Sure, it’s all well and good to send kids to summer camp to lose weight, but does that really go far enough?
“We’re very proud of the campers who make it through the summer,” said Edith Nelson, director of Slow Burn Ranch. “It takes discipline and courage to get through a program whose purpose is to help young children get ‘ripped.'”
Nelson is referring to her two-year-old establishment where kids receive ‘buff love’ from the counselors.
All of the counselors at Slow Burn Ranch are expert body builders.
“We strive for the Grecian ideal,” said two-time Mr. Galaxia winner, Harold Roscoe. “It’s a mathematical standard based on the physiques of ancient Greek statues. I focus mostly on resistance weight training. It’s really adorable to watch these youngsters straining to heft five pound dumbbells over their heads.”
“We operate on a buddy system here,” said Olympic star Jezebel Tarte. “No one goes home until they can clean and jerk their buddy.”
“We serve a lot of salad, pasta and fish,” said Nelson. “They make faces at first and are all ‘Where’s the hot-dogs?’ and ‘Where’s the marshmallows?’ But since we remove the plates of those who complain, it’s not a mistake they repeat.”
Weekly World News asked a few of the campers how they found their time at Slow Burn Ranch. “It hurts at first,” said six-year-old Sal Jones. “Also, at second and third – they make us run bases with ankle weights. But when I got used to it, it didn’t make me cry. Too much.”
“It’s awesome,” said eight-year-old Steven Fisher. “Wait till the kids in school poke my gut and find out it’s a six-pack instead of flab. I’m like a superhero now – one of the cool ones, not a stretchy nerd or a fish man.”
“Most of the children have very positive experiences at Slow Burn Ranch,” Nelson said. “It’s not just about getting buff. Our campers all leave here with a wonderful set of muscle memories.”
I recommend making sure that your children are not able to beat you up.
Arlen Specter didn’t vocally oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. He single-handedly killed the entire bill.
At the outset of 2009, the Employee Free Choice Act was cruising along quite well. With a big investment from unions and their allies, and a vocal opposition from the Chamber of Commerce and other Big Business groups, the debate on the Employee Free Choice Act was in full swing in political circles and the news media. While contentious, there was little doubt in my mind some form of significant labor law reform would pass early that year. (Disclosure: I was working for SEIU’s Employee Free Choice Act campaign at the time.)
Then Arlen Specter acted on the only thing he actually cares about: his own political survival. He could feel GOP primary opponent Pat Toomey breathing down his neck. A poll was released in March showing Specter getting crushed in the primary. So Specter made a move he thought would redeem himself with angry primary voters: without warning, Specter announced he would oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. When I say without warning, I mean no one saw it coming. The first person to hear about Specter’s newfound opposition was freaking Grover Norquist, who announced the news to a roomful of conservatives one morning. Grover knew before union leaders knew.
And so today, the unions of almost 1 million working Pennsylvanians have thrown their support to Specter’s re-election, promoting the fallacy that Specter is “the strongest advocate and supporter of…workers’ rights.”
Hey, remember when NARAL and Planned Parenthood told their members to thank Lieberman and Chafee for pretending to oppose Alito’s Supreme Court nomination by voting no on the nomination but yes on cloture? When are supposedly progressive interest groups going to wake up and stop supporting their enemies and fair-weather friends?
After reading this piece by Leo Hindery about how progressives have assumed the “loyal opposition” role abdicated by the Republicans, it dawned on me that we are now the only ones actually arguing with Obama and the Democratic establishment – all the Republicans have to offer is abuse and reflexive contradiction.
It’s just too bad that the progressives have so many DeBakeys.
All this is good news for Republicans; defeating the Senate’s top Democrat and a key architect of Obamacare would be a huge victory for the GOP.
Oh no. Please don’t take away our Harry Reids. The Democrats would simply fall apart without his powerful and savvy leadership. Please, have mercy, spare us from this terrible fate. O woe, whatever shall we do.
“I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism,” Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar.
