Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31 - Monday Quote

It's a new century, but very little has changed.  And thanks to Citizens United, our democracy is on a course to get worse.  The biggest megaphones are available only to those who can afford to buy them, while the average American lives only with what is allowed.  Asking for more will get the neediest labeled "lazy" while those with the most are granted bigger and stronger nets in order to ensure their every nickel is safe within their personal grasp.   

monday quote:
"This country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor.  The majority of mankind are working people.  So long as their fair demands—the ownership and control of their livelihoods—are set to naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights.  The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease."  
(Helen Keller, humanitarian and co-founder of the ACLU, 1880-1968)  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A message for all the beleaguered Democrats living South of the Mason-Dixon line. Hang tough!

 

Out-Trumping Trump in an Effort to Remain Relevant

Donald Trump has gotten a lot of press time out of his promise to build a "nice beautiful wall" along our southern border and have Mexico pay for it.  Attempting to keep up with Trump, the GOP Presidential Lemmings lined up to voice support for the idea of a U.S.-Mexico wall.

A few candidates, still finding themselves eating The Donald's dust, have apparently decided to outdo His Royal Hair-ness by flinging some outrageous plans of their own out there to see how they fly.  Their ideas are, to put it mildly, interesting.



Chris Christie:
Speaking at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Saturday:
"So here's what I'm gonna do if I'm president.  I'm gonna ask Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the (government) for three months.  Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people...Cause guess what?  Of the eleven million people who are here illegally, 40 percent of them didn't come in over the southern border.  40 percent of them came in legally with a visa, and overstayed their visa.  We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in...And when your time is up...then we go get you--tap you on the shoulder and say excuse me, thanks for coming, time to go."
what eye thynk:  How does he envision this working exactly?   Will visitors to the U.S. get stamped with a bar code that will somehow be magically read by every building they enter?  Or maybe he sees an implanted microchip ID--similar to those pet owners use to help find their lost pets--that will cause a traffic map to light up showing the implantee's location as he moves around the U.S.?
When asked about his idea for immigrants and FedEx on  "Fox News Sunday," Mr. Christie said he didn't intend to say he'd treat people like packages, but "the entire conversation about 'anchor babies' is a distraction that makes us sound like we're anti-immigrant, and we're not."
Skipping over his claim that Republicans are not anti-immigrant; did he think his plan to have FedEx track U.S. visitors would somehow be seen as a legitimate (and therefore not distracting) subject for discussion?

Scott Walker:

Earlier to day, Mr. Walker appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," and talked about a New Hampshire town hall meeting of his own where, he said, the idea of a wall along the U.S.-Canada border was brought up.

"Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire.  They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago.  So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at."
Personally, I think it's a miracle Canada hasn't put up a wall of their own just to keep Ted Cruz from coming back. 
Seriously, by trying to keep dying campaigns afloat, people like Chris Christie and Scott Walker are overlooking the real point of the primary season--to find a candidate who can hopefully win the general election. 
Stupid ideas like time-stamping legal visitors' foreheads or building a wall along an ally's border may get them a few minutes' attention; but when the general election gets here, all these off-the-wall anti-immigrant ideas are going to come back to bite the eventual candidate in the butt.  Which is an outcome I can get behind. (See what I did there?)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Case of REAL Voting Fraud in Georgia; Seems ID Law Looking in the Wrong Direction

"Fulton County Georgia...disclosed in a settlement that it had violated over two dozen laws, including illegally rejecting eligible ballots and sending voters to the wrong precincts (where their votes wouldn't be counted)... The settlement shows that the state and county's election officials intentionally misinformed the precincts of who was supposed to vote and when...

... (Officials) also neglected to provide the absentee ballots to the voters who requested one and did not put voters who registered on time on the rolls.  Last year, when the Fulton County election commissioner was fired, she claimed it was because she refused to cover up the disenfranchisement.

In 2014, during the Senate election between Democrat Mitchell Nun and Republican David Perdue, more than 40,000 newly registered voters, mostly black, were omitted from the voting rolls."

eye'm thynkin':  Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts decided to gut the Voting Rights Act, because it was "too burdensome," they said the need for federal oversight was no longer necessary.   Yeah, right.

Sure glad Georgia has a voter ID law.  Wouldn't want any cheating during an election.

Read more at Addicting Info

Funny Thing About All Those "American" Ads Urging Congress to Turn Down the Iran Deal...

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (left) Saudi Arabia's King Aziz
and security leadership at Al-Salam Pallace in a July meeting
regarding the Iran nuclear agreement
"Television stations across the country are being flooded with $6 million of advertisements from a group called the 'American Security Initiative' urging citizens to call their U.S. Senators and oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.

