Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt Deal Has Been Reached

YES!!! Oh Thank GOD. That was close! Whew!!! We’ve been saved by our Leaders. Our heroes! [swoon]

After months of haggling and wrangling, and with less than 36 hours before the August 2nd deadline, our dedicated public servants were able to put aside their political differences and reach an agreement. Armageddon has been prevented. America will not default on her debts. The debt ceiling has been raised and there will NOT be a global financial meltdown. And we owe it all to the heroic actions of our leaders.

We can all rest easy, knowing we’re safe now. We’re protected. We’re in good hands.

We’ve all spent months sitting on the edges of our chairs, wringing our hands and biting our nails; thinking the unthinkable: What would happen if America defaulted for the first time in our history??? Things were looking dire. Hopeless. Terrifying. But thank God our swashbuckling heroes have acted. Putting aside their crippling fears, and looking danger straight in the eye and saying “Fuck You!” — our death-defying heroes have rushed in and saved us.

This is indeed a proud moment for America
s politicians. We owe you!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Republican Priorities: “Emergency! Americans Are Traveling to Cuba! Stop Them!”

Hmmm…something about a debt crisis or something…some sort of global financial meltdown if we don’t hurry up and do something right now…[yawn] Whatever.

Right now the most burning issue is: Americans are traveling to Cuba. Cuban-Americans are able to visit family members in Cuba whom they haven’t seen in decades. NOOO!!!

This is unacceptable! Un-American!

Rep. David Rivera (R—Dildo) has introduced legislation to crack down on travel to Cuba. The U.S. government had a stranglehold on travel to Cuba until Obama started loosening the restrictions. OK, let me get this straight: The party of “limited government” wants to have more government bureaucrats restricting travel, trade and commerce between America and Cuba. And these travel and commerce restrictions have been lifted by our Big Government Socialist Nanny State president.

In addition to Dildo Rivera, another representative — Mario Diaz-Balart — is pushing for a narrower version of the same bill, which would only apply to Cuban-Americans. He’s gravely concerned about “people who go there ten or fifteen times a year. It's become a business, and a very lucrative business…”

Oh! The agony! People traveling freely? A lucrative business? NOOO!!!

It’s mostly the elderly Cuban-Americans — and there seem to be jillions of them — who are still living in the 1950s and longing for the good old days of Freedom under Castro’s rightwing predecessor. One of these people said:

“Fidel shot my uncle and my cousins after the Bay of Pigs. The only way I would go back to Cuba is if Castro is gone. No other exceptions.”

So don’t go. What’s the problem?!?

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

GOP: Special Victims Unit

The Daily Show is offering its condolences to Republicans after the years of slander and meanness they’ve had to put up with. Finally, somebody is acknowledging conservatives’ eternal victimhood. If you’re like me, a part of you dies every time some godless cashier says “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas.

Political correctness, Fascist liberals attacking anyone who disagrees with them — as Sean Hannity said:

“It’s so vicious, it’s so mean, it’s so cruel. And I don’t hear this coming from conservatives about liberals.”

You tell ‘em Sean!

And now, fellow Teatards, Jon Stewart feels your pain.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Americans Elect

This might be just another third-party gimmick, or it might actually be a way out of the stranglehold of the ruling Corporate Party (disguised as “Democrats” and “Republicans”).

Americans Elect is trying to encourage voters — via the Internet — to nominate presidential candidates AND to choose the issues. Thomas Friedman describes the group in more detail.

There has to be a way out of this mess. Most Americans (myself included) are scared shitless to “throw away their votes” by voting for a third party candidate and thereby handing over the election to that dreaded Other Party that’s even worse than the Lesser-Of-Two-Evils Party.

Thomas Friedman describes Americans Elect as “a quiet political start-up that is now ready to show its hand, a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention...” and “...an impressive group of frustrated Democrats, Republicans and independents.”

So far, Americans Elect has gathered 1.6 million signatures. They’re hoping to get their presidential candidate on the ballot in all fifty states. Whoever their candidate turns out to be, he/she will have been nominated without the influence of powerbrokers, kingmakers or quatrobazillions of dollars in “campaign contributions” (which used to be called bribery).

The CEO of Americans Elect says:

“Our goal is to open up what has been an anticompetitive process to people in the middle who are unsatisfied with the choices of the two parties.”

