Palinpalooza – DWTS Edition


This shit got old a looooong time ago.

Amanda Marcotte at Slate:

For anyone who has any doubts that the main engine of the vicousness of the American political landscape is a pure culture war, I give to you the case of Bristol Palin hanging in on Dancing With the Stars. Palin is making a career out of conservative America using her to demonstrate that what matters most to them is that you’re a member of their tribe. You can break their strict sexual rules, and they’ll embrace you. You can have no talent whatsoever, and they’ll promote you. Just so long as you’re in the tribe. It’s how George W. Bush got to be president, so this shouldn’t be so shocking. Especially when you consider that cheeseball fare like Dancing With The Stars draws more Republican viewers than Democratic ones.

Tribal/cultural war is the only explanation. If this was actually about politics, it would only be about politics. Who wins on Dancing With the Stars has exactly zero impact on policy decision-making in Washington. It has nothing to do with those things that we keep hearing motivate the Tea Party–tax rates, “fiscal conservatism,” the auto bailout. But it has everything to do with scoring points in the ongoing war of sticking it to those latte-drinking liberals, who sneeringly believe the spawn of the martyred Sarah Palin shouldn’t win because she’s not good enough. The nerve!

Consider that the folks who are organizing to keep Bristol Palin on the show are easy to set off on rants about the evils of affirmative action, and much of what defines the current political landscape will become all too clear.

There’s more from Amanda in the comments:

Apparently. I don’t see why she can’t be a celebrity. She’s far from the only woman whose main claim to fame is that she’s given birth.

Read the rest of the comments. I’m surprised nobody came right out and called Bristol Palin a slut or a fat cow.
Continue reading

Republican states should STFU over taxes

A link at Eschaton refers readers to a MediaMatters post about how Stuart Varney is trying to whip up tax resentment towards California.

Viewers of Fox Business must think California is just the biggest spendthrift of our 50 states. The way Stuart Varney tells it, those greedy Californians, by taking “federal taxpayer money,” are just robbing the rest of us — particularly “the hicks who live in the Midwest” — blind!

But in discussing California’s would-be federal subsidies, Varney isn’t telling the whole story. In fact, he’s got it completely backward.

During the November 16 episode of Varney & Co. on Fox Business, Varney interviewed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Press Secretary Aaron McLear about Schwarzenegger’s current efforts to balance California’s budget. He asked McLear if he would take a pledge to “not take one more dime from federal taxpayer money going to California.” Then he continues: “You guys in California, you’ve been making fun of…the hicks who live in the Midwest…you’ve been making fun of them. Now you want their money.”

As it turns out, California is a “donor state”.  That is, it gives more money to the federal government than it gets back.  In fact, for every dollar per capita that Californians send, they get back 78 cents.  But California has it EASY compared to New Jersey.  We’re el numero uno donor state.  For every dollar in  tax I send the feds, I get back a whopping 61 cents.  Every person in the state of New Jersey takes a 39% hit.  Howz that for tax fairness?  Yup, if you lose your job in Arkansas, your kids are much more likely to qualify for SCHIP than some poor schmuck’s kid in New Jersey.  While our salaries are comparatively high, no one seems to be accounting for the ridiculous cost of living here.  If anyone has a right to complain about greedy California, it’s those of us living in New Jersey and Connecticut (and we’ll be sending our men around to break your skinny suntanned knees any day now).

But wait!  There’s more.

According to the map that the Visualeconomics put together using data from the Tax Foundation of the donor and recipient states, guess which party represents the biggest parasites on my precious NJ dollars?  If you answered WATB Republicans, you would be correct.

You can check your place in line on this map.

So, verily I say unto you Louisiana, Alaska, Mississippi and Alabama, if you don’t like taxes, by all means, send them back to us.  Surely, you can solve your problems without the help of all the liberal {[shudder}} states.  You’ll figure it out.

