May 102014
 

RepublicansOnParade

Here is the forty-seventh article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is federal Judge Rudolph Randa. He is so honored for his blatant attempt to help the Republican Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan, Scott Walker, get away with his electioneering crimes.

0510randarudolphIn one of the first cases to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision, a federal judge just tried to open the door to new levels of corruption in Wisconsin elections — but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals could still stop him.

On May 6, federal Judge Rudolph Randa ordered a halt to Wisconsin’s long-running "John Doe" criminal probe into allegedly illegal coordination between political campaigns (including Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign) and non-profit groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth that spent millions during the state’s recall elections. Randa, who was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush and is a board member of the Milwaukee Federalist Society, compared limits on money-in-politics to "the guillotine and the gulag."

…Judge Randa’s May 6 decision halting the investigation is extraordinary. It involves a federal court injecting its own interpretation of state law into a high-profile criminal probe of political operatives of the party that appointed him to the bench, while state court proceedings are ongoing. It deploys a strained reading of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the facts of the case, portraying the investigation — led by a bipartisan group of District Attorneys and a Special Prosecutor who voted for Walker, and approved unanimously by the bipartisan group of retired judges on Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board — as politically-motivated retaliation against Republicans. It green-lights electoral coordination between candidates and third-party groups, making it easy for politicians to bypass contribution and disclosure limits and solicit unlimited, secret donations for so-called "issue ads" timed to influence elections.

Randa even celebrated the intentional evasion of campaign finance rules by the players under investigation in the John Doe. He described their tactics as a means of promoting "speech."… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <PR Watch>

Because of the volunteer work I do, I am aware that if something is illegal at the time a crime is committed, and subsequent changes in the law make the same activity legal, it has no effect.  I know men who are in prison for doing things that are currently legal, but were crimes at the time they did them.  No Judge could fail to realize that.

Furthermore, much of the investigation this Republican tried to kill involves Walker using the public employees he supervised to assist in his campaign, which is still a criminal activity.

But if you still don’t believe that Republican Judge Randa rendered an intentionally corrupt decision to help Walker evade the law, consider this.  Randa should have recused himself at the outset, because his assistant is married to one of Walker’s campaign lawyers.

Corruption doesn’t get get much more Republican than that!

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Feb 162014
 

Once upon a time, the citizens of North Carolina enjoyed the benefits their state had to offer, but they believed Republican lies and allowed their state to be overthrown.  It is now the Totalitarian Racist Plutocracy of McCrorystan, led by TEAfuhrer Pat McCrory.  In typical Republican fashion, the TEAfuhrer has harmed residents with his corruption, but a federal investigation is giving him a pain in the ash, more precisely, the coal ash.

McCrorystanFlag

Rachel Maddow said on her show Friday night that the toxic coal ash spill in North Carolina exposes Gov. Pat McCrory (R)’s corrupt ties to Duke Energy, the company responsible for sending tens of thousands of tons of coal ash spilling into the Dan River.

On Friday, she said, the Tea Party governor did a press conference thinking that he was going to be answering questions about the winter storm that walloped the region this week. Instead, McCrory found himself on the pointed end of questions about his ties to Duke Energy, the statewide energy company that caused the spill.

Environmental groups in the state have sued Duke Energy over the spill, which has fouled miles of river ecosystems and will take years to clean up. McCrory is accused of working with Duke to quash those suits. He is also known to own a considerable amount of stock in the energy company, but refuses to disclose that amount.

Reporters wanted to know on Friday about the appearance of a conflict of interest… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Raw Story>

Here’s that video:

As usual, Rachel is spot-on!  I’m most hopeful that the investigation will bear fruit, and TEAfuhrer McCrory becomes the best kind of Republican: unemployed and convicted.  The oppressed people of McCrorystan need their state back.

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Jan 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, preparing for my two day trip for prison volunteer work this week, and getting ready to meditate upon the Ellipsoid Orb.  By this time this is posted I will be either a Fantabulous Feline or a Pissed Pussycat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious High Ecstasy:

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Short Takes:

From CREW: Campaign contributions follow power, and special interests aren’t subtle about currying favor with the powerful.

