Saturday, March 7, 2009
We all recall when George W. Bush was president and devoted to the welfare of our fighting men and women (well, except when he forgot to get them combat gear - that was something of a problem) ...
But, as I was saying, old George W. was so concerned about having to put America's military into harm's way that he decided he would subject hisself to an incredible sacrifice - you know, to show solidarity with our young men and wimmen in uniform. He would not play golf 'til the troops came home. And he didn't. Play golf. For probably two whole months.
True golfers know how hard abstinence is. Golf is seductive, a siren, like a foxy dame who knows all the ways to please.
So nobody was too hard on George.
Now, I know George is a regular citizen again (well, except for the millions of dollars he scammed before he became prez), and he's hanging out at his new mansion in Dallas and his old ranchero down the road and sometimes he even goes to the local cafe to shake hands while his wife...huh, Mildred? ... no, no, her name's Laura ... sips coffee at a little table off to the side, smiling demurely at her virile husband dressed up in his flight suit.
But, it would seem to me that an ex-president, even if he was the worst president in history, should have some feelings for the common folks who are getting the shit beat out of them by the recession/depression and it would seem to me that an ex-president like Bush (who was the worst president in history) might want to sacrifice something on behalf of the common folks who were so stupid as to elect him president in the first place which is why the common folks are in this goddamn mess in the second place.
So, I figure Bush ought to give up golf again. He could even double his sacrifice if he also gave up cutting brush, too, although I've heard that he hasn't cut up brush much since the media ain't following him around no more.
Give it up George! Sacrifice. Think of all the benefits! No more crawling out of bed before the sun's up to make an early tee-time. No more sneaking a few beers with your buddies at the 19th hole. No more worrying about your ball getting lost in the woods or drowned in the lake.
Sleep in. Relax. Sacrifice!
The New York Times carried a headline today reading thusly:
"Job Losses Hint at Vast Remaking of Economy."
The article, written by Peter S. Goodman and Jack Healey, noted 651,000 additional jobs went kaput in February and they're not coming back. Some key industries hurting badly are manufacturing, financial services and retail. "There are going to be fewer stores, fewer factories, fewer financial services operations."
Old solutions will no longer work, say Goodman and Healey. Now the government can't get by with merely handing out temporary unemployment checks. "This time, the government needs to place a greater emphasis on retraining workers for other careers..."
Furthermore, the situation isn't going to change anytime soon.
Here's what Bob Poris has to say, deriving from a lifetime of personal and business experience.
"The article re future jobs and industries is probably correct. You younger fellows should consider it when thinking of careers.
"In the meantime, the tax structure will remain the same for another year, at least, so the free market can keep more of any money they can earn. That will allow the trickle down from profits to continue at least another year.
"If trickle down works, we should be fine soon as it will be coupled with Obama’s stimulus package. If trickle down doesn’t work, we still have the Obama method with whatever adjustments he makes as time flits by. Sometime in the near future I suspect that the auto companies will be allowed to go under along with the financial sector, assuming the banks that are solvent can pick up some of the slack in lending that the “too big to fail” guys cannot do.
"We will still be left with huge deficits in any event and eventual tax increases to pay the bills Obama inherited plus the new ones he will have to create in order to keep the poor and the near poor from starving in the streets. I also assume many young, poor people will enlist in order to take advantage of the incentives being offered now and in the future, so we can rebuild our military quickly. The next step will have to be a draft, which will get more young people off the streets and allow us to wind down any current military adventures. We might also need a rebuilt military to handle Iran and North Korea, both of which will get more desperate unless the worldwide economy improves.
"The free market has failed due to the lack of regulations and the ability of a small number of adventurous people to screw up the entire world seeking profit from dumb business practices.
"We will also see more government involvement in almost all fields, also due to the failure of the free, unregulated markets to provide for health care, education, infrastructure, etc.
"You young people will live in a very different world than you have become used to. I am not sure it will be better than my time, even with a World War and a serious Great Depression. It will be up to the current generation to resolve the problems of the world and not fall prey to dictatorial leaders on the right or left.
"We allowed Bush/Cheney to weaken many of our safeguards, like checks and balances we allowed Bush/Cheney to expand the president's executive power which either overruled or stretched the Constitution. We will not know unless someone investigates it and makes decisions as to how to govern from now on.
Save this and review it in a few months.
Go to any Christian Right site. Choose one at random. Chances are great that you will find a rant against Planned Parenthood.
The Christian Right (which includes the Catholic Right) hate Planned Parenthood with a passion that exceeds any lust they might have for gaining converts or any desire still left in their demented souls to follow their mythical Jesus.
The Christian Right has been bragging as to how their minions drove Planned Parenthood out of the Panhandle area of Florida.
