Watering Hole – Monday, August 15, 2011 – The Congressional Reform Act of 2011

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971…before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.

Introducing:  The Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

(The Congressional Reform Act is not my creation.  I received this in an email.  The author is unknown).

This is our Open Thread.  Perhaps we should all send a copy of this to our members in Congress.   What do you think?  Speak Up!

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181 thoughts on “Watering Hole – Monday, August 15, 2011 – The Congressional Reform Act of 2011

  1. You left out the part were they get paid minimum wage, have to wear brightly colored uncomfortable polyester uniforms with no corporate logo sponsorship and punch a time clock.

    • Actually, making them wear a patch on their clothing for each corporate sponsor (like race cars) might be just the disclosure we’re after.

      • Good idea!
        There would be gigantic BP, EXXON-MOBIL emblazoned across their backs.
        MONSANTO writing down the sleeve.
        Sponsored by DEPENDS written across their asses.
        Brought to you by VIAGRA scrawled across their codpiece.

        Please stop me before I hurt myself…

  2. If convicted of a crime, they should lose their pension. They can only collect the money that they put into the pension. From the Philadelphia Inquirer

    HARRISBURG – Former Pennsylvania House Speaker John M. Perzel has been collecting on his state pension as he awaits trial on public-corruption charges, with records showing that he has cashed out hundreds of thousands of dollars from that account.

    According to documents obtained by government activist Eric Epstein under the Right-to-Know Law, Perzel has taken a lump-sum pension payment of nearly $204,000. He also receives a gross monthly payment of $7,138, valuing his pension at $85,653 annually.
    ……………………
    Perzel, who is charged with 82 counts related to theft, criminal conspiracy, conflict of interest, and obstruction of justice, has maintained that he did nothing wrong. He ran for reelection in 2010 despite being under indictment and lost his seat to Democrat Kevin Boyle.

    …………………….

    If he decides to plead guilty or if a jury convicts him, Perzel could keep the payments he had already received, according to Pam Hile, spokeswoman for the State Employees’ Retirement System. He would be required to forfeit only the remainder of that pension.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have an annual retirement income of $85,653, paid for by the tax payers? And the current governor and legislative body are blaming the teachers for the financial stress on the state pension funds.

  3. The lobbyists need to be eliminated in the same act in order get representation returned to the people.

    Citizens United needs to be overturned.

  4. This is what Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry would kill if they were president. The GOP wants to kill this, too.
    New Medicare Benefits and Changes
    In the meantime, they would continue with all their tax payer paid benefits. When the baggers were shouting, “Kill the bill!”, they really should have been shouting, “Kill granny!”.

  5. Here’s a legislator from Indiana who’ll likely soon be living on his pension. Unless, that is, Indiana voters are stupid enough to elect him again.

    From TPM

    Anti-Gay Marriage State Rep. Accused Of Offering Young Male Money ‘For A Really Good Time’

    An Indiana state Representative, who recently voted for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, has been accused of using Craigslist to offer an 18-year old male $80 for “a couple hours of your time tonight” plus a tip “for a really good time.”

    The Indianapolis Star obtained e-mails sent from Rep. Phillip Hinkle’s (R) publicly listed personal address, responding to a Craigslist posting by Kameryn Gibson that said “I need a sugga daddy.” Gibson told the Star that the post was in the “Casual Encounters” section under m4m, or men for men. He used his sister Megan’s e-mail address — and she later sent the e-mails to the Star.

    “Cannot be a long time sugar daddy,” says the e-mail response from what is allegedly Hinkle’s address, “but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?”

    “I am an in shape married professional, 5’8″, fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked,” the e-mail says.

    Another e-mail says: “If u want to consider spending night u might tell ur sis so she won’t worry. Would have u back before 11 tomorrow. No extra cash just free breakfast and maybe late night snack.”

