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The Republican Infighting Continues: Rand Paul Calls Mitt Romney “Yesterday’s News”

Mitt Paul

After Mitt Romney told a senior Republican he “almost certainly will” run for president and spent the weekend reviving his national network of political supporters and donors, Rand Paul called his potential rival for the 2016 GOP nomination “yesterday’s news”. Well, he kind of has a point there…

The junior senator from Kentucky criticized Mitt Romney for being too liberal for the Republican Party in 2016. Rand Paul told a Fox News Radio interviewer Monday that Romney’s promise to be a “conservative alternative” to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won’t go over well and the former Massachusetts governor’s time has passed.

“If (Mitt Romney) runs to the right of Jeb Bush, he’ll still be to the left of the rest of the party, so it may be a difficult spot to occupy,” Paul said.

“Look, I like Governor Romney, I like him personally, I think he is a good person, I think he was a great businessman,” Paul said. “But you know that’s yesterday’s news.”

Paul went on: “I think he did a lot of things right, but in the end you got to have a bigger constituency, you got to get new people, you got to attract new people to win and I think it’s time that probably the party is going to be looking for something fresh and new.”

Like Rand Paul? I’m not sure what Paul is complaining about – if Romney runs slightly to the right of Jeb Bush, he and Bush (and maybe Chris Christie too?) could be competing both for the same financial backers and for the Republican middle ground – which leaves Rand Paul free to duke it out with Tea Party darling Ted Cruz for the crazy vote. If anything, Rand Paul should be thanking Romney for muddling up the Republican middle, not calling him “yesterday’s news”.

Romney, who won some of the Republican primary contests in 2008 but was ultimately beaten by John McCain, went on to lose the presidential election to Barack Obama in 2012. But this time around, Romney is determined to learn from his past mistakes – i.e. not to alienating Hispanics, poor people, binders of women – basically anyone who isn’t a white male millionaire. Who knows – maybe third time’s the charm?

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Florida Legalizes Gay Marriage

Current Event Cat - Florida Gay

Florida was dragged into the 21st century by a court order on Monday that lifted the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The state’s gay-marriage ban has been officially ruled unconstitutional, making Florida the 36th most gay-tolerant state. Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage has now ended in all 67 counties, going into effect at the stroke of midnight Monday.

But some couples couldn’t even wait until then. Just a few hours after U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle lifted the stay overthrowing a same-sex marriage ban in Florida, couples began tying the knot in Miami-Dade County before the ruling was even effective. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel found no need to wait until the statewide ban expired and presided over Florida’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages Monday afternoon. The first two pairs to get married were part of the original six-couple lawsuit last January that ended in the ban’s dismissal.

Even former Florida governor Jeb Bush is coming around on the same-sex marriage issue – albeit slowly. Bush, a long time same-sex marriage opponent who is currently flirting with a 2016 presidential run, signaled an increasing openness to same-sex marriage saying that “regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law.”

“I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue—including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty,” Bush said in response to his state overturning a ban on same-sex marriage.

Huh. Well that’s not exactly a marriage equality endorsement, but it’s Jeb Bush so we’ll take what we can get.

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Sarah Palin Gets in a Dogfight with PETA

Sarah Palin Dogfight with PETA

Sarah Palin is telling PETA to “chill” after the animal rights organization flipped out over photos she posted last week showing her son Trig stepping on the family dog to reach the kitchen sink.

Along with the pictures of the six-year-old using the family dog’s spine as a chair, Palin spewed out some words of wisdom:

Screenshot 2015-01-05 13.27.09

Trig is 6 years old and is a Down Syndrome kid to boot, so using the family dog, oddly named Jill Hadassah, as a booster was probably as innocent as it was instinctive. But taking pictures of your kid doing that because “lol it’s cute” instead of teaching them what is, and what is not, appropriate to climb on? Well, that’s kind of stupid, but it’s hardly breaking news that Sarah Palin made a bad decision.

But much like Sarah Palin, PETA is not one to miss out on an opportunity to bring attention to itself. The organization, outraged that the most intelligent member of the Palin household was being abused, screamed ANIMAL CRUELTY to whoever would listen.

“It’s odd that anyone — let alone a mother — would find it appropriate to post such a thing, with no apparent sympathy for the dog in the photo,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement on Friday. “Then again, PETA, along with everyone else, is used to the hard-hearted, seeming obliviousness of this bizarrely callous woman,” Newkirk said, referring to a 2008 incident where Sarah Palin gave an interview at a farm while turkeys were slaughtered in the background.

Sarah Palin took to Facebook to respond to PETA’s harsh words (and throw a little shade at President Obama while she’s at it…)

“Dear PETA,

Chill. At least Trig didn’t eat the dog,” Palin wrote.

