Friday, July 13, 2012

Republican Psychopaths

Florida's Rick Scott, Michigan's Dan Snyder, Ohio's John Kasich, Arizona's Jan Brewer...America's GOP governors are a crackpot lot of soulless disasters.  But one of the batch has emerged as the new king of the psychopaths:  Maine's Paul LePage.  Steve Benen at Maddowblog:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) raised eyebrows last week when he called the IRS "the new Gestapo." Soon after, he issued a statement saying "the use of the word Gestapo has clouded my message," but in person, the governor didn't sound especially apologetic.

And on Thursday, LePage went right back to the same comfortable insanity in an campaign appearance for Vermont GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock.

Standing by Brock's side at the Sheraton in South Burlington, the Maine governor said, "What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad -- yet."
LePage then said, "They're headed in that direction."
Asked if he had a sense of what the Gestapo did during the second world war, LePage said, "Yeah, they killed a lot of people." Asked whether the IRS "was headed in the direction of killing a lot of people," LePage answered: "Yeah."

But both sides do it because somebody said Bush was like Hitler once, so LePage is not as bad.  IRS will kill everyone you know because a Democrat is in charge.  When a Republican is in charge, how dare you question us.

Good Night, Mr. Kessler

Over at the Juice, John Cole puts Washington Post "fact checker" Glenn Kessler to bed:

So earlier today, I took to twitter to taunt Glenn Kessler for his idiotic assertion that the SEC documents are somehow less relevant because a former Democratic SEC member discussed them, and this is what happened:

Got it? He attacked the GOP earlier, so when he puts the finger on the scale to ignore the SEC documents, it’s just an example of him being “nonpartisan.” When numerous people pointed out to our brave fact checker that the source of a fact doesn’t change whether something is factual or not, our super genius doubled down:

Game over, Glenn.  Have a nice nap.  You're busted.

Facts no longer matter to the Washington Post Fact Checker.  Sources do...even if the sources aren't telling the truth, the truth doesn't matter.  If there was ever an example of someone completely captured by the Village, and so in love with their role as self-appointed referee of the partisan spin that they finally break down and admit the only opinion in America that matters is their own, it's Glenn Kessler.

Literally everything wrong with the media in 2012, right there.

Gay Rights Opponent Travels To Campaign For Discrimination

Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries has made it very clear he's against a proposed ordinance that protects against LGBT discrimination.  So much so that he's traveling from Springfield, Massachusetts to try to kill it.

From the Springfield News-Leader:

The ordinance passed a City Council committee in June and will be heard by the whole council in mid-August. Existing city law offers protections based on race, religion and other characteristics. The changes, endorsed by the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations, would make it illegal to deny someone a job, housing or public services based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“My purpose in coming to Springfield is to oppose that,” Lively, of Springfield, Mass., said. 
“I believe that the anti-discrimination policy is the seed that contains the entire tree of the homosexual agenda,” Lively said. Once the anti-discrimination policy is passed, homosexual advocates “never (stop) expanding their power and control. ... It’s sort of like the cornerstone of the legal strategy for pressuring society to accept homosexuality.”

First, anti-discrimination policy really is the core of the homosexual agenda.  See, that means they aren't discriminated against and can choose how they live and who they love, a guarantee that they won't be treated poorly for being themselves.  I mean, that is what it's all about.  But thanks for calling them out for wanting fair treatment by law.

The great glaring wrongness with these idiots is that advocating mistreatment of people is their best solution to this "problem" in the population.  Because it has never crossed his mind, or those who support him, that people should be able to have control over their love lives.  That he can come so close to the truth and then flip it into something evil is a sight to behold.  To argue for discrimination so strongly is a disgrace to what he claims to represent.  To use oppression and encourage bad acts towards members of the LGBT community says all I need to say about this area and some of the "Christians" who live here.

Treat them so terrible that they'll live how I think they should.  That's all it comes down to.  That's their plan.

So we have two sides to this coin: those who want to treat people poorly based on something that is none of their business, or people who want to live free to choose who they love.

That this is even being debated, or that people are still confused on the matter, is amazing to me.  We're talking about the elementary concept of whether people can be denied fair and equal treatment by government and public entities even if some folks don't like who they are dating.

Entire Staff Fired At LA School

From custodian to principal - no one at  the low income Miramonte Elementary School, which is 98 percent Latino, was spared. 
"It was a quick, responsible, responsive action to a heinous situation," Superintendent John Deasy said. "We're not going to spend a long time debating student safety." 
In February, Mark Berndt was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids after photos surfaced including allegedly feeding his students semen as part of a bizarre and stomach-turning food-tasting game.  Berndt taught at the school for 30 years. 
In response to the heinous allegations, Deasy ordered, what at the time was called, the temporary replacement of all of Miramonte's teachers.  
The controversial decision underscores the 51-year-old superintendent's shake-up of the lethargic bureaucracy at the nation's second-largest school district. His swift, bold moves have rankled some and won praise from others during his first year of leadership.
There are definitely two sides to this coin.

First, we have someone making bold decisions.  He's getting attention, and teachers who do things like feed kids bodily fluids have been put on notice.  The message is that he's watching.  Deasy acts on the obvious, which is that in thirty years, you can bet one person knew something awful was happening and did nothing, or observed that Berndt was a risk.  So he put those who turn a blind eye on notice as well.  He's watching, and he will be asking why you weren't watching, and you better have a good answer.  He seems willing to work harder than he asks others to, and has been clear about setting goals that are measurable.  He's at least trying something besides red tape and confused shrugs.