    The Star reports:

    The young man told The Star that they met, but that he tried to leave after the man told him he was a state lawmaker. He said the lawmaker at first told him he could not leave, grabbed him in the rear, exposed himself to the young man and then later gave him an iPad, BlackBerry cellphone and $100 cash to keep quiet.

  6. The Congressional Reform Act Of 2011………..I like it but would also add:

    * Term limits
    * Reduced vacation time
    * Immediate termination when failing to uphold oath of office
    * Mandatory drug testing

    • No, I say no to the drug testing.
      I’d prefer that they all take a break several times a day and go out back and smoke a fatty

    • No churches, many of them are places of worship, places where they make you feel guilty or make it sound that God won’t allow you into heaven if you don’t tithe each Sunday. Churches…again many of them these days are places where you are taught and told to fear and hate the gay, socialism, Obama, social justice and follow the party of God, the republican party.

      They will never tax churches because then the republican party would get less campaign contributions from all of those mega churches that litter America.

  7. The thought of man giving a man made, artificial entity the same and more rights than a person is kind of evil, in my personal opinion.

      • Ron Paul has said some surprisingly intelligent things over the course of his career, I think.
        It’s his kid that has some strange ideas.

        • Not universally good ideas, though. His notion of returning to the gold standard, for example. I suppose as a Socialist I have an anti-libertarian bias. It might have been a viable philosophy 200 years ago when there was far more open space and resources than there were people, but when a nation has more that 300 million residents under its roof, the premise of a wild free run for all doesn’t really work anymore.

  8. Iowans Thought They Were Voting for ‘Batman’
    Surprising Results of Exit Polls

    AMES, IOWA (The Borowitz Report) � Exit polls taken after tthe Iowa straw poll may hold the key to explaining the contest’s surprising results, as a majority of Iowans said they thought they were voting for “Batman.”

    “By a wide margin, Iowans were under the impression that they were casting votes for the caped crusader,” said pollster Davis Logsdon of the Opinion Research Institute. “But at the end of the day, they wound up voting for a different comic-book character altogether.”

    The Iowa straw poll has reshaped the race for the Republican presidential nomination, with former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty withdrawing after a new poll showed he had only three percent name recognition among members of his immediate family.

    Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made a campaign swing through the state today, urging voters not to defect to her new rival, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn): “Don’t forget, my fellow Americans, I was a moron before it was cool.”

    For her part, Rep. Bachmann gave a major address on science and the humanities today in which she declared the Renaissance unconstitutional.

    “I have good reason not to believe in evolution,” she said. “It’s really let me down.”

  9. Today’s Big News: I’VE WON THE IRISH SWEEPSTAKES! YIPPEEEEE!

    ref#:gab/999/irish/000
    August 15, 2011

    You’ve won 967,932 Euro in the Irish Sweepstakes draw edition of 13/08/11. To claim this sum, to claim this sum & for further directives, send an E-mail to on irishct@gncn.net & provide the following information:

    *Full Names:
    *Contact Address
    *Telephone Number(s)/Fax.
    *Age

    Kind regards,
    Irish Sweepstakes

    I mean wow, how much better can it get??!!

