ONTD Political

GOP lawmaker flunks Anatomy 101

When it comes to Republicans, anatomy, biology, and reproductive health, the last few years have not been kind. Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly been confused, for example, about the basics of birth control. Former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), during his failed Senate campaign, had a certain “shut that whole thing down” incident.

But as Rachel noted on the show last night, the latest GOP misstep is a doozy.

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

Dr. Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

To appreciate the absurdity of the situation, watch the video below to hear the laughter in the committee room following the exchange.

Barbieri, who has a history of far-right views and activism, sits on the board of a so-called “crisis pregnancy center,” which tries to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies. Presumably, the Republican state lawmaker should be a little more familiar with human anatomy, particularly in the area of reproductive health.

The unfortunate exchange occurred during a hearing on legislation intended to “ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine” – a practice that does not currently exist in Idaho. The state committee approved the bill on a party-line vote in the Republican-dominated legislature, and it now heads to the state House floor.

For his part, Barbieri told the Spokesman-Review late yesterday, “[Dr. Julie Madsen] made the point that you could swallow a camera and from thousands of miles away, you could detect the state of that colonoscopy…. My question was then, are you saying that you can swallow a camera and get the same results? Which is of course rhetorical. But she responded that of course you can’t swallow a pill and have it end up in your vagina. So my point was made.

I will confess that I don’t know what this explanation means.

By Steve Benen. 02/24/15 08:00 AM. Updated 02/24/15 08:19 AM.

Talk about poking a tiger. Steve Emerson, a so-called ‘terrorism expert’, got slightly more publicity than he intended after claiming on Fox News that Birmingham was “totally Muslim” and a “no-go zone” for non-Muslims.

In no great surprise to anyone, the Twittersphere rose up and amusingly proceeded to educate him (and Fox News) with the hashtag #foxnewsfacts.

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Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/foxnewsfacts-twitter-users-react-with-aplomb-to-news-that-birmingham-is-a-nogo-zone-for-nonmuslims-9971829.html

OP: If you do only one thing today, click on the source and see Faux News being taken apart in the most glorious was possible. We'd laugh these jokers into the North Sea.

PS, may I suggest "wankery" as a tag?
This is of interest to me as a District resident. Also, this is why DC needs full voting Congressional representation.

There’s nothing that congressional budget negotiators love more than kicking around the local government of Washington, D.C. It is their favorite thing to do, and they’re allowed to. No voting members of Congress represent the District, but the voting members who represent Kentucky and Maryland and every other state possess final say on all local D.C. laws, which is insane. The Enlightenment was several hundred years ago, for Christ’s sake.

I admit I had been fooled into thinking that the patronizing anti-pot-in-D.C. faction of Congress mostly consisted of Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, who was looking for some cultural issue over which to posture ahead of the elections. That whatever amendment he got placed inside a House appropriations bill would ultimately be weeded out of the final appropriations package in negotiations with the Senate. Because who cares? Why is it so important to thwart the will of the District on “the reefer” in a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations package? How could this be more a focus of controversy than the tens of billions of dollars just sort of thrown in for further Middle East empire building, or Mitch McConnell’s rider to further erode campaign finance limits?

Because it’s D.C., and D.C. is punchable.

The early word from budget negotiations yesterday morning was that a deal had been struck to block the marijuana legalization ballot measure that 69 percent of District voters approved on Election Day. That legalized possession of “small amounts” of marijuana. (“Small amounts” in ironiquotes because it means up to two ounces, which is a lot of weed.) The incoming mayor and members of the D.C. Council were preparing work on a matching measure to tax and regulate sales, so that legalized possession might be met with a legal market. Revenue from the sales could go towards funding education or fixing potholes or building soccer stadiums or streetcars of little utility, etc etc, whatever.

More at Salon
The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate

Over the weekend, a game developer in Boston named Brianna Wu fled her home after an online stalker vowed to rape and kill her. She isn't the first woman who's been forced into hiding by aggrieved video game fans associated with Gamergate, the self-styled reform movement that's become difficult to ignore over the past several months as its beliefs have ramified out from the fever swamps of the internet into the real world. She probably won't be the last.

