Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 31 - One More Story You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - President Obama Talks Cars and Cursing Over Coffee With Jerry Seinfeld (video)
m'eye thoughts: Hilarious? No.  Funny?  Sometimes.  Interesting? Yes.
Go to Political Pollution 

Doing the Job You're Paid to Do: Candidate Rubio vs. Candidate Sanders


On a Tuesday morning this past October, the U.S. Senate held a confirmation vote for Ann Donnelly, judicial nominee for the U.S. Eastern District bench.  Marco Rubio was not present.

Just three hours later, however, he found time to make an appearance on the Senate floor to speechify in favor of firing government workers who fail to do their jobs.

"All we're saying in this bill is that if you work at the V.A., and you aren't doing your job, they get to fire you.  I think people are shocked that (doesn't) actually exist in the entire government, since there is really no other job in the country where if you don't do your job, you don't get fired... This should actually be the rule in the entire government.  If you're not doing your job, you should be fired."

Noting how little time Mr. Rubio is actually spending in Washington these days (you know, actually doing his job), the Washington Post questioned whether he, in support of his own argument, should be fired.  Mr. Rubio responded: "Guys, I'm running for president. When I miss votes, it's not because I'm on vacation."

what eye thynk:  Okay, he has a point, though there does seem to be a double standard here--taxpayer funded absenteeism at the VA? Bad.  Taxpayer funded absenteeism for politicians? Good.  It hardly seems fair.  

 I will admit to getting a tad testy when I think about my tax dollars being used to fund what is essentially a job hunting exercise every few years.  If these people worked for General Motors, would they expect full pay while they took time off to interview at Chrysler?  To level the playing field, I advocate for a pay reduction for ALL candidates who think it's their right to sup their way through a full government menu while running for office--presidential, congressional, or local. 

In Marco Rubio's particular case, the argument that he can't do his job because he's busy interviewing for a better one, just really rankles.  In 2015 alone, Mr. Rubio has missed Senate votes 30 percent of the time.  During the same period, Bernie Sanders, another presidential candidate who, it would seem, must logically have the same busy schedule as Mr. Rubio, has missed only 3.4 percent of the Senate votes.

So you see, Marco, it is possible to run for president and still do your job--you just have to care first.   

Trump House of High Fashion - No Taste, No Sense, No Class

"Responding to criticism over her fashion decision to wear a necklace featuring bullets during a CNN interview, the spokesperson for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign sarcastically suggested that she might wear a fetus around her neck during her next TV appearance."

eye'm thynkin':  Stay classy, Trumpies,  Stay classy.

Read more at Raw Story

Another Responsible Gun Owner, Another Child is Dead

"A 4-year-old boy is dead after accidentally shooting himself with a privately owned firearm that he found in his Bethel State Trooper Housing home in Alaska...

...Rivka Zorea writes, 'So Sad, preventable tragic accident.  Keep guns locked and unloaded!'

While that's good advice, Joshua Meyers responds, 'Please remove your comment, the family hasn't even buried their child yet...'

Lynn Seifert writes, 'This is so sad...How did this little guy get to a gun?'

Serenity Grunzke responds, 'I'd like to say that I am part of this family and more details will be released soon but this was in no way the fathers or families (sic) fault.'...

...The gun belonged to a family member though so it's either the gun's fault, the child's, or the gun owner's.  Whoever owns a gun that a child gets their hands on should be held accountable, yet because the family is grieving due to negligence of one of their own, that's rarely done...

...A child died and people are worried about the gun owner's feelings."

eye'm thynkin':  The owner of that gun and whoever left it where a 4-year-old could reach it should be suffering.  There is no excuse.

I can only think how this little boy would still be alive if this responsible gun owner had taken the time to put it where no child could find it.  In lieu of that being too much of a burden, what if the gun he found had been equipped with a lock, been unloaded, or been one of those smart guns that only the owner can fire--you know, the ones the NRA and American ammo-sexuals hate so much they threaten gun shop owners who sell them. 

Read more at Crooks and Liars

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Only in America...


Florida Mom Shoots Daughter Dead After Mistaking Her For an Intruder

How Conservatives Discuss Women Voters -- Hint: They Don't Think to Ask Actual Women

"Fox News assembled a panel Tuesday to talk about Donald Trump's problem with women voters--a panel composed entirely of old white dudes."

eye'm thynkin':  Once you've absorbed that statement, there really isn't anything else to add.

Read more at HuffPost Media




New California Law Allows Guns to be Seized Under Court Order

"A new California law (AB 1014) is set to take effect on January 1, 2016.  Specifically, it will allow concerned family members or law enforcement officers to petition a court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) in situations where an individual is deemed to either 'be a threat' or have the 'potential for threatening behavior.'

After the petition is submitted, a judge will be empowered to make the call, i.e. if there are sufficient enough reasons to warrant a person's gun and ammo to be taken away from them and the judge deems the person a threat...

