Archive for May 7, 2012

Bravo! — Gay Donors Withholding Money from Pro-Obama SuperPAC

On April 12 I posted about President Obama’s refusal to

[S]ign an executive order banning discrimination [toward gays and lesbians] by employers with federal contracts.

The executive order, which activists said had support from the Labor and Justice Departments, would have applied to gay, bisexual and transgender people working for or seeking employment from federal contractors. Current law does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and legislation to do so, which Mr. Obama endorses, lacks sufficient votes in Congress.

This sets my hair on fire.  Any company our government hires via a “federal contract” is paid with our tax dollars.  No company receiving our tax dollars should be allowed to discriminate in any way whatsoever because, hello, it is paid via the pool of money we all contribute to. (Think about it: gays and lesbians pay taxes like the rest of us even though the United States officially treats them like second-class citizens.  Would you put up with that?)

So I’m all for this.  Maybe withholding money will compel Mr. Hope and Change to grow a pair (since he doesn’t seem to have the cojones to do what’s morally right on his own, without being pressured):

Some leading gay and progressive donors are so angry over President Obama’s refusal to sign an executive order barring same sex discrimination by federal contractors that they are refusing to give any more money to the pro-Obama super PAC, a top gay fundraiser’s office tells me. In some cases, I’m told, big donations are being withheld.

Jonathan Lewis, the gay philanthropist and leading Democratic fundraiser, is one of many gay advocates who has been working behind the scenes to pressure Obama to change his mind. When Obama decided against the executive order last month, arguing that he would pursue a legislative solution instead, advocates were furious — such a solution will never pass Congress, the executive order has been a priority for advocates for years, and the move smacked of a political cave to conservatives who will not support Obama no matter what he does.




May 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM Leave a comment

Want a Republican in Your Vagina?

Just watch:

Kate Beckinsale, Judy Greer and Andrea Savage “spread” the message that the one thing women really want in their vagina is the government.


May 7, 2012 at 4:11 PM Leave a comment

Romney’s Vacation Time

Evidently Mitt Romney and wingnut bloggers are flinging around accusations today about President Obama taking a whole bunch of vacation time while supposedly being on the job.  So, for the record, I wanted to put this little factoid up so it will be handy because that issue will come up over and over again (only six more months to go!):

Mitt Romney Spent 219 Days Outside Massachusetts In 2006

In his run of the first run for the presidency in 2006, Mitt Romney spent a total of 219 days outside of the Massachusetts, an average of four days each week. Romney visited over 35 states in the efforts to build his Presidential network, with state taxpayers picking up the tab for his security detail.

Romney’s spokesmen at the time, and current campaign guru Eric Fehrnstrom defended his frequent trips away from the state saying, “Governor Romney is a national leader in the Republican Party. He was increasingly called upon to help candidates from his party, and he took a leadership role in the Republican Governors Association.”

Romney also took vacations that year, including trips to Utah, Michigan, California, and Alaska. The trips combined his Presidential ambitions with downtime with his family.


Romney has been on the campaign trail, more or less, ever since.


May 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM Leave a comment

Fox Uses Misleading Pic to Imply Small Crowd at Obama Rally

This “Pic of the Day” is up on‘s homepage right now (4:01 p.m. ET):

If you click on the headline, “Pic of the Day,” you go to Fox’s “Pic of the Day” page and you see that the photo was actually the “Pic of the Day” on May 5

but apparently they’re loving it so much they have left it up.  (You’d think they would be professional enough to change the caption to indicate that the rally in Ohio wasn’t held “today,” but on May 5.)

Anyway, PoliticusUSA has proof that the photo, showing lots of empty seats along the upper bowl, above the blue neon line, was taken before Obama began speaking, and while attendees were still entering the arena.

By comparing the first two photographs, we can see two things that prove that picture of Obama “failure” was taken before the event began. Notice that the crawler between the lower and upper bowls is blank in the first photograph, but once event began, the crawler/scoreboard featured a blue Obama/Biden logo.

If you look closely, you can see the shadows cast by the people standing on floor. The lighting likely wasn’t at full power, in other words the stage lighting is not on. As anyone who has ever been to a concert knows, the stage lights aren’t turned on until an act takes the stage. The house lights, which are the lights beneath the retired jersey banners, are used pre-event, post-event, and during intermissions.


The truth is that President Obama drew 14,000+ in an 18,000 seat arena. It wasn’t a sellout, but it was about 13,500 more people than Romney’s largest crowd in Ohio. As the Washington Post pointed out Romney has drawn crowds of several thousand during the campaign, what they didn’t mention is that most of his thousands were bused in Mormon college students, but Obama’s crowd today was exponentially bigger than anything Mitt Romney has drawn this year.

Not only that, they have a third “pic” as well as a video that shows the place was packed.

So, Fox is using a photo posted by the likes of Breitbart and Drudge to imply Obama’s crowd was much smaller than it actually was because, well, because I guess doing so makes their sorry ass feel better.


May 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM 2 comments

Surgery Before Anesthesia

Don’t ask me how I stumbled upon this because I have no idea.  Kind of interesting, but I would never in a million years want to experience it.  Aye yie yie:

Drawing by Charles Bell from 1821 showing the circular method of amputation.

Consider, for instance, amputation of the leg. The procedure had long been recognized as lifesaving, in particular for compound fractures and other wounds prone to sepsis, and at the same time horrific. Before the discovery of anesthesia, orderlies pinned the patient down while an assistant exerted pressure on the femoral artery or applied a tourniquet on the upper thigh (Figure 2A, upper drawing).  Surgeons using the circular method proceeded through the limb in layers, taking a long curved knife in a circle through the skin first, then, a few inches higher up, through the muscle, and finally, with the assistant retracting the muscle to expose the bone a few inches higher still, taking an amputation saw smoothly through the bone so as not to leave splintered protrusions (Figure 2A, lower drawing). Surgeons using the flap method, popularized by the British surgeon Robert Liston, stabbed through the skin and muscle close to the bone and cut swiftly through at an oblique angle on one side so as to leave a flap covering the stump (Figure 2B).

The limits of patients’ tolerance for pain forced surgeons to choose slashing speed over precision. With either the flap method or the circular method, amputation could be accomplished in less than a minute, though the subsequent ligation of the severed blood vessels and suturing of the muscle and skin over the stump sometimes required 20 or 30 minutes when performed by less experienced surgeons.9 No matter how swiftly the amputation was performed, however, the suffering that patients experienced was terrible.


May 7, 2012 at 2:05 PM 2 comments

Germany Rejects Fracking

Ah, sanity:

(Image via

Germany has put the brakes on plans to use hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, to extract natural gas in places where it is difficult to access, such as shale or coal beds. Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler have agreed to oppose the controversial process for the time being, SPIEGEL has learned.

Sources in the German government said that the ministers were “very skeptical” about fracking, which injects chemicals as well as sand and water into the ground to release natural gas. “There are many open questions which we will first have to carefully examine,” Rösler told close associates.

With their stance, the two ministers are opposing plans by energy companies to use the fracking process to tap into deposits of natural gas in shale, especially in northern and eastern Germany. In order to access the gas, the shale needs to be fractured using a mixture of hot water, sand and chemical additives, some of which are poisonous. Environmental groups reject the use of the technology, saying that the chemicals used can contaminate drinking water.


This what living in a country whose government isn’t corporate-owned looks like.


May 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM Leave a comment

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