Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, March 31, 2014

Japan's Scientific Research Derailed by International Court

As we all know, Japanese scientists have been killing megajillions of whales every year.  Now there's nothing cruel or barbaric about this, mind you it's all for scientific research.  But now the International Court of Justice has ordered Japan to stop the whale hunts.

I can't remember off-hand any of the cutting edge new inventions that were made possible by all this whale research.  Whatever they were, I guess we won't be seeing them any more.

Japanese whalers aren't the only ones who will have to join the 21st century and start working and playing well with others.  Today was also a bad day for Agenda 21 inbreds and the Flat Earth Society.  The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued the crystal-clearest direst warning yet on climate change.

Basically, climate change is well underway, it'll get much worse the longer we deny it, and in terms of food supplies and global political instability it's going to be more dire than we can possibly imagine.  A New York Times article barely scratches the surface with:

Ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.

Can't wait to hear the talking points from fossil fuel industry VIPs and their useful idiots.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bill Maher to Democrats: “'Stand Your Ground' on Obamacare”

Democratic strategists have been saying this for the last few months:  Don't hide under your desk and pretend the Obamacare rollout wasn't a disaster and that there aren't millions of Americans who are pissed off and worried about their future health care.  The Affordable Care Act — i.e. Obamacare — will be the dominant political issue between now and November.  Whichever party does a better job of getting out in front of this issue and framing the debate will be the party that prevails in November.  (And no, it's not a done deal that the Senate will go Republican.)

Bill Maher has this advice for Democrats:

“Stand your ground.  When a Tea Partier says, ‘Obamacare is a government takeover,’ say, ‘I wish — because that would mean Medicare for all.’”

He pointed out that most Americans are in favor of expanding Medicare and Medicaid, and agree that insurance companies should NOT be allowed to turn people down because of a pre-existing condition; and that Democrats haven't capitalized on this:

“No wonder the Republicans have such an easy time selling their argument about Obamacare — which is basically, ‘Hey, we tried it, it was a big failure.’  How about volleying that one back with, ‘What? We’re still signing people up for Christ’s sakes, how can we even know if it’s a failure? What we do know is that Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum think it will kill their children. No, you guys are thinking of assault rifles.’”

He also had some good things to say about Jimmy Carter, whose “failed presidency” is still talked about by the Far Right:

“Failed by whose standards?  We may not have had a great economy in the ’70s, but I’ll tell you something else we didn’t have — a war.  Obama’s supposed to be an environmentalist — he should be inspired by the president who put solar panels on the White House roof, not the president who came after him and tore them down because he thought the Sun was interfering with Nancy’s astrology.”

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

You're either With Ted Nugent or You're With the Terrorists

If you don't like Ted Nugent's music, you're either one of Saul Alinsky's useful idiots or you're a racist.  There's no other possible reason.  The fact that Ted Nugent's music is generic and derivative is no excuse for not liking “the ultimate rockout with the ultimate all-American, soul music, rockin’ soundtrack of defiance, liberty and freedom.”

Ted Nugent lashed out at the mayor of Longview, Texas after the mayor withdrew the city's invitation for Ted Nugent to headline Longview's annual July 4 Fireworks and Freedom Celebration.  In fact the city offered him $16,000 NOT to appear at the festival.  The mayor said Nugent “didn’t really fit what we trying to put together, a family oriented program…and I confirmed with his thoughts that that probably wasn’t the right act. And I still feel that it was the right decision. It just didn’t fit with what we were trying to put together.”

Ted Nugent's hissy-fit went as follows:

“I hear from reliable sources that the mayor is a racist and was offended that my band performs mostly African-American-influenced music.  [That's right, I almost forgot, Cat Scratch Fever was originally a Delta Blues song]...

...Everyone knows ol’ Uncle Ted is the ultimate Independence Day rockout with the ultimate all-American, soul music, rockin’ soundtrack of defiance, liberty and freedom. We shall carry on. We are the good guys. Clueless, dishonest people like the mayor are the bad guys...The lie that my concerts are inappropriate for any city anywhere is absurd.  My family friendly concerts are legendary and will continue to be all summer long in 2014...Those that hate me are following the Saul Alinsky playbook on how to dismantle, fundamentally transform the greatest nation and quality of life the world has ever known.  Those that hate me hate America, plain and simple.”