“Did you go as crazy when your heroic Man-of-Your-Lifetime, Barack Obama, revealed he actually enjoyed eating dead dog meat?”

Obama DogYes, it’s true that in President Barack Obama’s bestselling memoir “Dreams From My Father,” Obama writes of eating dog meat when he was a little boy in Indonesia, describing the taste as “tough”. But going from “Obama tried dog as a child during his travels in Indonesia” to “Obama actively enjoys eating dog,” is a pretty big leap. Plus, it’s not like he strapped his family dog’s crate to the roof of the car for a 12-hour drive from Massachusetts to Canada because there was no room in the car and when the dog suffered the runs during the trip he pulled over to hose off the dog and the car…. I believe that was 1983 Mitt Romney.

Anyways, Mama Grizzly continued her PETA tirade:

“Aren’t you the same anti-beef screamers blogging hate from your comfy leather office chairs, wrapped in your fashionable leather belts above your kickin’ new leather pumps you bought because your celebrity idols (who sport fur and crocodile purses) grinned in a tabloid wearing the exact same Louboutins exiting sleek cowhide covered limo seats on their way to some liberal fundraiser shindig at some sushi bar that features poor dead smelly roe (that I used to strip from our Bristol Bay-caught fish, and in a Dillingham cannery I packed those castoff fish eggs for you while laughing with co-workers about the suckers paying absurdly high prices to party with the throw away parts of our wild seafood)? I believe you call those discarded funky eggs “caviar”.

Yeah, you’re real credible on this, PETA. A shame, because I’ll bet we agree on what I hope is the true meaning of your mission – respecting God’s creation and critters.

Our pets, including Trig’s best buddy Jill Hadassah, are loved, spoiled and cared for more than some people care for their fellow man whose politics may not mesh with nonsensical liberally failed ways or don’t fit your flighty standards.

Jill is a precious part of our world. So is Trig.”

Instead of “chilling”, the organization responded by saying that Sarah Palin “knows PETA about as well as she knows geography.”

Since choosing sides in the Sarah Palin/PETA fight is like choosing between… well, Sarah Palin and PETA, I’ll just leave you with this fun trivia tidbit: the Palin family dog is named after Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, and Joe Lieberman’s wife, Hadassah. WTF?!?

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A Disastrous Night for Democrats, But A Successful Night for Stoners

Mitch McConnell Disastrous NIght for Democrats

After a disastrous night for Democrats, the Republican Party has won control of the Senate and increased their grip on the House of Representatives.

Now controlling both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2006, the Republicans saw Senate victories in Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, pulled off an upset in North Carolina, came from behind in Colorado and Iowa, and won for the first time in West Virginia since 1956. The party now controls 52 seats, and is tipped to win at least one more as votes are counted in other states.

To sum up, America will be seeing a lot more of Mitch McConnell, the former Republican Senate minority leader who will now become the Senate majority leader, giving him control over the chamber’s legislative agenda and floor proceedings. But on the plus side, at least we won’t be bombarded with his creepy political ads… until 2016.

As for the gubernatorial races, the Republican Party managed to hold on to the governor’s mansions in Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin, states where the Democrats had hoped to make some inroads. The race in the Sunshine State was especially close, but incumbent Rick Scott, a Republican who initially refused to set foot on the stage for a statewide, televised debate because his opponent wanted a fan to cool his balls, managed (barely) to beat challenger and former governor Charlie Crist, a former Republican running as a Democrat – with presumably sweaty balls. Despite his alarmingly low favorability ratings among Floridians, Scott was declared the winner Tuesday night with nearly all votes counted. He held nearly 49 percent of the vote to Crist’s 47 percent.

But while the Democrats crashed and burned, stoners in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. celebrated by burning then crashing after voters approved ballot measures legalizing cannabis. Oregon and Alaska will now join fellow stoner states Colorado and Washington, where voters approved recreational use of pot for adults two years ago.

Meanwhile, Florida rejected a ballot measure that would have permitted the use of medical marijuana. No medical marijuana? How are Floridians supposed to cope with four more years of Rick Scott?!

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Midterm Time!

Current EVent Cat Midterm Senate

Americans are voting in midterm elections today and while dozens of governors and congressmen are standing for election, the biggest prize of the 2014 midterms is the control of the Senate.

The Republicans, who already control the House of Representatives, need to gain just six seats to win control of America’s upper chamber for the first time since 2006.

Recent polls indicate a Republican victory as President Obama’s popularity rate has failed to climb much above 40% – but it’s still anyone’s game. In fact, the results could be so close that the longest and most expensive midterm election cycle to date could become even longer and more expensive with multiple runoffs. Runoffs are looking probably in two competitive states – Louisiana and Georgia – and several more races are so close that absentee and provisional ballots may determine the winner.

