying to sweep their deception under the rug. THIS is why the status quo has got to go. 

Carry the torch on this (You thought I was joking about the torches didn't you?), Carson and Trump supporters. Ignore the pundits telling us to sit down and shut up. Don't make our candidates do it alone. We, the People must be heard. 

- Sarah Palin

To be fair there really WERE voice mails sent out during the Iowa caucus that claimed Carson was shutting down this campaign. Whether or not that had any significant impact on the final tally is debatable.

Besides the voice mails may in fact ultimately have been accurate.

Courtesy of the Washington Post: 

Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination has struggled to keep pace with rivals, will cut more than 50 staff positions Thursday as part of an overhaul and downsizing of his campaign. 

Salaries are being significantly reduced. Carson’s traveling entourage will shrink to only a handful of advisers. And instead of flying on private jets, Carson may soon return to commercial flights.

Of course the Carson campaign claims that they are staying in the race, but isn't that what ALL failing campaigns say before they close up shop?

Let's face it nothing that happened in Iowa is going to mean jack shit in determining who will be the GOP nominee.

The only people who seem upset about this thing in Iowa anymore is Sarah Palin and, believe it or not, Karl Rove.

According to his Twitter page it looks like Trump himself is moving on to more important things.
Actually I think the fact that Palin was assigned to continue beating this dead horse is an indication of how little value Trump places on her participation in his campaign.

Bill Cosby's attempt to have his sexual assault case thrown out has been rejected. "Hey, hey, hey, you're going to pay."

Courtesy of the LA Times: 

A bid by Bill Cosby’s lawyers to have the sexual assault charges against the entertainer dismissed was rejected by a judge here Wednesday evening, clearing the way for a potential trial. 

The judge, Steven O’Neill, said that he found “no basis to grant the relief request” by the attorneys. They had mounted a case over the last two days arguing that former Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Bruce Castor had made a non-prosecution agreement with the comedian’s lawyer more than a decade ago. 

Cosby has been charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from a 2004 interaction involving drugs and alcohol with former Temple University basketball staffer Andrea Constand.

I am still not convinced that Cosby will face any jail time, but I think it will be cathartic for not only his victims, but all victims of sexual assault, to see that even money and fame cannot protect these assholes from justice.

I will predict that if Cosby is convicted of ANY of these charges that it will open a floodgate which will see multiple assault charges brought against attackers who their victims once saw as untouchable.

How much does your state support public education? Not as much as you would hope.

Courtesy of the Washington Post:

The report card is being issued Tuesday by the Network for Public Education (NPE), a nonprofit group co-founded several years ago by education historian and activist Diane Ravitch to advocate for America’s public school system. The authors evaluated states on criteria they see as promoting a professional teaching force, equitable and sufficient funding and equal opportunities for all students to succeed — all critical to the health of public schools. 

Specifically, the reports looks at how states approach high-stakes standardized testing and school finance as well as how much they promote teachers as professionals and resist privatizing public education. How states spend taxpayer money is another criterion, as is whether states promote policies that affect the income, living conditions and governmental support for students to give them all a chance to succeed in school. Some states earned A’s in a category or two but none earned higher than an overall C. 

I am both pleased to see that my state of Alaska is one of only thirteen states to achieve a grade of C, while also being horrified that C is the highest grade ANY state had achieved.

Public education is one of my sore points, and in my opinion NO state should feel satisfied with any ranking below an A, or an A- with extenuating circumstances.

However these days public education, and our teachers, are undermined, underfunded, and under empowered, and the result is dumber children, moronic adults, and voters who cannot find their asses with both hands and a road map.

Which by the way is really the driving force behind the conservative attacks on public education.

I mean come on, would an intelligent, well educated person vote for a Ted Cruz or Donald Trump?

Here's a wake up call to anybody who still thinks that Jeb! is not a Bush through and through.

Jesus, just looking at that kick starts MY PTSD.

I am not at all sure I could survive another Bush presidency.

Or a Cruz presidency, or a Trump presidency, or a Rubio presidency, or a.....hell let's just keep the whole lot of them out of the White House why don't we?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

MSNBC Democratic debate Open Thread.

Okay I think tonight is when things get real folks.

Martin O'Malley is no longer working as a buffer, the Iowa caucus (And it's confusing outcome.) is now behind us, and there have been more than a few sharp edged barbs hurled in both directions.

