Thursday, February 28, 2013

From the former President of the Smarter, more successful Party

Breaking News! House of Representatives passes Violence Against Women Act

No - NOT the crappy misogynistic House version - the House has passed the SENATE version, which expands on protections for all women, including Native American women, victims of violence in same-sex relationships, and women who are immigrants.

Hooray! This is especially important in states like Minnesota, where there have been terrible issues regarding non-tribal men abusing, raping, and beating women with impunity because they were not prosecuted under state or federal laws, and because they could not be arrested and prosecuted in tribal courts.

Another loss for ugly, immoral, unethical, and violently anti-women conservative values. Another defeat for the party that wanted to continue to let domestic abusers have guns, despite the horrific number of women murdered by intimate partners, especially their husbands.

Once again the anti-Tea Party / anti-extremist new members of the GOP voted with Democrats against their colleagues in the same party, as the GOP continues to fracture between sane moderates, and insane extremist ideologues.

Had the extremist pro-women beaters backed away from their unpopular anti-women views before the 2012 election cycle, that cycle might have been a lot different. But clearly the extremist in the GOP and the Tea Party are unable and unwilling to correct their positions when they are wrong or mistaken, or both. It is an ominous pattern of failure for the far right, but an encouraging turn of events for the nation.

I predict this will be the new political reality for 2013 and 2014: moderate Republicans repudiating their own failed and failing party to pass Democratic led legislation in this and the subsequent sessions of Congress.

This will NOT be a one-off; the conservative right is wrong, and some of them have the strength to fix what is wrong - even if it means going left.

From CNN:
By a vote of 166-257, the GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act failed to win a majority after almost 90 minutes of debate. The House then voted 286-138 to pass the Senate version, with 87 Republicans joining all 199 Democrats to provide majority support.

The Dangers of trigger-happy gun huggers under 'Shoot First' laws in practice


Shoot first laws authorize gun owners to shoot someone engaged in a felony, not shoot someone who maybe-coulda-woulda-might commit a crime at some future time, not shoot someone involved in a misdemeanor act.

Too often, drunk or sober, gun carriers demonstrate poor judgment and poor safety practices in their decision to draw and fire their weapons. They should lose their guns, their rights to ever have guns again, and we should stop authorizing so many people to carry firearms, and repeal the shoot first laws that give them the idea they can use their guns in this unsafe, illegal way. They are endangering us, not making us safe, not helping law enforcement to stop crime.

The problem is that gun owners apparently in practice, despite supposed training, haven't a clue when it is safe or not safe to shoot, or when it is legal for them to shoot. Numb nuts in the example above clearly thought he was large and in charge of his gun when he shot his girlfriend. Had you asked him moments before he tried to be Quick-Draw McGraw if he was safe, and in full control of his weapon, he would have told you how safe he was, how there was NOTHING to worry about - and then showed you, shooting his girlfriend.

We see this in the numb-nuts, the dangerous FOOLS, who think they could have taken out the Aurora shooter in a crowded, dark, smoke filled, tear-gas filled theater, without acknowledging that would have endangered others.  These idiots also fail to acknowledge that they could not have clearly seen the shooter, that the shooter was wearing ballistic armor that would have made it unlikely their bullets would have harmed him (other than some bruises).  They fail to acknowledge that there bullets would not only have endangered those in that theater, but like the bullets fired by the shooter, would have endangered people in the adjoining theater. They think they are superheroes when they have a gun, and that makes them dangerous, delusional, and stupid.

It is not only the "I could have taken out the bad guy" braggerts that are part of the problem. We have frequent examples in shoot first law states of incidents like this one in Florida, the 'gunshine' state.
From WESH, Ch.2, Orlando FL:

Armed shopper shoots at Walmart shoplifter, police say

Officials: Shoplifter caught in DeLand

ORANGE CITY, Fla. —Gunfire erupted in the parking lot of an Orange City Walmart store on Wednesday when an armed shopper fired shots at a suspected shoplifter, police said.

