Sunday, March 30, 2014

Newsmax host: Don Lemon laughed at Emily Miller's defense of Michele Bachman because he's gay;
Miller: 'I'm not some kind of right wing nut!'

NewsMax host Steve Malzberg:
Ever since he [Lemon] announced he was gay... I see a correlation there...

Lemon and his other guest, The Root editor Keli Goff, had laughed through assertions by Moonie-owned Washington Times' writer Miller about Obama's lack of merit as president:
Lemon: She [Bachmann] is saying that people voted for Barack Obama because they were guilty.
Miller: I think there's a lot of truth to that. There's still white guilt over...
Lemon: And they were still guilty four years later?
Miller: Absolutely. I think so because he obviously didn't win on the merits. The economy — are you going to laugh, Don or let me finish? — the economy is, um, a disaster and it's the highest unemployment rate, even though it was jimmied in the end, of any president that's been reelected, so — he destroyed our healthcare system — so what merits? I think people want to give him a chance because he's black.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ford mocks GM's obnoxious 1% Cadillac ad

And tips its hat to those in its HQ hometown, Detroit, who are trying to pull the city back from the abyss. Instead of an actor, Ford used a real entrepreneur doing good while she makes good. N'est-ce pas, GM?
     Mark Duffy eviscerated the ad here.
     Via Billerco:

Jim Farley, Ford's global sales and marketing chief, absolutely loathes General Motors:
    Last summer, in the run-up to a book on Ford by Bill Vlasic of the New York Times, Farley was quoted as saying he hates GM and what it stands for.
     "I'm going to beat Chevrolet on the head with a bat. And I'm going to enjoy it," Farley is quoted as saying.
In the answer ad below, Farley makes good on his threat:

Attention heteros: extremist NE AG, Jon Bruning, doesn't think you have a right to be divorced either

Margie and Bonnie Nichols, married in Iowa in 2009 and together for longer than a decade, are finding that the road to splitsville doesn't end in Nebraska.
     In August,  Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy dismissed their divorce case, writing in her order, “A finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken — by its very nature — cannot be made without recognizing the marriage itself, and it stretches logic and common sense to conclude otherwise.”
     Nebraska constitutionally banned same sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships in 2000 in one of the most draconian exclusions in the USA.
     Now, uber-homophobic Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, currently campaigning for a promotion to governor after Cornhusker voters rejected his Senate bid, has weighed in on the case:
     Bruning’s office argued the constitutionality of Nebraska’s same-sex marriage law shouldn’t be considered and said divorce isn’t a right.
     “Bonnie cites no authority for the proposition that divorce is a fundamental right or a privilege and immunity guaranteed by the federal constitution. This is because there is no authority for such a proposition,” the Attorney General’s Office wrote.
     ACLU and Legal Aid argued divorce could be handled without delving into the constitutionality of Nebraska’s prohibition of same-sex marriage, and that not letting courts hear these cases violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
     For Margie and Bonnie Nichols, the inability to get divorced raises a number of potential problems and liabilities related to filing federal taxes, being responsible for each other’s debt, Social Security income and other retirement benefits. Mikolajczyk [of Omaha-based Domina Law Group] said an annulment doesn’t offer the same legal protections as a divorce, nor does it address issues of alimony or property division.
     The women cannot remarry, even to someone of the opposite sex. Doing so without a divorce would run afoul of bigamy laws, which come with criminal penalties.
     “They want to terminate this contract just as anyone else in our state has the right to dissolve their marriage,” Mikolajczyk said. “They both would like the opportunity to move on with their lives, and you can’t really do that if other states and the federal government perceive them as still married.”
Nebraska AG Jon Bruning pictured
with Eames and Barcelona chairs
     In November 2003, Jon Bruning said Massachusetts' Supreme Court ruling against that state's ban on gay marriages was ridiculous. "Does that mean you have to allow a man to marry his pet, or a man to marry his chair?" Bruning said. "I mean, at some point, it needs to stop." [Associated Press, 11/18/03]
     In 2011, Jon Bruning had Nebraska State Senator Mike Gloor introduce legislation punishing HIV+ Nebraskans who sneezed in the direction of a cop with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine — despite the fact that the CDC has repeatedly said that saliva has never been shown to transmit HIV.
     In 2012, after state Senator Beau McCoy's bill to kill looming gay rights ordinances in Omaha and Lincoln died in committee, Bruning issued an opinion that LGBT rights ordinances were illegal anyway despite contrary opinions by city attorneys in both Lincoln and Omaha.
     Nebraska's action leaves just five states in which marriage equality lawsuits have not been challenged recently.