That small victory gave them a taste of blood and they're back for more.
The fight against PP went to the Senate carried by the family values man hisself - David Vitter from the 19th century state of Louisiana. Vitter, the lover of prostitutes and Jesus, has attempted to remove all federal funding for Planned Parenthood from the 2009 omnibus appropriations bill which is currently under consideration in the Senate.
One wonders what the hell is wrong with these wacko Christian freaks who think it is Christ-like to deny women across the country much-needed health services. According to Lynn Harris, writing at Salon.com, Vitter, representing the wingnuts of the Christian Right, is upset because, even though federal monies don't pay for abortions directly, they do, through Planned Parenthood, support the abortion "industry."
Harris says "no one should have to explain why it'd be a particularly bad moment to make the full range of Planned Parenthood services (including breast and cervical cancer screening) less accessible to low-income and uninsured patients. In fact, as Feministing notes, US News has reported that in these tough times, more and more women (and men) are visiting Planned Parenthood, many as their source of primary healthcare. Yet since the anti-reproductive rights movement sees Planned Parenthood as the veritable Death Star of abortion, it will always be a major, if symbolic, target."
So far as I can tell, Vitter's amendment did not make it to the floor. But Harris notes that the recalcitrant anti-Christ from South Carolina, Jim DeMint, has "filed an amendment (No. 649) to 'strike provisions relating to the Medicaid drug rebate program and prevent the implementation of a funding earmark for the Planned Parenthood Federation of ?America.' His goal: to remove from the appropriations bill a long-needed, much-discussed, technical -- and no-cost -- correction that would restore the ability of pharmaceutical companies to offer nominally priced drugs to college and university health cllinics and family planning health centers without penalty."
Even weirder is that fact that "There is no federal funding in this provision." As Harris suggests, perhaps we should "ask Sen. DeMint exactly how it constitutes an 'earmark.'"
How do these creeps keep getting elected to Congress?
Read Harris' entire article here.
Find out more about Planned Parenthood here.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Why do we need any faith-based nonsense in the government?
We don't. In fact, because the entire faith-based operation involves the transfer of public money to religious institutions, it would seem that such an operation is in clear violation of our Constitution! No taxpayer dollars should go to any religious institution for any reason!
Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't seem to agree with me. Thus, he has moved to reshape and increase the size scope of a governmental faith-based structure.
According to Liliana Segura at AlterNet, Obama issued "an executive order that, rather than doing anything to dismantle Bush's faith-based initiatives, bolstered them with a new 'advisory council on faith.'"
But it gets worse. According to a U.S. News and World Report article, "(Obama's) public rallies are opening with invocations that have been commissioned and vetted by the White House." Prayers "commission and vetted by the White House"? Please say it ain't so!
This is, as they say, "unprecedented."
With regard to the faith-based business, Obama has created an Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He did this via an executive order. The Council is to "be composed of not more than 25 members appointed by the president from among individuals who are not officers or employees of the federal government."
John DuBois, a 26-year old former Pentecostal pastor is heading up the faith-based office.
Not good. "However well-intentioned it sounded, the American Civil Liberties Union was quick to voice its alarm over the president's order, pointing out that the mission of the religious advisory council will also be 'to advise the president and the White House faith-based office on how to distribute federal dollars, and also advise on a range of other issues, such as AIDS and women's reproductive health care' -- areas where religious views present nothing if not a conflict of interest."
Mr. Obama needs to rethink all of this. First of all, it is unnecessary. If religious groups want to do good work in the community, that's fine. But they can do it with their own funds, not with taxpayer money.
I shall repeat myself: To give federal monies to religious groups for any purpose is in direct violation of the Constitution.
Give it up, President Obama!
Ms. Segura has much more to say about this issue and you can read her entire article here.
Another interesting article here (which is where I found the photo above showing then Senator Obama's interest in faith-based work).
Tana Ganeva, writing at AlterNet, tells this story:
"A 9-year old girl in Brazil was impregnated with twins after being repeatedly raped by her stepfather. Doctors decided the child's uterus was too small to safely carry a baby, let alone two, and with the mother's permission performed an abortion. The Catholic Church not only tried to stop the procedure, but announced today [March 5] that all the adults involved in terminating the pregnancy will be excommunicated from the Church -- including the doctors and the girls mother."
According to the BBC, "The Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, told Brazil's TV Globo that the law of God was above any human law."
Well, that's all bullshit. The archbishop of Olinda wouldn't know God's law from a turtle. Any pissant pious prelates from any religious organization who would expect this child to carry twins to term and probably die in the process deserves to go to the hell created by the god of their perverted imaginations!
Read the entire article here.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
This is not a matter of opinion.