But Democrats haven’t given up all hope, insisting their ability to rally their supporters ahead of elections could still give them the advantage.

“Grab everybody you know, get them out to vote, don’t stay home, don’t let somebody else choose your future for you,” Obama said during a campaign rally on Sunday.

Still, the administration is mentally preparing itself for the likelihood of GOP control in both the House and Senate. Anticipating a less than friendly Congress (and possibly Senate), Obama and his staff are mapping possible compromises with Republicans on issues like trade, taxes, and infrastructure. White House aides also say the president will continue to use executive authority to further Democratic policy priorities on climate change, immigration, energy, gay rights, and the economy after the election.

Reagan’s prediction: The Republicans will take the House and the Senate and the American government will experience two years of gridlock and obstructionism. So pretty much business as usual…

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U.S Flirts With Ebola Quarantine, But North Korea Has A Better Solution

Ebola US North Korea

In the U.S., some states are facing a backlash for imposing mandatory isolation on medical workers who have treated Ebola patients and the army has begun quarantining soldiers who deployed to in West Africa. But North Korea has gone one several steps further by banning all foreign tourists.

According to tour operators in North Korea, the authoritarian regime plans to bar entry to foreigners on tourist trips due to fears of Ebola. Oh no! At least seven people will have to change their vacation plans!

“We have just received official news from our partners in the DPRK that, as of tomorrow, tourists from any country, regardless of where they have recently visited, will not be permitted to enter,” said Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours.

As for foreigners who somehow make it into the country, they will be quarantined to prevent any possible spread of the Ebola virus. An announcement distributed Thursday to diplomatic missions in Pyongyang said that, regardless of country or region of origin, all foreigners will be quarantined under medical observation for 21 days. Some may say this is an overreaction considering no cases of the disease have been reported in the reclusive country, or anywhere in Asia for that matter, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter anyways, but any excuse to make the North Korean people more suspicious of the outside world is a good one.

Meanwhile, over in the United States, President Obama has taken a different route to combating the spread of the Ebola virus. Obama said on Wednesday that the U.S. may face more Ebola cases but denounced closing U.S. borders and imposing mandatory quarantines out of health fears.

But that didn’t stop New Jersey governor Chris Christie from defending the use of mandatory 21-day quarantines for all travelers returning through Newark who have had contact with Ebola patients. In particular, Christie has targeted quarantined nurse Kaci Hickox, who returned from treating Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders in West Africa last week and was quarantined against her will in New Jersey, despite testing negative for Ebola.

Hickox has said that a quarantine is unnecessary as she is showing no symptoms and has tested negative.

“I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” Hickox said on Wednesday.

State officials have said they were going to court to try to detain her for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period – because there’s no way Chris Christie is going to let Ebola wipe out the state the New Jersey while North Korea sits around with a smug smile in their isolated Ebola-free haven!

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Damn It, FedEx! ISIS Got U.S. Weapons Package

ISIS Weapons

In another instance of ‘giving weapons to foreigners gone wrong’, the Pentagon admitted that ISIS got its hands on one of the 28 bundles of weapons and medical supplies that the U.S. dropped to Kurdish forces. Oops!

Last week, the U.S. air-dropped weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies for Kurdish forces fighting ISIS jihadists near the besieged town of Kobani, located in Syria near the Turkish border. During the multiple air-drops, Air Force C-130 planes delivered arms and supplies that were provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq and that were “intended to enable continued resistance” against ISIS and its attempts to “overtake Kobani.”

Sounds great. Only problem? Two of the bundles missed their marks. One of the misguided airdrops was destroyed by the U.S. The other ended up in the hands of the Islamic State fighters.

After video footage released by ISIS showed what appeared to be one of its fighters in desert scrubland with a stack of boxes attached to a parachute, the Pentagon admitted they effed up. US defence spokesman Army Lieutenant Colonel Steve Warren blamed the wind for possibly blowing the supplies off course and argued that one cache was not enough to make a significant difference to ISIS.

But just in case, a group of Syrian Arab rebels has arrived in Kobani to help defend the town against the Islamic State militants. Plus, considering the Islamic State militants already possess millions of dollars-worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized parts of Iraq back in June, a couple of extra boxes of weapons shouldn’t make a huge difference.

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White House Security: Needs More Dog

White House Dog

The latest White House fence jumper was sent to a hospital to be treated for dog bites after he was nabbed by guard dogs on the White House lawn Wednesday.

Secret Service Dog23-year-old Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland jumped the north fence of the White House on Wednesday but was stopped by the Secret Service’s secret weapon: angry guard dogs. Secret Service agents and K-9 units quickly subdued the intruder before he came too close to the residence. But Adesanya, who has a history of trying to break into government buildings, did manage to punch two of the Secret Service dogs, Hurricane and Jordan, before he was tackled.

