Thursday, July 26, 2012

Last Call

It's good to know that our old friend StrangeAppar8us is back among the living at Rumproast.  He's been through hell...literally...and is back.

The good news: while Strange was fully committed to dying on a night some eight months past, the allure of Death now escapes him, and he is fully committed to reassembling the motives and tools that once made him one of the most dedicated writers in any arena. StrangeAppar8us wants to live. He wants to live more and better than he ever lived before. And above all, he wants to spend more time with you—my fellow ‘Roasters, who expressed their sadness at my absence, and web chums like Michael Berube and Mr. Wonderful and John Cole and Roy Edroso and Tbogg and Thers and asiangrrl and meep-meep (and endless others), who praised my work and wished me luck, and, in many cases, gave generously to the welfare fund that is currently helping to rebuild my life with talking computers and recording devices that can turn a blind man back into a writer.

Do drop by and say hello.  The world was getting dimmer without your wit, man.  Good to have you back.

Why Aurora Will Accomplish Nothing

Our politicians are not just beholden to special interests, they are completely terrified of the power they wield in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike.  The NRA controls your Congress utterly, America.  GQ's Reid Cherlin interviews the mysterious Anonymous Democratic Hill Staffer:

We do absolutely anything they ask and we NEVER cross them—which includes asking permission to cosponsor any bills endorsed by the Humane Society (the answer is usually no) and complying with their demand to oppose the DISCLOSE Act, neither of which have anything to do with guns. They've completely shut down the debate over gun control. It's really incredible. I'm not sure when we decided that a Democrat in a marginal district who loses his A rating from the NRA automatically loses reelection. Because it's not like we do everything other partisan organizations like the Chamber [of Commerce] or NAM [National Association of Manufacturers] tell us to...

Pandering to the NRA is the probably worst part of my job. I can justify the rest of it—not just to keep the seat, but because I believe most of the positions he takes are consistent with what his constituents want. But sucking up to the NRA when something like Colorado happens is hard to stomach.

And so it goes.  And while Democrats are making excellent inroads in states like Arizona and Colorado, the NRA can and will shut down any Democrat without a built-in 15 point lead.  That's why nothing gets done on gun control.  Fear.

Mitt's Making Friends

At least he didn’t use the phrase “You people”.

Mitt Romney’s Anglo-Saxon Disaster Tour 2012 rolls on as the Telegraph reports on Romney’s efforts at diplomacy in advising the Brits on how to run an Olympics.
But [Romney] told US television there were “disconcerting” signs about Britain’s readiness. “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” he said. “There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

G4S, a private security company, provided thousands fewer staff than were expected, forcing the armed forces to fill the gap. British immigration officers had threatened to go on strike during the Olympics, but this ultimatum was called off on Wednesday. The Government insists that all preparations have been made and the event will be a success.
Nonetheless, Mr Romney questioned the enthusiasm of the British public. “Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?” he asked. “That’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.”
What a mensch, our Mittens.  It’s a good thing the GOP has a presumptive nominee who didn’t go over to the London games and embarrass the country or anything, trashing the President while overseas, making mildly racists remarks or insulting one of our oldest allies.  That was certainly close.

Next time, can we just send Rafalca Romney on over?

That's One Clever Little Kid

I bet this little guy has a bright future ahead of him, as long as he doesn't let his ability go to the dark side.  From USA Today:

At least five members of the British airline have been suspended after an 11-year-old runaway managed to board a flight to Rome without a passport, boarding card or ticket, theManchester Evening News reports.
The boy, named Liam, apparently slipped pass five control points at Manchester Airport on Tuesday by latching onto another family.
Britains's Transport minister, Justine Greening calls the incident 'incredibly concerning," the Evening News reports.
The newspaper says Liam apparently ran away from his mother while she was shopping near the airport and passed through security checkpoints without being asked for documents.
The newspaper says Liam then headed for a departure lounge and followed a family boarding the flight LS791 to Rome.

He charmed a few passengers, but eventually they figured out what was going on and alerted staff.  For as many things that could have gone wrong with a kid leaving his mom near an airport, this is a relatively good ending.  

Running From The Cops With Kids Underwear, Prescription Pills And A Wig Is No Way To Go Through Life, Son

Springfield, Mo. - A man wanted by The Greene County Sheriff's Department on a felony forgery charge was busted in Iowa with children's underwear, prescription pills, a wig, a ski mask and more than 4-thousand dollars in cash. 
The new information is in a probable cause statement filed in Greene County. The filing says Ronald Richard Reed was living in Strafford under the name of Stanley and/or Gary Wills last November. The man born in 1944 or 1945 lived and worked on a farm in Strafford. Law enforcement started looking into his background after Reed's employer asked him to fill out a W-4 form for tax purposes.
It happens that he has previous crimes on his record, related to indecent behavior towards kids.  He is a non-compliant registered sex offender in Colorado.  The best authorities can release, he is currently in jail in Iowa, which is hunky dory with me.

