Sunday, January 29, 2012

God's Santa Claus

Daily Kos has a regular feature, "This Week in the War on Women." Yesterday's post, Public hangings, rape is a gift from God, and cream of fetus soup" detailed a few examples of how the Republican party has not been supportive of women's rights (to say the least).
"Public hangings" refers to North Carolina State Assemblyman Larry Pitman's call for public hangings of (among others) abortion providers. I guess they don't have enough stones in that state for proper executions. "Cream of fetus soup" satirizes Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey's bill to ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food. He seems to be confused about food and non-food.
Okay, you might think these are examples of provincial hillbillies whose influence cannot extend past their local hilltop. The last item, however, comes from a candidate in a major political party's race for nomination for President of the United States and Leader of the Free World. Compulsive breeder Rick "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Googled" Santorum has taken the extreme anti-choice position that even pregnancies resulting from rape should not be terminated. In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN that aired January 20, Santorum was asked  what he would do if one of his daughters were to come to him, telling him she had been raped and was pregnant, and begging to be allowed to have an abortion. He responded that he would not consent to his daughter getting an abortion, and said that the offspring of rapists are gifts from God.
Which leads us to the illustration above, which comes from "Santa Claus: Bad Role Model?" posted by Luis Prada, in which he cites research by Australian public-health expert Nathan Grills which suggests Mr. Claus' reckless and unhealthy lifestyle may be a bad influence on young minds. Prada adds concerns about Santa's suspicious spying and maintenance of lists of those whom he deems "naughty" or "nice." Rick Santorum reveals to us that a serial rapist, i.e., one who brings many gifts from God, must indeed by God's own Santa Claus.
UPDATE:  Santorum has been joined in his bizarre view by Indiana US Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who declared that a pregnancy that results from rape "is something that God intended to happen."

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Terrorist Attack in Arkansas

A terrorist struck last Sunday in Russellville, Arkansas. There was only one death, but a number of victims.This is not an isolated incident; indeed, it occurred on the same date as Gabby Giffords announced she would resign her seat in Congress in order to fucus on her recovery from another act of terrorism. Both cases involved demonization of a perceived "enemy,"  spread by the media.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More PA Gov: This'll Help Keep You Poor!

Now, if you live in Pennsylvania and you need food stamps (but may not possess any assets above $2,000; see previous post), Governor Tom Corbett has figured another way to keep you in poverty--take away Medicaid benefits for poor children. As in the case of the food stamp restriction, this move was rationalized by claiming it would cut waste and fraud. And, of course, costs.
(noted at Crooks and Liars.)

I guess the Republican strategy is for states to keep children in poverty, and for the Federal government to pauperize older people.   

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

PA Gov to Poor: Stay Poor!

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett informed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, aka Food Stamps) last December 28 that his administration will resurrect the limitation on assests the recipients may possess. Federal guidelines permit states to apply an asset limitation as long as it is not less than $2,000, a figure set in 1980. The Rendell administration dropped the limitation in 2008 because it was harmful to those who needed assistance.

What this zombie requirement does is make it much more difficult for someone to get out of poverty--and therefore more dependent on programs such as SNAP. The reason given for restarting the asset test is to see that "people with resources are not taking advantage of the food-stamp program," according to Department of Public Welfare spokesperson Anne Bale.

Bale told the Philadelphia Inquirer that approximately 2 percent of Pennsylvania's 1.8 million Food Stamp recipients would be affected by the test. Federal Statistics estimate the rate of Food Stamp fraud in Pennsylvania is 0.1 percent, among the lowest in the nation. Do the math: 1,800,000 x 0.02 x 0.001 = (State spends a whole lot of money hoping to prevent a couple dozen cases of fraud).

That's right--Pennsylvania will probably spend a lot more than it can hope to recapture. And that doesn't include the economic impact to food merchants who will also lose.
Photo "Migrant Agricultural Worker's Family," by Dorothea Lange, 1936 (Library of Congress

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's the Bugs

I don't want anyone to think that the photo in my last post was a sly, snarky reference to santorum--the subject of the photo was the pair of breeding beetles, not the dung upon which they were cavorting. I didn't have any photos of Rick Santorum's man-on-dog, so I used what I had. Here's a closer view of the same photo:

The happy couple are American carrion beetles, Necrophila americana. As their name suggests, they can often be found on dead critters. In this case, they were exchanging intense joy atop dog feces in my back yard. Their distinctive black markings on pale yellow prothorax can be seen in the photo below:


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Rick Santorum Wants to Watch Your Bedroom

Compulsive breeder and contender for the Republican nomination for president Rick Santorum has declared that states have the right to outlaw birth control. Because, he claims, states have the right to do anything.

