Saturday, July 2, 2011

Koch'ed Red-Handed

America's favorite tea party gazillionaires the Koch Brothers are at it again.

A Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Koch Industries has admitted to making illegal campaign contributions to political candidates and committees.

INVISTA is a limited liability company involved in the textile manufacturing business that is organized in Luxembourg but headquartered in Kansas. They admitted in a filing with the Federal Election Commission that was disclosed this week that they made 12 contributions totally $26,800 to various political committees between Nov. 2005 and Oct. 2009.

INVESTA voluntarily disclosed the violations to the FEC in Aug. 2010 after an investigation by Koch Companies Public Sector (KCPA), which represents Koch Industries and their affiliates, and outside counsel. Their investigation revealed that the employees involved with making the donation decisions did not know INVESTA was a foreign entity and did not know that foreign corporations could not contribute to state elections like corporations could.

To recap, the Koch Industries investigation of Koch Industries found that Koch Industries didn't violate the campaign donation laws on purpose, so they've decided to voluntarily throw money at the FEC to make up for it because that that's what Koch Industries does.  The $4,700 that the company is paying in "voluntary fines" represents roughly the amount of money these assclowns make when they sneeze, and of course they expect the FEC will take their word for it.

Which of course they will.

The Kroog Versus Hoover

Paul Krugman has lost hope in the President.

From today’s radio address:
Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.
Yep, the false government-family equivalence, the myth of expansionary austerity, and the confidence fairy, all in just two sentences.

And if he had stopped there, he'd have a valid argument.  But then like most of the Manic Progressives, he personalizes and internalizes "Obama's betrayal" and makes it all about himself.

Read this and this to see why he’s wrong. This is truly a tragedy: the great progressive hope (well, I did warn people) is falling all over himself to endorse right-wing economic fallacies.

And thus as the Kroog sees Obama's betrayal in two sentences, he himself becomes the just one sentence.

Et tu, Kroog?

Race To The Bottom In Michigan

A federal court has finally struck down Michigan's 2006 ban on affirmative action.

In a 2-1 decision, the Appellate panel ruled that Prop 2 violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. "The majority may not manipulate the channels of change in a manner that places unique burdens on issues of importance to racial minorities," Judges R. Guy Cole and Martha Craig Daughtrey wrote in the majority opinion.

Prop 2 was passed in November 2006 by a vote of 58%-42%, and the Detroit Free Press reports that in the breakdown, it was "overwhelmingly approved by white voters and overwhelmingly rejected by blacks." 

The Supreme Court threw out Prop 2's total ban on affirmative action in Michigan, but a separate case left the ban on using it for college admissions.  Now that ban is gone as well.  Naturally it's "judicial activism" and "state-sanctioned racism" because whites have been victimized for 236 years now in America by our long line of black Presidents.  After all if the law says racism is illegal, then nobody will ever break that law, so that means discrimination doesn't exist and there's no need for affirmative action.

In other words, white conservatives say Barack Obama as President proves racism is dead in America so there's no need for affirmative action (while complaining about his "arrogant gangster thug" administration and comparing his wife to a lower primate) and black conservatives say as long as affirmative action exists, blacks will continue to be discriminated against, because discrimination doesn't exist because it's illegal, only discriminatory affirmative action does.

Awesome.  Can't wait for another week or two of this.

CSI, DUI, What's The Difference?

Gary Dourdan SMASHED his SUV into a parked 1969 Ford truck on the night he was arrested for drug possession in L.A. ... and now the owner of the truck says Gary refuses to pay for the damage.

The owner of the truck says her car was towed away from the scene ... but it remains in an impound lot because she can't afford to pay the bill ... and claims Gary is ducking her insurance company.
This is not the first time this has happened.  Dourdan (he played Warrick for those who may have forgotten) has been in trouble for drugs and rumors insinuated it had something to do with the reason his character was killed off on CSI.  Around the time he left the show there were also rumors saying he couldn't get along with some members of the cast.  Dodging a woman who can't afford to get her truck out?  That's a new low.  She was parked, there is little question it's his fault.  An act of kindness could go a long way towards redeeming a damaged reputation.

