The Washington Football Team VS. The Philadelphia Eagles.

Mark this day on the calendar folks because we have momentous news regarding the world of sports and All Things Democrat.  The fact that a writer at ATD is actually posting something about the world of sports is notable of itself…

 As of September 9, 2013 I will no longer refer to the professional football team that represents Washington D.C. by their official moniker, as that name is insulting to Native Americans.   Going forward they will be called The Washington Football Team (or WFT).

 The reason this is such huge news is that, in effect, this means ATD will never again refer to the nick name currently used by the Washington Football Team, since for nigh on the last 2 years I am the only one that posted about sports, even if very sporadically.  On the remote chance that one of our team members wants to write an article mentioning the WFT, I would strongly encourage them to not use the offensive nickname.

 Prior to this evening I’ve never had occasion to post about the WFT.  The only reason I’m posting about them this evening is to make the announcement that ATD will no longer refer to them by their offensive name.  What this means is that All Things Democrat is one of the few entities to make a big deal out of a change of policy prior to ever having referred to the name that is being retired.  Thus, I am proud to report that our record on this particular issue is completely spotless.

 There is another rooting interest I have in the game tonight.  I live in Eugene Oregon, home of the mighty Oregon Ducks.  The Philadelphia Eagles are playing the WFT on Monday Night Football.  Why would some liberal Oregon Duck fan on the west coast give a fig about a contest betwixt the Eagles and the WFT, especially when said liberal is a loudmouthed Seattle Seahawk fan?

 The Eagles poached the Ducks head coach, Chip Kelly, after he led the Oregon Ducks to  4 consecutive BCS Bowls, winning the Rose and Fiesta Bowls in his last two years.  Actually Kelly turned the Eagles down right after the Fiesta bowl win, but then they materialized an oil freighter full of cash onto his front yard and threatened to flood the neighborhood in dollar bills unless Kelly signed and deposited the money.  In order to avoid the needless effusion of blood which would have attended the crushing weight of all those dollar bills released upon his friends and neighbors, Kelly reluctantly agreed to leave Eugene to coach the Eagles.  Or something like that. 

 Which means that I have two reasons to root for the Philadelphia Eagles in tonight’s game against the WFT.  Kelly made his chops as the coach of the Oregon Ducks, and the team they are playing insists upon using a name that is offensive to Native Americans.

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A Confession

I have a confession to make.  I have a hard time talking to Republicans.  They dazzle me with their complete lack of a coherent argument or they twist real words into meaning something else or their staggering ability to just make shit up.  Facts are no obstacle to these people, it seems.

The good news is that I have discovered two things that will help me next time I enter the minefield that is talking politics with Republicans – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speaking Republican by Elizabeth Parker and The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm by James Napoli.

The-Complete-Idiots-Guide-To-Speaking-RepublicanThe Complete Idiot’s Guide introduces you to the “lingo” that Republicans use – so I will no longer be confused by any twisted word meanings.  Here are a few examples of some helpful ones:

Communism: A catch-all term for anything that promotes tolerance, fairness, transparency, or social justice. Has no relation to the actual theory and practice of communism.

 
Elitist: Reads above an 8th grade level.

Entitlements: Stuff you aren’t entitled to, even though you pay for them with your taxes or financial contributions: Like earned benefits, food, housing, education, healthcare, and other ridiculous luxuries taken for granted in all the other modernized and wealthy — and some not-so-wealthy — nations (see Pensions).

 
Fiscal Cliff: A non-existent precipice over which we’ll tumble if we don’t enact tax cuts for the wealthy and draconian austerity measures for the rest of us.

Hawaii: A foreign country located in Kenya, Africa.

 
Un-American: Urban, non-white, multicultural, progressive, non-Christian, gay-friendly, educated, and/or tolerant.

 
Voter Fraud: Voting for Democrats.

And War on Christmas: Publicly acknowledging the existence of other (non-Christian) winter holidays besides Christmas.

And there are many, many more enlightening terms that help you grasp what Republicans are actually saying.  I highly recommend printing it out and using it to translate a Fox News broadcast as a Democrats version of closed captioning.  *Note: you might want to wear a helmet if you try this, as the rate in which your brain cells will self-destruct while under the influence of Fox News could be catastrophic.