...Los Angeles Police Assistant Chief Michael Moore told Southern Californa Public Radio: 'The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will.  It allows further examination of the person's mental state.'"

eye'm thynkin':  A common sense first step to gun restrictions.  Gun nuts' heads will explode in 3...2...1...

Read more at Addicting Info

Read the complete law here or a summary at this link

December 30 - Another Story You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Iran Hands Over Uranium Stockpile to Russia, Takes Major Step Toward Fulfilling Nuclear Agreement
m'eye thoughts: Diplomacy for the win.
Go to Political Pollution 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Congress May Claim Their Hands Are Tied...


...but they also want you to know their pockets are still open.

Dark Money Congress, Ruled by the Wealthy, for the Wealthy


what eye thynk:  Remember the rosy future predicted by the Supreme Court in their Citizens United decision?

"A campaign finance system that pairs corporate independent expenditures with effective disclosure has not existed before today...  Citizens can see whether elected officials are 'in the pocket' of so-called moneyed interests."

Five years later "effective disclosure" is a joke, citizens know less and less about whose money their congressman is pocketing,  and our Republican led Congress is making sure it stays that way. 

  • The newly passed budget bill includes a provision that blocks the IRS from creating any rules that would curb the growth of political interest groups currently masquerading as social welfare organizations.  Political interest groups are required by federal law to reveal their donors; social welfare groups can keep their donors secret.  By prohibiting the IRS from creating standards to determine the difference between the two, i.e. how much political activity a social welfare group can engage in, Congress is basically saying that anyone rich enough to form a special interest group can call it a social welfare group, hide their identity, and promote their personal political interests to their heart's content with no federal oversight.   Where is the promised effective disclosure to the public?
  • Congressional Republicans have also voted to bar the SEC from finalizing rules that would have required corporations to disclose how much they spend on political campaigns and to identify the recipients of their larghesse to their investors. 
How can anyone of sound mind look at these two recent moves and say they offer any degree of "effective disclosure?"

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, wealthy, phantom donors have spent more than $500 million since January 2010 on an unprecedented, special-interest shopping spree.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it best when she named Citizens United the worst decision the Court ever made; "...Members of the legislature, people who have to run for office, know the connection between money and influence on what laws get passed."

The current Republican dominated congress must thank SCOTUS every day for giving them the right to keep their pockets open and their votes available to the highest bidder.

December 29 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Mapping Gun Deaths by US States' Political Leanings
m'eye thoughts:  Mississippi vs. Vermont.  I know where I'd feel safest.
2 - Arizona Woman Shoots and Kills Atheist for Not Believing in God
Believe or die! A little lesson this "Christian" picked up from Middle Eastern Islamic extremists?  Jesus wept.
3 - Entitlements? (graphic)
MY social security vs. THEIR congressional benefits.
Go to Political Pollution 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Quote for Monday, December 28

The truth--simple, clear, undeniable.

monday quote:
"If you want to understand any problem in America, you need to focus on who profits from that problem, not who suffers from the problem."
(Dr. Amos Wilson, psychologist, social theorist, author, 1941-1995)






We will be missed.


Update: State Law Says Gov. Cannot Remove Kim Davis' Name from Marriage Licenses


Last week I wrote a post about new Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and how, among other early moves, he used an executive order to have county clerks names removed from marriage licenses to save people like the infamous Kim Davis from violating their "sincerely held religious beliefs."

Update:

Not so fast, Mr. Bevin.

According to Lexington's Herald Leader, "...State law establishes the contents of Kentucky marriage licenses, including an authorization statement and a signature by the county clerk, and a governor cannot change state law through an executive order.  If the General Assembly wants to rewrite the law when it meets this winter, it can, but the language on marriage licenses otherwise cannot be altered."

eye'm thynkin': That on-the-job learning curve can be tough.

December 28 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - I Went to a Donald Trump Rally and All I Got Was a Sinking Feeling
m'eye thoughts: The view from inside a Trump rally: "...Once inside, it was literally like a circus, not just figuratively. I mean, they had a trailer selling elephant ears and everything..."
2 - Alabama Governor Robbed Citizens of Millions in Oil Spill Money to Rebuild Beachfront Mansion
IDs are required to vote in Alabama.  The state recently closed 30 offices (mostly in black neighborhoods) where IDs are issued citing budget problems.  Now the Governor Robert Bentley (R) is using $1.8 million in BP Deepwater Horizon settlement money to refurbish a beach front mansion that has been unoccupied since it was damaged in a 1997 hurricane--13 years BEFORE the BP oil spill--and which he will use only "occasionally."  It's always nice to have priorities.
Go to Political Pollution

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Donald Buries His Opponents for the Win!

                                                         Graphic by PoliticusUSA

PolitiFact has named the recipient of their Lie of the Year Award.  And the winner is (drum roll, please) Donald Trump!