The Obama administration has released seven memos (9 legal opinions) from the Bush Justice Department. Marjorie Cohn has put together an excellent article summarizing how these memos effectively allowed Bush and cronies to shred the Constitution and provide for an imperial presidency with unlimited power - answerable to no one!
"The memos provide 'legal' rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties. According to the reasoning in the memos, Congress has no role to check and balance the executive. That is the definition of a police state. [Emphasis mine.]
The memos were written for the most part by John Yoo and Jay Bybee, "authors of the so-called 'torture memos' that redefined torture much more narrowly than the U.S. definition of torture, and counseled the President how to torture and get away with it."
These memos were later withdrawn when they became public, but the damage had been done. "...they remained in effect long enough to authorize the torture and abuse of many prisoners in U.S. custody."
Steven Benen at the Washington Monthly noted that "Yoo, Bybee & Co. believed the 'war on terror' trumped the Fourth Amendment. What's more, the First Amendment 'may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully.' Posee Comitatus isn't mandatory. Congress has no authority to address federal detention policies. FISA doesn't necessarily apply to national security considerations."
During the Bush administration, the terrorists, for all practical purposes won the battle. The Constitution was ignored or more aptly, shredded. Bush continued to talk about "democracy," and how we were fighting to bring "democracy" to Iraq. That was all bullshit, for he was destroying the very fibers of democracy at home!
Because he broke his oath to uphold the Constitution, George W. Bush should be tried for treason in a court of law, by a jury of his peers. Being president does not mean he is above the law.
Additionally, John Yoo, who is still on the faculty of the Berkeley Law School and currently a visiting professor at Chapman University SChool of Law in Orange County, California, as well as Jay Bybee, a federal judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, should be, as Ms. Cohn suggests, "investigated, prosecuted, and disbarred. Yoo should be fired and Bybee impeached."
Read Marjorie Cohn's entire article here.
You can read the memos here.
A study by the Institute for Health and Socio-economic Policy indicates that "The transformation of America's current health care system into a single-payer 'Medicare for all' sysem could cost six times less than the bank bailouts."
Most people in this country, minus the disgruntled and the insane (such as Rushbo), are aware that our health care system is in dire straits. Compared to the health care provided by other nations for their citizens, we're way down the list. France, is number one!
Mr. Byrne notes that according to ABC, "the US spends twice as much on health care than the average developed nation, most of which work with universal health care. Critics of the current system point to the government treating health care as if it was a commodity, not a social service; because of the demands of the market, insurance companies have a motivation to avoid unprofitable patients."
And, I might add, unprofitable doctors. It isn't unusual for a retired person to go through HMO's as fast as Bush went through reasons to invade Iraq. If a doctor is conscientious, operates from a preventative point of view, he/she is likely to get bounced by an HMO because he/she, by seeing patients more often and ordering important tests to check for problems, is going to cost the HMO money. So, the retired person, if he/she wants to keep the same doctor, has to seek out a new HMO.
According to Mr. Bryne, Obama's plan "will cost $634 billion out of the new overall budget. In addition, $175 billion that was to be payment to private insurers for the coverage of 10 million Medicare patients will be re-allocated over the next ten years for health care reform."
Today, President Obama is meeting with newly-appointed Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebellius and other honchos to hash over the problem and look at ways to reform our system so it works for all Americans, not just members of Congress and the rich people. This gathering being called "a nonpartisan health care summit at the White House."
Good luck with that. I think the president and his administration will again have to go it alone, again, because all the Repugnicans can offer to any discussion on meeting the needs of our people is "No, no, no, no!"
Here's how this could work:
"Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private." According to an analysis of the proposal for a single-payer universal health care system by the Institute for Health and Socio-economic Policy, it was found that "'full medicare benefits for all' would have these immediate effects:
* $317 billion in increased business and public revenues throughout the US economy.
* 2,613,495 new permanent jobs, at an average of $38,262 per year.
* $100 billion in additional employee compensation.
* $44 billion in increased tax revenue."
But there's more. It would appear that a lot of folks would be saved from debilitating or fatal illnesses; and millions more would be spared from unnecessary pain as well as financial catastrophe.
The question before the nation is whether or not it is worth the cost of the bank bailouts to provide universal health coverage; to actually put together a system that benefits the poor and middle-class.
Or, to put it another way, the financial price tag of the war in Iraq is headed toward the $1.3 trillion mark. Is universal health care for the American people worth half of that?
Members of the House got to select their Bibles from more than a dozen choices. Prices ranged from $30 to $90 each!
In addition, legislators who desired to have their names embossed on their Bibles could do so. That cost an extra $15 per, of course.
The total tab for this nonsense came to about $13,700!
