Sunday, March 30, 2014
Corporations left on their own, without the pesky government and its regulations, would NEVER cheat their lowliest workers out of money. NO! NEVER! These poor corporations, conservatives will argue, are the backbone of our economy, and they create jobs!
That may be true in some instances, but here's what mega-huge franchise businesses have been caught doing:
Domino's Franchisees Settle Wage Theft Investigation In New York For $448,000
The owners of 23 Domino's Pizza locations in New York agreed Thursday to pay workers nearly half a million dollars to settle a wage-theft investigation by the office of state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Schneiderman's office says it uncovered a raft of labor law violations that occurred between 2007 and 2013 at the stores, which are owned by six franchisees. Those include delivery workers being paid below the $5.65 tipped minimum wage they were entitled to, workers not being paid for overtime worked beyond 40 hours, and delivery drivers not being fully reimbursed for their auto expenses.
The $448,000 restitution fund will be divvied up among 750 current and former Domino's workers, most of whom will get between $200 and $2,000. The settlement comes on the heels of a similar deal reached by Schneiderman's office last week, when it settled an investigation bringing nearly $500,000 to McDonald's workers in New York City who said they'd been shorted on pay. "The violations in these cases demonstrate a statewide pattern of Domino's franchisees flouting the law and illegally chiseling at the pay of minimum-wage workers, who struggle to survive," Schneiderman said in a statement.
"My office will be relentless in pursuing fast-food employers who underpay the hardworking people who are the backbone of their operations." The franchisees have admitted to the violations, according to Schneiderman's office. The attorney general listed all of the franchisees and their restaurants, which span eight New York counties, on the state website.
Fast Food Forward, the union-backed group that helped organized those strikes, issued a statement calling the Domino's franchise settlement a "huge victory." Naquasia LeGrand, a Brooklyn KFC employee and member of the group, also criticized companies like McDonald's and Domino's for distancing themselves from their franchisees' actions. "[F]ast food corporations like Domino’s and McDonald’s cannot hide from their responsibility for these unlawful practices," LeGrand said in the statement. "They’re the ones in control of the daily operations of their franchisees."
Wage war: Employers stealing millions from US workers
Workers nationwide are losing millions of dollars each week to wage theft as their employers, some unscrupulous, others scrambling to keep their businesses afloat, fail to pay the mandated minimum wage or overtime wages, or, in some cases, don't pay their employees at all. Wage theft is far more common than was known just a few years ago, according to a new report from the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University.
"Employers are under a tight squeeze and looking for different ways to save money. Some are using wage theft as a business model to cut costs," said Cynthia Hernandez, co-author of the report. The research institute's study comes just as Florida is debating how to handle wage theft allegations. The state hasn't had a labor department since former Gov. Jeb Bush dismantled the department a decade ago.
And here're other fat cat business owners who stole hard-earned money from their employees (weren't these hogs rich enough from their restaurants, book sales, and teevee appearances?):
Mario Batali Settles Tip Lawsuit For $5.25 Million
Wolfgang Puck's Catering Company Sued for Stealing Tips
Progressive Eruptions has had its share of sadists and psychopaths, otherwise known as internet trolls, who have commented here. As a result of one very persistent troll, P.E. is now on comment moderation, which I actually prefer, because the trolls have left and gone to plague other blogs. Good riddance.
But the crazies are still out there, and when they infect conservative blogs, it is assumed that liberals are behind the infestation--this assumption is made because apparently the conservative bloggers believe only liberal bloggers are capable of this behavior.
In addition to the above, we have the phenomenon of unhappy and vengeful trolls who are so eaten up with envy and rage that they waste their precious time on this earth by making up parody blogs. Progressive Eruptions had, at one time, five parody blogs, but one psychopath closed down his/her parody, so P.E. now has only four malcontents obsessed with what is written here.
