Are You F—ing Kidding Me?

I am a bit too angry to see straight, but need to share the utter, reprehensible ridiculousness of this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.04.12 PM

An ex-stripper who went on to law school and later was elected a judge was found dead inside her Nevada home Sunday, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Her body was discovered during a welfare check, the report said, and authorities do not suspect foul play.

Municipal Judge Diana Hampton, who was 50, was known by colleagues as a hard worker and appeared to be the perfect picture of health. Her death shocked colleagues, one of whom told the paper he planned to have lunch with the judge this week.

Hampton, who served as a municipal judge for more than a decade, worked with youth in the community to discourage them from crime.

Hampton took an unusual route to her judgeship. She was criticized during her 2005 run for Henderson Department 3 for working as a stripper in Las Vegas prior to pursuing law school. It was a part of her past she did not disavow and reaffirmed that her past had nothing to do with how she would rule from the bench.

“From the very beginning, she decided she was going to be a judge,” said Joe Sciscento, a justice of the peace who knew Hampton for more than 20 years. “She was dedicated to that. She was focused on that, and she wouldn’t let things get in her way.”

[Emphasis added] Continue reading


From the Mouths of Babes (UPDATED)

Fox News has a story about a 13-year-old kid who posted a YouTube video criticizing President Obama’s decision to invite Ahmed Mohamed to the White House (h/t Tim). It pretty much covers all the usual points: why is the president taking an active stand on this issue and not on [other, possibly-unrelated issue]??? Even at its best, it’s not a very good argument. In this case, the kid mentioned the president’s purported silence about Kate Steinle and “cops…being gunned down,” even though the second point is decidedly not true, and neither point is relevant to Ahmed Mohamed’s story.

I’m not going to get too worked up about this, though, because this kid is 13 years old. The real question is why Fox News seems to be giving him so much of a platform.

See, this is not the first time conservatives have rallied around a teenager who said things they wanted to hear. Wonkette reported on young conservative darling Jonathan Krohn a few years ago: Continue reading


What I’m Reading, December 11, 2014

Fox and Friends had a sad over the DOJ mentioning white privilege at Ferguson talk, Robyn Pennacchia, Death and Taxes, December 9, 2014

Co-host Brian Kilmeade felt that by even acknowledging the fact that white privilege exists, the Department of Justice was “taking sides,” when it was supposed to be neutral. And the neutral position is that white privilege does not exist. At least for the co-hosts of Fox and Friends. Who are all–by sheer coincidence, I’m sure–white people.


How is it taking sides to discuss the very real fact of white privilege? There are sides in this? How are there sides?

It’s like a small child closing their eyes and telling everyone “You can’t see me now! I’m invisible!”

You know, this, and the way they talk about “pulling the race card” and “race baiting”–it’s as though they’re thinking “We simply cannot let black people find out about racism, or they are gonna be so pissed.” or “Maybe if we pretend racism and white privilege don’t exist, all the black people will think they’re just imagining it, and then we can all pretend that everything is just fine.”

[Emphasis in original.]

One University Found a New, Awful Way to Talk About Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Photo Leak, Jordan Valinsky, Mic, December 9, 2014 Continue reading


Establishing Fox News’ Accuracy

Fox News has an accuracy rate of 18%, according to Politifact branch Punditfact (h/t Jason). This means that of the 83 statements made by the network’s talking heads reviewed by Punditfact, 15 of them were found to be “True.” Another 10% were determined to be “Mostly True,” and 22% were “Half True.” The remainder fell into the “Mostly False,” “False,” and “Pants on Fire” categories.

There are 1,440 minutes in a 24-hour day. A stopped clock is therefore right 0.14% of the time*, if you count whole minutes as single data points.

This means that Fox News is correct more than 100 times more often than a stopped clock.

Jim Champion [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Flickr

“You agreed with me a few hours ago when I said it was 7:42. Why are you trying to change your answer now?”

(That bit of spin is free, Ailes, but the next one’ll cost you.)