The twist in this year's award is that PolitiFact didn't name just one red-hot, pants-on-fire fib. Instead they chose to honor Mr. Combover for the sheer volume of falsehoods he has managed to create.

For his "unprecedented record on the Truth-O-Meter...PolitiFact designates the many campaign misstatements of Donald Trump as our 2015 Lie of the Year."

In reporting the award for Politicus USA, Sarah Jones wrote: "The problem is that Republican primary voters don't seem to care one bit that their candidate is so divorced from reality.  They just want the comfort food of Trump's bigotry and anger. This is who the Republican Party has become, as even Senator Lindsey Graham said (last week) as he quit the Republican race, ...his wing of the party is gone.  Gone, replaced with the Sarah Palin wing."

what eye thynk:  Few Republican presidential candidates have anything resembling a real acquaintance with the truth--Fiorina continues to insist she saw a non-existent video, Rubio co-wrote/sponsored a bill that he didn't co-write/sponsor, Jeb lied on his voter registration card, Ben Carson created an entire alternate reality life story.

Apparently deciding that their base can't tell the difference anyway, the current crop of GOP candidates has whole-heartedly embraced the adage: "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullsh*t."

But even in this crowded field, Trump has proved himself to be special--not only for the sheer volume of mendacity he has manged to produce, but for his seemingly inexhaustible supply of new and divisive falsehoods he continues to create. 

Guess the rest of 'em will just have to pick up their game.

Amen!


It's wa-a-ay past time to do the same for Congress.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

December 26 - One More Story You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - How Donald Trump Sees the Globe (graphic)
m'eye thoughts:  As world maps go, this one is pretty accurate.
Go to Political Pollution 
 

A Bit of George Orwell's 1984 in Michigan's 2015?

Some Republican lawmakers apparently think the wealthy don't have a big enough voice in our democratic system, so, in order to make sure big money is the only voice voters hear before an election, Michigan lawmakers want to make it illegal for public officials to discuss the issues with their constituents within 60 days of an election.

"In Michigan, GOP lawmakers are literally trying...to keep the electorate silent.  In a run of the mill budget bill, Republicans snuck in a provision that would ban using tax dollars or resources to educate the public about anything that will appear on a ballot within 60 days.

'This language puts an undue burden on communities and their residents, blocking access to unbiased, objective communication on the local issues that matter most to the residents in every community in Michigan,' said Chris Hackbarth of the Michigan Municipal League in a blog post calling on members to urge Gov. Rick Snyder to veto the bill....

...'You're allowed to have your own personal views, but in those 60 days before an election, you're telling these officials they can't even respond on their computer or phone, to a question from a constituent... There's a whole free speech concern there.'...

...Corporations and SuperPacs won't be told to stop campaigning 60 days before an election.


eye'm thynkin': How can Michigan lawmakers justify this?  How is it going to benefit anyone (except big money men like the Kochs and the politicians who worship at their feet) to make it unlawful to hear both sides of an issue before voting?  This is totally insane...George Orwell 1984 insane.

What gives these lawmakers the idea that they, and they alone should decide what message people hear?  Orwell's Inner Party and their thought police have no place in a democracy, and despite what these lawmakers seem to think, the U.S. is still a democratic society.

Read more at News Groop Speak

NBA Offends Fox by Taking On the NRA -- on Christmas!

The NBA is taking on the NRA and has produced an anti-gun ad that was run on Christmas day during NBA basketball games.  Fox "news" hosts found this offensive.

"It seems pretty political to one of Outnumbered's hosts, Andrea Tantaros, that the NBA would dare make an ad sponsored by gunsense advocate, Michael Bloomberg, and air on a day where families are gathered around the TV.  The ad features family members of shooting victims and ZNBA stars as well, and is centered around taking a stand against gun violence.  President Obama even weighed in on the matter, and that just disqualified the ad as nothing more than leftist propaganda designed to take away our freedoms.

Former beauty pageant winner, Joanne Noscuhinsky, (bragged) about how many people are getting guns for Christmas...

...People won't care about this ad as they lovingly stoke their sexy firearms, it's pointless.  So what, a few people have gotten shot, the beauty pageant queen thinks that more guns received as Christmas gifts will erase those minor tragedies...

...(Meghan) McCain (listed) all the people involved in these ads, and, coincidentally, all the parties involved are Black!  How can anyone take it seriously with all of those people involved.  I mean, really?"

eye'm thynkin':  Fox can't even keep track of it's own "facts."   They hate the anti-gun ad because it's sponsored by Michael Bloomberg.  They also think it's a waste of time and money because everyone involved in making it is black.

Lost behind their verbal campaign to be recognized as the Most Conservative Host Ever, are the voices of the 9 out of 10 Americans who support expanding background checks, including 8 out of 10 gun owners

And if you need any more proof that the NRA exists solely to support Smith & Wesson et al, you need only look at the 7 out of 10 NRA members who also favor universal background checks. 

(Statistics taken from a 2014 Quinnipiac national poll.)