He sees his neighbors as the human figures of “a natural history museum of the 1960s,” the Telegraph Avenue tableau of a graying, long-haired, pot-smoking counterculture stuck in the ideology’s half-century-old heyday.
“It’s like looking at the panoramic displays of troglodytes sitting around the campfire with their clubs. Here, it’s tie-dye and marijuana. It’s just like the 1960s, with the Vietnam War still to protest.”
Yoo seems at peace living in Berkeley, even though he disparages the community as an enclave of self-satisfied extremists intolerant of those who think outside the liberal mind-set.
“But that doesn’t mean I don’t like it here,” he says.
Don’t let him get away, Berkeley! He’s quite a prize. I particularly enjoy the idea of a loyal Bushie and professional torture apologist describing other people as intolerant self-satisfied extremists.
Hey, did you know that before TARP the government controlled 0% of the American economy, and now it controls 51%? It’s true! Michele Bachmann told me so!
“[N]ow we have the federal government taking over ownership or control of 51 percent of the American economy. This is stunning. Prior to September of 2008, 100 percent of the private economy was private.”
Ms. Bachmann offered no facts to back up her assertion that the government owns or controls 51 percent of the U.S. economy.
For more information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, click here.
“Today the federal government has taken either direct ownership or control of banks, the largest insurance company in the United States, A.I.G., Freddie [Mac] and Fannie [Mae],” Bachmann continued, still offering no sources for her statistics. “The federal government owns over 50 percent of all home mortgages and now the direct student loan industry.”
Language was added to the health care bill that Mr. Obama signed into law last week that changed the student loan industry.
“Chrysler, GM,” she continued. “With the health care industry that’s an additional 18 percent of the private economy which means government would be making decisions over our lives from cradle to the grave.”
So I guess she’s saying that any company the government aids or bails out can be considered under government control or ownership? Hey, if she wants to oppose corporate welfare, I’m all for it. Although to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how the government is taking over the healthcare industry by throwing millions of customers at it.
Congratulations to Craig Becker, who has finally gotten his recess appointment to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. As well as 14 other people who were similarly recess appointed today.
Not on that list?
Also per emptywheel, the White House’s “explanation” for the omission (“we didn’t appoint her because we didn’t appoint her; maybe we’ll appoint her later, it’s all the Republicans’ fault”) is not an explanation at all, especially when you consider that OLC is kind of an important office to be leaving vacant, and Johnsen has been waiting well over a year at this point:
Of the 77 people on the calendar, we are only recess appointing 15 and there are a number of qualified individuals the President has nominated that do not fall in this group. If the Republicans do not end their campaign of obstruction, the President reserves the option of exerting his authority to recess appoint qualified individuals in the future, but our hope is that we can move beyond the partisan politics that have held up the process for the last fifteen months for the good of the American people.
Labor got Becker because they were in line for a reward for backing Obama’s godawful public-optionless healthcare reform bill, but the Constitution and the Office of Legal Counsel have no constituency – or at least not one that can deliver dollars or votes, and certainly not one that Obama gives a damn about. Just like the public option.
If the Catholic Church were as tolerant and protective toward gays as they are toward pedophiles, same-sex marriage would be legal in every state by now.
And if it were as committed to peace and compassion as it is to outlawing abortions, we probably wouldn’t have invaded Iraq, and the healthcare reform bill would have contained a public option at the very least.
This week’s quote is the introductory narration from the inimitable Ninja Vengeance, which would perhaps be more accurately titled Inept Fugitive With Some Ninja Training:
Like the fathers of your grandfathers, it was your destiny to become a ninja. From the teachers of far-off lands, your ancestors discovered the secrets of the universe, and the means to complete joy in existence. For this, they were hunted down in their mountain homes by religionists who feared the potential of enlightened common men. Thus was born the legend of The Invisible Warriors – mountain mystics who guided their powers into ways of protecting the innocents that they loved, and the truths that they sheltered.
Yours is a legacy of service to those in need, protection to those in distress, and strength to those who are overpowered. Your art is Ninjitsu, The Way Of Stealth – silent means of working your will without action. Your reward is spiritual growth, the opportunity to be a conscious part of the scheme of totality. Welcome… to the family.