Santorum also pledges to eliminate federal funding for contraception because, he says, sex is for procreation. I'm not sure if he has pledged to outlaw sex between people who are unable to bear children, or the pollination of apple blossoms.
Once again, there is a Republican telling women to take off their shoes, get knocked up, and get back in the kitchen.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

How Can We Even Consider Electing the Irrational?

This election cycle's crop of Republican president wannabes has been referred to as a "clown car," and with good reason. They are vying against each other for the admiration of their base, which apparently is looking for some combination of Bozo, Daffy Duck, and Mortimer Snerd.
Here's a sampling of The Crazy provided by the elite of the GOP. This list is very, very far from exhaustive.

Michele Bachmann:  In one of the debates she said under her administration paying taxes would be optional.

Just before the Iowa Caucus, with polls showing her far behind, she promised a Miracle: "So polls don't -- are -- sometimes belie the truth on the ground, and that's what we see. This isn't just about polling. This is about what we're seeing in reality, and I think Tuesday night people are going to see a miracle." We know how well that worked.

Bachman wants to invade Iran (although Santorum claims to be the only candidate that wants to invade; Romney and Gingrich also pledged to invade Iran).

Bachman would like the US to become more like China: "If you look at China, they don't have food stamps. If you look at China, they're in a very different situation. They don't have AFDC [Aid to Families with Dependent Children]. They save for their own retirement security. They don't have the modern welfare state. And China's growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us with the Great Society and they'd be gone.”

Rick Santorum:  This is the fellow whose hatred of homosexuals led him to become known as "He Who Must Not Be Googled."

He talks tough--would invade Iran (so much for "right-to-life").

Santorum accused President Obama of unspecified "un-American activities."
He thinks diversity is badFor Santorum that means cutting government regulation. Making Americans less dependent on government aid. Fewer people getting food stamps, Medicaid and other forms of federal assistance — especially one group.
"I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money," Santorum begins. "I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families."
Santorum did not elaborate on why he singled out blacks who rely on federal assistance. The voters here didn't seem to care.
Let's not forget the Santorum "Amendment"--Ricky's attempt to teach Creationism under the auspices of the "No Child Left Behind Education Act" signed by George W. Bush in 2002. In a March 14, 2002 op-ed for the Washington (Moonie) Times, Santorum "claimed his language was a 'provision' of the bill"--when, fact is, it is not.
And today, Santorum likened President Obama to Italian dictator Mussolini.

Newt Gingrich:  Newt likes dinosaurs, and claims therefore to be an expert on climate change.
Newt wasn't labbying when he lobbied Freddie Mac for $1.6M.

Willard "My-First-Name-Is-Mitt" Romney:  It's hard to tell with Romney, because we can't be sure which Mitt is the real one (if there even IS a real one).

Romney claims to be a member of the middle class, despite having a net worth of up to $250,000,000. 
He also claimed, on "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, “Somebody who’s fallen from the middle class to poverty, in my opinion is still middle class.”

Rick Perry:  He thinks Canada is part of US.
Perry claims to be very pro-life, yet allowed 234 prisoners to be be executed (and covered up an investigation into evidence that at least one of those was not guilty of the capital crime).

Ron Paul:  Paul claims he was not responsible for the hateful things his Ron Paul newsletters said.
Paul has ties to Christian Reconstructionism (aka "American Taliban"), and has been praised by Gary North, extremist son-in-law of the late Pope of the Theocrats, R.J. Rushdooney. Apparently Paul is enamored of the group's favoring of the death penalty for numerous behaviors as called for in Leviticus.

Jon Huntsman:  Huntsman is the least loony of the Republican contenders, yet he has his moments of whackiness. He wrote an op-ed critical of the Dodd-Frank reform that misrepresented that reform and President Obama's efforts, and calling for its replacement by something that is supposed to do what Dodd-Frank already does.
Half a year ago, Huntsman adopted a strategy of pandering to the polls. He sort of backtracked on his switch to global warming denialism (or maybe not), and I don't think he's been overly enthusiastic about his pandering. Not like Mittens, anyway.

Herman Cain:  Well, never mind, his brain is still twirling.

Gary Johnson:  Who? He found it both difficult and easy to switch his efforts to run as a Republican to Libertarian.

Okay, candidates, please raise your hands if you think you're whacky enough to be the Republican Party's 2012 presidential candidate.

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