The group’s website says:

“Americans Elect is the first-ever open nominating process. We’re using the Internet to give every single voter — Democrat, Republican or independent — the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012. The people will choose the issues. The people will choose the candidates. And in a secure, online convention next June, the people will make history by putting their choice on the ballot in every state.”

Their Chief Operating Officer says:

“The questions, the priorities, the nominations and the rules will all come from the community, not from two entrenched parties.”


“Each presidential candidate has to pick a running mate outside of their party and reaching across the divide of politics.”

Thomas Friedman ends his column with:

“What Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what drugstore.com did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life — remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in. Watch out.”

What say you? Does this sound hopeful?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Cost American Taxpayers an Extra $100 Billion Per Year

Republicans — still pretending to be the party of “fiscal integrity” and “personal responsibility” — are just about to cost American taxpayers an additional $100 billion dollars per year. This is what will happen if America’s credit rating gets downgraded from its current AAA rating.

This downgrade has nothing to do with next week’s possible debt default. America’s credit rating could be downgraded any day now — any minute — because of the GOP’s constant stalling, one-upmanship and
hostage-taking over the debt crisis.

This downgrade would wipe out the benefits of any possible deficit reduction plans that have been proposed so far. There would be a “permanent increase in borrowing costs,” which would jeopardize whatever degree of “recovery” we’re experiencing now. There could even be another recession.

Fuck You Very Much Republicans.

And President Obama: Hurry the fuck up and invoke the Fourteenth Amendment and do what you have to do. Raise the debt ceiling. Unilaterally. Now. If the United States defaults and/or gets downgraded, it will have happened on YOUR watch.

Step up to the plate.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Commuter Gridlock is a GOOD thing

There are two people in Washington State who actually believe this. One is a spoiled multi-millionaire — Kemper Freeman, Jr., who pretty much owns Bellevue, WA — who always gets what he wants when he wants it. The Simon and Garfunkel song Richard Cory could have been written about Kemper Freeman, Jr. Unfortunately, Kemper Freeman, Jr. hasn’t yet followed through with the last line of that song. Oh, and there’s one other difference: Kemper Freeman, Jr. didn’t build or create any of his own wealth — he inherited it.

And the other half of the team is Tim Eyman, Washington’s famous “initiative-for-profit mercenary.”

Here’s another link.

Tim Eyman absolutely HATES taxes. That is, when said taxes go towards financing icky things like schools, libraries, fire departments, infrastructure or mass transit projects. Tim Eyman and Kemper Freeman, Jr. are bringing us the latest example of rightwing millionaire populism: “I’m mad as hell at the unwashed masses and I’m not gonna take it any more!”

Tim Eyman’s and Kemper Freeman’s love child is Initiative 1125. Basically, any and all attempts to ease commuter gridlock will be prohibited if I-1125 is passed by voters. Variable tolling — higher tolls during peak commute hours — Gone. And no more using toll revenues from one freeway or bridge to pay for another highway/mass transit project.

And most importantly — to Kemper Freeman, Jr. — I-1125 will prohibit using highway lanes for “non-highway” purposes. For the Seattle area, this will sabotage a light rail project that’s been in Stop-Start On-Off mode for decades — mostly because of Kemper Freeman, Jr. using one stalling tactic after another. Light rail is all well and good, mind you, but the transit agency will have to build a new bridge to put it on. And by the strangest coincidence, the bridge that’s the most clearly affected by I-1125 is the bridge into Bellevue, where Kemper Freeman owns the gargantuan Bellevue Square.. He wants you to DRIVE over the bridge; that sissy light rail thingy might not stop at HIS mall. Sorry your trip into Bellevue was ninety minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic instead of a ten-minute train ride. Peon.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Repealing “Obamacare” More Important Than Preventing America’s Default

It’s all over the news that the debt ceiling negotiations have collapsed. But the mainstream “media” didn’t bother to mention the reason.

When it looked like they had almost reached a deal, Republicans threw a wrench in the gears: Any possible deal would have to include the repeal of Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

At least the Republicans have their priorities straight. It’s OK if America turns into the world’s largest third world deadbeat nation, as long as their HMO pimps can keep on gouging and killing.

Oh, and there was one other reason John Boehner stormed out of the conference room so suddenly: “I needed a drink.”

