Jun 302013
 

43-JimP

This is Jim’s first Big Mouth Award, as he is a relative newcomer here., but lately, he has joined in almost every day.   He hails from California and is a denizen of Care2.  He is a strong progressive and a proponent of human rights, animal protection, and environmental sanity.  I don’t know all that much about him, except I do know we need more just like him!  Congrats Jim!

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Jun 302013
 

Going into day 15, this will be my only article today, unless I get a second wind.  Yesterday was even hotter than forecast.  Today looks to be the same.  I am wrung out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:05 (average 5:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Bill Moyers: Here in the richest country on earth, 50 million of us — one in six Americans — go hungry. More than a third of them are children. And yet Congress can’t pass a Farm Bill because our representatives continue to fight over how many billions to slash from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The debate is filled with tired clichés about freeloaders undeserving of government help, living large at the expense of honest, hardworking taxpayers. But a new documentary, A Place at the Table, paints a truer picture of America’s poor.

Like most Republican plans that steal from the poor, this one would cost taxpayers more than the dollars Republicans would steal to give to the 1%.

From Crooks and Liars: Saw this from our own Dave Edwards, and this part made me chuckle.

In a Capitol Hill press conference, Gohmert referred to the Supreme Court justices who voted in favor of striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as “the five new holy quintets.”

“For them — I don’t know what kind of cloistered walls this court has been behind,” he opined. “They were not aware that the most wise man in history, Solomon, said there’s nothing new under the sun. And this isn’t new, and it’s been tried over and over. And it’s usually tried at the end of a great civilization.”

“Go Go Goose-step” should check his facts.  The man he calls “the most wise man in history” and used to support marriage between one man and one woman just happened to have 300 wives and 700 concubines.  What InsaniTEA!

From Think Progress: President Obama’s speech about climate change at Georgetown University on Tuesday laid out a comprehensive plan to deal with what ClimateProgress editor Joe Romm called “the moral urgency of cutting carbon pollution.” Not surprisingly, the President’s words have fallen on deaf ears on the Republican side of the aisle in the House of Representatives.

Today, less than a month after it was introduced, the House passed H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, by a vote of 235 to 186. The bill reads like Big Oil’s Christmas list. It would open virtually all of the U.S. Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast off Southern California, and much of Alaska’s offshore space to new drilling; require the Obama administration to create a new Five-Year Plan for offshore operations; and generally perpetuate an energy agenda driven by climate deniers.

As much as you may want to bitch about Obama’s environmental policy, and I do it too, this is the alternative. The notion that one is as bad as the other is a total lie.

Cartoon:

30Cartoon

This will also be the fate of the Tea Parties, if Republicans successfully establish their desired totalitarian regime of one-party Republican rule, in which elections exist only for show. These storm troopers will be expendable, just as those were.

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Jun 292013
 

I gave Texas the day off yesterday to pick on Kentucky for a change, but one day is all they get.  I can’t help it.  Texas Republicans have bent over backward of late to illustrate the difference between lying Republican rebranding claims and actual Republican business as usual.  In light of the Republican response there to SCROTUS murdering the Voting Rights Act, is Texas blatantly racist?

29Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday vacated its rulings on cases involving Texas’s Voter ID law and redistricting map, citing its ruling Tuesday that struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act.

The court had suspended the Voter ID law and a GOP-drafted redistricting map by citing the portion of the Voting Rights Act that requires preclearance with the U.S. attorney general or federal judges for electoral changes in certain areas with a history of racial discrimination. After the court struck down a portion of the law on Tuesday, those rulings effectively were rendered moot.

Thursday’s action sends the matters back to lower courts for further litigation. Without Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in effect, Texas Republicans said, the Voter ID law should move forward. Democrats and minority groups may still sue to stop it…  [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

The Post really downplayed the courts decision that found intent of both the Voter ID Law and Redistricting plan was to discriminate against minority voters.

Rachel Maddow and Marc Veasey (D-TX) discussed the policies Texas Republicans are about to implement that were previously adjudged too racist to allow by the courts.

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"With discriminatory purpose" said the court. We're good to go said Rick the P*%$&. I already know what Republicans in Congress are going to do. The obvious extremists will spew hate as before. The sneaky ones (the rest) will feign cooperation, but will refuse to condemn the obvious haters, because they really support them, but just don't admit it. Then they will sabotage any real attempts at a solution.

Support LGBT folks wherever they still lack equality. Support the Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Muslims, Seniors, Disabled, Poor and everyone else whose right to vote Republicans are trying to steal.