It started as a shoplifting incident inside the store on Veterans Memorial Parkway near Saxon Boulevard. A thief loaded up a cart of merchandise, and loss-prevention employees tried to stop him as he left the store, officials said.Authorities said the shoplifter, identified as Eddie McKee, 42, knocked Ann Buongiorno to the ground as he ran out of the store.
 ...An off-duty law enforcement officer saw McKee running for his car and ordered him to stop, but McKee fled.
Investigators said another man in the parking lot, who was identified as Jose Martinez, pulled out a gun and fired at least four shots at McKee. The back window of the car was shot out, and bullet holes were found in the trunk.

Martinez told authorities he was trying to mark McKee's car, but officials said bullets landed inches away from the cars of bystanders.
 "There was no one in danger," Martinez said.
 Really? Because law enforcement doesn't seem to agree, nor did people who were in the parking lot near where the shots were fired, inches away.
McKee was stopped near South Kepler Road and East New York Avenue in DeLand, authorities said. He faces a misdemeanor charge.
Investigators said Martinez was charged with two felonies, but he does have a concealed weapons permit.
Trigger happy shooter Martinez shot up a car in a Walmart parking lot, endangering the off-duty cop who was trying to handle the situation, endangering the shoplifter - who did NOT deserve to be shot for shoplifting - and endangering the other customers and employees of the Walmart, as well as pedestrians, drivers on the nearby street, or people in buildings withing a mile or more of the Walmart. 

Like the claims of those who believe THEY could have taken down James Holmes in the Aurora theater in Colorado, the gun huggers,  these concealed carry permit holders - especially in lax states like Florida where the state frequently issues gun permits to people they shouldn't, both in Florida, and in other states, this gun hugger didn't know EITHER when it was legal to fire his gun at someone, OR when it was safe to do so.

If you follow the gun hugger blog sites or other bullshit piles of misinformation, you will similarly see a lot of emphasis given to Geoge Zimmerman being justified in shooting Trayvon Matin because he was high on pot.  The reality is that the autopsy detected a TRACE amount of THC, an amount which could have as easily come from exposure to use by others smoking marijuana.  It was not sufficient to indicate an altered state, nor was there any quantity in his system or on his body that rose to the level of a felony.  We don't shoot people for having been around someone else smoking marijuana; we don't shoot people for having previously smoked marijuana, we don't shoot people for supposedly having marijuana who only have ice tea and skittles in their pockets.  There appears to be NOTHING that Trayvon Martin did which justifies the claim by George Zimmerman that Martin was acting suspiciously, was behaving as if drunk or high - which have very different behavioral characteristics, they are not the same.  The ONLY thing that George Zimmerman thought was suspicious was that Trayvon Martin was a black kid in a hoodie walking through his neighborhood. THAT, like shoplifting, was not a felony; in the case of Trayvon Martin, it was not even a misdemeanor.  George Zimmerman did not shoot Trayvon Martin for having a trace - a TRACE - amount of THC in his system.  George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because George Zimmerman was a coward with a gun who stalked and harassed a teenager who was minding his own business, and then George Zimmerman got into a confrontation with Martin that Zimmerman himself initiated by his behavior, contrary to law enforcement directions. George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin when Martin acted in self-defense, with more courage than Zimmerman demonstrated.
Without a gun, Zimmerman would be far less likely to engage in such rogue behavior.  With a gun, Zimmerman shot an innocent kid for acting in self defense; with a gun, Zimmerman fired shots in a housing area where a missed shot could EASILY have endangered others.

People who are gun-huggers, people who are paranoid cowards like Zimmerman, people who are vigilante-minded like the shooter Jose Martinez in the Walmart parking lot, endanger everyone, while doing NOTHING to prevent crime.  They cause damage, they cause injury, they cause deaths that all could be avoided.  They get in the way of law enforcement, they endanger law enforcement; they confuse crime scenes for lawful authority.  Concealed carry permit holders are the pocket-sized version of loose cannons, who are themselves the criminals, not the solution to criminal behavior by others.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ted Cruz, Tea Party Liar and 2016 hopeful for President

The only phrase that comes close to being adequate is corrupt, grandstanding asshole.

