web analytics
Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children’s meals will soon be banned in parts of Santa Clara County, reports the LA Times:
“This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children’s love of toys” to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. “This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.”

Voting against the measure was Supervisor Donald Gage, who said parents should be responsible for their children.

“If you can’t control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers,” he said.

My former three-year-old self is convinced these supervisors are being mean, and demands fries with his Looney Toons action figures.

Gherald filed this under: ,  

Take it away, SNL.


{ 1 comment }
Gherald filed this under:  

This strikes me as pretty much the one of the most ridiculous pieces of poorly-informed garbage ever to emerge from the radical new GOP:

The Republican Governors Association has embraced the symbolism of Fawkes, launching a rather striking website, RememberNovember.com [ed. note: warning: really creeepy!], with a video that showcases far more Hollywood savvy than one can usually expect from Republicans. Again, the Fawkes tale has been twisted a bit. This time, President Obama plays the role of King James, the Democratic leadership is Parliament, and the Republican Party represents the aggrieved Catholic mass.

The politics and substance aside, this strikes me as a remarkable bit of political messaging, not just for its cinematic quality. The RGA, under the control of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, is clearly stepping out of the stodgy, safe territory it normally inhabits. It is aiming to tap into the vast well of anti-government fury now coursing through the nation. Who would have guessed that Barbour would embrace the symbolic value of the same would-be mass murderer as the Wachowski brothers?

The first point to make here is that this is a major, establishment Republican body taking up the imagery of a violent, anti-government almost-terrorist in its campaign to gain political power.

As Josh Marshall noted:

I find this completely bewildering. The Republican Governors Association is embracing the mantle of a 17th century radical who tried but failed to pull off a mass casualty terrorist attack to kill the King of England and all of Parliament…. Nothing shocks me anymore. But this shocks me.
How the fuck can “serious”, “important” people seriously do something like this in this day and age!?
9/11 changed everything? Yeah, my ass.

The second point here is that someone at the GOP might have considered the contemporary screen adaptation of the story of Guy Fawkes, V for Vendetta.

In this movie, England has come under the bootheel of a fascist, far-right government.

Guy Fawkes is represented by the mysterious “V”, a “terrorist”/”freedom fighter” who devotes his life to freeing England from the oppressive far-right government.

The movie even makes a delicious parody of our own Rush Limbaugh. Louis Prothero is the chief government propagandist in the film who launches into radio and television screeds against undesireables and those people he casts as enemies of the state.

The depths of the GOP’s depravity right now are really starting to scare the shit out of me.

I am going to get some much-needed R&R starting Saturday and will be out all of next week. I will definitely post periodically but I hope Gherald and Rupert can help keep you entertained in my absence. Aloha!

Metavirus filed this under:  


Via Ezra Klein, a very interesting academic paper by J. Lawrence Broz, political science professor at the University of California, San Diego. Professor Broz finds some striking correlations between financial collapses and the politics of the governments that bring them. Fancy that? And conservatives have been telling us for decades that it’s just a natural cycle. Cycle? Yes. Natural? Not so much.

Financial cycles of boom and bust are as old as finance itself — a fact that has led some observers to infer that human nature may be a fundamental cause of financial cycles. But “politics” also influences financial cycles by way of government policies and regulations. I argue that policies and regulations vary predictably with the partisan character of the government, creating a partisan-policy financial cycle in which conservative, pro-market governments preside over financial booms while left-wing governments are elected to office after crashes.

This is something I think most people who have been around awhile feel instinctively, so it’s nice to see research backing it up.

Rupert Psmith filed this under:  

John Cole, in response to people who freaked out when he said “I have no use for religion”, ripostes thusly:

[T]he reaction from some of you when I said I have no use for religion was so bizarre, you’d think I was raping kids, gay-bashing, trying to force all taxpayers to fund student groups that gay bash, trying to deny vaccines that prevent cancer to girls because they might have sex, helping the spread of AIDS with idiotic anti-condom crusades and failed abstinence only nonsense, denying people the possibility of medical cures because I have some fetish about a semi-meiotic glob of cells, dictating what women can do with their vagina, trying to make people stupid by denying basic science, and so on.

All I did was say I want no part in religion.

Metavirus filed this under:  

If a story like this doesn’t convince you of the moral rectitude of marriage equality, then your heart is blacker than sackcloth:

Clay Greene and his partner of 20 years, Harold Scull, lived in Sebastopol, California. As long-time partners, they had named each other beneficiaries of their respective estates and agents for medical decisions. As 2008 began, Scull was 88 years old and in deteriorating health. Greene, 11 years younger, was physically strong, but beginning to show signs of cognitive impairment. As Scull’s health declined, it became apparent that they would need assistance, but the men resisted outside help. In April of 2008, Scull fell down the front steps of their home. Greene immediately called an ambulance and Scull was taken to the hospital. There, the men’s nightmare began.

While Scull was hospitalized, Deputy Public Guardians went to the men’s home, took photographs, and commented on the desirability and quality of the furnishings, artwork, and collectibles that the men had collected over their lifetimes. Ignoring Greene entirely, the County petitioned the Court for conservatorship of Scull’s estate. Outrageously referring to Greene only as a “roommate” and failing to disclose their true relationship, the County continued to treat Scull as if he had no family. The County sought immediate temporary authority to revoke Scull’s powers of attorney, to act without further notice, and to liquidate an investment account to pay for Scull’s care. Then, despite being granted only limited powers, and with undue haste, the County arranged for the sale of the men’s personal property, cleaned out their home, terminated their lease, confiscated their truck, and eventually disposed of all of the men’s worldly possessions, including family heirlooms, at a fraction of their value and without any proper inventory or determination of whose property was being sold.

Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Greene from their home and confined him to a nursing home against his will–a different placement from his partner. Greene was kept from seeing Scull during this time, and his telephone calls were limited. Three months after Scull was hospitalized, he died, without being able to see Greene again.