Will someone please explain why in hell the taxpayers of the State of Pennsylvania are paying for Christian Bibles to be given to their state legislators? Is this not in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution?
If these Pennsylvania lawmakers are so pious they must have a Bible with them when they do their legislative duty, let them buy their own damn Bible! It is, of course, oxymoronic to speak of lawmakers and piety in the same sentence.
It isn't the money. The amount of money is a drop in Pennsylvania's budget. It's the principle of the thing.
I'd like to know who came up with this deranged idea.
And we should also recognize the moral strength of the seven (out of 203) legislators who refused this exercise in public religiosity.
h/t to the Friendly Atheist
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Media Matters has done everyone a favor by collecting some of Limbaugh's nastiest comments down through the years.
Here are some samples:
Jan. 22, 2009: On Faux News Hannity, "Limbaugh said of media coverage of Obama: 'We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this is the first black president."
Jun. 2008: Limbaargh said Obama's "'only chance of winning' the Oval Office 'is that he's black.'"
May 14, 2008: Limbaargh whined that "If Obama were Caucasian, they would have taken this guy out on the basis of pure ignorance long ago."
During the 2008 campaign, Limbaargh protested that Obama was "an affirmative action candidate."
Whatever else you derive from such pronouncements, it's blatantly clear that Rushbo is a racist of the worst sort!
Here are a few other snippets:
"Limbaugh has repeated invoked right-wing conspiracy theories that the Clintons were involved in the death of then-deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, whose body was found in Northern Virginia's Fort March Park on July 20, 1993, despite multiple investigations that determined Foster committed suicide."
"In September 2007, Limbaugh characterized service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq 'phony soldiers.'" This from a fat slob who rakes in $40 million a year and who has never served in uniform!
In August of 2007, Limbaargh suggested that liberals and Democrats want the U.S. to get out of Iraq, but "go to Darfur" because the people in Darfur are black. The reason, said Limbaargh, is that going to Darfur would send a signal to blacks in this country to keep voting the Democratic ticket.
On Feb. 5, 2007, referring to a study by the Univ. of Chicago that found "a majority of young blacks feel alienated from today's government," Limbaargh said "Why would that be? The government's been taking care of them their whole lives."
Limbaargh is not only racist, but a misogynist. When Nancy Pelosi was elected as Speaker of the House, he said "[L]ook at Ms. Pelosi. Why, she can multitask. She can breastfeed, she can clip her toenails, she can direct the House, all while the kids are sitting on her lap at the same time."
Limbaargh often refers to feminists as "feminazis."
On Jan. 10, 2006, Rusbo "suggested that some women 'would love to be hired as eye candy.'"
Rush Limbaugh also likes to attack the disabled. In October, 2006, he "accused actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, of 'exaggerating the effects of the disease' in a campaign advertisement for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who was then a Senate candidate." Limbaargh said "...it's purely an act. .. this is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting, one of the two."
Well, there's much more. It all adds up to the fact that Limbaargh is a diseased person, a drug-addicted, drug-addled racist and hate-monger. Some say Limbaargh is "entertainment," and that "it's all a show."
Sorry, that won't wash. Racism and hate are not "entertainment." Inciting hatred and violence among the American people is not funny.
Limbaugh shows us just how low some people will got to make a buck; the depths of depravity.
And this is the man the Republican Party has walked to the altar and married.
Please read the entire Media Matters article here.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
On November 4, the American people rejected them and their so-called "conservative values." The American people rejected the politics of conservatism and unregulated capitalism which are responsible for driving our nation to spiritual despair and economic collapse.
But the Repugnicans still continue to parrot the same old bullshit in a misguided and downright frightening attempt to regain their power by wreaking further destruction on the country.
Here's how it's working out. GOP congresspeople have en masse rejected bipartisanship. They have rejected even a semblance of concern for America's working men and women -- the poor and the middle-class. They have, as a group, attempted to paint Obama and his administration with the "socialist" brush, knowing full well that many people in this country, ignorant as to the nuances of socialism, will react negatively to our new president.
Jim DeMint, Repugnican nogoodnik from South Carolina called Obama "the world's best salesman of socialism."
But he went further than that, echoing other Repugnican nogoodniks, by threatening violence. DeMint told the fruitcakes at CPAC conservatives may have to "take to the streets to stop America's slide into socialism."
John Boehner, the weepy Repugnican nogoodnik from Ohio, said Obama's budget proposal was "one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment."
Mitch McConnell, Repugnican nogoodnik Senate Minority Leader from Kentucky, claims that Obama is attempting "to basically Europeanize America."
And at the CPAC affair, Mike Pence, a Repugnican nogoodnik from Indiana, propounded that Obama's economic agenda was nothing more than "European-style socialism."