  10. There’s always this:

    Dear Sir,
    SEEKING YOUR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE. Please permit me to make your acquaintance in so informal a manner. This is necessitated by my urgent need to reach a dependable and trust wordy foreign partner. This request may seem strange and unsolicited but I will crave your indulgence and pray that you view it seriously. My name is. DAN PATRICK of the Democratic Republic of Congo and One of the close aides to the former President of the Democratic Republic of Congo LAURENT KABILA of blessed memory, may his soul rest in peace. Due to the military campaign of LAURENT KABILA to force out the rebels in my country, I and some of my colleagues were instructed by Late President Kabila to go abroad to purchase arms and ammunition worth of Twenty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only (US$20,500,000.00) to fight the rebel group. But when President Kabila was killed in a bloody shoot-out by one of his aide a day before we were schedule to travel out of Congo, We immediately decided to divert the fund into a private security company here in Congo for safe keeping. The security of the said amount is presently being threatened here following the arrest and seizure of properties of Col.Rasheidi Karesava (One of the aides to Laurent Kabila) a tribesman, and some other Military Personnel from our same tribe, by the new President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the son of late President Laurent Kabila, Joseph Kabila. In view of this, we need a reliable and trustworthy foreign partner who can assist us to move this money out of my country as the beneficiary. WE have sufficient ”CONTACTS” to move the fund under Diplomatic Cover to a security company in the Europe in your name. This is to ensure that the Diplomatic Baggage is marked ”CONFIDENTIAL” and it will not pass through normal custom/airport screening and clearance. Our inability to move this money out of Congo all This while lies on our lack of trust on our supposed good friends (western countries) who suddenly became hostile to those of us who worked with the late President Kabila, immediately after his son took office. Though we have neither seen nor met each other, the information we gathered from an associate who has worked in your country has encouraged and convinced us that with your sincere assistance, this transaction will be properly handled with modesty and honesty to a huge success within two weeks. The said money is a state fund and therefore requires a total confidentiality. Thus, if you are willing to assist us move this fund out of Congo, you can contact me through my email address above with your telephone, fax number and personal information to enable us discuss the modalities and what will be your share (percentage) for assisting us. I must use this opportunity and medium to implore You to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this Matter extraordinarily confidential, Whatever your Decision, while I await your prompt response. NOTE: FOR CONFIDENTIALITY, I WILL ADVISE YOU REPLY ME ON MY ALTERNATIVE EMAIL BOX (patrickdan@rediffmail.com).Thank you and God Bless. Best Regards, MR DAN PATRICK.

        • I may have mentioned this before, but my sister’s husband’s twin brother’s first wife (or was it the 2nd?) actually fell for the Nigerian prince hoax. In the process of being stung, she lost their life savings and their house. I’m just glad there is no genetic link to such stupidity.

  11. DAN PATRICK of the Democratic Republic of Congo

    Oh, so that’s where he went after he left ESPN.

    • Didn’t you see George Soros is being sued by an ex-girlfriend because he didn’t bbuy her a $2M condo. That bastard.

      • I’ve always wondered why it is that Soros is so evil in Fox’s eyes and Koch Bros are so cool. I guess it’s not the money. The bottom line must be that if you’re a Nazi-Commie-Socialist-Fascist-Marxist like Soros, any wealth you might accumulate is obviously illicit whereas if you’re a true American free market capitalist all is well because you EARNED it through hard work and long hours.

        Hmmm. Or maybe it’s that Fox is full of shit, that could also work.

        I shall ponder the matter.

        • And the Koch Bros inherited billions from their John Birch Society-founding father.

          Which idiot said he “earned” his millions the old-fashioned way, he inherited it?

          And, yes, Fox news is full of shit.

  12. Ralph Nader is pushing to get Obama primaried. Why doesnb’t he just form a third party again. I wonder how much he gets from Republicans to make sure the Democrats lose.

  13. The stage that collapsed at the Indiana fair was assembled by an outside corporation which is going to do an internal investigation to see why if failed. I’m sure those results will be stimulating. :roll: I would wager that that it was done by non-union temporary employees or unskilled labor.

    • Wow, Todd was pretty quick with the defensive talking points, wasn’t he?

      Kudos to the woman from AK! She was calm and cool, and just let Todd expose the Quitter — again — as a grifter. “Sellout!”

      • .
        Did you happen to read the comments?

        (this poster is obviously from a different planet)

        Bubbarox

        2:36 AM on August 15, 2011

        Todd proves himself a gentleman for even speaking with this woman who is obviously a shill for Alaska Daily News. Of course, many less attractive ladies are insanely jealous of Gorgeous Gov. Sarah Palin, who was a fine Governor and will be an exciting, energetic, & effective President.

  14. .

    Photos: NZ blanketed by snow

    Big chill: Snow blankets NZ
    Snow has fallen in downtown Auckland for the first time in 80 years as a ‘once in a lifetime’ polar blast spreads across New Zealand, forecasters say.

