The Watering Hole, Monday, November 17th, 2014: Mixed Bag

Just a few articles from last week that I found interesting, and in case you missed them:

From Daily Kos, a very succinct [but limited] summary of some of President Obama’s accomplishments, in the form of a “letter to the editor” from a frustrated Canadian, who wraps up with: “When you are done with Obama, could you send him our way?” The blogger who posted the LTE at Daily Kos, Leslie Salzillo, ends (in part) with:

“…half of America was blinded by the half-truths FOX ‘News’ and Conservative talking heads fed them, because you know, if you tell just enough truth mixed in with a bucket of lies, it causes confusion. And that can lead to a bad case of the FuckIts.”

[Hmm, is a “bad case of the FuckIts” related to “someone’s got a case of the Mondays” from Office Space?]

Ms. Salzillo then posted a line by Robin Williams (sigh), speaking to Canada:

“You are a big country.
You are the kindest country in the world.
You are like a really nice apartment
over a meth lab.”

Raw Story had a couple of items, including this story about how former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [spit] feels about possible executive action by President Obama on immigration. The President may “…defer the deportations of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants who have children who are in the U.S. legally”, according to the article by David Edwards. Gonzales, appearing on CNN,

“…argued that the president should be focused on securing the border because of a “nightmare scenario” where terrorists infiltrate into the country through Mexico…

“Now, 99 percent of the people that come across the border are not terrorists,” he admitted. “They are coming over primarily to seek a better life. But I do think that it is legitimate in today’s world to do what we can as a government to secure the border.”

Apparently Gonzales has not read up on President Obama’s work to secure the southern border. According to The White House:

“Today, the Border Patrol is better staffed than ever before, having doubled the number of agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 21,000 in 2011. More than 2,200 Border Patrol agents man the Northern border, a 700 percent increase since 9/11. More than 21,000 Customs and Border Protection Officers, including 3,800 along Northern Border, manage the flow of people and goods at our ports of entry and crossings.”

If I were Alberto Gonzales, and therefore needed something to fear, I’d be a whole lot more concerned about our porous northern border [no offense, dycker!]: twice the length of our border with Mexico, the U.S.-Canadian border only gets 2,200 Border Patrol Agents out of 21,000? And that piddly number is a 700% INCREASE since 9/11? Oy!

Sorta-kinda related – well, it reminded me of the Dubya days, appointing buddies whose former careers were in direct opposition to the purpose of the departments or Cabinets they were asked to head – but I digress:

Also from Raw Story, losing Oregon Republican Senate candidate Dr. Monica Wehby must have some set of “Thatchers” (Stephen Colbert’s name for ‘lady balls’) on her. After campaigning on the ‘repeal Obamacare’ platform, she allegedly called Oregon’s Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber to offer “…her expertise and interest in health care reform…”, according to the article by Tom Boggioni.

“According to multiple sources, Wehby asked about the job opening as director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) which administers the ACA…”

I liked this part:

“Prior to the election, Wehby’s campaign was rocked by allegations that many of the policy prescriptions posted on her campaign website were plagiarized, including one for reforming healthcare.
Wehby removed the alleged plagiarized portions, leaving the web pages blank.”

Heh, smooth move, “Doc.”

This story gets curiouser and curiouser, as the ‘fine hand’ of Karl Rove is in the background. Dr. Wehby “…was accused of taking wording from a survey conducted for Crossroads, a group run by Karl Rove, for her health care plan.”

I haven’t had time to read the Crossroads survey, but I think that it could be worth taking a look at, even just to see what Karl’s millions and minions have been up to.

This is our daily Open Thread…go ahead, talk amongst yourselves.

The Watering Hole; November 14 2014; The American Politic

The American Politic changed dramatically on November 4, 2014. It was, for many, a rather severe letdown from this time six years ago, a time when the prospects for a national rebirth — in the aftermath of the absolute disaster of the Dubya Bush regime — stood tall and shone as brightly as Lady Liberty’s torch. Things were looking better than they had in a generation! There was a Democrat majority in the Senate, a Democrat majority in the House, and a presumed Progressive Democrat in the Oval Office! Shades of the 1930’s, the beginning of the most Progressive era in U.S. history with a President who was NOT afraid to shout his fascist opposition — remnants of the group that had been in charge during the crash of ’29 — into the ground! Remember FDR? Remember how he spoke the peoples’ truth to his seditious counterparts? Here are a small handful of Rooseveltian quotes that serve to point out his ambitiously PROGRESSIVE attitude:

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.”

“Out of this modern civilization, economic royalists [have] carved new dynasties . . . It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction . . . And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man . . .”

