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Wonkette: The D.C. Gossip
Wonkette: The D.C. Gossip
The D.C. Gossip
Updated: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Yr Doktor Zoom will be the first to admit that we pretty much do not get the very idea of “fine entertaining,” where you have a whole theme to your dinner party, with matching decorations and food that relates to that theme — here is your “Lost Generation” cocktail, a napkin with a Gertrude Stein poem on it, served in a handcrafted replica of Zelda Fitzgerald’s left shoe, that kind of thing. We do well to clear enough junk mail and electronic detritus (what device does this power cord even go to?) off the table to make room for a couple of plates (hahaha, “plates”).
So we are not likely to make use of any of the lovely Golden Globes party themes suggested at Casa Diseno, the “online resource that demystifies the home.” But you have to give them some credit for finding some collections of elegant crap plus recipes plus cocktails that somehow relate to nominated films like American Hustle and “The Wolf On Wall Street” [sic]. Of course, after more than a few complaints — probably from people who are still mystified by the home — the article quietly removed a third layout, a theme for 12 Years A Slave, with lovely old lamps and ummm… burlap napkins?
As a lot of people took to the Twitterwebs to point out, the movie is kind of about slavery, you know? There’s maybe something tacky about a slavery-themed party, just maybe, although that lesson keeps getting lost on frat boys and Republicans. And no, the fact that the theme was created by a black woman, Casa Diseno creative director Tanvier Peart, doesn’t help — although we’re looking forward to the inevitable “silenced by political correctness” laments from the usual suspects on that count.
Following the Tweetrage, Peart patiently explained in a now-vanished tweet, that there was no reason to be offended, because movies, silly:
The point of the article was to highlight acclaimed films that have received a ton of nominations.
A bit later, in a now-also-deleted series of tweets, she said that she was absolutely not “trying to Paula Deen at the dinner table.” In fact, she was merely “happy to see a black film earn so much recognition that I focused more on that celebration than the obvious.” But she acknowledged that she saw the point of the complaints, and that she’d removed that part of the post. PR Disaster OVER, people.
If anything, we wish she’d actually challenged herself and put together a theme to celebrate Gravity, complete with flying harnesses, dehydrated meals, and astronaut diapers for all.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He will help demystify the slovenly bachelor apartment experience.
There are some Americans who believe that Cartoon Violence doesn’t solve anything. “Stay out!” they say. “Let the cartoonists fight it out amongst themselves. It’s a quagmire.” If, however, after all of those dead links and all of those wasted art supplies, there is still no end in sight, then I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership.
Effective immediately — and for the entire month of January — Cartoon Violence will be strategically recommitting manpower toward the neutralization of only the highest value targets: decorated, senior-level cartoonists, Pulitzer Prize-winners, and other influential members of their command structure.
Yr. Wonkette’s pledge is simple: We shall pay any price, bemoan any bad metaphor. Beginning with 2013 winner Steve Sack and culminating with 2010 winner Mark Fiore, we will gain back the ground lost since your Comics Curmudgeon withdrew from sustained hostilities four years ago. We cannot erase the mistakes of the past, the ink spilled, but we can and must draw over, so it looks like something else, way better, that we can pretend we drew correctly the first time.
We cannot say with certainty when the Cartoon Violence will end, but the fight must continue for a just and honorable peace.
Also, Josh Fruhlinger said it was cool with him if we steal this gig.
I know that some of you Wonkeroos are the kind of monsters who enjoy it when every otherwise decent character on Parks and Recreation busts on old Jerry/Larry/Garry Gergich. But to the rest of you, the humanitarians now thinking that Steve Sack seems like a nice old man who isn’t harming anyone with his editorial drawings, I’d like to direct you toward this Saddam Hussein cartoon from 2002, “Snow-Job Globe.” Saddam really pulled the wool over our eyes back then, didn’t he? Claiming not to have the weapons of mass destruction he actually didn’t have — just like someone who secretly DID have weapons of mass destruction would actually claim also! And don’t get me started on that Mr. Magoo, Hans Blix! That, in brief, is the problem with Steve Sack: Like an antique weathervane, Sack’s cartooning is quaint, inoffensive, and deeply American — and more-or-less an adequate indicator of which way the wind is blowing. Did you know he draws his cartoons on an iPad now!? The one you and your sister got him for Christmas! He just loves it!
If you’re still feeling merciful, then please go look at your online bank statement (go on) and know, in your heart, that Steve Sack won a $10,000 cash prize for the following Pulitzer-winning contributions to our political discourse:
CIA director David Petraeus is in the news this week, after evidence emerged of the general’s illicit sexual affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. You might say he’s shifted his mandate away from top secret material to Victoria’s Secret material. Hot cha cha! Criminal négligée …
What else can we say? As Scott Gillespie, the editorial page editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune where Sack works, put it in his cover letter to the 2013 Pulitzer committee, “Steve’s work is consistently excellent and he is beloved readers [sic].” How can you argue with that?