Chip Off The Old Block

Larry Flynt's daughter Theresa is being sued for sexual harassment

Theresa Flynt is being sued by Steven Prescott, Hustler's West Coast District Manager, who claims in the lawsuit ... over a period of 2 years Theresa repeatedly harassed him through sexual text messages, unwanted touching, grinding, hugging, caressing and leering.

According to the suit, Theresa even acknowledged the alleged harassment with this comment: "OMG ... I"m totally sexually harassing you right now."

There is no comment from the other side of the fence, which makes me wonder if there isn't something going on.  Frankly, my first thought was someone was going for a payout based on the family name.

Ironic License, Please

One of the Ohio Republicans who pushed a state law to toughen voter ID restrictions to "prevent fraud" because there's no reason why "citizens wouldn't have a driver's license" would himself lose the right to vote under the law because his license may be revoked for an Indiana DUI.

On April 23, an Indiana state trooper pulled Rep. Robert Mecklenborg over for a burned out headlight on a 2004 Lexus he was driving. After failing three separate field sobriety tests, Mecklenborg allegedly refused to take a breath test and was placed under arrest. A blood test later revealed that he had recently taken a Viagra.

"Given that he likely is not in possession of his own drivers license (it should have been confiscated and suspended in accordance with Indiana DUI law and procedure), perhaps he will opt to arrest his drive to repress voting rights," the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee's Carolyn Fiddler wrote in a blog post.
Mecklenborg's arrest was first reported by local news station WLWT. His arrest report has been posted online. It shows that Mecklenborg was accompanied by a 26-year-old woman, who a local blogger claims has "personal connections" with Concepts Show Girls strip club, which is right near where Mecklenborg was arrested.

Republican stupidity really cannot be demonstrated in the real world any better than this.  In their zeal to make voting as hard as possible for students, the elderly, minorities, and the poor, this asshole caught drunk and on Viagra with a 26-year old girl near a strip club would in fact revoke his own right to vote, on top of being a criminal douchebag while proclaiming to the world that only bad, evil people would be against a voter ID law.  They can't even take over the country when the means to take over the country are literally handed to them, because they're too busy thinking with the wrong head and getting arrested for breaking laws they are supposed to be writing in the first place.  Joss Whedon could not pen better material for any medium.

The irony, it forms myriad threads that interweave on so many different levels, it creates a 17-dimensional sweater.  I understand that yes, Republicans are still dangerously crooked bastards who will destroy the country given the first opportunity to enrich themselves (and proceed to do so on a daily basis) but the Darwinian elimination of the ones who are just too stupid to get that simple process down?  Why, that's the only moment of levity we have on this ginormous wallowing dirigible bound for the lower planes.

And yes, there are strip clubs in Indiana.

The Fourteenth Option

Since it became clear that the GOP will even throw away their own position from March and is now willing to let the country default on its debt and collapse the economy, a number of people in the last week have brought up Plan B: the fourteenth amendment's provision on federal debt.  Brian Beutler:

On a conference call with reporters Friday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) acknowledged that President Obama may not need Congressional authorization to avoid a default on the national debt. But he noted, too, that the Constitutional debate on this question isn't ripe enough yet for Obama to take an end run around Congress, even if Republicans refuse to increase the national borrowing limit.

I asked Schumer, a lawyer, whether, in his view, the administration had the power to continue issuing new debt even if Congress fails to raise the debt limit. He acknowledged that the question's been discussed, but said the White House probably shouldn't go there just yet.

"It's certainly worth exploring," Schumer said. "I think it needs a little more exploration and study. It's probably not right to pursue at this point and you wouldn't want to go ahead and issue the debt and then have the courts reverse it."

What's Schumer talking about?  This:

For weeks, liberal legal academics have been arguing that the fourth section of the 14th Amendment forbids Congress from defaulting. "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law...shall not be questioned," it reads. More recently, Democratic members of Congress have been eyeing this interpretation as a sort of escape hatch: Why should we be debating raising the debt limit on the GOP's draconian terms if the Constitution says Congress can't force a default. 

 The 14th Amendment reads, in part:

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

Some scholars believe that clause means that Congress cannot arbitrarily limit public debt.   But there's never really been a major Supreme Court ruling or even federal precedent on this, so it's a hell of a gamble, legally.

Then again, so is defaulting and putting us into a recession/depression.  I hope this card never has to be played, but then again, the Republicans aren't exactly leaving President Obama with many choices right now.

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