By design, Gamergate is nearly impossible to define. It refers, variously, to a set of incomprehensible Benghazi-type conspiracy theories about game developers and journalists; to a fairly broad group of gamers concerned with corruption in gaming journalism; to a somewhat narrower group of gamers who believe women should be punished for having sex; and, finally, to a small group of gamers conducting organized campaigns of stalking and harassment against women.

This ambiguity is useful, because it turns any discussion of this subject into a debate over semantics. Really, though, Gamergate is exactly what it appears to be: a relatively small and very loud group of video game enthusiasts who claim that their goal is to audit ethics in the gaming-industrial complex and who are instead defined by the campaigns of criminal harassment that some of them have carried out against several women. (Whether the broader Gamergate movement is a willing or inadvertent semi-respectable front here is an interesting but ultimately irrelevant question.) None of this has stopped it from gaining traction: Earlier this month, Gamergaters compelled Intel to pull advertising from a gaming site critical of the movement, and there's no reason to think it will stop there.

In many ways, Gamergate is an almost perfect closed-bottle ecosystem of bad internet tics and shoddy debating tactics. Bringing together the grievances of video game fans, self-appointed specialists in journalism ethics, and dedicated misogynists, it's captured an especially broad phylum of trolls and built the sort of structure you'd expect to see if, say, you'd asked the old Fires of Heaven message boards to swing a Senate seat. It's a fascinating glimpse of the future of grievance politics as they will be carried out by people who grew up online.
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Fox News Host Knows The Real Danger Of Ebola: Witch Doctors

One Fox News host has figured out what we should really all be afraid of during the Ebola crisis.

The "Outnumbered" panel was discussing the spread of Ebola to the United States on Thursday, following news that the first case of the virus has appeared in the country.

Now, there are many important issues at hand here. The infected patient who reportedly lied on his health questionnaire when entering the US... the up to 100 people who may have come in contact with the patient or his family... the Dallas hospital that initially sent the Ebola patient home even though they knew that he had been in West Africa...

But none of that was Andrea Tantaros's main concern. No. Here's the real problem at hand:

"In these countries they do not believe in traditional medical care," she said. "So someone could get off a flight and seek treatment from a witch doctor."

Watch the video for the full clip.

[The Video is in the Source]

Sean Groubert, South Carolina State Trooper, Fired & Arrested After Shooting Unarmed Man

A South Carolina state trooper was fired last week and arrested on Wednesday after a dashcam video showed him shooting an unarmed man during a routine traffic stop.

Former officer Sean Groubert, 31, is seen in the newly released video pulling over Levar Edward Jones. The clip, which was recorded on Groubert's dashcam on Sept. 4, shows Jones getting out of his vehicle at a gas station in Columbia.

Groubert asks Jones for his driver's license. As Jones reaches into his vehicle to retrieve it, Groubert shouts, "Get out of the car!"

When Jones complies and starts to back away from the vehicle, Groubert opens fire. Three shots can be heard; Jones was hit at least once, in the hip.

"I was just getting my license," Jones says. He also apologizes repeatedly, and asks, "Sir, why was I shot? All I did was reach for my license. I'm coming from work."

"Well, you dove head-first back into your car," Groubert says. "Then you jumped back out, I'm telling you to get out of your car."
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I know I am going to sound cynical, but the only reason the shooter may be going to prison (and that is an if) is because the victim is alive. Dead men cant testify or defend themselves, and the rightwing media just loves to smear black people to defend these vermins that are suppose to protect us. Michael Brown's shooter hasnt still been arrested after all the new evidence that has emerged (they seem to work very slow to have this case solved and the latest news coming from Ferguson is not very encouraging that they are in a hurry to solve it), and the cop from the walmart shooting is free, even with the video evidence showing he shot the man without even a warning. I imagine if I wanted to cover up this latest idiocy, the police department could have an easier time spinning this story IF the victim was dead from the first shot. Instead, not only is the victim alive, but the video and the audio evidence makes him a very sympathetic victim. #1 the poor guy was just following the commands from an idiotic state trooper who wasnt following proper procedure (he ordered him to show his license, what does the motorist does? he goes back into the car for his license). #2, after getting shot, instead of getting angry he just asks the cop, "why are you shooting me? I was just getting my license!" which makes it hard to later spin it that the victim was trying to reach to some imaginary weapon. and then there is #3, he kept apologizing to the cop after getting shot! Now the cop claims he stopped him because he wasnt wearing his seatbelt, however the driver explained that he was wearing his seatbelt and he was pulling into the gas station so he unbuckled his seatbelt before he got out of the vehicle.