Here is a report on the mentality of the people who live their lives as internet trolls (and I believe the same applies to parody bloggers.):
Anyone who’s been on a website that welcomes readers’s opinions will agree that way too many comments seem to come from people simply looking for an excuse to spit on someone’s feelings or beliefs — people more commonly known as Internet Trolls. And now a new study has explained exactly why these people feel the need to be so mean: it turns out that most Internet trolls are actually sadists and psychopaths.
According to Time, Canadian psychologists Erin Buckels, Paul Trapnell and Delroy Paulhus set up a survey to match personality inventories with specific styles of Internet commenting. They found that people who like to troll are also the most likely to show signs of “sadism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.”
“These three traits make up the ‘Dark Tetrad of Personality,’” the study reads. Sadism means finding happiness in the harm of others, psychopathy means being unable to socialize without hostility and Machiavellianism is defined as the tendency to be unemotional yet deceitful.
Virtually every troll comment displays at least one of these character flaws. The Internet itself, however, is also partially to be blame for turning people into trolls. The study found that because of the Internet’s anonymous contact, users tend to fall victim to the “online disinhibition effect,” leading us to treat the people we interact with online as less than human. If we can’t see their faces or emotions, we treat their words as if they came from machines.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to turn into a sadist from excessive commenting, the psychologists noted, as continuous commenting from those who didn’t display the Dart Tetrad did not increase their chances of becoming trolls. But not all Internet commenters are sadists and psychopaths.
Thankfully, the study concludes, “Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism.”
Friday, March 28, 2014
The right wing blogsphere has been on fire with blowhards accusing President Obama of being weak, of our position in world opinion as weak, as anything President Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry, did as weak.
But as is the usual case, their accusations and opinions are as accurate as some rag-tag fortune teller at a fifth rate carnival. The right wing WANTS failure; the rightwing bellows for failure; the rightwing prays to its gods for failure, but here's what reality is:
President Putin called President Obama today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which we developed following U.S. consultations with our Ukrainian and European partners. President Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.
President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine. President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis.
President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Bloomberg reported that the sanctions are pushing Russia’s economy towards a recession and that current sanctions will already hurt Russia’s economic growth for two quarters.
Experts also suggest that the energy sector of the Russian economy could take a big hit if the sanctions are expanded.
All of the Republicans who suggested that sanctions have been a pointless failure are wrong. The sanctions are doing what they are supposed to do. Putin is coming to the table, and he suggesting that he is ready to solve this crisis diplomatically. President Obama hasn’t needed troops or to threaten militarily. His administration has clearly targeted Putin and the oligarchs that control the Russian economy.
Republicans have been like fanboys with their praise of Putin’s strength, but it turns out their new hero has been being brought to his knees by the intelligent and determined foreign policy of Barack Obama.
W.H.: Vladimir Putin calls Barack Obama to discuss Ukraine plan
POLITICS More: White House Barack Obama Vladimir PutinOBAMA TO PUTIN: Put A Proposal In Writing, And We'll Talk About It
White House: Putin, Obama discuss possible 'diplomatic solution' in Ukraine
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Two firefighters dead, at least 16 people hospitalized as Boston Fire Department battles 9-alarm blaze
Two Boston firefighters died today while battling a wind-whipped nine-alarm blaze that raced through a rowhouse in the city’s fashionable Back Bay neighborhood, according to two people with direct knowledge of the case.
The inferno broke out around 2:43 p.m. Wednesday on Beacon St. in the city's Back Bay neighborhood. All available fire personnel were called to help fight the massive blaze.
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the firefighters who lost their lives saving others.
A sad, sad day for the city of Boston.
Bob Cesca of the Huffington Post writing for AlterNet debunks the most popular wide-spread conservative lies. Of course most of you have the intelligence to dismiss the bunkum that the right spreads through their favorite FAUX news station, blogs, pols and pundits for their low-information, extremist followers who'll swallow anything so long as it conforms to their bubble-thinking paranoia and -- most important-- Obummer and Moochelle Derangement Syndrome.
So here's Cesca's list of the top ten favorite lies the right wing believes (the complete list is HERE):
10) Obama Doubled the Deficit.
