Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last Call

Looks like the Democrats will make their party stance on marriage equality official at the Charlotte convention in September.

Democrats appear ready to embrace same-sex marriage as part of their party platform, a policy shift that reflects the rapidly growing acceptance of gay rights in mainstream politics.

Party officials met over the weekend in Minneapolis and approved the first step to amend their platform. In two weeks, the entire platform committee will vote on the matter at a meeting scheduled in Detroit. Then, if approved as expected, it would move on to convention delegates in Charlotte, N.C., for final approval in September.

According to Democrats who were briefed on the vote in Minneapolis, there was no objection when the issue came up. Though the language that was voted on still could be revised, party officials do not anticipate any major obstacles going forward.

The platform language approved over the weekend also included a condemnation of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages.

Your move, Republicans.

Oh wait, you've already made it.  Back to the middle ages, that is.  Please, tell me again how there's no difference between the two major political parties, folks.

Twilight: Fade To Black

Robert Pattinson is moving out of the house he shared with Kristen Stewart.  According to TMZ, a U-Haul was spotted outside the former couple's home.

After Stewart's highly public apology, Pattinson remained silent.  The marriage of director Rupert Sanders may also be in jeopardy, as his wife has made at least one comment that cast doubt upon their future, expressing the sentiment that sometimes things fall apart so other things can fall together.

To make it even more uncomfortable, Stewart is scheduled to play in the sequel, once again under Sander's direction.  She will also have many public appearances with Pattinson while they promote the final Twilight movie.


Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

You know you're a winger when your reaction to stories like this...

Northern India's power grid crashed Monday, halting trains, forcing hospitals and airports onto backup power and providing a dark reminder of the nation's inability to feed a growing hunger for energy as it strives to become an economic power.

While the midsummer outage was unique in its reach - it hit 370 million people, more than the population of the United States and Canada combined - its impact was softened by Indians' familiarity with almost daily blackouts of varying duration. Hospitals and major businesses have backup generators that seamlessly kick in during power cuts, and upscale homes are hooked to backup systems powered by truck batteries.

...is banal crap like this, from Daily Pundit's Bill Quick.  

That’s more than the entire population of the U.S.

The article seems to indicate that the grid was quickly restored. I’m not so sure that would be the case if the U.S. grid ever went down this hard.

Yeah Bill, Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid we improve the nation's power grid there.  I know, tax cuts will surely cure any infrastructure issues we have along these lines, if you'll excuse the pun.  The invisible hand will get around to burying our major power lines any time now.

How Hot Is It?

It's so hot that the Ozark Empire Fair is reporting low numbers.  People just can't take the heat, and after we have begged for more than a decade to move the fair to a more logical time, customers are voting with their feet.

According to one source, today is supposed to reach 106 degrees, with at least 80% humidity.  For those of you who are fortunate enough not to live in the steam bath we call home, this is enough to be dangerous for every creature outdoors.  From livestock to mail delivery, anyone who is outside is risking heat exhaustion or worse.

By the numbers, we have had 147 emergency room visits due to the heat, carrying our part for the state total of 962.

I understand we're not alone in this heat wave, and most of our readers are feeling the same effects we are.  Stay cool, and if you are able, put out some water for animals and birds who are desperately trying to stay alive.  Also, for you rural folks, deer are moving in record numbers seeking water and food.  Drive safe, as they are causing an unusual number of accidents for this time of year.

City Council Sticks It To Springfield Again

Before you dismiss this for being Springfield, realize it could happen anywhere.  My folks are just above the curve when it comes to being stupid, that's all.

Regardless of the result at the polls Aug. 7, Springfield will not have a City Council primary in February.
Held whenever three or more candidates file for the same council seat, the primary has suffered from low turnout and comparatively high costs in recent years.
Council members decided in May to ask voters to do away with the February contest, but state legislators and Gov. Jay Nixon beat them to it.
bill Nixon signed into law earlier this month eliminates the February election date for everything but bond issues and the presidential primary; the bill also axes the June election date, which the city at times has used for tax renewals and petition elections.

Because of low voter turnout, the option to vote is being taken away.   With our governor's blessing, no less.  By using cost as a determining factor, they make it even more arbitrary and dangerous.  Since when is the privilege of voting subject to cost analysis?