Omaha's own Andrew Rannells 'lit up the room' in Broadway Backwards, helping raise $423,182 for
LGBT Community Center and AIDS fight

The star of the original production of The Book of Mormon and costar of NBC's inexplicably cancelled The New Normal performed before an SRO audience last Monday in a return to Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City to help raise almost half a million dollars in one night for charity, beating last year's record by about $80,000.
     The event was the ninth yearly installment of Broadway Backwards, a review in which performers (51 in 2014) take part by singing songs written for the gender opposite theirs. A typically hilarious account by Joe Jervis, in attendance, is here, and a recap, from Broadway Cares, which puts on the show, is here, from which the following is excerpted:
     Groff and Rannells each showed sentimental sides that left audience members in tears. Groff tenderly performed "I Got Lost in His Arms" from Annie Get Your Gun combined with "Goodnight My Someone" from Music Man. Rannells lit up the room with a stunning rendition of "The Man That Got Away" from A Star is Born.
The Rannells' rendition referenced above is first up in the YouTube compilation clip below:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Leslie Jordon enthusiastically emcees 2014 Hookies

Leslie Jordon, probably most famous for his role of Karen's "pretentious, sexually ambiguous rival Beverley Leslie" on Will and Grace, emceed this year's Hookies awards in New York City on March 21.
     The ceremony was started by to honor the world's "top male escorts."
     Jordon once shared a jail cell with Robert Downey Jr.
     He gets around. Below, he stars in a Doritos video with the Lane twins:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Russians poisoned Canadian MP in 2006, then invited him back. Embassy apologized: 'It won't happen again'

You can hear Liberal MP Irwin Cotler (one of 13 Canadians who have now been officially barred from visiting Russia in retaliation for Western sanctions against Putin cronies) describe the Russian government's attempt to assassinate him in 2006 at the CBC's web site.
     In 2010, after declining an invitation to revisit Russia:
...Mr. Cotler made a half-joking reference to being poisoned. He says that the embassy responded: "Sorry about that. It was a mistake. It won't happen again."

Chilled relations affecting sales of U.S. caviar to Russia

Ghost Pepper caviar on raw Louisiana oysters
Photo: Louisiana Caviar Company

USA Today reports that Russian restaurants and grocery stores suddenly cut orders to the Louisiana Caviar Co. of New Orleans months ago as tensions with Ukraine grew.
"I just saw it as anti-American sentiment," says company owner John Burke. Russian sales made up about 20% of his revenue but he has more than offset the loss with increased sales in the U.S. and Mexico.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

E*TRADE baby throws fit, quits after being forced to work with cat

Here at AKSARBENT we're rooting for E*TRADE's clever ads to eat TD Ameritrade's lunch, thereby defunding Ricketts scion Peter's bid to be the latest in a succession of troglodyte Nebraska GOP governors, although almost anyone would be better than Dave Heineman, who is now applying a gay litmus test to aspirants to the State Board of Education.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The recording of which Bryan Adams is so ashamed, he supposed stopped its sale

Audio engineers electronically raised the pitch of Adams' voice enough that if his name hadn't been on the record, no one would have been the wiser later, when he made a bigger name for himself as a rocker.
     This song was huge in gay clubs in the 70s.
     AKSARBENT first heard it at the I-Beam in Haight-Ashbury, which opened in 1977 and was shut after irate neighbors got the city to close the club on account of excessive noise — 17 years later. We would relate an amusing event which befell us there, involving a wardrobe malfunction, but we shan't burden the Internet with the details or ourselves with the ignominy, mortification or indignity attendant to the unfortunate incident.

Each state's coolest invention

This highly subjective survey, set to a nice Calypso tune, names Kool-Aid as Nebraska's best invention. (Don't believe Buzzfeed? Just ask Jim Jones!) The other renowned crap food concoction given to the world by the Cornhusker State was the TV dinner, created by Swanson in the 1950s. The state also is responsible for Cliff's Notes "study guides" which have enabled millions of students to fake their way through English Lit. classes.
     Behold the real life entrepreneurial expression of what politicians like to refer to as Nebraska Values when they spend corporate contributions on image campaigns designed to blow smoke up the ass of the body politic.

