Sucky S.C. State Senators Sack Schoolgirl’s Statute

Olivia McConnell is an eight year old third grader who lives in South Carolina. Olivia and her father eat at a local restaurant that incorporates all 50 of South Carolina’s official symbols into the menu. When Olivia noted that the menu did not have an official state fossil she decided to do some research.

What Olivia found is that 43 states have official state fossils, but not South Carolina. S.C. has an official state spider, 3 official state dances, 2 state marine mammals, a state dog, flower, snack, butterfly… they even have an official state Tartan!

After this all washes out South Carolina should have an official state schoolgirl, and someone needs to nominate Olivia who would win in a landslide.

When Olivia decided to do something about the lack of an official state fossil she wrote her local representatives, State Rep. Robert Ridgeway and State Sen. Kevin Johnson, Democrats from Clarendon, asking them to sponsor legislation to make the wooly mammoth the official state fossil of South Carolina.

“Please work on this for me,” McConnell wrote to Ridgeway, signing her letter, “Your friend, Olivia.”

Both of those fine Democratic representatives thought Olivia had a keen idea, and they commenced to submit the required legislation:

Whereas, giant mammoths used to roam South Carolina; andWhereas, scientists have identified the fossils of about six hundred and fifty species of vertebrates in South Carolina to date; and

Whereas, it has been recognized that fossilized mammoth teeth were discovered in a swamp in South Carolina in 1725; and

Whereas, this discovery has been credited as the first scientific identification of a North American vertebrate fossil. Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 9, Chapter 1, Title 1 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 1-1-712A. The Columbian Mammoth is designated as the official State Fossil of South Carolina.

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Needless to say, Olivia was psyched that her hard work paid dividends:

“It makes me feel really good,” she said. “It’s exciting,” Olivia said after hearing that the lawmakers are taking her request seriously.

The bill cruised through the house with only 3 votes against passage. I think 3 votes against is remarkable, because it should have passed unanimously by voice acclamation.

Unfortunately for our young heroine however, her bill is stalled in the S.C. senate due to the religious objections of 2 Republicans who think Jesus would suffer the children to come unto him, but only if the kids pinky promise to not believe in science.

Republican Senator Kevin Bryant, tried to amend the bill to add scripture from the book of Genesis describing the fundamentalist view of creationism. When that amendment was ruled out of order because it would bring an unrelated subject to the bill, Republican Mike Fair placed an objection on the bill. Not that he wants to block the bill! He just wants to find a way to add a creationist amendment to the bill that will pass legal muster.

Keep in mind, the bill did not specify the age of the fossil or that mammoth fossils of themselves somehow prove evolution.  Evidently Republicans Bryant and Fair feel that their fundamentalist outlook is threatened by the state even acknowledging the existence of a fossil without them being allowed to force their point of view onto the subject. It is not like Olivia was trying to pass an official state theory that evolution and the big bang described our origins, but it is like the Republicans are trying to force creationist theory onto her bill.

Fair and Bryant may think they are fighting the good fight for their point of view, but they just make their side look bad. Wouldn’t it be great if Democrats could consistently be lucky enough to forward the extremely popular legislation of 8 year old schoolgirls knowing that local Republicans would make a spectacle of themselves in opposition.

Finally, the example being set by Fair and Bryant is hardly Christ like. Ask yourself, “what would Jesus do?” I  doubt the answer to that question is that he would act like a huge douche bag.

Posted in Conservatives, Politics, Religion, Religious Right | Tagged , , , , , , ,
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The Fictitious Life of Rafael Cruz, Part 2: The Phony Immigration Story

ted-cruzs-fatherRafael Cruz is currently riding his son’s bogus “grassroots” coattails to stardom on the right. He receives speaking fees for his phony revolution/immigration tales, and the campaign pays his travel and expenses when he spews his nonsense at Ted’s political events. Rafael’s story has morphed over time, but he seems to have finally settled on a version that sells with Conservatives (and one that he can remember). In a D Magazine post about Rafael Cruz, Michael Mooney wrote:

“There’s no way to know for sure which—if any—parts of the story have been colored by the biases of memory…”