We are, incidentally, ignoring for the moment all of the other editorial cartoons that Steve Sack produced during his Pulitzer Prize-winning year, including: yet another weaponized snow globe, a two-decade old Energizer Bunny reference, and a joke about Michele Bachmann that manages to be less coherent than Michele Bachmann herself. One of the inspiring things about Steve Sack’s victory is that it suggests many of our own Grammies and Pee-Paws have within them the potential to be Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists, if only we’d send in twenty or so pages from that legal pad near the landline where they doodle.
Other War Criminals’ Recent Cartoon Atrocities, In Brief
Oh, hey, hurry up and turn on the teevee right now to catch Chris Christie’s big press conference in which he takes full responsibility for blames subordinates for all that George Washington Bridge unpleasantness. And you might also want to take a gander at this New York Times piece about all the nastiness that has happened to people who have gotten in the way of the New Jersey governor. You may be completely astonished to learn that in addition to yelling at people a lot, Christie has a long history of petty revenge against his perceived enemies — who woulda thought!
Here are some Christie Fun Times, for example!
In 2011, Mr. Christie held a news conference where he accused State Senator Richard J. Codey of being “combative and difficult” in blocking two nominees. Mr. Codey, a Democrat who had served as governor following the resignation of James E. McGreevey, responded that he had not only signed off on the nominations, but had held a meeting to try to hurry them along.
Three days later, Mr. Codey was walking out of an event in Newark when he got a call from the state police superintendent informing him that he would no longer be afforded the trooper who accompanied him to occasional public events — a courtesy granted all former governors. That same day, his cousin, who had been appointed by Mr. McGreevey to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was fired, as was a close friend and former deputy chief of staff who was then working in the state Office of Consumer Affairs.
And then he sicced 120 dogs on Codey’s ex-girlfriend, and everybody in her band. Nothing personal, it’s just politics. You understand.
And then there’s the completely reasonable treatment of State Senator Sean T. Kean, a Republican who had the temerity to criticize Christie’s handling of a blizzard in in 2010. Kean’s completely outrageous, over the top attack on Christie was to say that the “one mistake” that the governor (and the state Senate president) made was in not calling sooner for a state of emergency, which could have kept more people from driving during the storm.
Mr. Christie was smarting from criticism that he had remained at Disney World during the storm. When he returned, he held his first news conference in Mr. Kean’s home district. Shortly before, a member of the governor’s staff called Mr. Kean and warned him not to show up. His seat was eliminated in redistricting the following year.
Mr. Kean, now in the Assembly, declined to comment. At the time, an anonymous administration official told The Star-Ledger that Mr. Kean got what he deserved.
So with a record like that, it pretty much stands to reason that Christie learned his lesson about overreacting and would never ever dream of closing a major transportation artery to punish a Democratic mayor who failed to endorse him for an election that was already in the bag. For heaven’s sake, if he’d done that, it would almost look like a pattern or something.
Yr Wonkette will follow up Gov. Christie’s news conference, also too! Remember, take a drink whenever you hear network commentators say “Get out of the way! Get out of the way! It’s burning, bursting into flames and it’s — and it’s falling… Oh, the humanity!”
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. Say, nice computer you got there. Shame if something happened to it…
You know Jessica Williams, the young black woman on The Daily Show. You love Jessica Williams. The first time you saw Jessica Williams — maybe it was that video above! — you said, “who is this girl she is so fucking good” because you always forget not to infantilize grown women by calling them girls like that, and also you never punctuate while you’re talking. READ MORE
Our Clipbait for today brings you Jon Stewart unraveling last September’s political-retribution traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge, and Stephen Colbert wrestles with this whole “it’s cold” concept.
Colorado radio preacher Kevin Swanson — you know, the guy who revealed that the Pill leaves ladies’ uteri studded with tiny corpse-babbies — shared some thoughts with his Generations Radio cohost, pastor Dave Buehner, about that gay marriage float in last week’s Rose Bowl Parade. Bad enough that it existed at all, but why didn’t the parade provide some kind of balance, huh? Buehner even had a fun suggestion:
Buehner: I wonder what the Rose Bowl parade would do if we had the stoning of a homosexual along the parade just as an expression of free speech and all that.
Swanson: I think that would be rejected by the Rose Bowl parade committee.
Buehner: Well what if the stones were just made like of flowers and flower petals?
