Stormy Monday, 10/6/14

StormyMondayExisting inventories of Styrofoam food and beverage containers are now being exhausted as the House of Representatives begins transitioning to paper containers following last week’s official announcement. Rest assured that despite this modest green initiative, the House will continue to be a hotbed of climate change deniers, science-averse throwbacks and assorted bullet-headed regressive Tea Party know-nothings. Fun fact: under Nancy Pelosi’s speakership, the House had already switched to “compostable, corn-based products” as part of the “Green the Capitol Initiative,” before Republicans regained the majority and un-greened everything.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will, I suppose, wow ‘em at the American Enterprise Institute Monday morning, when he’ll take the podium for an hour to “[present] a plan to rebuild America’s military strength and reaffirm the United States as a force for freedom and stability around the world.” Meaning he’ll be mouthing a raft of stale clichés about the crying need to reverse every sensible foreign policy direction the Obama Administration has pursued and double down on those that weren’t very sensible. Emboldened by the worthlessness of his possible 2016 primary rivals, the worthless Jindal will repeat his speech the next day at the Citadel in South Carolina, something Republican presidential hopefuls do before moving on to obscurity.

Gregory Holt, a Muslim incarcerated in an Arkansas prison, might be allowed to grow a beard if the Supreme Court finds in his favor. Had Holt thought to commit his offenses (which included stabbing his girlfriend in the chest and cutting her throat) in any of 44 other state jurisdictions, or federally, he could already have grown one. Argument in the case begins Monday.

Has Thomas Duncan infected anyone else in the United States with the Ebola virus? Whether he has or not, US mainstream media will continue a torrent of poorly informed, embarrassingly hyperbolic, offensively America-centric coverage this week, even as it mostly ignores the situation in western Africa, where urgent efforts to staunch the epidemic continue. Among other recent developments, successful containment strategies in Nigeria and Senegal are now being studied for application in other countries.

Duncan ‘s condition was downgraded from serious to critical on Saturday, while further names were added to the list of those being monitored for possible infection after contact with him. Continue reading Stormy Monday, 10/6/14

Take Five (Conduct Unbecoming edition)

ONE: Wings of Desire

The least surprising recent gun news was the shameful failure of expanded background checks legislation in the Senate. Least surprising because, after all, 42 of the 45 naysayers have been recipients of gun lobby largesse; the other three, evidently, are just dolts. A few other recent firearms stories, by contrast, were a little harder to anticipate.

If you’re ever in Memphis and thinking you could kill for some Jack Pirtle’s chicken wings, just don’t bring along an assault rifle. Antonius Hart Sr. and his creatively named son Antonius Hart Jr. made that mistake recently, and not only are they facing criminal charges, but they didn’t even get their wings.

After receiving the wrong order on their first visit to a Pirtle’s drive-thru, they returned for their wings but stubbornly insisted on getting some free chicken as compensation for being inconvenienced. When this demand was refused, Hart père allegedly brandished an AK-47. Jack Pirtle’s staff then called the cops, who arrested the Harts and confiscated the rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition.

In a gun incident with less obvious motivation, Seattle police were called to the Northgate Mall recently after security reported a man fondling a shotgun in the parking lot:

The man, who wore a cowboy hat, a white shirt and khaki pants, walked to his Ford Explorer with the shotgun and put it in the vehicle, police spokeswoman Renee Witt said. He then lingered outside the vehicle smoking a cigarette and at times handled the gun in the Explorer, police said…

“We’re now looking into whether he had a legitimate reason for having the shotgun – maybe he was transporting it,” Witt said.

Well, maybe. Or maybe it was transporting him, if you catch my drift, but it’s also possible that the man’s peculiar behavior was inspired by the Northgate Mall itself. A recent consumer review on Yelp suggests that it might be the shopping center of broken dreams:

This mall has nothing interesting, honestly. Everything seems run down and depressing which for some reason stresses me out.

So I normally have a few drinks before shopping and that helps take the edge off, but once the alcohol wears off I die…

In further malls’n'guns news, a woman waiting for a parking space on Thursday at a mall in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park had the bad fortune to cross paths with an armed jackass in a hurry:

Investigators said a woman decided to stop and wait for a person to leave a particular parking space when a man driving a car behind her grew impatient and started honking and yelling obscenities.

Authorities said the woman didn’t budge and the man in the car behind her drove up to her side of the vehicle, pulled a gun and started waving it at her, threatening to kill her if she didn’t move.

Background checks? We don’t need no stinkin’ background checks…

TWO: Say What?