Now hop on over to Amazon.com, your favorite bookseller or the National Sarcasm Society website for a dose of sarcasm that can really help you get a leg up in conversations with Republicans.  I should take the time to make another note here.  There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the cover – it is in small print, so some people may not see it.  It reads: “*Not Approved for Use by Stupid People”.  So if you pick up a copy, be sure not to leave it laying around.

7946993A few of the gems from this tome include:

Accent: A way of speaking that reflects the region of the world in which you grew up.  Depending on where that is and where you are when you use it, it could either get you beat up or laid.

Bankrupt: A state of financial destitution.  Also a morally bankrupt person, which, ironically, usually describes someone who never actually experiences being literally bankrupt, because being a greedy, egotistical a-hole usually keeps you well out of the red.

City Official: Someone who routinely puts the needs of his or her constituency after his or her own self-serving desires.  No, that was not a typo.

President: A person appointed by the American people to screw up the country for a period of four years.  Or, if the screwing is really going well, eight years.

Tech Support: People in a foreign country who are getting paid almost nothing to be friendlier and more helpful than people in your own country could ever hope to be.

Thanksgiving: A complete implosion of the family unit, with turkey.

And the Washington Monument: Described in the guidebooks as the world’s tallest obelisk, when it is perfectly clear to anyone that it is a phallic symbol straight out of a Freudian fever dream.  Trying to live up to this impossible male ideal is part of what gets the United States into so much trouble.

I hope this post will come in handy for other Dems who have difficulty holding their own with Republicans.  I know I now have more confidence.  Thanks Elizabeth Parker and James Napoli!

 

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Straight Talk on Syria

Jon Stewart cuts through the bull and slams the Syrian “red line”.

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Posted in Barack Obama, Government, Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart, Wars | Tagged , , , ,
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Rush Claims Book Accurately Depicts American History, Hilarity Ensues

Rush Limbaugh is writing a children’s book that gives the “accurate historical record of the Pilgrims”.

The headline of the story linked above reads, “Rush Limbaugh’s Using His Tea-Selling Mascot To Tell the “True Story of Thanksgiving” to Kids”. I read the article with the expectation that I would be rewarded with a good laugh, and I was not disappointed.

Rush claims his book, titled Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, sets the record straight on real American history.

The fundamental problem with the book is the entire premise. The plot of Rush’s book involves a time traveling talking horse named Liberty… because any historian worth a bucket of spit can tell you the storied history of great American time travelling talking horses. Any historian who denies the existence of time travelers, or talking horses, or some such combination, is simply trying to indoctrinate our children against the wonderful lessons provided by our nations storied past!

As the great American songwriter Francis Scott Keys famously wrote:

A horse is a horse, of course of course,
and no one can time travel like a horse,
that is unless the talking horse,
Is Mister Liberty!

(Ok… I just made that up, but that is no greater a transgression than Limbaugh claiming this turd of a book is accurate history)

Limbaugh says of his paean to the indisputable historical record compiled in his book: “Again it is a unique way of reaching the target audience here, which is America’s young people—who are, sadly, not being taught what is in this book.”  Get that history teachers? Either start telling the truth about the role time travelling talking horses had in the founding of this great nation or get out of the way!

Liberty and his owner, Rush Revere (another indisputable historical figure unless you are a communist history teacher) time travel to the Mayflower during the voyage from Europe to what would become America.  Liberty and Rush talk with the pilgrims, because we know those fundamentalists  would not bat an eye if a horse and rider just spontaneously materialized on the deck of the Mayflower and started a conversation with them. It’s not like those pilgrims were overly superstitious or would have their minds completely blown by a horse starting to shoot the breeze. This is the real history folks!

For some weird communistic reason, when I imagine the above scenario, I am left with an ugly image of Rush Revere lashed to the mast as the pilgrims do whatever they did to cast demons from their midst, probably involving fire and confessions of guilt and what not. I wonder what the smell of burning Oxycontin and Viagra is like?

There can be no doubt that this book contains completely accurate quotations between the pilgrims, Revere and Liberty. The notion that Rush would take any creative liberty with these conversations, thereby lessening the ironclad guarantee of the historical accuracy of his book, is only a plot to undermine his credibility.

People who liked this book also liked President Bush, Congress and going to the dentist.

