The Watering Hole: Monday, December 17, 2012 – Can We PLEASE Talk About Guns In Our Society Now?

On the morning of December 14, 2012, it was Newtown, Connecticut.
Before that it was Clackamas Town Center, Oregon.
Before that it was Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Before that it was Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Aurora, Colorado.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Before that it was Oakland, California.
Before that it was Seal Beach, California.
Before that it was Carson City, Nevada.
Before that it was Tucson, Arizona.
Before that it was Manchester, Connecticut.
Before that it was Fort Hood, Texas.
Before that it was Binghamton, New York.
Before that it was Carthage, North Carolina.
Before that it was Northern Illinois University, Illinois.
Before that it was Kirkwood, Missouri.
Before that it was Omaha, Nebraska.
Before that it was Virginia Tech, Virginia.
Before that it was Salt Lake City, Utah.
Before that it was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Red Lake, Minnesota.
Before that it was Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Meridian, Minnesota.
Before that it was Fort Worth, Texas.
Before that it was Atlanta, Georgia.
And before that, on the morning of April 20, 1999, it was Littleton, Colorado.

These are all places where someone, or several someones, took a gun, or several guns, and began shooting people at some location, or several locations. Does this list strike you as being rather long? These are just ones since Columbine. There were others in between and before that. Many people died in those mass shootings. Too many. And too many were children. Far, far too many. And yet, we can’t seem to have that talk about all these mass shootings and the prevalence of guns in our society.

How many people have to die in mass shootings before we are allowed to talk Continue reading

Arizona artists told to repaint mural to be less ethnic

Raw Story:

The leader of a group of artists says he was ordered to lighten the skin tones of children depicted in an outdoor mural covering two walls of a Prescott, Arizona elementary school because of complaints that the faces appeared too ethnic.

Read on…

Honestly.. I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone..

UPDATE: The elementary school in Arizona has backed down. They will NOT be lightening those skin tones after all..

Good news. The gutless, carbound racists lost, and the mural is being restored to its “original theme.” Jeff Lane, the principal of Miller Valley Elementary School, and Kevin Kapp, the school superintendent, showed up at a protest today to apologize for giving in to whims of mentally deranged adults, spewing racial epithets at a painting.

What’s the REAL reason for Arizona’s new José Crow law?

I was eating lunch in my car before school, listening to the re-play of Thom Hartmann, and what do I hear?  Greg Palast making more sense about the horrible new “papers please” law in Arizona.  It’s not about preventing illegal immigration at all — although that plays very well to the teabagger crowd — it’s about keeping U.S. citizens, who happen to be of Hispanic origin, from VOTING.

Greg Palast did some checking into voter disenfranchisement of the Hispanic community in Arizona back in 2008, and guess who he found merrily hacking away at the voter registration rolls?  If you guessed Governor Jan Brewer (then Secretary of State), then give yourself a high five and a big gold star!

Jan Brewer makes Katherine Harris, of skeezy 2000 Florida presidential election fame, look like a martyred saint.

Don’t be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona

Is Jim Crow really dead?

Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens.

I don’t buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning.

What’s new here is not the politicians’ fear of a xenophobic “Teabag” uprising.

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote — and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters … directed by one Jan Brewer.

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer’s command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelming Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected.

That statistic caught my attention. Voting or registering to vote if you’re not a citizen is a felony, a big-time jail-time crime. And arresting such criminal voters is easy: after all, they give their names and addresses.

So I asked Brewer’s office, had she busted a single one of these thousands of allegedly illegal voters? Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution?

No, not one.

Which raises the question: were these disenfranchised voters the criminal, non-citizens Brewer tagged them, or just not-quite-white voters given the José Crow treatment, entrapped in document-chase trickery?

The answer was provided by a federal prosecutor who was sent on a crazy hunt all over the Western mesas looking for these illegal voters. “We took over 100 complaints, we investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case.”

This prosecutor, David Iglesias, is a prosecutor no more. When he refused to fabricate charges of illegal voting among immigrants, his firing was personally ordered by the President of the United States, George W. Bush, under orders from his boss, Karl Rove.

Iglesias’ jurisdiction was next door, in New Mexico, but he told me that Rove and the Republican chieftains were working nationwide to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria with public busts of illegal voters, even though there were none.