This was a favorite of the Mitt Romney campaign. Throughout 2012, Romney repeatedly said, "The president promised to cut the deficit in half. He's doubled it!" No. No he hasn't. First of all, this line depends entirely on voters not understanding the difference between the deficit and the debt. See previous "simpleton" remarks. Indeed, the president has absolutely cut the deficit by way more than half in his first five years. When he took office, the deficit for 2009 was projected to be $1.4 trillion. The deficit at the end of 2014 will be $514 billion, just three percent of GDP. That's a nearly $1 trillion reduction in five years.
9) Man-Made Climate Change Is a Hoax.
According to a clearly liberal agency called "NASA," a full 97 percent of scientists with specific expertise in climate science agree that climate change is real and humans are causing it. We shouldn't really have to say anything else. Of course if you're Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber, and "one-in-a-million" means "there's a chance," then the three percent of scientists who aren't sure about climate change obviously indicates that it's a hoax.
8) Cold Weather Disproves Climate Change
New York City or Minnesota or Washington, D.C., isn't, you know, the globe. Climate scientists base their global warming observations on global temperature averages. So while it might be snowing outside Sean Hannity's house, average temperatures year-over-year are growing progressively higher.
7) Tax Cuts Do More to Stimulate The Economy Than Food Stamps and Unemployment Benefits.
According to Moody's Analytics:
Every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates 1.61 in economic growth.
Every dollar spent on food stamps generates 1.74 in economic growth.
But every dollar spent on rolling tax rates back to Bush-era levels only creates .32 in economic growth — that's a 68-cent loss on investment.
6) Cars Kill a Lot of People and No One Wants to Ban Them Like Guns!
Unlike firearms, cars aren't explicitly designed to kill or wound living beings (humans, animals, etc). They're designed to move you from one place to another. Yet unlike firearms, cars and drivers are heavily regulated by the government, from emissions standards to annual inspections to safety features, and so forth. You can't legally drive a car that doesn't feature seatbelts, or a car that spews too much exhaust into the air. You have to take both a written and a behind-the-wheel test to get a license to operate a car.
So if the NRA and its supporters are going to keep using this car analogy, then let's talk about regulating guns and gun owners the same way we regulate cars and drivers.
5) The Affordable Care Act Covers Abortion-Inducing Emergency Contraception.
Admittedly, there are so many Obamacare myths to choose from: death panels, IRS goon squads raiding homes, it's a "job killing" law, it's a "government takeover," etc. It's all a pile of hooey and definitely worth mentioning here. But this lie about emergency contraception coverage is so insidious that it even managed fool some liberals. Contrary to lawsuits by various religious businesses and organizations, the various forms of emergency contraception covered by the law do not, in fact, block implantation of a fertilized egg. If these medications were indeed abortifacients, they wouldn't be covered because it's illegal for the government to do so.
4) Obamaphones! Okay, just stop it with this.
No, the Obama campaign wasn't handing out free phones in exchange for votes. However, there's definitely a program that offers low-cost telephones to citizens who can't afford one. The truth is the Lifeline program has been around since 1984 when, that's right, Ronald Reagan helped to create it.
3) It's Safer to Have a Gun in the House, or a Concealed Weapon on Your Person.
I'm going to step aside and let an actual Republican debunk this one. Here's David Frum:
A gun in the house minimally doubles the risk that a household member will kill himself or herself.
(Some studies put the increase in suicide risk as high as 10 times.) An American is 50 percent more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than to be shot dead by a criminal assailant. More than 30,000 Americans injure themselves with guns every year.
2) Exhaling Releases "Dangerous" CO2.
This is so dumb, it easily ranks as the most ridiculous climate change lie. Yes, more ridiculous than the blizzard thing. It's truly astonishing that anyone with half-a-brain actually believes it.
1) Voter Fraud Is a Serious Issue That Requires Strict New Voter ID Laws.
