Archive | January, 2014

Rep Michael Grimm Gets Grim: “I’ll Break You in Half!”


Representative Michael G. Grimm of Staten Island, threatened a NY1 reporter on Tuesday night after being asked about campaign-finance investigations following the State of the Union address.

Just moments after the State of the Union speech, Michael Grimm, once considered a rising star in the Republican Party, now considered prime anger management material, went off on reporter Michael Scotto inside the US Capital building. Sotto asked the Tea Party politician about the continuing federal investigation into his campaign fund-raising.

When initially asked the question, Grimm responded, “I’m not speaking about anything that is off-topic. This is only about the president’s speech,” and stormed off camera.

After the reporter signed off, Grimm came back with a vengeance. Luckily, the camera was still rolling and Grimm can be heard angrily whispering into the Scotto’s ear:

“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f*cking balcony.”

When Scotto insists his question was valid, Grimm took a page from the Chris Christie Book of Bullying and responded with:

 “You’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Being a man’s man, Grimm initially decided not to apologize for his outburst.

“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests… I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor,” he wrote in a statement on Tuesday night. “I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.”

But after the video went viral and Scotto did the rounds on the cable news networks, Grimm was forced to pack away his machismo and apologize.

Screenshot 2014-01-29 12.27.13

His statement may say, “I’m sorry”, but his eyes say, “I’m going to lose it any second”.


Via: New York Times

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Current Event Cat of the Day: State of the Union Recap

Current Event Cat - State of the Union

State of the Union recap: Obama spoke, Biden smiled, Boehner did his best grumpy cat impression.

Obama made is through his fifth annual State of the Union address last night, touching on five key points:

Income inequality: Noting that America is growing, but only for a few, Obama pledged to offer “a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class”.

Screw You Congress: Obama promised to tackle economic inequality “with or without Congress,” signaling that he’s willing to bypass the stubborn bunch whenever and wherever possible. He also announced he will unilaterally raise the minimum wage for new federal contract staff.

Let Obamacare Be Great: Obama reiterated that Obamacare is here to stay and kindly asked Republicans to stop trying to repeal his signature healthcare overhaul. “Let’s not have another forty-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans.”

Iran is My New BFF: Obama praised Iran for cooperating (to an extent) in regards to their nuclear weapons program. The president urged Congress to give it some more time and stop demanding new sanctions be placed on Iran.

 Sgt. Cory Remsburg Is Awesome and That’s Something We Can All Get Behind: Obama ended his speech by praising the military and saluting Sgt. Remsburg, an Army Ranger who was nearly killed by a bomb during his tenth deployment. Moral of the story: If Cory can recover, so can America – if Congress butts out that is…

But the best part of the State of the Union speech didn’t involve Obama at all, it was Joe Biden and John Boehner’s opposing facial expressions.  To the left of Obama, he have Joe Biden, smiling, animated, possibly drunk, and overall loving the speech. On the other side, there’s Tan Dad John Boehner. Aside from one friendly thumbs up, the perpetually orange House Speaker, who is darker than Obama at this point, looked like he’d rather watch paint dry than listen to a second more of Obama’s ramblings.


Via: BBC News

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A Good Old Fashioned Australian Crocodile Hunt… And Other News


Australian rangers are on the hunt for a crocodile believed to have consumed a 12-year-old boy who was swimming with his friends in a billabong in Australia’s Kakadu National Park.

The four-metre crocodile also mauled the boy’s 12-year-old friend before snatching him up.  The first boy suffered deep wounds to both arms after he fought off the crocodile. Police have shot two crocodiles dead in their hunt for the boy, but “neither of them had anything in their stomachs,” Sgt. Stephen Constable said. Where’s the Crocodile Hunter when you need him? Oh yeah… the sting ray… CBC News

THe QueenThe Queen needs a crash course in money management. A report for Britain’s House of Commons shows that Queen Elizabeth’s bank balance has dropped from £35 million to £1 million in just over a decade. A bankrupt Queen? Well, I never! Adding to the Queen’s money woes is the fact that the royal palaces are “crumbling.” MPs are telling the Queen to cut back on her spending and tackle the huge backlog of repairs to the monarch’s crumbling palaces. Last year the queen received £31 million from the taxpayer to cover her staffing costs, travel and the maintenance of her palaces but apparently that’s not enough. The Public Accounts Committee report is encouraging palace officials to boost the royal family’s income, such as through palace tours and making its facilities available for commercial events. Where is all the money going? Kate Middleton’s wardrobe? AFP 

