Ahh, the distinct scent of Squirrel Person scalp.

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DEATH TO SQUIRRELS EXCLUSIVE!
unretouched congressional portrait of
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the notorious Debbie Wasserman Squirrel, chair of the DNC, finally resigning under pressure from every angle on the eve of the party’s nominating convention.

Readers of this blog will no doubt recall her breathtaking incompetence, as well as her habit of standing with Republicans on their despicable votes on issues as diverse as the Drug War, the TPP/TTIP trade deals, private prisons and payday lenders. She has long been under heavy fire from multiple DNC Vice chairs, rank and file Democrats, the Sanders campaign and high-profile progressive groups and pundits, who accused her of deliberately orchestrating Democratic primaries to favor Clinton over Sanders and then lying about it. None of that got her fired of course, even though all of it is true. If anything, it could only have helped boost her position among her fellow conservative Democrats Squirrel People, who have long held the power center of the Democratic Party.

But then some Russian hackers got hold of the DNC’s email, and Wikileaks published them. Among the more damaging disclosures was her team trash-talking big donors. You see, if there was one thing Debbie Wasserman Schultz was exceptionally good at, it was fundraising. And, well, I’m sure you can see why that would turn out to be her Achilles heel.

Naturally, she proved as hard to get rid of as a squirrel infestation.

Two reliable sources say Wasserman Schultz was trying to make top aides take the fall, rather than take personal responsibility. Until the end, she struggled to understand what a lightning rod she’s become.

“There was a lot of drama,” a Democratic member of Congress involved in the discussions leading up to her resignation [said]. “She made this as painful as she could. She did not want to go… She wasn’t going to resign until the president called her. She put a lot of people through hell.”

Even the Clinton camp pressured her to resign, which, you know, holy shit. It finally took a phone call from President Obama—who originally installed her as head of the DNC in the first place—to get her to see that her run as DNC chair was finished.

In a statement, Obama said he was “grateful” for Wasserman Schultz’s service. “Her fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth,” the president said.

Democratic strategist and Clinton ally Donna Brazile will be taking over as the interim chair.

Brazile, a vice chair of the convention, also was caught up in the leak. Asked for comment in an email from a Washington Post reporter about negotiations between the Sanders campaign and the DNC about the composition of the party’s convention committees, Brazile forwarded the reporter’s request to DNC officials.

“I have no intentions of touching this,” she said. “Why? Because I will cuss out the Sanders camp!”

Meanwhile, the Democrats mentioned as permanent replacements are:

former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, [Squirrel Person and former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] Rep. Steve Israel of New York and EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock. All are loyal supporters and trusted allies of Clinton.

So not to worry. It’s all good now.

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UPDATE:

Usually conservatives aren’t very good at this, but I have to admit this is a fine specimen of mockery:

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Hahaha. Awesome.

“Pro-life,” everyone.

So the rancid garbage heap that is Donald Trump has chosen as his running mate the blazing dumpster fire that is Mike Pence. As if it could be any other way. The Donald desperately needed a bona fide conservative berserker on the ticket to perk up the flaccid conservative base, because his own track record is simply not terrible enough to get them excited.

Much digital ink has been and undoubtedly will be spilled about Pence’s “pro-life” position. He is the real deal, a foaming-at-the-mouth Forced Birther, who enjoys a 100% rating from the National Right to Life [sic] Committee and a 0% rating from NARAL. Like most “pro-life” conservatives, Mike Pence has a bizarre obsession with blastocysts, and with requiring people to provide continuous organ donation for nine months followed by the horrifically violent expulsion of a newly minted human, voluntarily or otherwise. Yet strangely, he has very, very few qualms about the deaths of existing people.

On gun issues alone, a lot of dead bodies can be piled up right at Pence’s feet: he wants a national (cross-state) standard for concealed carry, looser restrictions on interstate gun purchases, and in Congress he voted repeatedly to shield gun manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits. Naturally, he’s got an A rating from the fine folks at the NRA.

He’s also a big supporter of the Iraq war.

Pence has been an unwavering champion of the “War on Drugs,” the FAILest policy that ever FAILed, responsible for countless deaths, unfathomable miseries and untold millions of destroyed lives. SCHIP, the nation’s health insurance program for poor children, is also a favorite target: he voted multiple times to deny its expansion. And for what it’s worth, he doesn’t care much for non-human life either, having voted to deauthorize “critical habitat” zones for endangered species.

Now none of that is surprising, because people who understand how words work know that “pro-life” doesn’t mean anything of the sort. But I have to hand it to this asshole. He surprised even me with this shit: denying that cigarettes are dangerous, in exchange for large campaign contributions from Big Tobacco. In an astonishing editorial he wrote while running for congress in The Year of Our Lard 2000, he wrote:

“Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”

WHAT. I mean, the jury’s been in on that question since at least 1964.

At a later debate, he clarified exactly what he meant by that statement: that “there was no causal link medically identifying smoking as causing lung cancer.”