In Ohio...Secretary of State Jon Husted ballyhooed his war against fraud by nabbing a whopping 20 potential cases. 20 out of nearly six million votes cast in that state in 2012. The Bush Justice Department found that there were as few as 80 successful prosecutions of voter fraud cases out of hundreds of millions of votes cast since 2000. For this ratio of possible-fraud-to-votes-cast we're told we need laws that make it more difficult to vote. By the way, some Republicans came right out and said it: this is all about electing Republicans.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Small compared with what, they never say, but here's the GOP busily at work sticking its nose into your life, because they know what best for YOU!
[T]he South Carolina House Judiciary Committee has given its preliminary approval to a bill that would allow alcohol sales on Election Day. “They were worried that people’s votes could be bought by alcohol on Election Day, which is about the silliest thing ever,” said South Carolina state Rep. Todd Rutherford (D), the bill’s lead sponsor.
“But I’ve tried for about three years not to change it, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to do so, the first time the bill has made it out of subcommittee.”
Oh, but there's a catch. A big, big, big catch. But the state House Judiciary Committee has added a new wrinkle: In exchange for allowing alcohol sales on Election Day, the committee added an amendment that would require liquor not be sold on Christmas Day.
That has the booze industry up in arms.
Hunter of Daily Kos:
I have to ask, South Carolina, and I mean this sincerely: Has the premise really been that if you allowed the South Carolina populous to purchase alcohol on Election Day, it would result in worse election outcomes and worse elected officials than those that already lead the state? Really?
And this (shudder) from my home state of Massachusetts, where Gee-Oh-Pee legislators are as rare as a hot day in January:
The Massachusetts state legislature conducted hearings this week on a bill that would make it illegal for divorcing parents to date or have sex in their own home before their divorce is final. Essentially, if this bill were to pass, divorcing adults who happen to have children would have to get a judge’s approval to have sex in their home. Or, you know, just go to a hotel. Or their significant other’s house. Or just do it anyway. State Sen. Richard Ross sponsored the bill on behalf constituent Wrentham Selectman Robert Leclair, the former president of a father’s rights organization who also reportedly, unsurprisingly, went through a nasty divorce of his own.
(Nah, those GOPers aren't anti-women. Is it just a coincidence that in 83% of divorces, mothers get custody of the children?)
GOP state-funded pregnancy tests in bars!
"Fetal alcohol syndrome is a devastating problem in Alaska, so state Senate Finance Committee co-chairman Pete Kelly, a Fairbanks Republican, has made it his personal mission to stamp it out.
This week, in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, he described the ways he plans to clamp down on the problem, including spending "a lot of money" on media campaigns and providing publicly funded pregnancy tests in Alaska's bars and restaurants, so that women will be discouraged from shooting whiskey if they find out they're pregnant.
But make no mistake: Kelly is not interested in providing state-funded birth control in public places. He says that "birth control is for people who don't necessarily want to act responsibly" and that would amount to "social engineering."
So why do the media report more often on right wing crackpots and weirdos?
Kevin Drum answers that question.
And that question has a lot to do with what commenter, Dave Miller, brings up with conservative bloggers all the time: Responsible people in the GOP rarely, if ever, disown or condemn the crackpots and their anti-women, anti-gay, anti-union, anti-science, anti-poor statements.
The GOP, in not doing so, tacitly approves of their fringe weirdos.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Or as I like to refer to them: "The Barking-Mad Dogs of the Blogsphere"
Here's an example of their spittle-flecking, vein-popping rage over Mrs. Obama's trip to China:
"Moochie In China! Correct me if I’m wrong, bit didn’t they say that the first lady, aka the Moocher was going to be staying away from controversial issues, but instead she was going talk about education during her visit !! Well I guess I missed the part where she had decided instead to spread her BS about telling the Chinese about American values and traditions . She could have also told the Chinese why she refused to allow the press along on her trip, doesn’t that express American values and traditions? And doesn’t that directly send the wrong message not only to people in the United States but also to Chinese citizens, about the LACK of Freedom of the press! And I wonder if she’s talking about how things are going in the White House these days? Like having another High Cost taxpayer funded vacation in China in a $8,350-per-night suite, while Hubby takes a separate one in Florida, her school lunch program that bombed, t he White House pastry chef just quit, the Russians calling her husband (our president “week”)[sic] and here she is talking up the family values plan, and playing Ping Pong! And she talks about “For the first time she is Proud of her country!” She is and will forever be an embarrassment to our country. ."
