Two months into full Republican control of Congress, GOP leaders are struggling to demonstrate they really are in charge.
The stunning House defeat Friday of a three-week spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security exposed Speaker John Boehner’s weakness in the face of rebellious conservatives.
It also again demonstrated his need to rely on Democrats at critical moments as the minority party’s agreement to a one-week spending bill helped the speaker get it over the finish line with only hours to spare before a threatened agency shutdown.
President Barack Obama signed the bill shortly before midnight...
Saturday, February 28, 2015
GOP leaders are struggling to show they really are in charge - National - Ohio:
Friday, February 27, 2015
Scott Walker: Workers are Terrorists | The Fifth Column:
Scott Walker wants to be President, and he’s promising a War on Workers.
Scott Walker at CPAC 2013
Scott Walker at CPAC 2013
At the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the Wisconsin Governor arrogantly boasts, “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world...”
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Principal: ‘There comes a time when rules must be broken…. That time is now.’ - The Washington Post:
...Cuomo’s constant berating of public schools and their teachers is right out of the privatization playbook. As Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute observed back in 2012, the purpose of setting cut scores on Common Core tests so high is to convince suburban parents that their schools and its teachers are failing. The collateral damage done to students by that agenda apparently is secondary to Common Core testing enthusiasts...
Police Turning Off Cameras, Legislation Bans Public Viewing - The Pontiac Tribune:
Beyond the reality that the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world, our police officers shoot and kill more people in any given year than Germany and the United Kingdom combined over the past decade.
Police in the town of Pacos, Washington, with 59,000 people, have shot and killed more people the past six months than police in the United Kingdom, with a population of more than 60 million. And American police aren’t shooting people left and right because they all have guns. Almost daily, a man or woman without a gun is shot and killed in America and problem is getting worse...
It's an AP story so I can't give you any words, else the Mighty Trolls of the Associated Press might eat my flesh. DC legalizes pot in capital, despite threats from Congress - Houston Chronicle
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage -- Now, His State's Economy Is One of the Best in the Country�|�Carl Gibson:
...During his first four years in office, Gov. Dayton raised the state income tax from 7.85 to 9.85 percent on individuals earning over $150,000, and on couples earning over $250,000 when filing jointly -- a tax increase of $2.1 billion. He's also agreed to raise Minnesota's minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018, and passed a state law guaranteeing equal pay for women. Republicans like state representative Mark Uglem warned against Gov. Dayton's tax increases, saying, "The job creators, the big corporations, the small corporations, they will leave. It's all dollars and sense to them." The conservative friend or family member you shared this article with would probably say the same if their governor tried something like this. But like Uglem, they would be proven wrong.
Between 2011 and 2015, Gov. Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to Minnesota's economy -- that's 165,800 more jobs in Dayton's first term than Pawlenty added in both of his terms combined...
Let’s Just Kill ‘Homeland Security’ - The Daily Beast:
Are you nervous, America?
If nothing happens before Friday, the mighty Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—every bit as much a WTF legacy of George W. Bush as those surreal White House Christmas videos that featured Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson talking to Barney “the First Dog” like the Son of Sam killer—will lose its funding due to a budget fight between congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama.
And when DHS funding ends, then…well, nothing much, actually, it turns out...
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
O'Reilly Lied About Suicide Of JFK Assassination Figure, Former Colleagues Say | Blog | Media Matters for America:
Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly claimed he personally "heard" a shotgun blast that killed a figure in the investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination while reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977. O'Reilly's claim is implausible and contradicted by his former newsroom colleagues who denied the tale in interviews with Media Matters. A police report, contemporaneous reporting, and a congressional investigator who was probing Kennedy's death further undermine O'Reilly's story...
Bill O'Reilly threatens N.Y. Times reporter - POLITICO.com:
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly threatened a New York Times reporter on Monday night, promising to come after the reporter "with everything I have" if he felt that any of the reporter's coverage about his Falklands war controversy was inappropriate.
"Mr. O’Reilly’s efforts to refute the claims by Mother Jones and some former CBS News colleagues occurred both on the air and off on Monday," the Times' Emily Steel and Ravi Somaiya reported. "During a phone conversation, he told a reporter for The New York Times that there would be repercussions if he felt any of the reporter’s coverage was inappropriate. 'I am coming after you with everything I have,' Mr. O’Reilly said. 'You can take it as a threat...'”
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Two House Bills Would End Federal Prohibition Of Marijuana:
Two congressmen filed separate House bills on Friday that together would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana at the federal level, effectively ending the U.S. government's decadeslong prohibition of the plant...
