Archive | The Shadow Knows

Ungodly Women

I’d say that like most extremists, the people handing out these pamphlets are likely far too consumed with their own fantasies of what “ungodly women” do with their genitalia.

I mean, it’s a fairly well-known fact that the way rape victims dress has nothing to do with their rape. As I recall, the latest research shows you’re more likely to be targeted if you’re modestly dressed.

But that kind of misses the point, doesn’t it? You’d think religious groups could, you know, just tell men not to rape. If they believe gay men can become straight through prayer and willpower, why do they make this blanket exemption for heterosexual men, blaming women for inciting them to rape instead of telling them to keep their junk in their pants and NOT RAPE PEOPLE?

If I were a young rape victim and someone handed me something like that, I think I’d have to break something – probably their car window.

‘Tough Shit’

UPDATE from David Waldman:

Never mind! The Senate appears to have adjourned for the weekend. Bunning has won for the day, and Durbin’s threat has shockingly failed to materialize at all. The extent of Bunning’s punishment: he missed prime time TeeVee last night.

Enjoy your weekend. Maybe the DSCC will call you for money this evening!

How do I put this? It’s a well-known Beltway fact that Jim Bunning is not only (to put it kindly) an intellectual lightweight, he’s taken one too many baseballs to the head. In other words, the man is nuts:

Via Huffington Post (h/t Somegirl):

Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.

As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.

And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: “Tough shit.”

Bunning says he doesn’t oppose extending benefits — he just doesn’t want the money that’s required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate’s GOP leadership did not support him in his objections.

And at one point during the debate, which dragged on till nearly midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.

“I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00,” he said, “and it’s the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they’re the only team that has beat Kentucky this year.

The unemployment rate in Kentucky is 10.7 percent.

Here’s this morning’s update:

Updated: Feb. 25, 10:46 p.m.

Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) late Thursday launched a one-man crusade to block an extension of unemployment and COBRA insurance benefits, vowing to allow the benefit programs to expire Sunday unless Democrats agreed to pay for them with unused stimulus funds.

Bunning’s quixotic pursuit of deficit offsets at the potential expense of payments to unemployed or uninsured citizens enraged Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and other Democrats, who vowed to keep the chamber in session until Bunning relents or collapses.

A senior Democratic leadership aide said Durbin would ask for unanimous consent to pass the extensions without Bunning’s payment scheme every half hour for the foreseeable future. “We’re going to keep doing it until we break him,” the aide said.

Democratic and Republican aides agreed that Bunning’s decision was made unilaterally, noting that Bunning and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have essentially not been on speaking terms for more than a year.

“McConnell doesn’t have any sway over him,” a senior Democratic aide said, and GOP aides stressed Bunning’s opposition is not a coordinated GOP position.

Indeed, Republican and Democratic aides said McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) worked out a deal Wednesday under which Reid would allow Bunning to offer an amendment requiring the extensions be paid for prior to approving them.

But Bunning rejected that deal because it was all but certain that a majority of the Senate would handily defeat the amendment.

Monsters Under The Bed

I can’t say it’s a surprise that congressional Republicans think it would be great to start over with healthcare, or that they’re in favor of “incremental” changes. (I’d love to see them get Tom Toles’ “incremental” health surgery.)

And I can’t say it’s a surprise that they had virtually nothing useful to offer.

What I realized, though (and maybe this is the driving force behind Obama’s maddening compromises) is that to many Republicans, their illogical fantasies are akin to a child’s night terrors. We know there aren’t any monsters under the bed, but your child doesn’t. So you go through the motions of shooing the monsters away so your child can sleep.

We know that tort reform has such small influence on malpractice premiums that it’s virtually meaningless. Any rational person who looks at the research knows this. What you have are a lot of people making what they claim are factual assertions that are nothing more than an intellectual construct to support their already-faulty conclusion.

We know that selling insurance across state lines doesn’t solve the health care crisis, either.