Seems even Mr. Mooney recognizes that parts of Cruz’s story are, in non-journalistic terms, so much b.s. There’s a big difference though, between embellishing minor details, and fabricating a personal history in its entirety, which is what Rafael Cruz has done. While there are plenty of reasons to doubt the extent of his role in Cuba’s revolution, the college issue is cut and dried: either Rafael Cruz is lying about his first year in America, or he committed immigration fraud in 1957. There is no gray area. Let’s compare his autobiography to facts and the law:

Continue reading

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“I’m a Republican, and You Should Get Covered”

From Whitehouse.gov with a hat tip to Joanmar on the Daily Kos rec’d list comes yet another inspiring story about how Obamacare is helping Americans, including those who do not normally support President Obama.

Mark D. Bearden is a retired psychologist living in Monroe, North Carolina. In February, he wrote a letter to the President letting him know what the Affordable Care Act has meant to him.

I am a staunch Republican, a self-proclaimed Fox News addict, and I didn’t vote for the President. And I’m here to tell you that Obamacare works. I’m living proof.

I’m a chemotherapy patient, and was previously paying $428 a month for my health coverage. I was not thrilled when it was cancelled.

Then I submitted an application at HealthCare.gov. I looked at my options. And I signed up for a plan for $62 a month.

It’s the best health care I have ever had.

So right now, here’s what I want to tell anyone who still needs health insurance, or knows someone who does:

 Sign up. Follow the instructions on the website. Apply, and look at your options. You still have time, and take it from me: This is something you want to do.

I wrote a letter to President Obama this past February to tell him about my experience with the Health Insurance Marketplace. I hoped he’d read it, and he did.

I may not be a supporter of the President. But now, I get mad when I see Obamacare dragged through the mud on television.

And even though I regularly tune in to conservative pundits, I’d like to tell them they’re getting it wrong. Obamacare works.

So one more time: If you still need health insurance, you have just three days to get it. Do what I did. Go to HealthCare.gov, submit an application, and pick a plan that works for you.

It just might change your life.

Mark D. Bearden, Ph.D.

Monroe, North Carolina

Whitehouse.gov should have an entire section dedicated to the testimonials of Americans who have had personal experiences that validate Obamacare.

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The Christie Internal Investigation Should Be Investigated

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was exonerated of any wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal by an internal review that was released yesterday. The taxpayers of New Jersey paid more than $1 million for that internal review.

Christie is being investigated for spending Hurricane Sandy relief funds on an advertisement that featured him during an election year. What is the difference between that and spending taxpayer dollars on a report that everyone knew beforehand would declare Christie completely innocent? In fact he is not just innocent, the report positively fawns over Christie’s actions surrounding the GWB traffic jam his administration is responsible for.

It would be fine if the report was paid for from funds raised by a legal defense fund, but to use taxpayer dollars in such a heavy handed attempt to exonerate Christie? Not just exonerate, but show what a strong and compassionate leader he was during the events in question. How is the self-serving laughably biased review issued by the Christie administration yesterday different than some other form of paid advertising, which cost should not properly be passed to the taxpayer?

Imagine being one of the drivers who sat in traffic for hours due to the Christie administration acting like a bunch of spoiled children, and then finding out that your tax dollars had been used in an obviously biased attempt to provide political cover to Christie over the issue. It is literally insult to injury. Further the cost to the taxpayer is in pursuit of keeping the truth hidden, not in finding out what actually happened.

This report continues a tried and true tactic of Governor Christie: Being a huge a-hole (aka bully) to get his way. The report outs an affair that then Christie staffer Bridget Kelly was having with then Christie staffer Bill Stepian. While specifically refusing to point to a motive for the lane closures, the report is not afraid to ‘slut shame’ Kelly, intimating that this all was a result of her getting all emotional when the affair ended at Stepian’s request. Got that Ft. Lee traffic jam victims? According to the internal report just issued from Governor Christie’s office, that you helped pay for, your time wasted in that huge traffic jam was probably due to a scorned woman emotionally taking her frustrations out on you while the good Mr. Christie was innocently leading the ship of state in his truly admirable and sympathetic style.