The following are only from approximately the past month. He has more; he'll add to these.

Vile Racist, Dirty, Cheating, Election Tampering, Voter Suppressing Conservatives

When the conservatives wail and moan about 'big givernment' needing to be shrunk down smaller, what they REALLY mean is that they don't want a federal government that can act to preserve the voting rights of minorities when state and local governments acting like bigots and criminals.

GOP - either they don't know, or they are liars: in either case, they should not be allowed to govern

Why? OHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Demand a Change in our laws, in our failed gun culture

The history of black gangs

 From We the People:
Did you know that the first Black gangs in L.A. were established to fight against a white gang called the Spook Hunters?

The back of the Spook (spook being a derogatory term for Black people) Hunters club jackets displayed an animated Black face with exaggerated facial features and a noose hanging around the neck. They would often cross over into Black neighborhoods to terrorize and violently attack Black youths. The Spook Hunters were supplied by and closely tied to the LAPD.

Black History Month

I am sad to find that there are terrible assumptions still made about black people - about black fathers who actively parent their children and are responsible, about black teens all being gangsters, about the percentage of black kids in gangs. Time for a little fact check reality check on what it means now, and what it has meant for more centuries in this country. Because those who are white and on the far right have so much of their information and their assumptions WRONG.
from We the People:
Mount Zion Baptist Church, Seattle, Washington (1890- ), with the largest black congregation in Washington state, was established in 1890, organized on February 18, 1894, and incorporated in 1903. After worshiping in several rental sites, the church purchased property at 11th Avenue and East Union and in 1907, erected a church building. In 1918, a lot was purchased at 19th and East Madison for construction of a new church which was built in 1920. In the 1940s, during the World War II years, the membership grew as black people moved to Seattle to work at Boeing and related war industries. In 1975, a new African inspired sanctuary was built to house a vastly increased membership.
During the church’s century-long history, numerous pastors served with the following providing a more sustained leadership: Rev. W. D. Carter (1912-1922), Rev. J. Sterling Moore (1922-1932), Rev. Taylor M. Davis (1932-1940), Rev. Fountain W. Penick (1940-1942), Rev. F. Benjamin Davis (1942-1955), and Rev. Gil B. Lloyd (1955-1958). Reverend Samuel B. McKinney provided the longest continuous pastorship in its history, from 1958 until 1988. Rev. Leslie Braxton served as pastor from 1988, until his resignation in 2005. Rev. McKinney, pastor emeritus, returned to the church in September 2005, to be a supply pastor until a new pastor is found.
Need another example of a positive, constructive sense of community among black Americans - and the response from racists? from the same source:

Touted by the California Eagle as the “greatest undertaking ever put upon our people in America,” the Pacific Beach Club was to be the largest all black recreational resort in the United States. Built on the shores of Huntington Beach, CA between 1925 and 1926 (30 miles south of Los Angeles in Orange County), the facility was designed for Los Angeles’s growing black middle class. Although a local white attorney initially bankrolled the project, local African American leaders such as E. Burton Ceruti and Joe Bass spearheaded the effort. The club’s proprietors sought land outside of Los Angeles County due to Jim Crow racial restrictions on all but a few hundred feet of the County’s 75 miles of beachfront.
The proprietors secured seven acres and commenced building a bathhouse for 1,500 people, a ballroom and pavilion and club house for 2,000, a restaurant, grocery store, drug store, and a 200 unit tent city (equipped with water, electricity, and gas) in the spring of 1925. According to the advertisements, there was “no finer group of cottages at any beaches,” white or black, in the nation. The bathhouse and pavilion were completed in January, 1926.
Problems plagued the endeavor from the beginning. Contractors frequently abandoned the project while white business interests in Huntington Beach obstructed efforts of the club’s proprietors to obtain permits, water, and electricity. Finally, two weeks before the Pacific Beach Club’s grand opening, arsonists burned it to the ground. No arrests were ever made.
Clearly, now and for a long time, we have had black accomplishment in the face of unfair, racist opposition based on inaccurate assumptions.


