Jul 262015
 

I’m enjoying the cool weather, but not looking forward to the heat wave.  Tuesday will be high 80°s, followed by 90°s through the following Tuesday, at least.  I’d better take advantage while the cool is here.  I hope you’re enjoying your weekend

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 10/2011): What he’s gloating [see below] over is this news report.

COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s new voter photo identification law appears to be hitting black precincts in the state the hardest, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

For instance, nearly half the voters who cast ballots at a historically black college in Columbia lack state-issued photo identification and could face problems voting in next year’s presidential election, according to the analysis of precinct-level data provided by the state Election Commission.[…]

[A]mong the state’s 2,134 precincts, there are 10 where nearly all of the law’s affect falls on nonwhite voters who don’t have a state- issued driver’s license or ID card, a total of 1,977 voters.

The same holds true for white voters in a number of precincts, but the overall effect is much more spread out and involves fewer total voters: There are 44 precincts where only white voters are affected, or 1,831 people in all.

The precinct that votes at Benedict College’s campus center has 2,790 voters, including nine white voters. In that precinct, 1,343 of the precinct’s nonwhite voters lack state identification, but only five white voters do. The former group accounts for 48 percent of the precinct’s voters.[…]

A precinct at South Carolina State University has 2,305 active voters, including 33 white voters. There, 800 nonwhite voters and 17 white voters there lack state IDs. More than a third of the voters in the precinct lack state photo identification.

Disenfranchising huge groups of people—African Americans—is thus "EXACTLY" why Republicans created this law, according to Wesley Donehue.

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Even four years ago, we heard if from the elephant’s mouth. The purpose of voter ID laws to keep black people from being able to vote.  Republicans also target other vulnerable people for disenfranchisement. 

From NY Times: “I don’t want people thinking we are trying to get these regs done so we can influence the election,” Mr. Koskinen declared later to reporters. The statement was remarkable for blessing further procrastination at the I.R.S., whose clear obligation is to enforce existing law in a way that would end the current flood of “dark money” financing politics. The commissioner said the earliest that tighter rules could take effect would be 2017. The I.R.S. has been increasingly timorous on this issue ever since House Republicans opened partisan hearings into complaints that I.R.S. officials have been biased against conservative political groups that claim tax exemptions as nonprofit social welfare groups.

I’m sad to sy that the Republican pseudo-scandal worked to help them buy elections, using even foreign money.  It’s especially frustrating because Republican lies about it were thoroughly debunked.

From Raw Story: [P]erhaps predictably, the Westboro Baptist Church has vowed to protest the funerals of two victims that died in the Lafayette theater shooting this week. But they may meet quite a bit of resistance.

Hundreds of counter-protesters are planning to form a human chain to protect mourners, the New York Daily News reports. The event page for the Lafayette Human Barrier shows at least 15,000 listed as “going.”

Kudos to the Human Barrier against the Westboro Republicans. I only wish the victims had been better protected from the Republican criminal that murdered them.

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Jul 252015
 

RepublicansOnParade3

Here is the seventy-fourth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Tea Party member John Russell Houser, shown posing with a Republican symbol he had hung. He is so honored for demonstrating what a crazed Republican Ammosexual can do with gun.

0725RepublicanFlagJohn Russell Houser, of Phenix City, Alabama, posted frequently across a variety of online forums — from political discussions to message boards for Oldsmobile enthusiasts — where he complained about “moral decay” and media brainwashing.

“America is so sick that I now believe it to be the enemy of the world,” he wrote under the name Rusty Houser in a December 2013 comment [Republican Hate Site delinked] on Fellowship of the Minds. “I know next to nothing about Iran, but the little I do know tells me they are far higher morally than this financially failing filth farm.”

The 59-year-old Houser was less active on Facebook and Twitter, although he left behind some clues about his beliefs on those social media networks.

“If you don’t think the internet is censored, try reading a newspaper from a country that hates liberals the way I do,” reads his second — and last — Twitter post, from June 2013. The first argues that “Westboro Baptist Church may be the last real church in America [members not brainwashed].”

His Facebook account shows just two likes — the “I hate liberals!” political organization, which uses an avatar that reads “Stand with Rand,” and the Crossroads Irish-American Festival.