Though the American Security Initiative does not reveal donor information, the president of the new group, former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn, is a registered lobbyist for Saudi Arabia.  Coleman's firm, Hogan Lovells, is on a retainer to the Saudi Arabian monarchy for $60,000 a month.  In July 2014, Coleman described his work as 'providing legal services to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia' on issue including 'legal and policy developments involving Iran and limiting Iranian nuclear capability.'"

eye'm thynkin':  Putting "American" in your title is one way to hoodwink a lot of Americans into thinking yours is a U.S. sponsored endeavor, especially if you're really working for the interests of a foreign country. 

And, really, shouldn't there be a disclosure requirement when a foreign country buys air time in an attempt to influence American policy?  I like "I'm the King of Saudi Arabia, and I approve this message."

Read more at First Look/the Intercept

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Part of the 2nd Amendment the NRA Ignores


eye'm thynkin':  "Well regulated;" that's five whole syllables, four in just one word alone!  

Maybe the NRA and the rest of the gun nuts skip over them because they're too hard, like the big words that Jeb Bush complains President Obama uses all the time.  

Another GOP Contender Circling the Drain

"...In an effort to compete with Donald Trump's surprising surge in the Republican presidential primary, Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), whose foreign policy gaffes are stacking up to rival Sarah Palin's and Mitt Romney's, escalated his China policy on Monday to rival the simplistic ignorance of Trump's China 'policy.'

Walker's solution?  The Wisconsin Republican demanded that President Obama cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the White House.  He tweeted, 'We need to see some backbone from Obama on U.S.-China relations.  He needs to cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit.-- SW'

Yes, ghost him!  Because nothing fixes substantial problems like throwing a tantrum and icing someone out.  Naturally Carly Fiorina followed suit, chasing after Walker who is chasing after Trump for the angry bigot vote."

eye'm thynkin':  That's how the GOP has handled everything since 2008--throw a tantrum and refuse to engage.   

And, why does every photo of Scott Walker look like he is coming down off a drug high?  In 2008 I had nightmares about having to listen to Sarah Palin's voice for four years.  Now it's Walker's face that haunts me.  

Read more at Politicus USA

Republicans Say the Darndest Things: War on What is INSIDE Women (and a Female Ob-Gyn Responds)

Presidential Candidate
Ben Carson (R)


Retired brain surgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson thought he would court women voters when he spoke on the steps of the state capitol building in Little Rock, Arkansas this week.
"They tell you that there's a war on women.  There is no war on women.  There may be a war on what's inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country."
what eye thynk:  I would beg to differ on his "no war on women" claim, and have offered evidence to that effect-- 32 times and counting.

Mr. Carson said he was attempting--in an oh, so elegant manner--to point out that the war was on what a woman may carry inside her uterus, and that war was being fought by the left.  

This response to Dr. Carson, written by Dr. Jen Gunter, is worth a minute of your time:

"Thank you Dr. Carson for mansplaining it so eloquently.  While I am only a humble gynecologist (and a female one at that), I would like to point out that the uterus is actually anatomically part of women and not on loan from the GOP...

...When you say you want to control what a woman does with her uterus, i.e. what is inside her body, you are saying that she can't make those decisions on her own or has no right to make those decisions or both...

...What if I wanted to control your bladder, what would you think of that?...What if I told you that you could only use the restroom if you consented to a transrectal ultrasound?  And if you get a bladder infection, well, you will have to drive 200 miles to discuss it with your doctor and then drive back home and wait 24 hours to be really sure about the antibiotics and then drive the 400 miles round trip again to pick them up?  Would you think that is okay because you can't really understand as a man what is happening inside your body or might you think, back off bitch that's my bladder?

If you actually care about women, as I do, as a doctor you should want them to have compassionate, evidence-based care.  And for heaven's sake, if you want women to have fewer abortions you should stump for long-acting reversible contraception.  To ignore this elephant in the room means you care nothing about medicine and everything about pandering to a sub set of voters.

Women are so much more than the sum of our parts, but here's the thing: in a democracy you don't get any say in how we manage any of them.  Any other option is in fact a declaration of war."

An Explanation for Trump: Liberals Did It

"...When man can't explain something, he settles for the next best thing: deciding who's to blame for it...

...Conventional wisdom...will tell you that Trump is the logical conclusion of 21st century conservatism.

This line of thinking actually has two strains, both of which absolve the left of any responsibility for the advent of Trump.

The first strain posits that Republicans are awful people, and Trump merely embodies this quality in its purest form...

...According to the other strain, the Republican establishment has so disappointed the conservative base that it created an opening for Trump to fill...

...I have a different explanation for ascendant Trumpism.  It isn't the result of conservatism but of liberalism.  Thanks to unrelenting demands by the left for increasingly preposterous levels of political correctness over the past decade, people are simply fed up.  Trump survives--nay, thrives!--because he is seen as the antidote, bravely and unimpeachably standing athwart political correctness..."

eye'm thynkin':  Well, I guess if I were a die-hard conservative like S.E. Cupp, who authored the above article, I'd be looking for someone else to blame for Trump too.  