(cf. Think Progress)
Richard A. Stitt, in an article at BuzzFlash, titled "The Insanity and Depravity of the GOP," is astounded that "with our country in a deep recession, the GOP is taking a political path to self-incineration grounded forever in tax cuts, mainly for the richest Americans. ...
"...eight years of Bush pronouncements of no new taxes, six of which were during a virtually veto-free Republican-controlled U.S. Congress, the Bush-GOP policies not only failed to create jobs and income but also in fact caused the loss of both income and jobs for average American workers in each year of Bush's tenure in the White House.
"Yet astonishingly, after the November 4 election in which the Republicans lost the presidency and seats in both houses of Congress, the Republican response to the gargantuan economic collapse that they created is to repeat over and over the bromide that tax cuts are the answer to the economic catastrophe."
That, is because, they are afraid of "socialism." Heh. Heh.
But it gets much, much worse, and violence is in the air!
Stitt goes on to note that the RNC Chair, Michael Steele, told CPAC the stimulus package was "nothing short of frightening."
Michelle Bachmann, the freaky wingnut from Minnesota yelled out, "Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man!"
Bachmann is the mental midget who thinks "that minorities, specifically black minorities, were responsible for the current financial crisis."
Then John Bolton, Bush's unconfirmed ambassador to the UN told a real funny: "an attack on Chi-town would teach Obama a lesson."
Stitt asks "What is it about these Latter Day Republicans who seem obsessed with guns, violence, and conflict? We recall that Bolton also joked that if you blew off 10 floors of [the] UN building in New York, it wouldn't make a difference. Another GOP wacko, Alan Keyes, stated that Barack Obama is a 'radical communist' who 'must be stopped.' Sean Hannity, inveterate Republican Fox News advocate for violence, has a Web site instigating the violent overthrow of our government and supports armed rebellion to oust Barack Obama.
Then "There's the right-wing Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, the New York Post, depicting two policemen standing over a chimpanzee's body shot dead, with a caption that Democrats would have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill. Clearly, this was a call to incite any number of Screech Radio's army ant colonies of 'lone wolves' to assassinate President Barack Obama. It cannot be interpreted any other way. There is no ambiguity in the Post's inflammatory political cartoon."
One responder to Stitt's article had this to say:
"The Republican party's shameful display of hatred, ignorance and selfishness is shocking. Rush Limbaugh's mindless raving is referred to on CNN as ' a rousing speech' and infers that Limbaugh represents the new face of the Republican party. If that is the face of the party, I would hate to see its ass. In my 77 years, I have never seen anything as treasonous, threatening, and dangerous as the CPAC participates and their reaction to Obama and liberals."
There's more yet. Steven Benen, writing for the Washington Monthly, tells of the crazy conspiracy theorists who continue to question Obama's birth status. He quotes Ben Smith:
"Out of the gaze of the mainstream and even the conservative media is a flourishing culture of advocates, theorists and lawyers, all devoted to proving that Barack Obama isn't eligible to be president of the United States. Viewed as irrelevant by the White House, and as embarrassing by much of the Republican Party, the subculture still thrives from the conservative website WorldNetDaily, which claims that some 300,000 people have signed a petition demanding more information on Obama's birth ...
"Their confinement to the fringe hasn't cooled the passion of believers; the obscure New York preacher James Manning turned up at a National Press Club session in December to declare the president 'the most notorious criminal in the history, not just of America, but of this entire planet.'" [Emphasis mine]
Benen says this worries some conservatives. Maybe. Benen mentions Michael Medved who thinks the "Birthers" are "crazy, nutburger, demagogue, money-hungry, exploitative, irresponsible, filthy conservative impostors," who are "the worst enemy of the conservative movement."
Actually, I think he's wrong. These crazy, nutburgers, demagogues, filthy impostors, etc., ARE the conservative movement. The conservative movement, which I've no use for in any reincarnation, has been co-opted by the nutcases and is being led down the primrose path by Rush Limbaugh and friends who are advocating a violent overthrow of the government, hinting quite directly that the assassination of the president would be a good thing.
They are not just nutcases: they are in truth, treasonous scum.
Steven Benen, in another article, notes that "Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum, and Michelle Malkin have joined the Limbaugh-inspired group of conservatives who are publicly hoping that President Obama fails."
Benen describes how Erick Erickson's Red State blog carries an article "I Too Want Barack Obama to Fail," which prompts other wacko wingnuts to "rally behind the campaign to undermine the president.
Then, it gets simply ridiculous. We've already seen a short time ago, how one congressperson, Republican Phil Gringrey, by name, who had criticized Rush Limbaugh, came crawling on his knees begging the almighty Rush to forgive him.