Posts on his Facebook page reveals an interest in limiting women’s influence over the church, a hatred for American culture, and complaints about liberals “brainwashing” Americans into hating their own country…

Inserted from <Alternet>

To be completely clear, to what extent, if any, Houser’s Republican views served as a direct motivation for his shooting spree is unknown, as Rachel Maddow explains in her coverage of him.

 

However, time and time again, we see Republicans throwing up their hands and saying, "It was mental illness!  We had nothing to do with it!” in response to violence by insane right wingers.  We’ve herd that claim far too often.  When Republicans keep using hate-filled rhetoric to keep the violent extremists they have welcomed into their party stirred up, they also need to take credit when one of the people they helped fill with hate goes off the deep end.  So regardless of Houser’s immediate motivation, his crime was Republican.

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Jul 252015
 

The live online draft for out fantasy football league is in about 2 1/2 hours, and I’m trying to get as much as I can done before them.  The plan is to get my articles written, attend the draft, have a meal and a catnap, and post the articles.  I think I’ll be able to leave my A/C off all day!!  Update: The draft went well, except that the Squatch drafted the Broncos running back right out from under my kitty nose. :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A group of scholars who have been monitoring the descent of the bar over the past few decades have concluded that the bar can no longer be lowered, the scholars announced on Friday.

The academics, led by Professor Davis Logsdon, of the University of Minnesota, published their conclusion after their research definitively found that the bar had finally dropped to its lowest possible position.

“For those who thought the bar still had room to be lowered, our findings resoundingly contradict that assumption,” Logsdon said. “The bar is now essentially flush with the ground.”

Logsdon acknowledged that he and his fellow scholars have come under fire in the past for claiming that the bar could not be further lowered, specifically when they issued a paper to that effect after the selection of the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee in 2008.

“We got that one wrong,” he said. “Clearly, the bar still had a way to go.”

Andy should continue that that they got it wrong again. Hairball and the rest of the Republican Clown Cotillion will always find a lower position for the bar.

From Daily Kos: Living in central Phoenix, I went to some of Netroots last week. After Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s barn-burner on Friday, about 300 people, led by Puente Arizona, marched to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail (one-minute video of the protest above). It was only 100 that day, a cool wave. Nearby, a couple thousand inmates were living in tents, where it can reach 135+.

In addition to exposing and condemning the sheriff’s criminal practices, marchers had two demands: 1) that Immigration and Customs Enforcement be removed from his office, because immigration is a federal responsibility, not his—a county lawman convicted of racial profiling; and 2) the sheriff must resign, because he’s a corrupt dickhead.

 

Kudos to the demonstrators. I fully agree. Joe MUST go!!

From Think Progress: The saga over a Houston city law that protects LGBT people from discrimination just took a sudden turn. The Texas Supreme Court intervened in the court fight over the effort to repeal the initiative, ordering that the Houston City Council must either repeal HERO on its own or allow it to be challenged at the ballot in the next election. Either way, the city can no longer enforce it.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was a sweeping piece of legislation, because prior to its passage, Houston had no municipal nondiscrimination protections for any class. Opponents of the bill objected primarily to its inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity, and collected signatures to challenge it at the ballot. Whether enough signatures were valid to qualify the referendum became the subject of heated back-and-forth court fights, but the Texas Supreme Court ignored almost all of it.

The Republicans on the Texas Supreme court do not care that the gay-haters lied, forged, cheated and presented insufficient valid signatures to qualify. To them, gay rights just don’t matter.

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Jul 242015
 

I’m getting started way late, because I went out to get my ears lowered, and had a meal and a much-needed car nap when I returned home.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Reminder:

Lefty Blog Friends, don’t forget that our live online draft is tomorrow, Saturday, at 11 AM Pacific (12 Noon Mountain, 1 PM Central, 2 PM Eastern) Daylight Savings Time.  If you haven’t already done so, I recommend participating in a mock draft or two between now and then.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: It’s amazing what garbage gets tossed into must-pass Congressional appropriation bills. Perhaps one of the most heinous in a long time was a land grab tucked inside last year’s National Defense Authorization Act at the last minute, when no one was looking.