While punching dogs is typically frowned upon, it turns out kicking a canine officer is also a federal offense. Adesanya was charged with “harming animals used on law enforcement” in addition to “unlawfully entering the restricted grounds of the White House.”

The two dogs were taken to a veterinarian and treated for minor bruising they suffered during the incident, but were later cleared for duty. No word on where the hell Bo and Sunny Obama were during the incident.

The latest intrusion onto the White House grounds came the same day that a gunman went on a rampage in Canadian Parliament. But Canada doesn’t need a guard dog to put a stop to crazed intruders – they have Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers. Vickers, who shot to death gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau outside the Library of Parliament, was given a standing ovation in the Canadian House of Commons on Thursday by MPs returning to work.

Meanwhile, Hurricane and Jordan were given some kibble.

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North Korea Releases Bible Thumping American

North Korea Releases AMerican

American Jeffrey Fowle has been released from a North Korean prison camp and is on his way home. Perhaps Kim Jong Un’s cheese-induced gout is making him a little soft?

Jeffrey Fowle, 56, an Ohio municipal worker, was turned over to U.S. officials by authorities in Pyongyang and boarded a U.S. government aircraft sent to retrieve him.

Fowle was arrested for allegedly trying to leave a Bible at a sailors’ club in North Korea. Six months of detainment in a North Korean labour camp later, Fowle is back in Ohio reuniting with his family.

“We’d like to thank God for his hand of protection over Jeff these past six months,” family spokesman Tim Tepe said, giving thanks to the U.S. State Department, the Swedish government, and others for helping secure Fowle’s release.

I think it was God who got you into this mess in the first place, but whatever, at least Fowle’s release gives hope to the two other American detainees in North Korea: Matthew Miller, 24, of Bakersfield and Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. The State Department said it is working on achieving their releases as well.

While Jeffrey Fowle was detained, the city terminated his employment as an equipment operator for Moraine, Ohio because of his prolonged absence, but City Manager David Hicks says can have his job back.

“The reinstatement opportunity is available to him. Assuming he wants to be reinstated, he will,” Hicks said. “I’m sure that we’ll have some celebration upon his return.”

Ugh. Continue working as a poorly paid equipment operator in small town Ohio and attend a depressing office party? He might have been better off in the North Korean labour camp.

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New Jersey School Combats Ebola by Banning Kids From Non-Ebola Countries

Ebola Jersey

Although two African countries have now been declared officially free of Ebola and most are unaffected by the recent Ebola outbreak, one elementary school in New Jersey isn’t taking any chances. 

Nigeria was declared Ebola-free on Monday after six weeks with no new cases, following an announcement that Senegal is also rid of the virus. But despite these Ebola success stories, the virus is still rapidly spreading in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. As the death toll continues to increase, one elementary school in New Jersey is taking matters into their own hands… by banning children from Rwanda.

Two students from Rwanda, who were scheduled to start classes at a New Jersey school Monday, are being encouraged to stay home and complete a 21-day waiting period—the incubation period for Ebola—before they can enter the school, plus another week (you know, just in case).

The school informed teachers of two children from Rwanda who were set to start school today, but word got out and parents went nuts. Despite the fact that Rwanda hasn’t had one case of Ebola and it is 2,600 miles from the closest afflicted country in West Africa, the parents decided to err on the side of Ebola hysteria caution and object to their attendence. There’s no time to consult a map when faced with an Ebola outbreak!

The parental backlash worked and the parents of the symptom-free Rwandan students decided (with a little pressure from the school…) to keep their kids out of school for the next 21+ days.

“The Maple Shade School District takes the health of all students and staff very seriously. As many of you are aware, we have students who have spent time in the eastern portion of Africa that were scheduled to start in our schools on Monday. This area of Africa has been unaffected by the Ebola virus. Despite the fact that the students are symptom-free and not from an affected area, the parents have elected to keep their children home past the 21 day waiting period. The family is looking forward to joining the Maple Shade Schools the following week,” the school wrote in a statement.

Many parents seemed happy with the family’s decision to keep their possibly disease-ridden children away for 28 days.

“I think for another couple weeks. I don’t think it would hurt, I mean you have a lot of children that are involved, so I don’t think it would hurt,” said local parent Billy Dennison.

“Them taking an extra week beyond the 21 days before coming to school is more than appreciated,” another parent said.

Interestingly enough, Dallas, Texas has had 3 cases of Ebola and is only 1,500 miles away from New Jersey. Yet for some reason the school hasn’t taken any steps to quarantine any students from Texas…

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