The crazy continues

Dear sweet Christ on a stick:

Hey, crazy Texas bigots! Got any freedom of religion lawsuits you’d like to file today? Oh, it’s against your religion to have a black man bag your groceries? Sure, that will do!


Little Green Footballs brings us the heartwarming News Journal tale of this Texas man a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ about how he don’t want no “negroidal person” touching his food, while bagging it at the grocery store. The store owner — who has just earned himself an Opposite Day Chick-fil-A love-in — told the crazy bigot he couldn’t shop at that grocer’s no more. And now the crazy bigot has filed suit, because they oppressed his religious freedom to not have black people bag his food.

Progress!

The Morning Call:

State Lawmakers Will Take …
… another crack at reforming Pennsylvania’s rickety public pensions system, the PAIndependent reports this morning. That’ll happen next week at a joint hearing of the House Finance and State Government Committees, the online news org reports.

For those of you playing along at home, Pennsylvania faces a pension liability of as much as $4 billion in the next few years. And Republican lawmakers are looking to change retirement benefits so they more closely resemble those of private-sector workers.

You mean, make them more erratic and subject to whether the new owners pay them or file for bankruptcy? You mean, like that?

Freedom!

Way to go, Citizens United!

Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.


These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don’t have to disclose their donors to the public.


The two nonprofits had outspent all other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found.


Super PACs, which do have to report their donors, spent an estimated $55.7 million on TV ads mentioning a presidential candidate, CMAG data shows. Parties spent $22.5 million.


Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity, credited with helping launch the Tea Party movement, is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and spent an estimated $18.2 million.

Again

Charlie Pierce on the New York Times Ryan story:

How can you possibly write that passage and dismiss idly as a “contradiction” the ironic — not to mention hilariously hypocritical — fact that, after his father passed, and while working the fry station and toting canoes at a YMCA summer camp, Ryan was also the beneficiary of Social Security survivor’s benefits? These did precisely what they were designed to do, which was to help young Paul Ryan get the education that would help him become the adult Paul Ryan who’s been on one government payroll or another since he left college, and who goes around telling half-dim audiences that people on government assistance are mired in a “culture of dependency.”


But don’t you know he grooves to Rage Against The Machine? It is not possible for the Times to disgrace itself further.


Fk Ludwig von Mises. If it weren’t for FDR and LBJ, and for the munificence of the American taxpayer, Paul Ryan would still be in Janesville, looking for a job.

Like most conservative dimwits, Ryan thinks the revolutionary attitude of Rage Against the Machine means Rage Against The Safety Net.

I think Tom Morello just threw up in his mouth a little.

Content

I would love to write about something other than Paul Ryan, but that’s all the intertubes have for me today. Sorry, kids.

The coup

Not that we didn’t already know, but it’s nice to be validated. Via WhoWhatWhy:

In this stunning but little-known speech from 2007, Gen. Wesley Clark claims America underwent a “policy coup” at the time of the 9/11 attacks. In this video, he reveals that, right after 9/11, he was privy to information contained in a classified memo: US plans to attack and remove governments in seven countries over five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.


He was told: “We learned that we can use our military without being challenged …. We’ve got about five years to clean up the Soviet client regimes before another superpower comes along and challenges us.”


“This was a policy coup… these people took control of policy in the United States….”

No one puts Mittens in the corner

The Mittster rolls the dice, because businessmen rule! Once you make gobs of money, you have access to all the hidden knowledge of the universe and no one tells you what to do:

Mitt Romney appears to have picked Paul Ryan as his running mate over the objections of top political advisors, offering a glimpse at the leadership style of the Republican nominee in the most important decision of his campaign.


Romney’s aides have stressed publicly in the 24 hours since Romney electrified conservatives with his choice that the pick was the governor’s alone. They have been less forthcoming on the flip side: That much of his staff opposed the choice for the same reason that many pundits considered it unlikely — that Ryan’s appealingly wonky public image and a personality Romney finds copasetic will matter far less than two different budget plans whose details the campaign now effectively owns.


“Everybody was against [Ryan] to start with only Romney for,” said one top Republican, who is skeptical of the choice and griped that Romney’s top advisors have “been giving Mitt everything he wanted in this campaign.”

Good clean fun

The media feeding frenzy begins, and of course it’s always nice when a Republican is the target for a change:

Let’s put this in the “the real scandal is what’s legal” file:

Ryan attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on September 18, 2008. The purpose of the meeting was to disclose the coming economic meltdown and beg Congress to pass legislation to help collapsing banks. Instead of doing anything to help, Ryan left the meeting and on that very same day Paul Ryan sold shares of stock he owned in several troubled banks and reinvested the proceeds in Goldman Sachs, a bank that the meeting had disclosed was not in trouble.


This kind of trading might be illegal now but was definitely kosher back then when insider trading rules didn’t apply to Congress at all. My guess is that it’s probably fine even under today’s rules, since even though it fits the ordinary language meaning of “insider information,” it doesn’t actually make Ryan an insider to the companies in question in a legal sense. But it’s about as clear an example of a public official trying to use his office to obtain personal benefits as you’re likely to find.

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