I never much cared that Andy Griffith occupied a mostly earnest, irony-free zone as an entertainer.* Still loved his whole schtick. Our memorial slideshow. *One notable exception: Elia Kazan's A Face In The Crowd, which sadly I have not seen. [...]
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In the ad, paid for by an environmental advocacy group, an Irish Setter becomes increasingly alarmed as he listens to news that forthcoming gas mileage standards will mean fewer stops for gas. At the same time, the dog’s owner is rounding up the kids for a long drive, telling them to be sure to go to the bathroom because the family will only stop when it needs gas. The dog is horrified to see his crate fastened to the roof of the family station wagon. – Huffington Post
I JUST can’t stop laughing…
Virginia’s new invasive law, which requires women to have an ultrasound and wait 24 hours before having an abortion went into effect on Monday. Along with the Republican-supported measure designed to deter women from having abortion procedures, Virginia has released a list of places a woman can go to get a free ultrasound, and the list is made up entirely of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. In fact, two of the centers listed are not even health clinics. Idaho put out a similar list before legislators tabled the ultrasound bill being considered in that state.
The FDA has approved OraSure, the first-ever at-home HIV testing kit. It allows individuals to swab their gums and obtain test results in less than an hour. Still, the FDA notes that regardless of the outcome, the test’s results should not be overly trusted:
A positive result with this test does not mean that an individual is definitely infected with HIV, but rather that additional testing should be done in a medical setting to confirm the test result. Similarly, a negative test result does not mean that an individual is definitely not infected with HIV, particularly when exposure may have been within the previous three months.
In many ways, OraSure presents a catch-22. Because of the privacy and convenience it affords, many more individuals will hopefully use it to test their status. Unfortunately, the technology is not perfect: one out of every 12 tests performed in HIV-infected individuals returned false negative results. A negative OraSure result could create a false sense of security and dissuade people from ever getting a more reliable test that can’t be self-administered.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday vetoed a tax increase on millionaires passed by Democrats in the state legislature for the third consecutive year, even as the Democrats planned to use the tax increase to pay for other tax cuts that Christie wants.
Christie himself has proposed tax cuts that would primarily benefit the wealthiest of the state’s residents and has justified his veto of the millionaire’s tax by saying it would lead to a mass exodus of high-income individuals from the state, despite evidence showing that would not be the case. But after vetoing the millionaire’s tax and millions in spending, Christie called legislators back to the capital to work on another tax cut, CBS News reports:
He called lawmakers, who would normally be on vacation after passing the budget, back to Trenton for a special session where he unveiled an alternate tax plan. His latest proposal: Use some of the $361 million he cut last week from the state budget with a line-item veto to pay for property tax cuts for any homeowner with a household income under $400,000 and for an expansion in an earned-income tax credit for the working poor.
Democrats slammed Christie’s latest proposal as “political theater,” and one activist group said he was using the state’s poorest residents as “pawns” in a political game. Supporting the boost to the earned income tax credit is, indeed, a change of tune for the governor. The Democratic budget bolstered the credit to 25 percent of the federal level, giving $115 a year to the average family. Christie, who now claims support for such a plan, scaled back that provision in his budget two years ago, did not include it in his own budget, and used his line-item veto to remove it from the Democratic budget.
At a town hall on Sunday, Walsh blasted his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, for having the temerity to note that she’s spent two decades serving in the military. Walsh dismissed Duckworth, an Iraq War vet who lost both her legs in an RPG attack, as not a “true hero.”
Vote Vets, a non-partisan PAC that supports veterans issues, condemned Walsh’s comments in an exclusive statement to ThinkProgress. The veterans group wrote that “Telling a veteran to shut up on the 4th of July is beyond the pale.” They called on Walsh to “step aside and and stop embarrassing his district and America.”
Their full statement:
Joe Walsh’s disgust for our veterans’ sacrifices knows no bounds. First, he falsely and maliciously claims that Tammy Duckworth, a veteran who lost her legs in Iraq didn’t have much of a record of service. Now, he denigrates that same American hero for talking about how her experience shaped her worldview and strengthened her resolve to serve even more – a conversation that isn’t just legitimate to have, but crucial as America charts its course domestically and internationally. This is a new low for this deadbeat dad. Telling a veteran to shut up on the 4th of July is beyond the pale. We are past the point of calling on Joe Walsh to apologize. He should step aside and and stop embarrassing his district and America.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) bucked his fellow Republicans on Tuesday by vetoing a voter ID law crafted by GOP members of the state legislature, the Detroit Free Press reports:
Among the bills vetoed was one requiring photo ID for first voter registration or to obtain an absentee ballot, a requirement that African-American activists claimed was an attempt to deter voting by the urban poor.
Snyder said in a statement that ?he appreciates the issue of ensuring voters are eligible and U.S. citizens, however this legislation could create voter confusion among absentee voters.?
Laws requiring residents to present state-issued photo IDs tend to disproportionately effect low-income American citizens — who also tend to vote Democratic — because they often lack the resources and the time to acquire the proper documentation.
Snyder also invalidated a requirement that voters check a box on an electoral ballot or application affirming they are citizens — which could have intimidated voters who didn’t understand the question or weren’t native English speakers — as well as new restrictions and requirements on the operations of third party groups registering voters in the state.
The latter measure bears a resemblance to laws passed in Florida, which were blocked by a federal judge, who ruled that restricting registration in common areas that voters frequent imposes an unconstitutional burden on voter registration efforts.
Wait, haven't we already been through this with Joe Walsh? When you're running against a military vet who lost both their legs in a war zone, maybe you might want to, at the very least, refrain from being a total asshole about it:
Understand something about John McCain. His political advisers, day after day, had to take him and almost throw him against a wall and hit him against the head and say, ?Senator, you have to let people know you served! You have to talk about what you did!? He didn?t want to do it, wouldn?t do it. Day after day they had to convince him. Finally, he talked a little bit about it, but it was very uncomfortable for him. That?s what?s so noble about our heroes. Now I?m running against a woman who, my God, that?s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it?s the last thing in the world they talk about. That?s why we?re so indebted and in awe of what they?ve done.So the definition of being a "true" hero is that you're not allowed to bring it up. This follows the precedent of Obama vs. bin Laden, in which any accomplishment is immediately nullified if you, um, point it out. John McCain could run on his military record because, according to Joe Walsh, he felt bad about it. Tammy Duckworth isn't allowed, because Joe Walsh is in charge of what all military vets are and are not allowed to mention?or at least, the military vets who have the gall to run against him.
Hopefully Duckworth will eat this guy for lunch. Joe Walsh's sole accomplishment over the last few years is to make everyone even more irritated with Congress than they already were.
Hearing about Anderson Cooper's outing, Brent Bozell, who got his start serving under closeted gay Terry Dolan, sent his wingman Tim Graham on a gay spelunking tour of Anderson Cooper's homoeuvre looking for examples of Anderson covertly shoving his[...]
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