* I’m trying to find the source of this saying, to the extent it is knowable. The most likely seems to be Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, but I’ve also seen it credited to Paulo Coelho, Stephen Hunt, and Patrick Jane. Anyone know where it comes from?

Photo credit: Jim Champion [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr.


What I’m Reading, May 12, 2014

By Vegas Bleeds Neon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsSixteen Things Calvin and Hobbes Said Better Than Anyone Else, Edd McCracken, Book Riot, February 6, 2012

On life’s constant little limitations

Calvin: You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.

On expectations

Calvin: Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!


On the unspoken truth behind the education system

Calvin: As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. You’ve taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations. Continue reading


What I’m Reading, March 24, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Big Bang (with sunglasses)


Neil deGrasse Tyson Squashes Creationist Argument Against Science on National TV, Dan Arel, AlterNet, March 17, 2014

Watching the Christian Right, especially the creationist wing, struggle to counter “Cosmos” each week is like watching a frightened, cornered animal that knows it is about to die. What else could explain the weekly grasping at straws, and the unremitting blasting of social media links meant to reel their following back in as their eyes are opened to the scientific method’s greatness.


Creationism’s days are numbered. “Cosmos” frightens the conservatives more than anything has in a very long time. Every day their numbers grow smaller and their grasp on America becomes weaker.

The time is now for a scientifically literate America to return, for scientific innovations to flow out of our borders and spread around the world. We can no longer take a backseat to the world of science and must return once again to the driver’s seat.

Terrifying Precedent: Woman to Be Tried for Murder for Giving Birth to Stillborn When She Was 16, Nina Martin, ProPublica, March 19, 2014

The case intersects a number of divisive and difficult issues — the criminal justice system’s often disproportionate treatment of poor people of color, especially in drug prosecutions; the backlash to Roe v. Wade and the conservative push to establish “personhood” for fetuses as part of a broad-based strategy to weaken abortion laws. A wild card in the case — Mississippi’s history of using sometimes dubious forensic evidence to win criminal convictions over many years — could end up playing a central role.

Ignoring Fox News’ Racism is Good for Democrats but Bad for the Country, Isaac Chotiner, The New Republic, January 27, 2014

Fox still has, as far as cable news is concerned, a giant audience among all Americans—especially Republicans, conservatives, and influential businessmen and businesswomen. It still has major power within the Republican Party. To say that Fox’s bigotry should just be discounted is therefore odd. I am sure Rich has spent some time watching Fox News, so he must be aware of how toxic it is. Putting aside its top-down class warfare, segment after segment is meant to scare its white audience into believing that African Americans, or Muslims, are out to get them. This is not some random nut on Twitter: no, this is real bigotry transmitted to a large audience, and it must be combatted.

Michelle Alexander: White Men Get Rich from Legal Pot, Black Men Stay in Prison, April M. Short, AlterNet, March 16, 2014

Alexander said she is “thrilled” that Colorado and Washington have legalized pot and that Washington D.C. decriminalized possession of small amounts earlier this month. But she said she’s noticed “warning signs” of a troubling trend emerging in the pot legalization movement: Whites—men in particular—are the face of the movement, and the emerging pot industry.


Alexander said for 40 years poor communities of color have experienced the wrath of the war on drugs.

“Black men and boys” have been the target of the war on drugs’ racist policies—stopped, frisked and disturbed—“often before they’re old enough to vote,” she said. Those youths are arrested most often for nonviolent first offenses that would go ignored in middle-class white neighborhoods.


If Smartphones Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Smartphones

By Jacrews7 (Flickr: On The Floor Texting) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Dr. Keith Ablow, the man who apparently will say anything if it means Fox News will keep letting him be on the teevee, has figured out how to explain the recent Florida movie theater shooting in a way that doesn’t implicate guns at all: data rage. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.

Fox News “Medical A-Team” member Keith Ablow thinks smartphones may be even more dangerous to have in theaters than handguns.