AT HRC gala, Joe Biden draws a straight line between Russia's abuse of LGBTs and incursion into Ukraine

At a Human Rights Campaign event in Los Angeles, Biden called for passage of ENDA, the Employment NonDiscrimination Act, in the GOP-controlled House, where it is stalled and connected the dots between officially-sanctioned homophobia in Russia and its annexation of Crimea.
“As the great Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov said, ‘A country that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not respect the rights of its neighbors,’ and we're seeing that today, we're seeing that today in Ukraine,” the vice president said.

New US funding reductions to Uganda in wake of 'abhorrent' antiLGBT law

Flashback: At the end of the above piece, after covering Pastor Rick Warren's various lying denials of his actions, Rachel Maddow took note of Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley's denial of having anything to do with "the family," a Christer sect of Washington lawmakers who were among the first to have knowledge of proposed anti-LGBT legislation at an Ugandan prayer breakfast they hosted.

Kate Nocera of Buzzfeed has identified new actions to be taken immediately by the U.S. government in reaction to Uganda's Nazi-esque targeting of its LGBT citizens. It is now against the law in that country to fail to report known LGBTs to the government; they can receive prison terms of up to life. Four types of aid to Uganda will be cut:
  • $6.4 million will be diverted from the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that has publicly supported the anti-gay law and will go to other organizations;
  • A U.S.-funded study to help identify populations at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS has been suspended out of fear that staff and survey respondents could be put in danger because the law criminalizes “promoting homosexuality”;
  • $3 million in funding designated for tourism and biodiversity promotion will be redirected to NGOs working on biodiversity protection, now that LGBT tourists and allies in Uganda are now at risk;
  • The Department of Defense will move several events scheduled in the country later this spring to other locations. “Certain near-term invitational travel” for Ugandan military and police personnel has also been suspended or canceled.
     National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Lalley wrote in an email that the U.S would continue “to look at additional steps we may take, to work to protect LGBT individuals from violence and discrimination, and to urge Uganda to repeal this abhorrent law.”
     “As we continue to consider the implications of President Museveni’s decision to enact the Anti-Homosexuality Act, the United States has taken certain immediate steps to demonstrate our support for the LGBT community in Uganda, deter other countries from enacting similar laws, and reinforce our commitment to the promotion and defense of human rights for all people — including LGBT individuals — as a U.S. priority,” Lalley said.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Is Pete Ricketts reaching out to homophobes or LGBTs?

Or does the gay-vague campaign of the multimillionaire TD Ameritrade scion running for governor (after Nebraskans rejected his U.S. Senate bid) just have way too much money to throw at Google/YouTube? Or is he playing both ends to the middle? We're so confused.

NOTE: In 2008, Ricketts was the #1 contributor to the successful state senate campaign of Beau McCoy, who unsuccessfully tried to outlaw municipal LGBT antidiscrimination laws in Nebraska and tried to mislead the Unicameral's Judiciary Committee into thinking that the Omaha World-Herald supported his efforts. Thanks, Dick Peter.

2 years after anti-LGBTs predicted deluge of lawsuits over Omaha LGBT ordinance: 0 lawsuits, 3 pending complaints

The Omaha World-Herald requested information from the city regarding actions filed after passage of legislation adding LGBTs to protected classes in employment and public accommodations in Omaha (but not housing) and this is what Erin Golden discovered:
Officials say they have not received many calls from business owners looking for help or clarification, and they're not aware of any lawsuits tied to the ordinance.
     “It's been very minimal,” said Rhonda Uher, assistant director of the Human Rights and Relations Department.
     ...All are related to employment, rather than public accommodations. One involved an employee who was fired and another an employee who was allegedly harassed — both, those involved said, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In a third case, an employee said he or she was unfairly disciplined. Another pointed to unfair terms and conditions of employment.
     The fifth case was classified as “constructive discharge.” That involves a claim of workplace conditions that became so unpleasant that the employee walked off the job.
     The two cases that have been dismissed are those related to discipline and dismissal.
     In 2013, 143 complaints were filed;  54 involved race, 26 involved gender, and 16 each related to age and disability.
     Patrick Bonnett, executive director of the so-called Omaha Liberty Project told the Herald he is still gathering signatures to put a repeal on the ballot and hopes to get the requisite number during the church fish fry season this spring.