Posted in Conservatives, Politics, Rush Limbaugh | Tagged , , , ,
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From “Stand Your Ground” to the “Bush Doctrine”

Leave it to a conservative to make Stand Your Ground laws look normal. From ThinkProgress.org:

William T. Woodward is facing murder charges for the alleged shooting of three people on Labor Day, two of whom have now died. In his defense, his lawyer is not only making a novel legal argument that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law applies, saying he was protecting himself against “imminent death” because of an ongoing dispute between him and the men he shot. He also invoked the “Bush Doctrine,” the foreign policy Bush used to justify aggressive military intervention, to argue that pre-emptive attack can be a form of self-defense, Florida Today reports.

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Congress’ Vote On Syria Could Affect War Powers For Decades

To continue the title, Congress’ Vote On Syria Could Affect War Powers For Decades, and if the current winds hold true, not in a good way.

I would like the president to routinely ask for congressional approval when it comes to the use of force. I fear that the example provided by the current debate will lead future presidents to simply act as they see fit, for reasons I will attempt to describe in short order.

1st I’ll spell out my position on Syria. When this debate began I was ambivalent. With the passage of time I find myself leaning to the administration’s position. Simply put, enforcing international norms for what is or is not acceptable behavior regarding the use of chemical weapons is a valid justification for the use of force. Consequently, punishing those who use chemical weapons on civilians is a valid use of American military power from my perspective.

Regrettably, if China or Russia were ever caught using chemical weapons the U.S. would certainly not play the role the president would have us play in Syria. Be that as it may, there is value in using American power to enforce this particular international norm. Russia, Iran and any other players that choose to ignore the use of chemical weapons on civilian populations due to international politics should be ashamed.

I have found my opinion turning in favor of the president following several days of foolishness by congress critters of both parties and the talking heads who supposedly know how those critters will vote. Suffice to say that an ill wind blows for the president’s position, especially in the house, and I find the reasons for those shifting winds to be entirely wanting.

Much of the opposition to the president from the Republican side is crass political opportunism. They see a chance to vote against Obama, weakening his presidency and providing aid and comfort to America’s enemies, by which I mean the tea party. (If I get enough pushback on that statement I’ll bash out another diary explaining what makes the tea party the enemy of America.) If the Republican political opportunists were to actually vote their conscience on the issue of punishing an outlaw nation for using chemical weaponry against civilians, the administrations prospects in the house would be considerably brighter.

I find much of the opposition from the left to be downright insulting to President Obama. Let me stipulate that the last time a president used the chemical weapons bugaboo to launch a war those justifications were based upon lies and wildly inflated half-truths. The result was a completely boneheaded disaster, with consequences that will afflict this nation for generations. Simply put, President Obama is not President Bush. Acting as if the two have similar thought processes and strength of argument is a scurrilous attack on the character of President Obama, IMHO.

Using the malfeasance of President Bush and his cronies to argue against President Obama’s course in Syria is an outright insult which I for one cannot silently abide by. If I had the slightest inkling that Obama wanted to march to Damascus and then install Paul Bremer Jr. as head of a provisional government until democracy flowered throughout Syria I would be as loud against Obama as any loudmouthed tea party ignoramus. For those on the left raising the specter of Bush blundering into Iraq to argue against President Obama I respectfully say WHAT CRAP!

President Obama = dislodging the dictator of Libya who had been a thorn in our side for decades without the death of one American. (Benghazi loudmouths… that was after, so please don’t even go there.) President Bush = Mission Accomplished banners about 1/10th of the way into the Iraq quagmire.

President Obama = Osama Bin Laden killed. President Bush = Invading Afghanistan to capture Bin Laden and then relying upon the local yokels to go into Tora Bora when we had Bin Laden Bin Cornered.

President Obama = complete withdrawal from Iraq. President Bush = years long Iraqi quagmire.

I could go on like this for a good long while. It is time for lefties to give President Obama some respect here. Any justification against President Obama/Syria that involves Bush/Iraq should be retired.

Let me posit that if members on the left using the Bush Iraq debacle would give President Obama the respect he deserves, and members on the right would vote their conscience rather than their base, the outlook for the president would be much, much brighter in the house.

There are some very valid reasons on the left and the right to not want to follow the President on this. One that appeals to me is that we ought not be the world’s policeman. Another: If the rest of the international community can’t be bothered, the burden should not fall entirely upon America. A valid reason on the right from my perspective (which is admittedly flawed when it comes to what is or is not valid righty thinking) would be the libertarian outlook: We simply should not be involved unless the wolves are at our doorstep. Let the world care for itself, but if they look at us cross-eyed we’ll blow them to smithereens.

