May 222015
 

Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the exact opposite of authentic Christians) love to parrot how their faith motivates everything they do.  But the Bible could not be more clear that we have an obligation to meet the needs of the poor among us.  Here is how Republicans respond to this Biblical imperative.

0522ThePoorAt the beginning of July, a new restriction will go into effect for recipients of welfare in Kansas that will only allow them to withdraw $25 in benefits a day. As Max Ehrenfreund pointed out, given that ATM withdrawals come with a fee and are usually limited to multiples of 20, families will end up losing much of the money they normally receive to paying those charges — money that will go to financial institutions instead. It also restricts where they can withdraw that money, barring transactions at places like pools, liquor stores, and cruises. The restrictions are so harsh that the state is at risk of losing its federal funding.

But it’s not the only state that has been looking for ways to make life harder on the poorest. Others have imposed drug tests and harsh limits without evidence that the policy changes would do much good.

Drug testing

Drug tests for people who apply for benefits in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, better known as welfare, have become increasingly popular. States screen applicants with a questionnaire on drug use and test those who answer in the positive; if they fail the test, they and their families can eventually lose the benefits. Maine and Michigan are some of the newest states to start drug testing regimes, joining seven states that were already doing it. But the lesson from those states is that the testing costs money — they’ve spent nearly $1 million collectively — but doesn’t uncover widespread drug abuse. In fact, while 9.4 percent of Americans use illegal drugs, all states but one had a positive drug test rate of less than 1 percent and none were as much as that national rate.

That evidence hasn’t stopped some from going even further. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has put forward a plan to drug test everyone who receives food stamps and unemployment insurance, which the state senate advanced this week. But while states have a lot of power to set the parameters of TANF, the same is not true for these two programs, and Walker would need approval from the Obama administration for the plan to become reality. It would also come with a price tag, costing at least $1 million a year to drug test unemployed people alone…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Click through for even more ways Republican hypocrites are expressing their pseudo-Christian hatred for the poor.

Share
May 172015
 

For different functions I have five different email accounts: one for this blog, one for my volunteer work, one for research, one for most business, and one for secure banking that has on other online presence at all.  I had to set up the last two on my notebook, because I have a new ISP.  But for the first three, my main computer has them configured as IMAP accounts, but on the notebook, they were still configured at POP3.  I have a king size mess on my hands, and most of my research material just went up in smoke.  AGuess what I’ll be doing most of today?  ARGH!!  Tomorrow, I’ll be gone most of the day getting my MRI, so expect a Personal Update at most.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:27 (average 6:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: While Wisconsin Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is a favorite among business leaders looking for favors and wealthy Americans keen on slashing government to the bone if they can shave a quarter-point off their effective tax rates, among the evangelical crowd he’s a bit of an also-ran. What’s he done for them lately?

So Walker is off to do some fence-mending and appropriate knee-bending.

Next week, the Wisconsin governor will travel to Capitol Hill to hold a private meeting with influential evangelical leaders, some of whom are expressing deep reservations about his track record on issues near and dear to them. Pointing to his past statements, and even his hire of a top campaign aide, they are openly questioning whether his views on abortion and gay marriage align with theirs and whether he’s willing to fight for their cause.

There may once have been a time when there was more to having religion than an obsessive policing of other people’s sex lives, perhaps there was a bit of caring for the sick or feeding the poor or loving thy neighbor in there, toward the back, but no more. Support all the wars you want, give your personal thumbs-up to the death penalty and to state-sanctioned torture, tell impoverished Americans or people without health insurance that you’re very sorry for their plight but you’ll be dead in the cold ground before your government does a damn thing for them—it’s all fine. But you’d better have the right opinion on abortion and keeping the gay people in line.

I have no doubt that the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan will goose-step with the Republican Party’s most rabid Supply-side pseudo-Christian hate mongers.

From Common Dreams: Today’s verdict does not reflect the values of the majority of people in our Commonwealth. The ACLU of Massachusetts has been disappointed from the start that the federal government sought the death penalty in Massachusetts, which has rejected capital punishment. The last execution in the state of Massachusetts took place in 1947. Even in this case, Massachusetts opposition to the death penalty has been reflected in public opinion polls, in the pleas of religious leaders, and in statements by victims’ families and survivors. In a Boston Globe poll conducted this April, Massachusetts residents—by a four-to-one margin—overwhelmingly opposed the imposition of a death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Massachusetts religious leaders voiced their opposition to seeking his execution. Victims’ families and survivors in this case asked that federal prosecutors take the death penalty off the table and, instead, accept a sentence of life in exchange for no possibility of appeal or parole…

This statement came from the MA ACLU.  I agree.  I certainly will not argue that Dzhokhar is not a monstrous person, who "deserves" the death penalty. In this case, the death penalty is working exactly as it was designed to work under ideal circumstances. However, the most important objection still remains. Whether or not we strap this man down and kill him is not about who he is or what he did. It’s about who we are and what we are doing. By imposing the death penalty our federal government makes is all just like Dzhokhar.