New research by CREW shows after control of the House flipped in 2010 Democratic committee chairmen demoted to ranking members saw campaign contributions plummet from industries their committees oversee. Conversely, Republican ranking members who assumed House committee chairmanships in the wake of the shift saw a corresponding increase in contributions.

CREW’s analysis also found 80% of the chairs and ranking members included in our study reported receiving a growing share of their campaign contributions from industries overseen by their committees. This trend raises questions about whether committee leaders are overly dependent on the campaign contributions of those over which they have regulatory authority.

In 2011, CREW released its first Funds for Favors report, which analyzed campaign contributions to the chairmen and ranking members of ten House committees. Our analysis, which included data from the 1998 through the 2010 election cycles, revealed that as members’ power and seniority increased, the industries they were responsible for regulating steered more and more money into their campaign coffers. This new edition of the report compares campaign finance data from the 2010 election cycle to the 2012 election cycle, and shows industries are continuing to shower campaign cash on lawmakers who oversee them. Both editions of the report rely on federal campaign contribution data provided by MapLight.

Under no circumstances should members of committees, let alone the Chairmen and Ranking Members, be permitted to receive campaign contributions from the companies they oversee and/or lobbyists for those companies. This must be true for both parties despite the fact that Republicans are more inclined to offer quid pro quo.

From Daily Kos: On Wednesday this week, Robert Reich — labor secretary under President Clinton — was a guest on CNN’s "Crossfire" for a segment that asked the question "who’s blocking good-paying jobs?"

Again, S.E. Cupp was nothing but a huge example of why we can’t have nice things.

 

Once again, Robert Reich owned the Republican Reich.

From Alternet: Nancy Grace: People on pot shoot, stab and strangle each other.

Nancy Grace made it extremely clear, in case anyone did not know, that she has never smoked, or known anyone who smoked marijuana this week. How did she do this? By hysterically claiming without a scintilla of evidence that marijuana is highly addictive, and that it causes people to go on bloody killing sprees.

Her guest, Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), tried to inject some reason into the conversation, by pointing out that “marijuana’s addictive properties have been found to be actually pretty mild compared to alcohol and tobacco, and even caffeine.”

Grace interrupted him to say: “So you — you are admitting it is addictive.”

Oohhhhh, madame prosecutor! Gotcha!

When Tvert again tried to reason with her by saying that potsmokers are not so unlike people who might have a cocktail at the end of the day to unwind, she could not resist interrupting again. (Where are your manners, Nancy Grace? Honestly.)

“The reason I’m against legalization is that I’ve seen too many felonies — felonies,” she said. “I mean people on pot that shoot each other, that stab each other, that strangle each other, that kill whole families — wipe out a whole family.”

So, we’ve established that Nancy Grace views "Reefer Madness" as a Ken Burns documentary.

Never has there been a greater gulf between the character of a person and the meaning of their last name. She should change her name to Nancy Mercylessness. This is just one of ten nutty, nasty Republican statements from last week alone. Click through for the other nine.

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Jan 022014
 

I’ve been working my tail off for six hours preparing for tomorrow’s monthly report, and researching this article, and cooking at the same time, so I’m feeling pretty pooped today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:36 (average 5:09).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: As the curtain comes down on the Michael Bloomberg era, the three-term mayor of New York received fulsome praise last night from his most appreciative constituency: the people who can still afford to live there.

Harland Dorrinson, principal owner of the hedge fund Garrote Capital, hosted a black-tie dinner in the vault of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pay tribute to a mayor who, in Mr. Dorrinson’s words, “put living in New York out of the reach of everyone except the deserving few.”

“To a lot of people, Mike Bloomberg will be remembered for reducing smoking and improving people’s diets,” said Mr. Dorrinson. “But that shouldn’t overshadow his greatest accomplishment, creating unaffordable housing throughout New York.”