Bismarck’s NBC affiliate KFYR (“Your News Leader”) proudly presented their new co-anchor the weekend before last, and then they fired him. AJ Clemente, thinking that his Evening Report debut wasn’t yet underway, uttered the words “fuckin’ shit” into a live mic. Clemente and co-anchor Van Tieu then went into this awkward back-and-forth:

TIEU: Good evening. I’m Van Tieu. You may have seen our newest – AJ on – in [inaudible] North Dakota news, and he’ll be joining the weekend news team as my co-anchor. Tell us a little bit about yourself, AJ.

CLEMENTE: Um… thanks, Van. I’m very excited. I graduated from West Virginia University, and I’m used to, um, you know, from being from the in – East Coast.

Clemente was canned the following day. Especially in view of his Cooperstown-ready surname, it’s a damn shame he doesn’t have a lifetime batting average of .286 with 403 home runs and 1,337 RBIs; he’d probably still have a job. Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who actually owns these impressive stats, had this to say to a sold-out crowd during a televised ceremony before the first ballgame at Fenway following the Marathon bombing:

We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job that they did this past week. This is our fucking city, and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong. Thank you.

A couple of hours later, FCC chair Julius Genachowski tweeted:

David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston.

That and the $14.5 million Ortiz is making this season will be a great comfort to the slugger, no doubt. If you really want to see something wrong done right, leave it to Republicans. Steve Kush is the executive director and Bob Cornelius the former executive director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party in New Mexico, and they really dislike women who want to see a higher minimum wage. Cornelius and Kush attended a hearing on the topic and had some choice social media comments about a couple of female members of the activist group Working America. As one member of the group spoke, Kush tweeted:

Nice hat Working America chick but damn you are a radical bitch

Before moving on to Facebook to comment on Working America’s executive director:

Uh oh another Working America chick…nice boots…I know she makes more than min wage

Cornelius soon chimed in:

Maybe she uses those shoes to walk Central [Avenue]…even in this economy she can exchange bumper cables for boots

Kush then posted:

… she was hot enough to almost make me register democrat

After being suspended indefinitely without pay, Kush has expressed remorse for what he calls an “ill-fated attempt at humor.”

THREE: Many Crappy Returns

Ever notice how washed-up Republican politicians never seem to go away? No matter the magnitude of their defeats and disgraces, no matter the fervid desire of the general public never to hear or see them again, no matter the outrageousness or flat-out irrelevance of their opinions, they just will not go away. Exhibit A? Joe Walsh.

The former Congressman, a lazy and stupid man, made headlines in March when he informed a rally full of rapt Teabaggers that Americans are lazy and stupid. Now America’s highest-profile deadbeat dad is using the Boston Marathon bombing as a springboard to more headlines, as he calls for, essentially, a law enforcement jihad:

“We’re at war, and this country got a stark reminder last week again that we’re at war,” Walsh said to host Martin Bashir during an appearance on MSNBC. “And not only should we take a pause, Martin, when it comes to immigration, we need to begin profiling who our enemy is in this war: young Muslim men.”

Walsh has repeatedly hinted at another run for office, but with any luck voters will begin profiling white, middle-aged, Islamophobic scofflaw candidates and stop the little buttmunch before the sleeper cell of his political aspirations can be activated.

Todd Akin, the rank misogynist whom Walsh was quick to defend, has also been trying to get a foot back in the door of relevance. In an interview with KSDK in St. Louis, he responded ominously to a question about returning to politics:

“It’s one of those things that depends on the circumstances really.  I don’t rule anything out. I consider it a bright new future and I’m interested to see what the possibilities are.”

Personally, I’m hoping that the body politic has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Continue reading Take Five (Conduct Unbecoming edition)

Sunday Talks, 11/18/12

“This Week” on ABC will feature House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, on to discuss the “fiscal cliff.” House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., will discuss the . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 11/18/12

Sunday Talks, 7/1/12

The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the core of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law leads this Sunday’s television talk shows.

White House chief of staff Jack Lew is on “Fox News Sunday,” ABC’s “This Week” and . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 7/1/12

Sunday Talks, 5/20/12

This Sunday’s television talk shows are packed with Congressional leaders, headlined by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on ABC’s “This Week.”

Paul Ryan stops by NBC’s “Meet the Press,” along . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 5/20/12

Sunday Talks, 1/8/12

Center stage on this Sunday’s television talk shows is a special edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which is joining Facebook to host the last Republican presidential debate before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

It will be the . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 1/8/12

Sunday Talks, 10/9/11

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel highlights this Sunday’s television talk shows in his new role as mayor of Chicago.

He’ll appear – live from Chicago – on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss his . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks, 10/9/11

Sunday Talks - June 5, 2011

Nancy Pelosi

This week on CBS’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer will host House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – CA).  Representative Pelosi will discuss the current congressional debate over raising . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks – June 5, 2011