Read more at Crooks and Liars



Friday, December 25, 2015

'Tis the Season!

M  e  r  r  y
C  h  r  i  s  t  m  a   !  


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Peace on Earth


Christianity and Islam -- the Art of Mutual Respect

There are two ways to teach how to live in a society of multiple religious dogmas. 

The Right Way:
Chattanooga, TN - "Bassam Issa (president of a local mosque) stepped in front of a crowded classroom of students this month at Southern Adventist University, a Christian college near here, for a presentation on being Muslim in Chattanooga--recently named America's most 'Bible-minded city.'...

...No matter how exasperated they may privately feel, some Muslims are beginning to publicly confront the uncomfortable questions that non-Muslims have about Islam and violence, and trying to provide answers, both through words and through the example of how they live their lives.

Here in the classroom, Mr. Issa told students to look beyond Islam to the deeper and more universal causes of violence.  'What's happening right now is not religious, even though ISIS and Al Qaeda are covered as a religious thing," he said.  "In reality, it's political.'...

...A memorial (in Chattanooga) for the five fallen service members (slain by a Muslim extremist in July) includes a plaque that testifies to how the city responded:  'We did not riot.  We prayed.  We did not lash out at easy targets for revenge.  Instead, we invited each other into our lives, homes and places of worship'."

Read more at The New York Times 


The Wrong Way:

Chicago, IL - "A Wheaton College political science professor, who on social media endorsed a view that Christians and Muslims 'worship the same god,' was put on administrative leave Tuesday by the evangelical Christian school.

Dr. Larycia Hawkins, who is Christian and a professor at the college since 2007, also posted photos of herself on Facebook and Twitter wearing a hijab to show solidarity with Muslim women in American...

...'I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book.  And, as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.'

In a statement released Tuesday night, the college said it has 'significant questions regarding the theological implications' of what Hawkins said about the relationship of Christianity to Islam.

'As they participate in various causes, it is essential that faculty and staff engage and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the college's evangelical Statement of Faith,' the statement said...

...'We will be in dialogue with our faculty, staff and students in the days ahead to ensure that we articulate our love for our Muslim neighbors in ways that are consistent with our distinctive theological convictions.'"

Read more at the Daily Herald

eye'm thynkin':  Southern Adventist University invites a leader of a local mosque to speak to their students, giving them the opportunity to engage in a discussion with a believer from a different religious system in an atmosphere of respect, perhaps resulting in some understanding.

Wheaton College removes a professor from the campus for voicing support for another religion and then says they'll be talking about how to "faithfully represent" their own "distinctive theological convictions."   Apparently Wheaton would rather their students love others from afar--no soiling of the righteous by interacting with the unclean.  I guess the lesson of the Good Samaritan isn't mentioned much there.

Two Christian schools...two very different takes on Christianity.  I know which one I would want my child to learn.

December 24 - Another Story You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Fox's Message for Santa: Bring Guns
m'eye thoughts: Fox Business "News" host Charles Payne makes it very clear, he KNOWS the President is going to come for your guns during the last year of his presidency.
Nothing like a seven-year-old conspiracy theory to keep those ratings up and those NRA checks coming in.
Go to Political Pollution

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

George W. to Donald T., Connecting the Dots

what eye thynk:  I am reproducing this Op-ed article in its entirety because a better analysis of the decay of the modern Republican Party does not exist.  (Any underlines are mine.)

