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  • Guess this counts as one of the exciting new Ideas! from the Republican Party. Black people: They're people too!

    After meeting with NAACP leaders in Ferguson, Missouri, Sen. Rand Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the Republicans Party's biggest mistake in recent decades has been not reaching out to African-American voters.

    The Kentucky Republican, who said his meeting went "very well," said he laid out his views on demilitarizing police, reforming the criminal justice system and boosting urban economies. [...]

    "I think in the Republican Party, the biggest mistake we've made in the last several decades is we haven't gone into the African American community, into the NAACP and say you know what, we are concerned about what's going on in your cities and we have plans. They may be different than the Democrats, but we do have plans and we do want to help."

    Sen. Aqua Buddha also shared some really neat thoughts about letting black people vote. As in, he thinks that might even be a good Idea! too.

    With racial tensions here flaring anew, Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Friday urged the African-American community to use its “power” at the ballot box to achieve change and not turn to rioting. [...]

    Paul stressed that he strongly supports getting more people on the rolls across the board – even if they’re Democrats – including through restoring the voting rights of non-violent convicted felons.

    “I haven’t seen the comments, but my comment is I want more people to vote, not less,” he said. “If we want to win elections, we’ve got to try to compete for African-American votes.”

    Oh, but he still thinks voter ID laws, which just happen to sometimes make it harder for certain types of voters (like the black kind) to vote, are still okey-dokey A-OK. Because it's more important to catch all those non-existent fraudulent voters than to make it easy for people to vote.

    Paul said he had not read the Supreme Court’s Thursday decision that blocks Wisconsin from implementing a tough new voter ID law in next month’s election.

    “In general, unless there is a clear cut indication they’re trying to discriminate or suppress votes, states can decide these things,” Paul said afterward. “The perception among many people is that the voter ID laws are to suppress the vote. I don’t think they are. I think there are people who truly want to have an accurate vote.”

    Oh well. Back to the Ideas! drawing board.

  • As if clowns weren't already creepy enough:

    Reports of creepy clowns carrying knives and other weapons have been scaring people in the California city of Bakersfield for the past week, police said on Sunday. [...]

    "We've been having sightings all over the city," [watch commander Lieutenant Jason] Matson said. "They range from anywhere from a guy carrying a gun to a guy carrying a knife running up to houses."

  • Wonkette tipster Carrabuda sends us this important message: Fuck you, Walnuts.

    Sen. John McCain asserted on Sunday the United States and its allies are not winning in the conflict against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

    “They’re winning, and we’re not,” the Arizona Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union” about the group, which has claimed large amounts of territory in both Iraq and Syria.

    Maybe he should run for president, and then he can win all the wars the right way.

  • While McCain was singing his same ol' off-key tune on CNN, Sen. Bernie Sanders had this dose of reality:

    “It is very easy to criticize the president,” Sanders replied. “But this is an enormously complicated issue. We are here today because of the disastrous blunder of the Bush-Cheney era, which got us into this war in Iraq in the first place, which then developed the can of worms that we’re trying to deal with right now.”

    “We have been at war for 12 years, we have spent trillions of dollars,” he added. “We have 500,000 men and women who have come home with PTSD and [traumatic brain injuries]. What I do not want, and what I fear very much is the United States getting sucked into a quagmire, and being involved in perpetual warfare year after year after year. That is my fear.”

    Bernie Sanders for EVERYTHING.

  • The Whiteness Project is an interesting look at what white Americans think it means to be white:

    The Whiteness Project is a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity.

    The project is conducting 1,000 interviews with white people from all walks of life and localities in which they are asked about their relationship to, and their understanding of, their own whiteness. [...]

    While many media projects have investigated the history, culture, and experiences of various American ethnic minorities, there has been much less examination of how white Americans think about and experience their whiteness and how white culture shapes our society. Most people take for granted that there is a “white” race in America, but rarely is the concept of whiteness itself investigated. What does it mean to be a “white”? Can it be genetically defined? Is it a cultural construct? A state of mind? How does one come to be deemed “white” in America and what privileges does being perceived as white bestow?

    Go watch some of the interviews. They are ... well, just go watch them. (No, there's no video of Rand Paul on there.)

  • Kids are the worst, even the cartoon kind:

    $15,995.50. That's about how much damage Calvin, from Bill Watterson's beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, caused to his house over the course of the strip's 10-year run.

    Matt Michel went through all of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips in an attempt to calculate exactly how much damage Calvin caused and recently published his report (in the fake "Proceedings of the National Institute of Science") here.

  • Eat shit. It's science!

    Inside the experimental capsule is human feces — strained, centrifuged and frozen. Taken for just two days, the preparation can cure a dangerous bacterial infection that has defied antibiotics and kills 14,000 Americans each year, researchers said Saturday.

    If the results are replicated in larger trials, the pill, developed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, promises an easier, cheaper and most likely safer alternative to an unpleasant procedure highlighted in both medical journals and on YouTube: fecal transplants. [...]

    Other research teams, and at least one private company, are developing and testing fecal pills. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration effectively permits doctors to give fecal transplants to qualified patients with recurrent C. difficile infections. Pills marketed commercially would have to meet F.D.A. drug-licensing regulations.

  • Hope you enjoyed your Sunday brunch, jerks:

    It’s over. I’m through with brunch.

    It’s gone way too far. Saturday and Sunday mornings in New York’s West Village, where I have lived for nearly 20 years, used to bring an almost pastoral calm. Now they’re characterized by the brunch-industrial complex rumbling to life. By late morning, crowds of brunchers — often hung over and proudly bedraggled — begin to assemble, eager to order from rote menus featuring some variation of mimosas and eggs Benedict. [...]

    In neighborhoods like mine, where everyone seems to be from somewhere else, people are increasingly alienated from their extended and nuclear families. While Sundays were traditionally reserved for family, we now have crowds of unfettered young(ish) people with no limitations on their pursuit of weekend leisure, who seem bent on making New York feel like one big rerun of “Friends” or “Sex and the City.” Here, and many other places, friends have become family and brunch the family gathering.

    The friends aren’t the problem, of course. Brunch is. Seasoned with the self-satisfaction of knowing the latest and hippest brunch boîte and the pleasure of ordering eggs Benedict made with jamón Ibérico and duck eggs, something so fundamentally conformist can seem like the height of urban sophistication. Worse than adolescent, it is an adolescent’s idea of how adults spend their time.

    It's hard to imagine a life so free of problems that other people eating food on Sunday makes you want to quit everything and stay home forever. Must be nice.

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