Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Week in Review - June 29, 2013

A day after the disappointment of the Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act, SCOTUS turned around and struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8 in California. She could very well help turn the state purple. Crazy times we live in. Anyway, here are some graphics that reflect some of the merry go round week we had.

Yes, Virginia, "The Gays" are People Too...
The Supreme Court ruled that gay people are, in fact, equally protected under the constitution and shouldn't be discriminated against. Weird that the same guy who helped gut the voting rights act helped overturn discrimination against gay people, but that's how things work here in 'merica.
...but Not According to the Great Scalian Bloviator
Of course, one guy who can't stand the gays, had to pipe up about his objections in the usual grandiloquent, unhinged way he's become known for. As opposed to, say, sober adjudication. I used to work out at the same health club on Capitol Hill where Scalia played squash. He just would not drop dead from a hearth attack (unfortunately), no matter how intently I glared at him to do so. This guy is seriously unfit to adjudicate a frickin' parking ticket, let alone interpret the Constitution. He doesn't seem to care about logic or even his own train of thought (arguing that the court can't legislate for Congress, when the same week, that's exactly what they did re: the VRA). Read more here, if you can stomach it!
Renewed Hope for Democrats in Texas
Wendy Davis, a Texas State Senate Democrat, stood up for nearly 12 hours without taking a break to pee or eat or lean on anything in a filibuster against draconian anti-choice legislation that was on track to pass when she was joined by screaming crowds of supporters. She successfully derailed an aggressive anti-choice measure. Before she did, however, this moron spoke up the previous day to share her insight into rape kits as tools for abortion:

John Oliver NAILED his summary of what happened during the filibuster here by Wendy :

If Sen. Sanders and a Quarter of the US Senate Don't Trust the NSA, Why Should You?
Whenever the government (and mainstream media) do their best to assassinate the character of a whistleblower, it usually means that the charges being addressed carry legitimate weight. The Snowden drama is another example of this. But not everyone can be easily distracted from the substance of the issue by ad hominem attacks on the young whistleblower, including Bernie Sanders and a quarter of the United States Senate, who sent a letter to the head of NSA demanding some answers. My Senators Bernie Sanders and Pat Lcahy are signatories to the letter.
On Monday, July 1, 2013, Student Loan Rates are Going UP
For folks who are interested in the trillion dollar-plus debtload carried by American college students, the republican controlled House refused to do anything to prevent student loan rates to double, which they're slated to do on Monday. Priorities in this country are suspect, at best. (Of course, that's like saying the ghost peppers have a little kick to 'em.) Elizabeth Warren has been a champion on this issue, and everyone should flood their members of congress with angry email until something is done about it....

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Truth about the Sequester...

...that the short-term memory'd classes appear to have conveniently forgotten.

Here's the thing about the sequester (AKA the Budget Control Act of 2011) that the revisionists of this country's recent history have conveniently forgotten (actually, ignored, because it doesn't fit their narrative of lies and myth):

Waaaay back In 2011 the extremist right wing nutjobs in the House refused to raise the debt ceiling--something the leadership had done repeatedly under Bush without incident or fret--and something that had always been done. But under Obama, the black guy who inherited the worst economy possible from Bush, including runaway deficit-spending on two wars, they threatened--for the first time in US history--to force a default on the good faith and credit of the United States. The sequester was White House economics advisor Gene Sperling's response to being held hostage by this minority of insane fiscal terrorists. To break the impass, Sperling crafted a "Mexican standoff" style policy; the assumption implicit in the sequester was that there were enough "unacceptable" cuts in the package for both sides (defense for republicans, social programs for democrats) that it was unthinkable NOT to pass a compromise. This, of course, is anything but the democratic process at work; at best it's governance from behind in the face of bomb-throwing extremist tea party zealots.

