Monday, February 27, 2012

Last Call

Via Tbogg, Mitt Romney once again commits the worst sin a politician can make:  lying badly enough to get caught red-handed.

Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.

“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.

The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore.

The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.

Only one problem with Romney's reminiscing...

And it took place June 1, 1946 — fully nine months before Romney was born

It's like Mitt's plan is to run the worst Presidential campaign in modern history so that the country ends up with Santorum in the White House, and he's doing a bang-up job of it.

Drive Thru Stupidity

OREM — It almost sounds too bizarre to be true, a Utah County teen is under arrest, accused of robbing two banks in less than an hour.

Authorities said a 16-year old boy allegedly took his mother's car without permission, drove to a nearby Central Bank branch and pulled into the drive up lane.

"He sent a note through the drive-thru canister telling the teller to send him money," said Orem Police Sgt. Craig Martinez. "He inferred on the note that he had a weapon."

After complying with the young man's demands, the tellers contacted police and were able to give a detailed description of the vehicle, including the license plate number. But before investigators were able to track the boy down, he allegedly used the same modus operandi at an America First Credit Union branch just 20 minutes later.
The article makes it clear Mom knew nothing about what her son was up to.  Still, it's sad that he will enter life with this kind of black mark on his record, because nobody got a win from this.  I'm honestly surprised there weren't charges pressed on the mother simply because of his age and that he used her car in the crime.

I'm also surprised that it worked.  I'd have sent a note back saying we'd be right with him after calling 911 from behind our bullet proof glass, and provide a picture of the car.  Better luck next time, Buttercup.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Screaming Kids Part II

COMMENTARY | Grant Central Pizza of Atlanta, Georgia has finally done the unforgivable -- they have printed a disclaimer upon their menus asking parents to remove their unruly children from the restaurant. Why is this so unforgivable? Because in this modern age, no one is allowed to notice, let alone comment upon, children causing a disruption. Walk into a Wal-Mart at any time of the day or night and you will hear a cacophony of screams coming from children scattered around the store. Like sirens they blare unhindered by the apparently deaf parents.

When did such total lack of social consideration become our sentence? My father informs me I threw a temper tantrum once in public only once. I don't remember it, nor do I know what happened afterward, but I grew up knowing public displays of temper, aggression, or screeching were prohibited.

In recent years I have become a practical recluse in attempt to avoid shrieks of children in restaurants and theaters. If I am having a meal with friends and I have to shout over howling children or dodge projectiles lobbed at my head I am unlikely to return to an establishment that attracts such clientele. I was in a Trader Joe's recently and had to escape when I could no longer navigate around the toddlers with their individual carts and their middle aged mothers who didn't think it necessary to keep traffic flowing.
Some would label the author as judgmental or uptight, but I agree.  I can't go anywhere without someone's unattended brats opening packages, destroying property, or annoying the hell out of everyone around them.  Not all kids are this way, but plenty are.  It's nice to see an adult-only or well-behaved-kids-only policy in place once in a while.  The world is full of places to take children, there is no reason whatsoever to hate a business that caters to a legitimate desire.

More articles and studies are telling us how unhealthy it is to multitask and let the world pass you by.  We need to unplug and have real interactions with people.  It's difficult to enjoy a quiet, calming meal with someone's kids screaming next to you.  It's hard to unplug from your own children, but dealing with  strangers makes it impossible.  Especially strangers who came to the restaurant to dump their kids on the village so they can unwind.

Peace and quiet: it's a good thing.

Happy Belated Birthday To The Man In Black

Many thanks to Wired, who reminded me about Johnny Cash's birthday and A Boy Named Sue. I'm in my thirties and I still laugh when I hear "how do you DO? My name is SUE! Now you're gonna DIE!" Cash had a style all his own, and this was one of those perfect marriages between the right singer and the right song. Dry and with the air of one who is discreetly amused, Cash could tell a hell of a story.

In February 1969, Johnny Cash had a party at his house in Hendersonville, TN. As the evening went on, the party turned into a guitar pull, with some of Johnny’s friends trying out their latest songs. “Bob Dylan sang ‘Lay Lady Lay,’” recalled Cash. “Kris Kristofferson sang ‘Me and Bobby McGee.’ Joni Mitchell sang ‘Both Sides Now.’ Graham Nash sang ‘Marrakesh Express.’ And Shel Silverstein sang ‘A Boy Named Sue.’”

Cash loved Silverstein’s tune and asked him to write down the words. He might not have realized it then, but the song was about to change his life. He said, “We were leaving the next day to go to California and June said, ‘Take the words to ‘A Boy Named Sue’ to California. You’ll want to record that at San Quentin.’ I said, ‘I don’t have time to learn that song before the show.’ And she said, ‘Well, take them anyway.’”

Despite reading the lyrics, Cash gave the song his all, investing it with an actor’s bravado. There’s also a spontaneity and joy about the performance, with Cash obviously amused by Silverstein’s clever lyrics. And the inmates loved it, whooping and laughing along, especially when Cash shouted the lines, “My name is Sue! How do you do? Now you’re gonna die!” From the ovation at the song’s end, Cash suspected he might have a hit on his hands.

GOP Stupidity? Bring It On.

Author Robert Creamer agrees with what I've been saying for a while: GOP stupidity has jumped the shark to such a degree that it is actually a benefit to Dems.

Mr. Creamer starts with the obvious birth control issue, which has by far done the most damage.  Republicans generally play it safe and pick on minorities who don't have the numbers to come together and make them pay at the polls for their ignorance.  Now they've taken on an issue that affects women on a huge scale, and instead of backing away from the minefield they are charging right in.  Further down in the article he covers a few smaller or less recent mistakes that are piling up.  They are falling apart, and it's starting to show.  Choosing between Planned Parenthood and Forced Parenthood isn't much of a contest.