What happens if the president loses this congressional vote based upon a lack of respect from the left and crass political gamesmanship on the right? There has been longstanding tension between congress and the executive when it comes to war powers. If the president loses this vote and the reason that vote failed was devoid of legitimate debate regarding the issue at hand, future presidents would not be willing to bring prospective military action to congress. Future presidents would be far more likely to simply conduct military operations as they see fit without risking losing a vote whose outcome is based upon partisanship and faulty readings of what the president wanted to do based upon the worst examples of presidents past.

There is nothing in the constitution that says congress must vote based upon this or that factor. If congress wishes to decline authorization based upon astrological signs or gazing at goat entrails, that is their right. If they are going to base their votes on issues that do not pertain to the question at hand, do not be surprised if future presidents for-go giving them a vote in the 1st place. The result of the coming congressional vote on Syria may be that congress does not have the opportunity to vote on future military action.

To wrap up maybe the president should take the Clinton/Balkans approach. When President Clinton went to congress to approve airstrikes in the Balkans, the strikes commenced the day following senate approval, March 24, 1999. The house voted a month later, and the president lost that vote on a 213-213 tie. Despite losing the house vote the strikes continued until early June, at which point the Serbians agreed to an international peace proposal that included withdrawing their troops from Kosovo.

President Obama is more likely to have the votes authorizing Syrian strikes in the senate. Let them vote first and let the strikes commence the day following (the presumed) senatorial approval. If President Obama has 1/10th the success in Syria as President Clinton had in the Balkins, he’ll come out of this smelling like a rose.

Posted in Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Iraq, National Security, Politics, Tea Party, The Constitution, War Crimes, Wars | Tagged , , , ,
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Labor Day: Celebrating Unions’ Uplifting the American Worker

The Goal Of Unions Is And Always Has Been To Better The Standards Of Life For Wage Earners

 MNT-STATE-OF-UNIONS-235x300The TRUE meaning of Labor Day has been hijacked like every other American holiday and demurred to the official weekend closing the summer break with the introduction to a new school year. Vacation leave halts as we fall out of the heat into the autumn season. During periods of economic prosperity, this holiday held significant reverence within the American psyche and currently, enjoys a momentous renaissance. This rebirth hinges upon the ability to create sustainable careers following the global recession. Last week culminated in several pivotal events fomenting civil rights. The country celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ‘March on Washington‘, Women’s Equality Day, followed by a national fast food workers’ strike, and concluding with Labor Day weekend.

Women_Equality_Day_WED13XLWomen’s Equality Day commemorated the passage of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. Women have made enormous strides since June 4th 1919, but issues remain to be fought. The proverbial glass ceiling still exists, and wage inequality continues between the sexes with women earning 0.77 ct on the $1.00 compared to their male counterparts working in the same position.

The ‘March on Washington’ included Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a i-have-a-dream-speechDream’ Speech. The central focus of the 1963 March was to raise the minimum wage from $2.00 to $2.13. Interestingly fifty years later, the minimum wage remains a national matter of contention. Since the late 1960s, the minimum wage has failed to keep pace with the economy, but if it had, the hourly rate in 2013 would approximate $10.74 instead of $7.25.

Pres. Obama, Fmr. Pres. Carter, Mrs. Obama and Fmr. Pres. Clinton

Pres. Obama, Fmr. Pres. Carter, Mrs. Obama and Fmr. Pres. Clinton

On Wednesday, August 28th, the official date of ‘the March’, notable progressive dignitaries spoke from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, including President Obama, formerDemocratic Presidents Clinton & Carter.

 Something is missing….no Republicans or conservatives accepted an invitation
to speak.

Only A Fool Would Deprive Working Men And Woman The Right To Join A Union Of Their Choice   ~Eisenhower~

Yup, GOP’ers thumbed their noses at the event while pundits and politicians alike lied about not being invited. Actually, they were too busy begging big oil for campaign donations, or lying prostrate at a Koch Brothers’ event. Others declared they had their own celebrations, not exactly in the spirit of inclusion but generally, the sentiment expressed was of disinterest.                                                                                                                                   Labor Day was dedicated to the American worker. Traditionally, unions are the guardians of worker’s rights by establishing boundaries, which notably included a 40-hour workweek and determining hourly rates for Holiday pay. Prior to the four-decade war on bargaining powers in their efforts to negotiate fair benefits, unions were the protectors of a sustainable income by affecting competitiveness in the market place and fighting to ensure all workers were at least paid the minimum wage. They have been effectively vilified as the primary drivers of increased costs of goods and services. And unfortunately, Unions have been double teamed by corporate protectionists over the last three decades and the Republican Party, whose ultimate goal is to bankrupt them as that they are the most ‘deep pocketed’ donors to democratic candidates.
Ironically, during the 2010 midterm elections, working-class folks, some union members, either stayed home or voted for GOP Governors in traditionally ‘blue states.