By the way, I hear the next edition of Merriam-Webster will feature Ms. Cupp's photo twice--right next to the words "audacity" and "delusional."

Read more at Town Hall

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Trump's Hair Sighted in the Amazon?

"Donald Trump's hair discovered in Amazon."

eye'm thynkin':  Because I needed a laugh today. 

(Thanks to Ultimate Science for sharing.)

Read more at Grind TV

President Obama Hurt Charles Koch's Feelings - the Truth Can Do That

This past Monday, President Obama was in Nevada to speak at the National Clean Energy Summit.  With just over a year to go in his presidency and no end to Republican obstructionism in sight, the President is pulling no punches when it comes to moving forward on issues like clean energy.

His attack on the Koch brothers, their organization and their lobbyists was specific and dead-on.  "You start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards or prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding--that's a problem."

The President called for an end to oil company tax subsidies, an issue that has come up previously.  The last time it was put before Congress was in 2012.  The Kochs were in favor of extending the subsidies, while some major oil companies like Shell came out in favor of ending them.  Congress voted to continue the $20 billion gifts.

Charles Koch was not happy seeing his family name singled out during the President's speech. 

what eye thynk:  As one pundit wrote, "The truth hurts."  

Let's face facts, the public record of Koch money funding pro-fossil fuels interests to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars is well known.  Yet Chuck said he was "flabbergasted" at the President's pointing that out. He added that he thought it was "beneath the dignity of the President to be doing that,' claiming that his remarks "were the opposite of the truth.  I was really dumbfounded.  I didn't expect that from the President."

Mr. Koch may be able to get his family's GOP puppets to agree that what President Obama said was "the opposite of the truth;" but the facts support President Obama's assessment.

Two years ago, the Kochs' American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that focuses on lobbying state legislatures, and the Koch's Americans for Prosperity, embraced a crusade to push legislation that would roll back EPA clean energy standards.  
(An aside:  Did you ever wonder what the American Legislative Exchange Council actually "exchanges?"  Money for votes maybe?)
Rebutting the President's statement, Koch whined "We are not trying to prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding.  As a matter of fact, we're investing in quite a number of them, ourselves, whether that's ethanol or renewable fuel oil.  We're investing a tremendous amount of research to make those more efficient and create higher-value products."  I guess we're not supposed to notice that the research he is touting is focused exclusively on fossil fuels.  And then there's the industry claim of "clean coal"--which is anything but--that they love to banter about.  Claiming you're trying to find cleaner ways of selling your same polluting products does not give you a pass on lobbying against solar or wind power while bribing politicians to roll back environmental regulations.

The White House did not back down. Josh Earnest responded to the Koch's hurt feelings by coming an inch short of actually calling Charles an out and out liar. 

"I'm not sure whether to describe (Charles Koch's) comments as remarkably rich or utterly predictable... I think what is also interesting is the claim that somehow Koch Industries hasn't advocated for the continuation of those oil industry tax subsidy policies.  The fact is that Koch Industries has spent at least hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress, these are public disclosures, in support of those kinds of policies, to say nothing of the millions of dollars that they have spent punishing those candidates that didn't side with them."

The Kochs have become so used to Republican lawmakers pocketing Koch money in return for spouting Koch propaganda, that, when someone speaks the truth, they're "flabbergasted."

Note to Charles and his equally wealthy brother:  Telling the truth is never "undignified"; and no amount of money can bury a lie.

Two People are Dead - Two Candidates Respond

Yesterday two people were murdered on live television.  MSNBC's Chris Matthews looked at the responses of Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.

What his videos show is Ms. Clinton, obviously sad, acknowledging that the subject of gun regulation is a difficult one, one fraught with political landmines.  At the same time, she promises to face the issue because it is so important.


When Jeb Bush is asked about the deaths, he looks flustered, and says he doesn't really know enough about it to comment, then continues to fuss with the people around him, even stopping mid-sentence to smile for a selfie with an admirer.  




what eye thynk:  Hillary's response doesn't contain much substance, but then I wasn't expecting a policy brief, just some basic human compassion along with an acknowledgement that we have allowed our love of guns to go unregulated for far too long.

As for Jeb not wanting to comment because he doesn't know enough, he hasn't struck me as particularly well informed on anything, so we could say that about every issue on his agenda.   

Two people were gunned down on live television.  Is he really so inept that he needs to wait for someone to hand him a script to tell him how he feels?  What more does he need to know to give voice to some sorrow, some outrage?  Instead, he signs autographs, and takes selfies. 

Nice to know the "little people" warrant such a small part of your attention that a selfie is more important than two lives lost, Jeb.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Have We Reached "Enough" Yet?


A Virginia reporter and cameraman were murdered on the air this morning.  The shooter has been identified as former WDBJ employee Vester Lee Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams on air.  Flanagan allegedly shot himself before being taken into custody.

eye'm thynkin':  I have no words. 