You're kiddin' me. Of course, this basic course in recent history 101--which is undisputed, it's not as if there's another interpretation available here--is never mentioned in the mainstrain media. The democrats assume, wrongly, as per usual,  that the American people know or remember what happened "all those years" ago. But sadly they don't... fact, the latest from the Pew Research folks, while yes, 49% of the people will blame republicans, 40% of the people also think it's fine to let the sequester happen, and 42% think that the sequester is the fault of both parties. Embarrassing. Critical thinking skills are in seriously short supply among a large percentage of Americans. 

Their logic goes something like this: 
a: Republicans hold president/country hostage over debt ceiling that has always been passed, and that they passed without problem under Bush.
b: The President has few options--let country default and cause international financial ruin or come up with a Mexican Standoff doomsday fiscal scenario, so he choose the latter
c: Both parties are to blame! 

Source: Pew Research
If it helps, think of it this way: 4 out of every 10 people you see are basically the reason our country weaves wildly in and out of economic traffic, like a drunk coming out of a bar at 2:00 am. It's clear who caused this. Oh, and Boehner and Ryan both indicated that this would be useful for their party. Disgusting. Embarrassing. Completely avoidable. And all because a black guy (a moderate democratic black guy!) became president. Come to think of it, that doesn't help at all...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Thing about De-Funding Big Bird is that it's so much MORE than Big Bird

I grew up with PBS and so did my kid. If you have kids, they probably did too. Mitt wants to de-fund PBS and eliminate that fundamental element of our culture. Why? It makes no sense, especially when research underscores how PBS actually *helps* our kids l
earn (hmmm, maybe that's why). But to follow the logic, you can see that the world that Mitt Romney and today's republicans want to see put in place never existed and should NOT exist. Their vision of our future is based on a bizarre (re)vision of history that should shock people. The government is imperfect, but it has helped improve this country--and in some cases revolutionized the world. The government isn't dominant in all elements of our lives, nor should it be, but it does play a role--in the best of a times, a balanced role--and always has. Those who don't understand that really don't know the basics of our country's history. But they VOTE, unfortunately, and so should YOU.

Our country isn't just about individual success, it's about working together, government, corporations, non-profits and universities, to improve the lives of people overall. That's the point, and today's republican party just doesn't understand that.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sick Rantorum: Smart People on "Our Side"

REPOSTED: Okay, so Sir Richard was speaking at the latest republican "values" conference this week, where the extreme right in this country gathers to reinforce and applaud its increasingly fringe political and cultural views. So, of course, Sick Rantorum was up to speak. Where to start? 

First, the media isn't supposed to be on *anyone's* side, they're supposed to be impartial. That said, I guess the former senator and current sweater vest-wearing extremist forgot about a cable news channel called "FOX News"--the "fair and balanced" 24/7 PR arm of the republican party. 

Second, sometimes the right can't help but admit which party has the "smart" folks in it, and every time they do, I think it's hilarious. They really don't even understand that they've insulted themselves. 

Third, the elite? That's seriously rich: the people who founded our country weren't common bumpkins, they were the high-functioning intelligent elite of our country--the best and the brightest. Whom do you want making policy decisions in this country--the best and brightest people or Joe the Plumber and Sarah the Palin? And btw, what is Mitt Romney, other than a Harvard-educated, to the manor born son of a governor? Does it get *any more* elite than that?? 

Ironically, Santorum states that elites want the "power" to tell people what to do. But as I recall, it's the republicans who are trying to define rape; the republicans who are requiring intrusive ultrasounds; and the republicans who are disenfranchising voters around the country with bureaucratic red tape-driven voter ID laws that address a non-existent problem. How is that for intrusive government?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

To all the haters who think there's no difference between democrats and republicans...

Auto Industry Saved. Romney tried to take credit. But instead of giving Obama credit, he's called a socialist (which really isn't an epithet--yet another hijacked concept from the rightists). What would today’s republicans have done in WWII? Those “socialists” basically helped save the planet because the government had to step in and retool the economy. Sen. Bernie Sanders agrees.