    • The Deniers will be all over this one. They’ve had to keep their big yaps shut during the record storms, rains, and heat of the Northern Hemisphere (as those things all support what we’ve been saying). But, by God, there’s snow someplace it has snowed before, but not in a while, so therefore Global Climate change is a hoax.

    • I CAN’T WAIT!! I’M SO F-ING SICK OF SUMMER! I WANT AN ICE AGE STARTING THIS AFTERNOON!

      Slowly going crazy here at 7000 ft elev, foot of the Rockies, where it’s been so goddamn hot that I think I’m back in AZ again. Ouch!

  15. Fox wants us to know that Obama’s approval rating is down and that the lack of jobs is all his fault.

    Jobs Tour — but for Whose Job?

    As President Obama’s job approval ratings hit new lows in Gallup poll, he heads out on Midwestern tour to promote economic growth, but critics say the tour is merely a re-election effort funded by taxpayers.

    By the way, where are those jobs bills that the Republicans said they’d send to the president? You see the president can’t just create jobs, unless Congress creates a jobs bill.

    And who are those critics? Oh, yeah, it’s Fox News. How cool to criticize the president, and then use that as the basis for a “news” story.

    • .
      Did they happen to address the Boner’s ratings:
      (granted this is last week – I doubt its changed)

      After Downgrade Boehner, McConnell, and GOP Approval Ratings Plunge
      August 9, 2011 By Jason Easley

      The CNN poll found that John Boehner’s approval rating has fallen off a cliff. In July, Boehner had a 43% favorable rating and a 32% unfavorable rating, (net +11). After the debt ceiling debacle the numbers have reversed. Boehner now has a 33% favorable rating, and 40% unfavorable rating. The Speaker of the House has gone from a plus eleven to a net minus seven. That is an 18 point negative swing in one month.

  16. I am in general a mild fan of David Gregory, but he was not prepared for the interview with Bachmann on MTP. She uses the same talking points that she has used since she announced including her statement that only one employee of the Department of Transportation was paid $170,000 before Obama took office and now there are over a thousand. That has been thoroughly debunked. See here: http://www.factcheck.org/2011/06/bachmanns-waterloo/.

    She blames the S&P downgrade on failure to curb entitlements, but the downgrade also included reasoning related to the failure to raise revenue. See here: http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2011/08/05/sp-downgrades-u-s-debt-rating-press-release/

    Issue after issue reveals her hypocrisy, her cherry-picking data, and her extremism. Gregory, if prepared, could have nailed her, but did not. Was he afraid of being called ‘Katie Couric’?

    • .

      Was he afraid of being called ‘Katie Couric’?

      If so he’s chosen to be in the wrong profession. Real news reporters/interviewers aren’t afraid of seeking or illiciting the truth for fear of some f’g label.

    • He’s afraid of the same thing ALL these so called journalists are afraid of—being denied access if they are too hard on the candidates, if they challenge them on their answers. Pathetic. Do we still have any real journalists in the country with an ounce of courage or integrity?

      • I don’t know that she considers herself to be a journalist, but Rachel Maddow nevertheless stands tall, at least imco, as she pursues facts and truth by any means, and realizes the cost to her is avoidance by those who make their way spouting out-and-out lies and/or blatant talking point mistruths.

        • “I don’t know that she considers herself to be a journalist, but Rachel Maddow nevertheless stands tall,…”

          Well, she IS 6 feet tall.

          But I digress….

    • Gregory hit her harder than I would have expected. But then I’m not a fan at all. And Tim Russert’s son Luke is more to the right than Tim was. But the worst it Andrea Mitchell who only questions the motivation of those on the left. But oh that liberal MSM.

    • Bachmann is a pathological liar I wonder when somebody is going to start calling her on it.

      • I remember when Edward R. Murrow basically called Joe McCarthy a liar. Found it on DVD along with McCarthy’s comeback not too long ago, and how sad that there are so few Murrows still on the air.

