It has been raining all day long. I could hear the steady beat against the rain spout beside the den window. The furbabes are surrounding my feet. Could life get any better?
Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:20 (average 7:09). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.
Upworthy— h/t JL — "It makes their day, and it makes mine to see them smilin' and happy!" he said.
I like his style! My kind of teacher.
Raw Story — Then Noah asked a question that Maddow found nearly impossible to answer.
“If you had to vote for one of the Republican candidates, if someone held a gun to your head because Ben Carson said (to) point it that way, who would you vote for if you had to vote for one of the main 12?” Noah asked.
Read the rest of this short article and view the video at Raw Story. Unfortunately, I couldn't watch the video because it is not on The Comedy Network (Canada's version of Comedy Central) yet, and Comedy Central is not available in Canada.
Daily Kos — h/t Pat B — After a Houston-area mother complained about how his son's ninth-grade Word Geography textbook defined African American slaves as migrants and workers, I was curious to see what my son’s seventh-grade Texas History textbook would say about slavery and immigration. So I looked at the online edition (the history teacher refused to let my son bring home the textbook) of the Texas History textbook published by McGraw-Hill, the same publisher of the now infamous high school World Geography book. And McGraw-Hill did not disappoint me!
Read the rest of this article at Daily Kos. The saying "History is written by the victors" as attributed to Winston Churchill, seems apt here. The text misinforms readers and gives short shrift to the history of African Americans, something totally unacceptable.
My Universe — Sitting down to a great mousey dinner!
It has been a busy day! I did two hours of physiotherapy followed by 3 hours of teaching ESL. Once I arrived home, it was straight to the computer to get the 02/10/15 articles posted to Care2 and links distributed. I took advantage of one of Lona's cat naps . . . soooooooo relaxing! and then had a late dinner. As a result, this is today's only article. Tomorrow won't be so busy outside the house, but I need to do laundry before I start scaring the neighbourhood!
Puzzle — Today’s took me 2:31 (average 4:24). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.
Upworthy — Female genital mutilation, also known as FGM or FGC (female genital cutting), is performed in several African countries and parts of the Middle East, and less frequently in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan. It also occurs in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Europe — despite being illegal in many places.
FGM is barbaric, inhuman and a violation of human rights and dignity. Please sign this petition to end FGM.
Read the rest of the article and see how five young men react to this proceedure.
Rachel Maddow — h/t Jim Phillips — A look at Kevin McCarthy, poised to be the new Speaker of the House when Congressional Republicans vote next week.
As things sit now, the Speaker, 2nd in succession to the White House behind the Vice President should something happen to the President, is elected by only 247 members of the House of Representatives. Scary! Does Kevin McCarthy represent the level of competence that the Republicans, or more specifically the Teabaggers, bring to the Congress? Even scarier!! If so, then God help the US.
NY Times — Ever since it became public that Pope Francis met in Washington with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the questions have been swirling: Why did he meet with her, and was it meant as a political statement?
As it turns out, the Vatican said on Friday, the pope did not mean to endorse Ms. Davis’s views. It also said he gave her no more than a typical brief greeting, despite what her lawyer described.
Instead, the Vatican said that Francis gave only one “real audience”: to someone later identified as one of his former students, Yayo Grassi, a gay man in Washington who says he brought his partner of 19 years to the Vatican’s embassy in Washington for a reunion. They even shot video.
This is a portion of a Faithful America e-mail that Joanne brought to my attention:
After days of speculation, the truth has finally come out: Pope Francis did not hold a private meeting to express his support for Kim Davis's efforts to block gay marriage licenses.
According to an official Vatican statement, Kim Davis was among "several dozen persons" attending a reception at the Vatican embassy, "the pope did not enter into the details of the situation," and "his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support."
Moreover, it seems that the pope did not request Kim Davis be invited.
According to press reports, one man was likely responsible for Davis's invitation: Carlo Maria Vigano, a conservative church official who was appointed by Pope Benedict as Vatican ambassador to the United States (formally called the "apostolic nuncio").
Having created an opportunity for right-wing evangelicals to dishonestly hijack the message of the pope's visit to the United States, Vigano must now resign.
If you are interested in the Faithful America petition, you can find it HERE.