From Think Progress: For thousands of years, religious people have gathered together in houses of worship to sing songs, celebrate sacred rituals, and lift up prayers to God(s) on high. And on July 1, a new religious group in Indiana intends to do just that — but with a lot more emphasis on the “high” part.

A little more than a month from now, the newly-formed First Church of Cannabis is scheduled to hold its first official gathering, where worshippers plan to test the limits of new religious freedom laws by “filling up” the sanctuary with marijuana smoke while observing a sacrament.

“It’s going to be a standard service,” Bill Levin, the group’s leader and self-proclaimed “Grand Poohba and Minister of Love,” told ThinkProgress. He explained the ceremony will last around 45 minutes, complete with music and teachings, but will conclude with an unusual benediction: “At the end of the service … we will enjoy cannabis, because it’s how we enjoy life.”

This is clearly a false religion. I have no problem with them getting high, but the source of all blessing is the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb. May the Orb shine its holy light upon you! 😉

Cartoon:

0517Cartoon

Share
May 162015
 

It’s another thoroughly busy day.  I pulled out my old notebook computer.  It’s been sitting in the suitcase without being touched for the last six months.  So far, I’ve updates my AV program, Firefox, Flash, Java, CCleaner, Glary Utilities.  Then Microsoft Update stared, and that might take a couple days.  I figure it will take six days of wok to use it on a three day trip.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today‘s took me 3:21 (average 4:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This reporter turned the tables on a group of men who tried to disrupt her work, and it’s awesome.

 

 

And I thought Canadians were so polite! 😉 They acted like Republicans.

From Daily Kos: What does it take to make Republicans want to keep religious leaders out of politics? A pope who disagrees with them, apparently. Pope Francis’ recognition of a Palestinian state is just the latest of the pontiff’s positions that have Republican politicians trying to put him in his place.

“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a hawkish defender of Israel.

So … Republicans get to use religion as a political club, but actual religious leaders should stay the hell out. We’ve got Texas Republicans trying to block marriage equality from being enacted, whatever the Supreme Court decides. We’ve got House Republicans passing yet another anti-abortion bill based more on religion than science. We’ve got an avalanche of bills legalizing discrimination in the name of religious freedom.

Republicans object to political action that stems from authentic faith, especially when it counters their own hatred. It is legal, because it is not imposed on others. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity is the polar opposite.

From NY Times: The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office is combing through more than 150 criminal cases of black suspects arrested by Miami Beach police officers who wrote or received racist emails, the latest in a series of high-profile episodes around the nation that have raised troubling questions about the relations between the police and the communities they serve.

Two ranking officers at the Miami Beach Police Department sent about 230 emails that contained racist and sexist jokes and pornography from 2010-12, Chief Dan Oates announced Thursday. A former police captain, who had been demoted to lieutenant, was fired, and a major retired before the investigation was made public.

Fourteen other officers received the emails, the police department said.

Police Officer is clearly too responsible a position to give to Republicans like these.

Cartoon:

0516Cartoon

Share
May 112015
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how nonsensical InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

MEXICO PRESCOTT BUSH

Jeb Bush accuses Obama and progressives of intolerance …because religious people can’t discriminate.

Jeb Bush made various veiled references to the apparently unstoppable progress of same-sex marriage and the horrific blows dealt to the "religious freedom" of those who want to discriminate against gay couples during his commencement address Saturday at Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia. The former Florida governor and presumptive GOP presidential frontrunner campaigned by slamming the Obama administration for its war on good Christian poeple [sic].

"As usual, the present administration is supporting the use of coercive federal power," Bush reportedly said. "What should be easy calls, in favor of religious freedom, have instead become an aggressive stance against it."

And no, we’re not exactly sure what he is talking about either. Wait, could it be same-sex marriage?

"Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith," Bush continued nonsensically. "Federal authorities are demanding obedience, in complete disregard of religious conscience — and in a free society, the answer is no."

Wait, what was the question?

It’s those old devil progressives again, always trying to move things forward. Hate that.

"The stories vary, year after year, but the storyline is getting familiar," Bush said. "The progressive political agenda is ready for its next great leap forward, and religious people or churches are getting in the way. Our friends on the left like to view themselves as the agents of change and reform, and you and I are supposed to just get with the program."

Yeah, and so what’s the problem with that?

Inserted from <Alternet>

Strike Three’s demand that Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians have the right to deny the rights of people who do not adhere to their goose-stepping dogma is only the fifth of five nonsensical Republican moments from last week alone. Click through for the other four.

Share
May 102015
 

My day off seems to have helped.  I’m still tired and swamped, but not so much so as to render me unable to function.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 3:14 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Huffington Post: More Americans feel comfortable with a presidential candidate who identifies as gay or lesbian than with one who identifies as an evangelical Christian, according to a new poll.

The latest WSJ/NBC poll listed a series of qualities in a potential presidential candidate and asked respondents whether they’d "be enthusiastic," "be comfortable with," "have some reservations about" or "be very uncomfortable with" a candidate with each of those qualities.

The results revealed that Americans are actually quite open to having a gay presidential candidate. Sixty-one percent said they would be either enthusiastic about or comfortable with a gay or lesbian candidate, while only 37 percent said they would have reservations or be uncomfortable.