“When Mike took office, this city was teeming with regular working people,” Mr. Dorrinson said, shuddering at the memory. “Today, it’s a magnificent tapestry of investment bankers, real-estate developers, and Russian oligarchs.”

As much as I liked Bloomberg’s stance on gun-control, he was a Bankster’s wet dream, otherwise.

From Upworthy: He Starts With 17 Lego Pieces And Ends Up With 6. The Reason Why Involves All Of Us.

 

Depressing as it is, he’s right!

From NY Times: A federal judge on Tuesday struck down as unconstitutional a Florida law that required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing, setting the stage for a legal battle that could affect similar efforts nationwide.

Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando held that the testing requirement, the signature legislation of Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who campaigned on the issue, violated the protection against unreasonable searches.

“The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied,” she wrote. The ruling made permanent an earlier, temporary ban by the judge.

Mr. Scott, who had argued that the drug testing was necessary to protect children and ensure that tax money was not going to illegal drugs, said that the state would appeal the ruling.

Extremist Republican Governor Scott wants you to believe that his profit from owning the lab that does the testing has nothing to do with it. Geez! You can fertilize the lawn with that one!

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Dec 072013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow.  Leave it to me to schedule my moving week to coincide with an official Winter Storm Warning with high temperatures in the mid to high 20° range (very rare here), wind at 20 – 30 MPH with gusts up to 50 MPH, and snow.  It’s cold enough to freeze the ObamaBalls off a brass Nevada Leg Hound!  I had planned to go do some work at the new place, but see today’s cartoon.  Worse than the weather, the Guitar Freak woke up. 

Late Update:  Guitar Man terrorized the building all day.  No sleep.  Argh!

Later Update: Guitar Man just went to jail.  :-D  Good night!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: …FLOWOOD, MS, 11/24/13: Churchgoers got quite a scare at Pinelake Church in Rankin County Sunday morning. Flowood Police say a man’s gun accidentally discharged as he was sitting down. Officers took Joseph Edgar Ray into custody. He was in possession of a 9mm handgun. According to police, Ray’s gun was in his front right pocket and went off as he sat down. He’s been charged with Discharging a Firearm in the City. Ray will appear in Flowood Municipal Court Jan. 9. MORE: Authorities tell us Ray has an enhanced carry gun permit, which gives him the right to carry a concealed weapon in public. Pinelake has posted signs prohibiting weapons on church property. The signs are not clearly visible so Ray may not have seen them, officials say. There were no injuries. But one woman was hit on the leg by the bullet after it ricocheted off the floor. [Ed. note: What?]…

Click through for lots of other good reasons why only Democrats should be allowed to own guns. Republicans, like this one, are just too damn stupid to be trusted with a knife and fork, let alone a gun. ;-)  Seriously, I suppose a woman in MS is considered nobody.  I guess packing heat in church shows the love of Republican Supply-side Jesus (not the real Jesus).

From CREW: Map: States Where the Fracking Industry is Active

CREW’s report shows fracking industry contributions flow to congressional candidates from fracking districts. The map below compares the change in fracking industry campaign contributions between Senate election cycles in 21 states where fracking is taking place. Depending on a state’s Senate election cycle, CREW compared contributions for either the 2004 and 2010 campaign cycles or the 2006 and 2012 campaign cycles. CREW also included information about the top recipient of fracking industry campaign contributions in each state.

Click through for the report PDF and a map, of what Republican (mostly) mother frackers are doing.

From NY Times: Much of the media commentary on President Obama’s big inequality speech was cynical. You know the drill: it’s yet another “reboot” that will go nowhere; none of it will have any effect on policy, and so on. But before we talk about the speech’s possible political impact or lack thereof, shouldn’t we look at the substance? Was what the president said true? Was it new? If the answer to these questions is yes — and it is — then what he said deserves a serious hearing.