Catholic League troll Bill Donohue finds excuse to bail after being told he CAN march in NYC gay day parade with a 'Straight is Great' banner

Source: Village Voice Blogs
From Towleroad: 
     Writes Donohue on the Catholic League site:
     For the past few days I have been engaged in an e-mail conversation with officials from the Heritage of Pride parade, New York’s annual gay event; the dialogue has been cordial. I asked to join the parade under a banner that would read, “Straight is Great.” The purpose of my request was to see just how far they would go without forcing me to abide by their rules. It didn’t take long before they did.
     Today, I informed Heritage of Pride officials that I objected to their rule requiring me to attend gay training sessions, or what they call “information” sessions. “I don’t agree with your rule,” I said. They responded by saying that attendance was “mandatory.”
     The St. Patrick’s Day parade has mandatory rules, too. It bars groups representing their own cause from marching, which is why pro-life Catholics—not just gays—are barred from participating under their own banner. But only gays complain: they refuse to abide by the rules. Indeed, they went into federal court seeking to force a rule change. They lost. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that private parades have a First Amendment right to determine their own rules.
     It is hypocritical for gay activists to complain about having to abide by the mandatory rules of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and then inform me that I cannot march in their parade unless  I respect their mandatory rules, rules that I reject. Good luck to the Heritage of Pride participants. I may be watching it from afar, but I sure won’t be downing a Guinness afterwards.

     Never mind that Donohue stretches truth like taffy in order to conflate "gay training" with gay day parade logistical rules (rules the St. Patrick's Day parade also has, due to insurance regulations.)
     Or that he also conflates self-identification with an agenda. (Donohue wants to dupe his followers into thinking that the statement "I'm gay" is equivalent to saying "I support abortion/gun rights/etc.")
     Bill is also mad because Guinness pulled sponsorship of the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade over the LGBT exclusion issue.
     Which is why AKSARBENT again posts Guinness' gay-inclusive ad, which Donohue will be delighted to know was suppressed in the UK because the stink his ilk raised after merely hearing of its existence frightened Guinness' parent company into never airing the commercial.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Judge rips apart Regnerus Study cited by Dave Bydalek before Unicameral Judiciary Cmte last March

Dave Bydalek, then of Family First of Nebraska, tried to sell Sens. Brad Ashford and the rest of the committee on the biased Regnerus study he cited in arguing against the adoption reforms contained in LB380 (@3:00 in the video below; use headphones for clarity.) Bydalek now lobbies on behalf of the Nebraska Family Alliance, the organization created by the merger of Family First of Nebraska and the Nebraska Family Association. Here's what federal judge Bernard Freidman scathingly wrote in his decision overturning Michigan's ban on same sex marriage:
 ...The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society” and which “was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.” ...In the funder’s view, “the future of the institution of marriage at this moment is very uncertain” and “proper research” was needed to counter the many studies showing no differences in child outcomes. Id. The funder also stated that “this is a project where time is of the essence.” Id. Time was of the essence at the time of the funder’s comments in April 2011, and when Dr. Regnerus published the NFSS in 2012, because decisions such as Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F. Supp. 2d 921 (N.D. Cal. 2010), and Windsor v. United States,-13-833 F. Supp. 2d 394 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), were threatening the funder’s concept of “the institution of marriage.” While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged. Additionally, the NFSS is flawed on its face, as it purported to study “a large, random sample of American young adults (ages 18-39) who were raised indifferent types of family arrangements” (emphasis added), but in fact it did not study this at all,as Regnerus equated being raised by a same-sex couple with having ever lived with a parent who had a “romantic relationship with someone of the same sex” for any length of time. Whatever Regnerus may have found in this “study,” he certainly cannot purport to have undertaken a scholarly research effort to compare the outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples with those of children raised by heterosexual couples. It is no wonder that the NFSS has been widely and severely criticized by other scholars, and that Regnerus’s own sociology department at the University of Texas has distanced itself from the NFSS in particular and Dr. Regnerus’s views in general and reaffirmed the aforementioned APA position statement. 
Below: Dave Bydalek touts Regnerus Study as evidence to defeat LB380's adoption reforms.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