Maybe he could set those lyrics to some music, and we'd have another cookie-cutter Ted Nugent song.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No, Saudi America Will NOT Save Europe from Russia's Retaliation

The United States and the European Union are both imposing economic sanctions against Russia.  The conventional wisdom is that Europe has less leverage against Russia than we do, because Europe is dependent on importing natural gas from Russia.  If Vladimir Putin decides to retaliate by shutting off Europe's gas supply and/or jacking the price way up, Europe is toast.

Therefore, the magical solution is for America to drill and frack like she's never drilled and fracked before.  Start up the Keystone Pipeline yesterday, and hundreds more pipelines just like it.  Then, Saudi America can export billions of megatons of natural gas to Europe.  America's economy will boom like it's never boomed before, Europe won't need Russia's natural gas any more, and poor old Vladimir Putin will just fade away.

Dream on.  Europe doesn't need America's fracked natural gas is the title of this article.

In short, we will not be able to wean Europe off of their energy dependence on Russia.  People who fall for this drivel are called weaners by the author.

Most European countries, especially Germany, have made incredible gains in renewable energy development, and they're much more conservation-minded than Americans.  So let's say Russia uses natural gas exports as a way to blackmail Europe.  For most Europeans it'll be just a matter of adjusting and tweaking a few things, rather than Oh my God, what will we do???

Think of it this way:  If you're already busier than a one-armed paper hanger, and somebody drops a few more errands or assignments on you, you'll probably say Hmm, OK, no problem" and then adjust your schedule as needed.  On the other hand, if you spend most of your time lying around watching the tube, and somebody needs you to do something, you'll probably go Ugh!  Oh, man, uh, do what now?  I don't know when I'll be able to do that.

Or (only one more comparison, I promise):  You're already thrifty, a smart shopper, and you suddenly get a huge new expense.  No problem, just start poring over your finances, and you'll see a few minor adjustments you can make.  It's a pain, but not the end of the world.  But if you're used to a large income (probably unearned) and you get a huge new expense, you'll go to pieces.  “Oh!!!  What will I do?!?!?!?  I can't do without my _________, and I need ________________.  This is just unbearable!

So in the event of Russia turning off the gas, Americans are projecting their lack of innovation, and their oil addiction, onto Europe.  Americans go to pieces when there's an energy shortage:  “Oh!!!  What will I do?!?!?!?  I can't do without my _________, and I need ________________.  This is just unbearable!”  Europeans on the other hand will just shrug and go OK, I'll wait 'til next month to get those new shoes, and I can switch to that generic vodka instead of the good stuff.

That's my opinion anyway, as well as the opinion of Dean Baker, author of the linked article.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Welcome to Kansas: Have a Miscarriage, Go To Prison

Let's see if I've got this straight now:  Conservatives hate Obamacare because they don't want a bunch of government bureaucrats coming between a doctor and his/her patient.  But conservatives are famous for holding two or more contradictory beliefs at the same time, with absolutely no awareness that they're contradicting themselves.  This explains a new law wending its way through the Kansas legislature that will require doctors to report any and all of their patients' miscarriages to the state health department.

What happened to Freedom?  Limited government?  The sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship?  [see previous paragraph]

This attempt to bring back the Spanish Inquisition is being done through an amendment to HB 2613.  HB 2613 was originally written for the sole purpose of updating the procedure for issuing a birth certificate when a baby is stillborn.  The Salem Witch Trial amendment was introduced by state Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook (R—Fetus-Humper). 

The legislator who introduced the original bill, Rep. John Doll (R), is no longer supporting his own legislation because of this amendment:

“I can’t support the bill as it was amended.  I think it waters it down and makes it into a political statement. I wanted a bill to help give closure to some families — I didn’t want it to have anything to do with pro-life or pro-choice issues.”

Mary Pilcher-Cook has a long history of Bible-humping and fetus-worshiping.  She's previously tried to eliminate exceptions for rape and incest in Kansas' abortion law, and to establish a sales tax on abortion procedures.