That’s not a hard choice. Gay is certainly preferable to evil, a word that identifies Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity.

From Daily Kos: Own man, my foot. From The Washington Post:

When asked this week at an exclusive Manhattan gathering about who advises him on U.S.-Israel policy, Jeb Bush surprised many of the 50-plus attendees by naming his brother, former president George W. Bush, as his most influential counselor.

“If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him,” Bush said Tuesday, speaking to a crowd of high-powered financiers at the Metropolitan Club, according to four people present.

That’s strike 4 on Strike 3!

From Alternet: As we’ve learned through the course of the month, David Letterman’s departure means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For Americana musicians, it means saying goodbye to one of the genre’s biggest champions. For POTUS, it means losing an “escape” after a long day at work. And for the 20-time visitor of the show, Tina Fey? It means saying sayonara to gendered expectations of wearing fancy dresses.

 

I came to love Tina, as faux Palin.  I bet Drill Baby Dingbat, aka Bloody Bullseye Barbie, is green with envy!

Cartoon:

0510Cartoon

Share
May 042015
 

Would you believe me if I told you that I’m still completely swamped with tasks?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Have you ever heard of the West Virginia mine wars?

Maybe they were mentioned in your high school history class, or maybe they were skimmed over, or even left out entirely for one reason or another. Too often, these stories are deemed not "important" enough to warrant the time and attention they deserve.

But the West Virginia mine wars are critical to understanding the history of the labor movement in the U.S. — and soon a new museum will be open to tell the story.

The Battle of Blair Mountain, for example, was — and still is — the most violent labor confrontation in history, in which union-supporting coal miners fought against local government and a coal company-funded militia, eventually involving the U.S. Army.

 

Click through for the history of what happened. If Republicans gain complete control, it will happen again.

From Boston Globe: …A live video stream of the Garland event on the organizer’s website recorded the moment when the crowd was interrupted by a private security guard in military fatigues, who bounded onto the stage to announce that there had been a shooting outside. “Were the suspects Muslim?” a man shouted.

“I have no idea right now,” said the man in fatigues.

Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam leader in the Netherlands for the Party for Freedom, attended the event and delivered a speech. After the attack, he wrote “never surrender to terrorism!” in a Twitter post, and he posted a picture of himself with what he said were SWAT forces taken before the gunmen opened fire.

Pamela Geller, an organizer of the event who runs a website that attacks Islam, said the group decided to hold the event in the Curtis Culwell Center because members had heard that a Muslim group had a conference in the same room after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office.

Geller described Sunday’s event as pro-free speech, and said that Muslims had become a “special class” that Americans were no longer allowed to offend.

“The media is self-enforcing a Shariah,” she said, referring to Islamic law. “Under the Shariah you cannot criticize or offend Islam.”

Don’t you know that a hateful gathering of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians performing offensive insulting acts will draw equally hateful Replican Supply-side pseudo-Muslims? Authentic Christians and Authentic Muslims coexist together in peace.

From NY Times: G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

RepubliSpeak Dictionary
Woo: lie to, hoodwink, deceive, bury in BS

Cartoon:

0504Cartoon

Share
Apr 262015
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how insane InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Franklin Graham: Don’t persecute Christians. Save that for Muslims.

0426GrahamFranklin Graham visited Fox’s Eric Bolling for a little Obama-hating, Muslim-bashing and general over-the-top fearmongering session this week. The president, they lamented, is being silent on the persecution of Christians everywhere. They were picking up on a theme espoused by Bill O’Reilly last week, and well, every week—the War on Christians and how our secretly Muslim commander-in-chief is A-OK with that.

“Why is Obama so silent on all the atrocities going on against Christians around the world?” Bolling asked Rev. Graham.

Graham said he could not answer the question, and then answered the question by pointing out that Obama is a Muslim.

"His father was a Muslim. His stepfather was a Muslim, he went to Muslim schools growing up, his impressions as a young man came from Islam, not the Christian faith," Graham said. “That might have something to do with it, I don’t know.”

Sounds like he does know, though, doesn’t it? Sounds like he’s pretty cocksure.

The mess in Iraq? All Obama’s fault. Bolling and Graham (two former military commanders, after all) know for a fact that Obama pulled troops out of Iraq too early.

But back to that Muslim-bashing thing.

“As a Christian, I want to emulate Christ,” Graham said. Then in very Christlike fashion, he went after Muslims. “The Muslims want to emulate their prophet Mohammed. Mohammed raped, he murdered, he killed and so we’re seeing the followers of Islam emulate the prophet Mohammed."

Muslims are bad everywhere, according to Graham, but especially here. We need to get rid of them. “We have to be careful of the Muslims in this country. We need to stop the immigration… of Muslims coming to this country from countries that have active terrorist cells."

He’s really got that Christ-like behavior down pat, doesn’t he?..

Inserted from <Alternet>

If I were to emulate Christ, as Graham suggests, I would make a lash of cords and use it to drive out Graham and the rest of the Republican Supply-side pseudo Christians.  That’s what Jesus did with the Republicans of His day.

This is only one of five insane Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

Share