Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Post-Sandy Hook: NRA "Clips and Magazines" Replinished

Funeral Procession for Some the Children Murdered at Sandy Hook Elem School in CT
(more photos at the story link below)

All that GREEN Surrounded by all that RED

NRA Attitude and GOP's, Same, Same


Meanwhile, in the bowls of the NRA (Nobody Really Aware) this exclusive from New York Daily News:  NRA Donations Soar to $96.4 million (up 11.5%) after Newtown School Massacre

A few tidbits from that article that I found both interesting and disturbing:

ALBANY, NY — Donations to the National Rifle Association soared in the aftermath of the Newtown, CT school massacre (in December 2012), new filings show.

Contributions and grants to the NRA in 2013 totaled $96.4 million, up 11.5% from the $86.4 million raised the previous year, according to the latest financial disclosure form filed by the gun group with the IRS.

The money poured in as Congress and states, including New York, debated gun control measures  following the massacre of 20 small children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a crazed gunman.

“It’s very perverse. Most Americans would have a visceral reaction toward those numbers following a tragedy where 20 (children) were slaughtered,” said said Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

NRA donations grew even as they, headed by Wayne LaPierre, actually spent less on professional fund-raising fees. For example, in 2013, they spent $7.2 million on professional fund-raisers, down from $8.5 million in 2012.

Noteworthy: Donations and grants were not the only NRA revenue to jump after Newtown:

1.  Total revenue in 2013 increased by 35.8%, to $348 million. That includes $175.6 million in membership dues.
2.  They spent $27.6 million on legislative efforts, $24.5 million on advertising, and $14.5 million on an outside public relations and advertising consultant.
3.  The NRA has 67 employees on the payroll, each makes at least $100,000.
4.  Wayne LaPierre in 2013 had a compensation package of just under $1 million.

The bottom line, if there is a bottom line? The NRA is a single issue organization (2nd Amendment) and I have no problem with that or the 2nd Amendment, and I would not change on word in it, but (but a nasty but) the NRA could do good by helping craft laws that protect gun rights yet help put a stop to gun violence, too. They are not willing to do the latter. That is why I do not and can no longer support them.

To me, the NRA is out of step with reality as they deal in one product that causes huge losses and that overall this driven by their #1 marketing ploy: “Fear-mongering” and that silly-ass message: “They are gonna take your guns.” 

Fear sells and the NRA has the money prove it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

GOP Conservative Targets: Smart Bright Savvy DEM Women

Actually, Targets

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki (left) and Deputy Marie Harf

The article I am posting here makes me respect the media more so when they publish articles like the one below. Thus, a tip of the hat and huge kudos to Karen Finney who penned this article posted at Media Matters here. It is truly worth reading. Why? Because facts matter. Enjoy it in full at the link – here are the key parts to show facts over opinion that I wanted to emphasize:

What makes the right-wing media attacks against [Marie] Harf [following her appearance on TV discussing ways to combat terrorism and ISIS in her February 16 interview on Hardball] more egregious, despite the familiarity of the larger pattern, is that Harf is essentially saying the same thing a number of high-profile conservative men have also said previously. Yet those men weren't attacked – some were even praised. (Examples follow)

HARF drew the wrath of conservatives for commenting that: “We cannot kill our way out of this war.” For that she has been portrayed as a “…a damn naïve fool” by conservatives, who ignore her full comments, suggesting that she didn't also talk about the importance of military strikes as well as other tactics like these her further comments:

HARF: “We're killing a lot of them, and we're going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians. So are the Jordanians. They're in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need, in the longer term - medium and longer term - to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups.”

HARF CONTINUED WHEN ASKED IT’S NOT EASY: “You're right, there is no easy solution in the long term to preventing and combating violent extremism, but if we can help countries work at the root causes of this – what makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47 instead of trying to start a business? Maybe we can try to chip away at this problem, while at the same time going after the threat, taking on ISIL in Iraq, in Syria, and helping our partners around the world.”

However, Rush Limbaugh certainly didn't call Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the JCS ”little girl” or say that he sounded like a ”valley girl” when he basically said the same thing about the war in Afghanistan in 2008 testimony (here):

ADM MULLEN: “We can't kill our way to victory, and no armed force anywhere – no matter how good – can deliver these keys alone. It requires teamwork and cooperation.”

While Harf and Mullen were talking about different parts of the world at different times, both made a broader point that given the nature of terrorist threats and the strategies they employ – from the way they utilize social media, finance their operations, recruit and train from all over the world, and targeting those who are most vulnerable to their message – America must have a strategy that is multi-faceted and multi-national. That strategy includes not only air strikes but also social media, helping countries build democratic institutions, and stabilizing their economy with the means for people to make a living (paraphrased).

Former President George W. Bush voiced many of those same ideas, when he connected the role that poverty and a lack of democratic institutions play in creating instability and the spread of terrorism. In a 2002 speech to the UN International Conference on Financing for Development,

MR. BUSH SAID, IN PART: “Many here today have devoted their lives to the fight against global poverty, and you know the stakes. We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror. We fight against poverty because opportunity is a fundamental right to human dignity. We fight against poverty because faith requires it and conscience demands it. And we fight against poverty with a growing conviction that major progress is within our reach. We will challenge the poverty and hopelessness and lack of education and failed governments that too often allow conditions that terrorists can seize and try to turn to their advantage.”