And let us not forget that this was a gas station with other people around, with gas pumps around! It is a miracle no one else was hurt.
Nothing Says “Sorry Our Drones Hit Your Wedding Party” Like $800,000 And Some Guns
On December 12, 2013, a drone struck and killed 12 members of a wedding party in Yemen. If the U.S., which claims the strike was clean and justified, didn’t pony up the $800,000 in cash and guns as reparations, then who did?

Muhammad al-Tuhayf was relaxing at his house late in the afternoon on Dec. 12, 2013, when his iPhone rang. A boxy, tired-looking Yemeni shaykh with large hands and a slow voice, Tuhayf heard the news: A few miles from where he was sitting, along a rutted-out dirt track that snaked through the mountains and wadis of central Yemen, U.S. drones had fired four missiles at a convoy of vehicles. Drone strikes were nothing new in Yemen — there had been one four days earlier, another one a couple weeks before that, and a burst of eight strikes in 12 days in late July and August that had set the country on edge. But this one was different: This time the Americans had hit a wedding party. And now the government needed Tuhayf’s help.

The corpses had already started to arrive in the provincial capital of Radaa, and by the next morning angry tribesmen were lining the dead up in the street. Laid out side by side on bright blue tarps and wrapped in cheap blankets, what was left of the men looked distorted by death. Heads were thrown back at awkward angles, splattered with blood that had caked and dried in the hours since the strike. Faces that had been whole were now in pieces, missing chunks of skin and bone, and off to one side, as if he didn’t quite belong, lay a bearded man with no visible wounds.

Clustered around them in a sweaty, jostling circle, dozens of men bumped up against one another as they struggled for position and a peek at the remains. Above the crowd, swaying out over the row of bodies as he hung onto what appeared to be the back of a truck with one hand, a leathery old Yemeni screamed into the crowd. “This is a massacre,” he shouted, his arm slicing through the air. “They were a wedding party.” Dressed in a gray jacket and a dusty beige robe with prayer beads draped over his dagger, the man was shaking with fury as his voice faltered under the strain. “An American drone killed them,” he croaked with another wild gesture from his one free hand. “Look at them.”
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At this very moment, a Russian satellite full of geckos -- (possibly) having sex -- is floating around in space -- and mission control has lost the ability to control it.

The Foton-M4 research satellite launched on July 19 with five geckos on board. The plan: To observe their mating activities in the zero-gravity conditions of Earth orbit. Several other earthly creatures, including plants and insects, were also placed on board for experiments.

But shortly after the satellite made its first few orbits, it stopped responding to commands from mission control. The equipment on board, however, is still sending scientific data back to earth, a spokesman for Russia's Institute of Biomedical Problems said.

[rocket launch video at source]

"The biological experiments started as soon as the satellite was launched," Institute press secretary Oleg Voloshin told RIA Novosti on Thursday. "The scientific equipment used for the experiments operates properly. We receive the telemetry data from the spacecraft and analyze it. … The current tasks have so far been fulfilled."

Teams of experts are working to reestablish a connection to the satellite, according to the company that built Foton-M.

"Specialists of the main mission control group are currently working to establish sustainable contact with the satellite and implement the planned program for the flight," the Progress company said on its Web site, according to Interfax.

In the meantime, those lizards are being left more or less alone, to do as nature intended for the rest of the 60 days mission.

