Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last Call

I mentioned last month that Iowa's Republican Party had gone the full Birther by inserting a platform plank that insisted all candidates have to prove their US citizenship, and they went on to make a number of crazy assertions involving Roe v Wade, ACORN, and the Tenth Amendment.

Not to be outdone in the completely insane category, the Texas GOP has released their state platform (PDF).  Here are some of the...lowlights:

Limited Federal Powers –We strongly support state sovereignty reserved under the Tenth Amendment and oppose mandates beyond the scope of federal authority, as defined in the U.S. Constitution. We further support abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not originally delegated to the federal government under a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

We didn't need that Department of Education anyway.  We're Texas, goddammit.  Oh, but it gets worse.  It may be the greatest piece of performance art and political satire written in the last generation.

Blinded By The Light: Revved Up Like A Douche...

Another runner in the night. They hate President Obama so much, they are willing to do anything to get rid of him, even if it guarantees voting against their own self-interest and handing over the country to people like Paul Ryan.  John Cole flags down yet another long-winded diatribe painting POTUS as the most evil, awful man who ever lived.

Hmm?  "Well that's not news, Zandar" you say?  Oh, I'm not talking about Republicans.  I'm talking about why we lost so badly in 2010 and why we could very well lose again in 2012:  Democrats sworn to bring down Barack Obama, specifically raging useful idiots like Matt Stoller.

But there is another narrative, a real narrative about Barack Obama and his administration.  Obama is the ultimate cynic, a dishonest, highly reactionary social and corporate ladder climbing con artist.  Obama is the guy who calls a female reporter “sweety”, who plays poker with the guys, and who thinks that his senior advisor’s decision to cash out after making a “modest” salary of $172,000 at the White House is just natural.  He’s the guy who used the rationale that he’s a father of two girls as to why he doesn’t want young women to have access to Plan B.  He was in favor of gay marriage in 1996, flip flopped for political reasons, and then pretended to change his mind as a matter of conscience.  He runs on populism with a worse record than George W. Bush on income inequality.  His narcissism, and the post-modern ironic sense of self-awareness of how his narrative is put together and tended, is his defining character trait.  It’s not just that he’s a liar.  Lyndon Johnson was a liar, but LBJ lied us into a war in Vietnam as well as a war on poverty.  FDR lied all the time, for good and ill.  Obama’s entire edifice is based on lying almost entirely to help sustain his image, with almost no interest in sound policy-making.  Obama understands the threat of climate change, but like the exceptional con artist he is, what happens to others he does not know, or what happens in the future, is irrelevant to him.  He understands banking, and war, and women’s issues, and corruption and Citizens United.  Like a great con artist, he has studied his mark, the American voter, and specifically the Democratic voter, and he understands which buttons to push.

And his rant goes on like this for paragraphs more, a man so utterly filled with hatred for Barack Obama (who apparently only got elected because he "tricked" stupid Americans like you and me), a man who in one text wall of a paragraph proves beyond any doubt he was never a Democrat, never a progressive, never a liberal, but a raging lunatic who has decided that only the purifying fires of total, unfettered Republican rule will scour the populace clean of sin and allow us to rise up against the One Percent.

This is going to be a long one, folks.  I've got a lot to get off my chest here.  Helpful jump break follows.

Brand New World

Republican Tea Party America has so gorram crushed our country through tax cuts for the rich, spending on stupid wars, and bankrupting our infrastructure that American cities are now forced to give away ad space on fire trucks, school buses, and even gorram fire hydrants just to try to keep basic services.

After Baltimore officials made the wrenching decision to close three fire companies later this summer, the City Council initially sought to avert the cuts with a new money-raising strategy: it passed a resolution this month urging the administration to explore selling ads on the city’s fire trucks. 

It is far from clear whether corporate logos will be painted on Baltimore’s fire engines any time soon. Officials in Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration have expressed doubts about whether the proposal would generate enough money to keep even one fire company open. 

But in exploring the option, Baltimore is joining dozens of other financially struggling cities, transit systems and school districts around the country that are trying to weather the economic downturn by selling advertisements, naming rights and sponsorships to raise money. 

We have so destroyed our urban centers economically that we're literally selling public services as endorsements just to keep fire departments open and people and cities from burning to death, like we're a friggin third world hellhole.

KFC became a pioneer in this kind of unconventional ad placement earlier in the downturn, when it temporarily plastered its logo on manhole covers and fire hydrants in several cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee after paying to fill potholes and replace hydrants. 

Pizza chains now advertise on some school buses, as a growing number of states consider allowing school districts to sell ads. The Baltimore City Council member who wrote the legislation urging the city to sell ads on fire trucks, William Welch, said he was simply trying to find a way to help the city meet its growing needs in a time of dwindling revenues and support. 

“As I’ve looked at budgets, they get bigger with less support from the federal and state governments,” Mr. Welch said. “And we can’t tax people out of existence. We’re trying, our mayor’s trying, to bring 10,000 more people back to Baltimore city. And if you have an increasing fee or tax structure, you’re not going to be able to do that. So you have to create alternatives.” 

We can't tax people at all, because taxation is now theft and it will get you killed politically.  We've become a nation of "screw your neighbor" where 99% of us, we all fight for crumbs from the table while the insanely rich laugh at us and buy more of our political system every day.  When you make basic services and infrastructure compete against each other in death matches, you have winners, and you have losers.

The funny part is in this rigged game, we're the losers for even playing.   Welcome to the United States of Hell.