Whatever he was planning, it wasn't good.  I hope he cools his heels for a long time.

Inside Job, Outside Reality

The deadly Aurora, Colorado massacre that claimed 12 lives and destroyed dozens more last week is all just a plot to allow Obama to murder your family because TREE OF LIBERTY or some crazy nonsense, or so the nutjobs on the right believe.  MoJo's Tim Murphy:

All indications from the Aurora Police Department are that Batman gunman James Holmes acted alone, for reasons that have yet to be established. But Larry Pratt—the president of Gun Owners of America, a far-right Second Amendment group that's backed by prominent people like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)—has a different theory. Pratt believes the timing of Holmes' rampage, which left 12 people dead and 58 wounded, seemed designed to coincide with the upcoming negotiation of the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. A press release sent out to radio bookers on Tuesday advertising Pratt's availability noted that, "In an article posted at The New American…one expert even outlined a theory that Holmes didn't act alone, but was possibly 'enlisted' to carry out his violent act." Pratt, the publicist stated, was free for interviews on Holmes' "impeccable" timing.

Awesome.   Oh, it gets worse:

…In other words, this has all the signs of Fast & Furious, Episode II. I wouldn't be surprised to discover someone in Washington was behind it all. After all, there's no quicker way to disarm a nation and take total control over the population than to stage violence, blame it on firearms, then call for leaders to "do something!" Such calls inevitably end up resulting in gun confiscation, and it's never too long after that before government genocide really kicks in like we saw with Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao and other tyrants.

You know, I'm personally getting sick and tired of the binary view on firearms that there's no possible middle ground between "unlimited access to lethal weapons" and "your family will be murdered."   I'd love for these Second Amendment morons to hang out in the inner city of any major American urban center for 24 hours and then tell me that what they need on the bad side of MLK Boulevard is more firearms.  Aurora massacres happen daily in this country, they're just not reported because the victims aren't fresh-faced (and caucasian) teenagers at the suburban cineplex.

Besides, the same people who are screaming that "We need more guns!" are the first to say "Well, the thug-ass punk deserved it" to the victims whenever there's the police actually shooting and killing people.  They have no problem with those particular incidences of "government genocide".

If a law was passed tomorrow that automatically limited gun ownership to registered Republicans, none of these cats would blink an eye, ya know?

Keystone To The Election, Part 2

The Justice Department is looking into Pennsylvania's voter ID law, with every day important now as Republicans there are trying to eliminate as many valid Democratic voters as possible in order to win by default.  The impact in urban Philadelphia could be far worse than previously thought as potentially more than 40% of the voters there could lose their right to vote this November.

The number of Pennsylvanians who might not have the photo identification necessary to vote this November has more than doubled: at least 1,636,168 registered voters, or 20 percent of Pennsylvania voters, may not have valid PennDOT-issued ID, according to new data obtained by City Paper. In Philadelphia, an enormous 437,237 people, or 43 percent of city voters, may not possess the valid PennDOT ID necessary to vote under the state's controversial new law.

“Those are the numbers we sent,” says Nick Winkler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, when asked to confirm the data. “If you want to add them together, I think it's misleading.”

The new data, received and processed by the AFL-CIO, for the first time includes voters who had PennDOT licenses that have (as of Monday) been expired since Nov. 6, 2011 or an earlier date. If those people do not renew their licenses, the licenses will be expired by at least one year on election day and thus invalid under the new law. And because the AFL-CIO's voter file (which shows the already-publicized large number of voters with no PennDOT record) is seven months old, it could actually represent an undercount since it does not address whether those who have registered as voters since January have valid ID.

In other words, as many as 1.6 million Pennsylvanians could be forced to cast provisional ballots, ballots that will almost certainly not count and will be thrown out.  Only 62% of those ballots were counted in 2008, and that was when the number of provisional ballots cast nationwide was 1.7 million.   There's no way that all those voters reasonably could comply with getting their ID shown in person at the election board office within six business days, all but guaranteeing that hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots will be rejected and these voters will lose their right to vote.

More importantly the loss of hundreds of thousands of votes in urban areas will hurt Democrats far more than Republicans, all but assuring Republicans maintain permanent majorities in these states.  But "protecting the integrity" of a handful of votes is more important than taking the right to vote away from millions across the country in 2012, millions of Democratic votes, especially.

This is how Republicans plan to win it all in November and all but eliminate the Democrats from power.


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