Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, July 31, 2014

John Boehner and Karl Rove: a Tinfoil Hat for Two

Karl Rove has cozied up next to John Boehner so they can share the same tinfoil hat. They're both insisting that Republicans have never ever said anything about impeaching President Obama; the whole thing is just a vicious rumor conjured up by Democrats for a fundraising gimmick.

Or maybe Tinfoil Hat isn't the right term, since that implies seeing and hearing things that aren't there.  What do you call it when somebody flat-out refuses to see and hear something that's right there in front of him/her?  Maybe this is why John Boehner keeps crawling to *** the bottom of a bottle of bargain Scotch *** so he can drown out the voices of the Teatards.

***Name that tune***

Now playing Devil's Advocate here let's pretend that all the impeachment talk is just a rumor being spread by Democrats; that no Republican has ever uttered the I-word.  (Come on, just play along for a minute.)  Is it a smart strategy for Republicans to deny this rumor that they want to impeach Obama?  When you frantically, incessantly deny a rumor at the top of your lungs you're digging yourself deeper into the hole you're trying to get out of.  This has long been a staple of fiction and real life.  You can't prove Senator X is a child molester.  We don't have to prove it.  Make him deny it.

So come on, Republicans one and all.  Take to the airwaves, the rooftops, the Intertubes, and scream long and loud that you never said anything about impeaching President Obama.  That word again is IMPEACHMENT.  IMPEACH.  Keep on saying that you never said it.  Come on, keep at it.  Louder.

And now playing Devil's Advocate again — let's take the following test.  If You Dare.  Click on the two links below, and find out once and for all who's really wearing a tinfoil hat Democrats or Republicans.  The two linked articles are lists of Republicans who have been clamoring for years to impeach Obama.  Now, if Republicans are telling the truth about never calling for Obama's impeachment, the two linked articles won't exist and you you America-hating treehugger you are the one wearing the tinfoil hat.

However, if the two linked articles really do exist...

Ready?  Click if you dare:

Here and Here.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Satan Worshipers Could Benefit from Hobby Lobby Ruling

It should have been obvious that the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling would be a double-edge sword.  As our mothers all used to ask us when we were little, what if everybody did that?

If employers can hide behind their religious beliefs and weasel their way out of paying for birth control coverage, then religious beliefs should exempt the Satanic Temple from certain abortion laws. The Satanic Temple describes itself as “facilitating the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty.”

The Satanic Temple is campaigning for religious exemption from certain anti-abortion laws.  From the linked article:

The group says they have deeply held beliefs about bodily autonomy and scientific accuracy, and those beliefs are violated by state-level 'informed consent' laws that rely on misleading information about abortion risks.

A spokesperson for the Satanic Temple said:

“Because of the respect the Court has given to religious beliefs, and the fact that our beliefs are based on best available knowledge, we expect that our belief in the illegitimacy of state­ mandated ‘informational’ material is enough to exempt us, and those who hold our beliefs, from having to receive them.”

Them refers to the thirty-five states that have “informed consent laws whereby anyone seeking an abortion must first listen to a series of bullshit lectures based on 12th-century prejudices and flat-out lies.  (No, having an abortion will not make your parents hate you,  cause you to get cancer, become infertile or turn you into a pillar of salt.)

The Satanic Temple combines satire, performance art and activism, and their mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.” 

The Satanic Temple has held demonstrations in favor of Florida Governor Rick Scott's decision to allow prayer in public schools, since of course this would allow children to pray to God or Satan or anyone else they worship.  They also commissioned a 7-foot-tall Satanic statue that was right next a monument to the Ten Commandments.

They're also conducting a Right to Accurate Medical Information campaign, which includes a sample letter that women can present to their doctors.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Post Office Could Provide a Public Option for Banking

This proposal has been around for awhile; Elizabeth Warren endorsed the idea a few months ago.  And now legislation has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, which would allow the U.S. Postal Service to offer basic financial services check cashing, savings and checking accounts and small loans.  This would be a Godsend for millions of low-income people who don't have checking or savings accounts.  Payday lenders  America's favorite sleazebags would become practically irrelevant.  And the U.S. Postal Service would earn back some of the billions of dollars they've lost because of Congress' mandate that all postal employees' retirement benefits must be pre-paid several decades in advance.