These are the claims made against Monsanto, serious claims which merit investigation, congressional hearings, and action. There has to be lines drawn so that profits do not take precedence over people.

It's not like the House under Boehner is doing much anyway

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Breaking news!

Chuck Hagel has been confirmed!

Loopy Lindsey Graham and crabby, increasingly senile John McCain wail and gnash their teeth, while the tea party fool Ted Cruz grandstands.

Winning is nice. Another filibuster bites the dust.

From etymonline:
1580s, flibutor "pirate," probably ultimately from Du. vrijbuiter "freebooter," used of pirates in the West Indies as Sp. filibustero and Fr. flibustier, either or both of which gave the word to Amer.Eng. (see freebooter). Used 1850s and '60s of lawless adventurers from
the U.S. who tried to overthrow Central American countries. The legislative sense is first recorded c.1851, probably because obstructionist legislators "pirated" debate. Not technically restricted to U.S. Senate, but that's where the strategy works best. Related: Filibustered; filibustering.

Global Warming Agreement: Consensus, not controvery

There is no 'controversy' among scientists on two subjects where the anti-acience right wing claims it.

Consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming is 99.84%; the consensus for evolution among scientists is at a very similar 99.9%. This is on a par with claiming those who believe the earth is flat are supporting a legitimate controversy, and that there is not general agreement on the shape of our planet among scientists.  All three ideas where a non-existent controversy is asserted seem to come from those who are religious, right wing, and anti-government, and who are prone to conspiracy theories.

In other words, NOT people who should be taken seriously, and DEFINITELY not people who should be put in charge of anything relating to education, much less public education.

As with creationism, the opposition science is junk science, funded by groups and organizations with an axe to grind, with the aim clearly being to produce a pre-determined or 'rigged' outcome.  That is not valid science, hence the term 'junk science'.

The reality is that 99.84% of scientists confirm there is global warming; and nearly as many confirm that we are causing it.

From James Lawrence Powell:

Consensus: 99.84% of Peer-Reviewed Articles Support the Idea of Global Warming

Scientists do not disagree about human-caused global warming. It is the ruling paradigm of climate science, in the same way that plate tectonics is the ruling paradigm of geology. We know that continents move. We know that the earth is warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause. These are known facts about which virtually all publishing scientists agree.

Funny thing, this blog has the same condition

Just sayin'

Trayvon Matin - One Year Ago Today

Racist George Zimmerman, who accused EVERY male black teen he saw in his neighborhood of being a criminal, regardless of the reality, and who made his black neighbors uncomfortable with his racism, shot and killed Trayvon Martin on this day last year.

Zimmerman stalked and harassed a teenager minding his own business, got into a confrontation with him that he - Zimmerman - instigated, and then shot him.  Trayvon Martin was a good kid, a student who earned good grades, who played sports, who had a bright future ahead of him going to college.

One life taken from Trayvon Martin, other lives including his own ruined, by George Zimmerman, who has tried to take advantage of this to live extravagantly, but is now running out of money. Again.

This is the reason that shoot first laws are bad; they have resulted over and over in citizen vigilantes making themselves judge and jury and executioners too many times, and have removed the accountability.  There is no need for shoot first laws; there are no lines of people who were being arrested for having justifiably shot themselves in self-defense; our self-defense laws were, if anything, too lenient already.  Castle doctrine has evolved in the United States very differently than in every other country in the world, where the history of such laws always - ALWAYS - require, quite properly, that shoot first be a last resort, not the first resort; this includes a duty to retreat, as it should here in the United States.

Instead, we not only give excessive latitude to shooting people at home, we arm people who are badly trained, not evaluated for mental, physical or emotional fitness, not trained in the legal distinctions of what is and is not allowed, and we turn them loose on our streets unsupervised - and don't hold them properly accountable. Those who are the victims of wrongful shootings cannot sue; those who are the survivors of wrongful shooting deaths cannot sue, because shooters are not liable, not required to have the same resources for liability as duly authorized law enforcement.

So many of the things that are wrong with shoot first laws are clear in the Trayvon Martin murder.

