Monday, February 28, 2011

Conservative values

Understanding the new America

He can't remember what he said...

Political joke

A Teabagger, Union Member and a CEO are sitting at a table with a dozen cookies......

the CEO immediately takes 11 cookies for himself. 

The CEO then turns to the teabagger and says, "Watch out for that union guy - he wants part of your cookie."

What does it all mean?

GOP pledge

Time for Barack to march

A clear miss - animated

Why aren't we all packing heat?

If we were all carrying loaded guns, certainly someone would have seen this coming and shot someone to keep someone from shooting himself. Then the whole shooting thing wuld have been avoided - except for the person shooting someone. MORE GUNS!

Double Shooting Accident
from The J-Walk Blog

In Alabama: Mother Accidentally Shot by Son, Father also Injured.
The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office said a small child accidentally shot his mother, after finding the gun near his injured father's side.

How did the father get injured?

Mr. Jones stated he had taken his Glock .40 handgun from the glove compartment of his truck. He was walking to the house when he tripped and fell, then accidentally shot himself in the leg just above the knee.

Nobody's dead. Boys will be boys.

Why isn't EVERYONE packing?

We all know that if everyone carried a gun, no one would ever get shot or robbed - we'd all be scared shitless of one another. I mean, who would be the first to go off his nut and start gunning everybody down, so then we could all shoot each other in self-defense and nobody would get hurt?  Or something like that.  John Walkenbach reports...

Men Shot At Gun Show
from The J-Walk Blog

In Illinois: Two injured in accidental shooting at Bloomington gun show.

Two men were injured in an accidental shooting Saturday morning at the ECA Gun and Knife Show at Bloomington’s Sale Barn.
An attendee at the show was handling a mini-14 semiautomatic rifle at about 11:15 a.m. As the patron was laying the rifle back on a vendor table, the gun accidentally discharged, said McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery.
“The round went through a post, through a person and then into another person,” Emery said.

Accidents happen, and boys will be boys.

But this is pretty strange:

Emery said the discharged round was a .223- caliber bullet, and police would be investigating why a loaded gun was on hand at the show. "It’s firearm safety,” Emery said. “There should not be one weapon on the premises that has ammunition in it.”

I'd bet about 100% of the attendees would disagree with him. What if a maniac comes in? How are they supposed to defend themselves? I think it would be safer if all guns were fully loaded.

Yeah - just think - if all of the guns at the show were loaded, everyone there could have picked up a gun and fired at the dipshit who discharged the gun and anybody else who was moving around.  What a great time THAT would have been!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A store I will boycott


Home Depot Founder: Retailers Who Don't Support GOP "Should Be Shot"

The Oxdown Gazette:

This is what Home Depot's founder Bernie Marcus said on a conference call yesterday:

"If a retailer has not gotten involved with this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to Norm Coleman and these other guys," Mr. Marcus said, apparently referring to Republican senators facing tough re-election fights, then those retailers "should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs."

It's nice to know Home Depot supports the death penalty for not supporting their politics. The coming EFCA fight is going to be bloody.

American Press ignoring Wisconsin protests

English language Russian TV explains that American press is ignoring the Wisconsin protests - even downplaying the importance of this war.

Do you have a dollar in your wallet right now?

Read more here...

Today, hundreds of thousands of people comprising a Main Street Movement — a coalition of students, the retired, union workers, public employees, and other middle class Americans — are in the streets, demonstrating against brutal cuts to public services and crackdowns on organized labor being pushed by conservative politicians. These lawmakers that are attacking collective bargaining and cutting necessary services like college tuition aid and health benefits for public workers claim that they have no choice but than to take these actions because both state and federal governments are in debt.

But it wasn’t teachers, fire fighters, policemen, and college students that caused the economic recession that has devastated government budgets — it was Wall Street. And as middle class workers are being asked to sacrifice, the rich continue to rig the system, dodging taxes and avoiding paying their fair share.

In an interview with In These Times, Carl Gibson, the founder of US Uncut, which is organizing some of today’s UK-inspired massive demonstrations against tax dodgers, explains that while ordinary Americans are being asked to sacrifice, major corporations continue to use the rigged tax code to avoid paying any federal taxes at all. As he says, if you have “one dollar” in your wallet, you’re paying more than the “combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America“:

[Gibson] explains, “I have one dollar in my wallet. That’s more than the combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America. That means somebody is gaming the system.”

A close look at the American economy

The following rather represents the (far-less cohesive) impression I have had of the U.S. economy over the past couple of years.  I like that this gentleman says it all so elegantly.

Source. (read more): (via John McCarter on Daily Kos - my link to this post is broken)

Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, has an important post on the NYTime's Economix blog, challenging the predominant austerity narrative.