Trump Picks Up First Endorsements--and "Surprise!" They're From Racists

Last month:

"Andres Anglin of the neo-Nazi blog site The Daily Stormer (has) endorsed Trump.

'He is absolutely the only candidate who is even talking about anything at all that matters,' said Anglin of Trump...

...Kyle Rogers of the Council of Conservative Citizens also supports Trump.  (This) is the group that radicalized and inspired the Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof."

Read more at Ring of Fire

Yesterday:

"David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and self-described 'racial realist,' says Donald Trump is the best Republican candidate for president because he 'understands the real sentiment of America.'"

Read more at BuzzFeed News

eye'm thynkin': Trump's sentiments are not part of the "real" America I know.  

When the nation's leading racists are the only people endorsing your party's front runner, it's time to do some serious re-thinking of your policies, your rhetoric, your leadership.  In fact, it's time to clean house top to bottom and start over.  

Donald Trump has ceased to be funny.


How to Know It's Time to Pack Your Bags and Go Home

"A super-PAC called Stop Chris Christie is shutting down, saying the New Jersey governor's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is so underwhelming that opposition is no longer necessary."

eye'm thynkin': Ouch.

Read more at MSNBC




Two weeks ago, Rick Perry stopped paying his staff in South Carolina.  Now this... 

"The former Texas governor...is poised to reorganize his already under-funded and under-manned staff in Iowa--a development that some of his top aides concede may be the beginning of the end...

...On Monday, Sam Clovis, Perry's Iowa co-chairman and a prized operative, announced that he was departing the campaign, and...confirmed that he was defecting to be national campaign co-chair and senior policy adviser to Donald Trump."

Taking on the job of policy adviser to a man who thinks he knows more than God about every issue would seem to be a job destined for frustration if not obscurity; but still...double ouch.  Not paying your staff...triple ouch.  I see a "buh-bye" hovering over Rick's shoulder.

Read more at Politico


And the Gaffs Just Keep On Comin'

what eye thynk:  Mistakes made by Jeb Bush's campaign could become a daily feature.  Aside from those I've mentioned previously, just in the past few days, we've been witness to... 

1 -  The mysterious black hand that was overlooked by whoever it was that photo-shopped Jeb's head onto another body.  And, while we're critiquing the flyer, couldn't they have found someone with the same neck size?:


With all the extra dollars he raked in while avoiding campaign laws and playing coy about whether he was really running or not, you'd think he could afford a proof reader.

2 - Earlier this month he was forced to backpedal after saying he wasn't "sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues."  This week, he stumbled over the subject again.  Responding to a question at a Colorado town hall event, he said, "I, for one, don't think Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny...and that's the difference because they're not actually doing women's health issues."

The thousands of low-income women who depend on Planned Parenthood for breast exams, pap smears, STD testing and treatment, and birth control would undoubtedly be surprised to hear that.  

3 -  And now, after following Donald Trump blithely down the "anchor babies" path, Jeb finds himself in need of separation from the Trump mantra; and so, his campaign has released a TV ad touting Jeb's expertise in crisis management.  In the video, Jeb is shown during a Florida hurricane season, which, properly vetted, would seem to be a good idea.  Upon closer look, however, the Bush campaign didn't notice the ad shows Jeb working along side ex- FEMA director Michael Brown, he of the infamous Katrina "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" debacle during W's tenure in the White House.  You can see "Brownie" standing just behind Jeb's shoulder at the 50 second mark in the ad.


Bringing to mind one of the worst jobs of emergency management in recent memory probably isn't what Jeb intended; but once again, that's what he "gaffed."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Your freedoms...


...don't out rank my freedoms, no matter what church you attend.

The Republican War on Women - Ohio Moves in a New Direction

Gov. John Kasich appointee Mike Gonidakis

This is the thirty-second in a series of articles on the subjects of women, abortion rights and the Republican Party. 

Republicans continue to say they don’t have to change their core principles, they only have to change the language they use to get their message out.  One perception they want to alter is the idea that they are running a “War on Women”.  Looking at the news over the past few years, I’d say the Republican Party has a long way to go on this subject.
  • Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky): “Talk about a manufactured issue.  There is no issue.” 
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:  “It’s a fiction.”
The Ohio Front

facts and commentary:  Banning abortion at earlier and earlier weeks, requiring unnecessary facility upgrades and hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors, insisting on unwanted and unwarranted ultrasounds, and legislating medical abortion dosages different from those recommended by the medical profession is just so yesterday.

Abortion opponents want to move beyond that.  They want to restrict abortion based not on availability of abortion facilities or fetal viability, but solely on the mother's motivation. 

Currently, a woman requesting an abortion in Ohio is not asked to explain her reason. A proposed law would change that.  A bill is being considered that would require any women seeking an abortion to tell the abortion provider if her request is based on a report of a fetal abnormality.  It would become illegal for a woman to have an abortion if her doctor has determined that she is carrying a fetus that will be born with Down Syndrome.  North Dakota passed a similar law in 2013. though no prosecutions have resulted.  Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota have recently considered but not passed like bills.

Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis--who does not have a medical degree but was nevertheless appointed to Ohio's State Medical Board by Governor John Kasich (R)--said his group is making the bill a priority because Down Syndrome frequently results in the mother choosing abortion.  An academic paper reported that from 1995 to 2011 between 60 and 90 percent of fetal Down Syndrome diagnoses resulted in abortions. Ohio's legislature, where two-thirds of both houses carry endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee, is expected to approve the bill this year.

Sara Ainsworth, director of legal advocacy at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women said "I can't imagine how any of these laws would be enforceable."

I have to agree with Ms. Ainsworth.  Consider two women.  They are the same age, of the same race, share the same economic and marital status, and both are 16 weeks pregnant.  One is carrying a fetus with no known abnormalities, the other has been told by her doctor that her fetus will be born with Down Syndrome.  Under current law, both women could obtain a safe, legal abortion. Under Ohio's proposed law, Woman #1 could legally abort her healthy fetus while woman #2 would be forced to carry her defective fetus to full term.  I don't see how this proposal could ever pass the equal-under-the-law sniff test.  

To put this in the most vulgar terms possible, this law is basically saying: Until we find a way to stop all legal abortions, we'll make do with forcing women to give birth to unwanted and impaired infants. The resulting consequences to the families involved are unimportant.

What is not said is that once this unwanted child is born, conservative legislators have no intention of helping the parents cope.  They still want to cut social assistance programs and decrease the amount of money spent on special needs education.  They will happily force a woman to have a Down Syndrome baby, but then they won't want to see or hear from her or her child again.

Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine had the same reaction.  "If abortion on demand is legal, and you can have an abortion just because you want to, what does it mean to say you can't abort for Down Syndrome?  It seems bizarre."

Kellie Copeland, executive director of Naral Pro-Choice Ohio said, "This is interference with a medical decision following a complicated diagnosis.  For us, it comes down to who makes the decision and who's going to have to live with it.  Not knowing the family and the circumstances, the legislature can't possibly take into account all the factors involved."

At Preterm, a Cleveland abortion clinic, Chrisse France reported that about 1.5 percent of the abortions they perform are because of fetal abnormalities.  "They're very sad, because these are mostly intentional, much-wanted pregnancies, where they paint the nursery one day and find out the next day that something's wrong.  Most people who have abortions already have children, and they say things like, 'I just can't be the kind of parent I want to be to this child.'"

Ohio is already one of the most anti-abortion states in the country.  Since Mr. Kasich took office, Ohio's abortion clinics have been reduced to nine from 16.  Ohio was the first to introduce a bill that, had it passed, would have banned abortion after six weeks. Another bill that prohibits abortion after 20 weeks is still pending.

Now a Republican presidential candidate, Governor Kasich, who is vocal in his opposition to abortion rights has not offered his opinion on the Down Syndrome bill; but his anti-abortion record speaks for itself.  You can read more on that here and also here.


The Republican War on Women is "fiction?"

WHAT YOU DO SPEAKS SO LOUDLY
THAT I CANNOT HEAR WHAT YOU SAY.


Update: Jeb and the Tale of the Anchor Asians

On Saturday, I wrote about Jeb Bush and how his continuous run of gaffs puts a question mark on the claim that he is the smarter brother.  One of the gaffs I included in my list was his use of the derogatory term "anchor babies," which Jeb tossed out after it seemed to go over so well coming from Donald Trump. 

Update:
                                                 (Reuters)

On Monday, during a campaign stop near the border between the U.S. and Mexico, Jeb tried to repair the damage his stand against birthright citizenship may have had on his appeal to Hispanic voters.  His explanation was, well, a bit awe-inspiring in its creativity.

"What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there's organized efforts, and frankly, it's more related to Asian people coming into our country and having children in that organized effort....Nothing I've said should be viewed as derogatory toward immigrants at all."

Last year, federal officials prosecuted 30 people in New York City who were involved in an illegal Chinese asylum mill; so, maybe that is what Jeb was referencing.   The problem with equating this to "anchor babies" is that, these Asian immigrants were not coming here pregnant in order to give birth to a tiny U.S. citizen.  As reported, the vast majority were attempting to claim asylum saying they were forced to have an abortion or sterilization in their home country. 

what eye thynk:  I can't help but shake my head at Jeb saying his remarks should not be "viewed as derogatory."  He practically repeats Donald Trump--a man whose entire campaign is built on being as derogatory as possible, especially on the issue of immigration--repeats him word for word but doesn't want to be viewed as derogatory?  What, he thinks that because the words are coming from a Bush that they are somehow miraculously cured of their offensiveness?

Anyway, on to the real point...  Jeb wants us to believe that hoards of pregnant Asian women are claiming forced sterilization in order to gain asylum in the U.S.  How would that work exactly?   Or maybe I'm wrong and his statement had nothing to do with the NYC case.  Maybe he just sees a lot of Asian women queued at our Southern border waiting for their chance to wade across the Rio Grande.