        • .
          This is not the direct face to face calling McC a liar – it is an intelligent rebuke of Joe’s unsubstantiated drivel:

          Edward R. Murrow

          Response to Senator Joe McCarthy on CBS’ See It Now

          Originally Broadcast 13 April 1954

    • Perry could already be in trouble. WaPo only gave him a 2-Pinocchio rating (out of 4 max). While it’s a significant amount of lying, it may not actually be enough lying to secure the GOP nomination. Those folks on the right don’t want any truth creeping into their fantasy world.

  17. I never thought I’d ever be excited about going to Boise. A few old friends are going down there for a couple days to goof off, and they invited me to go along. I’ve lived in Idaho for 18 years, and I’ve been to Boise once.

    I’m off for a few hours. See y’all later.

  18. Odd comment in USA Today about the president’s midwest trip. Trying to suggest that because he has an American flag as a backdrop it’s somehow a political trip.

    So are they suggesting that the president on a non-political trip shouldn’t appear in front of a flag?

    Not that this is a political trip, despite its appearance beneath a huge American flag.

    Read rest here.

    • Not that this is a political trip, despite its appearance beneath a huge American flag.

      What’s he supposed to have — a Kenyan flag?

        • .

          The president arrived in a high-tech, black bus to listen to Midwesterners

          Opposed to the rickety yellow school bus other Presidents have used/

          • I think the author was suggesting a bus shrink-wrapped in the US constitution is more appropriate, ya know, as long as the president is using the American flag thingie too.

    • When the Republican Party is dead and buried, when government is run by honest progressive liberal-socialists strictly in the interest of “We the people of the United States, [and] in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity …”; when greed is no longer a driving force, when truth, honor, and respect for all the Earth drive all human interaction, when petty politics is dead and buried in yesterday’s black hole, when all that counts in this life is the happy and willing attitude that we are one people in one biosphere on one planet in one solar system in one of perhaps a trillion galaxies …

      Then, at that point, the president can take a trip that’s not political, and the human species will have finally begun to approach its rumored intellectual potential.

      Prior to that, it’s Fox News leading the way into and then through the sewer.

    • Monsanto has long made the Soviet Union of old look like a gentle giant in comparison. Monsanto may well be, in fact, the most totally CRIMINAL enterprise that exists anywhere on earth today, or for that matter, at any time across the earth’s entire history. Never before has there been an entity so completely dedicated to the destruction of future agriculture in favor of the moment’s profit, the moment’s power. Monsanto should be nationalized, broken up into tiny pieces, and effectively destroyed once and for all … before they do all of that to the rest of us.

      As the old margarine commercial went, “It’s not NICE to fuck Mother Nature.” It’s not only not nice, it’s patently stupid. Beyond belief.

      • .
        Exactly – beyond evil (what ever that may be)!
        How the hell were they allowed to be the bully of agriculture?

        .
        Hopefully enough seeds have/will be saved from Monsanto’s evil grasp.

        Svalbard Global Seed Vault

        • I have no idea how it all happened. I do know that I was, a long time ago when my livelihood was agriculture, interested in the possibility that genetic manipulation might one day prove beneficial, that perhaps the ability legumes have to fix soil nitrogen might be added to the repertoire of grains such as barley and wheat — so log as so doing had no discernible ill-effects on the crops themselves. Monsanto, however, figured out how to permanently milk the money cow via genetic manipulation, and they did it all for the wrong reasons. Their modifications were not of any broader purpose than to ultimately control global crop seed production. In so doing, wild and ‘organic’ seed stocks had to disappear so that all was left would be the money makers. Ideally where once there may have been, say, a thousand varieties a given seed species, once Monsanto was finished there would be but one, and it would be proprietary and owned by them.

          The concept is absurd and as dangerous as any concept could ever be. Nature prospers not through single focus but through variety. Variety is what safeguards each seed line, the tool to salvage the crop from a focused disease that attacks and decimates but one variety. Evolution produces genetic varieties of the same species for a damn good reason, one that has to do with SURVIVAL and not profit.