The United States faces some serious medium-term fiscal issues, but by any standard measure it does not face an immediate fiscal crisis. Overly indebted countries typically have a hard time financing themselves when the world becomes riskier — yet turmoil in the Middle East is pushing down the interest rates on United States government debt. We are still seen as a safe haven.
Nonetheless, leading commentators and politicians repeat the line “we’re broke” and argue that there is no alternative to immediate spending cuts at the national and state level....
The most immediate problem is that our largest banks and closely related parts of the financial system blew themselves up in 2007-8. The ensuing recession and associated loss of tax revenue will end up increasing our government debt, as a percentage of gross domestic product, by around 40 percent. Very little of this debt increase was due to the fiscal stimulus; mostly it was caused by lower tax revenue, because of the slump in output and employment....
The only room for bipartisan consensus here seems to be what we got in December 2010 — a big tax cut. Cutting taxes is nice, but only if it is consistent with keeping the budget on a sustainable path.... the problem here is bipartisan — as it was with the tax cut last year. None of the leadership on either side is willing to talk openly about how our biggest banks caused great fiscal damage. No one is willing to explain why our health care costs continue to rise. And no top politicians currently champion real tax reform.
The Republicans have seized a moment. To them, this is not really about fiscal responsibility; this is about an opportunity to shrink the size of government.
Both sides of our political elite have contributed to the sense of fiscal crisis. And as we continue down this path — dangerous big banks, out-of-control health care spending, significant tax cuts, small changes in nonmilitary discretionary spending and irresponsible rhetoric on both sides — we are well on our way to a real crisis.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Obama full of shit

Obama just signed the extension of the Patriot Act into law which allows for spying on Americans without a subpoena.  But during his campaign, he said...

Making "shared sacrifices" - cartoon

Gun nuts have gone crazy...

Tea Party nitwits

Conservatives clamoring to cut spending are often of the mind that it's easy - when in fact, most citizens want their share of government spending. The Republicans are just more willing to screw everyone else to get their cut.

The good die young

Putting our young people through the horrific nature of war and the culture of being in the military is questionable.  Maybe it's time to rethink our position in the world that has us with military everywhere.

Schizophrenic Republicans

Their positions can only be described as a hate of anyone other than themselves...

Read more here...

The G.O.P.'s Abandoned Babies
Published: February 25, 2011

Republicans need to figure out where they stand on children's welfare. They can't be "pro-life" when the "child" is in the womb but indifferent when it's in the world. Allow me to illustrate just how schizophrenic their position has become through the prism of premature babies.

Of the 33 countries that the International Monetary Fund describes as "advanced economies," the United States now has the highest infant mortality rate according to data from the World Bank. It took us decades to arrive at this dubious distinction. In 1960, we were 15th. In 1980, we were 13th. And, in 2000, we were 2nd.

One solution to the U.S. financial problems

The Solution to Our Budget Problems Is So Obvious: We Need to Raise Taxes on the Rich, ASAP The answer to many of our country’s domestic problems is obvious -- the rich need to pay their fair share.

February 25, 2011

A great tragedy of the United States is that the answer to many of the country’s domestic problems is obvious, even simple, but can’t be done because of a dominating political/media dynamic that rules that solution out.

The solution to these many problems – from the budget deficit to crumbling infrastructure, from mass joblessness to income inequality, from environmental degradation to educational shortfalls -- is to raise taxes on the rich and to use that money to get the United States back on track and advancing toward the future.

And there are clear justifications for doing so, from practicality to fairness. Though many multi-millionaires fancy themselves self-made men (and women), the truth is that they all have profited from investments that American taxpayers have made over the decades, and even centuries.


A rant on Planned Parenthood Funding - video

We need more guns...

Yeah - we need more laws allowing people to carry firearms - so they can protect themselves - yeah - and kill other unarmed people - yeah.

Open carry homicide trial delayed to June

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 25, 2011

The first-degree intentional homicide trial of a well-known proponent of wearing a gun in public, which had been set to begin Monday, has been postponed until the summer.

Jesus Gonzalez, who had filed a federal lawsuit challenging his arrests for openly carrying a firearm in stores, was charged in May with killing one man and wounding another on the street near his south side Milwaukee home. The case had been set for trial Monday.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Middle Class fighting back - video

Progressives usually win - because they are right.

Sleepover in WI

From the WPPA...


Following action by lawmakers to approve a rule change that clears the way for closing down the State Capitol and ejecting the people protesting Governor Walker’s bill to curtail union activity, the head of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association called on the governor today to keep the capitolbuilding open and allow the peaceful protesters to remain.

“The law enforcement officers from across the state that have been working at the Capitol and have been very impressed with how peaceful everyone has been,” said WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer. “As has been reported in the media, the protesters are cleaning up after themselves and have not caused any problems. The fact of that matter is that Wisconsin’s law enforcement community opposes Governor Walker’s effort to eliminate most union activity in this state, and we implore him to not do anything to increase the risk to officers and the public. The costs of providing security can never outweigh those associated with a conflict.”

