Saturday, July 7, 2012

Last Call

America!  No more Thad McCotter, Guitar Hero to kick around anymore as he's resigned from Congress.  I'm sure you're all heartbroken, too.  If only you could remember who this knucklehead was.

After nearly 26 years in elected office, this past nightmarish month and a half have, for the first time, severed the necessary harmony between the needs of my constituency and of my family. As this harmony is required to serve, its absence requires I leave.

The recent event's totality of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth of home amongst the ruins of their U.S. House office, for the sake of my loved ones I must "strike another match, go start anew" by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen.

I do not leave for an existing job and face diminishing prospects (and am both unwilling and ill-suited to lobby), my priorities are twofold: find gainful employment to help provide for my family; and continue to assist, in any way they see fit, the Michigan Attorney General's earnest and thorough investigation, which I requested, into the 2012 petition filing.

By the way, the whole "sovereign citizen" movement he references transitioning into?  A bunch of dangerous anarchist militia/white supremacist nutjobs, meaning that McCotter should have resigned over the comment anyway, he's either too ignorant of the very real danger that the movement possesses...

...or he's completely cognizant.   Then again, I vote for ignorance, since this moron couldn't even figure out how to get himself on his own primary ballot and lost.

And thus with a grand total of 3 posts, I retire his tag,  Bye, Thad.

You know, unless he does something even more stupid.

Keystone To The Election

It's entirely possible that 2012 could come down to Pennsylvania and the state's new voter identification suppression law that will be in effect in November.  It could cost Democrats as much as 750,000 votes in November...and the state.

And maybe the country.

As has been noted nationally, the estimated 750,000 voters who do not have state-issued IDs in Pennsylvania surpasses President Obama’s margin of victory in 2008. Given that many of the voters without ID are in poor and minority communities, Democrats assume the law will impact their turnout the most. And they’re not the only ones: the Republican leader of the state House, who helped shepherd the legislation onto the books, recently boasted that it will “allow” Mitt Romney win the Keystone State.

Democrats now have to make sure their voters know about the law, know if they comply, know how to get into compliance if they’re not — and do it all before Election Day. This could be a steep climb. TPM talked asked five Pennsylvania Democratic voters at Obama’s Pittsburgh rally Friday about their state’s voter ID law. Only one knew it existed.

“I heard about it in Florida but not here,” said Martin Hoberman, a voter from the Pittsburgh area.
Jim Burn, the state Democratic Party chair, says his forces are ready to integrate dealing with the voter ID law into their existing GOTV operations. But he acknowledged that he’s got another layer to contend with if that law remains in effect.

“Yes, many voters are not aware of it,” he said. “All the more responsibility on us that a.) they’re aware of it and b.) we give them what they need to get out and exercise their constitutional rights.”
How does he do that? There’s no list of record for voters who don’t have proper ID, so Democrats have to go about creating their own list of targets who fit the profile for lacking the identification based on geography, income and other means. Then they hit them with the voter ID messaging as part of standard field operations.

“When we’re going do to door, which we’re doing anyway to talk about A, B, C and D, we’re now talking about A, B, C, D and E,” Burn said.

He urged Democrats to keep calm and carry on.

“We’re taking it very seriously, but I don’t want voters to overreact to it,” he said. “If you don’t have what you need to vote and you’re not sure, reach out to us. And if you don’t reach out to us, don’t worry, we’re going to be coming to you anyway.”

More of that outreach is coming.  But that's money, time, and effort that has to be spent rather than getting new voters into the booth in November.   What I fear is that come November 8th, two news stories will be prevalent:  Hundreds of thousands of minority voters turned away in voter ID states like Pennsylvania, and Republicans gaining control of the Senate and White House.  One leads to the other.

And as far as Republicans are concerned, it's working as intended.

Train Of Thought

California legislators have finally approved the first leg of the state's high-speed rail project in a vote Friday.

In a vote of 21-16, lawmakers gave the go-ahead for the issuance of $2.6 billion in bonds, while Washington will provide an additional $3.2 billion. The bill also includes close to $2 billion in funding for local projects.

"Not only will California be the first state in the nation to build a high-speed rail system to connect our urban centers, we will also modernize and improve rail systems at the local and regional level. This plan will improve mobility for commuters and travelers alike, reduce emissions, and put thousands of people to work while enhancing our economic competitiveness," said Dan Richard, chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, a state agency.

The cost of the completed project is estimated at more than $68 billion. The first phase is set to be built in the state's Central Valley.

The bill heads next to the desk of California Gov. Jerry Brown, who has been a staunch supporter of the project. He says it will help create jobs and modernize the state's transportation system.

It's an ambitious project and absolutely necessary for job-starved California.  It's as close to a full-blown Public Works Administration rebirth in the state as you can get.  Good for them.  California is once again leading the nation out of the dark ages of superstition and nonsense.

Facebook Firings

On a Saturday morning in October 2010, Mariana Cole-Rivera, a domestic violence advocate at the group Hispanics United of Buffalo, began the Facebook thread that would get her fired. She wrote, “Lydia Cruz, a coworker feels that we don’t help our clients enough at HUB. I about had it! My fellow coworkers how do you feel?”
Within minutes, HUB colleagues began posting supportive comments. “What the Hell,” wrote one, “we don’t have a life as is, What else can we do???”
“I think we should give our paychecks to our clients so they can ‘pay’ the rent,” said another, “also we can take them to their Dr’s appts, and served as translators (oh! We do that).”
By Tuesday, Cole-Rivera and four of the co-workers who’d responded to her had lost their jobs. Their boss said their Facebook thread violated HUB’s harassment policy by disparaging a co-worker. The workers took their case to the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency charged with interpreting and enforcing U.S. labor law. A judge sided with them, but now the case is on appeal, and it’s poised to help answer a question for the socially networked era: Which Facebook posts can get you fired? As more and more of our daily speech migrates online, business groups are hoping that the NLRB will make it easier for employers to control that speech. It shouldn’t.
I read the cases cited in the full article, and I have mixed feelings.  The things these people said were stupid, thoughtless and often extremely derogatory.  If you call your boss an asshole to his face, you would expect to be fired on the spot (unless you have the coolest boss in the world).  Saying it on Facebook should be no exception, especially because you have the ability to protect that post from the public, or from mutual friends, or think better and not post it at all.