Eye Recommend:
THE DONALD AND THE DECIDER, by Paul Krugman (New York Times writer)
Almost six months have passed since Donald Trump overtook Jeb Bush in polls of Republican voters.  At the time, most pundits dismissed the Trump phenomenon as a blip, predicting that voters would soon return to more conventional candidates.  Instead, however, his lead just kept widening.  Even more striking, the triumvirate of trash-talk--Mr. Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz--now commands the support of roughly 60 percent of the primary electorate.
But how can this be happening?  After all, the antiestablishment candidates now dominating the field, aside from being deeply ignorant about policy, have a habit of making false claims, then refusing to acknowledge error.  Why don't Republican voters seem to care?
Well, part of the answer has to be that the party taught them not to care.  Bluster and belligerence as substitutes for analysis, disdain for any kind of measure response, dismissal of inconvenient facts reported by the "liberal media" didn't suddenly arrive on the Republican scene last summer.  On the contrary, they have long been key elements of the party brand.  So how are voters supposed to know where to draw the line?
Let's talk first about the legacy of He Who Must Not Be Named. 
I don't know how many readers remember the 2000 election, but during the campaign Republicans tried--largely successfully--to make the election about likability, not policy.  George W. Bush was supposed to get your vote because he was someone you'd enjoy having a beer with, unlike that stiff, boring guy Al Gore with all his facts and figures. 
And when Mr. Gore tried to talk about policy differences, Mr. Bush responded not on substance but by mocking his opponent's "fuzzy math"--a phrase gleefully picked up by his supporters.  The press corps played right along with this deliberate dumbing-down:  Mr. Gore was deemed to have lost debates, not because he was wrong, but because he was, reporters declared, snooty and superior, unlike the affably dishonest W.
Then came 9/11, and the affable guy was repackaged as a war leader.  But the repackaging was never framed in terms of substantive arguments over foreign policy.  Instead, Mr. Bush and his handlers sold swagger.  He was the man you could trust to keep us safe because he talked tough and dressed up as a fighter pilot.  He proudly declared that he was the "decider"-- and that he made his decisions based on his "gut."
The subtext was that real leaders don't waste time on hard thinking, that listening to experts is a sign of weakness, that attitude is all you need.  And while Mr. Bush's debacles in Iraq and New Orleans eventually ended America's faith in his personal gut, the elevation of attitude over analysis only tightened its grip on his party, an evolution highlighted when John McCain, who once upon a time had a reputation for policy independence, chose the eminently unqualified Sarah Palin as his running mate.
So Donald Trump as a political phenomenon is very much in a line of succession that runs from W. through Mrs. Palin, and in many ways he's entirely representative of the Republican mainstream.  For example, were you shocked when Mr. Trump revealed his admiration for Vladimir Putin?  He was only articulating a feeling that was already widespread in his party.
Meanwhile, what do the establishment candidates have to offer as an alternative?  On policy substance, not much.  Remember, back when he was the presumed front-runner, Jeb Bush assembled a team of foreign-policy "experts," people who had academic credentials and chairs at right-wing think tanks.  But the team was dominated by neoconservative hard-liners, people committed, despite past failures, to the belief that shock and awe solve all problems.
In other words, Mr. Bush wasn't articulating a notably different policy than what we're now hearing from Trump et al: all he offered was belligerence with a thin veneer of respectability.  Marco Rubio, who has succeeded him as the establishment favorite, is much the same, with a few added evasions. Why should anyone be surprised to see this posturing, er, trumped by the unapologetic belligerence offered by nonestablishment candidates?
In case you're wondering, nothing like this process has happened on the Democratic side.  When Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate, say, financial regulation, it's a real discussion, with both candidates evidently well informed about the issues.  American political discourse as a whole hasn't been dumbed down, just its conservative wing.
Going back to Republicans, does this mean that Mr. Trump will actually be the nominee?  I have no idea.  But it's important to realize that he isn't someone who suddenly intruded into Republican politics from an alternative universe.  He, or someone like him, is where the party has been headed for a long time.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Making Sure the Poor Stay That Way, Hallelujah!


what eye thynk:  Last month I wrote about Kentucky's voters electing a new governor, Matt Bevin (R), despite his having run on a platform of promising to dismantle healthcare in Kentucky, and then crying foul when they realized that Governor Bevin was going to dismantle healthcare in Kentucky. (Logic is apparently not a strong point among Kentuckians.)  

It is early days in his administration, and so far, Mr. Bevin has managed to side-step any questions on his intentions regarding the healthcare situation in his state.  I imagine it's proving tricky to find a positive way to spin the "Hello, this is your notice that you no longer have healthcare" letter.

Mr. Bevin has, however, lost no time in finding a way to keep the working poor in their place.  In July of this year, under an executive order signed by former Governor Steve Beshear (D), Kentuckians employed by state agencies and vendors saw their pay rate raised from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour.  

New Governor Matt Bevin has rescinded that order.  The people who are already being paid at the higher rate will continue to receive it; but going forward from this point, all new hires will be paid at the lower and unlivable wage of $7.25/hour.

As David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky State Employees Association put it, "Really?  Out of the things you could have done since you have been elected, that's something you choose to come right out of the gate with? Come on."

Come on, indeed.

It should put the minds of Kentucky's citizens at ease though to know that Rowan County clerk Kim Davis has been saved from any further jail time.  Governor Bevin issued an executive order of his own, ordering that the names of elected clerks be removed from all marriage licenses in the state to "ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored."

One less thing for Kentucky's poor to worry about while they wait to find out if they can afford their blood pressure medicine.

December 23 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Bristol v Chelsea (graphic)
eye'm thynkin':  If--as right-wing insult artists claim--Chelsea only got pregnant again to help her mother's campaign, should we wonder what Sarah has planned for 2016?
2 - Ted Cruz Blasts Cartoon of Daughters, Seeks $1M to 'Fight Back'
He uses his kids in a campaign ad and displays his kids at campaign rallies, but thinks the media putting them in a cartoon "has no place in politics?"  If you don't want them in the spotlight, Teddy boy, don't put them there.   
And using them to beg for campaign donations sounds an awful lot like pimping them out for your own gain, so if I were you, I'd shut up about that cartoon.
3 - Retired Air Force Colonel Morris Davis Sums Up the Republican Debates (graphic)
Truth.
Go to Political Pollution