Palmer also announced that, beginning tonight, the WPPA is formally requesting its members from across the state to come to the Capitol to sleep amongst the throngs of other union supporters.

How ironic...

From The People's Republic of Moronia...

And in the ulti­mate irony, Rush Lim­baugh, who called union work­ers “bottom-feeding free­load­ers,” Glenn Beck, who mirac­u­lously linked trade union­ism with Com­mu­nists, social­ists, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, and the United Nations, and numer­ous other con­ser­v­a­tive com­men­ta­tors are all mem­bers of the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Tele­vi­sion and Radio Artists (AFTRA), an AFL-CIO union.

Why the U.S is losing ground to other nations in science

The U.S, is going to fall farther and farther behind in research and science because of our lack of willingness to invest in the future.

TSA scanning modifications coming?

I don't think this removes the unconstitutional nature of the process (unreasonable search and seizure), but it might be an improvement in the process.

American education going to hell

When we allow idiots like this to teach our youth, it's no wonder our standing as a world leader in education is going to hell.

TSA attracting perverts (parody)

John Wayne - a real American Hero (at least in the movies)

"We can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leader­ship of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility"
   -JOHN WAYNE (May 1971)

Great Moments in Presidential Speeches

Mostly GW Bush Bloopers

Republicans are still huge hypocrites (a major theme of mine in this blog)

Tea Party wants lower pay for everyone but themselves

Tea Party folks aren't very nice

Unemployed need not apply - cartoon

Is Obama AWOL?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Proof of success of Government bailouts

Union workers get profit-sharing checks as G.M. posts first annual profit since 2004

from Daily Kos by (Jed Lewison)NY Times:

DETROIT - General Motors, which nearly collapsed from the weight of its debts two years ago before reorganizing in a government-sponsored bankruptcy, said Thursday that it earned $4.7 billion in 2010, the most in more than a decade.

It was the first profitable year since 2004 for G.M., which became publicly traded in November, ending a streak of losses totaling about $90 billion.

In addition, G.M. said 45,000 union workers would receive profit-sharing checks averaging $4,300, the most in the company's history.

Guess who said this sort of turn around would be impossible? That's right, none other than John Boehner, in June of 2009

How those Republican a-holes think about issues... - video

Yep - your kids might not have a good future, but HE's going to be okay...

WI Firefighters stand with the other unions - video

It's not just Wisconsin

Bernie Sanders: End Game for Wealthiest in America is the Destruction of Social Safety Nets and of the Middle Class

from Crooks and Liars by Heather

SANDERS: What we have to understand is this is not just Wisconsin. This is part of the concerted attack on the middle class and working families of this country by the very wealthiest people in America, the Koch brothers and many others. And you're also right in suggesting that if you look at the end game, what are you talking about?

You're talking about the end of Social Security, privatization of Social Security, massive cuts and privatization of Medicare, major cuts in Medicaid. You're talking about over a period of time, the end of unemployment compensation, the end of the minimum wage or lowering the minimum wage.

What these guys want is to return us to the 1920's when working people had virtually no rights to organize or to earn a decent living. Bottom line today is the top 1% earn more income than the bottom 50%. The top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 90%. That gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing wider.

And what the wealthiest people in the country are doing are using their resources to make the attack against the middle class even stronger. They want the destruction of the middle class and almost all wealth in this country to go to the people on top.

Gov Scott Walker crossing the line?

CREW requests investigation into Scott Walker's use of Wisconsin State Patrol
from Daily Kos by Barbara Morrill

While Republican Governor Scott Walker's immediate concern might be with putting out the fire started with the release of his revealing conversation with a blogger posing as billionaire David Koch, it's not the only thing on his plate:

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-partisan government watchdog group, asked the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to investigate whether Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker violated state law by sending the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) to the home of Democratic Senate Leader Matt Miller ...

“Governor Walker has many tools at his disposal to fight the state’s public employees, but using troopers to track down a political opponent crosses the line,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. Sloan continued, “The governor’s conduct is especially egregious in light of a Wisconsin law specifically barring troopers from taking part in any dispute between an employer and employee over wages, hours, labor, or working conditions -- the subject of the governor’s bill.”

CREW also notes that it was Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald who made the initial request for the trooper's involvement, and that the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) happens to be headed by Fitzgerald's father ... who became WSP's superintendent on the same day Walker introduced his union-busting bill.

How handy.

Read CREW's letter to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Republicans' War on Women


 Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.
2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."
3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)
4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids. 
5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.
7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.
8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.
10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up). 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Republicans - shoot while the shooting is good...

Blunder Woman

Sarah Palin begins her campaign for 2012

Evolution vs. Creationism commentary

She only ant benefits cut for everybody else...

More hypocritical conservative bullshit...