Bill O’Reilly Is No Brian Williams - The Daily Beast:
Embattled Fox News star Bill O’Reilly has spent the past 36 hours scrambling from one media platform to another—including his own top-rated show, The O’Reilly Factor—in a fevered attempt to discredit a report that he’s been lying about his supposed presence in a war zone three decades ago...Another angle here.
Friday, February 20, 2015
This Week In The Laboratories Of Democracy:
...At least three bills - one in the House and two in the Senate - have been filed to eliminate the state's nearly six-decade ban on carrying what are more properly called automatic knives. The impetus for repeal comes from OK2A, a Second Amendment advocacy organization that has supported much of the gun-rights legislation enacted in recent years. "It's a combination of principle and a matter of common sense," said OK2A President Tim Gillespie of Earlsboro. "If we're letting people carry guns, it makes no sense not to let them carry switchblade knives.
Some slopes are more slippery than others, but they have one thing in common -- they all run downhill.
This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Stop Whining Conservative Media, Asking Scott Walker About Evolution Is Completely Legit | Blog | Media Matters for America:
...Despite shrill complaints about its supposed irrelevance, the topic of evolution remains firmly in the public square, thanks in part to conservative activists who continue to try to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools. For instance, during Walker's term as governor, a debate unfolded in Wisconsin about whether a public school district should only teach the scientifically-valid theory of evolution, or also teach the scientifically-bankrupt theory of intelligent design...
Bill Clinton Apologizes To Mexico For War On Drugs:
Former President Bill Clinton apologized to Mexico during a speech there last week for a backfired U.S. war on drugs that has fueled spiraling violence...
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Right-Wing Congressman Calls Marijuana Prohibition An 'Abomination' - Reset.me:
A conservative right-wing congressman who worked closely with Ronald Reagan during the end of the Cold War just compared the climate created by the failed, racist, and unduly expensive U.S. War on Drugs to that of a fascist state. Dana Rohrabacher from California, who proudly refers to himself as a “low tax guy” and brags about his collection of more than 50 pictures taken beside the former president, is also leading the Republican charge to end marijuana prohibition. Rohrabacher’s stance on this issue is very unusual, as conservatives have largely been the leaders and biggest allies in the War on Drugs...
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Conservative Movement Is Infected With Scams | Blog | Media Matters for America:
Politico's Ken Vogel today examined how "the conservative movement has been plagued by an explosion of PACs that critics say exist mostly to pad the pockets of the consultants who run them." Media Matters has similarly found that conservative media is infected with scams, touting cancer "cures," dubious financial companies, reverse mortgages, and fringe penny stocks...
10 truly bizarre Tea Party bills: From nipples to militias to religious zealotry - Salon.com:
Here are the 10 most bizarre Tea Party bills currently being debated in the Montana Legislature, which is now controlled by the right wing of the Republican Party. Some of these bills, believe it or not, have a chance of making it to the governor’s desk...
Monday, February 16, 2015
I hope this is not a corporate policy. Target Employee Suicide: Mom Sues Retailer For Son’s Suicide After ‘Walk Of Shame’
Employers agree w/Bernie Sanders on health care? (VIDEO):
Senator Bernie Sanders likely gave Republicans attempting to overturn the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare heartburn during a recent full committee hearing of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pension. It turns out that all three witnesses saw merit to Senator Bernie Sanders’ desire for true Universal Healthcare decoupled from the employer. The panel included Dr. Betsy Webb , Superintendent, Bangor School Department, Bangor, ME, Mr. Andrew F. Puzder , Chief Executive Officer, CKE Restaurants, Carpinteria, CA, and Mr. Joe Fugere , Founder, Tutta Bella Pizzeria, Seattle, WA...Business opposition to single-payer has never made a lick of business sense to me. Why wouldn't you want to reduce per employee expenses, especially when any tax increase would be minimal?
Sunday, February 15, 2015
...Make no mistake: If the governor of Florida had said "I want 'em to throw the book at this guy," the book would have been tossed.
By the way: The same NY Post piece claims that Bill Clinton made "racially charged" gaffes during the 2008 contest. He did no such thing. Bill Clinton was the best friend black people ever had in the oval office, including its current occupant.