Taking on half the country's medical rights is stupid.  It's a texbook bad move.  It's right up there with a land war in Asia, or going against a Sicilian when death is on the line.  It's worse than messing around with Jim or saying "I'll be right back" if you suspect a killer in a hockey mask is on the scene.  Yet these fools are so proud of their righteousness that they are forgetting their job is to take care of Americans.  All of them.  And until they figure it out, they are doing more harm to their reputation than any mudslinging from the left could ever accomplish.

Not all women are pro-choice, as is their right.  However, the numbers show that virtually every woman supports contraception, and the majority of men.  The GOP attack on that has brought the cheers to silence, and made many women realize that our medical rights are in jeopardy.  It's not just abortion now, and that has led to many questions and clarifications.  If the two issues become permanently linked this could be the event that starts the return to medical services for women.  They had a chance to ease up.  Any one candidate could have stepped in with the voice of reason and scooped up millions of votes.  Instead, this double down epic fail shame spiral is what Republicans have to cope with.  Creamer's article does mention the trickle-down effect to all Republicans.  I had been more focused on all things presidential, but of course he's right.

The saving grace is that our votes are secret and personal.  Voters will have the privacy they need to make candidates feel the backlash.  Of course, it's an entirely different matter altogether as to whether Republicans will attribute it to their misogyny, or if they will blame it on something else.  Right now, I'll be satisfied if they have the debate while looking for a new job.

Tyranny Of The Majority

It's a good thing that we don't subject rights to voting, because of things like this.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case involving the use of race as a factor in college admissions. Most voters oppose the use of so-called affirmative action policies at colleges and universities and continue to believe those policies have not been successful despite being in place for 50 years.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 24% of Likely U.S. Voters favor applying affirmative action policies to college admissions. Fifty-five percent (55%) oppose the use of such policies to determine who is admitted to colleges and universities. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided.

So let's keep in mind that there's a reason why the GOP wants to change state constitutions with 50% + 1 referendums in order to exclude people all the time.  Rasmussen's questions were about as hostile as they possibly could be to the subject, by the way.  They were designed to get this reaction, and the right will use it to justify a Constitutional amendment to end it.

I mean, if the GOP gets control, they're going to end birth control, health care, living wages and dignity for people who can't afford them, let's just end higher education too.  The country needs a couple million inner city janitors, you know.

Nullification And Void, The Return

I've discussed the legal aspect of nullification before, where the states decide the Tenth Amendment means they don't have to follow laws they don't want to.  South Carolina tried it 1832 and got smacked down by Andrew Jackson over it (literally, Congress passed legislation authorizing the use of force against SC over this and Columbia folded in 1833.)   The nullification effort by South Carolina was basically the first real shot fired in the Civil War, although the real bullets wouldn't fly until nearly three decades later. 

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and even before the passage of it, red states like Arizona began beating the nullification drum again.  Arizona was just one of many states that passed nullification laws in protest to President Obama being elected.   It's meaningless of course because the of the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the Constitution:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Of course, that didn't stop South Carolina from trying to ignore it anyway based on the Tenth Amendment, and oh yeah, the Civil War, like I mentioned.

Over at PoliticusUSA, Rmuse finds Georgia Republicans have gone one big step further and want to basically opt out of the union altogether:

The Georgia legislators introduced the nullification bill that is summed up with the words, “In the event the General Assembly votes by a constitutional majority to nullify any federal statute, mandate, or executive order on the grounds of constitutionality, neither the state nor its citizens shall recognize or be obligated to live under such statute, mandate, or executive order.” The similarities to pre-Civil War sensibilities of Southern states is remarkable and reflect opposition to, among other things, the Affordable Care Act and the right of women to choose their own reproductive health. However, the impetus of nullification is rejection of Barack Obama as President of the United States and not any one particular law.

And of course this is all about having a black President in the White House.  It was obvious as to why this happened in 1832 and obvious now.

The unconstitutional idea that a state can nullify federal law was invoked during the 1830’s by slave owners in southern states nearly caused a civil war at the time, and was the motivation of secessionists who did start America’s bloodiest conflict. Except for segregated southern states using nullification to maintain Jim Crow laws, the concept has been the purview of “constitutional radicalism” until January 2009. Its resurgence during President Obama’s administration increased with conservatives who are inspired by a neo-Confederate hate-group founder, Thomas Woods, who authored a book, “Nullification,” that argues “states have the final say” on a variety of issues.  Woods once published an article declaring the Confederacy was “Christendom’s Last Stand,” and endorses the view that the Civil War was a “battle between atheists, socialists, and communists” on one side and “friends of order” on the other. His words are eerily similar to conservative accusations against President Obama.

There are several states that attempted to pass nullification laws since President Obama took office, and they are all states with Republican majorities and governors. Virginia governor Bob McDonnell signed an obviously unconstitutional law that purports to nullify portions of the Affordable Care Act, and several states have followed suit with many considering so-called “sovereignty resolutions” which claim states have the power to ignore federal laws that conservatives oppose. In New Hampshire in 2009, four state legislators introduced a resolution which would invalidate the entire Constitution if Congress passed any law conflicting with the right-wing view of federal power. There is only one connection between all of these nullification attempts and it is they all occurred during President Obama’s term with many coming before the ACA was passed and signed into law.

It's ridiculous, but we're right back to 1832 again as far as the Republicans go.  Obama Derangement Syndrome is a pretty awful thing to witness.  And millions of Americans are okay with this level of hatred.


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