We know that the fastest increases in costly diseases are being driven by environmental pollutants and contaminants, so eating right and exercising doesn’t solve the health care crisis, either.

But we’re left with a Congress where roughly half of them believe their fairy tales. And since the ideological wars are driven by true believers, we simply don’t have the time to convert each of them, one by one, to the realities we face.

Which is simply my long-winded way of saying that Harry Reid needs to shove good healthcare legislation through using reconciliation, right now. No more waiting.

People are dying, every single day. President Obama, we don’t need any more to die while you patiently explain to the Republicans about the monsters under the bed.

Get. It. Done. NOW.

Inside Baseball

I don’t get into deconstructing everything the right wing media does. There are plenty of other blogs who do so and I figure, if you buy into the wingnut narrative, it’s because you have a psychological need to do so. But this Politico interview with Andrew Breitbart, the guy who pays James O’Keefe, is worth a look, if only to gain a little insight into the right wing’s sense of eternal victimhood:

Divorce Folly

As someone who was raised Catholic and married a Jew, I can only shake my head at this one. I remember how upset my mother-in-law got when she found out my oldest had been baptized (a couple of years after the event). But I think this probably has more to do with the idea that Jews have a duty to maintain their tribe by raising their children as Jews, rather than any specific aversion to other religions. (Although I have to say, my own in-laws were pretty bigoted and uninformed about Catholics.)

I had my first son baptized without giving it that much thought. It was just one of those ritual things. By the time we had the second kid, we had a ceremonial bris performed – but without the party, which also pissed off my in-laws. Oh well! (My mother-in-law was also pissed that I wouldn’t take the kids to Hebrew school. I told her that her son was more than welcome to do so, but I didn’t see it as my responsibility. I said something to the effect of “If you really wanted Jewish grandchildren, you should have raised Jewish children.” Once they were bar mitzvahed, my husband and his brothers lived a completely secular life – until my kids arrived, and then suddenly, it was an issue.)

I always felt a little bad that my kids weren’t raised with anything but now, not so much. Because I don’t believe in religion. I’ve seen it used primarily to build walls and divide people, and since I believe we’re all one, organized religion is a contradiction.

Tiger Woods

Why is this anyone’s business? Seriously, why does Tiger Woods owe anyone an explanation? Yeah, I can see doing it to maintain commercial viability (Nike, etc.) but on the most basic level, why do people feel they’re “owed” something here?

They’re upset because the reality of Tiger Woods doesn’t gel with the happy little fantasy they had in their heads, the one that was crafted and marketed to them.

Doesn’t that make it their problem, and not Tiger’s?

Mad As Hell

Since the FBI asked the hosting company to take down the manifesto written by the guy who crashed his plane into the Austin IRS building this morning, I think I should post it anyway.

Because Joe Stack is symbolic of so many. So many workers like him have been exploited in this country, and the worst part is, they still expected it to be different. As he points out, there are two sets of laws in this country. (Thanks, President Obama, for not “relitigating the past”!)

The thing is, Stack felt completely victimized, whether he was or not. (Any IT contract worker knows what this guy’s talking about.) Maybe someone like this read about Bill Gates saying at the TED conference that he hires foreign workers because there aren’t enough talented IT workers here; if he did, it might push him over the edge.

I’m not saying this guy’s entitled to fly his plane into a building. He’s not, of course not. I’m only saying it’s a wonder there haven’t been more incidents like this. (For months, I’ve been muttering to myself: “Why aren’t people going all ‘Fight Club’ on their asses? Why aren’t they snapping yet?” Because I knew when it did, it wouldn’t be pretty.)

Because we were robbed of our dignity in the past three decades. Our leaders took our economic and emotional security from us; they trampled on our sense of self. And they’ve made it very, very clear that our interests are of no real concern to them.

Sooner or later, someone was gonna go off. This week, it was this guy. Who knows what the future will bring?

Anyway, here’s his manifesto.
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