The Fartknocker Report: Sarah Palin Moves Lips About Abortion, Lies Ensue. Surprise! | Wonkette:
...This is just spectacularly wrong. It is wrong in a way that should be treasured, not mocked. We should adore this beautiful, shining example of wrongness, because millions of years from now, long after our cities have burned and the skies have dimmed on the planets orbiting this dying star, alien archaeologists will recover a copy of Sarah Palin’s video, and they will look upon it as our civilization’s most glorious creation...
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Military and ISIS Clash Over Iraqi Town Near a Base Housing U.S. Troops - NYTimes.com:
Iraqi soldiers and militants of the Islamic State group clashed again over the weekend in a western Iraqi town that has changed hands several times in skirmishes near a military base where American troops are training Iraqi soldiers...
Friday, February 13, 2015
Sun News Network, Canada's "Fox News North," Has Been Canceled | Blog | Media Matters for America:
Sun News Network, the right-wing Canadian news network described as "Fox News North," is shutting down...
Rand Paul caught lying about his college record - Salon.com:
Ophthalmologist-turned-politician Rand Paul may have a medical degree from Duke University, but the Kentucky senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate never completed his undergraduate education at Baylor University. So why did Paul assert twice yesterday that he holds two bachelor’s degrees from the institution?...How do you get into medical school without a degree? Is this like Skippy Bush going to flight school and becoming a second louey without going to either basic training or officer candidate school?
Thursday, February 12, 2015
In 2008 the mega polarizers of the democrat party including Huffington Post, Move on dot org, Nancy Pelosi, Donna Brazille, Keith Olbermann, Tim Russert and Chris Matthews, MSNBC, and others claimed that Hillary Clinton was "polarizing".
It is now 2016 and the group who most accused Hillary Clinton of being a polarizing influence are in turning out to be the BIGGEST polarizers of them all, that group is Move On dot org...
No, not North Kansas.
North Korea's Kim Jong-un reveals hundreds of bizarre slogans he wants his country to live by - Mirror Online:
North Korea's Kim Jong-un reveals hundreds of bizarre slogans he wants his country to live by - Mirror Online:
North Korea’s red wine loving dictator Kim Jong-un revealed the 300 new political slogans he wants the country to live by.
He wants the 25 million population in the isolated nation he rules to be up-lifted by his new rules such as: "Let the strong wind of fish farming blow across the country!”.
The roly-poly cigar-smoking dictator also ruled: "Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!”...
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Scott Walker’s lying mess: How a tough Wisconsin teacher schooled the governor - Salon.com:
...Felske closes her letter by remembering their freshman orientation at Marquette University. “I graduated from Marquette and later became Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year. You never graduated, and you became the Governor of the State of Wisconsin bent on dismantling public education. Ironic, isn’t it? Situational irony at its best. I’d laugh if its ramifications weren’t so utterly destructive for the state of Wisconsin.”
Will Walker’s latest fibs be destructive for his presidential bid? We’ll find out. The national media has yet to dig deeply into the many nagging questions about Walker’s career, from his Marquette student government hijinks to his mysterious departure from the university, to his Red Cross years, to all the details of the two John Doe probes that led to the conviction of six aides and close associates...
Man Charged in Deaths of 3 Muslim Students Near University of North Carolina - NYTimes.com:
Police officials in Chapel Hill, N.C., said on Wednesday that a man had been arrested in the shooting deaths of three Muslim students at a condominium complex near the University of North Carolina campus.
The Chapel Hill police said that Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, had been charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He is being held at the Durham County Jail. “Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” the police said in a statement...
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Yes, Bush lied about Iraq: Why are we still arguing about this? - Salon.com:
...It seems clear now that we, as a nation, will never stop relitigating the Iraq war. Owing to partisan loyalty or (for the politicians and pundits who personally backed the war) gross self-interest, most of today’s conservatives will stridently argue that the war George W. Bush started on false pretenses was justified (despite the lack of justification) and on track for a successful conclusion (despite every bit of evidence to the contrary) before Barack Obama came in and threw away all of Bush’s good work.
In this vein, the Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed yesterday by Laurence Silberman, the conservative federal judge who co-chaired the 2004 Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. In the piece, Silberman takes objection with Ron Fournier (of all people) blithely asserting that George W. Bush “lied” in order to make the Iraq war a reality. Saying Bush “lied” is a bad, hurtful argument, Silberman writes, because he Bush didn’t lie; he just got every single thing wrong and that’s totally different:...
He has plenty of company in the No-Mo Boat.