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Governor Bob McDonnell: “So What if the Country Defaults? Oh, Wait, This Affects ME”

For a year or two after Obama’s stimulus package, the funniest/sickest cliché was the reactions of hundreds of two-faced politicians. Out of one side of their mouths, the stimulus was “a waste of taxpayers’ money,” “a government takeover,” “socialism.” Out of the other side, each and every one of these two-faced assholes was videotaped taking part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a local project that was Made POSSIBLE by that commie stimulus package.

And now there’s a new variation: politicians who insist it’s “no big deal” if the country defaults for the first time in history. “That’ll teach those tax-and-spend Democrats to start living within their means.” And then suddenly, dots get connected, two and two get put together and — dingdingdingdingding — “Oh My God, if we default, that will affect My state, My district!!!”


Governor Bob McDonnell (R—Slow) has been jolted awake. Virginia’s credit rating is in jeopardy because of the debt crisis.

Several months ago the pre-Enlightened Bob McDonnell said:

“The only way that it is appropriate to increase the debt limit, is if there is a tangible, written, irreversible set of structural reforms in spending in the United States government that makes sure we are on a downward trajectory in spending that will get us to a balanced budget much farther. If we don’t achieve those goals, then I don’t see any gain in increasing the debt limit.”

That was then. Now, Governor Einstein has found out that Virginia’s credit rating — along with that of Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee — is in jeopardy because of those states’ dependence on federal revenue. (Yes, a bit of irony here, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.) Two days ago the newly-awakened McDonnell said:

“There’s got to be a compromise, I’m not going to tell them how to do it…But they’ve got to get this done immediately or the uncertainty for the business community is going to be just devastating to our country…It’s not going to get done without some compromise and when it’s affecting states now, it’s creating great uncertainty, there’s massive unhappiness with the federal government generally over its inability to do the basic things that government needs to do.“

Flip. Flop.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Republicans Can’t Hide Behind Grover Norquist Any More

Republicans who signed Grover Norquist’s “No New Taxes” pledge — and that’s most of them — thought they had a nice safe shield to hide behind. “I can’t let the Bush tax cuts expire. Grover Norquist said so. My hands are tied. There’s nothing I can do.”

And now their protective shield has been yanked away. Grover Norquist has told the Washington Post that letting a temporary tax cut expire is not the same as a tax increase. He’s not in favor of letting the Bush tax cuts expire, obviously. But letting them expire would NOT be a violation of his No New Taxes pledge. His Republican minions are off the hook.

The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire in 2012. Allowing them to expire will save $4 trillion over the next decade. And now Republicans are no longer “required” to maintain these tax cuts.

A little awkward, no? If Republicans want to drain $4 trillion from the Treasury by making the tax cuts permanent, they’ll have to grow a pair, stand up and face the music and explain their “reasoning.” They won’t be able to keep saying “Grover Norquist made me do it.”

Sort of like a wannabe tough kid saying “I’d kick your ass, except my big brother is with me and he won’t let me get in fights.”

“Aw, that’s OK little bro, go ahead, you can fight him.”

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Michele Bachmann: “My Headaches Are Much Better Now, Thanks to Socialized Medicine”

“I can think coherently, concentrate, focus — I’ve got it all. And I’m not hearing those voices any more. I mean, God still talks to me and tells me what to do, but other than that…”

And she’s as brave and unflappable as ever. When somebody dared her to poke herself in the eye, she said “Oh Yeah?!?!?!? Think I won’t?!?”

Michele Bachmann also contributed her expertise on the overlapping issues of agriculture and government subsidies: “What, you mean, somebody can be a Negro AND a farmer???”

And finally: Rick Perry is brushing up on his foreign policy expertise. He’s being schooled by Douglas Feith, one of Dumbya’s former henchmen. One of the architects of Iraqmire is going to be teaching foreign policy to Rick Perry.

What’s next — spelling lessons from Dan Quayle?

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And the Illegal Foreclosures Keep On Coming

The foreclosure mills and robo-signers have disappeared from the headlines, but they’re still going on with a vengeance. Fake signatures, employees signing foreclosure documents they haven’t even looked at, homeowners being railroaded and deprived of due process — you name it, it’s still happening.