Did I mention that almost every single cast member never appeared in any other movie? And for good reason.
And, of course, there’ll be other people’s pandas…
* WPG2 Plugin Not Validated *
If it were conclusively shown that the only way to save the country from a huge existential crisis was to sacrifice an extremely unpopular business sector that spends tons of money on campaign contributions, ad buys and lobbyists, could it be done?
Personally, I don’t think it would even get a vote.
2 commentsMarch 26th, 2010 at 11:33amPosted by Eli
On the other hand, is “We passed a Republican plan with no Republican votes! Go us!” really something the Democrats want to brag about? Especially when so many people are already worried that the bill is way too conservative and business-friendly as it is?
Isn’t it amazing how Republicans and conservatives can be so fanatically gung ho about “confronting” Islamic terrorism, to the point where they’re willing to tear up the Constitution and justify any and all manner of illegal surveillance, torture and imprisonment, yet so utterly blase about right-wing vandalism, threats, and intimidation, even up to outright violence and murder? Or how they still oppose any efforts to make it harder to obtain guns? Or how they mock Democrats who suggest that it’s important to understand the source of Islamic rage, but make sure to tell us that while right-wing terrorists’ actions may be misguided, the sources of their rage are entirely legitimate?
Isn’t it amazing how the same people who were so willing to tear up the Constitution and create a police state to fight that very specific kind of terrorism are so worked up about how Obama is supposedly a fascist who is trampling the Constitution with his ruthless power grabs and healthcare bill?
Isn’t it amazing how the same people who decried Democrats’ and progressives’ lack of civility are silent about right-wing slurs and threats against Democratic officeholders? That they made a hero of the congressman who yelled “You lie!” in the middle of Obama’s State Of The Union address (and I will be shocked if the “baby killer” guy does not become one in short order as well)? That they had no problem at all with Dick Cheney telling a Democratic senator to go fuck himself (or shooting a guy in the face with a shotgun, for that matter)?
Kathleen Parker wrings her hands over Bart Stupak’s terrible, horrible betrayal of the pro-life movement (and I’m pretty sure she’s not the only one):
Poor Bart Stupak. The man tried to be a hero for the unborn, and then, when all the power of the moment was in his frail human hands, he dropped the baby. He genuflected when he should have dug in his heels and gave it up for a meaningless executive order.
Now, in the wake of his decision to vote for a health-care bill that expands public funding for abortion, he is vilified and will forever be remembered as the guy who Stupaked health-care reform and the pro-life movement.
Alas, Stupak couldn’t hold.
Ultimately, he was weak and overwhelmed by raw political power. History is no stranger to such moments, but this one needs to be understood for what it was. A deception.
Outside, the [anti-health care reform] demonstrators… arranged themselves on the lawn to spell the word “NO.”
By the time Minority Leader John Boehner took the floor at about 10 pm, the mood on the floor was barely distinguishable from the mood on the lawn outside. “Shame on each and every one of you,” the Republican leader yelled at the Democrats, as the GOP lawmakers gave him a standing ovation. Boehner said the Democrats were a “disgrace” to Jeffersonian values.
“Hell, no, you can’t!” Boehner shouted at the Democrats.
“No, you can’t! No, you can’t!” echoed the protesters outside.
“No, you can’t!” Very catchy, very positive and uplifting, much like “I hope he fails.” How can the American people not vote for that kind of exciting vision for the future? It truly evokes the nihilism at the core of the Republican Party: When they’re the opposition party, they obstruct everything and everyone, and when they’re the ruling party they dedicate themselves to destroying the Constitution and the government’s capacity to do good (i.e., regulation, oversight, infrastructure, social programs, etc.).
Yesterday, approximately 200,000 people gathered at the National Mall to show their support of comprehensive immigration reform. Roy Beck, director of the immigration restrictionist group, NumbersUSA, decided to add himself to the mix and report on the event via a live stream that was available on the group’s website. According to Anne Manetas of NumbersUSA, a group of female mimes threatened Beck and his bodyguards with “constant efforts at crushing physical intimidation” instigated by “blowing hateful whistles” and waving balloons.