Now Michael Steele, the RNC chair is doing the same thing! A few days ago, Steele told CNN that "Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh -- his whole thing is entertainment. He has this incendiary -- yes, it's ugly."
Oops. Steele almost immediately backtracked! Frightened to the core, and trembling in anticipation of Limbaugh's wrath, Steele began mumbling about how he didn't really mean it, and I'm sorry. Omigod, please forgive me, Mr. Rush. "It was one of those things where I [was] thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently." Omigod, please forgive me, Mr. Rush. I'll do anything, Mr. Rush."
And so the man Steele, made of mud, crumbled: "My intent was not to go after Rush -- I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh..."
It's all so sad.
If Obama should fail, or it anything happens to our president, the blame must be cast at the feet of Limbaugh, Hannity, Santorum, Malkin, Coulter, Cantor, Boehner, McConnell, Steele, and all the other Repugnican nogoodniks who live, not for the good of the country, but for the power they have lost but still covet, and for which they will exercise literally any means to regain.
Yup. Palin "changed the line of state succession, paving the way for her high schoolmate Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt to be lieutenant governor should the current lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, be unable to serve."
What qualifies Joe Schmidt to run the state of Alaska? Nada. In fact, he may be particularly unqualified. "In 2008 the Alaska Correctional Officers Association voted against Schmidt in a 'no confidence' measure, but the ever-loyal Palin stood behind him and called him a reformer, dontcha know!"
Once more our observation that Palin is simply George W. Bush in a skirt is verified.
Read Derricks entire article here.
I have written in depth in this blog's previous incarnation about rising anti-Semitism in France especially as that has taken shape in several French cities and especially in the suburbs of Paris. Incidents of anti-Semitism have been steadily increasing over the past ten years in France which, unfortunately mirrors events in other countries as well.
What follows was sent to me by my good friend, Bob Poris. It is an article titled "Bad news from France ...REAL BAD! for French Jews," and was written by F. M. Riley on Feb. 19.
The article confirms the information already in my possession regarding anti-Semitism in France.
"Once again, the real news in France is conveniently not being reported as it should. To give you an idea of what's going on in that country where there are now between 5 and 6 million Muslims and about 600,000 Jews, here is an E-mail that came from a Jew living in France. Please read!
"'Will the world say nothing - again - as it did in Hitler's time?' He writes: 'I AM A JEW -- therefore I am forwarding this to everyone on all my e-mail lists. I will not sit back and do nothing. Nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France. In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious centre was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil - all recently.
"'A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus, in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.
"'According to the Police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents PER DAY in the past 30 days. Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews." A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France. A Jewish couple in their 20's were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France (the woman was pregnant). A Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France. This was just in the past week.
"'So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do - at least - these three simple things: First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight. I remind you of what Pastor Neimoller said in World War II: 'First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.'"
The letter continues with an anti-French rant, suggesting we boycott everything French and further suggesting that the French are all anti-Semitic cowards deserving of our scorn.
I personally know that is not true.
Furthermore, as Mr. Poris suggests, French President Sarkozy has declared himself a friend to Israel and the Jewish people. As I understand things, France is attempting to deal with these anti-Semitic attacks.
That does not, however, negate the problem of rising anti-Semitism in France and around the world. What it does mean is that those of us who understand that the entire world is comprised of one race - the human race, must stand together to oppose all attempts to denigrate the humanity and the rights of our fellow human beings, no matter their skin color, their religion, their ethnicity, their sex, their sexual orientation, or any other method we have of sorting people into categories.
The continuing existence of the world depends on it.
By the way, little Jonathan was greeting with rabid enthusiasm by the right wingnuts gathered at CPAC!
May the gods keep the grubby, moronic, hateful hands of all these so-called "conservatives" out of our government and out of our hair!
Monday, March 2, 2009
In the grand ol' state of Maryland, there is a retired barber by name of Joe Godlewski. No, I'm not making that up. It is actually GODlewski.
Anyway, GODlewski he watches TV and right there on thet ol' TV set he saw a TV chef recommend kosher salt for his recipees!
So, GODlewski, being a right fine Christian type person, wondered. "What the heck's the matter with Christian salt?"
Seems like the kind of question any normal god-fearing Christian would ask.
Well, he went off and made some real, honest-to-Yahsus Christian salt! It's trademarked as Blessed Christians Salt. It's made by "seasonings manufacturer Ingredients Corporation of America."
Best of all, this Christian salt is really "Christian" salt 'cause it's been blessed by an Episcopal priest! Hallelujah!
Now, you cain't jest go buy this salt anywhere; nosirree! You gotta go to your local Christian bookstore.