Okay, it's true when one gets oneself up into a froth of rabid anger, grammar and spelling mistakes increase--and the result is hilarity.
The uninformed, low-information, hair-pulling, scare-heads are in really good form over their favorite target, Michelle Obama.
But, as we all know, those who bitch the loudest about the FLOTUS are usually the ones who know the least. And that is true in this case, where the clam-heads fulminate at the top of their hate-choked lungs over a FLOTUS who is NOT the most traveled of all our First Ladies.
When it comes to travelling First Ladies, Laura Bush's name leads all the rest.
And Mrs. Reagan took 100 trips during her time as FLOTUS.
But don't tell them. It'll spoil their usual tantrums, self-important indignations, and their favorite hobby: Pooping green bricks over what Mrs. Obama does or doesn't do.
At least it's better than their usual passtimes: sticking forks in their eyes or eating paste.
I wonder why these barking mad dogs weren't foaming at their mouths over the many trips First Ladies Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan took. I wonder what's different about Michelle Obama.
Friday, March 21, 2014
GOP Lawmaker Says Businesses Should Be Allowed To Deny Services To Black People
Hagee: Jews Make Deal With Antichrist During End Times
New Hampshire GOP Lawmaker Jokes About 'Battered Women': 'I Still Eat Mine Plain'
Texas Republicans Don’t Support Equal Pay Because ‘Men Are Better Negotiators’
Wingnut Blames Obama For Plane Disappearance
Susanne Atanus, Who Blames Gay Rights For Tornadoes, Wins GOP Nomination For Congress
Susanne Atanus found a comfortable home in the
"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Considered the greatest logician of the 20th century, Bertrand Russell was also a brilliant philosopher, mathematician, historian, and social critic.
I've enjoyed his writings and thought this item, found in the website "Open Culture", thought provoking:
Here Russell explains liberalism:
“The essence of liberalism is an attempt to secure a social order not based on irrational dogma [a feature of tyranny], and insuring stability [which anarchy undermines] without involving more restraints than are necessary for the preservation of the community.”
"But the liberal attitude does not say that you should oppose authority. It says only that you should be free to oppose authority, which is quite a different thing. The essence of the liberal outlook in the intellectual sphere is a belief that unbiased discussion is a useful thing and that men should be free to question anything if they can support their questioning by solid arguments. The opposite view, which is maintained by those who cannot be called liberals, is that the truth is already known, and that to question it is necessarily subversive."
Russell criticizes radicals who advocate change at any cost:
"The teacher who urges doctrines subversive to existing authority does not, if he is a liberal, advocate the establishment of a new authority even more tyrannical than the old. He advocates certain limits to the exercise of authority, and he wishes these limits to be observed not only when the authority would support a creed with which he disagrees but also when it would support one with which he is in complete agreement. I am, for my part, a believer in democracy, but I do not like a regime which makes belief in democracy compulsory."
Russell offered a “ 'new decalogue' with advice on how to live one’s life in the spirit of liberalism. 'The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows,' he says:
1: Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2: Do not think it worthwhile to produce belief by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3: Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.
4: When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5: Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6: Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7: Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8: Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9: Be scrupulously truthful, even when truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Imagine what these people would do if they controlled all the states and Washington D.C. These are the same people who blubber about being descriminated against and ridiculed because of their "faith."
The parents of a Buddhist student in Louisiana ridiculed by a creationist teacher won their lawsuit against the school district, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed Friday.
The student, known as C.C., was asked by sixth-grade teacher Rita Roark to answer the following question on a test:
“ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
When C.C. failed to respond “Lord,” Roark responded “you’re stupid if you don’t believe in God.”
She also frequently denigrated his Buddhist faith, as well as the Hindu faith, referring to both as “stupid.”