More fallout from JC Penney's fake 'sales'

16-year-old sneaks past guards, spends hours atop World Trade Center

Justin Casquejo (top in shower photo) was said to have tweeted photos of his WTC parkour feat, for which he was arrested, though they don't appear to be on his twitter account now.
     Photos of an earlier construction crane climb are, as well as the following interesting tweets and retweets:

Fred Phelps, founder of Topeka KS 'God Hates Fags' Westboro Baptist Church, died last night at 84

Phelps sect achieved worldwide notoriety when it began picketing the funerals of people who died of AIDS. When it later started demonstrating at the funerals of dead soldiers, it attracted counter-protesters like 'Patriot Guard' motorcyclists.

     Phelps built a successful civil rights/employment rights legal practice, but in 1979,
the Kansas Supreme Court stripped him of his license to practice in state courts, concluding he'd made false statements in court documents and "showed little regard" for professional ethics. He called the court corrupt and insisted he saw its action as a badge of honor. He later agreed to stop practicing in federal court, too.
     Daughter Margie in recent days refused to reveal the condition which caused her father to be placed in a hospice or to admit that he was near death. Her church said merely that its founder was "old and old people have health problems.
     Last year Phelps was excommunicated from the Westboro Baptist Church.
     His daughter says there will be no funeral.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

'Deceitful to the core' scammer Kevin Trudeau gets 10-year sentence; was fixture on Omaha TV

Charlatan Kevin Trudeau (bottom) who bilked gullible
consumers out of millions with the help of broadcasters
who aired his infomercials

Trudeau's 2009 book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About." racked up $49 million in sales, was promoted 32,000 times on TV infomercials and advised people to limit food intake to 500 calories daily and walk an hour every day.
     Prosecutors called him an "uncontrollable huckster" who would probably try to defraud fellow prisoners even while behind bars.
     U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman blasted Trudeau during sentencing.
     Even after the government went after him, his ads appeared regularly on Omaha television stations, always with a disclaimer disavowing any station accountability for his veracity — or lack thereof.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A smirking Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), tries to nail Canadian physician with gotcha questions about
her country's health care — and gets owned

(Video via Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders)

NE GOP Gov. Heineman now applying gay litmus test to Education Board applicants; calls it 'due diligence'

Omaha attorney and State
Board of Education candidate
Ross Pesek refused to answer
Heinemen's questionnaire
Several of Nebraska GOP Gov. Dave Heineman's litany of questions put to applicants for two open State Board of Education seats have virtually nothing to do with education. Heineman's flimsy rationalization of a gay adoption question, as related to the Omaha World-Herald, was because:
...a child's first, best teachers are parents. He said a majority of Nebraskans believe marriage is between a man and woman, and that's how the Nebraska Constitution defines it.
     One candidate, Omaha attorney Ross Pesek, refused to answer Heineman's questionnaire, and the executive director of the Nebraska Democratic Party, Dan Marvin, told the Herald:
It is sad that the governor is using a political litmus test for filling board members to the State Board of Education,” Marvin said. “I am not surprised by it, but our kids deserve better.
AKSARBENT is surprised that Heineman stepped up to the plate to defend (however lamely) his antigay stance. Usually he hides behind the skirt of his spokeswoman or says nothing at all when the Omaha World-Herald or the Lincoln Journal-Star catch him being egregiously, but covertly homophobic.