Needless to say, the banking industry's congressional prostitutes will never ever agree to such Communist claptrap.  Helping the Post Office?  Helping poor people?  Government bureaucrats meddling in the loan shark industry?

But the good news is, the Postal Service might be able to implement this plan without congressional approval.  It's too bad everything has to be accomplished via executive authority because of our corrupt gridlocked Congress, but there you have it.  When there's a giant blob of shit blocking the highway, you have to take a detour and go around it.

The Postal Service used to offer small savings accounts.  Congress put a stop to this in the 1960s (three guesses why).  But according to the Office of the Inspector General of the Postal Service, the precedent for these banking services has already been established.  Post Offices wouldn't be starting something new; they'd simply be reinstating a service they used to offer.

This will be open to different interpretations, of course.  And with the 2014 midterm elections coming up, what are we waiting for?  Sounds like a campaign issue to me.  

Let's see, which of these themes will resonate more with the public?

A)  Helping the Post Office avoid bankruptcy, and simultaneously saving millions of banking consumers from being ripped off; or

B) Sympathy for those poor payday lenders who might actually have to start working for a living.

Let the soundbites begin.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

One Million Moms vs. Black Jesus

If it weren't for One Million Moms and a few other Biblehump organizations throwing a mass hissyfit, most of us wouldn't have heard about the upcoming TV series Black Jesus. It sounds like it'll be hilarious.  Thanks, Biblewads; I owe you.

Black Jesus will be shown on the cable channel Adult Swim, which shares channel space with the Cartoon Network.  (I've never seen Adult Swim listed on the Guide Channel, but I know we get the Cartoon Network.)

The program is produced by Aaron McGruder, who created The Boondocks.  According to the One Million Moms website, Black Jesus “depicts Jesus living in Compton Gardens and makes a mockery of our Lord.”

So apparently Black Jesus would be acceptable if He were depicted living in white upscale Brentwood; they just don't want Him associating with those filthy minorities in Compton.

A One Million Moms spokesperson said:

“If we speak with one voice now, we can keep this program from ever seeing the light of day.”

Yup, that'll work.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The NRA's Proposed New School Curriculum: Readin' and Writin' and Shootin'

Aww, heck with that there booklarnin' anyway.  Just give 'em a gun and a Bible and they'll be all set.  And if they cain't read, their friendly preacher can read the Bible to 'em.  That way, the Good Reverend can guide them to the important passages — you know, about God hatin' queers and slutty womenfolk — and forgit all that Leftist nonsense about helping the poor.

NRA spokesman Billy Johnson said:

“Just like we teach them reading and writing, necessary skills. We would teach shooting and firearm competency.  It wouldn’t matter if a child’s parents weren’t good at it. We’d find them a mentor. It wouldn’t matter if they didn’t want to learn. We would make it necessary to advance to the next grade.”

Why, that boy gits a 4.0 average in that there fizziks and histeree, but he cain't even fahr a gun???  Hold him back!!!

And here's another advantage to the NRA's gun curriculum:  If you're handy with a gun but you're flunking all them sissy bookworm classes and your teacher is threatening to flunk you — shoot that sumbitch!!!

The NRA's Billy Johnson also, for some odd reason, actually wants to have a bunch of government bureaucrats meddling in people's lives:

“I mean, perhaps we would have government ranges where you could shoot for free or a yearly allotment of free ammunition.  Gun policy, driven by our need for guns would protect equal access to guns, just like we protect equal access to voting, and due process, and free speech.”




Sunday, July 20, 2014

“Why Aren't Tea Party Numbskulls Complaining About Militarized Police Forces?”

Good question.  This is what Bill Maher was asking a few days ago.

Prohibiting health insurance companies from canceling a patient's coverage after he/she had the nerve to get sick?  Government Tyranny!  Enforcing clean air regulations?  Socialist Power Grab!  New banking regulations which will hopefully prevent another financial meltdown?  Worse than Nazi Germany!!!