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION (big conservative group): In their October 2003 report, they
addressed the importance of democratic institutions and civil society in stabilizing regions that can become havens for terrorists, and the connection to U.S. security in the context of Africa, also one of the poorest, regions of the world, saying in part:

“While poverty and instability alone do not breed terrorists or weapons proliferators, African nations with weak civil societies and poor law enforcement and judicial systems are vulnerable to penetration and exploitation by transnational terrorist groups.”

HARF: Regarding our mid- to long-term strategy, she said it should address root causes that compel that 17-year old to pick up a gun and fight echoed remarks by none other than former Vice President  

DICK CHENEY: In his August 2002 speech to the VFW, he made the connection between the ways poverty and oppression in the Middle East contribute to (his words) saying: “Conditions that breed despair, hatred, and violence in young people and the hope of a changed outcome in the long term.”

Note that no one suggested that Cheney's glasses were the smartest thing about him, as the Federalist did about Ms. Harf.

The whole article is at the link – enjoy.

I conclude with this:  How do we spell hypocrisy and nastiness? Oh, that’s easy: “Angry, nasty conservatives.” Not all for sure, but a good many who are in key positions where the GOP-conservative base listens and follows as they lap it up. That’s the worst part.

Those who spew that kind of nastiness know precisely what they are saying and to whom they say for. That perhaps is the worse of the worst, if that’s even possible.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

How Can a Boogle of Weasels Shut Down Homeland Security

Impact of GOP DHS Shutdown - Not Pretty
(I lived through two GOP shutdowns in the 1990's)

During the Clinton administration, after conservatives made massive congressional gains in the 1994 Republican Revolution, there were two full government shutdowns during 1995 and 1996 lasting 5 and 21 days respectively, both the longest and most severe to that date. These shutdowns led to massive furloughs and significant disruption. The primary issue was the United States budget deficit.

The federal government shutdown of 2013 ran from October 1 to October 16, 2013 over the Republican desire to delay or defund the ACA (Obama-care) which has been in effect since March 2010.

Now here we are again. This time the GOP is upset and angry about Mr. Obama’s executive order on immigration (deportation delay due mostly to GOP inaction on positive immigration reform – which we sorely need).

If they don’t get their way, expect “poison pill” amendments on “must-pass” bills … they are hell bent on getting their way no matter who suffers along the way.  

A very good 4-minute run down is here:
It is very hard for me to come close to even comprehending how anyone can serve in elected office, professing to serve the best interests of the country then stand by and advocate a shutdown of government … to me that borders on the highest form of treason: turning your back on the very structure you say you are serving with honor, pride, and dignity.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Elected Official "Mustela Nivalis:" Guns on Campus for Gals

NRA and Rightwingnuts on Campus - on the Move

"Will Save Hot Little Girls"
(Hey, not my words. See story below)

A female Nevada lawmaker (her photo a the link) is sponsoring a bill to legalize guns on college campuses in the state, a measure she says “...could prevent men from sexually assaulting young, hot little girls.”

Many gun rights advocates argue that arming female college students around the country would help reduce sexual assaults. That one in Nevada is GOPer Assemblywoman Michele Fiore.

She said in a recent telephone interview with The New York Times: “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”

Spoken like a true redneck goober ässshöle, female aside, still an ässhöle to even propose something this crazy. If a man said that, they would be keelhauled in either Lake Tahoe or Mead and called a sexist.

The utter insanity about saying: “We need more, not less guns” is as asinine as saying: “We need more, not less money in political campaigns.”  

But, leave it to GOPer to advocate for both of those things regardless of the stakes.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weasels in Retreat: 2015 GOP Annual Confab in Hershey, PA

Speaker Boehner and Sen. Majority "Leader" McConnell Q&A

Hang on, Barack Obama will be gone 
on January 20, 2017

From the GOP's annual party meeting ... “I note that the word retreat seems apropos...”

Republicans (there also) plotted a response if the Supreme Court knocks down health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans in the pending case. They've been tied in that knot or five years about any Obama-care alternative (that they can't seem to muster). The Court case adds urgency for them to find consensus ahead of a likely June ruling (could go either way, BTW).

Paul “Marathon” Ryan said, “We're obviously doing contingency planning for King v. Burwell. It would be wrong not to.” Then he added that there was no plan of action yet — but that discussions were ongoing (ha ...).

More broadly, the GOP “leaders” had a message for rank-and-file members: “Let's govern responsibly and focus on the art of the possible.”

Note: They seemed to downplay expectations for transformative changes while Obama remains president. 

Translation: Wait Obama out, and hope a GOPer wins the White House in 2016, and the GOP retrains their House and Senate majorities, and then go all out – balls to the walls as it were with all sorts of crazy bills and base pet projects (i.e., Koch payback if you like that word better).  