Gov. Walker - WI Wisconsin’s Scott Walker signed Act 10, a law that severely restricted collective bargaining to meet the rate of inflation, which precipitated massive membership withdrawals and fund shrinkage, sometimes to deficit levels. Now Walker is contemplating repaying the 2010 campaign endorsement from the police and firefighter unions, both exempted from the Act 10 carnage, by extending the same austere law to their members.

Gov. Christie - NJ
Gov. Christie – NJ

Unfortunately, union members in other states have yet to embrace the lessons yielded from the badger state’s row. The outset of the summer witnessed the continued endorsements from a half a dozen unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164 and the Elevator Constructors Local 1, from Governor Christie’s 2009 campaign. It doesn’t make sense to support a governor who brags about beating the teacher’s union by forcing them to accept a pay cut, eliminating 10,000 union members — teachers and support staff, and increasing healthcare obligations to 1.5 percent of their salaries. Like Walker, Christie is selective of the unions he wishes to crush. In NJ, Christie set his sights on police, fire-fighter and teacher’s unions’ benefits, while defraying the destruction of labor unions.

Gov. Snyder - MI

Gov. Snyder – MI

Gov. Snyder of Michigan took another tactic by signing right to work-to-laws that exempts workers from paying membership dues while they reap the benefits of collective bargaining, thus undercutting union coffers. Public and vocational unions jeopardize their existence and membership by desperately clinging to the delusion of immunity from ambitious governors striving to fracture alliances. It is no secret; the Republican platform is firmly Anti-Union. The reemergence of union’s political influence is part of the economy’s silver lining arising from the smoldering ashes of the 2008 recession. Given the dramatic economic upheavals in the last decade, half of Americans perceive unions favorably, up ten percentage points from just two years ago. No surprises, Democrats possessed the most favorable perception of unions while Republican’s bottomed out at 23%.

Gov. Kasich - OH
Gov. Kasich – OH

In 2011, Ohioans prompted the initial stirrings by repealing SB 5, Gov. John Kasich’s anti- union law intended to curb collective-bargaining rights for 350,000 public workers and gutting the political power of public-sector unions. This year, retail, fast-food, health home-care, nursing assistants, and migrant workers, constitute the low-wage sector occupations awakening the American conscience to demand livable wages. These jobs have become new employment staples, with non-management yearly earnings equating to approximately $15,080 annually compared to the required $30, 000 for a single worker to experience financial security. Traditionally, these entry-level positions were a portal to growing careers but now support entire families, absent benefits. With a ‘say anything’ publicity strategy, multi-national corporations shamelessly circumvent the social and moral contract to provide livable benefits by lamenting higher wages would decrease work forces and adversely affect prices. To survive, individuals must rely upon food stamps and/or public assistance with full-time employment. Ironic, these same multinational corporations don’t carry their equitable share of the tax burden either, yet enjoy record-breaking profits annually.  Overworked, undercompensated Americans have much to gain in benefits, income and opportunity by allying themselves with unions. Unions work by securing wages from the ‘bottom upward’ boosting the public and private sectors’ competition for workers. Conversely, the FAILED Regan economic model of ‘trickle down ‘from 1979 to 2007, increased the richest top 1% of American households by 281%, or household incomes by more than $973,000. Comparatively, the poorest Americans’ incomes increased by a measly 16% or $2,400 for the same period…a shameful plight. That ‘Job Creators’ crap designed to rationalize reducing the wealthy’s tax burden in order to encourage investment has yet to materialize and ONLY justifies upward redistribution of wealth to the greedy, the selfish….the conservatives.