Either way, Jeb seems to be testing the American voter's gullibility quotient.  Maybe next time he should just let his aides repair his mis-speak.  After all, they've had a lot of practice.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24 - Monday Quote

All those right-wing, uber-conservative "Christians" who flaunt their piety for all to see, who attempt to use their religion as a cudgel to control those with whom they disagree, who choose to pray--loudly and publicly--for God's intervention while standing firmly in the way of aide for those in need may want to think about this.

monday quote:
"Faith without works is dead.  It's just not nice to sit around--you can sit around in your prayer breakfast with all this faithy-faith and all this talking and thinking and 'hallelujahing' and it's nothing.  It's nothing to God.  I mean, I think it pisses God off."
(Anne Lamott, writer and activist, 1954 -     )

 


NRC Endorses New End-Around Attack on Gay Citizens

"The Republican National Committee gave its backing to a law designed to treat gay Americans as second class citizens... The Committee recently passed a resolution urging Congress to pass the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA)...

..You probably remember the national controversy over the Indiana law that allowed businesses to discriminate against gay people.  FADA is that sort of law, but nationally...

...Ian Thompson, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union said, '...This sweeping and dangerous bill would open a Pandora's Box of taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples and their children... Attempting to wrap this discriminatory proposal in the language of the Bill of Rights does not change the reality of its attack on our national values of fairness and equal treatment under the law for all.'...

... As is often the case with laws and legislation supported by conservatives, this law--currently in a bill introduced in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)--would roll back the rights of Americans...who generally do not vote Republican. "

eye'm thynkin':  The Republican Party seems totally incapable of accepting the outcome of any vote, (Obama winning the White House), any court case (same-sex marriage), any legislation (the Affordable Care Act), any investigation (Benghazi)  that they have not personally written and endorsed.  No matter the subject, no matter how many times they lose, they insist on looking for a back door to force their opinions onto those who have already rejected them.

Read more at Addicting Info

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Little Something for Our Right-Wing "Christians"


eye'm thynkin':   All the right-wing politicians who are so proud of their Bible-waving skills, should be required to read--and comprehend--more than the Cliffs Notes edition before they open their mouths about saving Christianity from the godless again.

Planned Parenthood Remains in GOP Crosshairs, Evidence Be Damned

                       (photo by Francis Rivera)
"Pennsylvania has found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood in the state after a review, according to a letter from the state health department.

That decision makes it the fifth state to announce that they have found no wrongdoing by the organization in the wake of controversial undercover videos showing officials discussing the price of fetal tissue for medical research.  Planned Parenthood says the officials are discussing compensation for expenses, which is legal, and not profit.

The organization also says it only has fetal tissue donation programs in two states, California and Washington."

eye'm thynkin':  But Republican led states including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire and Utah are moving to defund Planned Parenthood.  Somehow it makes sense to the leadership in these red states to deprive low-income women access to breast exams, pap smears, and STD screenings and treatment in order to stop something that already doesn't happen.

If you believe the increasing evidence that Planned Parenthood has broken no laws will stop the Republican crusade to defund the health care provider, you are unbelievably naive.  This has become the GOP's Benghazi for 2016.

Read more at The Hill



"Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is moving ahead with his pledge to defund Planned Parenthood at any cost this fall, a move that puts him directly at odds with Senate leadership...

... Cruz declared that he will 'lead the fight' to defund Planned Parenthood after a series of undercover videos raised questions about its fetal tissue donation program.

Cruz warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not to 'schedule of facilitate' any legislation that doles out federal dollars to Planned Parenthood referring to  bill that must pass Congress this fall to fund the government."

Ted Cruz is nothing if not predictable.   Really, another GOP sponsored government shutdown?  Has he forgotten how that turned out last time?   And I love the fact that he "warned" Mitch McConnell, a man I don't exactly see as Grade A leadership material, but, still...

Read more at Tea Party Command Center

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Trump Giving Up Oreos -- They're Made in Mexico

"Trump just found out that Nabisco, the company behind Oreo Cookies and Chips Ahoy! moved 600 jobs from Chicago to Mexico, and he is furious about it.  He's not mad about the company's historic union-busting, or the fact that they based their decision on avoiding labor laws that would require them to spend $130m making their Chicago factory safe.  He's made because they're giving the jobs to Mexicans.

'Mexico is the new China..' Trump said.  'I love Oreos.  I will never eat them again.'"

eye'm thynkin':  And will he be giving up all the products produced under his name in China too?  What a hypocrite!