The militarization and SWAT-Team-ization of America's police forces?  ***crickets***

Bill Maher said:

“This is the massive expansion of government power that you numbskulls in the Tea Party should be freaking out about.  You’re always screaming about the loss of liberty, and how tyranny is coming. Yeah, it’s coming right through the door with a battering ram, no warrant, and a stun grenade. Or to put it in a way you can understand, I’m scared of the cops, and I’m white.”

Describing the video footage of a CHP officer beating up a woman for trying to walk onto a freeway, he joked:

“Even worse, that’s their training video.”

These police brutality incidents have become such a regular occurrence, we're all numbed.  Another day, another person choked to death for selling untaxed cigarettes; another SWAT team barging into someone's home for a crime that earlier would have just involved a routine police visit.

Shouldn't the Teatards have something to say about this?

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Johnny Winter

Well fuck, we've lost another one.  Johnny Winter has died at age 70.

His music was heavily influenced by the earlier blues titans Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Bobby Bland, etc. but he didn't sound like anybody else except Johnny Winter.  The album I was most familiar with was Second Winter.  Edgar Winter also played on a few tracks from that album.

Here are some YouTube links.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

If you like the Sky-High Murder Rate in Latin America, Thank the War On Drugs

Honduras now has the world's highest murder rate.  Mexico and a few Central American countries are close behind.   And why has so much of Latin America turned into a giant killing field?  You can thank America's War On (some) Drugs.

Every demagogue who whipped up mass hysteria against marijuana in the 1930s — and every politician since then who's kept the country riled up and paranoid about DRUGS!!! — Congratulations!  I hope you're proud of the thousands of people you've killed and the millions of lives you've ruined.

The most recent symptom of America's War On Some Drugs is the flood of child refugees pouring over our border.  Most of the people who are so twisted out of shape over these refugees — unable to put two and two together — probably still think we need to crack down on drugs!

From the linked article:

First, by prohibiting any sort of legitimate drug production in the United States, we place all the immense profits from the drug trade directly into the hands of criminals in Latin America. Drugs are cheap to produce, and many policy regimes, from full legalization to some sort of government monopoly disbursing drugs to certified addicts, would cut off the cartels at the knees.

Second, and perhaps more important with respect to gang violence in Latin America, we've aggressively pushed for a highly militarized approach to drug policy throughout the world. U.S. drug policy is all about exporting our drug war, pushing other nations to spray drug farms with herbicide, capture or kill cartel leaders, and worst of all, fight the cartels with the military...toppling one cartel merely increases the violence as smaller gangs fight for freed-up territory, or move to a neighboring country.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strict Water Rationing for EVERYONE in California EXCEPT Nestlé, Inc.

Because of California's three-year record drought, everyone is suffering from strict water rationing.  The environment is dying from dried-up rivers and lakes; and farms, gardens and lawns are all withering.   And yet Nestlé continues drawing huge amounts of water from a spring on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation.  Drought, what drought? 

Nestlé Waters North America Inc. is drawing thousands of acre feet of water from this reservation so the Nestlé water-bottling operations (Arrowhead and Nestlé Pure Life) can continue without a hitch.  First things first.

Nestlé is already notorious for buying up local water rights — mostly in Third World countries — and purposely letting the water supply deteriorate and become unsafe to drink.  Then — Presto! — the local indigent people will be “encouraged” to purchase Nestlé's bottled water instead.  (Google it.)

And the Nestlé CEO, Peter Brabeck, has famously declared that access to water is not a right:

“The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.

Let 'em drink Arrowhead.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

President Barack Obama: Dictator, Imperialist

071014 Executive Orders

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bill Maher Hammers Republicans over Zombie Lies

Last night on Real Time, Bill Maher took on Republican sleazebags (excuse the redundancy) for their non-stop spewing of Zombie Lies (so named because these lies never die).