Gee, I thought taxes were job-killers, you know, strangling the economy and all that.  Oh, that's right.  [Again, refer to the first paragraph]

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mitt Romney Would Have Stopped the Russian Invasion of Crimea

With Mitt Romney's unique ability to see into the future, combined with his strong decisive personality Russia wouldn't have DARED to even look cross-eyed at Ukraine or Crimea.  If Mitt Romney was our Commander-in-Chief, he would have had Vladimir Putin quivering in his vodka.

Romney shared his unique vision today on Face The Nation

“The president’s naïveté with regards to Russia, and his faulty judgement about Russia’s intentions and objectives has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face.  And unfortunately not having anticipated Russia’s intentions, the president wasn’t able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you’re seeing in the Ukraine, as well as the things that you’re seeing in Syria.  I think effective leaders typically are able to see the future to a certain degree, and are able to take actions to shape it in some way.  And that’s, of course, what this president has failed to do. And as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton as well.  There’s always the potential that we could have kept them from invading a country and annexing it into their own.”

Oh well, at least Mittens is making progress.  During the 2012 election he kept referring to the Soviet Union, which hasn't existed since 1991.  One of his handlers must have shown him a history book, since he's actually saying “Russia” now instead of “the Soviet Union.”

But he's still saying “the Ukraine” even though they dropped the “the” a few decades ago.  It's just “Ukraine” now, Mitt, without the “the.”

Coming soon:  Mitt Romney shares his up-to-the-minute expertise on Ceylon, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Yugoslavia.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Next on the Republican Chopping Block: National Parks

For the past 108 years, under the Antiquities Act of 1906, presidents of both parties have been able to protect America's heritage, including the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park.  If Congressional Republicans have their way, this 108-year-old tradition will be abolished.  Because freedom.

HR 1459 would take away the President's authority to create new national monuments.  Only Congress would have this authority. And Congress hasn't voted to protect any public lands since 2009.  That ain't what the Koch Brothers are paying them for.

The last straw was President Obama's use of the Antiquities Act last week to expand the California Coastal Monument.  HR 1459 was sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop (RDUUUHHH!!!), who was outraged at Obama for making an end run around Congress.   He said “In other words, the House was punked by the President.”

WTF???  Isn't there some sort of intelligence test that people need to pass in order to serve in Congress?   Apparently not.

Along with spectacular scenery and environmental protection, some of the newest national monuments have honored women, Native Americans and other ethnic minorities.  This will come to a screeching halt if HR 1459 passes.

Let's hear some more of that GOP rhetoric about their outreach to minorities.

This bill doesn't have a chance of getting through the Senate or being signed by President Obama.  But it's another chance for the GOP to get their base all motivated and riled up.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FDR's Second Bill of Rights

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was delivering his January 11, 1944 State of the Union speech, he said it was time for America to implement a Second Bill of Rights.

(Here's another link.)

FDR said our political rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.”  Roosevelt's solution was an “economic bill of rights.”  And he said America's security would depend on how well these rights had been put into practice.  Here are some excerpts from FDR's SOTU speech of 1/11/44:

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”  People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.  Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.

For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

Pretty radical, huh?  Today most Democrats wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole.  Republicans would probably have a mass coronary.  How far we've devolved.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How Do You Say “LOL” in Hungarian?

Interesting article — The Internet, where languages go to die.

For years, there's been the occasional news story about little-spoken indigenous languages slowly dying out; or when a language literally disappears when the last person who spoke that language has just died.  And the Internet may be speeding up this process.  It's a double edged sword.

In some ways the Internet is helping by enabling endangered languages to be used online.  There are blogs written in Basque, iPad apps in Navajo and Cherokee, a Faroese Wikipedia, people texting in Tlingit (all examples from the linked article).

But as the article also says:

...the online world is very nearly a monoculture, an echo chamber where the planet’s few dominant cultures talk among themselves. English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and just a handful of other languages dominate digital communication. Thanks to their sheer size and to the powerful official and commercial forces behind them, the populations that speak and write these languages can plug in, develop the necessary tools and assume that their languages will follow them into an ever-expanding range of virtual realms. Meanwhile, despite heroic and ongoing efforts, 95 percent of all languages languish almost entirely offline.