The funniest thing, though: "Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, kosher administrator for the Chicago Rabbinical Council, says all salt is inherently kosher because it occurs naturally and requires little or no processing."
So, Blessed Christians Salt is kosher, too! Double your fun!
Read article here. There's even more here.
h/t to Cynical-C Blog
Whatever else one can say about the GOP these days, one can say it is the political party with failure on its mind. That's understandable, of course, in that the Republican Party has been the party of failure since Herbert Hoover. Then came Ronald Reagan, who started the process that has led us to our current sad state of affairs. Failure became the GOP's middle name, however, when Newt Gingrich slid off the rails in 1994 and then failure blossomed into catastrophe under George W. Bush.
Now, it appears that Rush Limbaugh has become the GOP spokesperson, and he makes a perfect symbol for a failed elephant. A drug addicted, unhappy flop as a human being, he leads the Repugs deeper into the netherland of failure.
Speaking to CPAC the other day, he stressed again, proudly, his desire that Obama and the Obama administration fail in their attempts to make our country whole again. "Failure," he cried, "that's what I want."
Limbaugh leads a choir of Repug wingnuts all of which are echoing his refrain:
Rick Santorum: "Absolutely, we hope his [Obama's] policies fail."
Tom DeLay: When asked if he wanted Obama to fail, DeLay said: "Well, exactly right. I don't want this for our nation."
Michelle Malkin: "Yes, I hope that fails."
Limbaugh laughing all the way to the bank, said "The dirty little secret...is that every Republican in this country wants Obama to fail, but none of them have the guts to say so: I am willing to say it."
Perhaps in a darker corner yet sits Glenn Beck, who along with others are actually hoping for a violent revolution!
Maybe that's what Joe the Plumber was referring to when he said some members of Congress should be slapped and shot.
These are the people who hold themselves up to be patriots. They are not. If anything, they are traitors. They are willing to see the country and their fellow Americans go belly-up in order to perpetrate their hatred and retain their power.
In fact, their words and actions come mighty close to inciting rebellion, if not treason!
This is the GOP today: an oppositional failure!
More here from The Huffington Post.
Much more here.
The opposition is organizing. They're not going down without a fight. Typically, it will be a dirty fight.
Last Friday, hundreds of protesters showed up in 30 to 40 cities nationwide to bluster against President Obama's stimulus package. The protesters "claimed that the well-coordinated protests had arisen spontaneously in response to a tirade against mortgage bailouts, delivered just over a week earlier, on February 19, by CNBC's Rick Santelli."
Michelle Malkin, one of those right wingnuts who wants Obama to fail, got all fluttery calling these "Tea Party" protests, claiming they were a "'fledgling grassroot movement.'"
Ms. Kane says that "some of the protestors even described themselves as the vanguard of a 'new conservative counterculture.'"
Ms. Kane also says that "those claims aroused a certain amount of skepticism, since similar activities in the past have proven to be not genuine grassroots activity but so-called corporate 'astroturf.'"
Aha! "Mark Ames and Yasha Levine allege in their blog at Playboy.com that the protests were planned well in advance, coordinated by old-line anti-tax organizations, and funded by right-wing corporate interests."
Ms. Kane has much more to say, but this is the kicker. There is a ChicagoTeaParty.com. "It was registered last summer by the producer of a right-wing radio show in Chicago and, [Ames and Levine] allege, is one of several tied to the anti-tax group FreedomWorks, which is among the sponsors of the current protests."
What we are facing in this country is the continued assault on effective government; government of the people, by the people, for the people. Entrenched interests and running scared. You can expect the political machinations of those entrenched interests to become down and dirty and become increasingly shrill as they cry about "socialism," and "communism," and "liberals" ruining our way of life.
The truth, of course, is the opposite. Unfortunately, too many of the dumb and dumber will believe them.
Read all of Ms. Kane's article here.
The hateful demagogue, Michelle Malkin's take is here.
A responsible rant with much more detail on corporate chicanery is here.
Evidently, God did not want people to carry guns to church in the great state of Arkansas. A bill that would have allowed worshipers to arm themselves while in the "house of God" died in the state Senate.
One of the perpetrators of this bill was Grant Exton, president of the state's Concealed Carry Association. Working with Arkansas lawmakers, he helped craft a bill which would have allowed those with concealed carry licenses to take a gun to church.
Exton said the law was "less about guns and more about property rights."
Get that? Property rights!
Oh, and personal protection.
The sponsor of the bill, Beverly Pyle, (R-Cedarville), said it was a question of religious freedom.
Rep. Lindsley Smith, a "liberal," favored the bill. For her it was an "issue of separation of church and state."
The Arkansas House passed the bill, 57-42.