The Act included an eleventh-hour rider that would swap land between the National Forest Service and Resolution Copper Mining, a subsidiary of Anglo-Australian mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The deal would turn 5,300 acres of Resolution-owned land over to the US Forest Service, in exchange for about 2,400 acres of public land, including an area known as Oak Flat. No secret what Resolution plans to do with Oak Flat: dig 7,000 feet into the ground to get at one of the world’s largest copper deposits.

Sounds like a good deal, huh? The Forest Service takes in twice the amount of land it gives up, and the company claims that its new mine will create 2,400-plus jobs and generate $61 billion in local and state economic activity and tax revenue. And the copper? Well everyone knows the world needs copper!…

…But this isn’t just any area around Superior; this is Oak Flat, a stunning piece of land in the Tonto National Forest. It is a sacred holy place to the San Carlos Apache tribe, where tribe members have performed traditional acorn gatherings and coming of age ceremonies–mostly for girls–for generations. And there’s plenty of archaeological evidence to back this up. The land has been protected since 1955, when President Eisenhower decreed it closed to mining due to its cultural and natural value. Even Richard Nixon’s administration renewed the ban in 1971.

Ah, but today’s Repugnicans feel no such need to preserve the sacred. Especially when both of Arizona’s Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, have been on the Rio Tinto dole.

This would never have happened had the land been a memorial to a Nathan Bedford Forrest, or some other racist icon, sacred to Republicans.

From MSNBC: In most states you can be fired for being gay

Rachel Maddow reports on a new effort to ban discrimination against gay people by amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and notes that most people don’t realize that right doesn’t already exist.

 

Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is leading the fight for passage in the Senate.

From Alternet: School vouchers were never about helping poor, at-risk or minority students. But selling them as social mobility tickets was a useful fiction that for some twenty-five years helped rightwing ideologues and corporate backers gain bipartisan support for an ideological scheme designed to privatize public schools.

But the times they are a-changin’. Wisconsin is well on its way toward limitless voucher schools, and last month, Nevada signed into law a universal "education savings account" allowing parents to send their kids to private or religious schools, or even to home-school them—all on the taxpayers’ dime. On the federal level, a proposed amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would have created a multi-billion-dollar-a-year voucher program was only narrowly defeated in the U.S. Senate…

…With vouchers gaining momentum nationwide, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is meeting in San Diego this week, has decided to drop the pretense that vouchers have anything to do with social and racial equity, and is now pushing vouchers for the middle class—a project which, if pursued enough in numbers, will progressively erode the public school system and increase the segregation of students based on race and economic standing.

I’ve been saying this for years. Republicans want YOU to fund education for the rich and pseudo-Christian fanatics, while YOUR kids’ services get cut because of it.

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Jul 232015
 

Most of you should remember that Rick Santorum has been so hateful to gay people that the gay community gave his name a special meaning.  His positions have not changed one iota, but he’s so desperate to gain recognition that he actually appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show.  He tried to hide his frothiness.

0723santorumMSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night sat down with former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) for an interview on same-sex marriage, which led to a heated debate over the Supreme Court's recent ruling that gay couples have the right to marry.

Santorum told Maddow that the Supreme Court "is not a superior branch of government" and argued that Congress can still pass a law regarding same-sex marriage.

Yet Maddow insisted that Congress could only pass a constitutional amendment that directly contradicts a Supreme Court ruling. Santorum disagreed and said that all three branches of government can determine what is constitutional…

Inserted from <TPM>

First, let me note that virtually everything he says about his past is a lie.  Rachel actually had two frothy segments. Here's the first.

Because his policies are so horrific, I never realized he can come off as more affable than he is.  Here's the second.

It will be interesting to see if this segment gets him enough attention to get him a top ten seat at the Faux Noise Festival of Lies.

Speaking about reversing the Supreme Court decision guaranteeing LGBT people the right to marry, he dis say one thing that is true.  "If you have a new group of Justices, you might get an entirely different decision."  What better warning could we have.  If Frothy, or any other Republican, gets to make the next round of Supreme Court appointments, the decisions that Court makes will spell the end of America.  It MUST be prevented.