The real problem is a digital architecture that forces people to operate on the terms of another culture, unable to continue the development of their own...the digital realm was supposed to be...a horizontal platform, a great equalizer that would allow everyone to communicate seamlessly with one another. What went wrong?

Interesting dilemma.  I guess we'll see what happens.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

“Limited Government” Republicans Want Obama to Crack Down on Marijuana

What are these Republican wastes-of-oxygen going to think up next?  (Don't ask!)

When rightwing useful-idiot legislators are dumber than dirt and bored shitless, the legislative results speak for themselves.  Sometime during Congress' umpteen million votes to repeal Obamacare, our illustrious leaders also found the time to pass the Enforce The Law Act of 2014 (HR 4138).  The vote was 233 to 181, strictly along party lines I'm guessing.

The Enforce The Law Act of 2014 is basically a Republican tantrum over President Obama's use of executive orders (gee, no other president has ever done that) and the waivers and delays he's granted in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare).  First they get their panties in a twist because Obamacare is too rigid and inflexible; then their panties twist again when Obama tries to flex with some of their demands.

Another reason for the GOP's mass hissy-fit is that the Obama Administration has chosen not to interfere with states' rights to legalize medical and/or recreational marijuana; and not to pursue federal mandatory minimum sentences for small-time drug offenders.  I could've sworn limited government and states' rights were Republican slogans at one time.  Oh well, you can't remind stupid people that they said something exactly the opposite yesterday; it just gets them more confused and riled up.

One of the sponsors of the Enforce The Law Act of 2014, Rep. Trey Gowdy (RGuided by Voices) fumed:

“The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to write the laws and the Executive to enforce them.  We don’t pass suggestions. We don’t pass ideas. We pass laws. Regardless of our politics, I hope my colleagues have enough regard for our work to expect those laws would be faithfully executed.”

You've gotta love the part where he says “...I hope my colleagues have enough regard for our work...”

ROTFLMAO.  What work would that be??? 

Anyway, not to worry.  Harry Reid said this latest GOP masturbation exercise will be dead on arrival when it reaches the Senate.  And in any case, Obama would veto the bill “because it violates the separation of powers.”

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shocking Discovery: Why Idaho Voters Keep Electing Crooked Politicians

Idaho's political leaders have got to be the reddest of the red, the inbreddest of the inbred.  Why do Idaho voters keep electing these gene pool rejects to positions of power?  One little anecdote explains it all:

CenturyLink Arena in Boise has been selling beer in two sizes, large and small.  It's $7 for a large beer; $4 for a small one.  And now it turns out:  the $7 large beer and the $4 small beer are the exact same size.

The $7 beer is served in a taller narrower container, so it looks like it holds more beer.  Er, you know, if you're eight years old, or the elevator isn't going all the way to the top floor, or something.

Now, I'm trying to think waaaay back to a psychology class I took a loooong time ago...there's a certain stage in a child's development when the child will realize that a tall thin glass of water doesn't really contain more water than the short wide glass that's sitting next to it.  I don't remember at what age this transition is supposed to take place, but I'm sure it's a lot lower than the legal drinking age.

The reason this story is making the news is, several customers are suing the arena after finding out they've been had.  WTF???  When I've been taken (yes, it happens), my first thought is Fuck!  I can't believe I fell for that!  Maybe I shoulda sued.

Anyway, these adults (chronologically at least) who thought a taller narrower beer container was larger than the shorter wider one these people VOTE.

[forms cross with index fingers]

Idaho's political leaders have passed some of the worst laws in the country.  They're determined to exterminate every last wolf and coyote in the state.  Their state motto should be If it moves shoot it.  And Idaho has recently passed an Ag Gag law, which basically says factory farms can provide the most unthinkable, most execrable living conditions for their livestock, and that's perfectly OK; but if you report these conditions you go to jail.

The list goes on and on.  In summary:  Idaho has some of the most corrupt, bone-stupid, bought-and-paid-for politicians in the country; and Idaho's voters think a tall narrow beer container is larger than the same-size short wide container.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Obama plans to Increase Overtime Pay for Millions of Workers

All Right!!!

This'll get the Teabaggers' panties in a bunch.