Swanson was probably right that the parade committee would be lukewarm on that, but now we have some terrific ideas for festive floral arrangements.
Swanson and Buehner also had some big larffs about the fact that the marriage equality float was sponsored by an AIDS activist group — hey, are they against AIDS, or trying to spread it, haw-haw-haw. And Swanson joked that “They may be serving lemonade too as part of the event, I hope not but maybe.” Oh, these Christians and their obsession with watersports!
Swanson also warned of this perfectly logical progression of coming oppression that is going to happen right away because of the gays:
They are coming after Christians and if there is 45% of Christians in America or 45% of Americans who disagree with homosexuality or homosexual marriage, they will lose their jobs. That’s the goal, to make sure they lose their jobs, to make sure that they are persecuted, to make sure that they may even be burned at the stake.
Yup, that’s pretty much how it’s worked in Massachusetts since gay marriage was legalized. And that’s a state what knows a thing or two about burning people at the stake.*
Still, says Swanson, there’s hope:
we have to draw lines ourselves and encourage the civil magistrate to prosecute homosexuality, especially public acts of homosexuality. When Christians are a little wimpy addressing the issue of homosexuality, get ready friends, Christians will be destroyed by the other side.
We’re starting to think that maybe Colorado Springs is a far more happening place than we’d assumed, if people are out there having the homosex in public. The real question is why aren’t Swanson out in the streets stoning the gheys, or at least throwing flowers.
* Yes, yes, we know witches in Salem were hanged, not burned. Shut up.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He favors prosecuting public acts of heterosexuality to the fullest extent of the law.
There’s nothing spicier than our favorite allegedly gay, allegedly wife-murdering and allegedly elected Mexican president, Señior Enrique Peña Nieto. How has he fared in the first year of his stolen office?
FABulously! drools Michael Barone, senior political prestidigitator at The Washington Examiner, resident goodfella at the American Enterprise Institute and, of course, Fox News gasbag. Peña Nieto is such an “efficient reformer” that there is no more drug violence! That whole idea of people being gunned down in the streets by narcotraficantes is “out of date.” He’s kinda, sorta rii…ght about this part. With decriminalization of pot in the US and neighboring Latin American countries, some cartels, like the nice boys of the Knights Templar cartel in Michoacan, are diversifying from drug violence to iron ore exporting and thuggery. That should make international investment coffers open wide for chunky.
And what about all those illegals that were flooding the USofA and tekkin’ are johbs? Why, why… that number has “fallen to zero”! This amazing “fact” is backed up with a broken link to a Pew Research report, which showed, if Barone had actually linked to the report, that “The sharp decline in the U.S. population of unauthorized immigrants that accompanied the 2007-2009 recession has bottomed out, and the number may be rising again.” Hmm. So surprised he is telling a mistruth, what with that long list of esteemed organizations he lies for belongs to.
And what else is he postitulating? Sexy, sexy investment money is flowing into Mexico from greedy shysters across the world, hoping to rob the country of all its riches, in the name of Profits! And because of these charitable efforts, Mexicans are driving pickup trucks and SUVs to Walmart and Costco shopping malls! Whether they get out of their cars or not, he does not say. But they have CARS! And they are DRIVING!
Oh and Michael, you actually had los huevos to compare Mexican politics to the “calendrical regularity, elaborate ceremony and human sacrifice” of the Aztecs? You flay me!
But what about Peña Nieto’s spicy butt sex and wife murdering rumors, you ask? Not a whisper. That I could find. Sorry! But he sure has been busy rubbing up against industrialists and giving American capitalists and Chinese commie-capitalists erections. So let’s have some verdad about all these “reforms” Peña Nieto has been making. We can start with one of his controversial energy reforms, like how he’s inviting outsiders to enter Mexico’s soft, verdant love garden, drill deeply past her crusty exterior and frack her, frack her hard.
This very nice bi-lingual video from Frack U will tell you all about it. It has a girl in an American flag bikini who inserts an electric drill into a coconut. Then pushes it in and out. It has an American Cowboy downsplainin’ to many Mexicans, in appropriately Gringo Spanish (with English subtitles), how letting the US frack them is muy muy bueno. Hopefully, some of those SUV-pickup-driving, Walmart-Costco-shopping Mexicans will pause from their newfound capitalist freedoms, watch this video, then rise up and demand they at least be kissed before they’re fracked.
We are all aware that the Juggalos, the paint-smeared fans of terrible rappers Insane Clown Posse, count among their ranks some criminally stupid individuals. This is not news, particularly when the leaders of your pack are people who do not understand how magnets work.
But though you are super dumb, Juggalos, you’re not a gang.