          Monsanto, but its activities — in consort with legal support of same — could very easily be creating a crop environment in which global failure and famine are the consequences of nothing more than Greed.

          Monsanto needs be DESTROYED before it’s too late. We should all keep fingers crossed that seed varieties are held in vaults, safe from industrial assault, at least until the destructive process is legally harnessed and placed in its own vault.

          Understand, though, that if they were doing to Republicans what they’re doing to food crops, I’d have no objection whatsoever, would in fact contribute a buck or two and wish them godspeed.

  19. .
    We need to withdraw, completely, from this country.
    Iraq needs to govern and police itself.

    .

    25 August 2010 Last updated at 10:59 ET
    Dozens killed in wave of bombings across Iraq

    not quite a year later:

    Nearly 70 killed in attacks across Iraq
    Baghdad Kut, August 15, 2011

  20. Romney makes a geographical gaffe. Claims Manchester NH is in Iowa.

    Normally, I don’t get too hung up on candidate gaffes, when it’s clearly a mistake. Candidates are human, they’re tired, they’re on the road a lot, and these things happen.

    However.

    When Obama had a slip of the tongue a few years about about the number of states in the union, the right pounced upon it. And I kid-you-not, a right-wing brother of a friend of mine brought it up fairly recently.

    Now if it’s fair game to blast Obama for a simple gaffe, then it’s fair game to blast Romney.

    Have at it. And you are free to bring this up for years.

    • “Candidates are human, they’re tired, they’re on the road a lot, and these things happen.”

      The campaign has barely begun. This is like an experienced runner falling down after running 300 yards of the Boston Marathon.

    • .
      Geography is not a strong suite for the Repugnant Ones:

      CrazyShelly: (while in NH 12 March 2011):

      “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord,” she said Saturday morning at an event organized by the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors.”

    • .
      ooo, ahhh – thanks for that link!
      I always need to find more, more, more on the subject of space:
      Here’s Audio Loop – U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Radar

    • .
      Beyond nuts – sovereign soul.
      Then he throws the scare tactic that from skin to everything inside is nationalized through ‘Obamacare’.

      Let me think a moment – oh, yes it’s crazies like King who don’t think women are capable of making healthcare decisions for themselves…

  21. And the Washington Post continues with their incisive political observations.

    Perry bounded into the race on Saturday in South Carolina and has quickly become a serious challenger to Romney with his strong record of job creation — nearly 40 percent of the jobs created in the past two years were in Texas.

    Perry doesn’t have a strong record on this at all, and numerous other sources have been making this clear. WaPo, on the other hand, simply regurgitates GOP talking points.

  22. Is it just me, but does anyone else notice that this country is in a perpetual state of election, a state which leaves no time whatsoever for governance?

    It has become one perpetual reality TV show, only ratings count, nothing else does…. except the amount of reality actually in the show…. Well in the words of a stoner I met at the Grand Canyon many years ago…. “It’s f***ing surreal, dude!”

    • .
      The man in the Canyon had it pegged correctly!

      As you so deftly pointed out – there is no governance the continuous loop of a really bad show.

  23. Apologies if this was previously posted -

    Bachmann involved in unusual campaign moment

    As both CNN staffers tried to question Bachmann, Lemon said he was pushed by two members of Bachmann’s staff. Lemon also said that Marcus Bachmann, the congresswoman’s husband, pushed him.

    Lemon continued: “I told them, asked them not to elbow me. And then her husband Marcus started doing the same thing. And then he elbowed me into the cart. And I said, ‘You just pushed me into the cart.’ And he goes, ‘No, you did it yourself.’

  24. Speaking of Monsanto….Isn’t it comforting to know that President Obama appointed their former CEO, Michael Taylor as food czar?