Bankers have hurt feelings

I'm not alone in my disdain for TSA tactics...

No Food For TSA Agents

In Seattle: Business bans TSA agents.
USA-SECURITY/PATDOWNS KC McLawson works for a cafe near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and since the body-scan and patdown controversy last November, her boss has taken extraordinary measures to ensure the TSA knows of his displeasure.
“We have posted signs on our doors basically saying that they aren’t allowed to come into our business,” she says. “We have the right to refuse service to anyone.”
McLawson sez:
My boss flies quite a bit and he has an amazing ability to remember faces. If he sees a TSA agent come in we turn our backs and completely ignore them, and tell them to leave.
Their kind aren’t welcomed in our establishment.
A large majority of our customers — over 90 percent — agree with our stance and stand by our decision.
We even have the police on our side and they have helped us ###### TSA agents out of our cafe. Until TSA agents start treating us with the respect and dignity that we deserve, then things will change for them in the private sector.
Great! Now they'll start stealing food from passenger's luggage.

A letter from a 99'er

Michael Thornton - Huffington Post

Posted: November 29, 2010 02:36 PM

Many 99ers, unemployed and financially vulnerable Americans, will be able to relate to Mark's emotional letter. Hopefully Mark's moving letter also breaks through to those who can change these tragic circumstances with the stroke of a pen or a small change of mindset that considers a person's life over the constant pursuit of record profits and bonuses; the occupiers of corporate executive suites, Wall Street banking kingdoms and the Halls of Congress:
To the unemployed, sick, disabled and poor:

I'm unemployed over two years now, a 99er without any benefits for three months. I followed Unemployed Friends almost from its start, never posted until now, but am grateful for my time with you all. I did as asked with calls and e-mails, etc. I've a confession to make to you all. I'm a criminal.
I've obeyed the 10 commandments and all laws except: I'm unemployed and that's now a crime, I'm poor and that's a crime, I'm worthless surplus population and that's a crime, I'm a main street American Citizen born and raised in the USA and that's now a crime, and I'm euthanizing myself as I write this note -- so arrest my corpse. This isn't a call for help, the deed is done, it's not what I wanted. Death is my best available option. It's not just that my bank account is $4, that I've not eaten in a week, not because hunger pangs are agonizing (I'm a wimp), not because I live in physical and mental anguish, not because the landlady is banging on the door non-stop and I face eviction, not that Congress and President have sent a strong message they no longer help the unemployed. It's because I'm a law abiding though worthless, long-term unemployed older man who is surplus population. Had I used my college education to rip people off and steal from the elderly, poor, disabled and main street Americans I would be wearing different shoes now -- a petty king. Hard work, honesty, loving kindness, charity and mercy, and becoming unemployed and destitute unable to pay your bills are all considered foolishness and high crimes in America now. Whereas stealing and lying and cheating and being greedy to excess and destroying the fabric of America is rewarded and protected -- even making such people petty king and petty queens among us.
Since the end of 2008, when corporate America began enjoying the resumption of growth, profits have swelled from an annualized pace of $995 billion to the current $1.66 trillion as of the end of September 2010. Over the same period, the number of non-farm jobs counted by the Labor Department has slipped from 13.4 million to 13 million -- there is no recovery for the unemployed and main street. We taxpayers have handed trillions of dollars to the same bank and insurance industry that started our economic disaster with its reckless gambling. We bailed out General Motors. We distributed tax cuts to businesses that were supposed to use this lubrication to expand and hire. For our dollars, we have been rewarded with starvation, homelessness and a plague of fear -- a testament to post-national capitalism.
Twelve years ago, I lost the last of my family. Ten years ago, I lost the love of my life, couldn't even visit him in the hospital because gays have no rights. I fought through and grieved and went on as best I could. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Stage 2 high blood pressure with various complications including kidney problems, mild heart failure, Diabetic Retinopathy. These conditions are debilitating and painful. I am on over eight prescribed medications, which is very difficult without insurance and income. But I struggled on and my primary caregiver was very pleased with my effort overtime with my A1C at seven. Still these physical disabilities have progressively worsened, and I have had a harder and harder time functioning in basic ways. All the while, I give thanks to God because I know there are many more worse off than me -- and I tried to help by giving money to charities and smiling at people who looked down and sharing what little I had.
I am college educated and worked 35 years in management, receiving written references and praise from every boss for whom I worked. Yet, after thousands of resumes, applications, e-mails, phone calls, and drop ins, I've failed to get a job even at McDonalds. I've discovered there are three strikes against me -- most 99ers will understand. Strike one -- businesses are not hiring long-term unemployed -- in fact many job ads now underline "the unemployed need not apply." Strike two -- I am almost 60 years old. Employers prefer hiring younger workers who demand less and are better pack mules. Strike three -- for every job opening I've applied, there are over 300 applicants according to each business who allow a follow up call. With the U3 unemployment holding steady at 9.6percent and U6 at 17 percent for the past 18 months, the chances of me or any 99er landing a job is less than winning the Mega Million Jackpot. On top of that, even the most conservative economists admit unemployment will not start to fall before 2012 and most predict up to seven years of this crap.
I believe the Congress and President have no intention of really aiding the unemployed -- due to various political reasons and their total removal from the suffering of most Americans, their cold-hearted, self-serving natures. Had they really wanted to help us, they could have used unspent stimulus monies or cut foolish costs like the failed wars or foreign aid, and farm subsidies. The unspent stimulus money alone cold have taken care of ALL unemployed persons for five years or until the unemployment rate reached 7 percent if Congress and the President really wanted to help us -- and not string us all along with a meager safety net that fails every few months. In any case, if I were to survive homelessness (would be like winning the mega-millions) and with those three strikes against me, in seven more years, I'll be near 70 with the new retirement age at 70 -- now who will hire an old homeless guy out of work for nine years with just a few years until retirement?
So, here I am. Long term unemployed, older man, with chronic health problems, now totally broke, hungry, facing eviction. My landlady should really be an advocate for the unemployed -- she bangs on my door demanding I take action. A phone call and a "please" are not enough for her -- she is angry. She is right to be angry with me, I am unemployed -- as apparently everyone is now angry with us unemployed.
Two hundred and eleven and social services cannot help single men. Food banks and other charities are unable to help any more folks -- they are overwhelmed with the poor in this nation. So I have the "freedom" to be homeless and destitute and "pursue happiness" in garbage cans and then die -- yay for America huh? It's the end of November and cold. A diabetic homeless older person will experience amputations in the winter months. So I will be raiding garbage cans for food, as my body literally falls apart, a foot here, a finger there. I have experienced and even worked with pain from my diseases -- hardship I can face. I just cannot muster the courage to slowly die in agony and humiliation in the gutter.
I have no family, I have no friends. For the past two years, I've had nobody to talk with as people who knew me react to the "unemployed" label as if it were leprosy and contagious. I am not a bad person, in fact people really like me. But everyone seems to be on a tight budget these days and living in incredible fear. It is hopeless since we all are hearing more and more that we unemployed are to blame for unemployment, that we are just lazy, that we are no good, that we are sinners, that we are druggies, yet we are the victims who suffer and are punished while the robber baron banksters and tycoons become senators, congress, presidents and petty kings. So the only option left for me is merciful self euthanasia.
It is with a heavy heart that I have set my death in motion, but what I am facing is not living. So off I go, I have made peace with God and placed my burden on Jesus and He forgives me. This nation has become evil to the core, with cold-hearted politicians and tycoons squeezing what little Main Street Americans have left. It is not the America into which I was born -- the land of the free and the home of the brave with kind folks who help neighbors -- it is now land of the Tycoon-haves and the rest of us have-nots who march into hopelessness and despair.
Every unemployed person I have met over these past two years have been saintly. Sharing what little they have, and being charitable -- being kind and patient and supportive. Isn't it amazing that we Americans who suffer so much, have not taken to the streets in violence, riots or gotten out the guillotines and marched on tycoons and Washington in revolt as would happen in most other nations? But rather we plead with deaf politicians to please help us. We don't demand huge sums -- just 300 bucks a week, barely enough to cover housing for most. Most of all we say, please help us get a job, please allow us dignity.
I can't help but juxtapose our plight to the tycoons and politicians. They are never satisfied with their enormous wealth, and always want more millions no matter whom it hurts. They STEAL from pension funds, banks, the people and government, and little Wall Street investors. Then rather than face punishment, they become petty kings in this world. They are disloyal to America, unpatriotic, and serve their own foreign UN-American greedy causes and demand more and more and more. I feel that this is not the nation into which I was born. I was born in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. America, where people give as much as they receive. America, where all people work for the common good, and try to leave a better and more prosperous nation for the next generation. America, where people help their neighbors and show charity and mercy. This new America is alien to me -- it is an America of greed and corruption and avarice and mean spirited selfishness and hatred of the common good -- it is an America of savage beasts roaring and tearing at the weak, and bullying the humble and peacemakers and poor and those without means to defend themselves. I am not welcome here anymore. I don't belong here anymore. It's as if some evil beast controls government, the economy, and our lives now.
I must go now, my home is someplace else. Goodbye and God bless you all. God bless the unemployed and poor and elderly and disabled. God bless America and the American people except the tycoons and politicians -- may God retain the sins of tycoons and politicians and phony preachers and send them to the Devil.

More on the TSA patdowns

Having some experience with the TSA patdowns, they ARE intrusive and I still believe that they violate the Bill of Right's provision against search and seizure without due process.  More news on people who object to the procedure.  And ask yourself - how long before someone in government decides they should do this whenever your walking on the street?