Horrorcore-rap duo Insane Clown Posse, along with four fans, are suing the Department of Justice and the FBI, demanding that the agencies purge the fan name “Juggalos” from their list of gang members. “Organized crime is by no means part of the Juggalo culture,” reads the complaint, filed this morning in federal court in Detroit.
The suit stems from the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center classification of Juggalos as “a loosely-organized hybrid gang,” one with multiple affiliations. Lawyers for ICP and the ACLU claim that the profiling of Juggalos — based on their distinctive clown makeup and Hatchetman tattoos — lacks reasonable suspicion of gang affiliation.
Seriously, do you know how much we hate having to agree with ICP or the Juggalos — fucking JUGGALOS — about a thing? It’s like feeling you need to agree with a doorstop or a piece of driftwood.
In Anchorage, a single radio ad aimed at Begich was set to air on a single station — 650 KENI — one time on Tuesday, according to a check of the political ad buys at the two major radio conglomerates in Anchorage.
The total cost to the Republican National Committee for the Anchorage radio airtime? $30.
Begich’s campaign says the RNC also is airing ads minimally in other markets around the country in which Democrats are being criticized over the Affordable Care Act.
In Fairbanks, the same ad is airing once on KFBX radio at a cost of $25, according to Begich’s campaign.
How will Mark Begich ever recover from this attack of Biblical proportions? Why, it is likely that literally tens of people heard these ads, and now Mark Begich’s political career is dead, killed by master strategist Reince Priebus. And you really have to respect the sheer amount of money that the Republican National Committee is willing to pour into this campaign. Will they stop at nothing? For the price of way less than an Obamacare premium, they have toppled Mark Begich. Also, who knew radio ads were so cheap? Also, too, who knew that AM radio was still a thing that people wanted to advertise on?
Some intrepid reporter intern got stuck with asking the RNC why they were hyping this thing so hard when it turned out to be a big nothingburger.
Asked whether calling attention to an ad campaign that was so minimal was misleading, RNC spokesman Michael Short emailed an answer: “That is one of the most ridiculous questions I have ever fielded.” He earlier called the Alaska ads in Fairbanks and Anchorage a “statewide” effort.
Ooh. Someone is testy. Well, surely this thing is rolling out in a lot of markets, right? So they must have just underspent in Alaska, but they’re also going after Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.).
See? That is a long list! With many names! So this blitzkrieg of ads will cost so much when it is done, on account of how much it costs to Adpocalypse Now. Except not, exactly.
[T]he total size of the ad buy is about $3,100, according to a Democrat tracking media buys, a pittance for ad spending.
Yes, beware Reince Priebus and his minions, because they’re going to take down Obamacare by spending what basically amounts to the price of a reaaallllly shitty used car. Spread across 12 markets. For 40 days. You had a nice run, Democrats. Sorry that you are all now buried under cheap AM radio ads forever.
In the spirit of bipartisan cooperation, Kentucky state Rep. Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville), did something stupid with a handgun in her office at the Capitol Annex Tuesday, accidentally discharging the weapon while cleaning it. No one was injured. Combs joins the ranks of responsible legislative gun owners like Dave Evans, the aide to Missouri’s Speaker of the House, who left his loaded handgun on a toilet paper dispenser in that state’s capitol; Kyle Tasker, the New Hampshire state rep. who dropped his gun on the House floor during a committee meeting; and Lori Klein, the Arizona legislator who pulled a loaded gun from her purse and pointed it at a reporter with the safety off. Those folks were all Republicans, so it’s awfully nice to see a Democrat joining the Responsible Gun Owner fun.
Combs says she was unloading her gun when it accidentally went off, as those things sometimes do. It is a mystery, really. Does anyone even know how guns work? Particularly some of the people who own them? Further,
she stressed that she was following safety procedures.
“I was going through the process as I have been trained to do,” she said. “I had it pointed in the proper direction.”
So hey, no harm, no foul! Just a hole in the wall, not in a constituent or aide. Heck, this technically doesn’t even count as an “accident” does it?
We’re just happy to know Rep. Combs wasn’t handling marijuana, because that stuff is illegal, and dangerous.
[Courier-Journal via tip from Wonkette Operative "Bill in West Virginia"]
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He always keeps his computer pointed in the proper direction.
[Update: Previous version of the post stated Giffords was jumping tomorrow, but the jump was actually today, to be aired tomorrow.]
You know, if we survived a terrible mass shooting complete with massive damage to our bodies, we would probably take that as our ticket to just lie around the rest of our lives and demand that our special person bring us bon bons 24/7. But that is not what you do if you are Gabby Giffords, because Gabby Giffords is a bawse. Today is the third anniversary of the Tucson, Arizona, shooting that left 6 dead, 18 injured, and Giffords in critical condition, and today Giffords marked the occasion by jumping out of a goddamn plane.