I think Hillary has much to prove tonight going into New Hampshire, and Bernie is going to want to define himself more completely before the media and the Clinton campaign do it for him.

I have to say that even though I felt a little done in by the last debates, and of course the Iowa caucus, tonight I have my ears perked up and my mind fully caffeinated for what could be one of the most interesting and consequential interactions between these two candidates in the entire campaign season.

And with Rachel Maddow as one of the moderators you KNOW it will be fascinating to watch. 

As always you can follow me here on Twitter and of course I will be updating this post as events dictate.

P.S. By the way here is an interesting article about the "Bernie Bros" phenomena.  

Update: This is where shit got real.

MSNBC shows more growth among viewers who don't have one foot in the grave than does Fox News or CNN.

Courtesy of NBC Universal:  

MSNBC saw the most growth in cable news for January 2016 during “Morning Joe” and Monday-Friday dayside programming (M-F 9a-5p). MSNBC’s dayside programming (M-F 9a-5p) was up 60% in A25-54 and 46% in total viewers while Fox News was up only 27% and CNN was down by 9%. MSNBC’s M-F 8-11p was up 44% in A254-54 and 45% in total viewers over last year, topping CNN which was only up 16% and tying Fox News which was only up 44% in A25-54 over last year in M-F 8-11p. January 2016 was the best M-F 8-11p demo performance for MSNBC since February 2014 and in total viewers since October 2013. M-F 9a-5p saw the highest A25-54 since March 2014. 

“Morning Joe” was up 41% in A25-54 (127,000 vs. CNN’s 115,000) and 54% in total viewers (505,000 vs. CNN’s 396,000) over last year, beating CNN in both for the month. January 2016 was the best month for “Morning Joe” since January 2014. In M-F 6-9a, Fox News was only up 13% and CNN was down 17% in A25-54. 

“The Rachel Maddow Show” beat CNN in A25-54 (244,000 vs. CNN’s 232,000) and total viewers (1,062,000 vs. CNN’s 727,000) for the month with double digit growth over last year, 59% in A25-54 and 42% in total viewers. At 9pm, CNN and Fox News were both down in A25-54 over last month. “The Rachel Maddow Show” had the best A25-54 delivery since February 2014 and best total viewers since October 2013. 

I really can't stand Morning Joe, but I'm glad that MSNBC is attracting younger eyes.  Especially with so many devices competing with cable television.

As for Rachel Maddow I think that EVERYBODY should be watching her show regardless of their political leanings, simply because her show is the best when it comes to presenting the facts, and having those facts withstand scrutiny from fact checkers.

Oh and before anybody gets themselves in a snit over my "one foot in the grave" remark, allow me to remind you that I am on the wrong side of that 25 to 54 demographic as well.

The fact is that these new viewers are likely to stick around far longer than the 55-75 crowd that seems to prefer Fox News.

President Obama seems more comfortable with a President Hillary Clinton, than a Bernie Sanders in the White House.

Courtesy of Politico: 

“Bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot and just letting loose,” he said. “I think Hillary came in with the both privilege — and burden — of being perceived as the front-runner. … You’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people haven’t seen before — that’s a disadvantage to her.” 

Even as he spoke wistfully of his 80-plus cold-pizza and crowded-van days in Iowa eight years ago, Obama seemed to embrace Clinton’s 2008 closing Iowa argument as much as his own, adopting her contention that inspiration without experience won’t cut it. He repeatedly praised Clinton without reservation while offering more tempered praise to the surging Sanders, whom he sees as a principled outsider seeking to change “terms of the debate that were set by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago.” 

To some extent, he’s returning Clinton’s favor: The former secretary of state has lavished praise on Obama on the debate stage and in appearances throughout Iowa, where he remains immensely popular among the hardcore progressives who turn out for the labor-intensive caucuses. Her refrain on the trail these days in Waterloo, Ames, Davenport: “I don't think he gets the credit he deserves.” 

Obama didn’t utter an unkind word about Sanders, who has been respectfully critical of his administration’s reluctance to prosecute Wall Street executives and his decision to abandon a single-payer health care system as politically impractical. But he was kinder to Clinton. When I asked Obama whether he thought Sanders needed to expand his horizons, if the Vermont senator was too much a one-issue candidate too narrowly focused on income inequality, the president didn’t dispute the assertion. 

