Here's an obligatory dose of gall before I slather you with healing balm: I've had several more helpings of the Catholic bishops than I can stand. If this reptilian gaggle of world-hating closet cases would put an eleventillionth as much energy into helping the poor, opposing the death penalty, punishing child abusers and excommunicating war profiteers as they put into officious panty-sniffing misogyny, I might give two strictly procreative fucks about their "conscience." As matters stand, however, I'm in favor of stripping these intolerably smug reprobates of their tax exemption and using the additional revenue to launch them headlong into the sun.
Apropos of which: Given the amount of existential dread produced by sex in general and female sexuality in particular, it's obviously time to classify sexually active women as terrorists. That being the case, someone needs to come up with a color-coded threat advisory chart, and it might as well be yours truly:
Joke, ha ha, as Eeyore would say.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, one of the Republican WI state senators facing a recall will resign:
State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats.Against all odds, Ken Cuccinelli has somehow managed to say something that's both true and significant:
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) fears a Romney nomination would neutralize the health care reform issue, noting that because RomneyCare was so similar to the Affordable Care Act, “you are effectively giving that issue up” by selecting Romney as the nominee.As has James Inhofe:
I was actually on your side of this issue [climate change] when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.And Megan McArdle:
I'm not an expert, and I'm not planning to become one. I've basically outsourced my opinion on the science to people like Jonathan Adler, Ron Bailey, and Pat Michaels of Cato—all of whom concede that anthropogenic global warming is real, though they may contest the likely extent, or desired remedies.I suggest that we remove "In God We Trust" from our money, and replace it with "I'm not an expert, and I'm not planning to become one."
Speaking of intellectuals, some callow youth from Facebook is buying The New Republic. It's probably not realistic to hope that he'll make all its writers tour the county-fair circuit in a dunking tank filled with raw sewage, as Infinite Justice demands. But we can at least pray that Leon Wieseltier -- a chattering husk who recently called Rachel Maddow's new book "an anthropologically useful document of the new American disaffection with American force" -- will eventually be handed his walking papers. (One of the things Wieseltier objects to is Maddow's "perky self-adoring voice," which is pretty rich coming from a guy who makes George Will sound like Beckett. Physician, fuck thyself!)
Our Indo-Kenyan Islamo-Muslim Usurper-in-Chief continues to ram Teh Gay Lifestyle vigorously down our throats.
Earlier this afternoon, the Senate confirmed Judge Michael Fitzgerald to a federal court in California by a 91-6 vote....Fitzgerald joins Nathan, Oetken and a Clinton appointee named Deborah Batts as one of the only four openly gay lifetime tenured federal judges in American history.An attendee of Grover Norquist's Purity Ball has apparently fallen off the chastity wagon:
Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford will propose a surtax on millionaires Thursday morning, a crack in the steadfast GOP opposition to extracting more money from the nation’s top earners. [...]
Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.
The DOJ has blocked right-wing attempts at voter suppression in Texas and Wisconsin:
It's just barely possible that clearcutting rainforests is not in humanity's best interests:
The U.S. Justice Department yesterday told Texas officials the state failed to show that the statute signed into law by Governor Rick Perry last year won’t have a discriminatory effect on Latino voters while a Wisconsin state court judge held that an ID law enacted by fellow Republican Governor Scott Walker last year, unconstitutionally burdens the rights of eligible citizens....
“Voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression,” Dane County, Wisconsin Circuit Judge Richard Niess said in his ruling yesterday barring enforcement of that state’s law. “Indeed they are two heads on the same monster.”
The world may soon benefit from a plant long-used by indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon for toothaches, eliminating the need for local injections in some cases. Researchers have created a medicinal gel from a plant known commonly as spilanthes extract (Acmella Oleracea), which could become a fully natural alternative to current anesthetics and may even have a wide-range of applications beyond dental care.African leaders are establishing the world's largest conservation area:
In a ceremony this week, leaders from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have agreed to establish a sprawling 170,000 square mile preserve to span respective borders for the sake of wildlife. Up until now, the five nations had each independently maintained a total of 36 unconnected conservation zones, but that model proved insufficient from protecting migrating animals along their cross-border migrations.Global poverty has apparently decreased over the last 20 years:
The new estimates show that in 2008, the first year of the finance-and-food crisis, both the number and share of the population living on less than $1.25 a day (at 2005 prices, the most commonly accepted poverty line) was falling in every part of the world. This was the first instance of declines across the board since the bank started collecting the figures in 1981.(h/t: Cheryl.)
Hooray for eventual, shame-driven consumer semi-choice!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will offer schools choice in ground beef buys amid growing concern over an ammonia-treated filler critics call "pink slime."Pink slime notwithstanding, the kids are alright:
Under the change to be announced Thursday, schools will be able to choose between beef patties made with the filler or bulk ground beef without it. The policy will affect food at schools this fall because of existing contracts.
I am 8 years old and like most kids I like balloons. But I’m really worried about what they are doing to our environment and wildlife. Why is throwing trash along the side of a road illegal, but releasing balloons in the sky to explode and fall to the ground in pieces legal? To me it seems that releasing balloons into the air is the same thing as littering and laws need to be put in place to protect both our marine and terrestrial wildlife.Meerkat pups (via Feministing). Seeds from Hiroshima (via Cheryl). Seeds from the Pleistocene (via Karin). A subterranean clock, and the looming threat of socialized time. Photographer hlaus explores Iceland. Photographer Sarah Elliot explores New Orleans. Photographer Lewis Hine explores one of Newt Gingrich's big ideas. And photographer David Creedon explores the abandoned homes of Irish emigrants:
The Siege and Commune of Paris, 1870-1871. Designing Canberra. We are here. What the censor saw. What the censor didn't see. What a robot saw (via things). Planetary Folklore. A galactic atlas. Fifty-five female photographers. And a Swiss collection of sheet music.
(Photo at top: "Western Skies Motel, Colorado" by Ernst Haas, 1978.)