Hang on tight....it might get bumpy.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Man, Myth, Money, Mindset, Malarkey, My Goodness

Joke of the Decade (1981-1989)

chart_reagan_taxes5.top.gif
As Factual as Possible

FACTS ABOUT REAGAN AND TAX AND SPENDING:

The phrase “trickle down (economics)” was actually a term coined by Will Rogers spoken during the Great Depression, and paraphrased as: “Money appropriated for the top with the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy.”

More up to date the term was adopted and used during the Reagan years and simply known as “Trickle-down economics” or sometimes simply called “Reaganomics” or laissez-faire (basically that there be no government interference in business dealings).

Mr. Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, originally championed the cuts but then he became skeptical of them and even later President George H. W. Bush called them “voodoo economics.”

THE HEART OF THIS POST:

Following the GOP losses in the 1982 election, Reagan largely backed off his efforts at spending cuts even as he continued to offer the small-government rhetoric that helped get him elected. In fact, he went in the opposite direction:

1. His created the VA and that contributed to an increase in the federal workforce of more than 60,000 people during his presidency.

2.  While Reagan somewhat slowed the marginal rate of growth in the budget, it continued to increase during his time in office.

3. The national debt skyrocketed from $700 billion to $3 trillion under Reagan.

4.  After first pushing to cut Social Security benefits - and being stymied by Congress - Reagan in 1983 agreed to a $165 billion bailout of the program along with Medicare (thus funding health care – ouch).

5. He massively expanded the Pentagon budget to surpass the old USSR in the Cold War race.

6.  Reagan's tax increases did not wipe out the effects of his initial tax cuts. But they did eat up about half of it, e.g., the 1983 payroll tax hike went to pay for Social Security and Medicare and as I said: Reagan raised taxes to pay for government-run health care) – go figure.

7.  Reagan also raised the gas tax and signed the largest corporate tax increase in history.

Sources for this story are from here, here, and here.

What is amazing is that with all the GOP’s anti-Obama bashing about tax and spending programs and such how much they fail to remember (mostly on purpose) the above points. That is neither fair to Mr. Reagan or Mr. Obama and not fair and honest to the public.  

Thanks for stopping by. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pipeline Vote: Quid Pro Quo; Swap; Barter; Tit for Tat; Payback

Democracy in Action, eh???

Here Ya' Go - Thanks a Bundle


Pretty dramatic evidence of “vote buying in Congress.” And, you thought it was not true, or suspected it might be, but you didn’t see direct proof, or couldn't quite put your finger on it.

Okay. fair enough. So, here is proof positive in this short segment — powerful — enjoy: 


And you thought your opposition to the project would be heard by your Senator and Representative and that your vote and voice mattered, right? Ha, think again.

And, some still say "it's not the money, it's free speech." Famous last words!!!

Image result for jim carrey well alrighty then

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rightwing PR vs. Third Reich PR: No Contest, Hands Down RW

Herr Doktor Joseph Goebbels Nazi PR Master

faces-of-denial
56 percent of 114th GOP-run Congress
(deny or question science behind human-caused climate change)


Backdrop: Political jockeying over climate change was elevated last week when the U.S. Senate, for the first time in eight years, cast votes on the topic. On January 21, the Senate voted 98-1 to approve a resolution stating, “climate change is real and not a hoax.”

Then that same Senate rejected a second amendment that stated climate change is real and is significantly caused by humans.

Okay, that sets the scene and, as I intimated in the post title: The power, influence, and effectiveness of the Right wing media PR machine is truly amazing ... it would put the Herr Goebbels Third Reich machine to shame.

But, it’s not just climate change denying – it’s a lot of other science including evolution. The right is flat out wrong.

So, why don’t Republicans care about the massive changes on Earth: the air, water, and climate?  Yes, it will take a lot of years to have a reversal impact, so why do they dodge, duck, and deny reality?

I conclude that since it will take a lot of years that the deniers say, “Hey, we’ll all be long gone, so why worry? Just let it all hang out (to coin a 1960’s slogan.”

Well, actually it’s pretty simple. We living now should always think about those coming after us … just imagine those who came before us not giving a damn the future? Where would we be today? It is that simple and the GOPers just do not get it.  

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Need A New Tax Break With That Burger and Fries, Mr. Corp

Burger King burger and fries
Don't Eat While Reading This  
(you might choke)

This post comes from a pretty easy to understand story based on this simple and direct question: Are we seeing the end of America as we know it?

A fact: The GOP always argues for lower Corporate taxes as a way to allow them to create jobs (as they are the “givers) and be not be greedy “takers” (the ones Romney introduced us to in 2012).

Another fact: Cutting the corporate tax rate would do little to discourage companies from moving overseas to dodge American taxes, according to a new Reuters analysis of the half-dozen largest companies to launch so-called inversion mergers last year.  

The list of six companies includes both Medtronic and Burger King, household names whose inversion plans drew significant press attention to the growth of the business practice in recent years. 

What is inversion anyway? Inversion allows an American company to merge with a foreign entity then set the corporate headquarters of the merged firm in that other company’s home country, shifting the U.S. firm’s tax residence overseas without requiring any actual realignment of where and how the company does business.