“These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power.”

“Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power!”

“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of a private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

“In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.

Koch Brothers, anyone? Citizens United? Karl Rove? In the aftermath of the George W. Bush years, the power of money has been elevated — elevated to the point where the government has, indeed, become purchasable by the highest bidder, to be no longer in the charge of we the people. And now, beyond even THAT atrocity, the Republican Party has, since November of 2008, dedicated itself to but One. Single. Goal. No matter the consequences, Obama MUST FAIL! Their obvious and deeply-embedded Hatred reminds of a comment by FDR who, facing an almost identical attitude in 1936, said this:

“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

“They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”

One wonders, today, if only Obama had . . .

But he didn’t. He’s tried negotiation. He’s tried reconciliation. He’s even tried, on some issues, submission. The result? Republican congressional landslides in both off-year elections. Big Money and the LIES they purchased won. In 2014, in fact, there was a Republican Senatorial landslide sufficient to guarantee that NOTHING of interest to we the people will get done for AT LEAST two years. The entire congressional task will, in fact, remain the same as it’s been since circa 1980 when Saint Reagan grabbed hold of the reins of government and initiated the slow and ponderous conversion of a Peoples’ Democratic Republic to a nation governed by a NEW system, one which, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

I do hereby and therefore acknowledge and bow to the latest version of America, the version envisioned and legally purchased by all those old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. I further acknowledge that NOW is the time that We the people of the United States, 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 must therefore agree to stand by, to wait and see how (if ??) everything — ummm — comes out.

So to speak.

GOP training film

OPEN — ummm — THREAD

(Sotospeak)

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, November 12th, 2014: Hump Day!

oasis_in_the_sahara_desert_wallpaper
I don’t know about anyone else, but I could use a laugh as this week just grinds along. So here’s a few places to start.

First: Luckily, I never go to a Walmart, so I don’t have to fear becoming one of the infamous “People of Walmart.” (I’m much more likely to start a subset, “People of the A&P.”) I found that one can click on any state to see the indigenous Walmart folk. I clicked on New York and found some of my “neighbors” with whom I will never rub elbows, like this one:

Only in NY - well, not really (photo courtesy of peopleofwalmart.com)

Only in NY – well, not really
(photo courtesy of peopleofwalmart.com)

Next: A couple of amusing articles from cracked.com: “Why Every Christian Movie Bombs in a Mostly Christian Nation” is worth checking into, if only for the “Bibleman” poster shown in the article; and this one by Luke McKinney, entitled “6 Tips for Angry Internet Commenters”, had me laughing from the opening line: “IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE CALLING SOMEONE HITLER ON THE INTERNET! Would you like some help with that?” BTW, the “6 Tips” are given by a Caps Lock key.

Third: I didn’t go through all of them, but “The 40 Funniest “This is Not Going to End Well” Photos of All Time” seems promising. This one certainly grabbed my attention:

"This is Not Going to End Well, #5"

“This is Not Going to End Well, #5″

Let’s wrap up with some ‘awww’s: While they may not be the absolute “Top 20 Cutest Puppies Ever”, they’re puppies, so they can’t help but be cute.

This is our daily open thread – have some laughs, and/or talk about whatever…

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 10th, 2014: Mitch Makes Plans

Today I’m just going to throw a few topics out here, good, bad, or meh

A few excerpts from yesterday’s Washington Post article by Lori Montgomery and Robert Costa, headlined (rather lengthily) “GOP crafts narrow agenda for new Congress, seeking unity, Democratic votes”:

“Within hours of solidifying their control of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John A. Boehner were quietly laying plans for a series of quick votes in January aimed at erasing their obstructionist image ahead of the 2016 elections.

Considering the previous unfortunate efforts of the Republican Party to slap a different varnish on their tarnished image, I can only cringe wondering what kind of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser(tm) “quick votes” these two have in mind. What would they deregulate first? IOW, what will be the Rs’ first BS “repeal this job killer” meme in 2015? And are Boehner and McConnell, while “seeking unity”, keeping an eye on their own far-right-flank tea-nut gallery? Megalomaniac Senator Ted Cruz (R-PlanetTexas) is not one to allow the limelight to stray far from him, and is already making obstructionist noises. Boehner and McConnell are fools – yes, I could stop right there, but – if they think that Cruz is going to bow to their so-called “leadership.”