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 22 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Virginia Attorney General Enforces Laws On the Books; Terminates Concealed Carry Reciprocity
m'eye thoughts: Finally, a step--small, but a step nonetheless--toward fighting back.
2 - Zero F*cks Left: President Obama is Driving and Getting Coffee With Jerry Seinfeld
Yes! 
Expect the GOP to go nuts over this news. How undignified!  How disrespectful of his office!  And remember, this is the same GOP that sees nothing amiss with their leading candidate doing a five minute stand-up routine about Hillary Clinton's bathroom break. 
Go to Political Pollution 
 

Donald Trump, Living Proof That Money Can't Buy Class

"As you may have heard, Hillary Clinton was absent when ABC News returned from a commercial break during Saturday night's Democratic debate.  She was probably 90 seconds late--max--and returned gracefully to the stage while the first question was underway...

...Naturally, the far-right totally lost its shpadoinkle on Monday.  For example, Rush Limbaugh...accused Clinton of not being able to 'hold it' for two hours:

'That's right, Hillary can't even hold it for two--why not wear a diaper?  If you can't hold it for two hours get a Depends in there or something or whatever else.'

Classy.  As always.

And then there was Donald Trump who, during a rally on Monday, thought it was disgusting that Clinton had to pee during the debate.

'So, so Hillary's gonna get beaten, but I haven't started with Hillary yet.  What happened to her?  I'm watching the debate and she disappeared!  Where did she go?  Where did she go!  I thought she quit, I thought she gave up.  Where did she go, where did Hillary go?  They had to start the debate without her...'

'Why (laughs) I know where she went.  It's disgusting.  I don't want to talk about it.'

(cheers)

'Nah, it's too disgusting, don't say it, it's disgusting, let's not talk...we want to be very very straight up, OK?  But I thought that was...wasn't that a weird deal?  We're ready to start, they were looking...they gave her every benefit of the doubt.  Because you know, it's ABC and she practically owns ABC.'...

...Don't forget: it was the GOP that requested of the networks that each candidate receive detailed directions to the next nearest bathroom during their televised debates.  Jesus.  It's a fact of life that people have to urinate, and sometimes during awkward occasions.  This is a thing now?"

eye'm thynkin':  Other websites reported that Mr. Rich White Trash, apparently deciding he hadn't strayed far enough outside the border of civilized discourse, thought throwing the vulgar Yiddish slang word for penis into the conversation would be a good idea.  Speaking of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary he gloated: "(Hillary) was going to beat--she was favored to win--and she got schlonged.  She lost.  She lost."

This is the best the Republican Party has to offer--cracks about Depends, snickering at third grade potty jokes, and tossing out juvenile slang for male genitalia?  When did intellectual dwarfism become something to be celebrated?

Read more at Addicting Info (video) 
and at NBC News

Arizona: Not Quite As Stupid as Texas, But They're Trying!

Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen
"An Arizona lawmaker who believes the earth is only 6,000 years old and that the U.S. government regularly sprays its citizens with mind-controlling chemtrails has been selected to lead an Arizona legislative committee overseeing education.

Sen. Sylvia Allen (R)...was selected by fellow Republican and Senate president Andy Biggs to chair the Arizona Senate Education Committee...

...According to AZ Central, Allen attended high school but did not go to college...

...In March, Allen made national news when she derailed a discussion about gun legislation to suggest a law that forces Americans to go to church on Sundays.

In March 2013, she wrote an addled Facebook post about her belief the government was purposely poisoning its citizens with chemicals sprayed by airplanes, confusing white contrails left by aircraft with chemical trails.

'Okay, I do not want to get into a debate about weather.  However, I know what I see weekly up here on the flat where I live... The planes usely (sic), three or four, fly a grid across the sky and leave long white trails streaming behind them.  I have watched the chem-trails move out until the entire sky is covered with flimsy, thin cloud cover,' she wrote."

eye'm thynkin':  Maybe Ms. Allen is right about those chemtrails.  The regular distribution of a cloud of Keep'em Stupid Gas would explain why the state legislature believed it was a good idea to turn leadership of an important state education committee over to someone with who never made it past the 12th grade, who can't spell the word "usually," and who has never heard of the separation of church and state.  

It has to be the chem-trails--this degree of stupid just isn't found in the natural world.

Read more at Raw Story

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21 - Another Story You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - A Federal Judge Just Gave the Makers of Those Faked PP Videos Some Very Bad News
m'eye thoughts: "U.S. District Judge William Orrick said that the films do not show any illegal activity and that their release could put people involved in danger." 
Gee, too bad Carly couldn't find "her" video for the judge.
Go to Political Pollution

Think about it...


Lindsey Graham Drops Out -- And Then There Were Twelve

"Senator Lindsey Graham is ending his presidential campaign, he told CNN during an exclusive interview airing Monday.

'I'm going to suspend my campaign.  I'm not going to suspend my desire to help the country,' the South Carolina senator said in a wide-ranging and candid discussion in which he acknowledged: 'I've hit a wall here.'...