David Axelrod: New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd Gets Under Obama's Skin:
David Axelrod: New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd Gets Under Obama's Skin:
... Dowd acknowledged that her columns grew more critical of Obama through his first six years in office, but said the shift was a reflection on his “governing and leadership, not my relationship with him.”Sure Mo. We believe that, and oh, btw, the POTUS is allowed a little spite toward bitchy typists.
"If anyone acted out of spite, I'd say it was the White House, which ... no longer invites me to the President's background briefings for the columnists while continuing to invite my male colleagues, even though they, too, have written some critical things about the President," Dowd said. "But here again, while I'd like to be included, that is not a consideration in what I write."
Anti-Oil Sands Activists Getting Visits From The FBI - Esquire:
...Which brings us back to this story. The idea that your friendly neighborhood Fed is stopping by to "learn more about the movement" should be chilling for a number of reasons. The first is, as we mentioned, the FBI has no business dropping in on citizens who have not committed a crime, nor are they suspected of having committed one, and especially not at the behest of a private multinational concern. There is a name for what happens when the government's law-enforcement powers are put at the direct convenience of private corporations. The second is that, should the president approve the death funnel, which seems less likely than it once did, but which is still a very live possibility, the resistance to the project is not going to resolve itself into a dew. There are going to be demonstrations (peaceful, one hopes) up and down the route of the pipeline, from northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. That the FBI is already gathering intelligence indicates that the Bureau knows this and is warming up for such eventualities. Names are going into a file, somewhere. This never has worked out well in the area of political dissent in this country, and, given the fact that we now have a staggering network of covert domestic intelligence-gathering and a huge government law-enforcement apparatus, it's unlikely to work out well in the future, either...
Dems hit Jeb‘s tech guy for questionable tweets | Politics | Lake Wylie Pilot:
Jeb Bush’s new technology officer found himself embroiled in an online controversy Monday – with the surfacing of past tweets about “sluts,” gay men at the gym and sex with Lindsey Lohan...
Monday, February 09, 2015
My Ironic Defense of Brian Williams�|�Cenk Uygur:
...While we're firing people, find me the MSNBC executives who got rid of Phil Donahue and Ashleigh Banfield for speaking out against the war. You fire those guys and Brian Williams at the same time and you've got a deal. But their offense was a thousand percent worse and there was never even a discussion about firing them.
The American people are allowed to be outraged at what Brian Williams said; the people who fought against the lies that got us into the Iraq War are allowed to be outraged; but the establishment press who are part and parcel of that system can go ahead and spare me their contrived, bullshit outrage...
FBI: Mass shooting incidents occurring more frequently - CNN.com:
Mass shootings have been occurring more frequently in recent years, an FBI study shows, with nearly one incident a month from 2000 to 2013...
Sunday, February 08, 2015
Sanders Exposes 18 CEOs With Trillions in Bailouts, Evaded Taxes, Outsourced Jobs | Towards Emancipation:
...Many of the CEO’s who signed the deficit-reduction letter run corporations that evaded at least $34.5 billion in taxes by setting up more than 600 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens since 2008. As a result, at least a dozen of the companies avoided paying any federal income taxes in recent years, and even received more than $6.4 billion in tax refunds from the IRS since 2008.
Several of the companies received a total taxpayer bailout of more than $2.5 trillion from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.
Many of the companies also have outsourced hundreds of thousands of American jobs to China and other low wage countries, forcing their workers to receive unemployment insurance and other federal benefits. In other words, these are some of the same people who have significantly caused the deficit to explode over the last four years...
Saturday, February 07, 2015
Southern California Edison IT workers 'beyond furious' over H-1B replacements | Computerworld:
Information technology workers at Southern California Edison (SCE) are being laid off and replaced by workers from India. Some employees are training their H-1B visa holding replacements, and many have already lost their jobs.
The employees are upset and say they can't understand how H-1B guest workers can be used to replace them.
The IT organization's "transition effort" is expected to result in about 400 layoffs, with "another 100 or so employees leaving voluntarily," SCE said in a statement. The "transition," which began in August, will be completed by the end of March, the company said...
I’m a U.S. veteran, and “American Sniper” is rife with lies - Salon.com:
...Chris Kyle didn’t view Iraq like me and Garett, but neither of us have attacked him for it. He’s not the problem. We don’t care about the lies that Chris Kyle may or may not have told. They don’t matter. We care about the lies that Chris Kyle believed. The lie that Iraq was culpable for September 11. The lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The lie that people do evil things because they are evil.
The film “American Sniper” is also rife with lies. This was not Chris Kyle’s story. And Bradley Cooper was not Chris Kyle. It was Jason Hall’s story, a one-time actor in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and screenwriter for “American Sniper,” who called his film a “character study.” Don’t believe him. His movie is as fictional as Buffy Summers...