Politician Refuses Pat-Down, Takes Boat

In Seattle: State Representative Cissna objects to airport search demand.
An Alaskan state lawmaker is returning home by sea after refusing a pat-down search at a Seattle airport, a spokeswoman said..
Rep. Sharon Cissna underwent a body scan as she was preparing to leave Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Sunday and was then required to undergo the pat-down by Transportation Safety Administration officials, said Michelle Scannell, her chief of staff.
Scannell said that TSA called for the pat-down because the scan showed Cissna had had a mastectomy. But it wasn't immediately clear from statements by the lawmaker's office and TSA why that would necessitate the further search.
Scannell described the pat-down search as "intrusive," but did not elaborate on the Anchorage Democrat's decision.
Cissna, who had undergone medical treatment in Seattle, is traveling by ferry from Seattle to Juneau, Scannell said.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Republicans gone crazy

What Your Representatives Did While You Were Asleep

Here are some of the things your House of Representatives did early this morning:

* Voted to strip funding from just about every EPA project, including air quality, emissions, and water pollution monitoring.
* Defunded NOAA
* Stripped funds to administer the Affordable Care Act.
* Eliminated funds for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
* Continued $53 billion in oil subsidies
* Tried to eliminate Davis-Bacon rules for government projects (that failed)
* Stripped federal workers of their salaries in positions within agencies targeted for defunding

Of course, yesterday they defunded Planned Parenthood, FCC allocations for enforcement of Net Neutrality rules, and the entire Affordable Care Act.

They also managed to pass a budget 235-189 after the sorriest bunch of bullsh*t debate this writer has ever observed. The vote was down party lines, with the exception of 3 Republicans who voted against it. The most entertaining part of the whole entire screwed-up process was watching Republicans make love to Big Oil while the whole world watched.

Oh, note to the Tea Party...hahahahaha!!!! They only managed to cut $60 billion. Broken promises, broken promises. And so soon in your young reign of terror.

I hope it was good for them. I felt screwed without even so much as a kiss on the cheek.

With that said, all props to Rosa DeLauro for her 3AM rant with energy, passion and focus. Enjoy that moment. There weren't all that many.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A better explanation of what's happening in Wisconsin - video

Think Progress (2/18/2011) updates on Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) insisted last night that the GOP is "not going to be bullied" or "intimidated" by the massive protests against his anti-union bill. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) backed Walker as a governor who is "daring to speak the truth."

President Obama accused Walker of unleashing an "assault" on unions
by pushing legislation to nullify collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees. The President is mobilizing state and national union officials to organize thousands of protesters in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.


A terrific post on abortion rights

A Grace Note Of Humanity Was Introduced By Rep. Speier Into Republicans' Shameless Show Trial of Planned Parenthood

I've been covering the anti-abortion movement for so long, I can recite the talking points in my sleep. And you know what I figured out early on? Almost every dedicated activist I interviewed was either someone who had lost a baby, or someone who couldn't get pregnant. Their opposition was often grounded in nothing more complicated than "My wife and I can't find a nice little white baby to adopt, and yet these selfish girls just flush them down the toilet!"

And those stories about anti-abortion activists bringing their own daughters to get abortions? Not an urban myth. A friend who managed a local center told me many years ago about a case where it even turned out that the anti-abortion dad who brought his daughter to the clinic was the father.

I'm not saying no one's genuinely moved to oppose abortion. I'm just pointing out there are all kinds of reasons why people oppose abortion, and many of those reasons have nothing whatsoever to do with Baby Jesus, little red roses and cute little fetus feet. They do have a lot to do with their own dark, repressed drives, bitterness, resentment, vindictiveness, twisted ideas about sex and an overwhelming need to punish women who do just about anything of which they don't approve. Conservative politicians are more than happy to take advantage of this psychological morass -- after all, it's a highly lucrative fundraising tool and also drives elections.

That's why I was riveted to see this genuinely anguished response from Rep. Jackie Speier (CA) after a self-appointed defender of the Conceived But Not Yet Born, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ), read from a graphic description of an abortion procedure on the floor of the House Thursday night:
Mr. Chairman, I had really planned to speak about something else, but the gentleman from New Jersey has just put my stomach in knots, because I’m one of those women he spoke about just now.
I had a procedure at 17 weeks, pregnant with a child that had moved from the vagina into the cervix, and that procedure that you just talked about was a procedure that I endured. I lost the baby. But for you to stand on this floor and to suggest as you have that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous. To think that we are here tonight debating this issue, when the American people if they are listening are scratching their heads and wondering: What does this have to do with me getting a job? What does this have to do with reducing the deficit? And the answer is: Nothing at all.
There is a vendetta against Planned Parenthood and it was played out in this room tonight. Planned Parenthood has a right to operate. Planned Parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. Planned Parenthood has a right to offer abortions. The last time I checked, abortions were legal in this country.
Now, you may not like Planned Parenthood. So be it. There are many on our side of the aisle that don’t like Halliburton, and Halliburton is responsible for extortion, for bribery, for 10 cases of misconduct in the Federal database for a $7 billion sole source contract. But do you see us over here filing amendments to wipe out funding for Halliburton? No. Because, frankly, that would be irresponsible.
It's encouraging that the response to her speech has been very supportive.