    • Thanks for the link to the video. I’m an agnostic and I respect other people’s religious views and this pastor is so right by keeping politics out of his sermons. Actually, he is just the kind of pastor that I could sit and listen to and not feel that I have to believe in the Judeo-Christian god. Instead, I could benefit from the teachings of Jesus without believing Jesus is a god.

      • I ‘came out’ a few years ago, I decided that there was no difference between my kind of practical atheism and what I’d been calling ‘agnosticism’ and saw no further point in keeping an ‘open mind’ – especially as the ones asking me to were the ones with the closed minds. I’m no rabid bomb-throwing Dawkins though. I do agree with Dawkins though that ‘agnostic’ is what we say to believers so as not to offend them.

        I wrote ‘pastafarian’ on my son’s form for his religious persuasion this last week to see if anyone noticed – they didn’t or didn’t say.

        Religion to me is like buying a lottery ticket and then treating everyone as if you’d already won.

        • .
          Given the reading skills of a great many – they’d look at it very quickly and figure Rastafari! Jah love!

        • I’m beyond atheism. I don’t like the word, which essentially means ‘non-belief in god.’ Non-belief in what? How can there possibly be a non-belief in something that’s non-existent from the start?

          Is an aspagmon: one who does not believe in the Spaghetti Monster”

          I don’t care what others believe, and so long as they’re happy with it and it does no harm to society, tolerance rules. But try to slip it into my world as any sort of credo that must be obeyed or worshiped and that’s it. Bye. Religion is private; keep it off the public square and out of the public arena, schools in particular.

          And don’t burden children with it! When they’re old enough to make their own choice, they’ll do just that but they’ll do it freely, not because of having been propagandized with a peculiar variety of mysticism.

          Let knowledge stand atop the pinnacle; religion is not knowledge, it’s faith. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad, but it can never be proper to substitute faith for reality, not in the real world. And reality is based on knowledge (and v.v.). Things are as they are, and more is revealed every day as science proceeds along its always ponderous path.

          And yes, the world is more than 6000 years of age, and the Rocky Mountains were uplifted during the Laramide Orogeny some 80 million years ago, and no one in Kentucky ever rode to church on a dinosaur.

          It can get silly sometimes.

          • That’s where I am, frugal.

            There is no god out there, it simply doesn’t exist. Calling myself an atheist is somehow an acknowledgement that there is room for doubt. There isn’t.

            I’m so glad neither of my men bought into that crap.

    • I think the power structure of the Republic Party is starting to panic, and justifiably so. The fundies are no longer content to simply provide votes, obviously, and are a serious threat to grab the nomination for one (or more) of their nutbag candidates. When they take over the government, they in turn will have no use for porky creeps like Rove and the old power structure will be tossed on the dungheap of made-up history.

      The old power mongers have to find a credible candidate somewhere, someone who has any appeal beyond the wack-a-doo base. Given their complete failure to accomplish this in 2008, what are the odds?

  25. Speaking of jumping the shark…

    Quote of the Day:

    “The Tea Party​ needs its credibility to have an impact. The Florida Tea Party activists might want to ask themselves whether a conservative movement that organizes a primary challenge to Allen West hasn’t jumped the shark,” – Seth Mandel, reacting to rumors that the uber-right congressman might face a primary challenge.

  26. I have a question for you all:

    If a mandate for requiring all teenaged girls get a vaccination of Gardisil in Texas as an executive order signed by Rick Perry (never mind he is in “bed” with Merck) is unconstitutional in Texas…Then why is it constitutional to require women seeking abortions to have to submit to additional sonograms prior to a medical procedure that every woman knows what the end result will be?

    • It’s not.

      In my opinion, these insane and unconstitutional laws have not been challenged in the courts more energetically because of our current SCOTUS. No one wants them ruling on the abortion issue.

  27. Buffet eviscerates every right-wing talking point regarding taxes on the rich and job creation.

    Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

    My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

    Of course, one idea would be for the super rich to start donating heavily to defeat those who sign Norquist’s pledge. If they reach the cap for single donations, pull a Romney, and create a dummy corporation to donate more. When that’s maxed out, create yet another.

