Nipplegate

This is a hilarious look at how New Yorker cartoons have gotten banned from FB for excess female nipple:

The New Yorker has a Facebook page for our cartoons, which a lot of you like, or maybe it’s just one person with a lot of time on their hands, liking the page over and over again. But in any case, it’s a whole lotta like. We like that.

What we don’t like is that we got temporarily banned from Facebook for violating their community standards on “Nudity and Sex,” by posting this Mick Stevens cartoon:

stevens-cartoon 1.jpg

Hoping to get back into Facebook’s good graces, Mick redrew the cartoon for us, but the gain in clothes caused too great a loss in humor.

stevens-cartoon-2.jpg

Some sleuthing showed that the offense was actually caused by the inclusion of these two dots in the cartoon,

female-nipples.jpg

which, by the way, also contained these two non-offending dots.

male-nipples.jpg

Can you spot all four of them in the banned cartoon? Hint: it’s like “Where’s Waldo?,” but for nipples.

I appreciate that FB wants to be free of any explicitly sexual material, but it seems there ought to be room for a completely harmless (and quite humorous) New Yorker cartoon.

And yet again…

It’s just sad and appalling the incredibly low level of intellectual coherence and common decency necessary to become a Republican state legislator.  Here’s the latest:

On Thursday, Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall (R) spoke at a press conference against state funding for Planned Parenthood. He blasted the organization for supporting a women’s right to choose, saying that God punishes women who have had abortions by giving them disabled children:

The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

Marshall is also fighting against health care reform, saying that “Obamacare” is trying to take “your soul.” Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has been pushing back against high-profilefigures and entities who have been attacking people with disabilities. Will she speak out against someone in her own party? (HT: Right Wing Watch)

So, given that Kim never had an abortion and that we’ve done our Christian duty and been quite fruitful by today’s standards, just how was God deciding to punish us with Alex anyway?  Disgusting.

The Eastwood anti-bounce

Reading through the lines of various articles about Clint Eastwood, I think it basically comes down to the fact that Romney’s campaign team were too intimidated by him to either A) vet his speech; or B) insist that he actually have a speech to vet.  Seth Masket has an interesting conjecture about how this may have really hurt Romney (and I’m largely inclined to agree):

There’s some sort of emerging consensus that Romney got either a very small bounce out of the Republican convention or no bounce at all, underperforming his predicted 3.6% bounce. People seem to be explaining this result by saying that the Republican convention just wasn’t that good — the speeches were lackluster, the policy claims were vague, Ryan lied, etc. That may be true, but here’s another thought: it’s Clint Eastwood’s fault.

Here’s my thinking: the audiences for the conventions, while much larger than we’ve seen for any other event thus far in the election cycle, are still dominated by partisans. That is, the viewers are very unlikely to change their vote preferences because of rhetoric or performance. In order for a bounce to occur, the message of what happened at the convention has to get out to people who didn’t watch the event live. This transmission occurs via TV and newspaper coverage, but also via water cooler talk the next day.

So what was everyone talking about the day after Romney’s nomination acceptance speech? Not his speech, to be sure. They were talking aboutEastwood’s bit of performance art. The final day of a convention is typically all about the presidential nominee. While Romney’s speech may have not been the strongest speech ever delivered by a nominee, it certainly portrayed him in a flattering light, and some discussion of that the next day might have done him some good. Instead, it left him bounceless.

Now that’s  journalism

You may have heard about Mitt Romney endorsing Obamacare’s protection for pre-existing conditions on Sunday.  You are less likely to have heard his campaign say he didn’t mean it at all.  NPR’s story on Monday afternoon did an absolutely fabulous job of explaining not only what Romney said, but rather than focusing on the strategic political implications, really explained the policy in a straightforward and coherent manner.  They didn’t have to call Romney a liar or a fraud, they simply laid out the truth about the complexities of health care policy, and any objective listener could come to that conclusion about Romney on their own.  Now that’s how it’s done.  If only more news media was like NPR.  And it didn’t even take that long.  You should read/listen to the whole thing, but here’s a snippet:

Mitt Romney seemed to make health care news in a Sunday interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

He said he might not want to repeal all of the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform,” he told host David Gregory. “Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.”