...Graham's decision...comes just days after the CNN Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, where he was widely viewed as dominating the undercard debate.

However, Graham was never able to break onto the main stage after announcing his candidacy in early June...He failed to even qualify for the undercard round in the Fox Business debate in November...

...He added, 'While we have run a campaign that has made a real difference, I have concluded that this is not my time.'...

...Graham--who recently urged Republicans to tell Trump to 'go to hell'--also did not rule out accepting a Cabinet position in a Trump administration in the future."

eye'm thynkin':  I don't know which is more delusional, that he thinks his no-starter campaign "made a real difference" or that he thinks Trump will be President and he'll be offered a cabinet post.   

Read more at CNN

Quotes for Monday, December 21

This is what it sounds like when someone without a brain speaks for someone without a moral compass...

monday quotes:

On Donald Trump's call for banning all Muslims from entering the U.S.:
"So what?  They're Muslim."
Explaining that it's unimportant if her boss is clueless about iur nuclear triad; he still knows what it's for:
"What good does it do to have a good nuclear triad if you're afraid to use it?"
(Katrina Pearson, Trump spokesperson, member Dallas Tea Party Steering Committee and the Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory, also founder of Garland Tea Party)



Sunday, December 20, 2015

December 20 - Another Story You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Carly Fiorina on Fox: The 'Clinton Way' Is to 'Lie As Long As You Can Get Away With It'
m'eye thoughts: I'm no big Hillary supporter, but really, this is too much coming from Fiorina.
Go to Political Pollution 

GOP: Star Wars v. Star Trek...


...I would like to add:
  • Fiorina - Star Trek, I'm a big fan of Vulcans because they cannot lie.
  • Bush - Star Wars because there's nothing like a good war to make us safer.  Just ask my brother.
  • Kasich - Whichever one takes away the most women's health choices.
  • Huckabee - Star Trek because I believe Dr. McCoy would be interested in some of the medical miracle cures I've been hawking.
  • Santorum - Neither, my family and I only watch the Christian Network
  • Graham - Star Trek because I'm old school.

A Word for Word Record of 3rd Democratic Presidential Debate

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the DNC is going out of its way to make sure no one sees their debates.  On a Saturday night in November?  And then the last Saturday night before Christmas--when half the population is attending holiday parties and a good portion of the rest are out shopping?  Or the next one: January 17--on a Sunday in the middle of the NFL playoffs?  

Granted, the GOP has so many demented people on the stage at one time that their debates have the possibility of being entertaining; but scheduling them mid-week almost guarantees they're going to take over the media for days afterwards even if Fiorina doesn't manage to find something else to lie about.

Democratic debates have, so far, seemed like afterthoughts.

With that in mind, for all of us who did not take in last night's debate first hand, The Washington Post has kindly published a complete transcript. 

You can read it here.

Making Discrimination Constitutional "Just One (GOP) Election Victory Away"

"Six of the Republican candidates vying for the presidency have signed a pledge promising to support legislation during their first 100 days in the White House that would use the guise of 'religioius liberty' to give individuals and businesses the right to openly discriminate against LGBT people.

Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee vowed to push for the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), legislation that would prohibit the federal government from stopping discrimination by people or businesses that believe 'marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman' or that 'sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.'...

...Additionally, Bush, Graham, Paul, and now for the first time, Donald Trump, have publicly expressed support for FADA.

(Maggie) Gallagher (Senior Fellow at American Principles Project) added that a Republican win in 2016 could mean that FADA becomes a reality. 'Real, concrete protections for gay marriage dissenters appear to be just one election victory away,' she said."

eye'm thynkin':  If ever there was a reason to get out and vote Democrat, that statement is it.  

That these people would even give a passing glance to the creation of a constitutional amendment written to specifically discriminate against one segment of the population boggles the mind, and yet they are not only openly supporting it, they are promising to make it a priority. 

Considering Republican campaign platforms so far, hearing that the GOP wants to append legal discrimination to the U.S. Constitution should not surprise me, but it does.  This is not my America.

Read more at Think Progress

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I wish I could say this was a joke.


Congress Passed a $1.1 Trillion Bill That Nobody Read

what eye thynk:  Our only hope is that President Barack Obama attacks this disastrous bill like a Line Item Veto Gold Medalist.  A crash course in speed reading wouldn't hurt either. At least he'll have more time to read it than Paul Ryan permitted his fellow Representatives. 

Eye Recommend:
(Any underlines are mine.)