Unions are predicted to grow with evolving attitudes and demographic change. The influx of immigrants from countries with vibrant union movements has birthed worker centers that focus upon organizing immigrant employees. Additionally, these centers are developing coalitions with allies to coordinate class-action lawsuits against employers for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII, and other employment laws. Americans have yet to acquire the same worker protection’s their global counterparts enjoy, including universal paid sick leave, time-off to care for newborns and unionizing domestic workers. The new union movement will soon hopefully propose safer work environments for coal miners and plant workers, humane conditions for agricultural employees and protections for young people such as unpaid interns and college athletes. For now, the struggle continues to strengthen anti-discriminating laws; including the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA which would protect LGBT workers from the 34 states that don’t.

sleeping car porterNEA_logo_3I’m proud my entire family attended the 1963 civil rights March in Washington and were proud union members including the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the National Education Association. The strength and organization of their memberships enriched all our lives, for that I remain forever grateful.

Frequently, the GREAT accomplishments of the American worker are discounted as menial, but Labor Day proudly celebrates the infinite reasons for us to be inspired by our past, renew our commitment to the present and protect the rights for future generations of workers.

Posted in AFL-CIO, Chris Christie, Immigration, Income Inequality, Koch Brothers, Labor Unions, Labor Unions, Politics, Republican Propaganda Machine, Republicans, Rick Scott, Rick Scott, Right-To-Work Issues, Ronald Reagan, Scott Walker, Stars of the GOP, The Economy, Wisconsin Recall | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Today’s Stupid Conservative Quotes

These posts usually begin with outrageous quotes by a typical, conservative bigot. Today, we’ll start with a conservative who is just plain stupid.

rumsfeldandhusseinIn the 1980′s the Reagan administration, with the help of neocons like Don Rumsfeld, supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq’s war against Iran. That’s right, for you conservatives who were too young to know, Republicans and Saddam Hussein were close allies.

Even Irumsfeldhusseinhandshakesrael offered assistance to Iraq, to be communicated through Rumsfeld in his meeting with Hussein. After Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran, Republicans still supported and defended Hussein. The Reagan administration successfully stopped a vote by the United Nations to condemn Iraq for its use of chemical weapons.

This Republican history made yesterday’s statements by Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida to Fox News simply jawdropping. Either Ros-Lehtinen has the equally limited education of her pal Sarah Palin or she knows better but thinks Americans are dumb enough to buy her propaganda. Then again, she was speaking to the Fox News audience.

U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida answers reporters' questions during a news conference at the Presidential House in TegucigalpaIt is against the norms of international standards and to let something like this go unanswered, I think will weaken our resolve. I — I know that President Reagan would have never let this happen. He would stand up to this. And President Obama — the only reason he is consulting with Congress, he wants to blame somebody for his lack of resolve. We have to think like President Reagan would do and he would say chemical use is unacceptable.

vickimarbleOk, now we can move on to the daily, conservative bigotry. Like Colorado Sen. Vicki Marble, who brought a box of fried chicken to a hearing on poverty as a “silent protest”. A couple weeks ago in a hearing on economic opportunity and poverty, Marble blamed “barbecues” and “chicken” for poverty in the African-American community. Naturally, Marble was publicly criticized and humiliated. She brought the box of chicken as an overtly racist form of retaliation.

And finally, we have the day’s conservative homophobe, Christian radio host Kevin Swanson who had this to say about attending a gay wedding:

kevin_swanson_aI think you can attend a wedding if you hold a up a sign that reads Leviticus 20:13. I think that would be appropriate. You could attend a wedding and hold up a sign with Leviticus 20:13. You know, word for word: ‘If a man sleeps with a man as he sleeps with a woman the two of them have committed an abomination and they shall both be put to death.’ You could attend a wedding and hold up that sign.

I’m wondering how long it will be before Swanson comes out of the closet. That’s the way it usually plays-out; conservative homophobe turns out to be a gay man.

View the Stupid Conservative Quotes series.

Posted in Iraq, LGBT Rights, Politics, Racial Issues, Ronald Reagan, Rumsfeld, Same-Sex Marriage | Tagged , , , , , , , ,
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Governor of Illinois – Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn is the current Democratic Governor of Illinois seeking re-election in 2014. He is most known for signing a bill that abolished the death penalty in his state. Prior to being elected governor he served as a tax attorney, was an aide to former governor Daniel Walker, served as Illinois state treasurer, and was Lieutenant Governor of the state. His experience in taxing and as treasurer have served him well by lowering the state’s deficit, contributing to his support for financial reform, and him wanting tax reform for his state. He has been highly praised for his stance on environmental issues and community service, including his responsibility for expanding AmeriCorps in his state. He won 50.4% of the vote to become governor which means his re-election is not exactly safe, so Dems in Illinois need to get out the vote for Pat Quinn ahead of the election next year.