I believe that Kim Davis is being used as a political bullet within the Vatican in a dispute between the very conservative factions and the more liberal Pope Francis. I have no sympathy for her whatsoever. Davis has a job to do . . . act in accordance with the laws of the land . . . and if she cannot do that for any reason, she should resign.
Mother Jones — While speaking to reporters during a campaign stop in Greenville, South Carolina, on Friday, Jeb Bush weighed in on the latest school shooting to take place in the United States, this time in Oregon, just a day before.
You can read a transcript of his comment HERE. Mr Compassionate speaks out . . . what a farce!
My Universe —
Give these boys a remote control and they will be attending services
Today was not as busy as yesterday, but thanks Lona for the cat nap. I availed myself late this afternoon. Too bad because it was a wonderfully sunny day and not hot. Very pleasant! One thing that I have noticed is that while the trees are turning colours and losing their leaves, some shrubs are actually showing new growth like in the spring. The drought took its toll, but more growth is starting as a result of the rain. Thank you all for your birthday wishes for my mother. I did indeed pass them on to her.
Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:51). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.
Fantasy Football — I can't provide the excellent report that TomCat does, but a simple copy/paste works to give everybody an idea where things stand.
I see Vivian you have fixed your "bye issue" for now. Any more questions just send me a message.
Daily Kos — h/t Pat B — The hypocrisy ran rampant during the congressional hearing on Planned Parenthood funding. The disrespect shown to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards bordered on misogyny.
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chair Jason Chaffetz should be ashamed of the entire hearing. The congressman's attacks on Cecile Richard illustrated that, in fact, his party's war on women is real. It is not made up.
Please make a point to see the video at Daily Kos with Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings offering a fierce and cogent response to the attack on Cecile Richards during the Planned Parenthood "hearing". Here is Rachel Maddow with Cecile Richards.
Alternet — John Boehner was awful, or as Paul Krugman writes in Monday's column, "a terrible, very bad, no good speaker of the House. Under his leadership, Republicans pursued an unprecedented strategy of scorched-earth obstructionism, which did immense damage to the economy and undermined America’s credibility around the world."
The trouble is, Boehner was merely a symptom of a far worse strain in the Republican party that, with his exit, will be unleashed on us with even fuller fury.
And Bill Maher commented on Boehner's resignation in a monologue.
The New Yorker — Just hours after NASA revealed the discovery of water on the surface of Mars, a spokesman for Koch Industries said that the company would spend billions to become the red planet’s first major industrial polluter.
“At Koch Industries, we are well aware that our practice of spewing over six million pounds of toxins a year into Earth’s water is not sustainable,” said the billionaire Koch brothers’ corporate spokesman, Harland Dorrinson. “That’s why this discovery of water on Mars is so exciting.”
Is Andy channeling future events that will come to pass, or sitting in on a Koch wet dream?
My Universe — I am feeling a little hen pecked! My kids are sitting on the floor around me but reaching up to the keyboard on occasion!
Today has been a rather mellow day, much of it spent on-line reading with a few home chores on the side. Of course I spent time playing with my "kids" which is always fun. But the best part, since I did not have to go out, I stayed in my pajamas. How snuggly is that?
At least the next time I talk to TC, I'll be able to give him the good news that he is in 3rd place!
Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:13 (average 4:21). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.
The Nation— h/t JL — The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and National Voter Registration Act of 1993 enfranchised millions of new voters. After passage of the VRA, for example, the number of black registered voters in the South increased from 31 percent to 73 percent. Despite these landmark laws, 51 million Americans—1 in 4 eligible voters—are still not registered to vote. “Among eligible voters, some 30 percent of African Americans, 40 percent of Hispanics, 45 percent of Asian Americans, and 41 percent of young adults (age 18-24), were not registered to vote in the historic 2008 election,” according to Demos.
During the 2012 election, the United States ranked 31st of 34 developed countries in voter turnout. Yet 84 percent of registered voters cast ballots. The US doesn’t have a voter turnout problem; we have a voter registration problem. Our turnout is abysmal because so many eligible voters are not even registered to vote.