Read more at Addicting Info (video)

Jeb as the "Smarter Brother" Is Proving to be a Tough Sell


what eye thynk:  A closer look at the Jeb-is-Smarter evidence would seem to be in order.
Earlier in his political career, Jeb visited Spain on a trade mission where he told their foreign minister, "I would like to finish by thanking the president of the Republic of Spain for his friendship with the United States."
Spain has not been a Republic since 1975.  You would hope that someone visiting a foreign country as a representative of the United States would at least take the time to learn the correct name of the country they are visiting.
In 2013, when the U.S. embassy was moved to a safer location inside the Vatican, Jeb bit on an incorrect Fox news story about the Obama administration closing our embassy there by tweeting: "Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican?  Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare."
As president, opening your mouth before checking your facts (and that would mean looking at a source that is NOT Fox) could be disastrous.
Giving his first foreign policy speech earlier this year, Jeb confused Iraq and Iran and referred to ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as "the guy that's the supreme leader or whatever his new title is."  
Really, didn't we have enough of this laid-back, lackadaisical approach to statesmanship under W?
When asked, Jeb said he would have invaded Iraq just as his big brother had. This remark was followed by four days during which he gave four different answers finally settling on "No, I wouldn't have invaded Iraq."  
Note that it took him four entire days to straighten that out intellectually.
When faced with questions about his brother's "enhanced interrogation program," Jeb refused to rule out bringing torture back by saying, "We're in a different environment.
This despite the fact that it was one of the most abhorrent and shameful episodes in our modern history, bringing condemnation not only at home, but from around the world.
Forced to defend his statement on torture, he said he "believed the techniques were effective in producing intelligence."  
Thus demonstrating himself to be totally unaware that the CIA itself said the method was "counterproductive."  Really, following current events, especially ones as important as our ignoring the Geneva Convention, can be so enervating.
Jeb said he wanted to "phase out" Medicare.
By the next day he was saying he didn't really mean it.
Jeb told supporters his administration would bring 4 percent yearly economic growth. When economic statistics over the past 30 years put his boast in doubt, he said it could be done if only people would "work longer hours."  
When that response was met with derision, he said he didn't really mean that either.
Jeb claimed the economy hasn't improved since 2008. 
It is obvious by any measurement that it has improved and is continuing to improve.  But facts are just so messy when you're trying to explain how your ideas are better.
Discussing education, specifically Common Core, he said "The idea that it's a federal program is just not true."  
Uh, no, Jeb you're wrong.  Common Core is a set of federally designed standards intended to be met in all fifty states, though each state may opt-out.  (You don't have to like Common Core in order to know it's origin and purpose.)
Jeb tried to explain the changes he would make to Social Security but was unaware of the retirement age for full benefits.  
An aide was called in to fix that.
After nine people were killed by a young man who immediately told police he did it because black people were taking over America, Jeb said "I don't know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes."  
Anyone not living under a rock knew how the shooter justified his actions, but Jeb couldn't bring himself to say that a far-right conservative, even a disgustingly warped one, had admitted  the killings were racially motivated.  That's the kind of backbone I look for in a leader, how about you?
Seeing his name slipping in the polls, Jeb tried to follow Donald Trump's example saying we have to do something about "anchor babies." 
When he was questioned for using that derogative term, he lost his temper at the reporter and snapped "Do you have a better term?  Give me a better term and I'll use it."  He couldn't come up with "birthright babies" by himself?
Trying to explain his position on immigration, he seemed to infer that America's breeding stock needs strengthening.  "Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families."  
Hence managing to insult every female citizen in the country for being somehow sterile and unloving; but, oh, those lusty immigrants!  Whoooeee!

Putting all these gaffs on one page makes it easier to understand why Jeb complained that President Obama's use of "big-syllable words...creates chaos, it creates a more dangerous world."   


All those grown-up words must be confusing enough to seem chaotic to someone as ill-prepared to stand in the world spotlight as is John Ellis Bush.  

Hmmm.  Maybe that explains his nickname.  There would seem to be less inherent danger in trying to remember one syllable instead of four.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I know I'm a day late for Throwback Thursday, but...


An Ally's Opinion: The Greatest Threat to America? Republicans

(Any underlines are mine.)

"...But (the GOP's) kneejerk denunciations also signal a frightening abandonment of diplomacy as a means of defusing tension, avoiding conflict and managing International affairs.  The mindset seems to be that diplomacy should be reserved for friendly nations with whom you have interests in common.  That they remain disposed towards armed intervention which has accelerated rather than suppressed Islamic militancy shouldn't come as a surprise since persisting with policies that achieve the exact opposite of what was intended is something of an American specialty.

The takeover of American conservatism by evangelical Christianity, Fox News and a handful of shadowy billionaires has transformed the Republicans into the party of wilful ignorance: doctrinal purity is more valued than intelligence; tolerance has been supplanted by persecutory moralising; paranoia has replaced realism.

This process may be reaching its logical conclusion with the emergence of property billionaire Donald Trump as the front-runner for the party's presidential nomination.