Iraq. Bush went into war without consulting the National Security Council--well, according to that liberal apologist Colin Powell, anyway. There was no real exit strategy, and the "evidence" used was not vetted. Bush originally estimated the war at $60 - $80 billion. True debt-burdening cost? Closer to $3 to $4 trillion. Far more Americans died in Iraq than in 9/11, and the wounded? In the millions. And that's not even counting the hundreds of thousands of people we killed who *weren't* Americans. If any other country did what we have done in that country, the right wing would call it a "rogue state." Oh, and yeah, Obama pulled out all the troops--you're WELCOME. Sen. Bernie Sanders agrees.

Healthcare. It's a complicated law, but the simple facts are these: Obama decided to focus less on killing people abroad (yes, I know about the drones and Afghanistan) and to focus more on keeping more people in the United States healthy. The healthcare law is imperfect, but just the one thing it does--if you know NOTHING else about it: It makes it illegal for healthcare corporations to remove you from coverage because of a typo on your application. You DID know that corporations went through applications with a fine-toothed comb to do this, right? Right? Do you think that's a good thing? Do you think that eliminating that unbelievably heinous practice is somehow bad? And pre-existing conditions? You might be young, but if you’re not, it’s a VERY big deal that corporations are no longer able to deny care because of it. Birth control--Obamacare covers it for women now. Makes sense, right? Right. Basic. Bernie Sanders agrees and says that Obamacare is the first step in the right direction.

Gay Marriage. Obama is the first president in history to publicly support gay marriage. Why? Because he's not afraid of people who live and lead different lifestyles. And young people? They're MUCH less afraid of gay people because they grew up with them being much more in the open--difference between the two parties much? Much. Bernie Sanders agrees.

Voting Rights. Obama is for them, the vast state-based republican conspiracy is against them. The facts are that--in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and many other states--republicans at the state level are trying to disenfranchise voters. Look it up. It’s not pretty. Bernie Sanders agrees.

Women's Rights. Obama is crystal clear on his support for the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and has stood with women on this basic and obvious policy from the beginning. Romney? He'll "get back to you on that." Planned Parenthood saves countless lives each year with breast cancer screenings. This is an inherent good. But the republicans want to end it once and for all. Obama supports it unabashedly--as he should--along with a woman's right to reproductive healthcare. Difference much? Difference. Much. Obama supports a woman’s right to choose. 

You can’t have everything in a president. You can’t. I’m sorry. You’re upset about NDAA, Gitmo, drones, oil drilling, Afghanistan, the medical marijuana debacle? I am too. I get it. But here’s the thing: no individual or party organization is going to meet all of your checklist requirements for the perfect president. That individual--and that party--simply doesn’t exist. But if you think that democrats and republicans are the same, then by your logic you have to Michele Bachmann is the same as Bernie Sanders. The republican party is run by extremist, socio-cultural re-engineers that are, as Obama states in the piece associated with this thread, want to take this country back to another century. The Democrats are not for that, and are fighting every day to prevent that from happening. That’s the truth of it. And just in case you’re wondering, Bernie Sanders shares all of your concerns, but he’s with the Democrats. Why? Because he knows that this is the best hope for real change, and that letting the other side win would be a disaster. Bernie Sanders agrees with this 100%.

You can sit and yell at your computer monitor and avoid dealing with policy specifics, or you can be part of the movement to prevent the tea party morons from consolidating their power. Up to you. The rest of us have work to do...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Man Child Republicon Paul Ryan Says that Rights are Conferred by God

Ron Paul, er, I mean, Paul Ryan, doesn't understand where rights come from, but his views are straight outta 1950s literature
Republicon man-child Paul Ryan said last night at the RNC that God gives rights, not governments. Of course, the Congress Man forgets about that whole inconvenient Bill of Rights thing, but who interprets god's will? You guessed it! Paul Ryan! This egomaniacal lifelong denizen of Capitol Hill epitomizes the neo-far right wing of the republican party. His budget, which unapologetically targets the poor and favors the wealthy is what we could expect under a Romney regime. He is the new "republitarian," a hybrid republican and libertarian who thinks that all government programs--including those that help the aging, the poor, and women--are bad. Strike that: he's for welfare, as long as its welfare for the wealthy. He co-sponsored a bill with the maniac Rep. Akin that rape should be pre-defined. Seriously. He wants to deny women basic reproductive rights, codified into law by four decades of Roe v. Wade. 