Obamacare makes Mississippi Republican leave Party (VIDEO):
Former Republican Mississippi State Senator Tim Johnson is likely the tip of the iceberg. He gave a news conference on Wednesday where he stated that he will be leaving the Republicans. He joined the Mississippi Democratic Party. He said he will run as the Democratic candidate to be lieutenant governor...
Friday, February 06, 2015
Wingnuts’ latest meltdown: Conservatives go nuts over Obama’s remarks on Christianity and Islam - Salon.com:
Speaking before the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, President Obama denounced those “who hijack religion for their own murderous ends,” citing, for instance, the Islamic State militant group, “a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism.” Given the group’s gruesome executions of its hostages and its utterly horrific execution of children, including the mentally disabled, one could hardly dispute the president’s characterization of its fundamentalist adherents...
Strong U.S. job, wage gains open door to mid-year rate hike | Reuters:
U.S. job growth rose solidly in January and wages rebounded, a show of economic strength that put a mid-year interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve back on the table.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 257,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, outstripping Wall Street forecasts...
Has ISIS's latest horror show backfired in the Middle East? - World - CBC News:
In grotesquely expanding its growing gallery of horror, by burning alive a Jordanian pilot, ISIS is taking a significant risk.
The overriding message, mixed in among several in its highly produced video, is clear. Don't fight us, it seems to say. If you do, prepare to burn in hell...
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Conservatives are such crybabies: Whether Fox News or angry police, exaggerated whining is always the first move - Salon.com:
...Over the years, Salon columnist Heather “Digby” Parton has written repeatedly about GOP/conservative hissy fits, most notably in her 2007 classic, ‘The Art of the Hissy Fit,’ where she noted that, “the right’s successful use of phony sanctimony and faux outrage…often succeeded in changing the dialogue and titillating the media into a frenzy of breathless tabloid coverage.” It first caught her attention in the late ’90s, when top GOP adulterers Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston ”pretended to be offended at the president’s extramarital affair” as well as being outraged that Democrats raised campaign money just like they did.
It worked so well, she observed, “that they now rely on it as their first choice to control the political dialogue when it becomes uncomfortable and put the Democrats on the defensive whenever they are winning the day.” Which is why “hissy fit” is by far the best way to describe the ginned-up outrage recently mounted against New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for their nonexistent roles in the execution killings of Brooklyn NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu—outrage the conservative media sustains by hiding what de Blasio and Obama have actually said, while burying them in false accusations...
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Sen. Feinstein Cracks Scathing Joke About Jeb Bush Candidacy:
...W. Bush’s deep unpopularity primarily stemmed from lying to the country in order to invade Iraq and allowing Wall Street to run roughshod over regulations, nearly crashing the world economy. But No Child Left Behind was also a signature Bush ‘achievement’ and it is also unpopular. The public mostly has negative opinions about it, and teachers overwhelmingly disapprove of it. The prevailing view is that it crushed teacher creativity to focus on standardized testing and has led to an epidemic of teacher burnout. This is just one small strand in the great tapestry of George W. Bush’s legacy as the worst president in American history. Who wouldn’t want to ride those coattails?
Feinstein’s joke is brilliant because it packs all these unique Jeb Bush weaknesses into one pithy punch.
Monday, February 02, 2015
Why I fled libertarianism — and became a liberal - Salon.com:
The night before the 2008 Nevada Republican convention, the Ron Paul delegates all met at a Reno high school. Although I’d called myself a libertarian for almost my entire adult life, it was my first exposure to the wider movement.
And boy, was it a circus. Many members of the group were obsessed with the gold standard, the Kennedy assassination and the Fed. Although Libertarians believe government is incompetent, many of them subscribe to the most fringe conspiracy theories imaginable. Airplanes are poisoning America with chemicals (chemtrails) or the moon landings were faked. Nothing was too far out. A great many of them really think that 9-11 was an inside job. Even while basking in the electoral mainstream, the movement was overflowing with obvious hokum...
Sunday, February 01, 2015
These are the 12 worst ideas religion has unleashed on the world:
...I’ve previously highlighted some of humanity’s best moral and spiritual concepts, our shared moral core. Here, by way of contrast, are some of the worst. These twelve dubious concepts promote conflict, cruelty, suffering and death rather than love and peace. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, they belong in the dustbin of history just as soon as we can get them there...