County officials in three states have received thousands of mortgage documents with “questionable” signatures over the last few months. One name — Linda Green, whoever that is or was — has turned up on 1.300 documents in dozens of different signature styles.

When caught red-handed, these foreclosure mill scumbags generally react with that phony “shock” and “bewilderment” that seems to work like a charm for large corporations. “Oh. Huh. I thought we fixed that.”

Funny how you can commit a crime that ruins thousands of people’s lives and then wriggle out of any legal consequences just by acting befuddled. Imagine if an individual could pull that off with petty crimes.

“Marijuana? Officer, I had no idea. Somebody gave it to me; I thought it was a cigarette.”

“Shoplifting? Huh, I thought I paid for that already. No biggie, just tell me how much I owe and I’ll pay it and be on my way.”

And now, Mortgage-gate segues into the many faces of Mitt Romney. One of Mitt Romney’s personalities said:

“We’ve got housing prices continuing to decline, and we have foreclosures at record levels. This president has failed.”

One of Mitt Romney’s other personalities has accepted over $100,000 from one T. Martin Fiorentino Jr. This is the same
T. Martin Fiorentino Jr. who has lobbied frantically against legislation to crack down on predatory lending. Fiorentino has lobbied on behalf of Lender Processing Services, which has been one of the ringleaders of the robo-signing scandal.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Trickle Down — The Sequel

We’ve been waiting thirty-one years for America’s wealth to start trickling down onto the other 99% of us, and I think it’s just about to happen. Oh Boy, I can’t wait!

Twenty-nine companies have more cash than the U.S. Treasury. Yeah!!! Let the trickling begin.

As we’ve all been told — we need to quit smothering the movers and shakers and producers with cumbersome regulations, and we need to reduce taxes so that the aforementioned movers and shakers will have an incentive to create jobs. If we keep on doing this over and over, at some point everything will click, and billions of new jobs will be created so fast our heads will be spinning.

It should start happening any minute now…

And now the latest news from Michele Bachmann: We’re already dead. We’ve all been dead for the past five years.

In 2006, Michele Bachmann announced that the world was about to end. Well, that settles that. You only THINK you’re still alive.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Republicans WANT to Destroy the Economy so Obama Won’t Get Re-Elected

Millions of observant voters have already known this for two years. But now — finally! — a prominent politician has had the stones to come out and say it.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said:

“I think that there is an extreme wing within their party who have as their primary goal not the jobs recovery, but the defeat of President Obama in 2012. They know that their formulations, their policies of less revenues and less regulation badly failed our country and plunged us into this recession. So their only way of evening the playing field is to keep the president from being successful in the jobs recovery.”

He said certain high ranking Congressional Republicans: “…through their intransigence, cleverly set up a situation for America's economy to fail, either by needlessly driving us to default, or needlessly driving us into massive public sector layoffs. I think that they are disgracefully cynical.”

He continued:

“For eight years under George W. Bush, you never heard a peep from any of these most intransigent House members about the deficit that was being racked up by President Bush. Many of the same people who are claiming that there's no possible way that they can vote to raise the debt ceiling are people that voted to raise it in the past.”

What he said.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Florida Legislature Doesn’t Want YOU to Vote

It’s bad enough so many state legislatures have simultaneously — as ordered by their corporate masters — passed laws requiring a photo ID in order to vote. But apparently even this isn’t enough. Florida, in addition to their Koch-ordered Voter ID law, has also passed a law cracking down on those commie rabble-rousing voter registration drives.


Nothing strikes terror into the hearts of our “elected” corporate prostitutes like the specter of the League of Women Voters encouraging the riffraff to vote.

Florida’s new law, HB 1355, has shortened the period for early voting, and voters are no longer able to change their address at the polls. Most importantly, third party registration groups have been curtailed. These groups are facing Draconian penalties if they haven’t turned in all voter registration cards within 48 hours after they’ve been filled out.

The Florida League of Women Voters has already dropped their registration programs because of this law. The League’s president, Deirdre MacNabb, said:

“When we looked at the laws, we felt that this would put our thousands of volunteers across the state who have registered voters for 70 years in Florida at a grave disadvantage.”