“Today, Gabby Giffords is going to do something that is incredibly courageous and inspiring and a little bit surprising — she’s going to sky-dive here in Arizona to commemorate the three-year anniversary and all of the progress that she’s made,” TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie said by phone Wednesday from Tucson.
“She is an incredibly brave person. She’s someone who used to love to sky-dive before this shooting took place. She hasn’t done it since.”
Lest you forget, Giffords was shot IN THE HEAD. It took her months to learn how to speak, walk, read and write again. Do you remember when she decided to resign from Congress in 2012 because she needed to focus on rehabilitation? Did you watch the video of that resignation? Did you cry your face off when the whole House gave her a standing ovation? We did. Let’s cry our faces off again for a moment, shall we?
Two years after that resignation, she is jumping out of a plane. She also has a pro-gun control group that is raising oodles of monies and this jump will probably serve to heighten awareness of that and probably make that group get even more monies! Cue so much wingnut butthurt about how Gabby Giffords is personally going to fly to their house in a spaceship piloted by her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, and grab all their guns. Actually, now that we think of it, that would be AWESOME.
The only downside to this nice time is that you will have to drag your lazy self out of bed early enough in the morning tomorrow to watch the Today show so you can see the jump. You can do it. We have faith in you.
Wow, Gary was right! Leggy Fox News CNN Idiot S.E. Cupp truly has taken the lead for the dumbest column of 2014, and it’s going to take some massive expenditures of PunditDerp to surpass her thought-like statements about marijuana. It’s also depressing to know that someone will pull it off anyway. If nothing else, it at least proves that pot can make some people stupid even if they don’t ingest any at all.
So here’s the dealio: Cupp believes that marijuana legalization could turn out to be a very bad thing for liberals, because it’s wildly inconsistent with other parts of the progressive agenda — or at least “the progressive agenda” as imagined by S.E. Cupp’s strange libertarian mind.
For instance, just take guns — please!
The same argument used against guns is used for pot: that legalizing pot and making it more available will reduce crime. No good liberal would say the same of guns, though there is substantial evidence to prove more guns equal less crime.
We’re told pot users will “responsibly” use marijuana in the privacy of their own homes. But what barometer are they using to determine that persistent recreational drug users, who have presumably broken the law before by possessing marijuana, are responsible people? And why aren’t lawful gun owners afforded the same level of trust?
If progressives want to keep gun control in the crosshairs – and many have said they do – they’ll have to reconcile this intellectual incongruity.
Yes, they certainly will have to do something about this massive pot-smoking straw gunman. Leaving aside the seriously questionable statistical fuckery of the more guns = less crime claim, and let’s also just stare blankly at the pure stupidity of Cupp’s dopey attempt to make a point with a definition — riiiight, since pot users were all engaged in criminal activity before the stuff was legalized, they are obviously untrustworthy. Also, too, many people jaywalk, so they should not be allowed to vote. Or something. Lawful gun owners have a pretty well-established record of accidentally shooting themselves and others, which one might think would be an argument, at the very least, for requiring safety training, but that is obviously an unconstitutional infringement. And while, yes, irresponsible pot use combined with driving can be just as bad as drunken driving, we don’t know of any innocent bystanders getting a load of Maui Wowie shot through their skulls when someone cleaned a bong that they thought was unloaded. But sure, we would love to see guns regulated at least as strictly as legal weed in Colorado and Washington.
Let us continue. Cupp also thinks that the pro-pot agenda conflicts with the “expansion of the health nut state”:
does it really work to rail against trans fats and restrict the smoking of cigarettes but allow pot smoking (and the sloth and munchy-induced snacking that comes with it)?
Don’t expect Michelle Obama or Felix Ortiz, the New York assemblyman who proposed banning salt in restaurants, to rally for weed any time soon.
Again, this is about as sophisticated an argument as the old “Michelle Obama ate a big ol’ hangerburger, wotta hypocrite!” thing. Alcohol abuse is also bad, and yet many liberals drink their white wine spritzers, or whatever the elitist yuppies are imbibing these days! But yes, we all know that there is no such thing as moderate pot use, as illustrated by the stoned ramblings of notorious weedhead David Brooks. Somehow, we think the contradiction, if any, between encouraging healthy eating and allowing a bit of herbal entertainment is just a teensy bit less of a logical inconsistency than, say, the tendency of conservatives to call for a tiny little government that’s just big enough to fit inside a transvaginal wand.
And then Cupp gets to her most exciting claim — what if Obama’s decision to not interfere — much – with state pot laws actually works, what then, huh, you big-government liberals?