And once you realize that, you also realize that the speech may matter a lot more than the cynics imagine…

To do justice to this superior editorial by Paul Krugman, I would have to reproduce the whole thing, which would infringe on the ©. So you click through and read it, please.  Personally, I believe Obama meant what he said, which means we will have lots of opportunities to keep exposing that Republicans represent only the super-rich and corporate criminals. They do NOT represent YOU!

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Oct 302013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and running very late, because Stuck on Stupid went on a tear with the buildings power last night.  I overslept and then had to put groceries away.  I’m pooped!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 5:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

8Scores

Judy almost got me!

Standings:

8Standings

I’m coming up, but I’m in trouble this week, because Peyton is bye.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Responding to the firestorm of controversy over its spying on European allies, the head of the National Security Agency said today it would do everything in its power to avoid being caught doing it in the future.

“There are two important jobs for every spy agency: spying on people and avoiding detection,” said the N.S.A. chief General Keith Alexander. “Unfortunately, at the N.S.A. we have only done the first job well.”

“We have abused the trust of some of our closest allies,” he said. “And none of this would have happened if they hadn’t found out.”

General Alexander said that the agency was instituting strict new practices that amounted to “a zero-tolerance policy on getting caught.”

Given the level of incompetence that burrowed-in Republicans bring to the NSA, that’s a promise they just can’t keep.

From NY Times: The House is scheduled to vote on two bills this week that would undercut new financial regulations and hand Wall Street a victory. The legislation has garnered broad bipartisan support in the House, even after lawmakers learned that Citigroup lobbyists helped write one of the bills, which would exempt a wide array of derivatives trading from new regulation.

The bills are part of a broader campaign in the House, among Republicans and business-friendly Democrats, to roll back elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the most comprehensive regulatory overhaul since the Depression. Of 10 recent bills that alter Dodd-Frank or other financial regulation, six have passed the House this year. This week, if the House approves Citigroup’s legislation and another bill that would delay heightened standards for firms that offer investment advice to retirees, the tally would rise to eight.

Both the Treasury Department and consumer groups have urged lawmakers to reject the bills, warning that they could leave the nation vulnerable again to excessive financial risk taking. The House proposals stand little chance of becoming law, having received a much chillier reception in the Senate and at the White House, which on Monday threatened to veto the bill on investment advice for retirees.

If your Rep or Senators vote for these, hit them with a cactus suppository!

From Bing Video: Idiot is sooooooooo original!

Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after idiot approaches elections and speeches in the same way: he steals them.  (Those of you who are out of country, let me know if this works.  I’m trying to source Rachel from outside of MSNBC, when I can, so you can see it too.)

Cartoon:

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Oct 232013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow quickly and preparing to go to the prison for volunteer work.  I have a CoDA meeting with about twelve guys.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:04 (average 5:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

7Scores

Standings:

7Standings

Next week I play Judy from Care2.

Short Takes:

From Represent.us: A lobbyist and a Senator walk into a restaurant…

 

Note how we get stuck with the tab. Click through to connect with these folks campaigning to get the money out of the system.

From The New Yorker: The N.S.A. leaker Edward Snowden today reached out to the United States government, offering to fix its troubled healthcare.gov Web site in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Speaking from an undisclosed location in Russia, Mr. Snowden said he hacked the Web site over the weekend and thinks he is “pretty sure what the problem is.”

“Look, this thing was built terribly,” he said. “It’s a government Web site, O.K.?”

Mr. Snowden said that if an immunity deal can be worked out, “I can get to work on this thing right away—I don’t need a password.”

He couldn’t be much worse than the clowns in charge now. Of course, the down side of having Snowden do it it that in days the Russians would know more about our exchanges than we do.

From Crooks and Liars: A new study released today concludes that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries stand to make as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is granted a presidential permit from U.S. President Barack Obama.

The report, titled Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb, produced by the think tank International Forum on Globalization (IFG), finds that David and Charles Koch and their privately owned company, Koch Industries, own more than 2 million acres of land in Northern Alberta, the source of the tar sands bitumen that would be pumped to the United States via the Keystone XL pipeline.

That’s 100 billion more reasons to oppose it.

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