I can only hope that George Zimmerman's case results in more of these laws, ALL OF THEM DRAFTED FROM CORRUPT ALEC MODEL LEGISLATION funded by the NRA, instead of being drafted by legislators in each state, being rejected or repealed.  NOWHERE have these laws resulted in less crime; EVERYWHERE they have passed they have resulted in more shootings, homicides that should not have happened.

Monday, February 25, 2013

We can't afford NOT to fund high quality early education

Equality of Rights, not right-wing-nut homophobia

The abuses of Walmart

Shades of Les Mis! There is a place for proportionality

Monopolizing the special interests

Whine La Pierre - surprise

That is a lot of empty desks and lost lives

It's time

NRA = Not Relevant Anymore

Tea Party Science class illustration

Not conservative - intellect AND sexuality

Wonderful world of geek

I love Legos; I loved as a child the transparent anatomy model figures that you assemble, of people and animals. How geeky is it that I know the version in the second row is a newer model, and the earlier dog was the boxer?

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this version for Legos. Hooray for geek!

They belong to the party of.....


Can you name them all?

You can find the answers here:

Had you flu shot?

GOP on the Sequestration: All mouth, no spine, no memory, no integrity

Like Obamacare, aka Romneycare, the right pushes ideas, and then tries to blame the current administration for them. The most recent example is the right trying to blame the failures of THEIR sequester legislation on Obama; it was NOT his idea - it was their idea, and they bragged about it. Now, like Romneycare, they are trying to run away from it. It is almost a rule of thumb that if the right doesn't like ir, after they previously supported something, they are more worried about success for Obama's administration, they are worried about dodging responsibility. Conservatives form the party of cowards and liars, and failing to take responsibility.

The right are cowards, and the right are liars.

from Slate: John Boehner's 2011 PowerPoint Touting the Sequester

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, leaves after a news briefing Feb. 14, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.A weird thing has opened up in Washington where now the big point of emphasis among congressional Republicans is to say that the looming budget sequester that Republicans voted for is "Obama's sequester" and that he is in some sense to blame for it. That's about 85 percent bullshit, depending on exactly how you mean it. John Avlon at the Daily Beast has a good piece of relevant evidence: the PowerPoint slides Boehner used back in 2011 to explain to his caucus how awesome the debt ceiling deal that had been struck by the president was.
Here's the opener:
And here's the specific slide on the sequester:
In essence, Democrats tries to put pressure on the GOP to temper its anti-tax fervor as the only way to avoid big defense cuts, but it turned out—and then turned out again on the supercommittee, and then turned out again during the fiscal cliff deal—that their view on taxes trumps everything else. That's on more here
PoliticusUSA noted it was an idea strongly supported by right-winger Paul Ryan, going back to 2004 - LONG BEFORE OBAMA supported the idea, and Ryan continued to support it in the current iteration.
paul-ryan-sadRepresentative(and failed VP nominee) Paul Ryan (R-WI) can tell you all about how great sequestration is. Why, he’s been a fan since 2004. Not just a fan — he’s pushed sequestration as the solution, as good governance, since 2004. When he finally got it in 2011, he bragged about it to Fox News. Oh, the conservatives finally got it, he told Sean Hannity! The holy grail of economic discipline is here! WOO HOO!
Ryan explained, “We want to make it very difficult for Congress to avoid this budget discipline.”
Now that it’s here, though, Paul Ryan no likey the sequester anymore. Budget discipline bad.

Not to be left out, we have Eric Cantor caught flip flopping on sequestration as well, by, where he lied about his role in promoting and passing the Sequester, as House Majority Leader.  Their conclusion? A complete flip flop. Cantor has been caught in a full on lie.

UH OH! Busted!
Congress was faced with a stark choice in August 2011: Either agree to a deal that could trigger the sequester or place the nation in default. Cantor chose the deal. As we have written before, it is possible to have voted for the compromise out of a desire to keep Washington solvent and hope that the automatic cuts never occur.
We couldn’t find any record Cantor saying he supported having the sequester. But the majority leader helped set the clock ticking on the cuts by voting for a measure that included their possibility. And he’s maintained a hard line against the compromise Democrats say is necessary to avoid the sequester: mixing in some tax increases with spending cuts to reduce deficits.
Cantor is now distancing himself from a situation he helped create. We rate that a Full Flop.