She said volunteers would need:

“…a secretary on one hand and a lawyer on the other hand as they registered voters. We did not feel that we as an organization could ask our volunteers to undergo that kind of vague, restrictive and punitive restriction which the legislature has tried to impose. I think the outcome will very clearly be much less opportunity to new eligible voters to have access to third-party registration groups. We think it will make it likely we will see far more use of provisional ballots, and it will be much less convenient, especially for working citizens, to get to the polls for early voting.”

Congratulations Teatards.

In a related story, let’s see how things are working out for the author of Ohio’s Voter ID law, Rep. Robert Mecklenborg. He thought it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now he says “Karma’s a bitch.”

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Is Michele Bachmann’s Husband Gay?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld used to say. But when you have an effeminate Biblehumper giving “Pray Away the Gay” seminars — jokes and insinuations will be made.

Hope you’ll take the time to watch these two videos from Wednesday’s episode of The Daily Show — special guest, Jerry Seinfeld — and enjoy their commentary on Marcus and Michele Bachmann.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Most Voters Blame Bush for Recession

As dismal as Obama’s poll ratings are, a large majority still blames Dumbya for the shitty economy. Damn, the rightwing echo chamber has shat out billions of dollars worth of propaganda, and this is all they have to show for it?

According to a Quinnipiac poll, 54% of the respondents say Bush is responsible for the “current condition” of the economy. 27% blame Obama. Among independent voters, 49% blame Bush and 24% blame Obama.

And, 67% of the public wants any deal on the debt ceiling to include higher taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as reduced spending.

Aside from blaming either Bush or Obama, some Republicans have a different theory on who’s to blame. Congressman Spencer Bachus (R—Duuuhhh) says our current recession is the fault of presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

And Rep. Patrick McHenry (R—Wall Street Hooker) says it’s all Elizabeth Warren’s fault. After all, she created that Nazi/Communist Jackbooted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, whose sole purpose is to bully and terrify banking executives. Those poor Wall Street shrinking violets are scared shitless to lend any money or do ANYTHING because that big mean Elizabeth Warren is glaring at them and threatening to steal their lunch money.

And since banks are afraid to lend money (because of Elizabeth Warren), businesses can’t hire any new employees and the economy will continue on its downward spiral forever.

Damn You Elizabeth Warren!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ease the Debt Crisis: Legalize Marijuana and Internet Gambling

This idea comes from Rep. Jared Polis (D—CO) in a Wall Street Journal editorial. By legalizing and taxing marijuana, the federal government would take in an additional $2.4 billion a year. I would’ve guessed a lot more than that, but what do I know?

By legalizing and regulating Internet gambling, we’d take in an additional $42 billion.

According to the editorial, these ideas don’t violate the Pledge of Allegiance to Grover Norquist that’s put so many Republicans in a straitjacket. It wouldn’t be a “new tax,” since it’s a matter of legalizing something that’s presently illegal.

Also, Arthur Laffer — yes, he of Ronald Reagan’s infamous Laffer Curve — suggests a one-year tax amnesty. If tax evaders had a one-year period in which they could pay everything they owe without any penalties, the federal government would bring in between $800 billion and $1 trillion over the next ten years.

This last point is probably moot: a proposed immigration reform law was defeated in 2007. If this law had passed, we’d be bringing in an additional $12 billion annually by 2012, and $48 billion by 2017.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mitch McConnell: Spineless Bleeding Heart Godless Liberal

Uh oh — Don’t piss off the teabaggers. Mitch McConnell is sleazy, underhanded and blatantly pro-Big Business, as per the instructions of his corporate donors. But now that McConnell has agreed to a “compromise” with Obama over the debt ceiling, the Right is having a mass pantytwist.

It doesn’t matter that McConnell’s “compromise” basically allows Obama to beg and grovel for permission to raise the debt ceiling incrementally. This will give Republican demagogues numerous opportunities to shriek in unison about “Socialism!” and the “crushing debt” which is all Obama’s fault.

Red State proposed burning McConnell in effigy. The author has since “modified” his wording to “McConnell has just proposed the Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011.”

FreedomWorks sent McConnell’s phone number to every one of its drones, and urged them to “help McConnell find his spine.”

Teatards are a funny species. No matter how far to the right you might be, someone else who’s further to the right will stomp all over you for being a limpwristed flag-burner. Let’s bring on the wedge issues and watch the Republicans tear each other to shreds.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Riddle: What’s the Difference Between a Sikh and a Ay-rab?