When his parents complained to Sabine Parish Superintendent Sara Ebarb, they were told that “this is the Bible belt,” so they should expect to find the Christian God in the classroom.
Ebarb advised them that if they wanted an ungodly classroom, they should transfer C.C. to a school where “there are more Asians.”
Judge Elizabeth Foote of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana sided with C.C. and his parents, citing that Roark’s behavior — and the school’s decision to defend it — clearly violated “the Free Exercise and Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
Good for Judge Foote, and a win for the Constitution.
There is a streak of meanness and a wish to inflict humiliation that runs through this sort of religious fanaticism. Where it is in the majority in the Bible Belt (or anywhere else in the world), this is the sort of unchecked descrimination it practices.
I have a personal experience on this sort of behavior. My grandson was humiliated in a public school for not raising his hand when the public school teacher asked her class how many of them read the Bible every day. My grandson was being raised in a family that did not practice any religion. I suppose he could have lied and raised his hands so as not to look like the odd-child-out, but he didn't, he was honest. As a result, the teacher ridiculed him. His classmates, (after finding out something they didn't know until the teacher made them reveal it), harassed and bullied him for not reading the Bible. This happened in Orange County, California.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
This is why the GOP will continue to lose young people. Unless the party bosses in the GOP publicly distance themselves from this nutjob, they will march into the next generation as an irrelevant party of bigots:
"(RNS) Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on homosexuality, saying his record on protecting children from gay 'propaganda' is better than President Obama’s 'shameful' embrace of gay rights.
'In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,' Graham writes. 'Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.'
'Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful.'
With the caveat that 'I am not endorsing President Putin,' Graham nonetheless praised Russia’s get-tough approach toward gay rights." (Thereby actually endorsing Russia's aggressive, repressive and inhumane anti-gay, anti-civil rights agenda.)
Yay Putin, says Graham! Boo USA says Graham! What a patriot.
So here we have another very prominent "godly" Conservative who admires and praises an ex-Soviet KGB strongman over our American president. Conservative bloggers keep insisting this isn't so, even when the facts keep hitting them in their faces.
Evangelical Christian, Franklin Graham, wants us to bash, harass, and withhold civil rights from our gay citizens, just like the Russians do, because Jesus, or something. Did Franklin actually think this stupid endorsement out?
And yes, we know he has the right, as an individual, to not accept our LGBT brothers and sisters as equals who are protected by our Constitution. Someone, however, should have told him it's probably not a good idea to brag about his enthusiastic support of Putin's repressive government that beats, stabs, burns, and jails gay citizens for who they are. It's just not, y'know, the American way. He can kiss Putin's gay-hating ass all he wants; it won't change the fact that a majority of Americans reject him and his inability to embrace everyone in our human community.
Anyone with any sense of justice knows Graham is on the wrong side of history. Too bad he doesn't.
FAUX NOOZ goes after poor people and food stamps and, as usual, Jon Stewart exposes them for the hypocritical jerks they are.
Watch both segments below:
On another subject:
Her Majesty's a Very Nice Girl!
Thursday, March 13, 2014
This is very good news for those of us who support marriage equality and the families of those marriages who raise children.
"The largest study yet of children raised by same sex couples suggests that not only are these children equal to their peers raised in heterosexual parented households – but on some markers, they are actually doing better.
'Children of same-sex parents are doing as well or better than the rest of the population on a number of key health indicators,' The Age reports:
That is the initial finding from the world’s largest study on the children of same-sex parents, under way at Melbourne University.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families collected data on 500 children nationwide, up to the age of 17.
An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents.
However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well the family members get along.”
Meanwhile, people like Michele Bachmann are still whining because they believe their right to be bigots is a religious right.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
A recent CNN poll finds that 39 percent of Americans favor Obamacare, while 57 percent oppose it.
That’s awful, right?
"...it turns out:
39 percent oppose the law because it’s “too liberal,” while
39 percent FAVOR Obamacare AND
12 percent say it “isn’t liberal enough.”
51 percent favor the law or don’t think it goes far enough.
