Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Last Call

Matt Osborne says "Pass the Damn Bill!"

During this recession, there have been five unemployed applicants to every new job. Hiring discrimination against the unemployed has made it even harder for the unemployed to find a job. Today, more Americans are unemployed than serving in the American military:
That “army,” in turn, accounts for 17 percent of the American labor force, if one includes part-time workers who need and want full-time work and the millions of unemployed Americans who have grown so discouraged that they’ve given up looking for jobs and so aren’t counted in the official unemployment figures. As is its historic duty, that force of idle workers is once again driving down wages, lengthening working hours, eroding on-the-job conditions, and adding an element of raw fear to the lives of anyone still lucky enough to have a job.
The president has submitted a bill to Congress that would create jobs building schools and repairing infrastructure.  The president’s bill would also prohibit discrimination in hiring the unemployed and create new incentives to hire them. But House Republicans are balking at tax increases to pay for all this, even though the Congressional Budget Office says it will reduce the deficit.

But Republicans would rather see Obama lose his job than help millions of America's unemployed, and they expect you not to give a damn either.  Rugged individualism has turned into "I got mine, screw you."   So what can you do?

ACTION: Call your elected representative and tell them to pass the American Jobs Act now. You can find their office phone listed here, or call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected.

Geoff Davis's office has already heard from me on this.  Make your voice heard.  If you do nothing, why should you expect the Republicans to be any different?

Oh, and if you have a Dem representing you?  Call them anyway.

Follow Up: Angry Dad Faces Felony Charges

Not long ago, I posted about a dad who smacked his son in the face and threw him overboard, where the boy was in danger of drowning or being hit by one of many boats nearby.  I almost didn't write that article, because I just couldn't believe it was true.  It turns out it most likely is.  The good news is the dad is facing felony charges, and if he did any of this he bloody well should.

The Orange County District Attorney's office charged 35-year-old Sloan Briles Wednesday with one felony count of child abuse and endangerment and one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer.

He could face up to six years in prison if convicted.

Authorities say Briles repeatedly slapped his son in the face on an Aug. 28 cruise in Newport Harbor then threw the child overboard.
He is still claiming it was rough play.  Whatever.  Let's hope he does some hard time, and then I bet he looks at rough play differently going forward.  If he isn't criminal, he's at the very best dumb as a bag of hammers and has no right being around children.

Too Stupid To Be Believable

I'm sure this is no surprise to anyone who follows news or politics, but the discrimination by government officials has to stop.  I just want to slap this woman and say, "Oh yeah?  Well my religion prohibits acting like a pompous bitch, and you are in violation.  Whatcha gonna do about that?"

An Oklahoma state representative has received thousands of hostile e-mail messages after she said that homosexuality is a bigger threat to national security than terrorism.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating more than 17,000 mostly hostile e-mails that were sent to State Rep. Sally Kern after parts of a speech she gave to a Republican organization earlier this year were posted on YouTube, said bureau spokeswoman Jessica Brown. Listen to portions of the speech.
So, here we go again.  It's her job to REPRESENT THE GODDAMN PEOPLE.  Not tell them how to live, or how they should feel.  Government's job is to serve us, not rule us.  If we don't get this raging stupidity under control, we're doomed.  It's just that simple.

How can someone who serves the public discriminate openly against law-abiding citizens?  Besides the matter of who the hell does she think she is, there is also the matter of separating personal from work.  We all have the freedom to think what we please, but once it leaves our mouth we are accountable.  This is a disgrace, and the fact that no immediate action has been taken is inexcusable.

The Retrograde Decade

Republicans like to talk about how the Bush Boom was so great from 2003-2007, but the reality is the entire 2000-2010 decade was awful for America.

Median household income fell 2.3% to $49,445 last year and has dropped 7% since 2000 after adjusting for inflation, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. Income was the lowest since 1996.

Poverty rose, too. The share of people living in poverty hit 15.1%, the highest level since 1993, and 2.6 million more people moved into poverty, the most since Census began keeping track in 1959.

Overall the American middle class basically never recovered from the 2002 recession.  The housing and credit bubble formed to pull us out of the funk while we spent billions on Iraq and Afghanistan rather than the US was five years of paper growth that detonated in our faces in 2008, but it lasted long enough to get Bush re-elected.  Overall the middle class has taken a serious hit in this country in the last ten years.  And 2012 may very well mean another even worse decade is ahead.

Don't Catch The Gay!

TMZ ran this little gem:

Chaz Bono dancing the Cha Cha on TV ... in front of your kids ... will NOT make them want to have a sex change -- at least according to the American Psychiatric Association.

In a recent article, psychiatrist and former talk show host Dr. Keith Ablow suggested kids could develop Gender Identity Disorder (GID) just from watching Chaz on "Dancing With the Stars."

John M. Oldham, M.D. -- the APA President -- acknowledges GID is a psychiatric disorder ... but also told TMZ, "There is no evidence that viewing a television game show with a transgender contestant would induce Gender Identity Disorder in young people."

That someone would suggest such a thing is disgusting. Being aware that different types of people exist doesn't mean they will imitate them without thought. Do they not believe kids can think for themselves?  Sure, parents guide them but we are all born with a brain.  Are they really concerned that seeing a gay or transgendered person will make them fall helpless under their spell?

What assholes.