Opponents say the price is justified. Groups including Live Free Springfield and the newly formed Citizens Rights Coalition have said the lack of a primary could make it more difficult to unseat incumbents and could allow candidates to be elected without majority support.
“(The primary) was instituted because people were getting elected with less than 20 percent of the vote, and that will happen again,” said Sharlee Lawless, a spokeswoman for the Citizens Rights Coalition.
Believe me, there will be more coming on this.

A Healthy Debate About Israel

It's funny, Republicans hate government health care and the individual mandate for health insurance.  But they love Israel.  Which emotion matters more?  Well, when you're in Israel, the choice is obvious.

But during his trip to Israel, Romney inadvertently praised the individual requirement and universal health care. “[F]or an American abroad, you can’t get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you do in Israel,” he said. And according to The New York Times, Romney spoke favorably about the fact that health care makes up a much smaller amount of Israel’s gross domestic product compared to the United States:
“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the G.D.P. in Israel? Eight percent,” he said. “You spend eight percent of G.D.P. on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our G.D.P. on health care, 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of G.D.P. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.”
Israel spends less on health care because of a universal health system that requires everyone to have insurance. Every Israeli citizen has the obligation to purchase health care services through one of the country’s four HMOs since government officials approved the National Health Insurance Law in 1995. People pay for 40 percent of their HMO’s costs through income-related contributions collected through the tax system, and the state pays the remaining 60 percent. And by many standards, Israelis are getting better health care than U.S. citizens. The infant mortality rate is much lower, and its mortality rate due to heart disease is half the U.S. rate. 

Boy, Republicans must really despise those socialist hellholes like Israel, right?   I mean they have even more government intervention than Obamacare does and they've knocked health care costs down to a fraction of ours, with better results.  Obviously Israelis are living under a despotic tyrant who any Romney administration would immediately oppose.


Knee Deep In Koch-A-Poo

What does a right wing foundation, legions of winger bloggers and your own hack author buy you for your Citizens united free speech money?  If you're the Koch brothers, you use the change in your couch to buy a "devastating new bombshell" that Barack Obama really didn't give the order to kill bin Laden and therefore deserves no credit.  Luckily, Hart Williams over at His Vorpal Sword is there to illuminate us all that the "bombshell" author is Richard Miniter, of not, one, not two, but three Koch brothers outfits:

Institute for Humane Studies is Charles Koch’s pet and first “foundation.” You know, like Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks, both of which came from their original Koch parent “Citizens for a Sound Economy.”  Eric O’Keefe — currently heading the Sam Adams Alliance, and formerly President of Americans for Limited Government — sits on its board of directors.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute comes of the same ideological parentage. Here was their “journalism fellowship” awardee (cash) for 1995-1996: Michelle Malkin. CEI gives out a big award every year. In 2006  the winner was John Stossel (formerly of ABC now of Fox) and in 2001, it was Stephen Moore, then of the Cato Institute (Koch controlled) and founder of the “Club for Growth.” Now a Wall Street Journal editorial board member.

There's a shocker.  And we see what the Kochs are buying here:

Notice any pattern here? How about “Bin Laden was CLINTON’s FAULT!” followed by “We’re WINNING the war on terror!”

Now somehow Obama’s GETTING bin Laden is a bad thing, an accidental thing, a questionable thing.

Ham-handed swiftboating from an author of questionable objectivity with a long Koch employment and an ideological axe to grind.

And, of course, the professional character assassins at the Daily Caller (funded by Foster Friess) cite the pre-publication copy they’ve mysteriously acquired as a “BOMBSHELL REVELATION!”

Election coming up. Obama’s signature achievement in the “War on Terror” must be disparaged and destroyed. Book comes up with perfect timing from a “New York Times best-selling author.” You know, like Paris Hilton or Snooki or the Kardassian sisters.

Doesn't matter if it's true or sourceable or corroborated.  But a couple months of "Was Barack Obama really responsible for making the call to get Osama bin Laden?  A new book claims..." on all the "news" channels followed by GOP pit bulls growling "How dare he take credit!" and watch the swing voters fall away.

We're knee deep in Koch-a-poo and it's rising higher by the day.  Pretty soon it'll be "Remember when Dubya killed bin Laden after that Obama guy lost the Twin Towers?"

Laugh.  The people who'll believe that?  Their votes count just as much as yours do.  The Kochs know that.  They're counting on it, in fact.

Have you registered anyone to vote this year?  Time's running out.  We need you out there to help fight this, and the only way we win is by voting.

While we still can, of course.


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