"And if you peek into the internals, it turns out that Republicans and conservatives are the only groups who oppose Obamacare as too liberal." h/t daily kos
Marketplace Open Enrollment Process by the Numbers
The Obamacare Recovery Continues: Now Up To 4.2 Million Sign-Ups
"...more concrete figures about how many Americans are benefitting under Obamacare are continuing to emerge.
Gallup estimated Monday that the number of uninsured had dropped by three to four million people since the law's coverage took effect in January.
So Republicans are confronting a new political reality: Any more votes for wholesale repeal can be equated with stripping health coverage from millions of people." --TPM
"It's remarkable how low America places in health care efficiency: among the 48 countries included in the Bloomberg study, the U.S. ranks 46th, outpacing just Serbia and Brazil.
Once that sinks in, try this one on for size: the U.S. ranks worse than China, Algeria, and Iran. But the sheer numbers are really what's humbling about this list: the U.S. ranks second in health care cost per capita ($8,608), only to be outspent by Switzerland ($9,121) -- which, for the record, boasts a top-10 health care system in terms of efficiency.
Furthermore, the U.S. is tops in terms of health care cost relative to GDP, with 17.2 percent of the country's wealth spent on medical care for every American.
In other words, the world's richest country spends more of its money on health care while getting less than almost every other nation in return."
The Republicans in the House recently voted for the 50th time to repeal the A.C.A. They apparently are proud of the U.S.A.'s shameful place in the community of advanced nations in how it delivers health care coverage efficiency for its sick citizens: BOTTOM OF THE LIST! And want to keep it that way.
Congratulations, GOP, in your efforts to keep the U.S.A.'s health care delivery system on par with a Third World, or worse, country.
Meanwhile, the woman who claimed her health insurance costs went UP under the A.C.A., Julia Boonstra, was WRONG.
Here's the latest on that shameful propaganda stunt.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Koch brothers have been busy, busy, busy setting up organizations so that they can secretly funnel money to them for the purpose of lying about Obamacare and defeating any sort of legislation that deals with climate change.
"The money and reach of this organization are completely unique in American politics. Filings show that the network backed by the Kochs and their donors outspent all other independent conservative groups in 2012, and it even matched the spending of the national coalition of labor unions.
The difference between the Kochs' network and the labor unions, however, is that labor unions aren't nearly this sneaky with the source of their political donations.
According to an analysis of tax returns by the Post and the Center for Responsive Politics, the 17 conservative groups you see above have pretty deep pockets. In 2012, they raised at least $407 million and funneled it to conservative campaigns across the nation.
This surpasses even Karl Rove's super PAC, American Crossroads, which raised a comparatively paltry $325 million. Because the donors are unknown, it's unclear how much money comes directly from the pockets of the Koch brothers and how much comes from outside sources. But we do know where it is going.
Most of the money flows through two non-profits that essentially function as banks that feed the money to other conservative organizations. The biggest of these faux banks is the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which brought in nearly $256 million in its first year alone according to WaPo.
Because Freedom Partners is structured as a business league, the majority of that money came from "dues" paid by its 200-ish members, and these members only have to disclose their affiliation if they feel like it. Freedom Partners and TC4 Trust — a similar organization that is now defunct — funneled most of their funds to national conservative organizations."
Here's another one of their anti-Obamacare propaganda scares exposed as a lie:
"Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers, is running Obamacare attack ads featuring a cancer patient who claimed her treatments were 'unaffordable' under the new health law.
On Monday, The Detroit News reported that the patient will actually save more than $1,000 a year.
Julie Boonstra says in the anti-Obamacare ad that she was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago, and her health care plan was canceled when Obamacare went into effect.
'Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it's unaffordable,' she said."
Shameless lie brought to us by the Kochs.
And then we have the half-wit, half-governor saying:
'Yes We Can' Has Become 'No You Can't' Thanks To Obamacare'
Because that's what the squirrels in her head told her.