There was also this:  

When I asked Obama if Clinton is facing “unfair scrutiny” this time around, his answer was a clipped “yes” — and he even admitted a tinge of regret that his own campaign had been so hard on her eight years ago. 

But when I asked him if Sanders reminded him of himself in 2008, he quickly shot me down: “I don’t think that's true.” 

It stands to reason actually that the President would prefer Hillary over Bernie. 

First off I am sure that after essentially denying her the Oval Office in 2008, he feels a little obligated to help her get it this time around. And personally I think this was the plan all along.

Secondly there have been some less than supportive comments about the Obama Administration from Sanders, and that had to have left some kind of mark.

And thirdly the President is undoubtedly very protective of what he has achieved and wants to make sure that the next President moves forward with his policies rather than start anew from scratch.

So yeah, I think Obama is all in for the Hillary campaign.

Federal grand jury indicts Ammon Bundy and nine others involved in Oregon standoff.

Wait, indicted? Who said anything about getting indicted?
Courtesy of KOIN: 

A federal grand jury has indicted the leader of the armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge and his followers. 

Federal prosecutor Geoff Barrow says the indictment involves the 11 people arrested so far “and others,” perhaps a reference to the four holdouts still occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. 

The indictment was sealed Wednesday afternoon, but Barrow says it would be made public within 24 hours.

Here is who has been arrested so far: 

The FBI arrested Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, Ryan Payne, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Peter Santilli, Duane Ehmer, Jason Patrick and Dylan Anderson on probable cause. Six were arrested during a traffic stop along Hwy 395, others arrested at or near the refuge. 

Arizona resident Jon Ritzheimer was also arrested in connection to the occupation but remains in custody in Arizona.

So I guess now we will see if these yahoos really have the courage of their convictions, or if they simply thought that the federal government was going to be too intimidated by their awesome facial hair and Brokeback Mountain cosplay to actually arrest them.

Personally I think that loudmouth Ritzheimer will be the first to crack the minute he hears the door slam on his prison cell.

Oh yeah, he's going to crack. In fact I bet he's been giving up his pals for over a week now.

Now Jeb Bush is begging for applause.

Oh that's just....sad.

Of course I don't like Jeb! even a little bit, but if he doesn't drop out of this contest pretty soon he's going to break my heart.

He's becoming like one of those sad kitties you see on the internet.

Yeah like that one.

Of course I imagine that the kitty did not have a brother who started two unnecessary wars and almost bankrupted the entire country. And who only became President because the kitty cheated the system to help him win.

Just saying.

Bernie Sanders has done the unthinkable in America. He is the first non-Christian to win delegates in Iowa.

Courtesy of Policy Mic: 

But while Sanders didn't win outright on Monday, the progressive populist did usher in an historic milestone. By winning even a single delegate in Iowa, Sanders, a secular Jew of Polish ancestry, has now won more delegates than any non-Christian presidential candidate in history. 

Sanders emerged from Monday's caucuses with 21 delegates to Clinton's 22, according to projections from the Associated Press. 

Sanders isn't the first non-Christian to seek a major party's presidential nomination. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania briefly sought the Republican nod in the 1996 cycle, and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut ran on the Democratic side in 2004. Both men were Jewish. 

But in a country where more than 70% of the population still identifies as Christian, according to the Pew Research Center, no non-Christian has come as close to the presidency as Sanders has.

Well you would think as a proud Atheist I would have picked up on this immediately, but I guess I was too tired and distracted that day to catch it. 

I still have serious doubts about a Sanders presidency, but there is no denying that he is having a very powerful, and ultimately positive impact on politics in this country.

Alaska mother charged with manslaughter in response to self inflicted shooting of three year old son.

Courtesy of Alaska Dispatch: 

A woman has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of her 3-year-old son in a self-inflicted shooting at a South Anchorage home last summer. 

Court records show that Elizabeth Joelle Morin, 22, is charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of Brayden Heath on Aug. 5. 

Medics responded to the home after Brayden shot himself with a gun he found there and pronounced him dead just before 12:30 p.m. Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion said charging documents in the case were still pending as of Tuesday, but that both the manslaughter and homicide charges against Morin are based on alleged negligence.

I used to think that the parents of children who accidentally killed themselves with firearms had suffered enough and that jail was an unnecessary additional punishment.

That opinion changed about 100 innocent children's lives ago.