President Obama is planning to use his Executive Authority to redefine which types of jobs are eligible for time-and-a-half pay after forty hours.  As it stands now, millions of workers are not eligible for overtime pay because their jobs are defined as administrative, executive or professional.  This includes fast-food managers, sales people, computer technicians; for that matter, almost anyone who toils away in a cubicle farm.

If you're paid a salary instead of an hourly wage, and your salary is a whopping $23,660 (or more) a year, then you're making too damn much money to be whining about overtime pay.  This threshold was established in 1975 and hasn't been revised since then.  1975?!?!?!?   I'm gonna venture a guess that the cost of living has gone up a tad since then.

1975.  Hey, there's a cutting-edge new comedy series called Saturday Night Live.  And the Bee Gees have this dynamite new record out, Jive Talkin'.  It's totally different from that limpid folk-rock stuff they used to sing.  Is there a name for this new sound?  Disco, you say?

In today's dollars, the 1975 threshold of $23,660 is equal to $50,440.

Tomorrow, Obama will instruct the Labor Department to revamp these definitions and bring that $23,660 threshold into the twenty-first century.

These changes in the Labor Department will be subject to public comment before they can be implemented.  Undoubtedly the Oligarchs will instruct their useful idiots to swamp the Labor Department with millions of choreographed comments.

And the rightwing pantytwist begins.  Daniel Mitchell, who's a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and who's never lifted anything heavier than a briefcase, said:

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  Gee, I've never heard that profound statement before.

Marc Freedman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said:

“I expect this is an area we will be very much engaged in.”

That's right, time to start cranking out a few more anonymous six-figure “political contributions.”

Let's hope President Obama won't scale back these recommendations because of too much corporate-orchestrated outrage.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Joe McGinniss

Joe McGinniss has died at the age of 71 complications related to prostate cancer.

He was best known as the author of Fatal Vision and The Selling of the President 1968.  He got famous again several years ago when he moved next door to Sarah Palin while working on his unauthorized biography of her, The Rogue.

I only read one book by Joe McGinniss:  Going to Extremes, written in 1980.  It was non-fiction, based on his experiences and personal impressions of Alaska.  It's a page-turner.  The book doesn't exactly make you want to drop everything and move to Alaska.  But his writing style makes you feel like you're right there.  The dead-end hopelessness in Barrow, Alaska (34 years ago anyway, if not now), going on a camping trip in the Brooks mountain range, getting drenched in Ketchikan's 24/7/365 rainfall, going to Anchorage and seeing a bunch of faceless new malls and housing tracts that weren't there three months ago — You're there.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Conservatives Determined to Win the White House — in 1964

Seriously.  Take a look at the parallels between today and 1964.

In 1964, GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater campaigned on the Constitutional right of restaurant owners to refuse service to Nigras and other undesirables.  He was also in favor of right-to-work laws and other union-busting tactics.  And he thought the very concept of Medicare was just appalling, un-American.  Medicare, according to Goldwater, was the equivalent of giving old people “free vacation resorts and a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink.”

Fast-forward fifty years.  Rand Paul has won the CPAC/teatard straw poll for 2016 presidential candidate.  And Rand Paul's views on today's issues are...[see previous paragraph]

Aside from the parallels between Rand Paul and Barry Goldwater, today's Republicans are re-fighting the same intra-party civil war that they were fighting fifty years ago.  Goldwater slammed President Eisenhower over the New Deal, even though the New Deal had been established by FDR twenty years earlier.  Goldwater's main theme was that Republicans should stand on their principles, stand up for what's “right” instead of compromising.  (Sound familiar?)

Goldwater's most famous campaign slogan was “In your heart you know he's right,” which got parodied into “In your heart you know he's White.”

And here's another parallel between then (going back a little further) and now.  In the years immediately before and after the 1930s Great Depression, the Supreme Court was a gang of corporate hacks, rubberstamping the Big Business agenda.  In a series of rulings, the Supreme Court overturned laws guaranteeing a minimum wage, protecting workers' rights to organize, and laws banning child labor.  Plus ca change...

Since there are so many parallels between today and 50-80 years ago, maybe the GOP presidential candidate in 2016 will go the way of their 1964 candidate.

One can hope.