Ablow on Tuesday said a smartphone caused a retired police officer to experience “data rage” toward a man who was texting in a Florida theater and fatally shoot him.

After Curtis Reeves was ordered held without bond on Tuesday, Fox News hosts Bill Hemmer and Alisyn Camerota asked the television psychiatrist what might have caused the 71-year-old ex-Tampa officer pull out his .380 pistol and shoot 43-year-old Chad Oulson while he was texting his 3-year-old daughter.

“I think we may have to look at something I’ll call data rage,” Ablow opined. “Just like road rage. We know that when people interact with machines that sometimes they feel emboldened to do things that they never would, that it can be tremendously frustrating and that people who could be vulnerable — by the way, they may be impulsive to begin with or explosive — add in technology or a machine and things can go over the top.”

I guess, in Ablow’s mind, if the gentleman had not had a gun, “data rage” would have driven him to bludgeon the texter to death with some Twizzlers, or maybe build a bomb using popcorn butter and other found items.

What truly amazes me is that this is supposed to be an argument, essentially, for letting this man have a gun. I’ll give Dr. Ablow the benefit of the doubt for a minute and pretend “data rage” is really a thing. Isn’t this an issue of mental health, to which the NRA et al are always trying to change the subject? If people are prone to uncontrollable rage in the presence of people texting, what are the public safety implications for gun regulation? Or should I just pack my own heat in case I enrage someone through texting?

Not that I expect a thoughtful or coherent answer to such questions…

Photo credit: By Jacrews7 (Flickr: On The Floor Texting) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.


Megyn Kelly Must Do Humor on a Higher Level than the Rest of Us

Remember when Megyn Kelly was all in a huff about the idea that Santa (or Jesus) might not be white? Well…..psych!!! It was all a joke lol, and the problem is with us “humorless” folk who just don’t get her. As Jon Stewart put it:

What appeared to me to be another segment of Fox News expressing anger and victimization over the loss of absolute power and reframing it as persecution of real America by minorities, freeloaders and socialists was actually a jest, a jape, a bit of wise-crackery.

It’s not her fault that her humor is on such a higher level than us!!!

Anyway, it’s such a relief to know that Megyn Kelly is actually a comic character, not an actual, uh, journalist? Reporter? Anchor? News host? Television presenter? Whatever. Let us all remember her wisdom, and hope that we can make her uncomfortable every chance we can get:


Doctor Santa

The following comment (on Ragen’s post) may explain everything about Santa Claus, including the asinine Fox News racial dispute:


Considering Santa’s not real, he can be whatever the hell race we want him to be. I personally believe Santa’s a Time Lord, and his sleigh is really a TARDIS. How else could he possibly deliver all those presents in one one night without a little wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff?

I covered up the identifying info, but the commenter is welcome to claim credit if they want—or I’ll give credit upon request. I’m pretty flexible and occasionally a pushover 🙂


Here’s How to Get Fox News to Switch Sides in the War on Christmas

At present, Canada, Russia, and Denmark are sort of engaged in a dispute over who actually has territorial sovereignty over the North Pole.

Fox News may have assured us that Santa Claus is white (sarcastic whew!), but they’re clearly missing the larger point here: no matter which way you slice it, Santa Claus is not American.

Denmark may have delicious breakfast pastries, but we all know that they are a bunch of socialists whose policies would mildly inconvenience those in America’s highest income brackets—in today’s political environment, that is of course synonymous with evil.

If Santa is Russian, that means we were allowing a Soviet agent unfettered access to U.S. airspace for decades. Someone should impeach Obama for that.

If Santa turns out to be Canadian? Well, Canada ain’t America, is it?

Is Santa Claus getting a visa every year to come into the U.S.? I could do a FOIA request to find out, but instead I’m just going to declare that he isn’t because freedom.

Fox News needs to get on the case of this taker who’s coming to this country illegally in order to give handouts to people who can’t even be bothered to work full-time jobs.