A couple of clergy, who are also lawmakers, opposed the bill. One said, "...we must put our faith in God and not put our faith in something else ... Let us keep the sanctity of churches and put our faith in God and not in guns."
The bill died in a Senate panel.
Pyle may try to get her bill passed again. Meanwhile, there are a couple of concerns that she needs to deal with. First of all, what is the bill about? Is it about property rights? Is it about personal protection? Is it about the issue of separation of church and state? Or is it a matter of religious freedom?
Secondly, a more importantly, why is it that Pyle and other christianists in Arkansas don't trust their god to take care of them?
It is obvious, no matter their rhetoric, that they do not believe they are under the protection of their god. That's why they want to carry guns to church.
Then you have those Christians who are oblivious to their own confusion. John Phillips a Church of Christ pastor was gunned down while in the pulpit; he lives to tell the tale. Phillips, however, doesn't want guns in church. This is what he said:
"We really believe God provides and protects his own and that it wouldn't be in the best interest of what the church stands for to have people armed and packing on Sunday morning."
Hmmm. Actually, a lot of Christians in Arkansas do not believe "God provides and protects his own."
But then there's still the problem of Pastor Phillips: How can he continue to believe that when he has a bullet lodged in his spine that proves the opposite?
As I've asked before, ain't christianists funny?
Trish, writing at Pensito Review, refers to an article in a northeast Florida paper, Folio Weekly, which describes the Repugnican playbook as its taking shape in Florida. She notes that:
"Republicans intend to use stimulating the economy as an excuse to gut regulations. And loosening regulations, if anyone remembers, is at the heart of the economic problem."
What is happening in Florida is also happening in other states and in Washington, D.C. But here's what Anne Schindler has to say in Folio weekly:
"While lawmakers desperately plug budget holes and draft legislation aimed at restarting Florida's failing economy, development lobbyists are descending on Tallahassee...[Their] argument is simple, if a bit non-linear: Though regulations have nothing to do with the collapsing real estate market, developers want to ease regulations in order to kickstart business.
"...Lobbyists working for Associated Industries...[are] disdtributing a booklet titled 'Economic Stimulus Package 2.0,' which calls for 'reductions in regulatory red tape as a way to stimulate business activity.' What kind of 'red tape' do they want to hack through?"
One biggie is the impact fees developers feel are so onerous. That, of course, means the "burdens of infrastructure needed for new development" would be switched from the developers to the taxpayers.
The real problem has nothing to do with regulations. That's what so depressing. The Repugnicans and their corporate friends just don't give a damn about our country or its future.
Or, as Trish says, "Greed is not hindered by details like the truth. It's up to us to remain vigilant and on-message and make sure their attempts fail."
You can real her article here.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Out of those who responded to the poll, 29% said they favored Palin; 26% percent liked Mike Huckabee; and 21% would give their vote to Mitt Romney. Way down at 4.5% was Bobby Jindal.
If it tells us anything, this poll says that the Republican Party has fallen into a theocratic pit from which it may never be able to crawl out.
Palin and Huckabee are confessing theocrats, both having been "born again," and both claiming a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ," and both very clear about the need to incorporate their right-wing religious values into government policy and procedure.
Romney, being a Mormon, is just as bad, and if there is anything we do not need in this country is a ultra-conservative, born and bred Mormon in the White House.
Unfortunately, we have come to a place in this country where one's religion, while not a test or office, must be taken into consideration, because the religious fruitcake Christians/Mormons, etc., on the right have every intention of corrupting the government with their peculiar and debilitating claims to righteousness!
Bush did enough damage and it will take years to recover from his Christian chicanery. But these three - Palin, Huckabee and Romney, are worse. Bush played at being religious. These morons are serious.
That's what we have to look forward to in less than four years!
Pam Spaulding tells the story at Pam's House Blend.
Colorado State Senator David Schultheis, a Repugnican, naturally, is very concerned about sexual promiscuity. Why that is so, no one seems to know, but perhaps Jesus spoke to him about the problem. Interestingly, Jesus said almost nothing about sexual behavior when here on earth. But he did talk about pompous asshole windbags like Senator Schultheis, and he said such pompous asshole windbags would probably end up in a very unsavory place in the hereafter.
Schultheis is opposed to a bill which would require HIV tests for pregnant women. He voted against that bill.
Why would anyone do that? Well, you have to be a very special asshole to do something like that, and that is what Senator Schultheis is!
He is opposed because he wants women with AIDS to have babies and he wants the babies to get AIDS.
"What I'm hoping," the asshole said, "is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior."
Senator Schultheis is a very, very sick person.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 32-1 and has moved to the Colorado House.
Here's what Keith Olbermann thinks about it: