Mississippi Sticks It To The Man, Passes Anti-Bloomberg Bill

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Mississippi is a state commonly known for voting for candidates like recently departed governor Haley Barbour, also known as That Politician Guy From O Brother Where Art Thou, No Not The One With The Dwarf, The Other One Who Likes To Sing Old Timey Songs About Sunshine, so it’s not really known as the home of anarchists everywhere.

That being said, they just saw the rich man with that New York sense of humor (wink, nudge, Jew) going around wanting be all healthy and such, and dang nabbit there’s no way they’re gonna let some guy in New York who has zero jurisdiction in Mississippi tell people in Mississippi what to do! So they’re passing a law known as the “Anti-Bloomberg Bill” prohibiting people from gently encouraging other people not to be fat.

It would ban communities from requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on menus or limit portion sizes, as Mayor Bloomberg tried to do with his proposed ban on large sodas.  Also forbidden: any local rule banning toys from being distributed with kids’ meals.

The governor is expected to sign it.

In what must be a totally unrelated story, Mississippi is officially the most obese state in the nation.


Read more at the NY Daily News.

Photo credit: Flickr user Fhardseen


Republicans Can’t Find A Black Guy

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Oooooo boy. The GOP just can’t get itself together can it? At this year’s annual conservative policy conference known as CPAC, where there are no gays allowed!, Slate correspondent David Weigel thought to take a picture of the lovely little backdrop against which notable luminaries will be speaking. There, on the backdrop, is Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, clip art of a black guy, Phyllis Schlafly… Wait. Clip art of a black guy?

A seven-panel display, paying tribute to decades of conservatism and conservative heroes. Strangely missing from the display: Any black conservatives. From the left, in my pic below [ed.- above], you can see (first panel) William F. Buckley, Phyllis Schlafly, and Ron Paul supporter; and (second panel) former American Conservative Union President David Keene, above… clip art. That’s clip art of a smiling black guy talking to an Asian woman.

C’mon GOP! I’m sure you can get one person in a slightly darker shade than “cream.” What about this lady?

Also, underneath the heading “America’s Future,” it’s all images of dead people. That’s deep, GOP.


Read more at Slate.

Photo Credit: David Weigel/Slate



Bad Touch: Iranian President In Trouble For Consoling Grieving Mother

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, commonly known for not being nice, is now in trouble for being too nice.

Ahmadinejad was photographed touching hands and cheeks with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s mother after he died last week, consoling her over what must be a terrible loss.  This did not sit well with the clerics, as the New York Times reports:

To Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s critics in the West, the image of him clasping hands with the grief-stricken mother of Hugo Chávez at her son’s funeral last week in Caracas might have seemed like a rare glimpse of a firebrand politician’s softer side. But the clerics who rule Iran saw something very different: proof that the Islamic Republic’s official representative had flouted that nation’s absolute ban on physical contact between unrelated men and women.

Unfortunately for even the president of the country, physical contact between the sexes is illegal unless the woman is drowning or is in need of medical attention.  Death to Ahmadinejad then, I suppose.

Perhaps the most grievous crime that he committed, however, is not the physical contact, but rather the emotional one.  Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, the Friday prayer leader in Isfahan, sternly told the Mehr news service (via The Week)

Hugging or expressing emotions is improper for the dignity of the president of a country like the Islamic Republic of Iran.


I have been told that Iran is usually full of warm and friendly people. Just saying.


Photo Credit: Miraflores Palace

Attorney General Eric Holder Says ‘No’

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This week, Attorney General Eric Holder said it was legal for President Obama to kill Americans with unmanned drones.  Yesterday and into last night, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) launched one of those now-rare epic filibusters, actually going all the way to 1 in the morning in a stand against unwarranted assassinations against Americans by their own government.  Senator Paul then had to go pee.

Before Senator Paul had to go pee, however, he actually stayed on topic.  Senator Paul is being lauded on both sides of the aisle for what actually seems to have been not a political stand for crap, but a principled stand for an ideal against using said drones.

Attorney General Holder listened to his impassioned plea for thirteen (!) hours, and was able to divine one question from it.  His answer?


The full text of his delightfully contrasting letter follows:


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In case the letter doesn’t show up, it reads:

Dear Senator Paul:

It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no.


Politicians are remarkably creative when they want to say “f!#K you.”


Politico via Slate

This Is How Your Tires Get Made: “How Stupid Do You Think We Are?”


The French are known for making things. Cheeses. Wines. Peugeots. And tires. Michelin is one of the largest tire manufacturing concerns in the world, just churning out the circular rubbery things.

Titan is also a tire company, but not a French one. Titan CEO Maurice Taylor was invited to buy a tire factory in France by industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, and his response (with official letterhead, natch) is quintessentially American, and quintessentially hilarious. Choice quotes include:

Sir, your letter states you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. And what does the crazy union have? The French government.


Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour and ship all the tires France needs.  You can keep the so-called workers.  Titan has no interest in the Amien North factory.

I like how he calls him “sir.”

Read the whole letter at the Wall Street Journal.



Buying A Car Sucks Because Laws


No, this isn’t some insane Ted Nugent diatribe about the gub’mint getting in the way of Real America and Real Americans. The wonks with glasses (do they have glasses? I’m not sure. I have glasses) over at NPR’s Planet Money took a look today at why buying a new car sucks, always, without fail.

It basically boils down to “protections” put in place by state and federal governments to ensure that owning a dealership will be highly profitable and also nearly immune from competition from other dealers selling the same brand. Not only are automakers like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, etc. prohibited from setting up their own company-owned dealerships, but the privately-held dealerships are granted regional monopolies in their respective areas.

In addition, the ability to pass on your dealership to your children, grandchildren, and your grandchildren’s grandchildren is enshrined in law as well. Your grandchildren’s grandchildren suck at selling cars, and are dragging down Ford’s regional profits? Well, I suppose that’s just too bad for Ford.

But surely there’s a reason for this. Nobody is just handed anything, here, in America, capitalism.  Tammy Darvish, who sits on the executive board of the National Automobile Dealers Association, told Planet Money why they deserve it:


“We need these state laws to protect our investment, not just the investment in our business, but our people. We employ a little over 2,000 people, that’s 2,000 families throughout greater Washington that are dependent upon us continuing our business operations.”


Yes, just as the oil companies plead, Jobs and Families. Never mind the conservative principle of the free market filling the void if these monopolies were allowed to collapse, with the associated jobs that would follow. This is about Freedom, or something.


And, as Planet Money notes dryly:


“This is not the sort of argument that sways economists.”


These sorts of regulations have serious consequences as well. In November of 2011,Chrysler was forced to sell ts own “model dealership” in California in a settlement with the state and the California DMV.


It’s a bit long, but hear the whole thing over at Planet Money.


Photo Credit: Christopher Ziemnowicz/Wikimedia 



Candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor A Bit Loony, Likes Making Internet Memes About Himself

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This is Jerry Patterson, and he is a Real Man running for a Real Office in the Real State of Texas.  You might think this picture is a joke, some sort of satirical fantasy created by a detractor.  “HA! That Jerry Patterson,” you say, noting his seemingly endless devotion to guns and weapons and guns.  “He loves guns so much, he just hands them out like hotcakes for every hallmark holiday!”

But no, really, this guy does love guns.  Even more than you like alliteration.  This image was posted on his own Facebook page, with the caption reading:


In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a special online card for my friends each day until Thursday. On today’s card – a piece of advice for finding the perfect romantic gift for your loved ones.

Jerry Patterson has finally come full-circle, blazing past post-modernism in a chariot of glory and on to a different plane of post-ironic existence, completely misunderstanding what an internet meme is but also how they are used.  Or maybe he does get it?  And feeds off his own parody image?  Maybe it’s a big joke, some sort of performance art?


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Yep, he posted that on his Facebook page, too, with the caption “sometimes you see a photo that is too adorable not to share. Happy Tuesday everyone.”


Definitely performance art.


H/T to Wonkette.