Washington Post

In a condemnatory speech last week against the Obama administration’s new Environmental Protection Agency carbon emission regulations, Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith (R) claimed that man-made climate change is scientifically implausible because Mars and Earth share “exactly” the same temperature.

Smith, the owner of a mining company called Mohawk Energy, argued that despite the fact that the red planet doesn’t have any coal mines, Mars and Earth share a temperature. Therefore, Smith reasoned, coal companies on Earth should be exempt from emission regulations.

During a Natural Resources and Environment Committee meeting Thursday, Smith, the Senate majority whip, said:

"As you [Energy & Environment Cabinet official] sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I won’t get into the debate about climate change but I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of."

According to NASA, the average temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Fahrenheit -- 138 degrees above Mars' average of -81 degrees.

Although the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has stated that the new EPA rules will not cause Kentucky to shut down any additional coal-fired power plants, state lawmakers Thursday blamed federal environmental regulations for shuttering the state’s coal mines.

Thursday’s committee meeting was dominated by a slew of outlandish scientific claims from both Republican and Democratic climate change deniers.

State Rep. Kevin Sinnette (D) dismissed the threat of man-made global warming by pointing out that dinosaurs survived climate change.

“The dinosaurs died, and we don’t know why, but the world adjusted,” Sinnette said. “And to say that this is what’s going to cause detriment to people, I just don’t think it’s out there.”

State Rep. Stan Lee (R) claimed that climate-warming trends caused by human activities -- a phenomenon backed by 97 percent of climate scientists -- are nothing more than calculated scare tactics.

“All this stems, this carbon capture, all this other stuff, it stems back to a scare, generated years ago about global warming,” the Fayette County lawmaker said on Thursday. “Finally it turned out there hasn’t been global warming in 15 or 20 years, then they changed the name to climate change.”

Even the committee's chairman, state Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. (D), is one of the state’s leading opponents of federal environmental regulations, going as far as to suggest in 2011 that Kentucky would secede from the union to avoid the EPA’s crackdown on mining pollution.

By Shadee Ashtari. Posted: 07/08/2014 6:25 pm EDT.

The second-highest ranking Republican in the North Carolina House of Representatives believes that being gay is the same as pedophilia, prostitution, voyeurism, and other sexual disorders. Speaker Pro Tempore Paul “Skip” Stam made the claim in a hand-out printed on his office’s letterhead, claiming that “no one can define sexual orientation,” according to Rep. Tricia Cotham (D), who relayed the flier to Qnotes.

Stam’s flier asks, “What is a ‘sexual orientation’?” and attempts to conflate a wide variety of terms, most of which are not actually sexual orientations. In particular, it is populated with a variety of concepts that describe arousal, not orientation, such as asphyxophilia (gratification from oxygen deprivation), coprophilia (arousal from feces), urophilia (arousal from urine), and zoophilia/bestiality. Psychiatrists refer to these terms as “paraphilia,” and homosexuality was declassified as a paraphilia back in 1974.

The list also includes gender identity terms, including “gender identity disorder,” “transgenderism,” and “transsexual,” which also do not describe sexual orientation. In fact, “gender identity disorder” no longer describes anything, because the American Psychiatric Association (APA) stopped using that classification in the new fifth edition of its Diagnostics and Statistics Manual (DSM), released last year.

But Stam didn’t use the new edition. He cited the DSM-IV, which was published back in 2000. And though all of the terms he listed do appear in the outdated book, the conflation that they are “sexual orientations” is his own. The APA itself describes sexual orientation as “a person’s romantic, emotional, or sexual attraction to another person.” And in the DSM-V, paraphilias are not even considered disorders unless individuals feel “personal distress about their interest” or have a desire or behavior that violates another person’s legal consent or involves “another person’s psychological distress, injury, or death.”

Stam has previously suggested that allowing same-sex couples to marry would lead to the “legalization of polygamy and adult incest.” He distributed the new flier in objection to a one-sentence amendment that would have prohibited charter schools from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The flier claims that the amendment would “codify into law behaviors that are considered criminal.” See his full list of “orientations.” (Full page views can be seen here and here.)



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