A successfully-delivered state-run program would send a clear signal that government functions more effectively at the smaller, local level and that federal bureaucracy, whether in drug enforcement or, say, health care, can only muck things up …
If pot legalization emboldens libertarianism in just such ways, it would have a pretty devastating effect on progressivism.
Uh… wut? That might be a really persuasive argument if libruls truly insisted that no policy ever be set at the state level, but Cupp appears to have once again confused cartoon progressives with the real kind. We’re just a little surprised that she hasn’t also exposed the incredible hypocrisy of liberals wanting to combat CO2 emissions, but nevertheless wanting to allow people to burn dried cannabis leaves.
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Chris Christie A Petty, Vengeful Monster, Part Infinity, Section Fort Lee Lane Closures, Subsection Amateur Hour
Class, what do we think about this email? Does it “raise serious doubts about months of claims by the Christie administration that the September closures of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were part of a traffic study initiated solely by the Port Authority”? Does it make you wonder if Chris Christie is an actual non-human troll who lives under the GWB in the burned-out fuselage of a taxpayer-funded helicopter? Interesting questions to think about as we get out our textbooks and turn to chapter 58: “The 58th Reason Why Chris Christie Should Not Under Any Circumstances Be President.”
Now, before we get started, remember — if we see anyone playing the popular game “Chris Christie Personally Ordered The Fort Lee Lane Closures,” we will not be happy! We know it’s a fun game, because this whole thing looks really bad for Christie regardless of whether he gave the order, or whether several of his hand-picked staff exercised extraordinarily poor judgment and basically acted like cartoon villains without his knowledge. But this is a dangerous game, kids! You could hurt your credibility!
Instead, you can play “How Will Chris Christie’s Opponents Use This Against Him In The Primary, If He Runs?” That is a fun game, too! Jimmy, do you want to be Ted Cruz? What does Ted Cruz say? Does he say “Chris Christie failed the most basic test of a governor by acting irresponsibly at best, and maliciously at worst, toward his own citizens”? Use your imaginations!
Kaiden, stop eating that paste! We don’t care if you’re Rand Paul, paste is not for eating.
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Over 100 former New York City employees, mostly police, have been charged in a huge scheme to collect undeserved disability benefits, many of them claiming they were suffering from psychological effects of the 9/11 attacks. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said “The brazenness is shocking.”
More than 100 people were arrested, including 72 city police officers, eight firefighters, five correction officers and one Nassau County Police Department officer.
Four ringleaders coached the former workers on how to feign depression and other mental health problems that allowed them to get payouts as high as $500,000 over decades, Vance said. The ringleaders made tens of thousands of dollars in secret kickbacks, he said.
Isn’t it reassuring to know that no matter how noble an effort to help people might be, there will always be jerkwads who rush in to swipe stuff that should be going to people who really need it?
Needless to say, defense attorneys for the four people charged with leading the scam insist that they are as pure as a Polar Vortex, and that their clients were just doing their legitimate job of helping people get benefits. One pointed out that many of those charged were already receiving disability pensions from New York City. That’s not such a great defense, say prosecutors, who note that the qualification standard for Social Security benefits is higher — “complete inability to work.”
There are some dandy examples of the advisors coaching people on how to exaggerate or fake disabilities. One applicant was told to deliberately make spelling and math errors on their application, while others, who claimed to have been traumatized by responding to the attacks on the World Trade Centers, “were instructed to say that they were afraid of planes or they were afraid of tall buildings,” according to Assistant District Attorney Christopher Santora.
The fraud goes back farther than 9/11/01, though:
Over 26 years, the workers arrested collected about $22 million in bogus benefits, authorities said, and more arrests could follow. Prosecutors estimate hundreds more people and as much as $400 million may be involved.
And in a bit of paperwork detective work of the sort that bureaucrats seldom get enough credit for, it turns out that the scheme was first discovered by investigators in the Social Security Administration, who noticed about five years ago that a whole bunch of similar-looking disability applications came in all at once, and that despite several applicants’ claims of severe psychiatric disorders, they nonetheless still had gun permits. Somehow, we suspect that the NRA will find a way to twist that detail into an argument that registering guns always leads to invasions of privacy and gun confiscation.
As far as we can tell, it appears that the fraud here was all within the regular Social Security disability program, not in the special funds that were designated for 9/11 first responders (and which Republicans fought to limit whenever possible). But who knows? In any case, we’re sure that the congressional response to this will be to praise and beef up the regulatory and investigatory arms of benefits agencies to encourage their excellent work in rooting out fraud. Heaven knows it would be completely nuts if somebody used this as an excuse to call for killing Obamacare or cutting disability benefits to people who legitimately qualify for them. That’s just unthinkable.