On the other hand, a lot of people who truly had nothing to do with this incident will now carry that on their records, at a time when jobs aren't easy to come by.  The stigma of this school will stain reputations in an area that will remember this for a long time to come.  They paid a hefty price, and there is still a lot to be paid.  Their unfortunate position should remain highlighted as a radical change instead of a disciplinary, but that's if they can find openings in their field.

Was it a necessary change?  I see what he was doing.  I don't disagree with it on some levels, though again the price was high for some people who did nothing wrong.  In the long run, it will be worth it if the shakeup really works like intended.  Either way, I wish him the best of luck.

Mother Abandons Severely Disabled Girl At A Bar

(CNN) -- Eva Cameron was driving through Tennessee when her mentally disabled daughter Lynn needed to go to the bathroom. 
Cameron stopped by a small rural bar and let her daughter out of the car before she drove off, returning to her home in Illinois -- leaving Lynn by the side of the road, Caryville Assistant Police Chief Stephanie Smith told CNN.
Cameron eventually came back, to sign papers making her daughter a ward of the state.  While the article is bitter about that point, I have to point it is most assuredly the best thing for the girl.   I am shocked that what she did isn't a crime, even though her daughter is not technically a minor.

Of course we know there are legally approved ways to handle this, not dumping a mentally disabled woman in the middle of nowhere.  Someone with a vocabulary of 40-50 words should have professional care to help them and understand their needs.  Before she snapped (I am assuming that is what happened here) Eva Cameron could have reached out through legal channels to get her daughter the care and supervision she needs to be safe.

I do not want to sound like I am making an excuse for what this woman did.  However, having worked at a group home for disabled kids, and having gone through the hell of being a legal guardian and conservator for a relative with Alzheimer's, I do know how the daily grind can chew your soul.  I know how you can feel like there is no hope because the system makes it as difficult as possible.  This story should also bring those frustrations and difficulties out as well, however.  It is a crucial part of the story.

I hope both women can come to terms with what happened.  It could very well be that both of them do come out better and happier, even if the path doesn't seem to promise much.  According to reports Lynn is doing very well in her new home.

Dear America:

"Joe Biden's speech was meaningless because BuzzFeed found somebody at the NAACP convention who was disappointed the President wasn't there so suck it, stupid The Blacks!"

--Moe Lane

Bonus Verbatim Racism:

It’s not even a question of bad optics; it’s just that Obama’s not going to move the fundraising and/or support needle at the NAACP enough to be worth his while, and it’s not like the President’s really all that authentic an African-American in the first place.  The man’s a urban liberal academic, folks.  That’s pretty damned rabiblanco.

Dear Moe Lane:

Kiss my black ass.  Thanks.

Turn On The Lights, Watch The Roaches Scatter Part 90

And yet another bank is settling up for pennies on the dollar as Wells Fargo admits it ripped off minority homeowners with higher broker fees to the tune of $175 million.

Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, has agreed to pay at least $175 million to settle allegations that its independent brokers discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom, the Justice Department announced on Thursday. If approved by a federal judge, it would be the second largest residential fair-lending settlement in the department’s history.

An investigation by the department’s civil rights division found that mortgage brokers working with Wells Fargo charged higher fees and rates to more than 30,000 minority borrowers across the country than they did to white borrowers who posed the same credit risk, according to a complaint filed on Thursday along with the proposed settlement. 

Wells Fargo brokers also steered more than 4,000 minority borrowers into costlier subprime mortgages when white borrowers with similar credit risk profiles received regular loans, a Justice Department complaint found. The deal covers the subprime bubble years of 2004 to 2009. 

Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, said the practices amounted to a “racial surtax,” adding: “All too frequently, Wells Fargo’s African-American and Latino borrowers had no idea they could have gotten a better deal — no idea that white borrowers with similar credit would pay less.” 

Nor did they know to ask.  Nor did the brokers tell them.  Thirty.  Thousand.  Minority borrowers were made to pay on average almost $3,000 more for the same exact loans.   But Republicans will tell you there is no economic racism, there is no need for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there is no need for additional regulation of the financial sector, and there's certainly no need for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

Lending data showed for example, that in 2007 customers in the Chicago area who borrowed $300,000 from Wells Fargo through an independent broker paid an average of $2,937 more in broker fees if African-American, and $2,187 more if Hispanic, compared to white borrowers with a similar credit risk, the complaint said. 

Similarly, it said, the data showed that nationwide, an African-American borrower who qualified for a regular loan was 2.9 times more likely to be steered into a subprime loan, and Hispanic borrowers was 1.8 times more likely, than were similarly creditworthy white borrowers. Subprime loans, which are designed for riskier borrowers, carry higher interest rates. 

The price of being black in America.  Add that to the tab.  But we elected a black President, so why are we complaining, right?  Why would we be so angry to see a major mortgage bank with millions of customers specifically and systematically discriminate by charging black and Latino customers more money?

The real question is why aren't Republicans furious with such an obvious failure of their vaunted free market principles.  You won't get an answer to that uncomfortable question.


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