michelle bachmann on democratic pandemics

Congress’ biggest nut is at it again:

Speaking to the conservative media outlet Pajamas TV on Monday, Michele Bachmann noted: “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”

I’m not saying Bachmann is an idiot, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence that she’s always saying stupid things.

swine fluke

The bank said Thursday that the man is believed to have been exposed to the illness while traveling in Mexico for business from April 13 to 18. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will do a second test to confirm the diagnosis.

The man has been treated by a doctor and has made a full recovery.

He’s not the exception, but the rule, here and abroad.

The first Britons confirmed to have caught swine flu have been discharged from hospital after recovering.

was virginia foxx right?

I’m doubly conflicted about this story, but facts are never irrelevant.

Though I suspect her motives (the GOP never misses a chance to gay bait), Rep. Foxx may not have been wrong when she said:

“I also would like to point out that there was a bill — the hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills,” said Foxx.

In 2004, ABC News reported one of the lead investigators in the Shepard case dismissed the victim’s sexuality as a motive in the victim’s murder.

“If it wasn’t Shepard, they would have found another easy target. What it came down to really is drugs and money and two punks that were out looking for it,” [former Laramie Police Detective Ben] Fritzen said. …

Helping fuel the gay hate crime theory were statements made to police and the media by Kristen Price, McKinney’s girlfriend. (Price was charged with felony accessory after-the-fact to first-degree murder. She later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor interference with police officers.)

Price now says that at the time of the crime she thought things would go easier for McKinney if his violence were seen as a panic reaction to an unwanted gay sexual advance.

But today, Price tells Vargas the initial statements she made were not true and tells Vargas that McKinney’s motive was money and drugs. “I don’t think it was a hate crime at all. I never did,” she said.

I don’t know if they’re telling the truth. But too often there’s a rush to judgment when it comes to hate crimes.

Last month a Midtown waiter alleged he was gay-bashed behind Blake’s, though charges were never filed.

Despite a flimsy story, some advocates rushed to exploit the allegation in an attempt to get hate crimes legislation passed in Georgia.

I’m uncomfortable with the whole idea of hate crimes, which run contrary to the notion of equality. But if special protections exist for some minorities, why not all?

I’d prefer they existed for none. Just what constitutes a bias crime? I may have been the victim of such an attack years ago, but even I’m unsure. When I share the details, some believe I was, others, not.

I don’t trust politcally motivated bureaucrats to get it right. I don’t trust gay-baiting Republicans, either.

susan collins was right

The sheep in the liberal blogosphere say moderate Republican senator Susan Collins has pig’s blood on her hands.

“Everybody in the room is concerned about a pandemic flu,” Collins said at the time, referring to the stimulus negotiations. “But does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill? No, we should not.”

Agreed. That money may need to be spent, but Congress should vote on it separately, not as part of an economic stimulus package.

Besides, money would not have prevented the spread of a virus that originated outside of this country. Not at this point, anyway.

But why parse facts when you can blame all the nation’s ills on the opposition?

(And to suggest, as Sean Hannity’s liberal twin Ed Schultz has, that Collins was following Karl Rove’s lead on this is ludicrous. She’s broken ranks with Republicans many times, and I hardly think the senator from Maine was calling Rove for advice on the stimulus package.)

so long, maudey

Fitting that the great Bea Arthur died on one of the most bizarre days of my life.

I watched “Maude” religiously as a child, adopting her signature catchphrase, “God will get you for that!” I was a strange little boy, and I thank Bea Arthur for leading me astray.

At the 2:02 mark in the first clip you’ll see Maude’s introduction to America. In the second clip, around the 1:00 mark, Maude delivers a memorable comeback. Following that, a duet with Rock Hudson about recreational drug use and, finally, Maude asks Florida Evans to procure some weed.

apparently good sportsmanship is not a traditional value

I hate to waste any more time on the Miss California imbroglio, but I’m afraid we haven’t heard the last from Carrie Prejean.

“There’s a lot of people cheering you tonight that you stood on your principles, that you put the principles above winning,” Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity told Prejean when she appeared on his television program. “Not enough people do that. And I admire you a lot for it.”

I guess bad sports are to be admired. Though Prejean says she would’ve won the title had she not been asked about gay marriage, Miss North Carolina had higher scores throughout the competition.

She earned the title. But conservatives — alleged supporters of a meritocracy — choose to overlook that, embracing another victim who isn’t in an effort to gin up their fundamentalist base.

Conservative blogger Matt Lewis of Townhall.com concluded that Prejean seems destined to turn up on the campaign trail.

“Aside from the obvious point that this was a travesty of justice and that she is being punished for answering honestly — and standing up for what she believes in — how long do you think it will be before Miss California is out campaigning with a prominent Republican running for office?” he wrote.

Maybe we’ll see her campaigning alongside Sarah Palin, another former beauty pageant contestant fond of playing the victim card.

“Most would agree that it’s the job of journalists to ask the ‘right questions’ but politicians from all sides have to realise that the ‘right question’ from a journalistic point of view might feel very ‘wrong’ to them especially if it gets them hot under the collar,” [Palin] said (in an interview during which she complained about “unfair” interviews conducted by anchorwoman/cheerleader Katie Couric).

If only Couric and Miss America judge Perez Hilton had asked the “right questions.”

jerry the lion

My cat went missing more than a month ago, in early March. I figured he’d encountered a vindictive possum or wily coyote.

Turns out he was trapped in a neighbor’s crawlspace. They discovered him yesterday, emaciated but still purring. Just got the blood work back from the vet and, amazingly, he checked out fine.

He’s badly dehydrated, of course, and lost half his body weight (now just under five pounds), but the vet doesn’t think he’ll suffer any long-term consequences.

I’ve loved animals before, especially kitties (hence the use of the word “kitty”). But I can’t say I’ve ever respected one — until now.

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last call at clermont a long way off

Even though the building’s for sale, the venerable Clermont Lounge appears to be safe.

“I want to correct something,” said 53-year-old dancer Cathy Lankford, aka “Lil’ Cathy.” “People say this place is where old strippers come to die. That’s not true. I’ve been here more than 20 years.”