The report also takes a crack at exonerating the Christie administration’s shakedown of Dawn Zimmer, the mayor of Hoboken. According to the report, pictures taken during the event which show the mayor yawning and smiling indicate that the office of the governor could not have been guilty, because pics of Zimmer yawning and smiling prove it… or something. The fact that the report show’s pics of Zimmer yawning and smiling as proof of their findings is indicative of how shoddy and ham handed the report is.

From my perspective, the report just proves that Christie deserves his reputation for being a bully and that he has no concern whatsoever in spending taxpayer dollars to improve his own image. Rather than exonerating him, the report confirms the tendencies that got Christie into trouble in the first place.

Posted in Chris Christie, Disaster Relief, Politics, Republican Scandals | Tagged , , ,
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7 Times Women Kicked Ass On Cable News

Media Matters for America posted this great clip featuring 7 women on cable news kicking butt and taking names in celebration of National Women’s Month.  And I’m surprised by the inclusion of (at 1:26) Megyn Kelly!  But my favorite part has to be at 1:24, “Hmmm, I’m gonna say no, Bill.”

Then swing on over to the National Women’s History Project website and check out the 2014 Honorees.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Bill O'Reilly, Feminism, Fox News, Healthcare, Reproductive Rights, Women, Women's Health, Women's Rights | Tagged , ,
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More Volunteer Positions Available at All Things Democrat

We still have volunteer opportunities available. Follow the links for job details and apply at Jobs4Dems:

  • Two Video Bloggers – Posting the latest videos and campaign ads from numerous sources in our Videos pages. This is a new position that’s relatively easy. No blogging experience required, will train.
  • Writers: Women’s Issues – Some blogging or writing experience required. Topics include:
    • Women’s health issues: reproductive health, cancer, sexual assault, the Affordable Care Act, etc.
    • Women’s reproductive rights: abortion rights, birth control, state legislation and court rulings against abortion rights and birth control, etc.
    • Sexism in politics and the workplace, equal pay, etc.
    • Issues affecting the lesbian/bi/transgender community.
  • Writers – Election Reports
    We need motivated volunteers with an interest in spreading the word about Democratic candidates in their state and nearby states. Writers will collect updates on candidates and campaigns which include recent news and events, rallies, endorsements, polls, fundraising and more. Must have some writing or blogging experience, or relevant educational background in journalism, political science, business, history or language.
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Work for Sandra Fluke’s Campaign!

sandra flukeAs you probably know, Sandra Fluke is running for the State Senate in California’s 26th District. Marisa Kanof, the Fluke campaign’s Regional Field Director, posted two new positions in our jobs board (Jobs4Dems) that you should check out if you’re a Democrat living in the Los Angeles area:

  • Voter Contact Specialist – Part-time

    The Sandra Fluke for State Senate Campaign is looking for exceptional Voter Contact Specialists candidates for part-time, temporary roles to execute a dynamic grassroots campaign in West Los Angeles County. Sandra Fluke for State Senate Voter Contact Specialists will be the face of the Campaign in communities across the district. They will advance the movement to elect Sandra Fluke to the State Senate for District 26 through door-to-door canvassing and phone banking to persuade and turn out voters in support of Sandra Fluke. They must execute an aggressive field plan and have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening on the ground, carefully delivering campaign messaging to the voters in the district. Flexible schedules are available.

  • Campaign Internship

    The Sandra Fluke for State Senate Campaign is excited to be offering an internship that will teach participants the strategies and techniques of grassroots organizing. The skills learned through our program will be applicable far beyond the political sphere. Interns should expect hands on experience working on one of the most exciting races in Southern California! The internship will be a great primer for anyone considering a career in campaigns or politics, as well as anyone who is passionate about the ability to make real change in their community. No prior campaign experience is required. Applicants must be able to commit to a half day of training either Saturday April 12th or Sunday April 13th.

Both are great opportunities to get real-world experience in a campaign and to help elect a strong, smart Democrat. Click on the job links for more details and apply today!

