Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Last Call For That Con(Men)voy

Looks like that whole Truckers Versus Libtards/Second American Revolution thing has ran smack into the brick wall of reality as trucker Earl Conlon is now telling anyone with a microphone that the whole thing was a hoax.

It can be hard to get attention for your agenda in a town like Washington, but Georgia trucker Earl Conlon figured out a way: take the Beltway hostage.

Conlon’s comments in a U.S. News & World Report story that he and thousands of truckers from across the country (and possibly Canada) planned to come to the nation’s capital Friday and bring traffic to a standstill on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway zinged across the Web and were picked up by outlets ranging from Fox News to the Huffington Post. The rally was dubbed “Truckers for the Constitution.”

But it is a hoax.

“The comments to U.S. News were designed to do one thing and one thing only: stir the feather of the mainstream media,” said Conlon, a father of three. “Nothing gets the attention of the mainstream media like some sort of disastrous threat. I knew it was going to ruffle some feathers.”

So while thousands of truckers may indeed come to Washington on Friday and many of them may travel along the inner loop of the Beltway, honking their horns, they won’t intentionally shut down traffic, he said.

“First of all, we know it would not be right to go to D.C. to lock down the city by the Belt loop,” said Conlon, 50, a veteran truck driver who has suffered through more than his share of traffic jams. “That wouldn’t be fair to the people there.”

And Conlon is not sure that he will even make it to town Friday.

Boy, the US Secret Service got to this asshole fast, didn't they?  Somebody made very clear to this schmuck that if anything does happen in DC this weekend, it's all on his head, and he's now backpedaling as fast as he can away from the mess he created.  When it comes to anti-government rhetoric, these clowns are base cowards through and through.  They talk tough and want to bully whoever they can, but they crumble when people stand up to them.

It's a lesson to keep in mind as the bullies in the House threaten all of us with economic disaster.

The New Jim Crow: Two-Tier Voting

The Supreme Court's recent decisions involving Arizona demanding proof of citizenship when voting and crippling the Voting Rights Act has now directly led to at least two states instituting second-class citizenship for those who can't prove they are US citizens.  Jim Crow is alive and well, and it's called two-tier voting.

Officials in Arizona and Kansas are making preparations for elections with two categories of voters. There will be those who provided proof of citizenship when they registered to vote, and will therefore be able to vote in all local, state, and federal elections. And then there will be those who did not provide proof of citizenship when they registered. Those people will only be able to vote in federal contests -- if at all. 
In both states, the preparations underway are reactions to the Supreme Court's June ruling in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council, the legal battle over Arizona's 2004 voter identification law, known as Proposition 200. While the headlines in June painted the ruling as a blow to Proposition 200, officials in both Arizona and Kansas have chosen to focus on the leeway the Supreme Court left them. Kansas State Election Director Brad Bryant laid out the argument in an email he sent to county election officers at the end of July. 
"As the Supreme Court made clear, its decision applies only to 'federal registration forms' and covers only federal elections," Bryant wrote, according to a copy of the email provided to TPM. "States remain free to require proof of citizenship from voters who seek to also vote in state elections." 
Using that logic, both states have made moves toward two-tier systems.

In other words, the awful SCOTUS decision in Arizona v Inter Tribal Council means that Arizona and Kansas are now free to use Voter ID to exclude people from being able to vote at all in state or local elections.  That's horrifying, and it means other GOP-controlled states will surely follow suit.

And remember, it's the states that get to decide what "proof of citizenship" means, unless you have a federal ID...and if the state chooses to recognize it as such.  Kansas in particular is designing a confusing system that would have two different voter registration forms, one for state and one for federal elections, and two different ID requirements.

If you think that's a disaster in the making for 2014 elections, you're correct.  And that's the point.  More of this will be coming, so count on it.

Another Ignoble Prize Winner

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics went the man the Higgs boson is named after.  Peter Higgs and fellow scientist Francois Engler postulated that the particle existed some 50 years ago.

Now, the octogenarian pair share the Nobel Prize in physics in recognition of a theoretical brilliance that was vindicated by the particle's discovery last year. 
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize to them. 
Higgs and Englert's theories behind the elusive Higgs boson explained what gives matter its mass. 
The universe is filled with Higgs bosons. As atoms and parts of atoms zoom around, they interact with and attract Higgs bosons, which cluster around them in varying numbers. 
Certain particles will attract larger clusters of Higgs bosons, and the more of them a particle attracts, the greater its mass will be. 
The explanation helped complete scientists' understanding of the nature of all matter.

Maybe physicists can someday explain why Republicans keep existing.  I can't.  After all, the last guy to win the Nobel in Physics?  He got furloughed this week.

In 2012, David Wineland, a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, won the Nobel Prize for his "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems." 
But Wineland has been deemed nonessential and is furloughed due to the government shutdown. 
"On the organization charts I'm just another worker, another non-essential," Wineland told the Washington Post.

America.  We lay off freakin' Nobel Prize winners because Republicans will never recognize the Nobel Peace Prize winner in the White House.


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