Aw, sheeit, Clem, them swarthy furriners all look alike. They both have beards and wear turbans. They both talk funny and they both attacked us on 9/11.

When you combine racial hatred with bone-stupid ignorance, this is what happens.

Last March in Elk Grove, CA, two elderly Sikh men were gunned down while they were out strolling (in the daytime) in their own neighborhood. Since the 9/11 attacks there’s been a huge increase in the number of hate crimes against Sikhs. A spokesman for the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights group, said:

“When people look at me with a turban and beard, the first thing that comes to mind is, ‘that guy looks like Osama bin Laden.’”

Sikhs are from India and practice their own 500-year-old religion — Sikhism — which is completely unrelated to Islam. But try explaining that to a mouth-breathing redneck.

And today’s redneck story out of Arizona (or is that a redundancy?): Arizona state rep. Lori Klein was showing off her gun to a journalist who was interviewing her. They were talking about her views on gun control, and right in the middle of their conversation, she pulled out her raspberry-pink .380 Ruger and said “isn’t it cute” while pointing it at the reporter’s chest.

The gun was loaded and she didn’t have the safety on. But not to worry — “I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger.”

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Teabaggers and “Limited Government”

Most Republican politicians have already signed Grover Norquist’s No-New-Taxes pledge. And now two GOP presidential candidates — Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum — have also signed the Family Leader’s pledge to bring back the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition.

This pledge to the Family Leader promises to ban gay marriage and to ban ALL abortion, prostitution and pornography, among other things.

Uh, isn’t this going to cost money? As in — Taxes??? Whatever happened to “Taxed Enough Already,” “Government Takeover,” “shrink the government down to the size of a bathtub and then drown it,” and all the rest of their phony soundbites?

For candidates who are simultaneously pledging allegiance to Grover Norquist AND the “Christian” Ayatollahs — Awkward.

And speaking of “Limited Government” — since Congressional Republicans are so eager to de-fund Planned Parenthood, “Obamacare,” banking regulations and other Big Government evils, why don’t they live up to their “Freedom!” rhetoric and de-fund the Drug Enforcement Administration?

In their latest (out of many) example of circular reasoning, the DEA has refused to reclassify marijuana, i.e. remove it from the Schedule I classification which puts marijuana and heroin in the same category. Their “reasoning” — not enough studies have been done.

And the REASON not enough studies have been done: The DEA has repeatedly PROHIBITED any clinical studies from being conducted. And since no studies have been done (because they weren't permitted) — “we can’t reclassify marijuana because we don’t know enough about it.”

Come on, “Conservatives” — eliminate these assholes’ funding already.

And finally: This dire warning probably sounds familiar, but this time it’s a different context — Don’t Touch That!!! You’ll Go Blind!!!

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Justice Department Might Investigate States’ Voter ID laws

One can hope, anyway. Senator Michael Bennett (D—Colorado) and fifteen other senators have written to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting that the Justice Department examine whether the red states’ “Suppress The Vote” laws are in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

Their letter says in part:

“…These measures have the potential to block millions of eligible American voters…Studies have shown that as high as 11% of eligible voters nationwide do not have a government-issued ID. This percentage is higher for seniors, racial minorities, low-income voters and students…the burden of proof in this preclearance process is on those covered jurisdictions, which must be able to show that legal changes will not have a discriminatory impact on minority voters...The Department should also exercise vigilance in overseeing whether these laws are implemented in a way that discriminates against protected classes in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

Will the Obama Administration act on this request? Even if they do, there’s another possible unintended consequence:

The Corporate Arm of the Republican Party (formerly known as the Supreme Court) might solve the problem by overturning the Voting Rights Act.

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Republicans: “Jim Crow for President”

No, Cletus, Jim Crow is not the name of an actual person.

I’m surprised it’s taken this long for any prominent Democrats to lash back at the Republicans’ orchestrated “Voter Fraud!” hysteria. Bill Clinton has finally spoken out. Republicans are trying to bring back the good old days when “Those People” couldn’t vote. As long as they know their place, nobody gets hurt.

Giving a speech at the annual Campus Progress Convention, Clinton said:

“…one of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.”