    • But. But. But Beckyboy said Soros bought Buffet or something. He was so incoherent that one could pretty much make up anything, as he did, and just claim it makes your point.

      He’s also freaked out that an exhibit about Jefferson mentions that he was a slave owner! The horror!! Someone said something factual about a person that Beckyboy loves to quote that doesn’t support his fantasies!!!

    • Happy B’Day to him. My 28 yr. old daughter lives in Boise. Actually there are some neat places in the older parts of Boise; great Basque area, outdoor cafes, etc. very european. Enjoy.

      • Thank you, nwoldguy. :)

        My son lives in Portland, so I’m sure he’ll find a great place for his birthday dinner.

        I’ll suggest the Basque area in Boise, cuz it sounds awesome, but I’m traveling with a batch of northern Idaho small town women. Unless they’ve changed since I left this little town 11 years ago, I see a Chilies or Outback in my weekend plans.

        • I went to Chili’s not long ago. They served a draft beer in a glass that was at least a foot tall. It was annoying to drink out of. I won’t make that mistake again.

    • Congrats to your son, Zooey, but you don’t look old enough to have a 29 year old…

  28. Jim Hightower is on The Last Word tonight. He’s on to give his opinion on Perry.

  29. I think Perry is the most dangerous candidate. Of all of them, he has the greatest chance to win.

    Perry may have no intelligence, but he can speak better than Bush and lie with the best of them. Plus he has lots of super pac money behind him.
    Romney’s got no game.
    Huntsman is unknown.
    Cain is ….well, Cain.
    Bachmann is….well, Bachmann
    Newt is … well, Newt.
    Ron Paul, while he is popular, he is only popular about ending the wars.
    I think Palin will enter the race, but I think she will do it only at the last possible moment because she doesn’t want the media scrutiny or to have to answer cohesive questions, although, she hasn’t yet quit Fox News, like Newt did before he announced. But I think most Americans are done with Palin.

    • I think you’re right, LL.

      Texas Perry is every bit as batshit insane as Bachmann, but he’s got the advantage of looking smooth as silk when he’s lying, big big money behind him, and he’s got the strong white male look that the submissive authoritarians crave.

    • Perry may have no intelligence…

      Hightower agrees with you, LL.

      Hightower on Perry: ‘He is George W. Bush without the intelligence and without the ethics.’

      It’s hilarious that Hightower damns Bush by faint praise. Bush is only intelligent compared to Perry.

      Hayes referred to Krugman’s column on Perry as saying, luring jobs from other states is not creating jobs.

      He’s right. Perry is not a job creator, he’s a job thief.

    • .
      Just wait until the Tpottiers feel the squeeze – then it’ll be all the fault of the President.

  30. pRick Perry is just pulling an ugly Palin with his campaign.

    What he doesn’t get — because he’s more fucking stupid than Palin, if that’s even possible — is that the people of this country are sick unto death of all this political back-biting, even the so-called moderates.

    Keep talking, Pervy.

    • .
      Really is too bad the media can’t do its job as journalist – this insanity would be pared down even further.
      Cain – happy to be number five. That is just delusional to think he’d actually have a chance to become the nominee!

      They (the Repugnant Party) are divorced from reality.

  31. .
    PERRY: BERNANKE POLICIES “ALMOST TREASONOUS”

    “I guess this is going to be a pretty interesting election. Rick Perry is now saying that any more emergency efforts by Ben Bernanke to resuscitate the economy would be “almsot treasonous.” Watch.

    • Hey!

      I am an Aggie Ex and I once wore those boots and still wear the ring. The one thing that concerns me is the Corps motto – “An Aggie does no lie cheat or steal:”

      None out of three must be the new criteria!.

      • I went to TX Tech. We used to “get our guns up” — while Aggies were “gigging” people. Heh. I wonder if the people in Corps still wear those outfits? They did in the late 70′s.

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