I get a cookie

It’s all I ever really wanted anyway:

via PZ

Dick Cheney supports gay marriage

Harvey Milk was right. So long as people actually know a gay person, they are far more likely to support equal rights. That’s the case with Dick Cheney, father of a gay daughter:

“I think freedom means freedom for everybody,” said the 70-year-old, who is on a book tour promoting his memoir.

“And you ought to have the right to make whatever choice you want to make with respect to your own personal situation. I certainly don’t have a problem with it,” added Cheney, whose daughter, Mary, is a lesbian.

Cheney has shown some support in the past for equal rights, but this is about as explicit as he has gotten (as far as I know, at least). It’s too bad he spent 8 years causing harm to people like his daughter, but late change is better than no change.

Thought of the day

That’s weird. A certain someone was banned from another site primarily due to his incessant dishonesty.

At least he didn’t text anyone this time.

A Republican said something wrong about science? I’m shocked.

About the only thing Rick Perry has ever done right as governor of Texas is mandate HPV vaccines. (Well, there’s also the case of whoever he hired to do his hair.) Of course, now that he needs to appeal to the majority of Republicans out there, he has been running away from his record. And the other candidates are going right after him:

In case you missed it, [Michele Bachmann] sparred with Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday night over his executive order that would have mandated vaccination of state schoolgirls against human papillomavirus, a cause of cervical cancer.

“To have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat-out wrong,” Bachmann said. “Little girls who have a potentially dangerous reaction to this drug don’t get a mulligan,” she said. “You don’t get a do-over.”

Perry defended the decision, but conceded that the legal mechanism to reach the goal should have been different.

But on the Today show Tuesday morning, Bachmann went further, telling Matt Lauer, that a mother had approached her after the debate to recount the problems her daughter had after being vaccinated against HPV:

“She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection. And she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. The mother was crying when she came up to me last night. I didn’t know who she was before the debate. This is the very real concern and people have to draw their own conclusions.”

If it was actually true that vaccines lead to things like retardation, it has to make one wonder just how many injections Bachmann has had in her life.

This is typical Republican anti-science horseshit. The only candidate in that party I can trust at all right now is John Huntsman. He has acknowledged that global warming is manmade and that evolution is a fact. (How he reconciles the latter with his religion is a mystery.) This is a good start since we know that the rejection of some core scientific facts correlates heavily with the rejection of other, more political pertinent scientific facts. (Compare the acceptance of evolution about the world with the rejection of the anti-vax movement or the acceptance of the global warming consensus. Furthermore, correlate religion with it all.) Of course, Huntsman is relatively unknown, including to me, so I’m not familiar enough to know where he stands on many other issues.

Interestingly in all this, the American Academy of Pediatrics has stepped up to indirectly criticize Bachmann’s bullshit:

The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That’s because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it’s important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity. In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.

Bachmann isn’t going to give two shits, though. Not only is she interested in appealing to the Republican core, but she probably actually believes half the idiotic things that come out of her mouth. Sure, she will contribute to deaths by cervical cancer via her high-profile spread of misinformation, but it’s election season, so she’s okay with it.

Who has Jesus?

Why, St. Xavier, of course:

One of the top Catholic football programs in the nation is finding itself in hot water after members of its student fan section directed chants of “We’ve got Jesus!” at opponents in a heated, intra-city rivalry game on Friday night in Ohio.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, then-No. 8 Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain football coach Tom Bolden reacted with fury when he heard members of the then-No. 26 Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier student section chanting “We’ve got Jesus!” in the moments after St. X escaped with a narrow, 17-14 victory in a matchup of two teams ranked among the top 30 in the RivalsHigh 100 standings of the country’s best teams.

But isn’t this what they believe? Sure, Colerain probably has some Catholic players and students, but as a collective body, it is a core part of St. Xavier’s beliefs that Colerain does not, in fact, have Jesus. Why aren’t we respecting these religious beliefs?!?! Can’t anyone think of the horror that will follow if people raise objections?

Besides, Colerain had a decent enough chant of their own:

After an original Friday postgame Enquirer blog post cited the “We’ve got Jesus!” chant, multiple St. Xavier students reportedly wrote in to the newspaper citing the Colerain student body starting off the chant wars with a rendition of “We’ve got girls!”, an attack at St. Xavier’s all-male, Jesuit student body.