Bitcoin ArrestI knew Bitcoin sounded a little sketchy after the Winklevoss twins endorsed it… Charlie Shrem, the CEO of BitInstant, a Bitcoin exchange, and the vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, was arrested on Sunday along with a co-conspirator and charged with money laundering for his company’s involvement with Silk Road, an online black market. The 24-year-old entrepreneur is accused of selling over $1 million in bitcoins to Silk Road users, who would then use them to buy drugs and other illicit items. “Hiding behind their computers, both defendants are charged with knowingly contributing to and facilitating anonymous drug sales, earning substantial profits along the way,” DEA agent James Hunt said in a release. Bail is set at 20,000 bitcoins. Just kidding – no one uses digital currency. Globe and Mail

TreyTrey Radel pulled an anti-Rob Ford and announced his resignation from Congress several months after his crack scandal. The Florida representative pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November after he was caught buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover police officer. Although some fellow Republicans urged him to step down at the time, Radel held on, undergoing substance abuse rehabilitation treatment and returning to Congress earlier this month. But on Monday, faced with an Ethics Committee investigation, Radel changed his course and decided to step down, saying his personal struggles impeded his ability to serve in Congress. If only Rob Ford could finally acknowledge that his personal struggles also impede his ability to serve as Mayor – and make it through a press conference without embarrassing himself. National Post

Tucker CarlsonTucker Carlson’s children must be extra special needs because the Fox News host suggested that 17-year-olds should not be allowed to pre-register to vote because they were not even capable of “choosing an entrée at a restaurant.” In Sunday morning Fox & Friends segment, Carlson expressed concern about 17-year-olds pre-registering to vote and participating in party primaries if they would be 18 in time for the general election. “I have a 17-year-old, whom I love more than my own life of course, but are 17-year-olds really capable of choosing an entrée at a restaurant, much less voting?” the Fox News host wondered. “I mean, for real. Do we want them voting?” Well actually, if your children are as dumb as you, maybe we don’t want them voting. Raw Story

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Mexico Legalizes Vigilante Groups and Captures Cartel Leader

Mexico militias take on drug cartels

The only way to combat gang violence is with more gang violence! The Mexican government has decided to incorporate armed, civilian “self defense” groups into the country’s old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defense Corps.

This new vigilante endorsement will give the armed civilians the authority to pursue (whoever they deem) criminals. Drug cartels beware: vigilante groups estimate their numbers at 20,000 armed men.

Vigilante groups have been popping up over the last year in the Michoacan region in response to the Knights Templar drug cartel. The vigilantes accused the government of not doing enough to protect locals from extortion and violence so they took things into their own hands. After they began doing a better job than the actual police force at combatting the drug cartel, President Enrique Pena Nieto felt compelled to makes these vigilante groups legit by giving them government approval.

The official announcement came right after the “self defense” security forces captured one of the four top leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel. Dionicio Loya Plancarte, known as El Tio (The Uncle), was one of the country’s most wanted drug lords and had a $2.25m bounty on his head.

Under the new agreement between the vigiliante leaders and the government, the groups will be deployed temporarily and as needed.

“These units will be temporary and will be under the control of the authorities,” the federal government said in a statement, “to cooperate with the troops in the activities that these carry out and when required by the military command”.

Vigilante leaders will have to submit a list of their members to the Defense Department and will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they register them with the army. And then some corrupt government official will leak their names to the drug cartels and it’s goodbye vigilantes…. Viva Mexico!

Via: CBS News

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Ukrainian Protesters Make Progess: One Prime Minister Down, One President to Go

Ukraine President Yet to Resign

Perhaps Pope Francis’ doves of peace did help the situation in Ukraine?  Two new developments in Ukraine: Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has offered to resign in an effort to appease the protesters and President Viktor Yanukovich has agreed to repeal some of the anti-protest laws that have fueled the latest round of unrest.

The back-to-back moves were aimed at defusing Ukraine’s political crisis, but will the concessions be enough to quell the protesters who have been fighting non-stop with the police for the last 10 days? Meh. The protesters want more.

While the departure of the unpopular Mykola Azarov (who can’t even speak Ukranian) is welcomed, the opposition is holding off on naming his replacement, hoping for further concessions. Demonstrators are calling for amnesty for detained protestors, President Yanukovich’s resignation, and new elections (not corrupt ones…) In fact, the latest government concessions may only be encouraging the protesters.

“The authorities are afraid and making concessions. We should use this moment and continue our fight to achieve a change of power in Ukraine,” said 23-year-old demonstrator Oleg Rudakov.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure they won’t be satisfied until President Yanukovich is dead or out of power. Whichever one comes first.

Via: CBC News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: State of the Union Address

Current Event Cat - Income Inequality State of the Union Address

It’s that time of year again: State of the Union Address Day! Tonight President Obama will address income inequality in his annual State of the Union Address and announce his executive move to increase the government minimum wage.

President Obama plans to stick it to Congress by bypassing them and using his executive powers to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour for workers on new government contracts. Unfortunately for most minimum wage employees, this only applies to janitors, construction workers and others working for federal contractors. So the measure will only really benefit a few hundred thousand workers – at most.