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Jul 232015
 

Today I’m feeling a bit groggy, because I did get some sleep last night.  Tomorrow I have to venture out into the world to get my ears lowered.  I’m starting to look like a hermit.  The weekend should be cool, but we have another heat wave next week, just in time for my next volunteer day in prison.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:11 (average 5:18).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Reminder:

Lefty Blog Friends, don’t forget that our live online draft is Saturday at 11 AM Pacific (12 Noon Mountain, 1 PM Central, 2 PM Eastern) Daylight Savings Time.  If you haven’t already done so, I recommend participating in a mock draft or two between now and then.

Short Takes:

From MSNBC: Sanders speaks out on Sandra Bland

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issues a forceful statement on the case of Sandra Bland, days after a tense confrontation with #BlackLivesMatter activists. Sanders joins Ed Schultz to explain.

 

I liked Bernie’s response. I hope that it will evoke a positive response from Black Lives Matter, but I fear that it will not, because he did not focus on their issues to the exclusion of everything else. Note that Bernie wanted to focus on immigration at ,Netroots, not because he dis not care about institutional racism, but because immigration is what the conference had asked him to present.

From The New Yorker: Businessman Donald Trump’s failure to insult fellow G.O.P. hopeful John Kasich a full twenty-four hours after the Ohio governor entered the  2016 Presidential race has sent Trump’s poll numbers plummeting, as many supporters expressed a sudden loss of confidence in the real-estate mogul.

Trump’s Kasich gaffe occurred at a campaign rally in Des Moines on Wednesday, when the former reality-show star admitted that he did not yet know enough about the Ohio governor to properly insult him.

“I could get up here and call Kasich a loser, because my gut tells me that’s what he is, but you’ve come to expect something more special out of me,” Trump said. “If you bear with me, I promise you that I’ll come up with a world-class insult that we can all be proud of.”

Good catch, Andy! Hairball had better hurry up, because KKKasich needs some of his special treatment.

From Daily Kos: via rawstory

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Georgia “sovereign citizen” who twice attempted to pull one of the half-dozen guns he had within reach inside his car decorated with a hand-painted Confederate flag.

A Towns County sheriff’s deputy and an agent from the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office stopped 30-year-old Dustin Lee Gunnells, of Hiawassee, for an unspecified misdemeanor traffic offense Wednesday, reported WKRK-AM.

“Immediately the driver exhibited aggression towards the officers and began making statements consistent with ‘sovereign citizen type beliefs,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Rather than comply with deputies, the driver reached for a gun.”

The deputies feared for their safety but did not shoot, and instead broke out a window in Gunnell’s car and physically removed him from the vehicle.

So this guy has loaded weapons in his confederate flag painted truck, refuses to comply, the cops tussle with him and he is not dead. See cops can get it right, if the color of skin and ideology is right.

While I may not always agree with the Black Lives Matter movement about tactics, I fully agree with them about the elevated danger black people face from Republican racists wearing badges and the immediate need to do something to stop it.

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Jul 222015
 

The onset of cooler weather started on a down note.  My Firefox crashed, and I was up most of the night trying without success to repair it.  IE11 is not as bad as earlier versions, and I’m stuck with it for the time being.  I’m bleary eyed, but I have to wait for Store to Door to deliver groceries and put them away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:04 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Oliver Willis dug up a letter Jeb Bush wrote to the men who orchestrated the smear campaign against then-presidential candidate John Kerry. The letter (seen below), from the desk of the Governor of Florida, was a personal thank you for helping to re-elect his brother.

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This shows what a hypocrite Strike Three is, considering his current condemnation of Hairball’s attacks on McConJob’s service.

From NY Times: Slamming the Obama administration for failing to penalize cities that shield illegal immigrants, congressional Republicans on Tuesday started to pursue legislation that would withhold federal funds from these so-called sanctuary cities.

The House is expected to vote this week on a bill that would bar the Justice Department from giving grants to cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration enforcement officials, a measure that Republicans hope can bridge the reopened chasm within the party over immigration as they try to avoid alienating Hispanic voters.

If this is what Republicans and consider a position that avoids alienating Latinos, they are sure to do so.

From Crooks and Liars: For anyone that missed it, there were competing rallies this past weekend over the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse at the state capitol, with members of both the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party in attendance.

 

From this, one thing is clear. SC has no shortage of Republicans.

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We need one for Republicans.

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