This Week's WTH - Can You Hear Yourself Edition

What a load of crap:

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina House of Representatives passed today, 75-42, a proposed anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment that would ban marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and other relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

The House took up the amendment after its rushed passage through the chamber’s Rules Committee earlier this afternoon. It came as another surprise move by Republican legislative leaders, who had previously announced, though sneakily, that the amendment would be heard today in a Senate committee. Sources say two GOP senators had excused absences, leaving the body without the votes for passage.

That's obnoxious. Government should represent all people, regardless of their personal choices. This is a pathetic ruse to discriminate under the guise of "decency" that only appeals to a section of people. It just happens to be the section in charge.

These control freaks can call it anything they want. What they believe, how they want to define, what they think is acceptable is not the point. The point is that they don't have the right to deny rights or recognition to citizens based on choices that are not illegal. They should not explain what they believe, but why it is any of their business in the first place. Or why they think their beliefs are a right to deny legal recognition of a smaller but productive group in society.

What we’re trying to do is respect the concerns of some who felt like this was purely politically-motivated,” Tillis said at the press conference. “I decided, consulting with a number of people, and we decided that this was the most acceptable form. It was a discussion that involved both chambers. There are some members who were inclined to support the bill and did feel like political considerations were an issue that might cause them not to vote for something they would otherwise support.”

That's like ten pounds of bullshit in a five pound bag. In other words, what we have here is bullshit busting out all over the place. Is he trying to say refusing to acknowledge adults participating in legal behavior is anything but political?  And if it isn't politically motivated, again... what the hell is it to them anyway?

It's time to demand respect for people instead of using beliefs and socially allowed discrimination to treat people poorly for no reason.  "I don't like it" is not enough.

A. Weiner Is Not The Dems

As I hinted at earlier this week, Republican Bob Turner handily won the NY-9 special election for Anthony Weiner's seat.

Republican Bob Turner on Tuesday won the special election in New York's heavily Democratic ninth congressional district -- pulling a huge upset that few would have predicted just months ago.

Turner ran against Democrat David Weprin in a heated, summer-long race that ignited Democratic fears of a quiet election morphing into a referendum on the party and President Barack Obama, ahead of next year's elections.

"We've asked the people of this district to send a message to Washington, and I hope they hear it loud and clear," Turner said at his election party in Queens with a packed room, many of them Orthodox Jews.

"Mr. President, you are on the wrong track."

Turner came in with 54% of the vote while Weprin placed second at 46%, with 100% precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from Valerie Vazquez, communications director for the New York City Board of Elections.

The Cook PVI for the district is D+5, meaning Turner's 8-point win is seriously bad news for Dems, who let this seat get away from them.   Republicans went after this seat with a purpose, playing dirty and attacking the Dems on both same-sex marriage and the "Ground Zero mosque", which in a heavily Jewish district was enough to give Bob Turner a comfortable win that was really never in doubt.

Republicans organized and did what they had to in order to win.  They used bigotry, homophobia and Islamophobia to scare their base into turning out...but they won.  Democrats nationally ignored this election and let this seat get away, just like Scott Brown's Senate seat.  There was no organization to push Weprin to stop the crazy.

More than anything else, Dem voter apathy is the most powerful weapon the Republicans have.  If you stay home in 2012, this will happen dozens of times over again a year from now, and the GOP will take total control of the country.

And they will do everything they can to make being a Democrat illegal.  You can stop it.  But only if you ACT.

The Mighty, Misses: Zip

Leave it to the Brits at the Guardian to explain what Republicans in Mississippi are trying to do with their state constitutional referendum on "personhood" at conception means from a legal standpoint:  not only would it immediately criminalize all abortions as murder, but it would criminalize most forms of contraception and miscarriages as well as making in-vitro fertilization a legal minefield.  These Personhood USA guys have just declared war on your uterus.

Brian Atwood, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said if passed the amendment could "severely limit women's access to birth control, in vitro fertilisation and life-saving medical procedures."

Parenthood USA aims eventually to amend the US constitution, effectively outlawing abortion across the country almost 40 years after it was guaranteed by the landmark Roe vs Wade Supreme Court verdict.

The group claims that the medical understanding of maternity when the decision was made in 1973 was "a far cry from what is known today" because ultrasound and DNA testing were not yet in use.

It is seeking to exploit the verdict's so-called "Blackmun Hole", supposedly opened when Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the verdict, said a foetus's right to life would be guaranteed if its "personhood" were established.

Women's rights groups reject that any of this alters a woman's right to an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees privacy.

They also say that the amendment would see a ban on the contraceptive pill, because it prevents fertilised eggs being implanted in the womb, and also outlaw contraception for rape victims.

Tara Broderick, the head of Planned Parenthood in Ohio, said the planned measure was "dangerous and deceptive."

"If it passes, it changes the state constitution and puts the government smack in the middle of personal, private medical decisions between women and their doctors," she said. 

And here's the absolute best part of this movement:  

Personhood USA, which claims to "serve Jesus by being an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves", is aiming to hold a dozen such referendums across the country on election day 2012

Now let's imagine it's November 2012, at least one of these personhood referendums pass, and President Perry is waiting in the White House to make sure SCOTUS gets this "momentous" decision right.

Still think saying home in 2012 is a good idea?

Your Political Cartoon Of The Moment

From Lee Judge at the Kansas City Star:

Fast service, yes?


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