“Hardworking Americans—including janitors and construction workers—working on new federal contracts will benefit from the Executive Order,” the White House said in a statement.

Obama will also call on Congress to pass legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour for the nearly 21 million non-government employees making minimum wage – because calling on Congress is almost as good as bypassing Congress altogether. Plus it worked out so well last year when Obama asked Congress (in his State of the Union Address) to raise the minimum wage for all workers, only to watch Republicans tear the legislation to pieces, arguing it would hurt businesses, stifle job creation, and destroy America.

But at the very least, Obama’s new executive order underscores an increased willingness to ignore Congress and get some legislation passed. After all, he only has three years left!

“You can be sure that the president fully intends to use his executive authority to use the unique powers of the office to make progress on economic opportunity, to make progress in the areas that he believes are so important to further economic growth and further job creation,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Monday.

Aside from income inequality, long-term joblessness, expansion of early childhood education and infrastructure spending are also on the State of the Union agenda.

rubio-waterAnd don’t forget to stay tuned to the Republican rebuttal! This year the GOP is doing things a bit differently by having several Republicans address Obama’s speech instead of the traditional single voice. I guess they learned a thing or two after Marco Rubio’s mini water bottle gaffe went viral. Anyways, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State will deliver the official response on behalf of the Republican Party but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will release a taped address and Utah Senator Mike Lee will offer a response on behalf of the populist, anti-tax tea party movement.

Via: New York Times

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Marlboro Man Dies From Smoking (What Else?)… And Other News

Marlboro Man

And another Marlboro cowboy hits the dust.

Marlboro ad man Eric Lawson has died of chronic lung disease at the age of 72. Lawson, the actor who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, is the third Marlboro cowboy to die from lung damage. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that there was some kind of correlation here…. Lawson, who began smoking at the age of 14, went on to appear in an anti-smoking commercial after his Marlboro days – despite the fact that he was still smoking. “He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him,” his wife said. “He knew, yet he still couldn’t stop.” The Guardian

Quebec FireResidents of a retirement center in a rural town in Quebec were faced with an agonozing decision early Thursday morning when a fire broke out in the building: run outside into -30C weather and freeze to death or stay inside with 1000C weather and burn to death. The obvious choice is outside but 37 of inhabitants were at least 85 years old and only five of the residents were fully autonomous. As a result, the raging fire took the lives of 14 people and 18 are still missing. High winds, poor visibility and frigid temperatures are making the rescue effort incredibly difficult as firefighters attempt to recover the missing bodies. The local firefighter chief called it “a night from hell.” CTV News

south-korea-north-korea-Why can’t we be friends? Besides the fact that we continually threaten to nuke you off the face of the earth… North Korea’s National Defense Commission crafted a rather surprising letter to South Korea vowing to “halt hostile military acts” and “create an atmosphere of reconciliation and unity.” Is this a new era of Korean friendship? Probably not. South Korea was a little skeptical about the letter. Especially considering the friendship outreach came with a few conditions: South Korea would have to stop any upcoming military drills with the United States and publicly support North Korea’s right of a “precious nuclear force for self-defence.” Washington Times

Fire CafeteriaLast week saw a truckload of school/mall shootings. Three people, including the gunman, died on Saturday after a shooting at a shopping mall outside of Baltimore, Maryland, one student was killed on Friday in a shooting outside an on-campus dorm at South Carolina State University, and a teaching assistant was shot and stabbed at Purdue University on Tuesday. Not a good week for gun violence. But this week, a student, presumable fed up with gun violence (and life), walked into his high school cafeteria in Colorado and lit himself on fire. About 65 students were in the cafeteria at the time and were promptly evacuated. A custodian quickly put the fire out with the extinguisher after a school cafeteria worker suffered a minor cut when she broke the fire extinguisher glass. The 16-year-old’s attempted suicide didn’t go as smoothly though. The teenager, who had reportedly doused himself with oil before setting himself on fire, survived but suffered burns on 80 percent of his body. Ouch. Maybe gun violence is the answer? USA Today

BarfThe only thing worse than getting food poisoning is getting food poisoning on boat with 600 other people who also have food poisoning. 577 of the 3,050 passengers and 49 of 1,165 crewmembers reported vomiting and diarrhea on a 10-day Royal Caribbean cruise ship. That’s a lot of diarrhea. The illness spread rapidly after the Explorer of the Seas departed New Jersey on January 21, en route to the Caribbean. Once the crew realized there was no way to stop the diarrhea, they decided to cut the trip two days short. The Center for Disease Control is investigating, and the ship is being sanitized, thank god. CNN

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Rand Paul Wants Everyone To Forget The Republican War On Women And Remember Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky Rand Paul

Refuting the Democrats’ claim that Republicans are launching a “war on women,” Rand Paul suggested people should take a closer look a Bill Clinton and his “predatory behaviour” towards Monica Lewinsky.

