Friday, September 19, 2014

Last Call For Wanting Out

A staggering new Reuters poll out today in the wake of Scotland's secession vote:  roughly 1 in 4 Americans wish their state would secede from the union.

Some 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away, while 53.3 percent of the 8,952 respondents strongly opposed or tended to oppose the notion. 
The urge to sever ties with Washington cuts across party lines and regions, though Republicans and residents of rural Western states are generally warmer to the idea than Democrats and Northeasterners, according to the poll. 
Anger with President Barack Obama's handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of Islamic State militants drives some of the feeling, with Republican respondents citing dissatisfaction with his administration as coloring their thinking. 
But others said long-running Washington gridlock had prompted them to wonder if their states would be better off striking out on their own, a move no U.S. state has tried in the 150 years since the bloody Civil War that led to the end of slavery in the South. 
"I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done," said Roy Gustafson, 61, of Camden, South Carolina, who lives on disability payments. "The state would be better off handling things on its own."
Scottish unionists won by a wider-than-expected 10-percentage-point margin. 
Falling public approval of the Obama administration, attention to the Scottish vote and the success of activists who accuse the U.S. government of overstepping its authority - such as the self-proclaimed militia members who flocked to Nevada's Bundy ranch earlier this year during a standoff over grazing rights - is driving up interest in secession, experts said.

"It seems to have heated up, especially since the election of President Obama," said Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, who has studied secessionist movements.

Gosh, just can't imagine what's so different about Barack Obama that would cause 60 million Americans to go bonkers and consider secession from the United States as not only a possible solution to their anti-government grievances, but as a reasonable and sane solution to them.

And yeah, it's about 30% of Republicans and 21% of Democrats, 19% of New Englanders and 34% of Southwesterners, including Texans.

Even in Texas, some respondents said talk about breaking away was more of a sign of their anger with Washington than evidence of a real desire to go it alone. Democrat Lila Guzman, of Round Rock, said the threat could persuade Washington lawmakers and the White House to listen more closely to average people's concerns.

"When I say secede, I'm not like (former National Rifle Association president) Charlton Heston with my gun up in the air, 'my cold dead hands.' It's more like – we could do it if we had to," said Guzman, 62. "But the first option is, golly, get it back on the right track. Not all is lost. But there might come a point that we say, 'Hey, y'all, we're dusting our hands and we're moving on.'"

People talking about secession like it was no more difficult than trying to choose aluminum siding or something.   We have a real problem in this country.

And that is these people vote.

Can't Discuss Civics, NCIS: Omaha Is On

Americans are exceedingly uninformed about basic civics, and that's just the way Republicans like it.

Americans show great uncertainty when it comes to answering basic questions about how their government works, a national survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has found.

The survey of 1,416 adults, released for Constitution Day (Sept. 17) in conjunction with the launch of the Civics Renewal Network, found that:

  • While little more than a third of respondents (36 percent) could name all three branches of the U.S. government, just as many (35 percent) could not name a single one. 
  • Just over a quarter of Americans (27 percent) know it takes a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto. 
  • One in five Americans (21 percent) incorrectly thinks that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision is sent back to Congress for reconsideration.

“Although surveys reflect disapproval of the way Congress, the President and the Supreme Court are conducting their affairs, the Annenberg survey demonstrates that many know surprisingly little about these branches of government,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC). “This survey offers dramatic evidence of the need for more and better civics education.”

It gets worse.  Much, much worse:

  • Asked which party has the most members in the House of Representatives, 38 percent said they knew the Republicans are the majority, but 17 percent responded the Democrats, and 44 percent reported that they did not know (up from 27 percent who said they did not know in 2011).
  • Asked which party controls the Senate, 38 percent correctly said the Democrats, 20 percent said the Republicans, and 42 percent said they did not know (also up from 27 percent who said they did not know in 2011).
 So fewer than two in five know which party controls the House and Senate.  Oddly enough, that 38% is about your average midterm election turnout in America.  The rest of us apparently don't give a damn enough to vote, and then wonder why things are so awful.

So Let Me Tell You About Our Local White Supremacist

Reminder: it's Kentucky, folks, and we have our share of racist assclowns.  But one in particular pisses me off to no end, because he's right here where I live.  And did I mention he's running for Mitch's job in November?

A white supremacist is running a write-in campaign for U.S. Senate in Kentucky to promote his anti-Semitic slogan: “With Jews we lose.” 
Robert Ransdell’s name won’t appear on ballots, but county clerks must count write-in votes for the Cincinnati-area coordinator of National Alliance who is also affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. 
The Florence, Ky., resident drew recent attention for about 20 signs he placed this week in the Boone County area, advertising his campaign and his message.

I believe that there is no such thing as racial equality,” Ransdell told WLWT-TV. “You see that in our cities everyday.”

Rob Ransdell is something of a local uncomfortable joke here in the NKY.  He's the crazy racist uncle that shows up at school and embarrasses you in front of the town (or in my case would probably direct a huge tirade at me.) We try to do what any Southerner would do with our less desirable relatives, which is get them a double-wide and a satellite dish away from civilization, but the guy keeps showing up anyway and keeps taking a giant dump on the lawn.

The University of Kentucky held its annual Constitution Day celebration on Wednesday. But one speaker had his speech cut off because of his controversial comments. 
Many people felt the speech from write-in U.S. Senate candidate Robert Ransdell of Florence was racist and offensive. And UK leaders say the comments surprised them. 
A Vine video from a high school student at the event shows Ransdell leaving the stage after those in attendance said his speech turned racist. Another high school student took a picture of one of Ransdell's campaign signs, which reads "With Jews We Lose." 
Ransdell calls himself a "white separatist" or "white nationalist." 
The University of Kentucky said in a statement that all speakers at the event were supposed to talk about the principles of the Constitution, not about politics. 
"I was about to get to the Constitution before I was cut off. I was getting to it," Ransdell told WKYT's Garrett Wymer by phone hours after the event. "But I intended after traveling - I'm up here near Cincinnati - after traveling that far to be forthright about something I believe in."

So yeah, when I say there's a definite streak of nasty racism here in Northern Kentucky, I mean Rob Ransdell and his Constitutionally protected vile speech get to drive around the state spewing his hateful nonsense to kids and college students.  Oh, and vote for him!

Karma is a bitch, man.  Maybe someday he'll discover that.


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