So is Texas blatantly racist? I'd say no, but the Republicans who run it, and a those who run lots of other states sure are, not by what they say, but by what they do.

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Jun 292013
 

The heat is miserable going, into day 15, plus the humidity is 80%, unusually high for hot weather here.  Forgive my brevity.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:01 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: What If Robert Reich Told You That Immigration Reform Would SAVE Our Economy?

 

As always Reich is clear, concise and exact. Click through to use the Twitter tool to spread the word, please. I did.

From MSNBC: Governor Ultrasound or Ultraca$h?

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McDonnell has clearly demonstrated his credentials. It’s hard to be more Republican than this.

From Raw Story: A meeting intended to improve police-community relations in Pittsburgh ended on Wednesday with a black teacher being arrested by a white officer.

Dennis Henderson, 38, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette that he had left the Community Empowerment Association meeting to get a business card out of his car when he was shocked to observe how fast Zone 5 Officer Jonathan Gromek was driving…

…A criminal complaint obtained by the Post-Gazette indicated that Gromek had seen Henderson shouting in his rearview mirror.

Gromek reportedly confronted Henderson and asked him if he wanted to file a complaint. Henderson asked for the the officer’s name and badge number, and began recording the encounter on his cell phone. Henderson stated that Gromek tried to confiscate the phone so he passed it off to a person witnessing the encounter.

Police in the Republican Fascist Plutocracy of Corbettstan tend to resent being called out for breaking the law.

Cartoon:

29Cartoon

This is what sparked the American Revolution. American patriots objected to taxation without representation. This is completely different from unpatriotic Tea Party seditionists, who threaten a revolution, because they dislike the laws, especially tax laws, that their elected representatives have passed.

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Jun 282013
 

Most of you know, that when I say, “Idiot, son of Idiot, named after Idiot,” I am referring to Rand Paul (R-KY).  Following in the footsteps of his malignant father, he gives “Bought Bitch Mitch” McConnell serious competition for the title of Kentuckian most likely to be certified insane.  He has demonstrated, once again, that my opinion of him is correct.

28Paul

It seems much of the media establishment has decided Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) deserves to be taken seriously. He’s made seven Sunday show appearances since February; the New York Times recently described Paul has one of his party’s "rising stars"; and the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza last week referred to the Kentucky Republican as "the most interesting politician in the country" and "the most interesting man in the (political) world."

And yet, it’s difficult to reconcile the media adulation and Rand Paul’s occasional crackpot tendencies.

Earlier today, for example, the senator appeared on Glenn Beck’s show to discuss, among other things, the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The host suggested the ruling could lead to polygamy: "If you change one variable — man and a woman to man and man, and woman and woman — you cannot then tell me that you can’t logically tell me you can’t change the other variable — one man, three women. Uh, one woman, four men…. If I’m a devout Muslim and I come over here and I have three wives, who are you to say if I’m an American citizen, that I can’t have multiple marriages."

For Paul, this seemed perfectly sensible. In fact, the senator went even further than Beck. Here’s the entirety of Rand Paul’s response, in which the senator said he’s "kind of with" the unhinged host.

"I think this is the conundrum and gets back to what you were saying in the opening — whether or not churches should decide this. But it is difficult because if we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?

"You know, I mean, so there really are, the question is what social mores, can some social mores be part of legislation? Historically we did at the state legislative level, we did allow for some social mores to be part of it. Some of them were said to be for health reasons and otherwise, but I’m kind of with you, I see the thousands-of-year tradition of the nucleus of the family unit. I also see that economically, if you just look without any kind of moral periscope and you say, what is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country? It’s having kids without marriage. The stability of the marriage unit is enormous and we should not just say oh we’re punting on it, marriage can be anything."

… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Maddow Blog>

I rest my case.  Now, I could act like a Republican and lie, making the allegation that Idiot should know, being a product of breeding with animals himself, but that would be a grave injustice.  I have far too much respect for animals to believe that one would mate with Ron Paul.  Animals have better taste than that!

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Jun 282013
 

I’m writing early for day 14, and the temperature at my desk is already 89° at 1:00 PM.  This promises to be one very nasty week.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 4:33).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Hello…….. Mr. President, are you listening??:

28SSJ

I found this at a friend’s site. That’s Republican Supply-side Jesus, not the real one.

From Media Matters: In the short time since the Supreme Court invalidated provisions of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), conservatives who have opposed marriage equality for years have been painting themselves as the unfairly persecuted victims of the ruling.

