Thursday, February 27, 2014

Arizona's Religious Bigotry Law Gets VETOED!

All eyes were on Arizona today waiting for Jan Brewer to announce whether she would pass Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill SB 1062. A bill that essentially would have allowed businesses, religious entities or even government officials to legally refuse any service to anyone on "religious freedom" grounds based solely on that persons sexual preferences.

The bill passed the state Senate last week with a vote of 17-13 which in turn landed it right in Brewer's lap. As soon as it did the bill and Arizona came under immediate and justified scrutiny.

The outcry against the bill was so immediate and intense that it caused both state Republican senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain to call on Brewer to veto it.

If that wasn't enough major corporations like Marriott, Apple and Delta & American Airlines all wrote to the governor and expressed their opposition as well.

Hell, even the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee (the Super Bowl is set to be held in Glendale, Ariz. in 2015) came out against SB 1062, stating that passing the bill would deal a significant blow to the state's economic growth potential.

So when Brewer took to the podium and vetoed the bill it came as no surprise to anyone. In her prepared statement she declared that the bill had "the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve,". When she was done she was peppered by the press with questions but instead of answering any she hastily retreated without saying a word.

That's all well and good but when you boil it down we all know that it came down to the fact that Brewer would rather take the political hit of kowtowing to the whims of the evil "gay mafia" as opposed to costing her state a massive sum of money.

Arizonans celebrate the veto of SB106
After Brewer caved there was a proper round of well deserved rejoicing but there is a problem...

It's not over.

Here are a list of the other States Considering frighteningly similar "Religious Freedom" Bills:

GEORGIA: The Preservation of Religious Freedom Act




MAINE: LD 1428




OHIO: HB 376

OREGON: In November the Friends of Religious Freedom introduced this ballot measure



...and just for good measure Ted Cruz and his little buddy Sen. Mike Lee just introduced a bill to stop “The Obama Administration" from ‘forcing gay marriage on all 50 states’!

Stay tuned and stay alert because the right wingers, the Tea Partiers, the Republicans and the religious zealots are no where near done with their fight against the changing times. These are the death throes of a massive terrified beast that knows it is well on it's way out and wants to take down as may of us as it can with it. Unsegregated schools, interracial marriage, a black president, legalized marijuana, gay marriage... It is too much for them and it's only speeding up. The more diverse and harmonious this world becomes the angrier and hate filled and desperate they become. It's time for their kind to go gentle into that good night... Unfortunately for us they are going kicking and screaming.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

9 Out Of The 10 "Most Miserable" States Are Red

So there is this thing called the “State of American Well-Being: 2013 State Rankings and Analysis”. It is conducted by Healthways and world-leading management consulting firm Gallup. The two have just released their analysis of the state of well-being across the US. To nobody's surprise 9 out of the 10 most miserable are Republican controlled "red" states.

The analysis is based on data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, a definitive measure and empiric database of real-time changes in well-being throughout the world. The group interviewed more than 176,000 people from all 50 states last year, measures the physical and emotional health of Americans across the country.

Results - Here is the list of the states with the most miserable people:

10. Louisiana
9. Oklahoma
8. Missouri
7. Tennessee
6. Arkansas
5. Ohio
4. Alabama
3. Mississippi
2. Kentucky
1. West Virginia

Who can really blame West Virginia for being ranking the "Most Miserable" when the water scooped out of the NYC Hudson bay looks like mountain fresh spring H2O compared to the stuff coming out of their own tap.

For a more in depth look of what has happened over the last year here is a chart of the "State Rank Changes", 2012 – 2013 (Click the image for a larger view)

Terrorists Amongst Us

Fox News and the right wing love to wail and beat their chests about the imminent threat of radical Muslims. They sound the patriotic alarm to all those within earshot of the impending danger us Americans face from their Sharia law and the all but certain terrorist attacks from those who practice militant Islam.

Well here's a story you wont be hearing from Fox News or any Tea Party Republican any time soon.

Federal agents have arrested three American militia members from Rome, Georgia when they arrived at a pre-set meeting to obtain pipe bombs and thermite explosives as part of a militia operation against the US government.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Brian Cannon, 36, Cory Williamson 28, and Terry Eugene Peace 45, face federal charges of conspiring to receive and possess unregistered destructive devices to use against the TSA, DHS, FEMA, as well as power grids and water treatment plants.

The plan according to the militiamen was that the attacks on the government agencies would force President Obama and the federal government to declare Martial Law allowing other militias to join together and take the US government down.

Authorities say that between Jan.  23 and Feb. 15, Cannon, Williamson, and Peace participated in online chat discussions about carrying out an operation against the government that was to be launched in February. In these chats Peace encouraged members of the militia to review guerrilla warfare tactics, small unit tactics, accumulate supplies, and prepare their families. Peace said during the conversation, "... if he can hook us up with say 12 pipe bombs that will be sweet," It was in these online chats where the militiamen identified the targets he wished to use the explosives on.