Cronyism again an issue for Iowa GOP Gov. Branstad

Iowa GOP hack Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, says she had no idea about $280,000 in secret severance payments to former (Democratic) Iowa state employees before a story appeared in Des Moines Register, even though she was contacted about the apparent cronyism by the reporter before the piece was published.
     Here's Reynolds at her bubble-headed partisan best introducing Paul Ryan in Council Bluffs, claiming that Barack Obama lacked "style."
     Reynolds says that GOP Gov. Terry Branstad, currently on vacation in sunny Arizona and unavailable for comment, claims he had no idea what was going on.
     The six employees say they were fired over politics in interviews and grievances they filed. The Branstad administration claims their jobs were eliminated in a "reorganization" but, curiously, all of the settlement agreements had tightly-worded "confidentiality clauses" and two were offered  thousands of dollars apiece to sign additional agreements mandating secrecy.
Iowa's GOP Gov. Branstad again accused of cronyism and placing himself and his administration above the law. Carol Frank, a former construction and design engineer who was laid off in September 2011, likened the Branstad administration to “a group of renegades,” adding, “They just didn’t care about anyone else or about rules or law. They were just hiring their friends.”
     Branstad has spent at least $379,000 of Iowan's taxes defending his administra­tion against a lawsuit by Chris Godfrey, Iowa's gay former compensation commissioner, who alleged defamation, harassment, sexual discrimination and extortion by GOP Gov. Branstad, who cut his salary after he refused to resign, as did other top state employees appointed by Branstad's Democratic predecessor, Chet Culver.
     Branstad's spokesman claimed the governor had no idea know Godfrey was gay.
     Last April, Branstad's state-issued SUV, driven by Trooper Steve Lawrence, was clocked at 84 mph on Highway 20 in Hamilton County, which has a speed limit of 65. Lt. Gov. Reynolds was aboard. Branstad evidently exacted his revenge:
     DCI agent Larry Hedlund, who reported the speeding SUV, was put on paid leave within days of complaining the driver wasn’t ticketed. Hedlund, a 25-year veteran, was fired July 17 and has since sued for wrongful termination.
     The day after Hedlund's firing, Branstad called a news conference and denied Hedlund’s claims that his firing was related to the speeding incident. He then promised that troopers not on emergency business would be told not to exceed speed limits.
     “We need to obey the speeding laws and traffic laws,” Branstad said. “I don’t want to see another incident like this one.”
     Six weeks later, at 11:34 am Aug. 27th on Highway 3 in Franklin County, Branstad’s SUV was again stopped for speeding — again with Lt. Gov. Reynolds aboard. Chief Franklin County Deputy Linn Larson gave Trooper Darren Argabright a written warning, but not a ticket.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Guinness, Heineken drop sponsorship of New York St. Patrick's Day Parade over exclusion of marchers who identify themselves as gay

Sam Adams beer dropped its sponsorship of Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade for the same reason.

Here's a 90's gay-inclusive Guinness ad that the company comissioned, then never aired  because of a right-wing UK ruckus before the commerical ever ran.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Faithless Bill Maher shockingly doesn't believe that a 600-year-old Noah and his three 100-year-old sons stuffed 3 million animals into a 450x50x30-ft. boat

When Christers sneering deride the "faithless," what they really mean are those people whose faith rests in science and empiricism, not absurdly impossible fairy tales.
     By the way, the Genesis account of a great flood was a transparent ripoff of an almost identical account in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which itself borrowed from other creation story flood accounts.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Here's what TransCanada left out of its Keystone XL ad

Note: the tarsands spill in Arkansas was not a TransCanada pipeline. It was a 50-year-old Exxon pipeline built to transport crude at a PSI of around 600, not double or triple that pressure, which tar sands pipelines require. Video via webmaster of Progressive Oasis.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Watch: An indignant Sen. Feinstein slaps her lectern while refuting CIA allegations that Senate staffers illicitly got critical Panetta review of agency

Feinstein alleges the CIA illicitly snooped on Senate staffers and removed or cut off access to documents they were scrutinizing as part of Congressional oversight of the agency. It would have been nice if NSA/CIA spying on ordinary Americans had elicited such outrage on the part of Feinstein.
     In classic J. Edgar Hoover style, CIA director Brennan denied Feinstein's accusation by fabricating one she never made: that the CIA "hacked" into computers provided by the agency for use by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Echo Park goose with a crush on human bachelor Dominic Ehler turned out to be a Mario, not a Maria

Said his daily escort:
"Now, please, let's understand," said Dominic Ehler, Mario's human companion. "Sometimes I'll say Maria, sometimes I'll say Mario. It's kind of a long story, but I sorta say when he's good he's Maria, when he's bad he's Mario"
CBS evidently took park workers' word that the Goose was a girl, without checking.

AKSARBENT knew a goose in an Omaha park who liked (certain) people better than other geese, to whom s/he was kind of a pariah. The bird would come when we whistled and liked the tap water we brought it better than the park's pond water.