But why is the registration rate so low? As I understand, the registration process is controlled by the political parties. I remember reading about voter registrations ending up in dumpsters . . . registrations for people likely to vote Democratic, or voters that were registering as Democrats. The parties should not be involved in registrations. But that is only one part. I suspect that there are people that figure their vote does not count, so why go to the trouble. I also think the differences state to state in early voting, voting hours, long line-ups to vote etc all contribute to less than ideal participation rates. Until this function is taken over by a federal agency, I see no chance of reform. Look at the administration of Canada's federal election. It isn't perfect, but there isn't the corruption of the system as there is in the US.
Rachel Maddow — Rachel recently interviewed Bernie Sanders. Here is video of this 16 minute interview.
When I was doing some research, I came across this Rachel video "Punch in the face starts the day's 2016 news" and was very amused when she reported that among Republican voters in Vermont, Bernie leads the way tied with Trump and Jebya at 12% of the vote. I could not imbed the video but connect to it from the link. It is in the first 5 minutes and is quite amusing. To say that Bernie has a broad appeal is an understatement. Or is this an indication that Republicans, at least in Vermont, are not too swift?
Go Bernie! I don't even get to vote and I can "Feel the Bern". I know many Canadians would be happy with Bernie as Prime Minister, but our election is 3 weeks away . . . not enough time for Bernie to get in.
Huffington Post — "I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it is: a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change, and, unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward," Clinton said.
"Therefore, I oppose it," she said. "I don't think it's in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change."
Well finally! A clear statement of where Hillary stands on the Keystone XL and a statement about climate change. I rather liked her suggestion of a "plan for a North American approach to fighting climate change and clean energy" . Let's hope, God forbid, that Stephen Harper is not the Prime Minister after the 19/10/15 Canadian election. He did not work well with Obama when it came to the Keystone XL.
In all my discussion for the race for the Democratic nomination for President, I have never even mentioned Joe Biden, as I hadn’t the slightest inkling that he had any inclination to run. However, recent events indicate that I (along with virtually everyone else) may have been mistaken, and if Joe does run, it will change my order of support for candidates.
Joe Biden’s team appears to be leaning more towards a presidential run than away from one, according to a Democratic source who has been in touch them. This source doesn’t believe a decision has been made but left a conversation with those advising Biden with a strong sense he very well might enter the race.
Biden has been told by aides he should make a decision by October 1st.
A possible plan — if he decides to run — currently involves Biden announcing his intentions in the first week of October, the source said.
Speculation about a Biden run was sent into overdrive when he met Saturday with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, the progressive icon whose decision not to run herself was a major boost for Clinton.
And on Monday, President Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, praised Biden’s "aptitude for the job" and said it’s possible that Obama will endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary… [emphasis added]
If Joe does run, I think the campaign will turn very ugly, because Hillary will be going for blood.
Now my list of candidates in order of preference is this: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, any stray dawg, Jim Webb. Bernie just echoes my positions on most subjects. Of the best known candidates, Joe is far more credible as an opponent of plutocracy than Hillary, as some think she is just giving lip service to class warfare, while raking-in Bankster bucks.. I actually prefer Martin O’Malley’s policies, but I don’t think he can win a national election until people know who he is. Webb could probably pull Republican votes, because electing him would be like having a Republican in the White House.
It’s official. The NWS has issued an excessive heat warning for Portland through Wednesday evening. It’s a good thing I rescheduled those medical appointment, because I accidentally avoided the surprise heat wave. On the other hand, I’m sure I rescheduled them to coincide with the next surprise heat wave. ARGH!! I slept most of the evening, so I was up moist of the night. I’ll need to hunker down under the A/C soon, but I have a ton of volunteer work to get done.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 2:20 (average 4:40). To do it. click here. How did you do?
From Daily Kos: Living with a cat for the first time, you quickly pick up on its behavioral quirks, many of which are common among other cats. What you soon find out is that cats aren’t Republican. Here are 12 reasons why not:
1. Cats are curious about what you do in your bedroom, but they don’t try to legislate away your freedom to do it.
2. Cats may take away your cushion, but they’ll give it back to you with a gentle push.
3. Cats give you attention and sympathy when you’re sick.
4. Females are treated with importance in the cat world.
5. Cats make use of solar power, often all day long.
6. Cats lick their own problems and take care of other cats too.
What purrrrfect logic! I shared six reasons. Click through for the other six.