The discussions were reported to the FBI, and the FBI then began consensually monitoring the communications.

Then Feb. 15, Peace, Cannon and Williamson drove to a location in Cartersville where they received 12 inert pipe bombs and two inert thermite devices. The three defendants were arrested as they took possession of the devices.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates remarked:

"This case is a stark reminder of the threat we face not just from abroad, but from within our own borders from our own citizens. When plans turn violent, law enforcement must step in to protect our communities from harm. Fortunately, the FBI was able to stop these defendants before they were able to carry out their plans."

Why wont be hearing from Fox News or any Tea Party Republican any time soon... They're not Muslims, it doesn't fit the narrative.

Right Fox News?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Racist Chef Paula Deen Apologizes Again For Being A Racist And Then Rides A Man Like A Horse Across The Stage #Contrite

Today in South Beach at a Wine and Food Festival racist chef and butter enthusiast Paula Deen took to the stage triumphantly to a standing ovation and declared "I'm back".

"We have come off a very hard summer. Some people said I never apologized. If anyone did not hear me, I want to apologize. I just have to say your cards and letters helped me get out of bed every day,"

The crowd cheered lustily for the portly bigot..

They were not finished though. The crowd resumed their cheering when yet another disgraced Food Network star. Joining Deen on stage was none other than UK's own Robert Irvine who survived a shocking resumé padding scandal in 2008.

"You've apologized, you've eaten crow," Irvine said. "Don't do it anymore." Wiser words have never been uttered by any washed up British celebrity chef.

Irvine then submissively got on his hands and knees so that the rotund and slippery Deen could straddle him. Once on top of the Englishman Deen screeched "I'm back in the saddle again!" as she and her blue muumuu rode the Brit across the stage.

I am sorry... here is the video
Click to view the video
Lest anyone think the cowboy routine was a spur of the moment thing here is Deen performing the same shtick with the same guy at the same festival back in 2011 (before her career went into the toilet). As an added bonus during this performance Deen licks butter off Irvine's abs before she rides him.


Again, with my apologies.... Here is the video
Click to view the video

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Georgia Approves Confederate Flag License Plate

Georgia has a new license plate to choose from and it's a doozy!

It has been reported that the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans requested the new license plate design, and without any hesitation the Georgia Department of Revenue approved it.

Here is the new design...

The reason for the new design wasn't given. Apparently the group's old plate had one small Confederate battle flag so I'm guessing that it was hard to tell just how racist the driver was... Now with the new design there can be no mistaking the individuals prejudice. That's just my take on the matter.

Spokesman and full time racist Ray McBerry said the Sons of Confederate Veterans group meant "no offense" and views the plates as a way for people to honor their heritage saying...

"We believe that everyone has the right to preserve their heritage. Southerners have as much right to be proud of their heritage as anybody else."

I guess a license plate bearing the flag that one race of people fought under for the cause of enslaving another race of people is just one way of showing southern pride. (we really need a sarcasm font!)
that fought under this flag were fighting for the cause of enslaving a race of people
that fought under this flag were fighting for the cause of enslaving a race of people
that fought under this flag were fighting for the cause of enslaving a race of people

In the "not helping the situation any" corner Southern Christian Leadership Conference spokesman Maynard Eaton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the state shouldn't have sanctioned the move adding...

"To display this is reprehensible. We don't have license plates saying 'Black Power.'"

Oy vey!

Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday that he was unaware of the plate.

The plates are available for an initial cost of $80, of which $10 is directed to the Sons of ConfederateVeterans.

The group on its website says the funds will be used to promote Southern heritage through educational activities and preservation efforts around the state.

In other words the money will be given straight to the Republican party.

Stay classy Georgia!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gallup Poll Finds Democrats More Compassionate; Republicans More Selfish

Last month Gallup ran a poll named, "Democrats and Republicans Differ on Top Priorities," The poll inquired which were the top 10 priority issues by party identification.

It was reported that the biggest difference between supporters of the two Parties was "The environment," where 71% of Democrats said it's important to them, versus only 32% of Republicans who did. The second-biggest difference was "The distribution of income and wealth": 72% of Democrats, versus only 38% of Republicans. Third came "Poverty and homelessness": 82% of Democrats, versus 53% of Republicans. Fourth came "Education": 91% of Democrats, versus 70% of Republicans - a 21% difference.

The four issues on which the conservative/Republicans scored the largest amount higher (more concerned) than Democrats: First, "The military and national defense": 76% of Republicans, versus 61% of Democrats. Second, "Taxes": 69% of Republicans, versus 56% of Democrats. Third, "Terrorism": 77% of Republicans, versus 68% of Democrats. Fourth, "Government surveillance of U.S. citizens": 45% of Republicans, versus 37% of Democrats.