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Election Reports – Eastern States – 3/27/14

Virginia Senator Mark Warner introduced healthcare legislation Warner, Mark-020209-18425- 0011to allow additional healthcare options to consumers. It includes a plan for “lower-cost, higher-deductible” options, a commission to look into ways to get insurance coverage to cross state boundaries, and to create an easier system for employers to report working hours.

The hope is that this legislation will make the healthcare system easier for families as well as employers, and allow for expansion and refining of the Affordable Care Act. Senator Warner spoke of the legislation, saying:

Before, during and after the debate over health care reform, I consistently said that The Affordable Care Act was not perfect, and that Congress would have to revisit the ACA to correct problems for consumers and employers as this new, improved system was implemented. We have listened closely to Virginia consumers, small businesses, providers and insurers to identify and work through some of these challenges. We have designed some targeted, commonsense improvements to keep what works and improve what could work better, and we will continue to look for places to make additional improvements.

Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts has written a letter to the Senate Finance Committee asking for the renewal of clean energy tax credits. The Senator, along with 28 of his colleagues, wrote how the tax credits are necessary for cheap, renewable energy and allow for the creation of thousands of jobs. More information can be found at Markey’s campaign website.

Delaware’s Senator Chris Coons chaired a hearing this week of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. Senator Coons stressed the importance of America’s continued commitment to President Obama’s energy poverty initiative Power Africa. More information on the initiative and Senator Coons’s statement can be found here.

Representative Patrick Murphy of Florida’s 18th District spoke in front of the House demanding that the Administration protect seniors by preventing cuts to Medicare. Watch his full speech:

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Election Reports – Central States – 3/26/14

Paul Davis Democrat KansasThe latest poll numbers for the Kansas gubernatorial race show Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate, with a two-point lead over the incumbent, Republican Sam Brownback. Public Policy Polling found that Brownback has a 51% disapproval rating among all voters, and within his own party 37% disapprove of his job performance.

Education funding is an issue that has turned voters against Brownback. Public Policy Polling found that only 31% of voters believe Kansas schools are adequately funded. Brownback and the Republican-majority Legislature made steep cuts to school funding in 2009, then followed up with a $1.1 billion tax break for the wealthy in 2012, which further hurt the school budgets. Earlier this month, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state is not fulfilling its constitutional duty to equitably fund all public schools, regardless of whether the districts are rich or poor.

To comply with the ruling, the state must restore $129 million in education spending. On Monday, Davis spoke out against a Republican proposal to make this much-needed funding conditional on educational reforms. Davis, who is the Minority Leader in the Kansas House of Representatives, said “Our children can never reclaim the opportunities they were denied as a result of state budget cuts, but we can act now and set things right. After years of waiting for Gov. Brownback to properly fund schools, Kansas kids deserve action.”.

Mary Burke, Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin, proposed a five-point plan for job growth on Tuesday. Her “Invest for Success” plan involves investing in entrepreneurs, investing in entire industries rather than particular companies, reduce government red tape, boosting the state’s international exports, and producing more college graduates.
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Parker Griffith, Democratic candidate for governor of Alabama, will be speaking at the third-annual Women’s Rights Rally in Huntsville on Sunday. Griffith has a tough race ahead of him in this deep red state, where Republicans currently hold every statewide federal, executive, and judicial office. Griffith’s top issues are Medicaid expansion, job creation, and the establishment of a state lottery to help fund education.

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Two Volunteer Video Bloggers Positions Available

We have two new openings for volunteer Video Bloggers. No blogging experience necessary.

Details on the position at Jobs4Dems.com.

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The Top Five Lies About Obamacare, Debunked

Media Matters’ Senior Researcher Emily Arrowood debunks the top five right-wing lies about Obamacare.

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Seeking Democratic/Dem-Friendly Women to Blog on Women’s Issues

All Things Democrat is seeking several Democratic or Dem-friendly lefty women to blog on women’s issues. This is a volunteer position working with a group of volunteers, authoring or co-authoring articles on issues affecting women.

See details and job posting at Jobs4Dems.com.

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