The maneuver is entirely legal and “mainly driven by efforts to shift profits out of the U.S. and to access overseas earnings at little or not cost in U.S. tax,” Reuters explains.

While proponents of a corporate tax cut or repatriation tax holiday often argue that companies undertake these elaborate schemes specifically because of the 35 percent statutory income tax rate that corporations face in the U.S. But that argument ignores the often huge gap between that on-paper tax rate and the effective rate that companies actually pay.

Reuters reports that Medtronic, Burger King, and four other large companies plotting inversions actually paid an average federal tax rate of 20.3 percent from 2011 to 2013. That finding corresponds with other research on effective corporate tax rates, such as a 2014 report from Citizens for Tax Justice that found an effective tax rate of just below 20 percent for the 288 largest profitable companies in America.

Continue that story at the main link and then read this related story from here (it all ties together):

Now ask yourself, and be honest, okay, this question: Whom does the GOP stand and fight for, and on what kind of principles? Oops…

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Despite the Facts, the GOP Relies on Opinion as Playbook

Obama is Awful, Obama-care is Worse, 
Obama Has to Go, Obama Not Even American


This story from the Tampa Bay TIMES is a classic example and proof positive about how nasty, ugly, aggressive, slick, even effective, the GOP PR machine can be in spite of the facts.

How does it work: They sling a ton of shït (mostly anti-Obama this or that) hoping some will stick. If it does not stick they way they plan for it to stick, they keep on slinging from the same pile (e.g.., Benghazi cover up which their own committees conclude does not exist) hoping it will eventually stick.

Further, and despite any good news about anything, like this health care enrollment story from Florida, they keep on slinging disregarding the facts in favor of their unfounded opinions. In GOP la-la land it is apparent that the facts don’t matter.

Even worse, they will stand on the House or Senate floors giving speeches while having the unmitigated gall to say: “We stand here today speaking for what the American people want.” Were that even close to being true.

They are simply serial liars!!!

Best advice for all members of Congress:


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Man Overboard, All Hands on Deck, To the Lifeboats: Cancel

Who's Overboard? Romney! Disregard that last order

Poll Before Romney Jumped Ship
(Not a lot of happy campers)

Jeb wants to follow the Dubya model
(Old Jeb may want to consider another "role" model, you think)

Pretty good 2-minute drill here on that subject, but hey, a lot of miles to go yet, keeping in mind that old Mr. Speculation does not care about time or distance - just headlines and raw meat.



Regardless, 2015 just started and that November 8th, 2016 election day is what only 674 days or so away. Then hell, the 2020 race is only a mere 2,103 days from now. So gear up and hang on tight. It might get bumpy.

A lot of stories and media stuff surely is along that highway to the White House, dotted with lots of bushes as it were (a very weak pun).  So, stay tuned with bated breath (what is bated breath anyway I have always wondered - maybe from "abated" smile...)?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Retooled GOP: Standing Against Povery and With the Poor

The New Mitt Romney
(what he implies)

What I Offer the GOP


Both parties felt like they had something to prove in the aftermath of Obama SOTU message: 

•  Democrats want to be seen as saviors of the middle-class.
•  Republicans are trying cast themselves as the new defenders of America’s underclass. 

The President focused on “middle-class economics” in his speech and then later GOP Sen. Joni Ernst (R- IA) emphasized her family’s economic hardships growing up, connecting them to the concerns of ordinary Americans, saying in part: “You see, growing up, I had only one good pair of shoes. So on rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry.”  All the while she described her work on the family farm, construction, and at Hardee’s when she was growing up.  

And, from here: In his first public remarks since telling GOP donors that he is weighing a third bid for the White House, Mitt Romney suggested Friday that if he does run he would alter the focus that led to his loss in 2012 to President Obama. He said, in part to hundreds of Republican National Committee members and their guests at a dinner aboard the aircraft carrier Midway, berthed in San Diego Harbor.  

“I believe in the post-Obama era we need to stand for safety, and for opportunity for all people, and we have to stand for helping lift people out of poverty.” 

Stay tuned that awful “free stuff” the GOP bashes Obama/DEMS and hell, just about everyone else they are now prepared to provide??? Or have misjudged their new image?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New Weasel Sighted and Named: Latin: Jindalus-Boltonus

Gawd, Did Jindal Really Say That???

Jindal and Bolton World
(Don't believe me, ask them)

Where else would we expect such utter nonsense except on FAUX gnus... boy this story takes the proverbial cake.

The rhetoric around the debunked right wing media meme about the existence of “no-go zones” (only Muslims allowed) throughout France, the UK, and the rest of Europe, ratcheted up last week.

Driven by politics, viewers, listeners, and page views, even the multiple mea culpa from FOX News just last weekend haven't stopped the myth.

By the conservative telling, in these supposed “Muslim only” enclaves the population has “taken over parts of the country, entire portions, towns,” (allegedly more than 700 in France alone!), and outside police are forbidden as extremism and Sharia Law flourish. And now, they present an active threat to the United States and our American values.

Leading that pack is Gov. Piyush “Bobby (his reel name)” Jindal (R-LA) said and sticks by this: “If people don't want to come here to integrate and assimilate, what they're really trying to do is set up their own culture, their own communities. What they're really trying to do is overturn our culture. We need to recognize that threat.”