Democrats are also more likely than Republicans to prioritize education, gun policy, race relations, policies toward gays and lesbians, energy policy, and Social Security and Medicare.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say the president and Congress should prioritize the military and national defense (15 points), and taxes (13 points). Republicans also assign a higher priority to terrorism, government surveillance, and immigration.

Here is a chart of Gallup's findings
Click for larger image
Clearly, "selfish" fears were the priority concerns on the Republican side, whereas concerns for others (and especially the weak) swept the Democratic side.

One can therefore reasonably infer from this survey that the main difference between Democrats and Republicans is the difference between charity and compassion versus fear based self absorbed self-interest.

This would explain why when candidates make their appeals to members of their own Party, Democratic candidates will propose policies that improving things for everyone but especially for the most vulnerable whereas Republican candidates will put forth proposals that improve things for their individual constituents. This also further clarifies why when it comes to the general election the Democratic nominee will have been chosen on the basis of his concern for everyone, while the Republican nominee will have been chosen on the basis of his concern for only conservatives and Republicans.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Colorado Republican Bernie Herpin claims It Was A "Good Thing" That Aurora Theater Shooter Had A 100-Round Magazine

File this under one of the dumbest things you will ever hear.

Last week Colorado held a hearing concerning Republican's call to repeal the states ban on high-capacity magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. The high-capacity magazine ban came about after gunman James Holmes used a 100 round magazine in the Aurora theater shooting that left 12 people dead and more than 70 wounded during the 2012 massacre.

At the repeal hearing Colorado Republican Sen. Bernie Herpin (Colo. Springs) was asked by Sen. Irene Aguilar (D-Denver) about the fact that Holmes purchased the 100-round magazine legally prior to the deadly shooting.

Herpin responded to the question thusly...

"As it turns out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine because it jammed. If he had instead had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up,"

Let that sink in for a second... Now watch the dumb bastard say it...
Click image for video
Tom Sullivan, whose 27-year-old son Alex who was killed in the shooting and who testified against Herpin's repeal bill was asked by The Denver Post about Herpin's quote to which he responded...

"I've had a lot of thoughts since July 20 of 2012 and I can tell you that I never have once thought that it was better that that man walked into that theater with a 100-round drum and opened fire on the over 200 people that were in that theater. From every indication I have, from the pictures and reports that I received from the DA, it says that 76 bullets came out of that magazine."

Even if Herpin point was that some of the cheaper high capacity drum magazines are unreliable it is tantamount to magical thinking that Herpin's  hypothesis is based in sane thinking.

In a final bit of irony Herpin was elected last September to replace Senate President John Morse who was one of two Democratic lawmakers recalled over their support for the state's strict new gun laws.

The bill to repeal the ban never made it out of committee.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Laughs As President Obama's "Execution" Is Called For At His Own Town Hall Meeting

Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine has made a name for himself in Congress as a champion of conservative values. He has, in the past, earned right wing praise and platitudes by spouting incendiary Republican talking points but this time it is his silence that has him garnering the spotlight.

Last week Bridenstine held a town hall meeting that, when opened up to the floor for discussion, had one of his constituents suggesting that President Barack Obama "should be executed" as the others and he (reportedly) laughed."

The town hall attendee's exact words were...

"I want to ask you about that Obama... He's not the president as far as I'm concerned...He should be executed for being an enemy combatant... (inaudible)... The Muslims that he is shipping into our country breed violence in commercial jets... What's this... I can't tell you... I can't say because we are in a public place... This guy is a criminal and nobody will stop him. Another thing is congress doing nothing that legally allows this moron to make decisions he has no authority, none and we just say we shouldn't do this and we shouldn't do that  and he shouldn't do... but nobody's doing anything to accomplish anything"

After this unhinged woman had finished her rambling statement/question the only thing that can be heard is the laughter of Bridenstine and the crowd.

Not only did Bridenstine allow he woman to continue her question/statement, not only did he reportedly laugh at her call for blood but when it was time for him to respond to the woman he barely paused before offering his sympathetic response saying...

"Look look I really know about the lawlessness of this president. He picks and chooses which laws he's going to enforce or not enforce... He does it by decree. When he can't create a law or when he can't create a law through congress then he uses the the you know ...bureaucracies in the executive branch to make rules and regulations through executive order and ultimately when it comes to... ah... when he can't even get that done then he uses foreign bodies"

You can watch the full clip here...
Smilin' Jim Bridenstine
On the same day this little tête-à-tête occurred between these two mental powerhouses the Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins called for Bridenstine to apologize to Obama.