OK, we know we promise nice time but then give you things like Evander Holyfield being a ridiculous bigot about teh gheys. But sometimes we can deliver actual no-strings-attached happy nice time, like letting you know that Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner got married on New Year’s Eve after being together 42 years. Some of you people are not even 42 years of age, much less having kept a successful romantic AND work partnership going for that long.
Besides their relationship, the couple’s many celebrated collaborations, written by Wagner, include Tomlin’s Tony-winning one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, which played on Broadway, toured and was filmed for the screen, as well as the movie The Incredible Shrinking Woman.
We expect this kind of slack journalism from the hacks over at 60 Minutes, but the New York Post!?!? What is this world coming to?
The folks at NY Daily News did some actual investigating, which apparently means talking to more than one anonymously sourced 10-year-old boy. And they found:
A receipt shows Spitzer and Smith checked out Sunday at 12:58 p.m. — three hours before the alleged sexcapade. At 4:19 p.m. Sunday, Smith tweeted from a nearby restaurant called Robbie’s Kitchen, where she and Spitzer had watched her favorite team, the Cincinnati Bengals, lose a playoff game. That’s not an easy thing to do from a hot tub while someone’s licking your feet.
He was sucking on her toes, NY Daily News! Get it right, goddammit!! But we guess the larger point is that the Cincinnati Bengals have fans outside of Cincinnati.
In any case, the NY Daily News went so far as to interview the waiter from the local restaurant:
“I remember them,” a waiter who goes by Kingsley told us. “They were sitting at the bar.” Their restaurant tab for a late lunch and several Red Stripe beers was $81 plus tip.
Props to Spitzer for supporting the local economy with the Red Stripe. Unfortunately, the reporters did not ask if Spitzer was a good tipper, cause that is all we want to know about. Just the tip.
Going far and above regular reporting duties, the NY Daily News also interviewed one of “Spitzer’s pals,” who was vacationing with the not-so-publicly-horny couple:
“This is a place where you have to wear long pants to dinner at the restaurant,” said one of Spitzer’s pals. “There are, in certain areas, families with children. It’s inconceivable that any adult would behave that way.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but we are talking about a guy who resigned the governorship for getting caught boinking hookers in sweet-ass hotels in Washington, D.C. Then a few years later he tried to run for public office again. ‘Inconceivable behavior’ is kinda this guy’s go-to move.
Despite that last quote, we’re pretty confident that the NY Post got it wrong. Although we look forward to a more thorough investigation piece on 60 Minutes, where we will likely hear about how Eliot Spitzer bit the feet off of Jamaican refugees in a coke-induced rage.
Your Daily Show/Colbert Report Clickbait Is Here! Jon Stewart Talks Pot, And Stephen Colbert Tackles Climate Change
Tuesday’s Daily Show was all about the Mary Jane being legal in the Colorado and such as. Mr. Stewart had fun with Bill O’Reilly’s not-at-all-belabored attempt to suggest that pot and texting are equally addictive — and props to O’Reilly’s guest, Columbia professor Carl Hart, who had the decency to treat the assertion exactly as seriously as it deserved.
Suspended Shooty Screamy Pennsylvania Police Chief Sues So Hearing On His Firing Won’t Move To Godless Scranton
It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from Uberpatriot Mark Kessler, the indefinitely-suspended police chief of Gilberton, Pennsylvania. As you recall, he created a bit of a stir last summer when he posted several videos of himself bravely shooting photographs of Nancy Pelosi and calling for “cleansing” U.S. America of liberals and liberal news agencies and so on. Last time we checked in with him was in October, when his termination hearing was interrupted by a supporter’s loaded handgun falling out of its holster and onto the floor of the meeting room. The hearing was suspended until a more suitable location with decent security could be found.
Well! Turns out the Borough of Gilberton wants to resume that hearing in the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton, a whole hour’s drive away. Kessler filed a lawsuit to prevent the hearing from being held outside of Schuylkill County, because obviously a hearing in the next county over would violate his rights. This man knows his rights, and they include owning guns, carrying guns, fondling guns, talking about guns, sleeping with guns, shooting pictures of people who might take away his guns, gazing lovingly at guns, talking about shooting people who might take away his guns, and not having troops quartered in his home in time of peace.
For some reason, the borough was unable to get permission to schedule the hearing in the Shuylkill County Courthouse, so they tried the courthouse in Scranton and scheduled the hearing. Kessler sued Monday to stop the hearing from moving to Scranton, claiming that the location was selected “to intentionally prejudice [Kessler] and to create obstructions with the intent to deprive [Kessler] his rights to a fair and impartial hearing,” according to his petition, which goes on to claim that his witnesses would be unable to take the time and are unwilling to “be subject to the expense and danger of traveling in the winter months.”