Maybe it's time to let them go....

Maybe it's time to let all of the southern and conservative states opt out of the United States. Yep, withdraw all support (including defense, welfare, health care, etc.) and let them fend for themselves. If we were to withdraw all governmental establishments (offices, military bases, defense contracting, etc.) what would they have left? Texas bitches the loudest about the Federal Government and gets more in subsidies and government contracting than any other state in the nation. Hypocrites.

The BBC mocks the GOP - video

Conservative Christians claim the greater morality.

Rush Limbaugh - not fomenting shootings.

Rush Limbaugh claims that his harsh words are not intended to stir people into a shooting frenzy - yet this is one of the billboards promoting his radio show.

Religion is the drug of the right-wing

Yeah - he got that right.

"It's as if 9/11 were a shot of novocaine into our nation's moral nerves. It was such a shock that we still haven't gotten over it. It has made people indifferent to things that we should be outraged about,"
  -THOMAS FRIEDMAN (September2005)

Why aren't we more upset over Congresswomen getting shot, people being searched without cause and people having their rights taken away?  And for God's sake, why aren't we more concerned about our government trying to pay for the deficit on the backs of the middle class and the poor people instead of raising taxes on the wealthy?  I don't get it.

Republicans: using the language of violence.

Atheism: perception vs reality

Slowpoke: Freedom to be screwed

If any of the poor and middle class folks who vote Republican really understood what they were voting for, the country wouldn't have the issues we have today.

How nasty ARE Republicans?

Just in case you're still not quite sure the depths to which Republicans will go to punish Democrats for being who they are,  take a gander at this asshole...

TUCSON, Ariz. - A city firefighter refused to respond to the Jan. 8 shooting spree that left six people dead and 13 wounded, the Arizona Daily Star reported, citing city memos.

The firefighter, Mark Ekstrum, quit the force two days later as management was considering possible disciplinary action against him, the Daily Star reported.Fire Capt. Ben Williams wrote in a memo that when Ekstrum told him he would not go on the call, "he mentioned something about 'political bantering' and he did not want to be part of it," the newspaper reported.

After he was contacted by the Daily Star about the incident, Ekstrum said in a statement he was distraught about the shootings and had no disagreement with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and is recovering at a Houston medical facility. Ekstrum said he was "distracted" and doubted his ability to focus on an emergency call.

Ekstrum was part of a team trained to handle major medical emergencies. The unit was not part of the first group of emergency responders and was only dispatched to the scene about 90 minutes after the gunfire broke out, the newspaper reported.

The Daily Star obtained the city memos that detailed the incident via a public records request.

The newspaper reported that Williams wrote that Ekstrum "started to say something about how he had a much different political viewpoint than the rest of the crew and he was concerned."


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rachel Maddow

Rachel does a 14 minute segment on the very issue I've been highlighting in recent days - the Republican effort to destroy the middle class.

Republican: Remove child labor protections

There just aren't any words left in my vocabulary to express my outrage over Republican stupidity. It's just as I've been saying, however - the Republican party represents big business and wants to do everything it can to make poor people even poorer so that they will work for a song-and-a-dance so the wealthy can continue to get richer.
Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham (R) is pushing a bill which would dramatically claw back state child labor protections. As the bill’s official summary explains:
This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed.
Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.
The current restrictions, Cunningham says, imply “that government can make a better decision than a parent.” Also, Cunningham, who is no fan of public schools, dislikes the provision in state law that says students younger than 16 must obtain signed permission from their school before taking a job.


TSA Thieves

Tell me that the TSA isn't a bigger problem for travelers than terrorists...

A TSA supervisor stole money from passengers who went through his security checkpoint and accepted bribes and kickbacks from a colleague.
Michael Arato, a supervisor at Newark Liberty Airport, admitted on Monday that he regularly took money from passengers during security screenings and deliberately targeted foreigners who could not speak much English.
The 41-year-old, from Ewing, admitted in federal court that he permitted a worker he supervised to steal $10,000 to $30,000 in cash from traveller's bags over a 13-month period.
During one recorded conversation, the two TSA agents discussed an on-going competition between them that involved stealing from passengers in the presence of their TSA supervisors.
Another time, the pair discussed how they did not feel bad stealing from foreign passengers who were leaving the country with 'our money'.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Making stuff up?

FOX News Makes Stuff Up?

At Media Matters: FOX NEWS INSIDER- “Stuff Is Just Made Up”.