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Friday, March 07, 2014

Bobby Jindal Denies Medicaid to 242,000 People, Sues MoveOn for Reporting It

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal — like so many other Republican governors — has refused to accept federal (i.e. Obamacare) funding to expand Medicaid.  He's determined to protect the people of Louisiana from the evils of Communism:

“The fight over Medicaid expansion is a microcosm of this president’s push towards centralized government control.  We are day by day giving up more and more of our freedoms to an ever larger and more powerful government.”

Because of Bobby Jindal's devotion to his rightwing ideology, 242,000 Louisiana residents will not have access to the health coverage they're entitled to.  But at least they'll still have their Freedom.

MoveOn has put up a billboard in Louisiana that says:

“LOU!SIANA, Pick your passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal’s denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.”

(“Pick Your Passion” is Louisiana's state tourism slogan.)

Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne has issued a Cease-and-Desist order to MoveOn, demanding that they take down the billboard.  He claims he isn't going after MoveOn for political reasons; his legal threats are based on the state's trademark of “Pick Your Passion.”  MoveOn's use of that phrase might cause confusion among Louisiana residents.  Or something.

In response to the State of Louisiana's strong-arm tactics, a MoveOn spokesman said:

“MoveOn will not back down in the face of baseless legal threats. If Republican officials don’t want to be criticized for keeping hundreds of thousands of Louisianans from accessing Medicaid, there’s a simple solution — they should stop preventing Louisianans from accessing Medicaid.
Neither Governor Jindal nor Lt. Governor Dardenne will silence MoveOn members. This billboard is protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Instead of wasting our time and theirs with a pathetic attempt to suppress criticism of the state government, state officials should focus on helping nearly 245,000 Louisianans access Medicaid. If he is truly concerned about Louisiana’s image, Lt. Gov Dardenne’s time should be spent getting people health care, not trying to take down a billboard.”

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

NRA wants to Exterminate the World's Elephants

The United States is leading the global crackdown on the poaching of elephants for their tusks.  The U.S. has destroyed six tons of ivory all of the ivory that's been intercepted over the past thirty years.  And the governments of China, Togo and France have followed suit.

Everybody in the world seems to be in favor of cracking down on the ivory trade.  Everybody except for the poachers themselves.  Oh, and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA has instructed its 3 million inbreds to bombard Congress with phone calls, demanding that they block the Obama Administration from joining the ivory embargo.

What has the NRA's panties in a twist?  (What doesn't, for that matter?)  The ivory embargo includes a ban on the import or export of any item that contains ivory.  Antiques are exempt from the ban.  A White House announcement stated:

“This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild.”

And this is why the NRA's drool cups are shaking and rattling up a storm.  Somebody somewhere might not be able to re-sell his/her gun collection if these guns contain ivory and don't qualify as an antique.  (In case any wingtards are reading this, an antique has to be at least 100 years old.)  Not to mention, of course, that this ivory embargo is just another thinly-disguised attempt by Barack Hussein Obama to take our guns away.

An NRA spokesman explained it to his useful idiots:

“This is another attempt by this anti-gun Administration to ban firearms based on cosmetics and would render many collections/firearms valueless.  Any firearm, firearm accessory, or knife that contains ivory, no matter how big or small, would not be able to be sold in the United States, unless it is more than 100 years old. This means if your shotgun has an ivory bead or inlay, your revolver or pistol has ivory grips, your knife has an ivory handle, or if your firearm accessories, such as cleaning tools that contain any ivory, the item would be illegal to sell.”

Oh My God!  All this trouble and inconvenience just for a herd of big smelly old elephants?!?

To be fair, the NRA does have another bedfellow besides ivory poachers and their customers.  The Lord's Resistance Army finances some of its terrorist atrocities by poaching elephants and selling the ivory.

The Lord's Resistance Army and the NRA birds of a feather.  Why is this not surprising?

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Yakima, WA: “Keep Marijuana Out of Our City, But Give Us Some Of That Marijuana Tax Revenue”

This isn't exactly a burning issue, but the hypocrisy here the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too mentality absolutely begs to be snarked and ranted about.

As you probably know, Colorado and Washington have both legalized marijuana.  In Washington, individual cities have the option of not allowing the growing, processing or selling of marijuana within their city limits.