Research by Jacob Immel.

Posted in Central States, Election Reports | Tagged
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Today’s Stupid Conservative Quotes

This edition is entirely devoted to stupid quotes by Donald Rumsfeld, one of the neoncons from the Dubya administration who was directly responsible for manipulating and betraying Americans with fake intelligence to start an illegal war that resulted in thousands of dead Americans and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis. That not to mention how it completely destabilized the middle-east and gave us the problems we have today in Iran and Syria.

Raw Story reports on a conversation that took place on Wednesday between Rumsfeld and the fools at Fox & Friends:

“The essence of leadership, really, is clarity and a vision, and there hasn’t been one,” Rumsfeld told the hosts of Fox & Friends. “My concern is, it seems to me, if you’re going to do something, you ought to do something that has a value and has purpose, rather than sending signals out that what we’re going to do won’t be much, it won’t last long, and it won’t end up with any changed circumstance on the ground.”

“In fact, former Sen. Barack Obama pretty much opposed former President Bush at every corner regarding his foreign policy,” Fox News host Steve Doocy noted. “This president delayed when it came to getting bin Laden, he delayed when it came to following up on Benghazi, and he now he has delayed on Syria. He has gone to Congress, probably to share the blame if anything blows up in his face.”

Did he need to go to Congress? No,” Rumsfeld opined. “Under the Constitution and the practice we’ve seen, we haven’t had a declaration of war, for example, since World War II. And presidents, as commander-in-chief, have authority. But they have to behave like a commander-in-chief, it seems to me.”

“I think that the fact that American people are confused and the fact that the Congress seems uncertain and the international community is not supportive is a reflection of the fact that the so-called commander-in-chief has not been acting as a commander-in-chief,” he added. “He’s not provided leadership.”

Jesus, there are so many things wrong with these statements. First of all, the nation and the entire world was outraged when the Dubya administration rushed into war with Iraq while the weapons inspectors were screaming “there are no WMDs in Iraq!”. Of course, they were right – no WMDs. Its was all a scam on the American people. The only mistake Obama made was not charging them with war crimes. Obama felt it was better to put it all behind us – forgive and forget – which allowed the radical right to regain power. They should have been out of office for a hundred years. Instead, we have to live with these assholes.

Next, Doocy’s ridiculous statement:

This president delayed when it came to getting bin Laden

Are you shitting me?!! Dubya didn’t catch Bin Laden after 8 years in office. He even said at one point that he did not care where Bin Laden was. Obama promised to get Bin Laden and he did. End of story. So STFU, Doocy!

Rumsfeld adds:

Did he need to go to Congress? No.

He’s trying to criticize Obama for not bypassing Congress and launching a surprise attack, something he, and the Dubya administration, would have gladly done. Can you believe this guy?!! The radical right is so confused by their knee-jerk criticisms of the President that they can’t even keep their stories straight. They told everyone who would listen that the President must get prior approval from Congress, and then when he does, they claim that was the wrong decision. Un-frick’n-believable. Republicans in both the Senate and House have drafted resolutions requiring Congressional approval before the President can use force against Syria. Nearly 80% of the nation wants Congressional approval! Old man Rumsfeld wants us to believe its a mistake. He too, can STFU.

And thank God for our “so-called Commander in Chief” who, besides saving our economy that was nearly destroyed by Republicans on Wall Street, repaired our image in the world after 8 years of neocon rule and “cowboy diplomacy”. Our nation is stronger and, once again, respected in the world. The radical right can spew propaganda and sit in circle-jerks convincing themselves they speak for all Americans, but everyone in the world outside of their radical circle knows its pure bullshit.

View the Stupid Conservative Quotes series.

Posted in Barack Obama, Congress, Neo-cons, Politics, Rumsfeld, Wars | Tagged , , , ,
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Illinois Senate Candidate – Dick Durbin

Dick Durbin is the current Democratic Majority Whip for the Senate, which he has been since 2007. He is serving his 3rd term in the Senate, after serving in the House of Reps. for 7 consecutive terms. He has served on the Committees of Appropriations, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, and Rules and Administration. He has a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO, and is known as one of the most liberal members of Congress, as well as being the “best debater”.