“Remember ‘fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes?’ Zombie lie, so stop saying it.  ‘Voter fraud’? We studied it. It’s not an actual problem. Stop zombie-lying about it. Their entire economic philosophy — cut taxes for the rich and it trickles down — is a zombie lie. And all these zombie lies are still out there, roaming the countryside, neither alive nor dead — like Dick Cheney. Hungry for brains — like Dick Cheney...”

“They said Obamacare would use death panels. It doesn’t.  They said it was a government takeover, and the insurance industry is making record profits. They said it covered illegals. It doesn’t. They said it was a job killer. It hasn’t been.”

Republicans keep spitting out these zombie lies over and over, even after the lies have been disproved.  Bill Maher compared these zombie lies to President Obama's lie about being able to keep your doctor after you've signed up for Obamacare:

“He stepped up and said, ‘You’re right, my bad,’ because he understood there’s this thing called ‘observable reality.’”

Personally I think the same truth-in-advertising standard — whatever that standard would be — should apply to all political speeches and all advertising, whether it's commercial or political.  When a consumer falls for a deceitful commercial and buys a shoddy product, the company gets sued and suffers a PR disaster.  Millions of voters are conned into voting against their own interests, and nothing happens; nobody is held accountable.

Lewis Black already ranted about this a few years ago, and it rings true now more than ever.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ted Cruz wants to Sell OUR National Parks to Private Owners

If you're on the e-mail list of any environmental/animal rights organizations, you're probably already familiar with the abortional Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014 (S. 2363).  This bill is pretty much a gift to trophy hunters and the NRA from their prostitutes in Congress.  The fact that so many Democrats are in favor of this bill gives credence to the popular there's-no-difference-between-the-two-parties school of thought.

And now Ted Cruz (RHands Around His Ankles) has added an amendment that will make this already-abortional law even worse.  Ted Cruz' amendment would force the federal government to sell off public lands to the highest bidder.  Say Goodbye to your favorite national parks, national forests and wildlife sanctuaries.  God intended for this land to be mined, logged, drilled and fracked; He didn't care about a bunch of messy trees and smelly animals. 

The only possible bright spot is that Ted I went down on Cliven Bundy and I liked it Cruz' amendment might derail the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014.

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Monday, July 07, 2014

Coal Rollers: the Inbreddest of the Inbred

Coal Rolling is when a braindead redneck installs smoke stacks in his diesel truck.  The only purpose is to spew out clouds of toxic black smoke.  You know, to get back at Obama, gummint bureaucrats and tree huggers.  Haw haw haw, that'll learn them librul eleetists.

A dealer who sells these smoke stacks said:

“I run into a lot of people that really don’t like Obama at all.  If he’s into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not. I hear a lot of that.  To get a single stack on my truck—that’s my way of giving them the finger.  You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.”

A diesel truck owner said:

“The feeling around here is that everyone who drives a small car is a liberal.  I rolled coal on a Prius once just because they were tailing me.  It’s bad for the environment. That’s definitely true.  And some of the kids that have diesel trucks can look like tools. And you can cause a wreck, but everything else about it is pretty good.”

...as the nation's IQ sinks lower and lower...

Maybe one of these tabacca-chawin' rednecks will roll coal on a Prius driver who happens to be quick-tempered, armed to the teeth and an excellent shot.

These assholes give inbreeding a bad name.  They make those backwoods hillbillies from Deliverance look intelligent.

So they're purposely spewing toxic black smoke into the air just so they can diss Obama, the EPA and clean air regulations?!?  Maybe next they'll beat the living shit out of themselves and then not go to a doctor.  Take that, Obamacare!!!

The linked article has a video of a coal rollin' rally in Wisconsin.  I didn't bother watching.

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

Forest Service Unable to Stop Disastrous Mining Project in Rural Washington

Washington's incredibly scenic Methow Valley is “where residents and visitors, including many from Seattle, walk dogs, run trails, cross-country ski, snowmobile, hike, bike and even paraglide” (from the linked article.)

A Canadian mining company, Blue River Resources, wants to “explore” this area to see if a copper mine would be lucrative.  “Explore” means boring numerous thousand-foot holes into the Earth.  This digging would be going on 24/7, for months on end, and would require hauling thousands of gallons of water up the mountainside.  Blue River Resources repeatedly failed to return phone calls from the Seattle Times.