Personally I would rather have girls than Jesus. (And perhaps Jesus would rather have boys than girls?)

Why was this ever canceled?

It’s hilarious.

Thought of the day

It’s nice and all that football is back, but is it hockey season yet? Please?

Update: Okay, it’s really nice that Brady threw for 500+ yards.

You aren’t helping women, Gov. Haley

Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina recently went on a European spending spree at the expense of taxpayers. Reporter Renee Dudley covered the story:

Gov. Nikki Haley’s weeklong trip to Europe in June in search of “jobs, jobs, jobs” cost South Carolinians more than $127,000. But the governor and her entourage of more than two dozen returned without any finished deals to bring new employers to the Palmetto State.

Haley, who captured the governor’s office preaching fiscal restraint, spent the cash so she, her husband and the rest of the state’s contingent could stay in five-star hotels; sip cocktails at the Paris Ritz; dine on what an invitation touted as “delicious French cuisine” at a swanky rooftop restaurant; and rub elbows with the U.S. Ambassador to France at his official residence near the French presidential palace.

The South Carolina group also threw a soiree at the Hotel de Talleyrand, a historic Parisian townhouse where they feted foreign employers in hopes they’d set up shop in South Carolina. The Department of Commerce billed the $25,000 event as a “networking opportunity for members of the South Carolina delegation.”

“It was a great party,” Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in an interview last week.

In this investigative piece, Dudley raises a number of concerns that ought to interest South Carolina. She uses several sources and attempted to contact the governor’s office for comment. It was a professionally done story. Unfortunately, since it strikes at the heart of the governor’s claims to fiscal conservatism, Haley had this to say:

And all I will tell you is: God bless that little girl at The Post and Courier. I mean her job is to try and create conflict. My job is to create jobs. In the end I’m going to have jobs to show for it,” Haley said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.

First, something which is going to fly under the radar and be ignored for the bigger and more obvious story: Even if Dudley’s job is to create conflict – and it isn’t – then she did so. She showed that the interests of Haley do not jive with the interests of South Carolina taxpayers. So when Haley implies that at the end of the day she’s going to have something to show for her efforts and Dudley isn’t, she’s wrong. But of course, the bigger story here is the “little girl” comment. It’s a stupid and demeaning statement. Naturally a number of people want Haley to apologize. And she did. Sort of:

The story painted a grossly inaccurate picture and was unprofessionally done, but my ‘little girl’ comment was inappropriate and I regret that,” Haley said. “Everyone can have a bad day. I’ll forgive her bad story, if she’ll forgive my poor choice of words.

What a dick.

As I said earlier, Dudley’s piece meets journalistic standards. Haley’s people had an opportunity to rebuke the story. They failed. The only unprofessional thing here is Haley’s childish back-handed apology.

I know it’s a popular thing for people to assume only white men can be sexist and/or racist, but that clearly is not the case. (See this video from Texas for a bit of black-to-white racism.) Haley has given ample evidence against that. (And, hey, who wants to bet PZ isn’t going to latch onto this story?) She ought to join everyone else at the adult table, apologize, and then stop using ad hom fallacies as a response to legitimate concerns.

Thought of the day

Let’s review: The Republicans hampered the success of the stimulus, they increased the deficit without benefit (again) by giving rich people more money (which will not be used to hire anyone without demand), they caused world volatility by causing gridlock about something as routine as increasing the debt limit, and now their very nature of being the Party of No has contributed, in part, to the world markets performing poorly because no one has any confidence they will pass President Obama’s jobs bill (something most economists say will be a great success).

Opposing d-bags

Here is d-bag number 1:

She is fully stopped, waiting for the light to change. Of course, it would never change if it wasn’t for all the other traffic triggering the signals. (That intersection is based on motion first, time second.) It’s bad driving for sure, but not as bad as this King of D-bags:

This is also at a red light. And I ask why? Just…why? Is it really that hard to drive decently? At least the woman wasn’t blocking anything, but this guy is right in the way of anyone taking a left from the right side of the picture. It’s just terrible driving. I can’t say I would feel bad if he got clipped by the back end of a semi-truck.