Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Last Call: A Large Side Of Stupid

Ray Canterbury thinks poor kids have it easy. Especially the kids who don't get enough to eat and are suffering at school. A recent bill allows for nonprofit and donations to make sure kids eat enough. Because science, that thing Republicans hate, has shown without a doubt that hunger affects school performance.

"I think it would be a good idea if perhaps we had the kids work for their lunches: trash to be taken out, hallways to be swept, lawns to be mowed, make them earn it," Del. Ray Canterbury (R-Greenbrier) said during floor debate. "If they miss a lunch or they miss a meal they might not, in that class that afternoon, learn to add, they may not learn to diagram a sentence, but they'll learn a more important lesson." 

More important than math and grammar?  What could be more important to a child's future than an education?  Oh right, learning their place in the servant class.  We need to teach these softies that when they don't have enough  money, even though that is in no way their fault (you know, being eight years old and all) that they have to be separated from the kids who have plenty.  They need to sweep the floors and pick up trash, and be singled out for their economic status.  Only the rich kids should get the regular treatment at a public school.

This isn't the first time this has been mentioned.  Apparently, this has become a recurring theme among smug wealthy men who know just what America needs.  Men who see nothing wrong with kids not being able to afford food, but don't see anything wrong with the system that reinforces poverty and guarantees that entire families fail for another generation.  West Virginia has higher poverty than most states, and worse education statistics.  Gee, I wonder why?

Leave me alone with this babbling moron for ten minutes.  Ten minutes, and I'd teach him a lesson he would never forget.

I believe education is the great equalizer.  Men like Canterbury hate equality, because it is a threat to his privilege.  What a great way to make sure a few stay on top at the expense of many.


A girl who never had enough to eat in school and had to work twice as hard.

Business-Friendly, People-Deadly

Raise your hand if you thought Texas cares about regulating fertilizer plants with hundreds of tons of potentially explosive chemicals, which are placed near schools and nursing homes.  If your hand is still raised, put it the hell down.

West Fertilizer Co.’s problems complying with Texas environmental rules go back decades, state records show.

In 1984, the company moved two large pressurized tanks of liquid anyhydrous ammonia, a potentially lethal poison, from a site in nearby Hill County to its current location in West without notifying state authorities.

Seven years passed before Texas regulators took notice and told the company to fix its paperwork. The tanks had sat at their new location, near homes, schools and a nursing home, with little or no state oversight for all that time.

The company’s regulatory history going back to 1976 comes to light as investigators seek the cause of last week’s fertilizer explosion that killed at least 14 people.

For example, in 1987, the company — then known as West Chemical and Fertilizer Co. — was venting ammonia that built up in transfer pipes into the air despite explicit orders in its permit not to do so. The company apparently changed its practices.

And in 2006, a West police officer called a company employee to tell him an ammonia tank valve was leaking. The employee confirmed the leak and “took the NH3 [ammonia] tank out to the country at his farm,” according to a handwritten note. “West Police followed him.”

That employee, Cody Dragoo, was killed in last week’s explosion.

Seven years.  But government doesn't work, so let's cut spending on regulation and give more tax cuts to companies that break the law and then kill 14 people.  Government small enough that you can drown it in a bathtub isn't going to be able to protect you from companies that murder a dozen folks and go "oops."

Rand Paul Time Warp Theater

Just another reminder that "adamant champion of civil liberties" Sen. Rand Paul is still a lying sack of crap Republican douchebag who will change his stance (he'll filibuster 13 hours!)  in about 13 seconds when it's politically advantageous to do so.  Steve Benen:

In March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) launched a high-profile filibuster on the Senate floor, bringing attention to drone strikes and civil liberties questions that too often go ignored. But as the spectacle faded, a problem emerged -- Paul didn't seem to fully understand the issue he ostensibly cares so much about.

The Kentucky Republican wanted to know if the Obama administration feels it has the authority to "use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil." Attorney General Eric Holders said the "answer to that question is no." For many involved in the debate, the answer was superficial and incomplete -- who gets to define what constitutes "combat"? what about non-weaponized drones? -- but Paul declared victory and walked away satisfied.

And so did his fans, who happily used Paul's position to attack the President from the left.  At the time I said Paul's position was nonsense and left a huge loophole for use of drones on US soil when it came to bed-wetting anti-terrorism nonsense.   Rand Paul happily got in some fundraising off the stunt and moved on.

Now however since the Boston marathon bombing, and with Rand needing an excuse to scuttle immigration reform he supported last month and to fly the colors on the perpetual security state so he can attack Marco Rubio from the right, Paul is now back to doubling down on use of drones on US soil against US citizens when it comes to Warren Terrah.  Steve Benen again:

Today, the senator went further, saying he's comfortable with drones being used over U.S. soil if the executive branch decides -- without a warrant or oversight -- there's an "imminent threat." Paul told Fox News:
"...I've never argued against any technology being used when you an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and 50 dollars in cash, I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him. But it's different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities."

Oops.  Spoken like a true libertarian.

Tell me again how Rand Paul isn't an authoritarian pig like the rest of the Republicans (and some Dems, granted.)  But at least Barack Obama isn't going around saying he doesn't care who kills a guy who knocked over a liquor store.  Kinda puts a serious dent in his "unfair sentencing bill" credibility...well not really, you don't have to sentence dead people to prison, do you Rand?

Also, let's not forget his libertarian stances on same-sex marriage and women being able to control their own bodies.  Why, it's almost like Rand Paul is an unapologetic Republican jackass and always has been.

And he always will be.  Bookmark this one next time Rand decides he needs to attack President Obama from the left, and pay attention to the people who champion his dog and pony show.  Those are the ones you need to watch out for.


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