Threat – give a break.

Worse, at the same time, when Jindal was criticized for his sustained bogus claims, he pointed to the work of a foreign policy think tank led by FOX News contributor John Bolton.

Whew boy ... talk about the depths of insanity ... this might very well be #1. Boo – yikes, scared yet? Duck!! What duck???

Saturday, January 24, 2015

GOP Border Check Proposal: Practical or Looney Bin Candidate

Welcome: Open House in the GOP
(or so it seems)

GOP Plan for Border Crossing
(scene between Buffalo and Canada)


The story from Buffalo follows, in part:

WASHINGTON (Buffalo News) – House Republicans are pushing a border security bill that would require U.S. officials to do a biometric inspection of everyone leaving the country, a change that some fear would create epic backups like no one has ever seen at the Peace Bridge and other northern border crossings.

“That would absolutely shut down the border,” said Ron Rienas, general manager of the Peace Bridge, after being told of the House legislation.

The bill would, most likely within five to seven years, require everyone entering Canada from Buffalo to go through two inspections rather than just the one inspection that Canadian officials do in Fort Erie.

The bill is scheduled for a vote possibly next week is called (guess what: another fancy name): “Secure Our Borders First Act.”

I am curious, though: Is there a problem in Canada with Americans wanting to visit or travel in or through Canada illegally?

Also, I wonder: Why does the GOP want this new system to check people leaving the US? (e.g., the GOP proposal “… require the government to take fingerprints from or do an iris scan of everyone in every vehicle leaving the country.”)

Oh, I see, to have a system in place to double check them when they return … oops … makes zero sense, none whatsoever. How about a quick shot of the car’s EZpass, or a quick swipe of bar code ID card (like a driver’s license), or quick handheld scan of passport, etc? Those things, what, make too much sense? Well, okee dokee, then.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

O'Reilly: Maybe Not a Weasel but Surely a Skunk (Mephitidae)





O'Reilly
I Call Him Bully O'Lielly
(he is both a bully and liar)

Facts Matter Don't They


The story on FOX (what I call the nitwit network): Unfair and unbalanced gnus.

FOX's Bill O'Reilly downplayed the impact of raising the minimum wage, claiming “only an 
infinitesimal number of people” would be impacted, while ignoring the 27.8 million Americans that would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage.

What really got the GOP/Rightwing so pissed and out of sorts was this from President Obama during this SOTU address when he said: “For those who still refuse to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in America a raise.”

I totally and absolutely 100% agree with Mr. Obama. For the doubters, how about a few facts, you know, those things they hate: facts that trump their opinions:

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016 would “raise the wages of 27.8 million workers, who would receive about $35 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period.”

(BTW I note: Workers who earn more will spend more and that helps the economy overall).

According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, the “ripple effect” of raising the minimum wage would benefit 16.5 million workers, and it would lift nearly one million people out of poverty.

(BTW I note: That would also save public assistance money).

So, for Mr. O'Reilly and those like him, please do me the honor and a huge favor and just STFU. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

GOP's SOU Rebuttal: "Our Best Choice" Says McConnell — Hell, Why Not

Two Weeks in the Senate: She has Same Old, Same Old Harsh GOP Agenda
(So, perfect choice WTF)

Perfect choice if the GOP wants to sustain the same old crap ... wrapped in a neat little brown TEA bag ...

I guess she will make "them squeal," too ... which was her campaign slogan  ... old hog castrating expert ... ouch.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)




Monday, January 19, 2015

Piyush "Bobby (his reel name)" Jindal: Fred Astaire Wannabe

Just Getting Warmed Up

If the Foo Shits Wear It

Booby Got Caught (again)

Here is the story making the rounds ... read it and then watch him tap dance with his fancy play on words, hence the reason for this post. 

CNN Reporter Confronts Jindal for Exaggerating Muslim “No-Go Zones”

Reporter to Jindal:  “… [but] you need to have proper, sort of, facts to back that up.” Adding that he, as British man, has never heard of “no-go zones” for non-Muslims.

Jindal to Reporter: “That’s why I added the word “so-called” before “no-go zones.”

Jindal then turned the topic around to fit liberals, saying: “I think that the radical Left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here. Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away. 

(The reporter continued to press Jindal for evidence and accused him of “exaggerating” the situation).

Jindal then replied: “I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there are neighborhoods where they wouldn’t feel comfortable. I know the left wants to make this into an attack on religion and that’s not what this is.  What we are saying it’s absolutely an issue for the UK, absolutely is an issue for America, and for other European and Western nations.”  

Is Jindal angry? Sure, of course he is, but not about what the story he hyped. He is angry about the fact he got called on it by the reporter who pinned him down for facts, which do not exist. Does any of that ploy sound at all familiar? Yep, it sure does.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Where Are Islamic Leaders Against Terror? Open Your Eyes

Both Speak Out Against Radicals Who Attack Under the Banner of Islam
(It's not the Islamic religion - it's the nuts who read it their way they want)

Against ISIS/ISIL


Sadly there are far too many in our country who blast "Radical Islam." However, it is NOT radical Islam; it is those RADICALS who profess and claim Islam gives them ticket to their gross actions. 