Instead of apologizing Bridenstine released this response in which he wags his finger at his would be detractors saying:

"A public figure cannot control what people say in open meetings. I obviously did not condone and I do not approve of grossly inappropriate language. It is outrageous that irresponsible parties would attribute another person's reckless remarks to me."

No, of course Bridenstine didn't "condone" (until he was caught) the "grossly inappropriate language" and the "reckless remarks" made just feet from him at his own town hall gathering he just stood silent while they were delivered and then had a good chuckle about it.

My problem is not that I attribute the crazy woman's remarks to Bridenstine but rather that he refused to admonish her for them and instead laughed along with her and his equally twisted and/or cowardly constituents. I understand that there are crazy people on both sides of the political spectrum and I also understand that from time to time they will shoot their mouths off and say over the top and outlandish things. What I don't understand is why right wing Republicans are so unwilling to slap down these crazy people when they say something as batshit crazy as calling for the execution of the leader of the free world.

It's either one of two things: They want to preserve their street cred with the wing nut demo of their party or more frighteningly... They agree with them.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

President Obama Is The...

I mean this not in the sense that our president is a raging socialist bent on turning us into a Marxist–Leninist state but that if that was what he was trying to accomplish... He really is doing a terrible job.

It turns out that if President Obama was a real socialist dictator like all the wingnuts say he is then our country would be doing a whole lot better. In reality under "Komandant in Chef" Obama the government sector has slashed jobs steadily since the recession, shrinking government payrolls to their lowest level in eight years.

The January jobs report that just dropped boasted only 113,000 new payroll jobs (mostly due to the horrific weather) with the unemployment rate falling to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent. The report was made slightly lousier in light of the fact that the federal government payrolls shrank by 29,000 jobs.
This is a trend under President Obama that is economically damaging and historically unusual that has undermined the economic recovery throughout his tenure.

Bear with me it's going to get a little wonky here...

With the exception of a hiring spike during the 2010 census, federal, state and local governments have been cutting payrolls every single month since the recession ended. The public-sector workforce nationwide is nearly three-quarters of a million jobs smaller than it was when President Obama took office. In that same time, the private sector has added 3.5 million jobs on net, even after accounting for the millions of jobs lost in the economic free fall five years ago. About a third of these public-sector job cuts come in the crucial field of public education, as local school districts cut staff by more than 250,000.

In January, there were just 21.8 million people working for the government, the lowest number since June 2005. Austerity policies at the state and federal level gave rise to the worst three-year run on record for public sector job growth.

Here is a chart from Think Progress that illustrates the divergent paths of the private sector job growth as opposed to that of government employee's...

This is not how recoveries are supposed to work. Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Reagan all faced recessions early in their presidencies, and each man oversaw substantial public-sector job growth. Those layoffs pull money out of the whole economy, spreading the pain from government workers to everyone else.

For comparison during George W. Bush's first term, the government sector grew by 4 percent. Bush alone oversaw the addition of more than a million new public-sector workers during his first term. If it had grown at the same rate during Obama's first term  then the government sector would have been 2 million jobs bigger by the end of Obama's first term in January.

The 2 million job number just happens to gibe with academic studies suggesting pointless and destructive austerity measures have cost the U.S. about 2 million jobs since the recession.

In addition the government shutdown and sequestration cuts knocked a quarter off of overall economic growth for 2013. The unemployment rate would be a full percentage point lower without the roughly $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction policy enacted since conservatives swept into a House majority in the 2010 elections.

Makes me wish Obama was a real socialist but as it turns out Reagan and the two Bushs' were far more socialist that our current President.

Who knew?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham On Creationism

Bill Nye Vs Ken Ham --- Evolution Vs Creationism
Tonight Bill Nye, Emmy Award-winning science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society debated Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis and president of the Creation Museum.

The debate focused on whether creationism is a viable model of origins in today's modern, scientific era? Nye will defend the theory of evolution -- which is universally accepted among mainstream scientists -- while Ham will argue in favor of creationism -- the religious belief that God created the universe.

I usually don't post anything I have not watched it in it's entirety (The video was just uploaded and it is over 2:45 long!) but this is special.

They debate you decide... Let the debate begin!
Click Image To Watch

The early reports are pretty unanimous that Bill Nye and Science/Evolution carried the day... More to come!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Battle Of The Titans... Obama Versus O'Reilly!

Let the games begin!
Last night O'Reilly sat down before the Superbowl with President Obama to discuss everything that concerns Fox "news" viewers. The topics included, unsurprisingly, the IRS "scandal", the Benghazi "scandal" and the Affordable Care Act "scandal"... In other words, not a lot of new ground was covered.

Personally I'm waiting for the supercut of all the times O'Reilly interrupts the President to drop tomorrow.

Who won the day... You decide.
Click For Full Video
By the way Obama won. He crushed it... Look at that smile!