Frankly, it’s a slightly more practical objection than we’d anticipated; considering other aspects of his politics, we thought sure there was going to be some weird argument about his sovereignty being violated by going outside his home county.
In addition to trying to keep his termination hearing from ever resuming, Kessler has also been tweeting up a storm, calling on his “fellow brother [sic] & sisters in uniform” to “make a serious choice, stand with god & country or be part of a TYRANNICAL regime!” and inviting people to join his super-patriotic loons-with-guns club, which will be “the biggest, baddest, militia in the nation!” Presumably the January 3 tweet up top indicates that he has removed his “uniform of tyrants,” which means god only knows what — obviously, he’s still trying not to get fired, so we assume he’s only removing a metaphorical uniform, which doesn’t involve any loss of insurance benefits.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. For freedom.
Oh sure, we could talk about any other subject under the sun besides Roger Ailes’ dick. The terrible cold weather, the latest slap on the wrist for JPMorgan, S.E. Cupp taking the early lead for dumbest column any pundit will write in 2014. But are any of those subjects really more interesting than Roger Ailes’ dick? We think the question answers itself.
Here is why we are thinking about Roger Ailes’ dick. The New York Times got its hands on a copy of Gabriel Sherman’s new biography of the walking tub of chicken fat and his dick, and one of the funnier stories involves Randi Anderson, a television producer who went to work for CNBC when Ailes was running that channel twenty years ago. Anderson alleges that Ailes offered her an extra $100 a week to have sex with him whenever he wanted. Because when you are Roger Ailes, you are entitled to an in-house concubine at your office, even if you want to pay well below what we imagine was the market rate for a prostitute in New York City in the early 1990s.
The book appears to be tumescent with these sorts of gossipy tidbits about the, er, head of Fox News. We figure these little morsels will steadily dribble out as we get closer and closer to the book’s release date of Jan. 21, at which time the stories of Roger Ailes’ dick will explode all over the media, spraying us with a viscous coating of filth. We’re practically panting with anticipation.
A couple of other nuggets:
Ailes has spent the past year preemptively slamming Sherman’s book as inaccurate, as have quite a few of the Fox jefe‘s minions. And can you blame them? Roger probably threatened to show them his dick if they didn’t.
In other memoir news, Robert Gates is about to release his book about serving as Secretary of Defense, and that one is apparently chock full of really boring crap like how President Obama lost faith in his Afghanistan surge strategy early on and Gates was jealous of Old Handsome Joe Biden because Joe gets all the chicks. Most of the stories we found seem to have taken as their source Bob Woodward’s review in the Washington Post, and with the anti-Obama kick Woodward has been on for the last few years, we trust him to give an honest accounting of the book’s contents about as much as we would trust Jaws to not eat us. Really, no one leaks a book about Obama to Bob Woodward unless they want to paint the president in the most unflattering light possible.
Besides, Roger Ailes’ dick!
Follow Gary on Twitter, where he has never once mentioned Roger Ailes’ dick.
“When you get that feeling like you can’t feel your fingers anymore or it’s so painful you can’t feel your fingers, you definitely need to head inside,” said Dr. Leana Wen, an attending physician and director of patient-centered care research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. “You should always cover up, any time it goes below freezing, including with the wind chill,” she said. “Make sure to cover your extremities. Make sure you’re wearing gloves, scarf, ear muffs.”
The crippling cold is a far cry from the Oahu breeze First Lady Michelle Obama is enjoying during her extended Hawaii vacation.
Mrs. Obama remained in Hawaii for some extended R&R after President Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived back at the White House Sunday after a lengthy holiday vacation. Her private vacation was a birthday gift from her husband.
While Honolulu is facing overcast skies with a high of 77 degrees, the current forecast for Washington Dulles International Airport on Tuesday is a potentially record-breaking 3 degrees. The current forecast is 7 degrees for the District, where the record low for Jan. 7 was 5 degrees in 1884.
See? How dare she take an elitist private vacation paid for by Barack Obama aka YOUR TAX DOLLARS. That’s right, sheeple! Your money is paying for Michelle Obama to get a tan RIGHT NOW while you wander around your shitty apartment with your housecoat worn over your sweater worn over your flannel shirt worn over your long underwear, looking like the goddamn Michelin Man. UNFAIR! INPEACH MICHELLE OBAMA.
Keep yourself warm tonight with your white hot incandescent rage directed at Michelle Obama for blocking out the sun. Lord knows there is no other way you’re going to stay warm enough.
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