We all say things on Facebook we shouldn't, some people do it daily, others save it for a gloriously craptastic special occasion.  This issue is so avoidable and the examples so over the top, I find myself lacking in pity for the "victims" of employers who refuse to have sensitive information or public sparring out there to mar them forever.  

The one case I find interesting involves a man whose discussion was protected by a judge, but a different post making fun of an accident (granted, poor taste but still) got him fired.  Now that could be grounds for exploration and drawing lines of common sense.

The Java Made Me Do It

A man who grabbed teenage girls and women repeatedly has blamed his actions on too much caffeine. Yeah, I know.  I had to read it a few times myself.  Here is a link to the whole article, I included the juicier bits below.

SEATTLE - We have heard of temporary insanity, diminished capacity, the abuse excuse and even the Twinkie defense but a caffeine defense might be pushing it.
Nevertheless, that is what Kenneth Sands, 52, is attributing his incident involving him groping five females to - "an excessive intake of caffeine," as reported by
A bus driver for the Rainier School District by day, Sands is convicted of molesting three teenage high school girls and two women during and after a volleyball game on October 18, 2011.
The first groping incident of the night occurred while Sands was a spectator at the game when he "allegedly touched a 46-year-old woman's breasts multiple times and later tried to grab her butt as she was trying to get away from him," confirms a representative from the Lewis County Washington Sheriff's Office.
Following the game, Sands then grabbed two teenage girls outside of a school bus and proceeded to follow the volleyball players onto the bus. Sands allegedly touched another female student in an inappropriate manner. At that time "the bus driver kicked him off of the bus," according to the sheriff's office.
Sands insists his behavior was a result of caffeine and that this incident is not representative of his normal behavior.
Despite Sand's protestation of his consistent normalcy, Doctor Martin Blinder's expert psychiatric opinion of a caffeine induced groping is that he hasn't heard of such a thing.
The funny thing is, I was going to write about the Arkansas woman who left the scene of an accident because she didn't want her ice cream to melt, and then I ran into this beaut.

We are dangerously close to adding a "What is wrong with you people" tag.

Martin Blinder was the one who pitched the infamous Twinkie Defense, an attempt to excuse the murder of George Moscone and Harvey Milk based on his depression and diet of pure junk food.

Being felt up is our cross to bear.  Like white people will never quite know what it's like to be black, and straight people will never quite know what the gay experience is like, men will never know the real insult behind being grabbed.  It isn't a compliment (believe it or not I've heard that argument), it's an assault on our personal space.  It's a reminder that we are mostly valued for our attractiveness and compliance, and insinuates that our best accomplishment in life is growing boobs.  It is often meant to (and succeeds) put us in our place and remind us of the pecking order of things.

My husband saw what happened to the last man who goosed me.  It wasn't pretty.  He flew just fine, but what an awful landing.  Guys like this aren't amped on caffeine, they finally give in and just do what they want, to whomever they want.  Thank goodness there's a law against that, eh?

A Hard Day's Work

Nothing like getting $44 million for showing up for one day at work and then quitting.  The American dream in action, right?

When Duke Energy announced its merger with Progress Energy last year, the two companies agreed that Progress CEO Bill Johnson would assume the same position at the combined company. So he did: On June 27, Johnson signed a three-year contract to helm Duke. When the merger went into effect on July 2, he assumed the position of CEO.

And then, on July 3 at midnight, Johnson resigned.

He resigned and hit the jackpot.

Despite his short-lived tenure, Mr. Johnson will receive exit payments worth as much as $44.4 million, according to Duke. That includes $7.4 million in severance, a nearly $1.4 million cash bonus, a special lump-sum payment worth up to $1.5 million and accelerated vesting of his stock awards, according to a Duke regulatory filing Tuesday night. Mr. Johnson gets the lump-sum payment as long as he cooperates with Duke and doesn’t disparage his former employer, the filing said.
Under his exit package, Mr. Johnson also will receive approximately $30,000 to reimburse him for relocation expenses.

The free market only pays what a person is worth.  If you've got a problem with this, it's because you're a commie socialist America-hating hippie bastard or something.  Why do you insist on the politics of resentment, citizen?  What's stopping you from making $44 million a day?

A soul?

Get back to work.

The New Dry County Laws In Kentucky

Not dry booze, dry water.  As the always reliable Yellow Dog points out, 113 of Kentucky's 120 counties are now in dry or drought conditions, and 26 counties are now facing water shortage situations.

As you can see, western Kentucky is already in Stage II drought and the center of the state will soon be under full blown water restrictions.  Owsley County is already under mandatory water restriction measures.  More will follow as we've got at least another 2 months of dry summer heat if not 3.

And yeah, forget crop yields this summer.  Corn and wheat are burning in the fields.  That's only going to put heavy pressure on food prices again.

You're paying for global warming right now folks, even here in Kentucky.  You can not believe in it if you want to.  Nature stopped giving a damn what you believed a long damn time ago.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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