“They wanted some splashy pre-election indictments,” Iglesias told me. The former prosecutor, himself a Republican, paid the price when he stood up to this vicious attack on citizenship.

But Secretary of State Brewer followed the Rove plan to a T. The weapon she used to slice the Arizona voter rolls was a 2004 law, known as “Prop 200,” which required proof of citizenship to register. It is important to see the Republicans’ latest legislative horror show, sanctioning cops to stop residents and prove citizenship, as just one more step in the party’s desperate plan to impede Mexican-Americans from marching to the ballot box.

Read the rest of the story here.

(Image source)

Obama-mania: Hottest Name In Publishing!

Obama-mania has hit the book world by storm.  As of this Sunday, Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” and “Dreams from My Father,” both already million sellers, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

Both hardcover and paperback editions of “Audacity of Hope” were out of stock Sunday on Amazon.

Barack Obama’s book sales are surging even in John McCain’s state of Arizona.

“People are generally much happier this week than they were last week,” Gayle Shanks, co-owner of the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, said Sunday.

The book sales are not just confined to the books Obama has written either.  Sales have gone up dramatically in books about him and his collection of speechs.

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Ashland, Oregon Criminalizing Laws Target Homeless – One Ordinance States “Sleeping Prohibited”

When a city like Ashland, Oregon passes laws targeting the homeless it sends a clear message that they are not welcome. It sends another message that beneath the thin veneer; society considers them worthless. Instead of lending a helping hand, most people cross to the other side of the street to avoid them. As if they have something that is contagious. This lack of empathy I find to be heartbreaking. 

McCain’s home state of Arizona is one of the places were 32 homeless people died on the streets of Phoenix, in the summer of 2005. Four homeless men died of heat exposure, in one weekend, in the summer of 2006. Sad statistics that I’m sure did not even get a mention in the local paper.  When cities like Phoenix and Ashland could solve the problem easily by building homeless shelters.

The ACLU of Oregon is challenging Ashland’s anti-camping ordinance.

The Southern Oregon Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon calls upon the City of Ashland to amend its “Prohibited Camping” ordinance from one that punishes poverty and homelessness into one that prods the city to provide housing for the homeless.

The city’s inhumane anti-camping law is inconsistent with the values of the Ashland, and the ACLU calls for immediate reform.

“The poor should not be punished simply for being poor, and that’s what this law does in Ashland,” said the ACLU of Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque. “The city of Ashland and all cities should seek to address the underlying issues of homelessness and poverty, rather than enacting and enforcing laws that target those who are homeless.”

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Joe the Plumber Admits The Truth

UpDate III:  Joe the Plumber thinks Social Security is a joke.

It seems that Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is a registered Republican.  Surprise!  He voted in his first primary on March 4, 2008, registering as a Republican.  In fact, the gang at DailyKos found that every single Wurzelbacher in the Milford and Cincinnati area contributes to the Republican Party.

UpDate IV:  Joe “the Plumber” is no relation to Robert Wurzelbacher.  No connection to the Keating 5 Scandal.  Marty thought he might have had a connection there, but even Keith Olbermann on MSNBC said they were not related.

Update V:  “Joe The Plumber” Part II – The Vetting Of Joe.  Link to my new post.  With all the latest updates.  Including John McCain’s new Campaign Ad featuring “Joe the Plumber.”  Latest Update about “Joe the Plumber” – from Bloomberg and more.  (use my new post link)

This is what Marty Eisenstadt uncovered yesterday on his blog:

John McCain did great tonight in the debate. But every time John mentioned “Joe the Plumber,” some of us in the campaign banged our heads against the wall. If Steve Schmidt had any hair left, I hear he would have been pulling it out tonight. He reportedly screamed at John’s debate prep team tonight (out of earshot of reporters, of course). “You idiots – he’s related to Charles Keating… of the Keating Five scandal!” They thought they had a real live Joe Six-Pack who’s spurned Barack Obama’s tax plan. But what they forgot to do was check on Joe Wurzelbacher’s background.

Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years.

Over at The Jed Report, he feels the same way I do about “Joe the Plumber”, but he found some interesting facts out also.

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