EVEN BREITBART IS PISSED AT PAUL RYAN ABOUT THIS ONE..., by Michael Danielson
Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado posted on Facebook on Thursday, giving the general public a revealing look at the kinds of bullshit shenanigans that Congress allows itself...
Shenanigans like:
1) They didn't create a budget bill.  Instead, they 'hid' the budget inside an older, irrelevant bill by editing the bill entirely away and replacing it with the budget.
2) They did this so that they could get around the mandatory 3-day 'inspection period' that Congress attempts to enforce on itself, so that these enormously complex laws can actually be read.  Also, so that they could schedule a meager hour of House time to debate the bill... One hour.
3) They revealed the deception at 1AM Thursday morning when they deposited an inhumanly large amount of text on each Congressman's desk (welcome to the Paul Ryan era of passive aggressive tricksterismexpecting them to read and understand it by the scheduled time of 9:15AM Friday morning, for that one hour of debate to start.  2,009 pages of text...one hour of debate...starting just 32 hours after the pages were delivered...
...So why did the GOP want to hide the Omnibus bill and keep it from debate using all these classic tactics of unadulterated government corruption?  Simply put, there's something in it for absolutely everybody to hate.
Brietbart .com unleashed a scathing editorial calling the Omnibus bill "a total and complete sell-out of the American people masquerading as an appropriations bill."
When Brietbart hates it, you know its bad.
Time Magazine pointed out rather brusquely that the bill includes riders that allow the U.S. to start exporting oil again, that protects political "dark money" groups from the IRS, that prevent the SEC from forcing corporations to reveal their campaign finance donations, and that take $35 billion in funding away from Obamacare.
Protecting their money-men and destroying healthcare for millions of Americans--the two most important tenets of Republicanism. Check.
HuffPol derided the Omnibus for slashing $93 million from the WIC program that combats child hunger, revokes a significant part of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent the 2008 crash from recurring and pays $93 million to Lockheed-Martin for warplanes that we literally have no use for.
Hungry children are poor children and their families don't vote Republican, so why feed them?  Our bankers told us they don't like Dodd-Frank, and we want shiny, new airplanes when the time comes to drop those nuclear bombs and save the world! 

The House passed the Omnibus bill on December 11 with a vote of 219-206.  The Senate followed on December 13 with a vote of 56-40.  

Washington corruption wins, America loses...again. 
You can read Mr. Danielson's article here.

Senate Votes On Spending Bill - Guess Who Didn't Bother to Show Up?

(Any underlines are mine.)

"Sen. Marco Rubio missed Friday's Senate vote approving a massive $1.8 trillion end-of-the-year spending bill and tax package--a day after he suggested that he could try to slow the legislation down.

The Florida Republican, who is running for president, was the only 2016 contender to miss the vote, which is the Senate's final vote of the year.

Rubio defended his absence in an interview, telling CBS News that 'in essence, not voting for it, is a vote against it."

eye'm thynkin':  How about, we decide to not pay you, since "in essence" not bothering to vote (that's your job!) is like extending you a political welfare check?  It only seems fair since we know how much you hate the idea of public assistance for those too lazy to work.  

Or maybe you just couldn't figure out how to use your campaign credit card to buy a plane ticket back to the office?

Read more at The Hill

December 19 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1- Poll: 30% of Republicans Want to Bomb a Fictional Disney Country
m'eye thoughts:  There is the funny kind of stupid and there is the not so funny kind of stupid.  Then there is the so sad it makes you wonder how these people manage to get dressed by themselves kind of stupid.
30% of Republicans, 19% of Democrats.  Well, at least there will be more Democrats than GOPers walking around with their shoes on the right feet. 
2 - DNC to Restore Voter Database to Sanders Campaign
Whether it was the public outrage or a sense that they knew what they did was wrong, either way the DNC has made the right move here.
Go to Political Pollution

Friday, December 18, 2015

The cups weren't enough?!!


Update: Diversity Shouldn't Require Justification


On December 10, I wrote about Justice Antonin Scalia and his ridiculous argument that black students lack the ability to succeed at elite universities.

Also on record during those arguments before the Court were remarks by Chief Justice John Roberts who questioned the value of diversity in some instances, specifically whether black students would add anything to the classroom experience in, for example, a physics class.  These were remarks that I did not address in my blog post.

Update:

Yesterday, the New York Times published a response from Jedidah C. Isler, a National Science Foundation astronomy and astrophysics postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University.  In it, she asked two questions that, in my perfect world, would stop the conservative Justices in their tracks.  
(The underline is mine.)
Last week during oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case about the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions policies, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. posed two questions: "What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?"  Followed by: "I'm just wondering what the benefits of diversity are in that situation?"... 
...As a black woman and astrophysicist, I immediately became defensive of my own worthiness... 
...The truly damaging part of Chief Justice Roberts's question is the tacit implication that black students must justify their presence at all. 
Black students' responsibility in the classroom is not to serve as "seasoning" to the academic soup.  They do not function primarily to enrich the learning experience of white students.  Black students come to the physics classroom for the same reason white students do; they love physics and want to know more.  Do we require that white students justify their presence in the classroom?  Do we need them to bring something other than their interest?...
eye'm thynkin':  Game, set, and match to Jedidah Isler.

You can read Ms. Isler's entire Op-Ed article here