(read more about a man you do NOT want wandering the halls of the West Wing at

And contrary to popular opinion, he's no fiscal conservative, he voted for all the debt-ballooning programs under Bush, which added ~$4 trillion to the national debt, while providing tax breaks to the aggrandizement of wealthy people like his prospective boss, RMoney. His plans for a voucher system would be an unmitigated disaster whereby people could "shop" for healthcare coverage with "vouchers." Of course, what good is shopping around with a voucher if you have a pre-existing condition--but hey, older folks RARELY have those, am I right? Ugh. And his political philosophy is straight from the playbook of Ayn Rand, the "me first and screw everyone else" icon of today's extreme moron right. The practical policy outcome of that philosophy is what we've seen in numbers over the past 10 years and is simple: channel more and more money into the hands of fewer and fewer people. Reduced federal spending and lower taxes is what Ryan promises, but that's what we have today. How's that working out for us?

He's a dangerous man who shouldn't be allowed to do much more than take a tour of the White House. And he sure as hell shouldn't be allowed to freakin' work there. You may not like everything Obama does; I know I don't. But if you have any proclivity toward helping those in need and protecting women's reproductive rights, then you need to vote to ensure that this idiot and his tea-puppet patron don't take abrogate those rights by taking over the policy reins of the country. VOTE.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Psychopathy of Mitt Romney

I wondered about Mitt. All those things he's said and done over the years. Tonsorially raping that gay kid's head in Cranbrook. Pretending to be a cop. Tying his dog to the roof of his car for a 12 hour road trip. He seems--odd. So, I did a little research.

This was posted over at, and there were some comments that I thought were interesting. Here they are, followed by my response:

RPH:I am not sure exactly where Konrad is coming from but I kind of agree. That's the problem with personalising politics. It becomes a question of who is the nice guy and we then disregard all the shitty things Obama has done at the behest of Corporate America. I am quite ready to believe that there are more psychopaths and just plain nasty bastards among the Republicans- still you need to ask what has gone wrong with civic life in the US so that the right wing of the one political party (the property party) can be so dominated by psychopaths while its leftwing is dominated by cowardly windbags.

SB: I gotta say that while they certainly aren't wrong about Mitt, the field of politics rewards sociopathy and pretty much all successful politicians are sociopaths to one degree or another. It is the trait that allows them to succeed in an environment of manipulation, deceit and corruption. It is just that some of them are smarter and better at hiding it than other

Groobiecat: While you both make good points, in general, democrats are clearly more interested in the common weal. Obamacare is, as Bernie Sanders said, a step in the right direction. And who made it so that corporations would no longer be able to disqualify someone from healthcare coverage for typos on their applications or for pre-existing conditions? And who made it possible for millions of kids to now be covered? Who made it possible for kids under 26 to stay on their parents' healthcare plans? That wasn't a republican. And women's rights? No contest there. Ending Planned Parenthood funding and literally killing women as a result of denied breast cancer screenings? Yeah. Voting disenfranchisement--which party is heading up that little mass conspiracy? And a democrat did end the war that was started by a republican, and killed up to a million people--that's pol pot level stuff, and that's what we have under a republican president. Yes, I know, drones, Afghanistan, NDAA, Guantanamo. I get that, and basically agree. But those other issues? They're real. They're not nothin'. Democrats are imperfect, but it shakes out like this: Democrats are to Neurosis as Republicans are to Psychosis--especially with the hyper insane clown car of crazy that is now running the republican party.