Aren’t there any federal laws and court precedents that would overturn the red states’ frantic determination to keep liberals and minorities from voting? I seem to remember something about a Voting Rights Act from the 1960s…

And isn’t it just a little eerie the way so many Republican governors and legislators are marching in lockstep? We’ve all gotten used to seeing Congressional Republicans dancing and jerking in unison to the same puppetmaster. But when state governments — “fifty individual experiments in democracy” — are all reacting in unison to the same daily marching orders, it’s time to get suspicious.

And now for some irony (sorry, conservatives — big word with three syllables):

Next November, Missouri voters will be voting on a law that will require voters to present a picture ID at the voting booth. Only, people who are in favor of this law WON’T have to show a photo ID in order to vote for it. Sort of like those anti-tax initiatives where you can’t raise taxes to keep libraries and fire departments open unless two thirds of the voters vote Yes. But it only takes 50.01% of the voters to pass these laws that will require a two thirds vote.

Conservative “logic,” I guess.

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Corporate Douchebag of the Week: Chase Bank — Auburn, WA branch

This news story perfectly articulates and crystallizes what’s wrong with the Corporate States of America, Inc. When a large corporation commits gross negligence, there’s no accountability whatsoever. No penalties; no need to reimburse their victim(s) — Nada. Zilch. The individual who was victimized by this particular case of corporate negligence, on the other hand, spent four days in jail, got fired from his job and had his car impounded.

In Auburn, WA, Ikenna Njoku — a 28-year-old construction worker and homeowner — was planning to use his first time home buyer tax rebate to pay off his car. He arranged to have the rebate check deposited directly into his Chase Bank account. When the rebate check arrived, the bank mailed him a cashier’s check for $8,463.21.

When he went to his neighborhood Chase branch to cash the check, the trouble started. Even though the check had his name and current address on it, and the check had been issued by JP Morgan Chase, the bank person who handles large checks became suspicious. Ikenna Njoku said:

“I was embarrassed. She asked me what I did for a living. Asked me where I got the check from, looked me up and down—like ‘you just bought a house in Auburn, really?’ She didn’t believe that.”

She took the check, along with Njoku’s driver’s license and credit cards, and showed them to somebody higher up. After being kept waiting for fifteen minutes, Njoku left the bank to get some errands done. When he came back, the bank was closed. He called customer service and asked what he should do, and they told him to go back to the bank the next day and get his money.

When he went back the next day, police were waiting to arrest him on forgery charges — writing a fraudulent check. Njoku said:

“I was like — you’re making a mistake, you’re making a mistake, don’t take me to jail, I got work tomorrow. I can’t afford to miss work.”

He was taken to jail on a Thursday. The next day, Chase realized they’d made a mistake — the check was legitimate. They called the police station and left a message with whoever answered the phone. “OK, I did my job. Next.”

The person who should have acted on the message was off for the day and nobody else got the message. So Njoku spent the entire weekend in jail and was released on Monday. The Auburn Police Commander said Chase could have done a lot more to let them know they’d locked up an innocent person:

“We do have a main line that comes into our front office. There are ways to reach someone 24/7 at a police department.”

While Njoku was in jail, his car — which he’d parked at the Chase parking lot — had been towed and impounded. And the car was auctioned off and sold before he had a chance to come up with the impoundment fees.

Oh, and he was fired from his job because he didn’t show up for work that previous Friday. Since, you know, he was wrongly in jail at the time.

Not only is Chase not guilty (technically) of any wrongdoing — they haven’t even made any hollow attempts to offer a phony apology to Ikenna Njoku.

But remember now — Corporations are People.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Republican Governors Move to Abolish Labor Day

A Harvard study has concluded that celebrating the Fourth of July is turning America into a nation of flag-waving automatons. After hearing of this report, the Koch Brothers have made the obvious connection and sprung into action. They’ve ordered their prostitutes — formerly known as Republican governors — to nip socialism in the bud by prohibiting Labor Day celebrations.

A Koch Industries spokesperson said:

“We’ve already cut off the Democrats’ main source of money and political clout by squishing labor unions. We’ve orchestrated a bunch of hysteria about 'voter fraud,' and now only rich white property owners can vote. Why stop here? If Fourth of July parades are increasing the number of patriotic Americans, then obviously Labor Day is generating class warfare; resentment; the politics of envy. We need to fix this problem.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said:

“I send my children to a private school so they’ll strive to get someplace in life and BE somebody. I guess there’s nothing wrong with being a common laborer or a grease monkey, but why should we HONOR those people with a holiday? Yuk.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich agreed:

“If some dumbfuck is in his forties and still doing manual labor, he deserves to be scorned. Pitied. Berated. Not feted with a holiday.