Forget the GOP’s repeated attacks on family planning funding and legal abortion, their controversial comments about women, rape and birth control, and their effort to remove contraception from health insurance plans! If any party is launching a war on women, it’s the Democrats because Bill Clinton had an affair nearly 20 years ago.

“The Democrats — one of their big issues is they’ve concocted this, ‘Republicans are committing a war on women,'” the Kentucky Republican said on NBC’s Meet The Press. “One of the work place laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office. I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this. He took advantage of a girl that was 20-years-old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that and that is predatory behavior.”

Well, Monica Lewinsky was actually 22 and held a paid position for most of her time at the White House. And I probably wouldn’t call public humiliation and the threat of impeachment a complete pass…. but go on…

“Someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office — I mean really, and then they have the gall to stand up and say that Republicans are having a war on women? So yes, I think it’s a factor. Now it’s not Hillary’s fault. But it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton in history.”

So, Bill Clinton’s two decades old affair is irrelevent to the upcoming presidential campaign and Hillary should be judged on her own reputation and accomplishments? Nope, not in Rand Paul’s mind!

“It’s hard enough to separate one [Clinton] from the other,” Paul said, suggesting Bill Clinton’s behaviour will be forever linked to potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

So next time the GOP says something condescending or demeaning towards women (later today?), let’s all remember Monica Lewinsky. And while we’re at it, let’s all remember that time Rand Paul kidnapped a college classmate and forced her to take bongs hits.

 Via: Politico

Side note: Here’s a true story about a Rand Paul fan.

I was out and about in downtown Toronto one night (the last place you’d expect to find a hardcore Rand Paul enthusiast), and some guy approached my friend “Sara”. The discussion turned to politics and he began preaching about Rand Paul and all his terrific economic policies. BUT, because he was talking to a woman he had to explain them using makeup and jewelry analogies (no joke). I mean, there’s no way a woman could ever understand Economics 101 without a makeup analogy! Admittedly, he was on heroin and appeared to lack any critical insight, but I thought “this guy gets it.” He knows what it means to be a true Rand Paul enthusiast; it’s a not-so-clever combination of unrelenting free market values and condescending remarks to women.

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Mike Huckabee: Democrats Think Women “Can’t Control Their Libido” Without Birth Control From “Uncle Sugar”

Former Arkansas Governor and former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee

When a Republican talks about women and their reproductive rights, it never ends well. And former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is no exception to the rule.

Fed up with the anti-Republican “War on Women” narrative, Mike Huckabee went on a bit of a rant at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in downtown Washington.

“Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women,” Huckabee told his audience.

Okay… so far so good.

“That’s not a war on them. It’s a war for them. And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”

Aaaand you blew it…

Huckabee, referring to the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires most employers to cover the full range of contraception in their health insurance plans, told his GOP buddies that women are “outraged” when Democrats paint them as nothing but “victims of their gender.”

“Women I know are outraged that Democrats think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication,” he said. “Women I know are smart, educated, intelligent, capable of doing anything that anybody else can do.”

Except being capable of having complete control over their own reproductive choices of course. That’s Huckabee’s job. But at least he’s got one thing right; many women are smart, educated and intelligent. And that’s why the majority of women don’t vote Republican.

Via: The Washington Post

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Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov: There Are NO Homosexuals In Sochi


Despite there being several gay bars in Sochi, Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov insists that Sochi is 100% homosexual-free.

In an interview with the BBC’s program Panorama, Pakhomov reiterated Putin’s Olympic stance, saying gays were welcome to visit Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others.” Especially the children!

But will gay people have to hide their sexuality in Sochi, Mr. Pakhomov?

“No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life. But it’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city,” Pakhomov said.

None??? But what about the gay bars? Surely there must be some kind of LGBT community to keep them profitable?

“I am not sure, but I don’t bloody know them,” the mayor said when challenged.

Ok, so there might be some, but the mayor is far too straight to know who they are. Got it.

Interestingly enough, BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney visited a gay bar in Sochi the night before he interviewed Pakhomov. While most people were too terrified of being shipped off to Siberia to be filmed, Sweeney did meet a drag queen named Madame Zhu-Zha.

“There are very many clubs for gay people in Moscow – in Sochi we have two gay clubs as well. In some places there’s serious prejudice against gay people. In other places it’s not as bad,” Madame Zhu-Zha said.

No word yet on whether Mayor Pakhomov is a regular customer of the Sochi drag scene, but if Republicans in America have taught us anything, it’s that the more often you spout off homophobic nonsense, the more likely you are to have a gay scandal blow up in your face.

Via: BBC News 

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