Day: February 23, 2012

Jon Stewart On GOP Warnings Of 2nd Obama Term: ‘The First Term Was Laying The Trap?’

This clip is priceless.

You gotta love this guy’s exceptional wit and spot-on political analysis, which blends meticulously in his comedy sketches…

Mediaite

As the November election approaches, Republicans are beating the sound of a familiar drum from 2008 on President Obama– that he is a radical, bent on destroying the Catholic Church and Second Amendment, out to “fundamentally transform” America. On tonight’s Daily Show,Jon Stewart took a look at how well the predictions from 2008 have fared, and how absurd some of today’s predictions are in that context.

He began with some clips from 2008, notably Rep. Steve King asserting that “radical Islamists will be dancing in the streets” if President Obama were elected. “Talk about hitting the nail, if you replace ‘dancing’ with ‘dodging unmanned missiles raining hellfire from the sky,’” Stewart deadpanned.

By now, he noted, “we’ve pretty much gotten first term,” and “conservatives got a little kicked in the crystal balls.” So what is on the menu for 2012? He noted Newt Gingrich stating President Obama was desirous of a “war on Catholicism;” an NRA executive expecting the Second Amendment to be obliterated the first day after inauguration. “If Obama hasn’t been able to pull any of that shit off during the first term of his presidency, what is he waiting for?” Stewart asked. “The whole first term is just laying the trap,” he mused, perhaps “all he has done in his first term is just a canard so they he can get a second term?”

The clip via Comedy Central…

Cat Saves Owner’s Life Just Hours After Being Adopted

I love animals, particularly cats, so this story is especially heartwarming…

The Huffington Post

A newly adopted cat repaid his owner’s loving gesture earlier this month by saving her from a medical emergency just hours after he was brought home, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Amy Jung and her son Ethan stopped into The Humane Society near their home in Sturgeon, Wisconsin on Feb. 8 to play with the cats, but one feline — a 21-pound orange-and-white cat named Pudding — stood out to the pair. Jung learned that the laid-back cat had been in and out of the shelter since 2003, and made an impulsive decision to adopt him and his friend Wimsy.

Jung said the cats wasted no time fitting into their new home when they arrived. But just hours later, the Jungs’ happy day took a turn for the worse. Soon after going to bed, Amy Jung, who has had diabetes since childhood, started having a diabetic seizure in her sleep.

That’s when Pudding sprang into action. The fast-acting feline sat on Jung’s chest in an attempt to wake her up and when that didn’t work, he nudged and nipped her face until she briefly returned to consciousness.

In that moment, Jung was able to call out to her son Ethan, but he couldn’t hear her calls. Luckily, Pudding darted into Ethan’s room and pounced on the bed until he woke up and was able to call for help.

Jung told the Press Gazette that she believes she wouldn’t have made it through the night without Pudding — an opinion her doctors share. Pudding is now being registered as a therapy animal, and has learned to sit by Jung’s feet and meow when he senses that her blood sugar is low.

There have been a number of reports of dogs sensing impending seizures, but the same behavior in cats is much rarer, according to doctors who spoke to the BBC for a story about a cat who predicted a number of deaths at a nursing home.

The cat, Oscar, made headlines in 2007 after he “predicted” 25 deaths at a nursing home by showing affection for sick patients right before they passed away. Animal psychologist Roger Mugford said that although cats have been known to pick up on illnesses, they do so much less frequently than dogs because they are more withdrawn.

“Dogs are very good at picking up on emotional changes and when people are depressed and inactive they are very good at comforting them in these circumstances. Elephants show the same altruistic tendencies, but not cats, they are very much more selfish, solitary creatures,” he said.

Nevertheless, cats have been the heroes of a number of rescue stories in recent years. In May 2011, the Atlanta Humane Society reported on a cat who could predict his 19-year-old owner’s seizuresminutes before they happened.

In July 2011, a Pennsylvania cat helped save its owner’s life by pawing at her when she was feeling unwell, compelling her to take her condition seriously and call the doctor. She later learned that she had suffered a heart attack.

CHART: The 19 Super PAC Donors Who Have Poured $47 Million Into The GOP Race

Sheldon Adelson, Newt Gingrich’s political backer,  is on record as saying that the rich shouldn’t sway elections.

Am I missing something in that quote?

Think Progress

Once again this week, independent-expenditure-only “Super PACs” disclosed their donors for the month of January 2012. A ThinkProgress analysis of these new filings and previously available data reveals that 19 wealthy donors have already given a million dollars or more each, combining to funnel $46.75 million to Republican-allied Super PACs so far this cycle.

It comes as little surprise that this list is dominated by financial sector investors (8), energy and chemical producers (4), and real estate developers (3). All are white. Only one, the wife of casino tycoon Sheldon Edelson, is female. The Obama administration has backed financial sector consumer protections and environmental regulations unpopular with big Wall Street and big energy.

The 19 donors’ contributions accounted for about 53 percent of the $88.2 million combined receipts for those committees. Here are the 19:

Donor Donations Sector
Harold Simmons/Contran Corp. $14.1M Chemicals
Sheldon Adelson $5M Casinos and hotels
Miriam Adelson $5M Casinos and hotels
Bob Perry $3.5M Real Estate/Construction
Peter Thiel $2.6M Finance/Investment
Jon Huntsman Sr. $2.2M Chemicals
Jerry Perenchio Living Trust $2M Media
Julian Robertson $1.25M Finance/Investment
Robert B. Rowling $1.1M Energy
Edward Conard $1M Finance/Investment
Robert Mercer $1M Finance/Investment
John Paulson $1M Finance/Investment
Paul Singer $1M Finance/Investment
Foster Friess $1M Finance/Investment
Rooney Holdings Inc. $1M Real Estate/Construction
William Dore $1M Energy
Whiteco Industries $1M Real Estate/Construction
F8 LLC (Jeremy Blickenstaff) $1M Finance/Investment
Eli Publishing (Steve Lund) $1M Cosmetics

These donations went to Super PACs backing GOP hopefuls Newt Gingrich (Winning Our Future), Ron Paul (Endorse Liberty), Mitt Romney (Restore Our Future), Rick Santorum (Red, White & Blue), backing former candidates Jon Huntsman Jr. (Our Destiny), Rick Perry (Make Us Great Again), and Republican candidates in general (American Crossroads).

To equal just their Super PAC contributions, political campaigns would need to collect more than 18,000 checks for $5,000 — the individual limit. Republican strategist Christopher LaCivita told the New York Times that these super donors are “serious business tycoons.” And these serious business tycoons are seriously overwhelming the political system with their contributions.

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Debate In 100 Seconds: The Grand Finale?

TPM2012

As the last men standing in the GOP nominating race took to the debate floor for what might be the last time the last time, it was an emotional evening all round.

Rick Santorum confirmed to Ron Paul that he was real, while Romney told him to look in a mirror.  Others tried to get their messages through, including a “cheerful” Gingrich talking about the concerns we should all have about nuclear weapons in our cities.

All in all, it provided a cathartic and cataclysmic setting for possibly the last of what has been a very, very long series of debates….