"OH NO! I'm on record?", he seems to say.
Let's not leave out the Majority Whip's support for Sequestration, Kevin McCarthy, majority whip; they could not have presented the legislation and had the votes without his support and efforts.  As noted in Politico on the attempt at revisionist history by the right - the only kind they seem to go in for:

Hoyer: GOP's sequestration claims 'patently false'

As Republicans have been on a messaging blitz to blame President Barack Obama for the sequester, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said that claim was “patently false.”
The GOP is “pretending it’s the president’s policy which is patently false, which is absolutely proven in the Republican’s Cut, Cap, and Balance bill, sequestration is the fallback position they put in their legislation. Period,” Hoyer told reporters on Tuesday.

Right wing Fake Patriotism

Failed priorities, failed right wing economic policies

John Boehner was one of the worst offenders for catering to war profiteering making duplicate engines for every fuselage in his own district, to keep getting re-elected. Congress, particularly our Republican and Tea Party members, have been pushing projects that are failures, and trying to push them on our allies as well. Far too often they are pushing on our military equipment and systems the military DOES NOT WANT. This is exactly the military industrial complex that great presidents, like Eisenhower, have warned against. this represents the choices of corruption and redundant death equipment, not legitimate military defense, over investments in science and life. Science R&D consistently is an economic multiplier, producing multiple dollars in return for every dollar put into research.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

More proof GOP economic and taxation policies do not work

Just sayin'

It is black history month; the more some thing change, the more they stay the same

How far we have come, how far we still have to go.  Republicans suppressed the vote this year by removing predominantly minority legal voters from voting rolls, and by creating situations where there were far longer lines for minority voters, intended to discourage people from voting.

These problems seem pretty much only to occur where there are Republicans in charge, and they appear, pretty clearly, to be deliberate and intentional targeting, not accidental, in order to tamper with elections, in order to cheat to win.  This from the party that whines about imaginary voter fraud, voter fraud that in reality is more rare than the chances of a person being struck by lightning, TWICE.  If this was being done to them, the right would be screaming mad, and appropriately so.

Let's NOT tolerate racist conservative oppression any longer.

 From Think Progress:
Poll Finds Minorities, Democrats Faced Longer Voting Lines | With a shortened window for early voting before the election, some voters endured a six-hour wait to cast their ballot. Voters in swing states Florida and Virginia faced intimidating lines on election day as well, including areas with strong turnout.  According to a Hart Research poll sponsored by AFL-CIO, minorities and Democrats were more likely to experience these challenges than Republicans, with 16 percent of Obama voters waiting 30 minutes or more compared to 9 percent of Romney voters.  African-Americans and Hispanics were the likeliest to experience longer lines, at 22 percent and 24 percent respectively. In 2008, African-Americans waited twice as long as white voters, according to an MIT survey.


And as a Daily Kos article earlier this month noted, the failed values party, the party of a lack of ethics and morality, is attempting to make the problem worse, not better, because they think allowing only white voters to participate in our democracy is not a problem, it is their goal.

And yet, the right seems to sincerely believe that if the ONLY rephrase their core values, minorities will support their policies? Not bloody likely.

The whiny victim party of crabby, flabby, old white guys blubbers about 'playing the race card' anytime they are fairly and correctly criticized for their bad conduct, as if they can somehow excuse their racism.

They may be the party of stupid, where that kind of maneuver works on their own; but it doesn't fool anyone else.

A little Oscar humor

This is a little Academy award humor; as the person who shared it with me noted, it is awful - and you probably can't help laughing either. It has been 148 years since Lincoln was assassinated in 1865; but he was reported to have had a sense of humor that would have probably appreciated bad humor, rude humor, politically incorrect humor.  His life was wonderful, his death was horrible. But I think he would understand.