Methow Valley's 5,300 residents are almost unanimous in their frantic opposition to the proposed mine.  But a bought-and-paid-for state representative, Joel Kretz (R—Industry Prostitute) said:

“I’m tremendously supportive of the Mazama project.”

The Forest Service has been swamped with comments, most of them opposed to the mine.  Mike Liu, Winthrop District Ranger for the Forest Service, said:

“This project has brought the most fan mail I’ve seen in awhile.”


“At the end of the day, we could require certain kinds of mitigation.  But to say ‘no you can’t develop,’ that’s not part of my authority.”

For this, you can thank the General Mining Law of 1872.  Under this law, completely unchanged since 1872, any citizen or company can make a claim on public lands for $5 an acre.  (That was a lot of money in 1872.)  On top of that, these companies or individuals are not required to pay any royalties to the federal government.

A lot of Methow Valley residents are determined to do whatever it takes to prevent any mining projects in their community.  One resident said:

“Nobody here wants a mine, but I also have concerns about the drilling itself.  This is late-successional forest. It’s above the headwaters of Goat Creek. We have concerns about impacts on wetlands and Forest Service roads, and what that might mean for siltation.”

The owner of a local inn frequented by hikers, skiers and bikers said:

“I’m in the tourism business.  Are mountain bikers going to keep coming through with a drill rig passing by? Goat Peak is one of the most popular trails in Mazama.”

Another local resident said:

“Allowing this to go forward is simply out of the question.  It can’t happen. We won’t let it.”


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Friday, July 04, 2014

Speaking of Independence Day: Is America Ripe for Another Revolution?

This article says No; we're only half primed.  In order for a population to be galvanized into violent revolution, two factors must be present:  staggering economic inequality (check), and mass institutional corruption.

In terms of income equality, the United States ranks 93rd out of 155 countries measured by the World Bank. (Who'da guessed there are actually 62 countries with a wider income gap than the U.S.?)  In any case, the U.S. has a huge enough wealth gap to incite millions of angry citizens.

But (it says here) the U.S. government isn't corrupt or dysfunctional (WTF???), so a revolution is unlikely.  Silly me, I would have thought a government that's wholly owned by a few multi-trillion-dollar industries  banks, pharmaceutical companies, Big Ag, fossil fuels, defense contractors would qualify as corrupt and dysfunctional.  But, believe it or not, the U.S. is one of the world's least corrupt countries.  According to Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, the American government is the 17th most transparent in the world.  Uh, OK...

So, a violent revolution becomes likely when both inequality and corruption combine to reach the boiling point.  According to this article, the countries most vulnerable to mass civil unrest are:  Argentina, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, and Venezuela.

Anyway, it looks like we're off the hook.  Happy Fourth.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Obama Dares AWOL Congress to Keep Blocking and Obstructing Everything

Yesterday President Obama dared Congress to remain AWOL and keep derailing and sabotaging everything:

“So sue me.  I'm not going to apologize for trying to do something.  So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class — not ideas that are unique to me.  But the Republicans have said no to raising the minimum wage, have said no to fair pay. They've said no to extending unemployment insurance for over 3 million Americans looking for a new job.”

He urged his Cabinet secretaries to “be creative about how we can make real progress” on issues where Congress refuses to act (i.e. anything other than repealing Obamacare and investigating Benghazi).  He also said:

“We're not always going to be able to get things through Congress, at least not this Congress.  I want to make sure we emphasize not what we can't do, but what we can do in the coming months.”

And speaking of Congress and dysfunction:  Most of the recent Supreme Court rulings on hot-button issues are a symptom of our AWOL Congress. The linked article says:

“Hobby Lobby has made it abundantly clear that Congress has basically relinquished its policy-making obligations to the executive and the judiciary. And that spells trouble for American democracy...a comatose legislature doesn't mean that the overall power of the government is limited. Instead, power just flows elsewhere, like the Supreme Court...and the executive branch.”