Of course not getting rid of the entire Affordable Care Act is not only an express violation of the Republican Party 2012 platform, but also is at odds with Romney’s own position as detailed on the campaign’s website.

So, not surprisingly, it was only a matter of hours before the campaign walked the candidate’s comments back.

The conservative National Review Onlinewrote Sunday afternoon: “An aide pointed out that Romney first said on Meet the Press that ‘I say we are going to replace Obamacare. And I am replacing it with my own plan.’ ”

Beyond that, however, a Romney aide said that plan included the idea that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for,” the National Review Online reported.

In other words, no federal requirements.

Later, that explanation was revised again, to reiterate comments Romney made in Juneabout people with pre-existing conditions. Specifically, that “we’re going to have to make sure that the law we replace Obamacare with assures that people who have a pre-existing condition, who’ve in insured in the past, are able to get insurance in the future.”

But it turns out that’s trickier than it appears.

The Affordable Care Act’s ban on health insurance discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions — in terms of coverage or price — is one of that law’s most popular provisions. It takes effect for adults in 2014.

Currently, millions of people can’t buy health insurance at any price because they’ve had cancer or have diabetes or high blood pressure or even something more minor. Starting in 2014, insurance companies won’t be able to deny those people coverage — and, equally important — will no longer be able to charge them higher rates because of their pre-existing condition.

The tradeoff for the insurance industry in doing this was to make sure there were enough healthy people in the pool so the companies wouldn’t go broke paying for care of sicker people. That’s how the law ended up with the controversial individual mandate — the requirement for most people to have health insurance or pay a fine. It’s the tradeoff for everyone being able to get affordable coverage.

It’s also the same tradeoff they made in Massachusetts in 2006 that Romney signed into law as governor.

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?  Take note so-called liberal media.  (And on another note, that Mitt really is shameless, isn’t he).

Photo of the day

From last year’s Yahoo set of 25 most powerful 9/11 images.  That actual collapse of the tower is just so mind-boggling for me.

25 Most Powerful Photos

The north tower of New York’s World Trade Center collapses after being struck by hijacked American Airlines Flt. 11, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. 
(AP Photo Richard Drew)

Convention word cloud

If you read my WP piece, you would’ve seen reference to the fact that “Family(ies)” was the fourth most commonly used term at the parties’ conventions.  This was courtesy of a super-cool NYT interactive graphic where you can see how commonly major words were used and how these words were associated with each party.  E.g., Republicans talked way more about “Government” Democrats talked a similar disproportionate amount about “women” (despite Ann Romney’s embarrassing “I love you, women!”).  What’s especially cool is that if there’s a word not included, you can enter it in and get the results.  Definitely check it out– here’s a screen capture:

Ryan’s smoke and mirrors revealed

Anybody who actually has paid attention to Paul Ryan knows that his budget plan is very much smoke and mirrors.  Tom Edsall does a great public service by diving into it and determining just how all these smoke and mirrors work.  It’s good work.  Even better, Drum provides a succinct summary:

…where’s the slush bucket where Ryan hides all the cuts he doesn’t want to fess up to in public?

Answer: Function 920. Over the next decade, this magic asterisk line item contains about $100 billion per year in spending cuts that are completely unspecified. So if you claim that Ryan’s budget would cut FEMA or veterans benefits or whatever, you can never prove it because the line items for those things don’t include any cuts. No matter what you say about his budget, he can say he’s not cutting it. He just dumps all the cuts into Function 920 and refuses to say what programs they’ll end up affecting.

We already knew all this, of course, but Edsall advances our understanding of the smoke and mirrors behind the Ryan budget by pinpointing the exact location of the slush fund for us. His whole piece is worth a read.

I think we’re getting there, but hopefully the so-called liberal media will finally figure out what a fraud both Ryan and his budget are.  Will be interesting to see what Obama and Biden try and do with this in the debates.

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