Pope drops f-bomb during Vatican address

The Argentinian pope made a mistake in Italian apparently common to non-native speakers during his weekly blessing to a crowd gathered in St. Peter's square. 
     An English translation of the gaffe:
     “If each one of us does not amass riches only for oneself, but half for the service of others, in this fuck, in this case the providence of God will become visible through this gesture of solidarity.”
     Francis' intent was to utter the Italian word for “example,” — “caso.”
     Instead, he said cazzo, slang for penis, but also widely used as a verbal synonym for fuck.

Friday, March 7, 2014

After Nebraska visit, MSNBC host Ed Schultz no longer supports Keystone XL pipeline

(MSNBC host Ed Schultz interviews Nebraska landowners
fighting Keystone XL, from the renewable energy-powered
barn built directly in the path of the pipeline.
Photo: Mary Anne Andrei/Bold Nebraska
Bold Nebraska, whose indefatigable efforts have changed the opinons of many people, hosted Ed Schultz in the renewable energy barn it had built in the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline. From Schultz' show:

Now, I can go out in this research of doing on the XL Pipeline. I can go find an expert over here with the PhD who`s for it. I can go find
somebody over here a scientist who`s against it. Let me give you an absolute tonight, something that you could really hang your hat on.

     The aquifer is feet deep, not
thousands of feet, I mean, feet deep over this territory in Nebraska. This  pipeline if it's constructed, just like every other pipeline, it will leak.
     It's an absolute. It will leak. The first XL Pipeline leaked. The first XL Pipeline comes down here and then goes to Chicago. Well, this one is going to be bigger. It's going to be carrying something a heck of a lot different. It will leak. You can count on it.

      So the question is this America. Do you want to risk -- does the president of the United States want to risk damaging the aquifer? And I'm talking about irreversible damage. This isn't something the oil companies are going to be able to come in and fix the aquifer, no. When that oil, if and when it does get in there, now, what are we going to do? You are going to make void the farm economy in this part of the country. That's the risk.
     That's the absolute. No matter what any export tells you on the left, on the right, on the blue, on the green, on the center, no matter what their degrees are, this is where they want to put the pipeline. This is what it's going to cover and this is the risk.

      Mr. President, are we so energy void that we have to do this? I would love to see the president of the United States go to Nebraska and talk to the folks on the ground and find out exactly how far down that aquifer goes and what an oil spill would do, and what the ramifications would be.
      This right here, the Keystone XL Pipeline that would go over the Ogallala Aquifer is one of the biggest energy risks this country will ever take, ever, ever. It is going to be one of the most disastrous things if it does leak because it's irreversible.
     Mr. President, say no to this project. I turn this night on this program. I was wrong. But after researching both sides and listening to all the experts and seeing what`s out there, I don't think America needs to take this risk. That's not even taking into consideration our diplomatic relations with Canada, which I don't think are going to be risky.
     All this noise you're hearing on the Right Wing about Russia, forget it. That has nothing to do with or energy security and it will not affect the price, if we're worried about that on the global market.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ohio Sheriff Steve Barry helps Christers stage mock arrests with real, on-duty cops in order to fabricate religious liberty victim narrative

Screencap of KAZ "exclusive" video of staged arrest
The only regret expressed by Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry for participation by his department in the taxpayer-subsidized Christian hoax was that he and his deputies were made out to look like "bad guys" because Larry James, general manager of Cleveland-based KAZ Radio Television Network, posted the mock arrests on YouTube without disclaimers informing viewers that the arrests were phony and part of church "marketing" efforts.
     Barry attempted to defend his office's actions to the Akron Beacon:
    Barry said his deputies (two who were off duty and unpaid and two who were on duty and paid) participated as an act of good will to help the faith community in its efforts.
     “I feel we have an obligation to the community as part of our community policing and community relations,” Barry said. “It took nothing away from their assignments and it was a good way to continue building relationships.”
     None of the three pastors who were “arrested” on Sunday — the Rev. Melford Elliott, pastor at Greater Bethel Baptist Church; the Rev. Robert Golson, pastor at Prince of Peace Baptist Church; and the Rev. Vincent Peterson, pastor at Providence Baptist Church — could be reached for comment.

Stephen Colbert mocks homophobic stupidity of GOP Iowa Rep. Steve King

This was prompted by the idiotic rationalizations King gave to WHO over his public pout about the veto by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer of a bill to allow people to refuse goods and services to gays on account of their "deeply held" religious beliefs.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Iowa Rep. Steve King's dilemma: How do you know which LGBTs to discriminate against?