However, that doesn’t explain why Beck’s bodyguard is the one who ended up being arrested and charged with assault yesterday. Lena Graber, one of the three mimes who pressed charges against Beck’s bodyguard, talked with Wonk Room this morning. Graber explains that she and four other mimes followed Beck and his crew around for four hours in an effort to prevent Beck from picking a fight with demonstrators. According to Graber, Beck’s bodyguard pulled out a pocket knife and started popping the mimes’ balloons. Graber cannot provide details on the assault charges filed by the other two mimes, but she did provide an account of what happened to her yesterday:
They were pretty aggressive and they would sort of elbow us out of the way and say “Don’t touch me” as they were doing so. One of the bodyguards had white makeup all over his elbow and he was all upset that the mimes had gotten makeup on him…but our makeup was on our faces and I wasn’t face-bunting anyone so I felt like that was more incriminating evidence than anything else.
Graber also stated one of Beck’s cameramen remarked, “well, I guess I’ve never been followed around by five women all day — even better they’re not talking.” Another witness who did not want to be named confirmed Graber’s account and described the mimes’ behavior as “completely whimsical in nature — never threatening.” Both Graber and the witness confirmed that the “hateful whistles” were actually just small plastic whistles in the shape of a soccer ball.
Stay classy, anti-immigrant assholes. And stay safe – those mimes sound awfully scary.
“There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year,” McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. “They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”
And that will be different… how? It’s not a threat if you were going to do it anyway.
2 commentsMarch 23rd, 2010 at 07:37amPosted by Eli
From David Vitter’s Stand With Me To Repeal Obamacare e-mail blast:
And, instead of listening to us, [my opponent Charlie Melancon] voted three times for last year’s Obama budget that included the very reconciliation tool being used to railroad Obamacare into law, knowing full well how it would be used.
So… Vitter is attacking a Representative for voting yes on a budget that was passed via reconciliation in the Senate? Which is what reconciliation is actually for?
Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer acknowledged Monday that he is the lawmaker who shouted out “baby killer” during a floor speech by Rep. Bart Stupak, an antiabortion Democrat whose vote was crucial to passing the Democratic healthcare bill Sunday evening.
Neugebauer said his exact words, referring to that agreement, were “it’s a baby killer.”
Right. Because that’s totally a phrase people use.
When I first saw this in my inbox, I thought maybe it was sarcasm, but no:
Thank you, Progressive Caucus, for improving health care reform
Dear Progressive Members of Congress:
Thanks to you, and the tough positions you took on reforming the health insurance industry, significant progress was made towards reforming health care in this country. We thank you for representing the majority opinions on health care reform throughout the debate and voting for change.
[Insert your name here, etc, etc.)
I’m supposed to thank them for caving? I’m supposed to thank them for backing down from their pledge to vote against any healthcare reform bill that didn’t have a public option, even though a public option was almost surely attainable through reconciliation? I’m supposed to thank them for looking the other way when Obama and Pelosi made their deal with Pelosi and legitimized the Hyde Amendment with an executive order? Are you kidding me???
The progressive caucus had the power to force Obama to choose between the healthcare industry and anti-choice fanatics or passing his signature reform which he wanted more than anything… and they threw it away without getting anything in return.
President Obama says “every American will finally be guaranteed affordable, high quality health care coverage.” The DSCC says “insurance companies won’t be able to drop people who get sick.” And MoveOn calls it “a major progressive victory.” But what did we actually get?
We got mandates that deliver a huge captive market to the insurance companies whose callousness and greed caused the healthcare crisis in the first place, and no public option to provide an honest alternative. We got government subsidies for low-income families who will be forced to buy insurance they can’t afford to use. And worst of all, we got the biggest giveaway ever on women’s reproductive rights, and an executive order enshrining the Hyde Amendment into official government policy… issued by a president who once pledged to repeal it.
