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Natural Disasters
  • Hurricane Isaac: Throbbing Gay Penis or Obama Conspiracy?

    Tropical storm Isaac was a deadly natural disaster that triggered mudslides and flash-floods in Haiti, leaving tent cities ravaged and 10 people dead. By pure coincidence, that also happens to be the name of a fun little metaphor bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Let's count down what soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac really means

    1. It's a penis, coming to get the Republicans. "Isaac doesn't appear to be a Republican, and not only because it presents on the weather map as a throbbing purple penis surrounded by a rainbow," says Andrew Sullivan.

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    Tags: Andrew Sullivan, Darrell Issa, Natural Disasters, Republican National Convention, Rush Limbaugh, Weather
  • God Enjoys Mocking Bobby Jindal with Natural Disasters

    Consider the following timeline:

    February 2009: "Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.," said Bobby Jindal, while deriding as "wasteful spending the "$140 million" [allocated]  for something called 'volcano monitoring.'"

    March 2009: Alaska's Mount Redoubt, 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupts. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Redoubt, was "very high on our list" of volcanoes that needed increased scrutiny.

    Today: Tropical Storm Isaac forces Jindal, who was set to deliver a major convention speech on Wednesday, to cancel his plans and remain in Louisiana, as God continues to teach Jindal a lesson about the importance of taxpayer funded early warning systems.

    Presumably, Jindal relied on his own private intuition, not the National Hurricane Center, to figure out that he was needed at home. Government  monitoring agencies: he didn't build those. He just wanted to defund them.

    Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Bobby Jindal, Natural Disasters, Republican National Convention, Weather
  • Hurricane Biden Expected to Roll Through Tampa During RNC

    The poor people of Florida. First, they have to deal with a state full of Floridians. Then the Republicans decide to hold their political convention there. And then news of a potential hurricane next week.

    And now, on top of all that, Joe Biden says he plans to pop in and do his whole Joe Biden schtick. Have these people not suffered enough?

    [Joe] Biden will be in Florida Monday and Tuesday, including a visit to the Tampa area, site of the 2012 Republican National Convention, the Obama campaign said today…

    His presence in the state — the largest electoral battleground — is part of a coordinated effort by Democrats and President Obama’s re-election campaign to bracket the Republican festivities and steal some of the spotlight.

    Democrats are planning a "counter convention" in downtown Tampa to be orchestrated out of a "rapid response war room" steps from where Republicans are huddled, the Democratic National Committee announced.

    My God! It's the fabled "perfect storm" of political lore! And Mary and I are going to be right in the middle of it! Just like George Clooney and Marky Mark! This tiny little blog is equipped to survive a Category 4 Bullshitstorm like that!

    Please, somebody… If I don't make it home, tell my wife to DVD the season finale of Breaking Bad.

    Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Democrats, Florida, Joe Biden, Natural Disasters, Republican National Convention, Tampa
  • Why Does God Hate the Republican Party?

    Four years ago, James Dobson led the faithful in prayer that a holy rain cloud might appear above an open air football stadium in Denver and manifest God's anger down Barack Obama's Democratic nomination acceptance speech. The future President of the United States ended up delivering a historic speech to thousands of his supporters with nary a cloud in the sky. One of the nicest days of the whole year, actually.

    Four days later, the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul was nearly cancelled due to Hurricane Gustav. Now, we're learning that the Biblically-named Hurricane Isaac could very well be heading through Tampa just in time to cancel — or, at any rate, severely complicate — the 2012 RNC.

    As a person who believes that scientists understand science better than average people — or a "heretic" if you will — I personally don't think much of this. Other than that it's a funny coincidence, and it's kinda what you get for choosing to hold your convention in the hurricane belt during hurricane season.

    But, as the Washington Post's Dana Milbank points out, the conservative Christians of the GOP should maybe be paying it more heed

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    Tags: Natural Disasters, Religion, Republican National Convention
  • Rand Paul Wants to Add Prenatal Personhood to Flood Insurance Bill

    The overhaul of FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program — which provides flood insurance to more than 5 million U.S. properties — is winding its way pretty gracefully through the Senate, despite tensions from both sides of the aisle.

    Unfortunately, the one area in which it falls short is that it doesn't do an adequate job of defining exactly when a human life begins, as all good pieces of flood insurance legislation must.

    Thankfully, Sen. Rand Paul is on it!

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is holding up a flood insurance bill until the Senate votes to recognize the life begins at conception.

    The reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, which expires at the end of July and currently insures 5.6 million flood-prone properties, was expected to pass with little fuss. But then Paul signaled he wanted a vote on "when life begins."…

    Paul tells TPM that he's "just trying to get a vote for the people who elected me."

    Joke all you like about how little fetal personhood has to do with flood insurance or how Paul is using important legislation to ram his pro-life policies through Congress, but let me ask you this: Who knows about a life spent submerged under water without a shirt on your back or a possession in the world better than a embryo?

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Abortion, Natural Disasters, Rand Paul, Senate