Yakima, WA has made this choice.  Yakima has some of the worst gang problems this side of East L.A., so I would have figured marijuana would be the least of their worries.  But anyway, it's their decision.

But now the Yakima City Council wants to receive some of the tax revenue that will be generated by Washington's legal pot industry.  Uh, you know, even though marijuana will not be sold or processed anywhere in Yakima.

[scratches head]

Uhh, do what now???

If this isn't welfare, getting something for nothing, reaping the fruit of somebody else's labor I don't know what is.

City Councilman Dave Ettl said “I'm prepared to defend cries of hypocrisy from now until whenever.”

Count on it.

Perhaps the Yakima City Council members should re-read the childhood fable of The Little Red Hen.

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Monday, March 03, 2014

Sarah Palin: “I Can See Kiev From My House”

I wasn't planning to write a post about Russia/Ukraine/Crimea; at least not any time soon.  There are too many sides to this, too much going on, for most Americans (most Westerners for that matter) to have an informed opinion.

In other words, it's the perfect time for America's mouthbreathing chickenhawks to come storming in and slander President Obama because  _____________________ (he didn't send U.S. troops into Crimea, he's indecisive, he took a vacation last Christmas, you name it).

Take Sarah Palin: “Back in 2008, I accurately predicted the possibility of Putin feeling emboldened to invade Ukraine because I could see what kind of leader Barack Obama would be.  The bullies of the world are always emboldened by indecision and moral equivalence. We can expect more of this sort of thing in a world where America is gutting its military and 'leading from behind.'”

Oh shut up Asshole.  Ditto for all the other keyboard warriors, including Mitt Romney, who spent the 2012 election blubbering that the Soviet Union was America's biggest threat.  Not that the Soviet Union has even existed for the past twenty-three years...

The general consensus (excluding the mouth-foamingest chickenhawks)  is that military action against Putin is not an option, and that international condemnation and economic sanctions probably won't have much effect.

Besides this thankless position, the situation is a lot more complicated than good and bad, black and white.  Ukrainians are sharply divided in their loyalties.  Basically the eastern half of the country wants to maintain close ties to Russia; the western half wants to strengthen ties with Western Europe.  And the population of Crimea is mostly made up of ethnic Russians.

Putin's official reason for invading Crimea is to protect the Russians who live there.  That was also Putin's reason for invading Georgia in 2008:  Georgia has two provinces where the people are mostly Russian, and they were being attacked by the Georgian government.

Maybe these were Putin's real motives, or maybe not.  For that matter, a lot of the former Soviet republics have a large ethnic Russian population.  Is Putin planning to invade Moldova or Latvia in order to “protect” those countries' Russian populations?

I don't have any solutions or simple answers.  And neither do the loudmouth chickenhawks for whom Ukraine is the new Benghazi.

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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Boycott Idaho

That does it.

When the Idaho legislature passed an Ag Gag bill last month, there was enough news coverage and public outcry that I assumed the governor would veto it.  Riiight. The inbred governor of a teabag state, caring about what the rest of the country thinks?

Idaho is now the fourth state after Iowa, Utah and Missouri to enact an Ag Gag law, whereby unthinkable unsanitary conditions in factory farms are perfectly OK, but reporting these conditions is a crime.

Hopefully, these four states have enough voters whose parents aren't first cousins, that these Ag Gag laws can be overturned by a referendum.  If not, please spend your money in the other forty-six states.

Governor Butch Otter (RBends Over For the Farm Syndicate) signed this bill two days ago.

Bob Naerebout, director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, gushed:

“We’re extremely pleased that the bill passed.  Even though there was a lot of negative ads run on this bill, and even though the bill was misrepresented by animal rights groups, Idaho’s legislators were able to see through that.” 

Able to see through that Right.  Their vision was greatly improved by the huge bribes they received from the Dairymen's Association.

Matt Rice of Mercy for Animals said:

“Gov. Otter has decided to keep corrupt factory farming practices from the public. He’s created a safe haven for animal abuse.  These are facilities that supply food to the entire country. No other industry has the kind of immunity.”

Money talks.  And prostitutes like Butch Otter are happy to bend over for it.

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