“First up: Action on long-stalled bills with bipartisan support, including measures to repeal an unpopular tax on medical devices and approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Whoa, tortoise, whoa! [gets out baseball bat, “I said WHOA!”] Why you sly bastards! First, Boehner and McConnell know damn well that repealing the medical devices tax, however unpopular it may or may not be, will undermine one of the sources for funding the PPACA, aka Obamacare. Boehner has been shown by FactCheck.org to have been lying about the negative effect that the Medical Device Tax would have on jobs. Repealing the Medical Device Tax is just one way that the Republicans would start to unravel the PPACA without actually repealing the act itself.

Now let’s get to “approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.” It seems that everyone, except the few people/companies who stand to gain from the construction of the pipeline, is against that. This is definitely an example of the incredibly ballsy, obviously and provably false claims that the project would be a “job creator.” Temporary American jobs, yes; a few (50 or so) permanent American jobs, yes; but nowhere near the thousands that the pipeline’s proponents would have us believe. There are so many good arguments against the Keystone XL, it’s truly amazing that any politician is still promoting it; unless, of course, well-funded interests are funding them.

There’s loads more from the WaPo article, but there’s also more information in the New Republic’s article called “This is How the New GOP Senate will try to Dismantle Obamacare”, by Jonathan Cohn.

So far everything points to the Rs major obsession for the past several years – if they can’t repeal the ACA, they’ll just kill it with a thousand cuts.

This is our daily open thread – talk about whatever you want.

The Watering Hole; Friday November 7 2014; Elections Have CONSEQUENCES

Here’s the new Republican reality as detailed in a Mission Statement by GOP spokesman Rush Limbaugh:

“Individual Republican candidates won, and they won big. They won in a wave landslide running against Obamacare. The national Republican brand or image didn’t say a word, which makes the mandate that they have all the more incredible. It is rare that a political party running for office in a midterm election, not standing for anything, ends up with a mandate. And they have one. And it is the biggest, and perhaps the most important mandate a political party has had in the recent era. And it is very simple what that mandate is. It is to stop Barack Obama. It is to stop the Democrat Party. There is no other reason why Republicans were elected yesterday.”

Republicans were not elected to govern. How can you govern with a president that disobeys the constitution? How can you govern with a president that is demonstrably lawless when he thinks he has to be? The Republican Party was not elected to fix a broken system and to make it work. The Republican Party was not elected to compromise. The Republican Party was not elected to sit down and work together with the democrats. The Republican Party was not elected to slow down the speed the country is headed to the cliff, and go over it slowly. The Republican Party was elected to stop before we get to the cliff. And that’s the mandate.

The reason for the electoral mandate is simple: Immediately after Obama was first elected in 2008, the US economy was in a shambles, bordering on depression, even collapse. Since then, and IN SPITE of Democrat opposition, the Republicans in Congress have managed to get the economy growing at a robust 3.5 percent rate! Because of Republicans, deficits have been cut in half! The stock market is at record levels! The price of gas is less than three bucks a gallon! Ten million more Americans now have health insurance! Unemployment is under six percent for the first time since Obama was elected! There’s only one case of Ebola in the United States, and the victim is on the road to full recovery!

Still, victorious Republicans have serious issues with Obama. As Matt Drudge pointed out in a post-electoral tweet, “The reality is, Obama is going to do whatever he wants anyway. He will not be stopped, and I doubt very highly Republicans will arrest him.”

Maybe Limbaugh’s notion is the best one after all, all things considered. Maybe the sole mission remains to simply stop Obama and the Democrat traitors dead in their tracks and in the process kill such anti-American and unconstitutional communist-socialist nonsense as minimum wage, Social Security, Medicare, corporate taxes, welfare handouts to lazy bums, birth control, immigration reform . . . the Obama subterfuge and nation-destroy agenda list is endless.

Better we stop all this “We the people” horse hockey and work instead toward what REALLY counts, toward what will make America GREAT once again !! Like ever-higher corporate profits! Like tax reform ! YES ! Reaganomics reborn !! Lower taxes on the top 1% ! Halt government spending on everything but war ! Stop the EPA and tree-huggers everywhere from interfering with money-making pipelines, coal mines, and drill rigs ! Turn over ownership of public lands to the Koch Brothers ! YEAH !!.

America’s New Dawn has arrived!! (detailed below)

The Morning Sun Illuminates the New Republican America

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the Words of Emily Dickinson,
A Summation of the Newly-Elected American Reality

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go –

!! U.S.A. !!

us flag

R.I.P.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Tuesday November 4, 2014 Election Day ‘Trap Game’?