&^$@^)#!

As governor of Indiana, Pence has created quite the legacy for himself on behalf of his cigarette manufacturer friends.

Indiana’s public health has paid the price. In 2015, Pence signed a law making it easier to create cigar bars in the state. And his administration slashed the already small amount of the tobacco tax and settlement money available for smoking prevention and cessation in 2013, well below the CDC’s recommended levels. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, “Funding for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation was down to $8 million per year when Pence took office in January 2013. And within his first week, the Pence administration slashed the agency’s budget to $5 million.”

Indiana now has the highest adult smoking rates of any state in the industrial midwest region and the seventh highest smoking rate in the nation. With among the lowest tobacco taxes of any state, public health experts warn the state is “really in bad shape.” Indeed a 2014 article noted that 17 percent of pregnant women smoke — nearly double the national average — and this has been linked to lower birth weights and higher rates of infant mortality. As a result, it noted, “the state spends $28 million a year on health costs for infants born to mothers who smoke.”

“Pro-life,” everyone.

Ruining everything, as usual.

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Union Square Park today
with obligatory statue of a d00d (it’s always a goddamn d00d) left.

Ahh, friends. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, as glorious as a city park on a spectacular day.

The Greenmarket was in full swing on the west side. And on the east: lush greens, quiet benches, hushed tones.

WAIT A MINUTE.

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Oh no.
: |

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NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE

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OH HELL NO.

#deathtosquirrels

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UPDATE:

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Jerry Coyne at BHA 2016—Part 2: NOPE.

(Part 1 is here.)

[CONTENT NOTE: While this post contains no graphic descriptions or images of violence, it does contain discussion of: child sexual assault, abuse and death; suicide; hostility to consent, bodily autonomy and agency; homophobia; sex- and gender-based discrimination.]

Just a reminder: in the intro to Part 1, I noted that while Dr. Coyne communicates some very useful and interesting things in this lecture (and elsewhere) that readers may find worthwhile, he is exasperatingly prone to poo flinging, and I fully respect the decision of anyone who decides to pay him no attention whatsoever on this basis alone. As I said, FWIW I do not allow Coyne’s poo flinging in the remaining portions of the transcript to go unrebutted.

[Read more…]

Sorry gay people! You don’t get to go to crappy cartoon paradise!

This video produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses has been making the rounds in my feeds, and I finally watched it this morning. Pink News has a partial transcript, but the gist of it is a little girl gets coached by her mom to tell her friend that God does not approve of her same-sex parents’ lifestyle, nosiree, not one bit, and he will not let them play in his sandbox if they don’t straighten up. (Geddit? Straighten up? Hahaha I crack myself up.)

There is much to mock here of course, but also much to fear. This is indoctrination into bullying for the elementary school set which, if the roles and messaging were reversed, would have the religious right screaming about persecution. (And for once they might actually have a point.) No child deserves to be told that her parents are going to burn in a lake of fire forever for the unspeakable crime of loving each other and raising a family together. And in a nod to widely-discredited and dangerous “conversion therapy,” mom tells the kid, “People can change. That’s why we share his message.”

STFU 4EVER KTHX.

The most heartbreaking part of it is that the little girl has it exactly right when she tells her mom, “Carrie drew two mommies. She told me they’re married to each other. My teacher says that all that matters is that people love each other and that they’re happy.”

But mom’s not having any of that. And neither is the ultimate bully, Jehovah. Mom says:

“People have their own ideas about what is right and wrong – but what matters is how Jehovah feels. He wants us to be happy and he knows how we can be happiest. That’s why he invented marriage the way he did.”

“I’LL TELL YOU WHEN YOU’RE FUCKING HAPPY, RAWR!!!” -God.

Christ, what a shitshow. Anyway, let’s just focus for a minute on this paradise we’re all supposed to want to get into. With a truly bizarre metaphor, mom compares entering heaven to…getting on an airplane. If you’ve ever flown coach on American, I’m sure you’ll grok the irony here. Worse: in this scenario a gay partner is forbidden cargo, and Jehovah is the TSA? Or something?

MOM: It’s kind of like going on an airplane – what would happen if someone wanted to bring something on the plane that wasn’t allowed?

KID: They can’t go on the trip!

MOM: Right! It’s the same with Jehovah! He wants us to be his friend, and live in paradise forever, but we have to follow his standards to get there…To get there we have to leave some things behind – that means anything Jehovah doesn’t approve of.

The cartoon d00d looks at his (super gay!) bag, twice, before unceremoniously ditching it and dashing through the heavenly purple metal detector.

heavenlytsa

Leave your gay “baggage” behind—and enter hay fever paradise.

I wouldn’t want to share an elevator ride with these insufferable assholes, much less eternity.

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Just your regular reminder (on the remote chance there’s no Wifi in the afterlife): if you’re looking for me, I’ll see you in hell. 2nd circle, VIP section.