Close to our own homes: Individuals and groups in America professing to be and hold Christian views on abortion have been cited as groups that have been responsible for threatening, assaulting and murdering doctors, and for bombing their abortion clinics across the United States and Canada – all in the name of “being a good Christian.”

Or how about being just a couple of good "white Supremacists."

A snapshot of the Millers, dressed as comic book characters has been widely circulated.

Those two, the Millers, gunned down two Las Vegas police officers, 41-year-old Alyn Beck and 31-year-old Igor Soldo who were having lunch at a pizza buffet. That same couple also killed Joseph Wilcox at a nearby Wal-Mart and all in the name of their religion. 

So, there is a huge difference between the two statements and and view, however, many on the American right (mostly) cannot see that or they refuse to see that, or worse: refuse to believe what they see. 

Some of examples follow, which most have been falsely presented on FOX  and rightwing Talk Radio - the usual suspects in such smear campaigns with their crazy-ass assumptions asking like they always do: Where are the Islamic leaders – why are they silent? 

I and others content, they ARE NOT:

Al-Azhar: Islamic State is Corrupt and "A Danger To Islam" says the Lebanese paper The Daily Star.  They have reported that Al-Azhar's Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's highest religious authority, denounced the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) as a threat to Islam and said that the group both violates Sharia law and humanitarian law. [The Daily Star, 8/13/1]

Arab League: "Strongly Denounced" The "Crimes Against Humanity" Carried Out By The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).  Nabil al-Arabi, the Arab League Chief, denounced acts committed by the Islamic State in Iraq as "crimes against humanity," demanding that they be brought to justice. [Al Arabiya News, 8/11/14]

Turkey's Top Cleric: Islamic State's Threats Are "Hugely Damaging, Truly Awful." Turkey's highest ranking cleric, Mehmet Gormez, decried the Islamic State's (ISIS/ISIL) declaration of a "caliphate" and argued that the statements were damaging to the Muslim community, according to a Reuters article.

CAIR: Repeatedly condemned the Islamic State as "Un-Islamic And Morally Repugnant." The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the terrorist group "un-Islamic and morally repugnant," noted that the Islamic State's "human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented," and called on other Muslim community leaders to speak out against the violence. CAIR reiterated the condemnation of the Islamic State as "both un-Islamic and morally repugnant" on August 11, and on August 21, CAIR once again condemned the group, calling the killing of American journalist James Foley "gruesome and barbaric.”

The Muslim Council of Great Britain: "Violence Has No Place In Religion." The Muslim Council of Great Britain condemned the Islamic State's actions and expressed that they do not represent Sunni Muslims, according to The Independent. Shuja Shafi, a member of the council also said: "Violence has no place in religion, violence has no religion. It is prohibited for people to present themselves for destruction." [The Independent, 7/11/14]

The Islamic Society of North America: The Islamic State's Actions “Are To Be Denounced And Are In No Way Representative Of What Islam Actually Teaches.”  The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) released a statement denouncing the Islamic State "for its attacks on Iraq's religious minorities and the destruction of their places of worship." ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid said, "ISIS actions against religious minorities in Iraq violate the Quranic teaching, 'Let there be no compulsion in religion' (Surat al-Baqara 2:256)," adding, "Their actions are to be denounced and are in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches." [The Islamic Society of North America8/9/14]

One-hundred Sunni and Shiite U.K. Imams: The Islamic State is an "Illegitimate, Vicious Group." 

Muslim Public Affairs Council: Condemned the Islamic State and Called for a "Stand Against Extremism."  The MPAC released a statement condemning "the barbaric execution of James Foley noting the importance of countering ISIS/other extremists." [8/20/14]

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Callous Cold-Hearted OPEC: Oily, Slick, Flim Flam Artists

OPEC Member States

How OPEC Sees Itself

How Many People See OPEC

OPEC is an organization made up of 11 oil producing and exporting countries: Algeria, the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, NigeriaIndonesiaIran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Venezuela.

The original five founders in 1960 were Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran. At one point those five alone produced 80 percent of the world's oil supplies. Their expressed intention was and apparently remains “…to defend the price of oil against all international oil companies.”

Also, back then early on, they figured out that oil was a depleting asset (once used never to be reproduced) and thus it had to be replaced by other assets, namely cash (money).

The rest is history in the making unfolding right before our eyes. The message today as it was with their beginning is: “We will not tolerate anyone producing and exporting oil to make tons of money except us.”

My post today is based on this article I read in Bloomberg.  It makes for good insight into the current drop in oil prices, U.S. production, lower gas prices, overall good news for the consumer, but not for OPEC. Seems those guys are never happy or satisfied unless their checkbooks are as full as their oil tankers.

The B/L it seems is still greed translated to political power and who knows what else? That is their only motivator; not jobs and that is despite the political rhetoric we hear from our members of Congress as they seek office and seek to stay forever: Jobs and lower taxes.

I wonder, however, has any American Pol ever met anyone from OPEC – seems doubtful.  