Away from environment or food politics to real politics. Republicans have been making an all out assault on Senators holding seats in Red States. Smart strategy, but the assumption that they will hold the house may still be up in the air. In football, there are games known as ‘trap games’, meaning a team favored to win over a weaker opponent overlooks that opponent because they have their focus on the following week, where the game may be more closely matched. So, are the Republicans making a serious mistake on house races that they are overlooking? Could be a crazy election. Nate Silver’s take:

A Republican bump. but not a wave.

 

 

Here’s what a Presidential Veto Pen looks like. It will be used a lot in the next two years.

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 3rd, 2014: Strange Laws

I’m too nervous about the elections tomorrow, so I’m going to avoid politics.

I found the following odd state/town laws here at brainjet.com:

Alabama: Bear wrestling matches are outlawed.
Alaska: It’s legal to shoot bears in Alaska, but it’s not legal to wake a bear up for the purpose of taking its picture.
Arizona: Writing in toilet stalls is illegal ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK IN MINES.
Arkansas: In Arkansas, pinball games are prohibited by the law from giving more than 25 free games to a high scorer.
California has a law that forbids a frog that dies in a frog race from being eaten.
Colorado: In Aspen, CO, snowball fights are illegal.
Connecticut: In Connecticut, a bushel of potatoes must, by law, weigh 150 pounds.
Delaware: It’s illegal to sell the (literal) hair of a dog.
Florida: For female hot dog stand workers in Broward County, it’s illegal to wear a g-string.
Georgia: In Georgia, moving a trout from one lake to another is prohibited by law.
Hawaii: In Hawaii, using imitation milk in a milkshake without warning is illegal.
Idaho: Idaho prohibits sale of eggs from another state without warning, and anyone who uses flour that’s not enriched with vitamins can face 30 days in jail.
Illinois: “Happy Hours” are prohibited.
Indiana: It’s illegal to sell cold beer in Indiana in a grocery store. If you want to get a chilled brew, you’ll have to make a trip to the liquor store.
Iowa: It’s illegal to surf while drunk in Iowa. This is actually a good policy, but it’s ridiculous in the landlocked state of Iowa.
Kansas: Apparently it’s possible to modify the weather in Kansas, but it’s illegal to do so without the proper permit.
Kentucky: All Kentucky lawyers must swear an oath to refrain from dueling.
Louisiana: In Louisiana, it’s against the law to insult players at a sporting event.
Maine: It’s illegal to place green crabs next to soft-shell crabs.
Maryland: It’s a crime in Maryland to possess more than 3 turtles at one time.
Massachusetts: Gift certificates are required to be valid for at least 7 years.
Michigan: It’s illegal to use foul language in front of a woman.
Minnesota: It’s illegal to go hunting with a ferret.
Mississippi: It’s illegal to take an animal that’s been hit by a railroad car.
Missouri: It’s illegal to pretend to be blind to make money.
Montana: It’s against the law for a water sprinkler to get a passerby wet.
Nebraska: In the city of Ogallala, it’s illegal to disturb public dirt.
Nevada: Nevada has respect for the dead. In the state, it’s prohibited to use bad language in front of a dead person.
New Hampshire: Prohibits seaweed harvesting at night.
New Jersey: In Haddon Township, flirting with somebody against their will is punishable by law.
New Mexico: It’s illegal to get on a ski lift while drunk.
New York: It’s illegal to walk in public with an ice cream cone in your pocket on Sundays.
North Carolina: It’s illegal to serve food to pigs that hasn’t been thoroughly cooked.
North Dakota: Kangaroo boxing is a crime.
Ohio: It’s illegal to disrobe in front of a man’s portrait.
Oklahoma: It’s illegal to break INTO a prison.
Oregon: It’s against the law to own more than 2 undeployed airbags.
Pennsylvania: A Pennsylvania fortune-teller cannot charge money to try to shorten someone’s life.
Rhode Island: Wrapping fresh fish in a newspaper is against the law.
South Carolina: Fishing with dynamite is illegal.
South Dakota: Shooting an animal from an airplane is against the law.
Tennessee: Roller skaters must proceed in a single file line to be in accordance with the state law.
Texas: Taking more than 3 sips of beer at a time while standing is illegal.
Utah: The state has banned the “look, no hands” trick by law, stating that bicyclists must keep one hand on the handlebar at all times.
Vermont: In the city of Middlebury, having more than one person on a skateboard at a time is illegal.
Virginia: It’s illegal to release more than 50 balloons per hour.
Washington: In Bremerton, it’s illegal to throw garbage into anyone else’s trash can.
West Virginia: An unmarried couple living together in the state can be sent to jail.
Wisconsin: On highways in Wisconsin, livestock always has the right of way.
Wyoming: Opening a gate and not closing it is against the law.

This is our daily open thread – talk about whatever you want.