Criminal Teacher Of The Week

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California high school teacher was arrested on suspicion of directing students to assault at least one other student in a classroom hazing incident, police said Sunday.
Emmanuel Delarosa, 27, along with four other students were arrested Saturday after a student who said he was a victim of the hazing contacted school police, Fontana police Sgt. Robert Morris said.
Investigators alleged that Delarosa, a summer school teacher at A.B. Miller High School, knew about the hazing - and in at least one instance directed some students to carry out the hazing to curb behavior problems in the classroom, Morris said.
Jail records show that an 18-year-old student arrested in the case faces charges of assault, child cruelty and attempted sodomy. Fernando Manuel Salgado was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Whatever it was, it can't be good when it involves the words arrested and sodomy.  Seriously, how do these people get jobs while good people starve?

Epic Fail: DEA Admin Bombs Questioning

Please, if you can, take five minutes to watch this.  This is our government at work.  This woman is supposed to answer questions about illegal drugs, and simple refuses to do so.  I cannot believe she is so stupid she doesn't realize what she is doing.  Therefore, I have to assume she is stubborn and incapable of rational discussion about illegal drugs.

Which is kind of important, considering her job.

This woman uses "believe" between nervous gulps.  She is so rattled you can tell she is scrambling to think of answers besides the obvious one, the truth.  You don't have to endorse marijuana to acknowledge that heroin and crack are more dangerous.  Numbers, facts and statistics do that for her, if she would answer honestly.  He didn't even ask the golden question, whether alcohol's numbers show it is more dangerous than marijuana.  I was waiting, but he ran out of time.  She stalled him out.  She simply refused to answer his questions until time ran out, and made an ass of herself and the DEA in the process.

For those who cannot watch, I'll give the rundown. But seriously, you're missing out. Here are some highlights:

Polis:  Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?
Leonhart: I believe all... (gulp) all illegal drugs are bad.

Polis: Is methamphetamine worse for someone's health than marijuana?
Leohart: Again, I don't think any illegal drug...

Polis: Is heroin  worse for someone's health than marijuana?
Leohart: All illegal drugs are... are bad.

This was their golden opportunity to make a valid argument.  There are some points worth considering, and she surely was armed with facts whether she chose to speak them or not.   Instead, she couldn't have made her side look worse.  She is a disgrace, by refusing to use her position and knowledge to answer questions in a simple discussion.

What I find refreshing is that the "believe" and "think" bullshittery that has worked for so long is starting to wear thin.  When this broad can't bring herself to say that methamphetamine is more dangerous than marijuana, you know she is lying through her teeth.  Here it's so obvious you cannot escape the refusal to answer honestly.  I almost feel sorry for her but then I watch her bring it on herself.  This man was not tricking her, he was asking straightforward and legitimate questions.

Facts speak for themselves.  Idiots speak for the DEA.

Here's an even more eloquent speech on drug use:

For The One Who Has It All...

Hey One Percenters!  Why not buy that special person in your life the gift of being able to get away from it all whenever you want?  Nothing beats your own artificial island!

An Austrian firm has come up what it hopes is the next big thing for the mega-rich: a man-made, floating “island” with a list price of 5.2 million euros ($6.5 million), the company’s founder told AFP Monday.

Measuring 20 by 37 metres (66 by 121 feet), the “Orsos Island” has no engine but can be anchored anywhere its owners choose and then towed to another location the other side of the world if they so wish, Hungarian-born Gabor Orsos said.

“The interest has been massive from all over the world, from Australia, China, the United States. We have already had the first pre-orders and we have some potential buyers coming from Australia next week,” the entrepreneur said.

The island is environmentally friendly and fully self-sufficient, with solar panels and wind generators providing power. It can sleep 12 people plus crew and offers 1,000 square metres of living space.

It's basically a glorified super houseboat with solar and wind generators.   I have to admit, if I ever won the lottery, this would be on the list.  And hey, it's green friendly with no carbon footprint.  Once you get it where it needs to be, that is.

Go figure.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

The mask slips, and Republicans tell the truth about their agenda, in this case Voter ID laws.  Meet Pennsylvania GOP House majority leader Mike Turzai.

“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.
“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Voter ID is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.   Not "Voter ID laws are going to protect the integrity of voting" or "Voter ID laws are going to prevent fraud" or "Voter ID laws will give the public confidence in the system" or even "Voter ID laws are a necessary function in today's digital age" but they are going to allow Mitt Romney to win Pennsylvania.

Any reader of ZVTS has witnessed my rants on voter suppression being the major issue of 2012's election, and how Voter ID laws will be used to take the right to vote away from groups that favor Democrats, plain and simple.  Republicans know it.  Democrats know it.  And yet we all pretend it's some noble cause to defend our liberty when it has always, always been a scam to strip the vote from poor urban minorities who pull the lever for Dems.

And here Mike Turzai happily admits that not only is the Voter ID law that Republicans passed going to help Mitt Romney win the state, but that helping Mitt Romney win the state was the entire point of passing the law at this juncture.

The same of course is true of every other Republican state that has passed Voter ID laws since President Obama won election in 2008, in order to prevent him from winning again in 2012 or to keep any other Democrat from winning elections.

All that matters to Republicans is winning.  They don't give a damn about voting integrity, or fraud, or any of that nonsense.  The law is designed to keep Democrats from voting so Republicans win.  Period.

And now we finally have a Republican admitting the truth about Voter ID laws.  They are targeted voter suppression of Democrats.   This is how Republicans plan to win from here on out.

So what do you plan to do about it?


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