From TPM: As we move closer to next month’s vote on the Iran nuclear deal, I wanted to note some parts of the story that are not getting sufficient attention in the mainstream press. Even in Israel, where the the P5+1 deal is quite unpopular, there is increasing concern, at least among elites, at just how far Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to go in damaging US-Israel ties in his war against the Obama administration over the Iran deal. As JJ Goldberg aptly puts it, the campaign of incitement and maliciously phony charges of anti-Semitism against the White House are "effectively turning American Jews into Netanyahu’s cannon fodder" in war against Obama.
As Goldberg notes, charges that the President is a crypto-Muslim or an anti-Semite have remained until now at the very fringes of American political discourse. But as the anti-deal forces have struggled to make their case on the merits, they have now resorted to pulling the anti-Semitism canard deep into the mainstream, with almost comically tendentious claims that the President is "dog whistling" or Jew-baiting in his campaign to win support for the deal in Congress.
The big irony here is that the same Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, who are screaming anti-Semitism loudest, are campaigning to bring about the "end times". They preach that 144,000 Jewish witnesses, 12,000 from each tribe, will be saved. Other that those, they preach that all Jews, everywhere, that had not converted to follow Republican Supply-side Jesus, prior to the big-poof, will become crispy critters! It speaks volumes that “Butcher Bibi” (R-IS) is willing to ally himself with these Dominionist Republican hypocrites.
From Crooks ands Liars: [Jeb Bush keeps forgetting] That outside the wingnut bubble (and outside the Beltway Media bubble that enfolds it) not everyone has agreed to go along with the fairy tale that history began on January 20, 2009.
Kudos to Rachel! Believe it or not, I made today’s cartoon several hours before seeing this. With Strike Three having advisors like "Any Lie for War" Wolfowitz, I think I’m spot on!
Before I begin, I want you to know that I made a supreme sacrifice. I had purchased a dozen PIGnocchio brand, big mouth, extra-wide, extra-chunky barf bags for the occasion, and they were insufficient to the task. I knew these Republicans were vile, but who would have thought that they could motivate me to produce barf in excess of my own body weight. Only the debate itself was a bigger mess. Humor aside, I did watch the spectacle, took notes, and have a report for you.
There were actually two debates. To be truthful, I overslept and missed a few minutes of the bottom group, but it became immediately apparent to me that the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, was intentionally trying to crucify this group, based on camera angles, audio and video quality, and insults from the moderators. I’m not the only one who thought so. Rachel Maddow did too.
In the main debate there were no winners. Here are my notes:
Donald “Hairball” Trump: He refused to promise to support the Republican nominee and not to run as a third party candidature. On immigration, he proposed a wall and said border patrol officers were his proof that the Mexican government is sending criminals here. He would repeal and replace the ACA with insurance company deregulation. He said he is pro life and would defund Planned Parenthood. He admitted to misogynist tweets. He called Obama incompetent. He said the Iran deal is a disgrace.
Jeb “Strike Three” Bush: On undocumented immigrants, he supported a path to legal status, but not citizenship. He stated that ISIS [his brother’s creation], would not exist if Obama had not abandoned Iraq [on his brother’s timetable]. He favored state control of education and vouchers. He promised 4% growth by getting rid of Obamacare and cutting taxes. He supported defunding Planned Parenthood. He denied calling Hairball a buffoon.
Scott “Fartfuhrer” Walker: He demanded banning abortion with no exception to save the life of the mother. He supported no amnesty of any kind for undocumented immigrants. Hew promised to attack ISIS. He said failed to meet his economic promised because had aimed high. He would introduce tougher sanctions against Iran and have our international partners do the same. On racial disparity, he would provide better training to law enforcement on the use of force.
Marco “Deport Them All” Rubio: He supported a wall to keep undocumented immigrants out and no amnesty of any kind. He supports state control of education. He would help small businesses by lowering taxes, repealing Obamacare, and repealing Dodd Frank. He supports “personhood”.
Mike “Upchuck Huck” Huckabee: He supported “personhood”. He supported state control of education. He would save social security and the economy with the FAIR Tax. He would cancel the Iran agreement. He would not allow transgender people in the military.
Ben “Uncle Token” Carson: He said we should keep harsh interrogation methods [torture] secret. He suggested a tithe tax. He said Hillary counts on useful idiots.
Rand “Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot” Paul: He attacked Hairball. He said NSA should spy on terrorists only. He supports allowing discrimination against gay people. He said he would cut foreign aid.