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Super PACs and Big Money Weasels: "Corruptus Big Shotus"

Helping to Educate Young Americans


Update on the huge, really huge Super PACs, their money, who gives, and the end result: political corruption. And, yes, make no mistake about it: it is legalized corruption.

This fine report comes from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU  ... here in part with my spin:

My Question: Are you truly concerned about our system and who really controls it?

Ponder these two points as you answer consider the question:

1.  Across all federal elections since Citizens United was decided in 2010 (see analysis here), there has been more than $1 billion in Super PAC spending.

2.  A mere 195 individuals and their spouses gave almost 60 percent of that money — more than $600 million

So, do you still think we live in a true representative democratic system? Or that your $250,00 or $1,000.00 matters in the grand scheme?

You may want to check out this recent study put out by Princeton University, in part here:

As they say in the vernacular – this shit stinks. First, this short introduction from the piece:


Call it the path to power - what does it take to run America?

Here, Go Run for Congress
(then call me - we'll have lunch)

Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page asked the question: “Who really rules?” They argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

Boy, oh, boy do my two posts tie together. Quite by accident, too. I found the Princeton report right after I posted the Brennan Center above. Both are critical issues, I think. But, more importantly, what do you think and what are "we" prepared to do about it? 

Enjoy your research here and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Old is too Old for Office? Don't Ask GOP-Rightwingers

Mittens is Actually 7 Months Older than Hill (oops)
(both were born in 1947: Romney in March and Clinton in October)


Age - relative some say and so do I, so does the GOP have different rules or standards about age for women seeking office vs. men seeking the same office?

The short answer and Palin will love this: "You betcha'..." The story that caught my attention is posted here - a few highlights:

Conservative Ed Rogers in the Washington Post mocked Hillary Clinton for being stuck in a cultural “time warp” circa the “tie-dye” 1960’s.  More here:

  1. A recent Boston Globe article actually positioned Romney's age as a plus for the Republican: “Supporters have also noted that Romney would be 69 years old in 2016 – the same age as Ronald Reagan when he was sworn into his first term.” 
  1. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) compared Clinton to a cast member from “The Golden Girls.” 
  1. Rick Santorum called her “old.” 
  1. Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) claimed that Clinton “embodies that old, tired top-down approach from the government.” 
  1. Former FOX host Mike Huckabee wondered if the former secretary of state who traveled nearly one million miles while in office would have the stamina for a national campaign adding: “She's going to be at an age where it's going to be a challenge for her.” 
  1. FOX contributor Erick Erickson said, “Hillary Clinton is going to be old in 2016 and I don't know how far back they can pull her face.” 
  1. The GOP flurry and coverage Mitt Romney signaled that he's seriously considering running again (a third run), that the topic of his age has not been a hot one. 
  1. The top louse, Rush Limbaugh (as expected) on his website asked: “Do the American people want to observe the aging of this woman in office?”    
So, will age be the subject as a National Journal column last year by Charlie Cook said in part: “Hillary Clinton Too Old to Run?” In it, Cook wondered if Clinton was “physically up to the rigors of running and serving in office.” (Note: He did follow that up with a column about Vice President Joe Biden's age and his political future).

Last Example: Last year when it was announced that Chelsea Clinton was pregnant the issue quickly became a topic for political commentary with questions like “if Hillary Clinton's pending grandmother-hood represented bad political news for her.”

One grandchild and Hillary is cooked goose, um. BTW: Willard Mitt Romney has 22 grandchildren … as Rick Perry might say: Oops.

FYI summary: Thirty-nine million Americans (about 13 percent) are currently age 65 and older.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Look, Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Supermittens

Don't Take My Word for It 
(check the facts - oops)

Super Mittman


Theme song for his 2016 campaign:

“Faster than a speeding $4.5 million Lamborghini...
“More powerful than most multi-millionaires...
“Able to leap tall binders of money in a single bound.”

His recently-stated and proposed platform seen here – is a two-pronged effort: (1) Focus on the poor and (2) Foreign policy.

Further, economic stewardship would still lie at the core of this new/old Romney campaign, as it did in 2012, but he also would seek to turn some past weaknesses into strengths, like:

Having once been lampooned for his wealth and caught on video dismissing the 47 percent of voters on government assistance, he is now telling supporters he would run on an antipoverty platform.

While a trip abroad proved to be a low point of his 2012 campaign, he is now making the case that he is uniquely qualified on foreign affairs. (Rick Perry might interject a point about here: Oops).

The Romney message for Mr. and Mrs. Poor Memory America might read: You and the country made a mistake not electing me in 2012, so now I want to give you and the country a third shot at sending me to the White House.

FYI: I will be serving great meals along the way - this happens to be a Romney household fav “Homard Thermidor” (a rich creamy cheesy mixture of cooked lobster meat, egg yolks, and brandy or sherry, stuffed into a lobster shell, and mustard has been added to the sauce to add a little piquancy). Yes, it's a bit expensive even for a French dish, but what the heck, I can afford it, plus I speak French, too – having ducked Vietnam wartime service with more pressing service and duties in France

Now what was I saying about helping the poor – oh, yeah, those gosh awful poor 47%. Um, let me go back and review my notes and review the tale of the tape as it were. I'll have to get back to you and will ASAP.  