He has strong pro-choice beliefs and is highly revered by Naral and Planned Parenthood. He has tried to fight AIDS and HIV by attempting to allocate federal funding to causes fighting those diseases. He was the author of the DREAM Act and made it a high priority for him to get passed in the Senate. He believes that the financial crisis of 2008 was caused by federal banks, and has tried to lower the student loan rate. He has achieved these and many more things inside and outside of Congress that support our party platform, and we need to make sure he and loyal liberals like him are re-elected in 2014.

Research by Jacob Immel. 

Posted in Central States, Election Reports | Tagged
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Another Chapter in the Jindal Voucher Scam

cantorjindalThe Justice Department has requested an injunction preventing the State of Louisiana from providing school vouchers for the 2014 school year to students residing in the thirty-four parishes currently under federal desegregation orders. This prompted Eric Cantor and Bobby Jindal to spend the last week putting the usual GOP spin on the issue while conveniently avoiding the facts.

Cantor posted this question to his government site:

“Why is President Obama Trying to Keep Poor Kids Out of Good Schools?”

As well as tweeting:

“It’s disappointing to see the Obama Administration try to stand in the way of the progress made by @BobbyJindal in LA.”

For his part, Jindal claimed quite disingenuously on his weekly website post:

“There is no explanation for why they would do this.”

Of course there is an explanation, and Jindal knows exactly what it is, as Louisiana blogger Lamar White recaps:

“…Governor Bobby Jindal, Superintendent John White, and the Louisiana Department of Education have been completely unable and unwilling to provide the federal government with sufficient evidence that their controversial school voucher program complies with the law. Because Superintendent John White and his team at the Louisiana Department of Education could not or would not provide the federal government with documentation demonstrating their compliance, the Department of Justice was, essentially, forced to go to court…

…although Bobby Jindal is pretty skilled at preparing statements against the President, for whatever reason, he’s never been able to figure out how to actually do his job. Truth be told: He may be OK at politicking, but he’s pretty terrible at governing. This case, for example, has very little to do with the Obama administration opposing school vouchers; it’s based, almost entirely, on Governor Jindal’s epic incompetence, sloppy record-keeping, and utter contempt for transparency.”

As usual, the ill-informed conservative blogosphere is parroting the right’s less than honest representation of the situation; one site even using the headline: Obama-Holder Waging War Against Black Children (As if  conservatives care one way or the other if minorities receive a proper education).

As for what Cantor calls Jindal’s “progress”, maybe he should look to someone other than the Governor for his facts; here are just a few of the more interesting ones:

Crooks & Liars: according to Louisiana’s own charter school report, “The majority of the charter schools listed in that report are receiving C, D or F grades. Even more amazing, those schools receiving “F” grades are marked as “No Action” by the Louisiana DOE because they’re not in fiscal jeopardy. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, because the schools balance their budget they don’t warrant further scrutiny even though their performance is abysmal.”

Louisiana Educator: The kids being graduated by the New Orleans Recovery District were told by their charter school administrators that they would be prepared to attend Harvard and Yale. But now they are graduating with ACT scores that don’t even qualify them to attend our state colleges…

Lamar White: … for thirteen (13) out of fifty-one (51) private schools tested, tuition and fees received for certain students through the Scholarship Program exceeded tuition and fees charged to students not participating in the Scholarship Program.

It’s worth mentioning that many of the participating schools charge less in tuition for students that are members of the school’s sponsoring church, and many of them reserve the right to reject students on the basis of their religion.

Texas Freedom Network: Even if it has more than 40 voucher students, a school scoring less than 50 on a 150-point state evaluation scale (based on the scores students get on standardized tests) can continue to receive public dollars for voucher students already enrolled…

Private and religious schools may get state approval to accept publicly funded vouchers even if they haven’t received accreditation from any entity, public or private.

Some private schools seeking students with publicly funded vouchers pass off myths and urban legends as science. For example, the Lake Charles-area school seeking voucher students uses a curriculum that claims the Loch Ness monster is real and evidence that dinosaurs still exist…

Unlike public school students, voucher students are not required to pass the state’s standardized tests in order to pass to the next grade.

There is one thing the unmitigated farce that is Jindal’s voucher program accomplishes: It proves beyond any doubt that we need common core standards, and a federal education department. Without them, children in “red states” will find themselves laughed out of college… if they can even get in at all.

Posted in Conservatives, Education, Eric Cantor, Governors, Minorities, Politics, Racial Issues, Republicans, State Legislation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
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