Ted “Uranus Inspector” Cruz: He said he would repeal all of Obama’s executive orders, defund sanctuary cities and allow no amnesty if any kind for undocumented immigrants. He would destroy ISIS by calling it “Radical Islamic Terrorism”. He would stand-up against Russia and China for committing cyber war.
Chris “PIGnocchio” Christie: He supports no amnesty of any kind for undocumented immigrants. He supports NSA spying al all Americans. He would raise the retirement age. He would restore the military to cold war levels.
John “KKK” Kasich: He supports the wall to keep undocumented immigrants out. He would defeat Hillary by promising to balance the budget. He opposed same sex marriage, but he accepts the courts ruling and would love his own gay child.
All promised obeisance to Republican Supply-Side Jesus (the opposite of the real Jesus).
On the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, it was not even mentioned.
In my opinion, there was no winner. However the debate may have a serious impact on the rest of the campaign season. Faux Noise employs a bunch of blondes, who usually display lots of leg and cleavage to keep Bubba Bagger titillated just enough to keep his TV tuned to Faux Noise. Without the blondes Bubba would surely turn to NASCAR, Better Outhouses and Gardens, or Ga Ga for Guns. Well, one of the Faux Noise blondes, Megyn Kelly, attacked Hairball over his misogynist tweets, and he responded by threatening her. OOPS! I have seen this woman in action enough times to know that she has a vicious streak a mile wide, so I would be very surprised if Hairball does not occupy the top of her feces list for a long time. Now if the rest of Faux Noise goes along with her and tries to sabotage Hairball, he could be in trouble, as a Republican.
In conclusion, the very best thing about the Criminal Clowns Debate is this. It’s over.
Tomorrow evening, the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda, Faux Noise, will be subjecting the nation to what they call a debate, but is really a Cavalcade of Criminal Clowns. I intend to watch, so please keep me in your good wishes and prayers that I might survive the ordeal. The field is now divided between the Cavalcade Clowns and the excluded, banned from the stage, and effectively out of the race at the whim of Faux Noise.
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio is in and former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is out of Fox News’s Republican debate on Thursday night in Cleveland, officials with the network said Tuesday, resolving the mystery of which lower-polling candidates would make the cut for the first debate of the 2016 presidential contest.
The network announced the 10 candidates who will have a podium spot for the main forum, which is expected to draw wide national viewership and give an invaluable platform to the candidates involved. The remaining seven will be part of an earlier forum airing at 5 p.m. that day.
Fox News’s “decision desk,” which does its election night calls, sifted through five national polls, including the network’s own survey released late Monday, to select the top 10 candidates for the debate based on the polling.
The others included in the lineup are Donald J. Trump, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ben Carson, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey…
However, Faux Noise has so little integrity, that they cheated on their own rules. Rachel Maddow covered the story with this video.
I agree with her completely that the Republican party is off the rails. At this stage in the race, national polls are meaningless. Since seventeen are too many criminal clowns for one debate stage, the fair way to manage it would be to divide the field in half and hold two debates. If they say they can’t, because there are an odd number of clowns, they could put half of Chris Christie, aka PIGnocchio, in each debate.
Either the Republican Party leaders have decided that they wanted to cut down the field, are using Faux Noise as a political assassin, and are hiding their own complicity in this fraud, or the Republican Party leaders have lost their ability to influence events, leaving the party to be run by Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers. Either way, that’s a disaster for decent Republicans.
Please remember that, when I refer to Republicans in my writing, I am referring the party leadership, the politicians, the pundits, and the rabid base. I fully realize there are many decent rank and file Republicans, who are Republican by tradition, and who have not paid too much attention to what their party has become. If you are one of them, I urge you to leave the Republican Party. They no longer represent you.
The Cavalcade of Criminal Clowns have one thing in common. If any one of them becomes President, they will destroy this nation.
Dang! Being out and about in that heat is miserable. I’m sure glad I took water along. The surgery went very well, it was painless, and my foot was much more painful when I went in than when I left. I had to walk over a block from the lift bus to get home. It was 95° at the time, and that really wiped me out.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:39 (average 4:45). To do it, click here. How did you do?
I am so proud of my fellow Portlanders’ heroism in yesterdays 103° heat, I just had to include this.
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.
John 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…
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.
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.
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.