Whew boy.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

114th Congress (GOP-run House): Committees and Chairs

GOP-run House Chairmen Roll Call: Okay guys 
(And I do mean men and of course, the one woman)
Listen up

We couldn't make Obama a "one-term" president, so let's make his last two years in office as shitty and miserable as possible ... that's all - carry on. Now the Roll Call. Sound off when your name is called:

COMMITTEE CHAIRS STAYING ON THE JOB: 

  1. House Education and Workforce Committee: John Kline, MN
  2. Financial Services Committee: Jeb Hensarling, TX
  3. Veterans Affairs Committee: Jeff Miller, FL
  4. Appropriations: Hal Rogers, KY
  5. Energy and Commerce: Fred Upton, MI
  6. Foreign Affairs: Ed Royce, CA
  7. Homeland Security: Michael McCaul, TX
  8. Judiciary: Robert Goodlatte, VA
  9. Transportation and Infrastructure: Bill Shuster, PA
 NEW GOP COMMITTEE CHAIRS:

  1. Agriculture: Mike Conaway, TX
  2. Armed Services: Mac Thornberry, TX
  3. Budget: Tom Price, GA
  4. Ethics: Charlie Dent, PA
  5. Intelligence: Devin Nunes, CA
  6. Natural Resources: Rob Bishop, UT
  7. Oversight and Government Reform: Jason Chaffetz, UT
  8. Small Business: Steve Chabot, OH
  9. Ways and Means: Paul Ryan, WI
  10. Rules: Pete Sessions, CA
  11.  Science, Space, Technology: Lamar Smith, TX
  12.  House Admin: Candice S. Miller, MI (9 members: 6 GOP/3 DEM) 
Complete list of all House Committees: 

Friday, January 9, 2015

GOP v. 2.0.1.5. — Still Cold, Cruel, Callous, Cowardly, Crafty

Could Not Make Obama a "One-term" President, so Just Wreck the Country
(and just think McConnell is the "Leader" - Ouch)

Moving the Keystone XL Pipeline Extension Bill
(GOP Promise Made/Kept)

There is nothing in the world more important than keeping one's promise, except in politics. Watching this "new/old" GOP in power just a few days is reason to cringe. Two examples were stunts; albeit, promises make for sure, but for whom? Their first two bills passed (the votes can be seen here):

 H.R. 37: To repeal portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Obama-care, to reduce Federal Government spending. and reduce the salaries of Members of Congress, and for other purposes.

—  H.R. 30: Bill: Save American Workers Act of 2015  (don't you just love these heart-felt, fancy bill titles)? This was the first strike against Obama-care. Key parts reported on:

•  Under Obama-care, all employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to provide health coverage, and the GOP bill would change the law’s definition of “full time” from 30 to 40 hours per week.

•  Republicans say the change will lift the health law’s burden on businesses, which have lobbed heavily for the change. “Not only does it hurt employers faced with unexpected insurance costs, but it prevents them from creating new jobs and threatens them from maintaining their current workforce,” said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the House GOP leadership.

•  •  Democrats point out that the GOP’s proposed change would:

1.  cost $53 billion, and
2.  force 1 million American workers to lose employer coverage and thus “back the future” of now coverage and just imagine they are not only losing the coverage, pay possibly, but imagine, too, they are low-income.

So, whom do you trust: (1) the GOP for forcing Obama promises to fail at every turn, while getting their promises enacted into law by forcing a veto (which ain't gonna happen) and just for political points and returning favors for $$$ that got them this majority rule, or (1)? The answer is self-evident.

Now over in the Senate with Mr. Peepers (Sen. Mitch McConnell), and what we face over the next at least two years (turmoil and more raw hatred served with nasty, ugly politics - fed up yet?):

WASHINGTON (AP) — In command and ready for a fight, defiant Republicans ignored two White House veto threats and advanced bills in Congress Thursday curbing President Obama's cherished health care overhaul and forcing construction on a proposed oil pipeline. The top House Democrat predicted her party would uphold both Obama vetoes.  

On the new Congress' third day of work, a Senate committee approved a measure dismantling Obama's ability to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which has become a flashpoint pitting the GOP's jobs agenda against Democrats' environmental concerns. The Senate planned to begin debate next week and passage there seemed likely, while the House was poised to approve its version Friday (Jan 9, 2015).

Across the Capitol, the House approved legislation narrowing the definition of full-time workers who must be offered employer-provided health care from those working 30 hours weekly to a 40-hour minimum. The vote was a mostly party-line 252-172 — short of the 290 needed, assuming all members voted, for the two-thirds majority required to override a veto.

On both bills, GOP leaders would face uphill fights mustering the two-thirds House and Senate majorities needed to override Obama vetoes. But both measures had some support from Democrats, and Republicans could use them to portray themselves as championing bipartisan legislation, only to be thwarted by Obama and his Democratic congressional allies

So, in summary: GOP to force vetoes to show the folks back home (GOP base) that: "See, we kept our promise..." but I ask: For whom and now what? Stay tuned – it will get worse and nastier – bet on  it.