Trump personifies everything the rest of the world despises about America; casual racism, crass materialism, relentless self-aggrandisement, vulgarity on the epic scale.  He is the Ugly American in excelsis."

eye'm thynkin':  This unvarnished assessment of our politics and of America hurts.

Read more at New Zealand Herald

Does Birthright Citizenship Need an Overhaul?


Jeb Bush, who is married to a Latino woman, is fluent in Spanish, and who advertises himself as open, aware, and sympathetic to the Hispanic community, has jumped on Donald Trump's "anchor baby" bandwagon along with Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and Ben Carson.  Other GOP candidates agree on the issue without the vilifying slang term.

On Wednesday's Morning in America radio show, Mr. Bush addressed birthright citizenship this way, "If there's abuse, if people are bringing--pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be a greater enforcement... So you don't have these, you know, 'anchor babies,' as they're described, coming into the country."

Later, when asked about his use of the offensive term at a New Hampshire town hall meeting, he snapped, "Do you have a better term?  Give me a better term, and I'll use it."

John Paul Brammer of Blue Nation Review put the Hispanic minority issue in the perspective of what is ahead for the Republican Party and candidates like Jeb Bush if they persist in duplicating Mr. Trump's every politically incorrect utterance:

 "As a Latino myself, let me be clear.  this isn't so much about Jeb Bush using an offensive term so much as it's representative of his weakness in the face of Donald Trump.  It's time for Republican presidential candidates to confront the uncomfortable truth that the base they've helped create is eating up Trump's xenophobia and racist rhetoric.  Even Jeb Bush...is willing to throw Latinos under the bus in exchange for support.  This is something Latinos should keep in mind the next time he tries to tell us he has our best interests at heart."

what eye thynk:  I expect to be pilloried for this, but I do agree with Trump on this issue TO A POINT.  

I believe birthright citizenship, as it exists in our Constitution today, needs to be changed.  I would like to see a minimum period of residency requirement amended to the right of U.S. citizenship at birth.  If either parent has lived in this country, say for a minimum of two years, and can prove that they have been a working, productive part of our society (no matter their own legal status), then certainly their baby should be considered a citizen at birth.  I would add that both mother and father should also be awarded Dreamer status at the same time.

But, and here's where I expect those to the left of me on this issue to start throwing things, if you cross the border at Noon and are the proud mother of a U.S. citizen by dinner time, that is something that needs to change.  I expect, though I have no proof, that the number of pregnant women crossing our border simply in order to give birth is statistically small.  I don't see this as an issue that would have any earth-shattering effect on illegal immigration; I see it as a matter of fairness.

Incidentally, under my criteria, we would be safe from the possibility of Bobby Jindal ever living in the White House.  He was born just six months after his parents arrived in this country from India.  And, yes, that would be the same Bobby Jindal who defended the Confederate flag by calling it "a symbol of my heritage."  

Just something to think about.

Trump - Physical Violence to be Expected from the Passionate


                                             

Two Boston brothers have been arrested for the beating of a homeless Mexican man near a city subway station.  Scott and Steve Leader allegedly rummaged through the man's few belongings before beating him around the face and neck and hitting him with a metal pole, then laughed about the deed.

In a statement to the police, Scott Leader justified the assault by saying, "Donald Trump was right--all these illegals need to be deported."

Mr. Trump was asked about the case during a press conference in New Hampshire.  He responded, "I haven't heard about that.  It would be a shame, but I haven't heard about that." Following some mumbling from the people in front of him, he added, "I will say that people who are following me are very passionate.  They love this country and they want this country to be great again.  They are passionate.  I will say that, and everybody here has reported it."

what eye thynk:  Where's the condemnation for the act of brutalizing another human being?  Where's the statement that beating people is a total misinterpretation of your intent to deport all illegal immigrants (hopefully physically intact) through legal government order?  Instead he essentially patted himself on the back for rousing passion in his lemmings and made the media complicit by writing  about him.

According to Mr. Trump's reaction, the acts of people like the Leader brothers should be overlooked because they are  "passionate" in their support of his every word; and if people let their passion carry them too far, well, that just shows how much they love America.  In Donald Trump's vision, your worth would be judged by how you look; and if you're "different," then you should expect to be accosted by those who more closely resemble white America's physical ideal. (Does anyone hear Hitler ranting in the background?)

Would it be too much to expect a man who aspires to be the leader of the United States of America to stand up and say he never intended for gangs of "A Clockwork Orange" copycats to roam the streets looking for anyone with dark hair or ruddy skin?

Judging by Mr. Trump's reaction, the answer is yes.  Yes, it would.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 20 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - "Kris Kobach Employee Allegedly Fired for Lack of Religious Fervor, Lawsuit Claims"
m'eye thoughts: Since when do government offices pass out weekly prayer guides and hold mandatory prayer meetings?  Is this America or Iran?

2 - "Cruz Joins the Right's 'Birthright Citizens' Brigade"
GOP candidates are like lemmings all following Trump off the 2016 cliff.
Go to Political Pollution