Lies: part 1

As Paul Krugman says:

The GOP campaign is based on five main themes, three negative and two positive.

Negative:

The claim that Obama denigrated businessmen, saying that they didn’t build their own firms — which isn’t true.

The claim that Obama has gutted Medicare to pay for the expansion of health insurance — which isn’t true.

The claim that Obama has eliminated the work requirement for welfare — which isn’t true.

Positive:

The claim that Ryan has a plan to balance the budget — which isn’t true.

The claim that Romney has a plan for economic recovery — which isn’t true. (The Economist: “The Romney Programme for Economic Recovery, Growth and Jobs” is like “Fifty Shades of Grey” without the sex).

It seems to me that there’s a pattern here, but I can’t quite figure it out.

Conspicuous wealth: Mitt throws a party

Doesn’t this seem a bit excessive?

Gov. Mitt Romney‘s campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.

The floating party, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht “Cracker Bay,” was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney’s bid.

“I think it’s ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn’t even pay its taxes,” said a woman who lives aboard a much smaller boat moored at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina.

Romney’s Cayman-based investments have come under fire during the campaign.

Here’s a photo of the yacht, and the Cayman Islands’ flag, from ABC News:

Romney knows he’s being scrutinized for having secret bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, so you’d think he’d be a little more discreet on where he throws his parties for rich backers. Instead, he’s just saying, “Hey, look at me. I’ll put my money anywhere I want, and screw you if you don’t like it.”

I’m not saying he should hide the fact that he’s wealthy. I would just appreciate it if he didn’t rub my nose in it.

Conservatives and rape

Atrios makes a very interesting point:

I decided there are basically three issues. First, they can never really seem to grasp the concept of ‘consent.’ Second, they tend to lump rape together with having unapproved sex generally. Third, for reasons which escape me, a lot of them seem to really really fear having someone “falsely” accuse them of rape.

(Cartoon via Daily Kos)

‘Mandatory,’ from Romney supporters in coal country

I think I’m having some trouble understanding English (from the Cleveland Plain Dealer):

When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited an Ohio coal mine this month to promote jobs in the coal industry, workers who appeared with him at the rally lost pay because their mine was shut down.

The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.

A group of employees who feared they’d be fired if they didn’t attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist. Blomquist discussed their beefs on the air Monday with Murray EnergyChief Financial Officer Rob Moore. Moore told Blomquist that managers “communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” He said the company did not penalize no-shows.

Did the definition of “mandatory” change since yesterday? Doesn’t it still mean that you have to do it? Or do Romney supporters have a special GOP dictionary?

Still, it looks like super rich presidential candidate screwed some miners out of a day’s pay.

Bic for Her: The reviews are in!

On the Amazon.co.uk Web site, commenters are having a field day over this product:

Here’s one reaction to the Bic “for Her”:

My mother, a hard-working woman who raised twelve kids single-handedly whilst doing all the ironing (as nature intended), was furtively abashed by her illiteracy. Long would she gaze upon her husband and sons’ scrawlings and would dedicate five minutes a day (which she really should have spent making sandwiches) to pray that one day she would be granted the ability to create such scribbles of her own. She’s still a little slow on the uptake, but this product has definitely helped start the ball rolling. We tried to give her men’s pens but she used to rip the cartridges out and drink the ink. Typical woman.

And a little gender blowback here:

Bought these for my nephew as I knew he was getting really excited about creative writing in his 5th grade class… but, almost as soon as I had gifted these did my nephew start showing an accelerated interest in My Little Pony, One Direction, and Twilight. I would have NEVER given these to my nephew if I had thought it would lead him to reading Twilight. He doesn’t even understand half of the words, but he gets the gist and that’s enough. Now, my wife and I need to hide her clothes as we’ve already found him fumbling through her dresses a couple times.

This was a young boy who, before these pens, was excited about baseball, Transformers, and WWE wrestling.

BIC! What have you done?!

Turns out, it’s the perfect accessory:

I only have two hands. One to apply lipstick and another to hold my copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. This is exactly what I needed! A pen that looks pretty enough to hold between my lips. Now husband-finding will be a much easier task. It’s so logical – EVEN FOR A WOMAN! Thank you, BIC!

Even though this is on a U.K. Web site, Americans are getting in on the fun. Here’s one from Colorado:

I used my new pen to write a letter to my local Congressman requesting equal pay for women and a preservation of my reproductive rights… and then the ground began to shake, the world around me crumbled into flames and molten stone, everything went black, and I was torn asunder from the universe. Did I use it wrong????

Who knew there would be medical concerns?

Does anyone know if I can use these pens while I’m on my period? I wanted to write BIC for help but I’d have to wait a week.

And things do get racy:

I cannot say how many times a male friend or coworker has interrupted a cordial conversation with some exclamation related to his pen size! “It’s so big!” most will boast. A few more modest (and close) male friends will confide their concern that their pens are just “too small for a woman to appreciate.” Often, men will seek a woman’s council on such matters, asking “Do women prefer a pen of greater length or greater girth? Or do they prefer both?” Once, a fellow I admired was even so concerned with the adequacy of his pen, he wasn’t sure any woman would want to write with it at all. The discovery of inadequate pen size can be devastating to men, but equally so to women.

Well, this pen settles the issue once and for all! While some pens are excessively (and dare I say, dangerously) long or too short to be of any use, this pen is just the right length. It is not too thick for a woman to clasp one-handed, nor too thin as to slip out of her grip. Like Goldilocks, this pen is just right! Writing can be universally pleasurable to women thanks to BIC.

Now men everywhere will have a universal standard to measure their pens! Thank you BIC, for knowing exactly what’s best “for her” writing pleasure.

But, you know, there’s always a statement where you can’t tell if the writer is clueless or has mastered the joke.

I’m offended at how people are treating this like some sort of joke, just to have a go at Bic. This is no laughing matter. Seriously, a company actually tries to do something NICE to show its level of regard for women’s issues, to solve a problem that has vexed half of the human race since the days of drawing on cave walls, and you all just smirk? I hope you can sleep at night, knowing that you’ve mocked something that can potentially enable billions of heretofore-impaired writers.

The comments go on for quite a stretch, and they’re from all over the world. You can find them here.

Guns don’t kill people, they just go off accidentally

From the Rude Pundit:

Zombie Darwin must be chortling his bearded bony ass at this 18-year old in Port St. Lucie, Florida, just across the state from Tampa, who was “cleaning his .357 Magnum revolver when he ‘somehow accidentally shot himself in the groin and leg area.'” Yep, the gun just went off ….

Need more to feel vastly superior to gun nuts? How about the Indiana man who modified his Ruger and shot off his fingertip? The South Carolina man who shot his hand with a .40 Smith and Wesson at a gun show? The North Carolina man who shot himself while showing off a pistol at a gun show? The rural Washington man who had MacGyvered a mole trap using a 12-gauge shotgun and shot out his knee (to the everlasting delight of the moles who had an orgy in his blood while he rolled around screaming)? The Nevada man who shot himself in the ass in a movie theatre (he was deemed responsible enough to have a conceal carry permit)? The New Hampshire man who shot himself in the ass while watching TV? The Nebraska man who shot himself in the foot (holy true-life aphorisms) while unloading his Glock? The Oklahoma man who accidentally shot himself in the chest?

That’s just in the last couple of weeks. And this list is by no means exhaustive.

What the Rude Pundit would like to know is how many of the men up there used that excuse, “The gun just went off”? And he wonders how many of those who said that have also used the worthless canard that “guns don’t kill people…”

Custer’s last stand … again

The Battle of the Little Big Horn continues:

A RNC National Committeeman told Governor Susana Martinez‘s staff that her agreeing to meet with Native Americans is disrespectful to the memory of Col. George Armstrong Custer, the infamous cavalry officer who killed thousands of Native Americans in the 1800s, according to emails obtained by ProgressNow New Mexico.

In a June 8, 2012 e-mail to the governor’s senior staff and personal attorney, Pat Rogers wrote in response to an article regarding the governor’s annual meeting with the state’s tribal leaders.

Guess this must really be Custer’s last stand. The RNC really knows how to pick an issue.

Compasionate conservatism, a biblical myth

And here’s a quick tweet from a Fox News Christian:

A specific parable, Matthew 25, is in order here:

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”

Seems pretty clear where this congregation is headed.

Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, dies at 82

The AP has just reported that Neil Armstrong — who along with Buzz Aldrin were the first men to land on the moon — has died at the age of 82. The announcement came from Armstrong’s family. He had heart surgery two weeks ago.

On July 20, 1969, Armstrong became the first man  to set foot on the Earth’s satellite. Let’s just say he wasn’t a great speaker. In a brief speech seen by practically everyone in the world, he got his big line wrong, forgetting a crucial article.

That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.

But that doesn’t matter. He is one of those figures who will live throughout history for the greatest achievement in exploration. For centuries, man had dreamed of going to the moon. Armstrong turned it into a reality. He gave us one of those rare moments where borders didn’t exist and nationalities were irrelevant. The collective “we” had landed on the moon. Anyone who was able to sit in front of a television on that day will never forget that moment.

Here’s the clip from the big event.

According to his biography from NASA:

Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He began his NASA career in Ohio.

After serving as a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. His first assignment was with the NACA Lewis Research Center (now NASA Glenn) in Cleveland. Over the next 17 years, he was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

As a research pilot at NASA’s Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., he was a project pilot on many pioneering high speed aircraft, including the well known, 4000-mph X-15. He has flown over 200 different models of aircraft, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders.

Armstrong transferred to astronaut status in 1962. He was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission. Gemini 8 was launched on March 16, 1966, and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.

As spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon and first to step on its surface.