Maine Governor Paul LePage said:

“The liberals all whined and sobbed when I took down that stupid mural that was glorifying stoop labor. But now it looks like I’ve started a trend. I knew my fellow teabaggers would follow my lead.”

Next on the chopping block: May Day and Cinco de Mayo.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Protect IP Act

If you like the already-over-the-top hysteria over trademark and copyright “infringement,” you’ll love the Protect IP Act. This abortional legislation was introduced by Patrick Leahy (D—Hollywood Puppet) and it’s currently on legislative hold. The hold was placed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D—OR).

We have enough of this shit already: Bloggers being sued because they linked to a news article but didn’t mention the author’s name or swoon all over the publisher; huge corporations suing small business owners and entrepreneurs over imaginary “trademark” violations.

If the Protect IP Act ever passes, Net Neutrality will be the least of our worries.

Entertainment industries are pushing this legislation. If it becomes law, all Internet Service Providers and search engines would be required to de-list entire domains any time there’s a CLAIM of copyright infringement. That word again is claim. Not proof. Not a hearing or a vote of any kind. Just a claim.

AND: Any site that even links to a domain that’s been accused of hosting “infringing” activities would also be de-listed and/or taken down. Servers outside of the U.S. would also be within reach of the long arm of the Protect IP Act.

Conservatives should be against this bill, since it’s being pushed by them Hollywood Elitists.

A group of law professors has written a letter to Congress urging the defeat of the Protect IP Act. The letter warns that the law’s sweeping language will “make it extraordinarily difficult for advertisers and credit card companies to do business on the Internet.”

The letter also says:

“At a time when many foreign governments have dramatically stepped up their efforts to censor Internet communications, the Protect IP Act would incorporate into U.S. law — for the first time — a principle more closely associated with those repressive regimes: a right to insist on the removal of content from the global Internet, regardless of where it may have originated or be located, in service of the exigencies of domestic law.”

The complete text of the letter is available here.

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Saturday, July 02, 2011

Suppress the Voters, Get Busted for DUI

Some people see pink elephants when they’re drunk. When Rep. Robert Mecklenburg (R—Two-Faced Redneck) drinks too much, he sees: Voter Fraud! “They’re everywhere! Illegal immigrants, ex-convicts, poor people, Negroes, and they’re all trying to VOTE. Stop Them!!!

Mecklenburg was the sponsor of an Ohio voter suppression law. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida and a few other states have been marching in lockstep to pass laws making it more difficult to vote. Hey, if you can show twelve pieces of ID with your picture, along with official receipts for your mortgage payments and yacht club dues, then you’re probably not some swarthy comminist librul looking for a handout, so we’ll let you vote.

Mecklenburg was arrested last April on a DUI charge. He failed three sobriety tests, refused to take a breathalyzer test and was arrested. And he was in the company of a 26-year-old woman who had “personal connections” to a nearby strip club.

Ah, family values.

A local Democratic leader said:

“Given that he likely is not in possession of his own drivers license (it should have been confiscated and suspended in accordance with Indiana DUI law and procedure), perhaps he will opt to arrest his drive to repress voting rights.”

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Raise the Debt Ceiling. Obama Don’t Need No Steenking Congress!

According to some senators and constitutional scholars, the entire concept of a national “debt limit” is unconstitutional. Senator Chris Coons (D—Delaware) said:

“This is an issue that's been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default.”

There’s disagreement over the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states:

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

According to legal scholar Garrett Epps:

“This provision makes clear that both the monies our nation owes to bondholders, and the sums promised in legislation to those receiving pensions set by law from the federal government, must be paid regardless of the political whims of the current congressional majority.”

Epps said that if Congress refuses to act, Obama could — and should — instruct the Treasury Department to issue “binding debt instruments on the world market sufficient to cover all the current obligations of the United States government, even in default of Congressional action to meet those obligations.”

Works for me.

And seconding the motion, Bill Clinton is telling the Democrats “Grow a Pair!!!”

Think they will?

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