Having always had difficulty explaining how extending equal rights to gay couples somehow infringes upon their own personal freedoms — "you’re being intolerant of our right to think gays are an abomination" isn’t a particularly compelling argument –  right-wing media figures are now concocting elaborate scenarios in which their future rights will be infringed as a result of the DOMA ruling.

Fox News’ Todd Starnes got the ball rolling yesterday, writing on Twitter that it "won’t be long before they outlaw the Bible as hate speech," and asking: "How long before federal agents haul pastors out of the pulpit?" Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham wondered aloud whether Catholics in America will be "persona non grata."

In a rambling column [fascist propaganda delinked] headlined "Supreme Court Coup" posted at his virulently anti-gay website WND, Joseph Farah picks up the theme, asking when the "persecution" of "marriage defenders" will begin.

They are saying, in other words, "You are guilty of violating our rights for offences we presume you are going to commit at some future time."

From The New Yorker: In a shocking end to an illustrious legal career, police arrested Justice Antonin Scalia today as he attempted to set the Supreme Court building ablaze.

Justice Scalia, who had seemed calm and composed during the announcement of two major rulings this morning, was spotted by police minutes later outside the building, carrying a book of matches and a gallon of kerosene.

After police nabbed Justice Scalia and placed him in handcuffs, the Juror appeared “at peace and resigned to his fate,” a police spokesman said.

“He went quietly,” the spokesman said. “He just muttered something like, ‘I don’t want to live in a world like this.’ ”

ARGH! If ONLY this were true!!!

Cartoon:

28Cartoon

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Jun 272013
 

With all the writing this Oregonian has been doing about Texans, of late, one might think that I had it in for them.  I have to admit that I’m not pleased with the fools who voted in Rick the P%$^& and Republican majorities in the Texas House and Senate, but Texas has millions of fine people that must be dang tired of bending over and holding their ankles to get TEAbuggered!  Therefore, I could not be more pleased to offer extreme kudos to State Senator Wendy Davis, who confounded Rick’s Regime.

27DavisA daylong filibuster by Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis to block abortion legislation appears to have succeeded Wednesday — temporarily, at least.

Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, held her own starting at 11:18 a.m. Central Time on Tuesday, surviving several challenges that she had violated Senate filibuster rules, but as midnight neared, marking the end of the overtime special legislative session, the Senate chamber at the state Capitol decended [sic] into chaos.

When it appeared the filibuster would be halted and a vote taken on the legislation at about 11:45 p.m., opponents of the legislation who had packed the Senate gallery began to shout and chant, making it difficult for the Republican majority who were trying to force a vote, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Some Democratic senators held up cellphones, their screens displaying the time, shouting, “It’s after midnight!” Lawmakers crowded together at the front of the chamber, then left to confer with staff, but did not officially adjourn.

Initially, the Senate website showed votes had been cast Tuesday, and several Senate staffers said the legislation passed after a 17-12 vote and would go to Gov. Rick Perry, who supports it, for signing. The legislation, SB 5, would ban abortions at 20 weeks and require clinics providing abortions to upgrade or close.

But Dewhurst later announced that the vote had been held too late.

Inserted from <LA Times>

Photo credit: NPR

Here’s video coverage:

 

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Frankly, I thought this Republican assault on women was a done deal.  Furthermore, Republicans did everything inhumanly possible to cheat.  None of their claims that she had violated the rules were valid, and they shut down her filibuster illegally.  Thank God for loud demonstrators.  Then they tried to lie and say the illegal vote they took after the midnight deadline was before midnight and legal, but they backed down.  I bet it was because demonstrators had hundreds of cell phone videos with time stamps to prove they were lying.  Even now, the Texas Senate website says that a vote was taken, bot the results are not available, so beware!  They may plan more TEAfoolery! But she beat them all with a little help from a few thousand friends.  Hail Texas Heroine!  That’s what a filibuster is SUPPOSED to be! [I have since learned that the misogynists have scheduled another special session, at taxpayer expense, on Monday.]

I don’t drink, but I sure wouldn’t want to get into a beer holding contest with that gal!  I could NEVER stay away from my cat box for 13 hours!

Kudos for tying a knot in the elephant’s snout!

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Jun 272013
 

Let me begin by congratulating the LGBT community on the demise of DOMA and Prop 8.  Well done, and on to ENDA!  I’m writing early for day 13, but in spite of two good decisions, I still have a severe pain in the SCROTUS over voting rights, as today’s cartoon demonstrates.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: By a five-to-four vote, the Supreme Court today acted, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, “to relieve millions of Americans from the onerous burden of having to vote.”

Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia stated, “Since 1965, citizens across the nation have lived under the tyranny of being forced to elect people to represent them. This is an important step to free them from that unfair and heinous obligation.”

Although he didn't actually say it, the quote in the second paragraph is accurate.

From NY Times: Representative Edward J. Markey, a Democrat who has toiled for almost 40 years in the House in both the majority and minority, won a promotion to the Senate on Tuesday in a victory over Gabriel Gomez, a Republican who has never served in elective office.

Mr. Markey, 66, succeeds John Kerry, who stepped down this year to become secretary of state, and he will provide a reliable vote for President Obama’s agenda, which seemed to be just what voters wanted.

Woooo Hoooo Markey!!

From MSNBC: Obama on environmental policy

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When it comes to environmental policy, Obama has a long way to go, before I will be satisfied. But he's great compared to Republicans who want to undo the protections that we do have. I'm all for a 17% reduction in CO2. And I'm damn glad to see him doing an end run on the Republican War on the Earth.

Cartoon:

27Cartoon

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Jun 262013
 

Things have changed a lot since 1965.  The Voting Rights Act has the support of moderates and liberals, but was opposed by conservative anti-Latino Republicans, mostly in the west, and racist Democrats, called Dixiecrats in the south.  Republicans representing the 1% saw an opportunity for power and made racism socially acceptable among their ranks by adopting the Southern Strategy.  The bigots who opposed the Voting Rights act then are now the Republican base.  Make no mistake they have wanted to Kill the Voting Rights Act ever since, and yesterday, they succeeded, at least for now.  I made my feelings clear yesterday in SCROTUS Skewered Voting Rights Act. Now here are reports by three of my favorite pundits, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell, followed by a bit more of my own analysis.

26no_vote

Photo credit: Colorlines.com

Chris Hayes covered the story in three segments.

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Two:

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Three:

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Rachel Maddow covered it in two segments.

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Two:

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Lawrence O’Donnell covered it in two segments.

 

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Two:

 

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Expect many House and Senate Republicans to make conciliatory noises at first.  To do otherwise would be an admission of their racist intent.  Many are more sneaky than that, especially in the Senate.  They will make an appearance of negotiating, just as they have so many times in the past.  We may be “just around the corner from a solution” for many years.  In the meantime, Republicans at the state level will be demonstrating the true Republican goose-stepping to separate as many Black and Latino voters from their right to vote as quickly as they can.  Every time they do so, it’s up to us to hang it around their neck, loud and often enough that even the most apathetic voters know what they are doing.

But I almost agree with SCROTUS on one thing.  It is not fair to single out just the states on the 1972 list.  Walker of Fitzwalkerstan, Kasich of Ohio, Snyder of Michigan, Branstad of Iowa, Corbett of Pennsylvania, Le Page of Maine and more are all pursuing racist Republican policies to disenfranchise minority voters.  The only fair way forward to to extend the Title IV map to all fifty states.  The only way to do that is to send Republican politicians to the unemployment line.  That will be more difficult, because Republicans will have stolen the right to vote from many.

Now more then ever,

every Republican in office is one Republican too many!

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Jun 262013
 

If you goose-step to the Republican Ministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, all the wing-nut wonks, and especially Darrell Issa (R-CA), you know that Barack Obama colluded with the government of Kenya, The Socialist, Communist and Nazi parties, the devil,  and IRS agents to single out Tea Party groups, a conspiracy to deprive them of their rights.  If course, if you goose step in that company, everything else you think you know is just as wrong.  Here is the ultimate proof.

26IssaThe instructions that Internal Revenue Service officials used to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their titles also included groups whose names included the words “Progressive” and “Occupy,” according to I.R.S. documents released Monday.

The documents appeared to back up contentions by I.R.S. officials and some Democrats that the agency did not intend to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Instead, the documents say, officials were trying to use “key word” shortcuts to find overtly political organizations — both liberal and conservative — that were after tax favors by saying they were social welfare organizations.

But the practice appeared to go much farther than that. One such “be on the lookout” list included medical marijuana groups, organizations that were promoting President Obama’s health care law, and applications that dealt “with disputed territories in the Middle East.” … [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Of course no political group should qualify, because the law states that they must be exclusively public service.

Lets not forget that the people overseeing these practices were self-identified as conservative Republicans, and that some progressive groups were denied, but no Tea Party groups were.

Rachel Maddow has more.

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One has to wonder what Darrell Issa will do next.  Perhaps he will put on his cape.  Look! Up in the shy!  Issa bird!  Issa plane!  SPLAT!  Issa Issa!

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