Now that Iowa 4th district Rep. Steve King has redefined LGBT civil rights as "special privileges for self-professed" gays, he was asked by a WHO reporter if "self-professed" means King thinks homosexuality is a choice.
     The GOP Rep. said, "A lot of it is a combination of nature and nurture, but the one thing that I referenced when I said "self-professed" is how do you know who to discriminate against?"

Monday, March 3, 2014

Warren Buffett compares Berkshire-Hathaway's investment strategy to being bisexual

Filthy rich Omaha tycoon Warren Buffett
Buffett, a fan of Mae West, likes to include sexual metaphors in Berkshire-Hathaway's annual letter to shareholders. Here's an excerpt from the Oracle of Omaha's latest missive to stockholders, (in which he admitted that last year Berkshire Hathaway again did not beat the performance of the Standard and Poor's 500.)
     Our flexibility in capital allocation – our willingness to invest large sums passively in non-controlled businesses – gives us a significant advantage over companies that limit themselves to acquisitions they can operate. Woody Allen stated the general idea when he said: “The advantage of being bi-sexual is that it doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.” Similarly, our appetite for either operating businesses or passive investments doubles our chances of finding sensible uses for our endless gusher of cash.
     Although Buffett is willing to draw parallels between the behavior of his company and bisexuals, he refuses to pose for any joke photos with business students implying teh gay.
     Unrelated: Earlier this year, Buffett tweeted a photo of himself as Breaking Bad's fictional meth manufacturer, Walter White.

Nebraska's 'great simplicity' rewarded with 6 Oscar nominations but no wins; to what/whom the film lost

Benjamin Murray explains:
At a glance, Nebraska seems to be about nothing more than an old man’s wandering and fading mind on search for a purpose but by the time the credits roll, the film lets wonder what is the truth behind mankind’s most basic desires. The film looks at how a person becomes a sum total of all their actions and interactions with their surrounding environment. The great simplicity behind Nebraska was recognized by the Academy through the six award nominations including nods for the best picture and best director for Alexander Payne. Also nominated for cinematography, the black and white film was shot by Phedon Papamichael on an Arri Alexa. Nebraska was not shot on traditional black and white film stock but rather was desaturated in colour during post-production to the version screen (sic) in cinemas. Payne commented that it was done so the studio had the ability to release the film in colour if they felt the urge to and for budgetary reasons. The veteran character actor Bruce Dern is also nominated for his performance of Woodrow Grant while his co-star June Squibb is nominated for her turn as his acerbic tongued wife, Kate. Debut feature film screenwriter Bob Nelson also scored a best original screenplay nomination for his quiet tale of the Grant family.

Nebraska was nominated for Best Picture, (losing to 12 Years a Slave) Best Director (Alexander Payne, who lose to Gravity's Alfonso CuarĂ³n), Best Original Screenplay (Bob Nelson, losing to Spike Jonez' script for Her), Best Supporting Actress (June Squibb, who lost to Lupita Nyong'o for her performance in 12 Years a Slave), Best Actor (Bruce Dern, who lost to Matthew McConaughey's performance in Dallas Buyer's Club) and Best Cinematography (Phedon Papamichael, who lost to Gravity's Emmanuel Lubezki).
     Papamichael should not lose heart; Lubezski's winning nomination was his sixth; another Cinematography nominee, Prisoners' Roger A. Deakins, has been nominated 11 times without collecting an Oscar.
     Unrelated: Bret Gold in Motley Fool (!) says Will Forte beat out Casey Affleck, Paul Rudd, Matthew Modine, and supposedly even Bryan Cranston for the part of the son of Bruce Dern's character in Nebraska, which was shot on  a production budget of just $12 million. It has earned about $17 million so far for Paramount.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sec'y of State Kerry, NATO, UN and Ukraine react to Russian military action in Crimea

Russia's excuse for sending troops into the Ukraine — to "protect" its citizens living there — is the same one Hitler used to rationalize invading Poland and Czechoslovakia and the same one Ronald Reagan used to justify the invasion of Grenada.

Seth Myers surrenders his seat to Sir Ian McKellen

I hope the staffers on Myers show are well paid because the set looks to be straight from Dollar General's home furnishings aisle.