Revenge of the TSA bureaucrats

TSA at work


Katiebird linked to a post by John Tyner describing his experience with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners and supervisors at San Diego International after refusing to go through a full body scan.  Here’s a little bit more of his story:

 

I took a seat in a tiny metal chair next to the table with my belongings and waited. While waiting, I asked the original agent (who was supposed to do the pat down) if he had many people opt out to which he replied, none (or almost none, I don’t remember exactly). He said that I gave up a lot of rights when I bought my ticket. I replied that the government took them away after September 11th. There was silence until the next supervisor arrived. A few minutes later, the female agent/supervisor arrived with a man in a suit (not a uniform). He gave me a business card identifying him as David Silva, Transportation Security Manager, San Diego International Airport. At this point, more TSA agents as well as what I assume was a local police officer arrived on the scene and surrounded the area where I was being detained. The female supervisor explained the situation to Mr. Silva. After some quick back and forth (that I didn’t understand/hear), I could overhear Mr. Silva say something to the effect of, “then escort him from the airport.” I again offered to submit to the metal detector, and my father-in-law, who was near by also tried to plead for some reasonableness on the TSA’s part.

The female supervisor took my ID at this point and began taking some kind of report with which I cooperated. Once she had finished, I asked if I could put my shoes back on. I was allowed to put my shoes back on and gather my belongs. I asked, “are we done here” (it was clear at this point that I was going to be escorted out), and the local police officer said, “follow me”. I followed him around the side of the screening area and back out to the ticketing area. I said apologized to him for the hassle, to which he replied that it was not a problem.

Continue reading

New GOP Rep. Andy Harris gets irate over lack of instant health insurance

Yes, Dr. Harris, newly elected congresscritter and anesthesiologist, has gotten what my Dad would call a “Rude Awakening”.  From Steven Benen’s Political Animal post at Washington Monthy, we get the following exchange related by someone who was there:

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. [...]

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.

Steve adds:

Harris wants to know “what he would do without 28 days of health care”? I don’t know, Andy, what have tens of millions of Americans, including millions of children, done without access to quality health care for years? Why are you entitled to government-subsidized health care, but they’re not? What will those families do after you repeal the Affordable Care Act? Wait for tort reform to magically cover everyone?

What an embarrassment.

{{RD pauses}}

I’d laugh but I don’t think this is funny.  I can just imagine someone like Harris expostulating loudly over the fact that some poor woman whose family is recently unemployed and can’t pay for COBRA couldn’t afford to pay the bill for the epidural she had during childbirth.  It’s not funny that his 5 kids will not be covered until February.  It’s not funny that he’s been sheltered from the reality of the probationary period that everyone I know has to suffer through.  It’s not funny that some district in Maryland will be represented by a dolt.  And it’s not funny that he will presumably learn nothing from this, given his party affiliation.

Satisfying, but not funny.

Tuesday, The Airlines and Us

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!! And the traditional stories of sold out flights and amusing anecdotes about going home have been replaced this year with stories about the new “grope” searches by TSA employees:

I think I’ve seen this story referenced by pretty much every news station over the past couple of days.  But, here’s the blog post that started it all:

TSA encounter at SAN

After removing my shoes and making my way toward the metal detector, the person in front of me in line was pulled out to go through the backscatter machine. After asking what it was and being told, he opted out. This left the machine free, and before I could go through the metal detector, I was pulled out of line to go through the backscatter machine. When asked, I half-chuckled and said, “I don’t think so.” At this point, I was informed that I would be subject to a pat down, and I waited for another agent.

A male agent (it was a female who had directed me to the backscatter machine in the first place), came and waited for me to get my bags and then directed me over to the far corner of the area for screening. After setting my things on a table, he turned to me and began to explain that he was going to do a “standard” pat down. (I thought to myself, “great, not one of those gropings like I’ve been reading about”.) After he described, the pat down, I realized that he intended to touch my groin. After he finished his description but before he started the pat down, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” He, a bit taken aback, informed me that he would have to involve his supervisor because of my comment.

It really seems to have touched a cord — who after all — want’s some stranger touching their junk in an airport.  Or even worse, touching your CHILD in an airport.  Watch this as a TSA agent continues to search an hysterical child: Continue reading

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