We didn’t get legalization of drug reimportation from other countries, or permission for Medicare to use its bargaining power to get better drug prices. And we sure as hell didn’t get the public option that Obama claimed to be such a huge supporter of, but never raised a finger for – even when it was attainable through reconciliation. I am also not entirely convinced that the anti-rescission language is all that much stronger than current law, nor that the bill provides for any effective means to enforce it.
This was not a triumphant victory for anyone but the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and the enemies of a woman’s right to choose. It was a monstrous, multi-directional sellout, and Obama and the Democrats will reap the electoral whirlwind in November and 2012 for passing a bill that most Americans hate.
If this is victory, then why do I feel so defeated?
In fact, when it comes to Congress, many voters would like to start anew. Asked if they would “replace every single member of Congress, including your own representative” if they could, 50% said “yes” while 47% said “no.”
50% is an incredibly huge number for such an extreme position, and suggests that a sizable majority of Americans would be happy to replace a sizable majority of Congress.
Most striking of all:
Those that said yes were asked if they would still be game if the Democrats kept the majority in Congress, and 72% said they would, while 22% said they wouldn’t. Asked if they would go along if replacing all lawmakers would put the Republicans in control, 73% said yes and 24% said no.
The disgust with both parties is so deep that it doesn’t even matter which party is nominally in control. And quite frankly, the more the healthcare reform debacle unfolds, the more I agree.
Expanding the Early Treatment for HIV Act would allow states to cover early HIV treatment under Medicaid instead of withholding treatment and funding until patients develop full-blown AIDS. That’s very important for black and Latino gay men, who are disproportionately without insurance and often learn they are HIV positive in later stages. Rod 2.0 reported in December and February the Senate and the Administration were likely to kill those provisions.
Can’t wait until the White House and Congress start “working on ENDA” once they’re “done” with health care …
I reckon that by the time they finish making bipartisan “compromises” on ENDA, the only minority group it will protect from discrimination will be rich white men.
Scarecrow draws parallels between the lack of a public option in the healthcare reform bill and the lack of a public pool in the California energy market… which helped lead directly to Enron’s profiteering and CA’s rolling blackouts. Very encouraging. This bit in particular really pisses me off:
And we see the middlemen and their political supporters in Congress deliberately hobbling the public plan, raising its costs, and restricting access to that public option, on the theory that we shouldn’t do anything to undermine the current private insurance industry. After all, they argue, private markets are always more efficient than a government operation.
Riiiight. Just like the insurance industry is more efficient than Medicare. This is a completely bullshit argument which is used to obscure the real calculation, which is that healthcare “reform” must enrich rather than enfeeble the healthcare industry which donates so generously to congressmembers of both parties.
Our campaign finance system is so corrupt and fucked up that this is now the way of all reform: That it must be structured to benefit, or at least not harm, the very industries whose irresponsible greed and malfeasance created the need for reform in the first place.
Needless to say, this perverse constraint is not exactly a great foundation for effective reform legislation. Unless you’re the healthcare industry, or the financial industry, or the energy industry, or…
First it looked like the Democrats might use reconciliation to restore the very popular public option. Then it looked like they were going to use it to pass a grab-bag of minor fixes. Now it looks like they’re going to use it to make sure that the voters hate them even more:
We’ve been waiting for days to see the CBO score to see how much the final health care bill will cost, with the goals being to both reduce the deficit and to fit under the arbitrary $900 billion cap posed by Obama.
And yet, faced will trying to contain the costs of this bill, Democrats’ first instinct is to raise taxes on the middle class even further. Brilliant!
Wow. Just wow. Has any political party ever displayed this kind of electoral death wish before? And this isn’t LBJ writing off the South because it was important to do the right thing on civil rights; this is a prolonged pattern of promoting predatory corporate interests.
At this point I have to believe that Obama has decided that it’s in his best interest to have a Republican Congress, but I’m not sure what’s in it for all the Democrats who are going to be losing their seats. Cushy healthcare lobbying gigs, I guess.