A former Fox News employee who recently agreed to talk with Media Matters confirmed what critics have been saying for years about Murdoch’s cable channel. Namely, that Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking. 
“It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”
And that’s the word from inside Fox News.
Everyone knows this is true, but interviewing a person who refuses to be identified is not the best way to make a case.

Using TSA to lower health care costs (cartoon)

Right Wingers - peace loving Americans (not)

Republican ignorance (video)

Republicans growing more ferocious

They feed on their own greed and hatred at helping the less fortunate.

Sarah's got a gun (animated)


Superpatriots need guns to enforce their will...

Political rhetoric CAN be dangerous stuff

THIS warms the cockles of my heart...

I love it when a plan comes together, and here a bunch of good people are joining in solidarity to fight the insanity of the Republicans in Wisconsin.  From Crooks and Liars.

Wisconsin workers are marching on the capital today to protest Governor Scott Walker's effort to crush their bargaining rights through the back door. Their newest ally? The Green Bay Packers, past and present, who signed a letter in support of the workers.
The statement reads:
"We know that it is teamwork on and off the field that makes the Packers and Wisconsin great. As a publicly owned team we wouldn't have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans.
"It is the same dedication of our public workers every day that makes Wisconsin run. They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.
"The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards. Wisconsin's long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s. It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.
"These public workers are Wisconsin's champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights."
Excuse me while I go pull our cheeseheads out of the garage and wear them in solidarity with the Packers and the Wisconsin workers.
Update: Wisconsin police and firefighers have joined the protest in solidarity, despite being exempt under Walker's proposal. Also, 400 students walked out of class today to protest suppression of their teachers' bargaining rights. Private sector unions have also offered support.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How dare you question your government?

Can you say "national ID?"

I always thought that having to carry identification papers with you wherever you go was for OTHER countries, but it looks like our freedoms continue to erode.

Support for a free Internet?

You would like to believe this, but the government has done just about everything in its power to try to shut down Wikileaks.

Personals - missed connections

I think he'd like to start a new relationship...

Starving the Beast

What will our nation look like if the Republican armies are successful in killing off public education? I hope I'm not around to see it.

Judges - bought and paid for

It seems like at least the judges in our governmental system should be free from influence by special interest groups so that they can render impartial decisions, but I guess that's not even so.  Nor are they beyond lying about it.  Just warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it?  The following is from The Progress Report (2/15/11).

Common Cause sent a letter to the Supreme Court yesterday asking for a clarification: though a Court spokeswoman previously said Justice Clarence Thomas only did a "brief drop-by" to a conservative, Koch-organized event in 2008, Thomas' financial disclosure report reveals four days of accommodations, paid for by the conservative Federalist Society. "I don't think the explanation they've given is credible," said Common Cause vice president Arn Pearson.

How long will the Republican insanity last?

Seriously, how far do the right wing Republicans have to go before the American public rises up against their insanity?  The following is from The Progress Report (2/15/11)

The South Dakota House is considering a bill that could "make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions." The GOP-backed bill, which passed out of committee, would alter that state's definition of justifiable homicide to allow killing if committed by a person "while resisting an attempt to harm" that person's unborn child or the unborn child of a person's spouse, partner, parent, or child.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Republicans declare war on the middle class

Here's another take on the class war going on in the U.S. - this picked up from a post by Heather on Crooks and Liars...

Business Doesn't Need American Workers:
Once again, the job numbers are dismal. In January, the U.S. economy created just 36,000 domestic jobs, far below the roughly 145,000 that economists had forecast. The unemployment rate fell, to 9 percent, but only because more and more discouraged workers are giving up and leaving the workforce.
The U.S. still has a jobs gap of about 14 million jobs, and that number is increasing as the labor force grows. Counting people who've given up, or who are working part time when they want full time jobs, the real unemployment number is around 17 percent. America now has about 25 million people either out of work or underemployed.
Meanwhile, corporate profits continue to set records. Profits in the third quarter of 2010 were 1.659 trillion, about 28 percent higher than a year before, and the highest year-to-year increase on record.
What's going on? Very simply, America's corporations no longer need America's workers.

Republicans declare war on the middle class

As if they weren't rich enough, Republicans and US businesses figure they can get even wealthier if they can just pay their employees a pittance.  And it seems to be working.  The following is from

Wealth gap widens

Chasm between wealthiest households and everyone else has grown more than 50% since the early 1960s.
By Jeanne Sahadi, senior writer
August 29 2006: 1:29 PM EDT
NEW YORK ( -- Over the past 40 years, those at the top of the money food chain have seen their wealth grow at a rate far outpacing everyone else, according to a new analysis released by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group.
In the early 1960s, the top 1 percent of households in terms of net worth held 125 times the median wealth in the United States. Today, that gap has grown to 190 times.