Hey, is Glenn Beck still alive?

What’s America’s favorite crazy uncle up to these days? From Wonkette:

The media giant is reacting to controversy over a painting of President Obama resembling Jesus Christ on a crucifix by putting a bobblehead doll of President Obama into a container of what appeared to be urine.

“I like to call this ‘Flobama,’” Beck said with a false French accent, as he played the role of a freedom-loving artist expressing himself on his television program Tuesday evening.

He titled his artwork, “Obama in Pee Pee” and put a price tag of $25,000 on it. Ebay has since pulled the item, despite the proceeds slated for charity.

Turns out the “urine” was really beer. An Obama bobblehead in beer that looks like piss?

Nope. Still brain dead.

The latest phase of GOP cliff diving

We’re getting closer to the fiscal cliff (from the New York Times):

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.

The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance. In exchange for locking in the $1.6 trillion in added revenues, President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, with no guarantees.

He did propose some upfront cuts in programs like farm price supports, but did not specify an amount or any details. And senior Republican aides familiar with the offer said those initial spending cuts might be outweighed by spending increases, including at least $50 billion in infrastructure spending, mortgage relief, an extension of unemployment insurance and a deferral of automatic cuts to physician reimbursements under Medicare.

“The Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts,” Mr. Boehner said after the meeting. “No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House over the last two weeks.”

Now, let’s ignore the fact that this Times article seems to say things are perilous because Obama won’t bend over and let the Republicans screw him again. (Of course the proposal is “loaded with Democratic priorities.” It’s an offer from Democrats, genius.)

Just a reminder (since the Republicans and the Times reporter seem to have forgotten this point): Obama won the election. He knows from experience that when a Republican says compromise, it means “You do everything I say.” He’s not going to fall for that again.

This is Obama’s offer. The GOP has to make a counteroffer. Unless the GOP is serious about making progress, which means coming up with a plan (instead of its usual teeth-gnashing and garment-rending tirades), any failure is going to be the direct result of the Republican Party.

Now, we already know the GOP had no problems with going off the cliff when it comes to politics. They lost the presidential election big time because they insulted, berated and offended every constituency that wasn’t current or aspirational old rich white men. They not only thought that was a winning strategy, but they also were well prepared for their inevitable victory, according to the FT:

Right up until he convincingly lost the election, Mr Romney thought he was going to win. Or at the very least, his team believed it would be razor close: On the night of November 6, there were four Romney jets waiting on the tarmac at Boston airport to fly lawyers to the scene of contested swing states.

They were completely oblivious to the fact that they were in trouble. They’re still oblivious to the fact that they are in trouble. But if they go over the cliff this time, they better realize they may never climb up again.

The Syrian connection

This doesn’t look good:

akamaiThat’s a chart of Internet traffic in Syria. The government shut the Web down yesterday.

It’s bad because President Bashar al-Assad is waging war against his people. We’ve seen the destruction, because Syrians have been taking photos and videos of the government-backed attacks and posting them on YouTube and getting information out through Facebook and Twitter. And now Assad has cut that off.

This from the BBC:

The internet has been cut off and mobile phones have been disrupted in Syria, monitoring firms have said.

Networking firm Renesys said the country’s connection protocols were unreachable, “effectively removing the country from the internet”.

Local reports suggested that the internet had been down since early afternoon, and that telephone lines were only working intermittently.

The Syrian government has blamed “terrorists” for the disconnection.

“The terrorists targeted the internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off,” Syria’s minister of information told a pro-government television station.

According to activists, it has been known for similar communication cuts to occur in isolated areas before military operations.

Amnesty International has described the reports as “very disturbing”.

Renesys, a US-based company which tracks internet connectivity worldwide, said on its blog: “In the global routing table, all 84 of Syria’s IP address blocks have become unreachable.”

Assad’s government blames the outage on terrorists, but the outage works in favor of the government. During the Libyan revolution, Moammar Gaddafi knocked out Internet service in that country. Hosni Mubarak knocked out Web service in Egypt during that country’s revolt. If Assad is following their strategies, he’s doomed. But a lot of people are going to die in the process.

Marco Rubio needs to talk to Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson constantly amazes me. One minute, he says atheists are responsible for mass shootings and if your spouse has Alzheimers get a new spouse. Then I get whiplash when he turns around and says marijuana should be decriminalized and oral sex is just fine.

But this is off the charts:

Pat Robertson says creationism isn’t based on science. It’s absurd to say the Earth is 6,000 years old. He talks about carbon dating and dinosaur bones. It’s a fact-based answer.

What is going on here?

Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who’s going to seek the presidential nomination of “the Stupid Party” in 2016, refuses to answer the question “How old do you think the Earth is?” But televangelist Pat Robertson says you can’t “fight revealed science” and expect to be seen as credible.

And who the hell is Bishop Usher?

James Ussher (sometimes spelled Usher, 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar, who most famously published a chronology that purported to establish the time and date of the creation as the night preceding Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC, according to the proleptic Julian calendar.

Wait a minute? The creationists base their entire attack on science and want to rewrite textbooks because of a 17th-century archbishop? On a guy who was combining religion and science at a time when Galileo was being persecuted by the church for saying the Earth went around the Sun?

It’s worse than I thought!

FDR: Don’t trust the GOP on fiscal matters

A few words to consider from Franklin Roosevelt about negotiating with Republicans, as we approach the “fiscal cliff”:

Republicans will drive us over the cliff, if we let them.

(Via Daily Kos)

Dumb ways to die

This is making the Internet rounds. It could have been really gross and disgusting, but ends up rather cute (From the Melbourne Metro System in Australia):

The kind of thing you’d have kids sing at nursery school. (Hey, I was raised in Brooklyn, what do I know? But at least it ain’t “Ring Around the Rosie.”)