Best comment on Palin's clown act at CPAC:
"...to understand what she is saying all you need to do is throw in a series random hate thoughts, mix them with a strong dash of vinegar laced cluelessness, a soupcon of junior high mean girl attitude, some finely shredded 15 year old girl word salad, stir and allow it to fester and decay into an indigestible hot mess of ignorance laced with bigotry.
She thinks she’s the life of the party as the standup comedian where ever she is paid to screech, while most people around the world who are aware of her existence, see her as the punch line for every joke that starts with what’s wrong with America, be it the stupidity of people held up as leaders on the right or the more ridiculous level of stupidity shown by people who support and pretend to be able to decipher the juvenile gibberish she speaks in."
Monday, March 10, 2014
And also because OBUMMER!
The willfully blind and ignorant on conservative blogs still don't believe that their own kind would choose Russia over America, just to spite our American president and to shout to the world that they hate Obama more than they love "America, Apple Pie, and the Flag."
But here's more proof of where their derangement has brought them: To the heart of a country whose leader jails rock bands, invades countries and is corrupt.
These are the sort of Godly values the "Freedom Loving" Conservatives support against their own country?
Amazing, isn't it, where spite, rage, and stupidity can take people:
Right to the Kremlin.
And they will be welcomed with flowers, candy, and a nice rancid dose of homophobia, as well. And what's not to love about that?
And they will be welcomed with flowers, candy, and a nice rancid dose of homophobia, as well. And what's not to love about that?
"Yay Putin! Boo America!" "Go Tea Party!"
For the first time in their lives, American Conservatives are proud of the Kremlin!
Congratulations on that achievement, Gee-Oh-Pee-ers! You will make the ex-Soviet head of the KGB and Russians very proud of you!
GOP LOVES PUTIN!
Conservatives have jumped the patriot shark.
Siding with Putin over Obama, conservatives justify holding their World Congress of Families summit meeting (referred to as the “pro-life Olympics”) in Moscow even after the Ukraine crisis because “Putin doesn’t threaten our national security, Obama does.”
Funding this little gathering of patriotic freedom lovers is a close Putin ally. Pallin’ around with Putin? The summit also includes a joint session with the Russian parliament, according to Right Wing Watch. In an article titled, “U.S. Conservatives To Go Ahead With ‘Pro-Life Olympics’ In Moscow Despite Ukraine Crisis:
‘Putin doesn’t threaten our national security, Obama does,’ the communications director for the World Congress of Families wrote”, Buzzfeed reported:
The World Congress of Families counts several leading U.S. conservative organizations among its affiliates, including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Alliance Defending Freedom and Americans United for Life.
The Moscow meeting is described as the “‘Olympics’ of the international Pro-Life movement supporting the Natural Family” in a promotional brochure, and will bring together conservative activists from around the world.
The meeting is funded in part by Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russia’s railroads monopoly and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and supporter of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Family Research Council attracts the big players in conservative politics — Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Mark Rubio, and more spoke at the Value Voters Summit, put on by the FRC last fall.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Out for the weekend to the great state of Maine.
Meanwhile, some good news via Sheria Reid on facebook:
Historic ruling: Judge orders anti-gay Scott Lively to stand trial for crimes against humanity
Extremist anti-gay US pastor is accused of engineering the Uganda 'Kill The Gays' bill, saying LGBT people are the 'new Nazis' and recommending Russia's 'gay propaganda' laws
For the first time, a federal US judge has ruled a persecution of LGBT people is a crime against humanity.
This sets a precedent ensuring the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law.
It comes as a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy organization filed a lawsuit against prominent US anti-gay extremist Scott Lively.
Friday, March 7, 2014
say "Who, MOI?" when they're accused of supporting the ex-Soviet KGB strongman, Vladimir Putin, over their American President Obama.
"Who has said anything like THAT?" They protest. "I don't know ANY conservative who's praised and admired Putin!" They lie.
So, for those feckless, refusing-to-see-what's-in-front-of-their-noses conservative pundits, pols, and bloggers, HERE YA GO:
The Tee-Gee-Oh-Pee-ers are a damaged brand, and their schizoid relationship with our American president is a large part of why they are so disliked by many rational people.
The GOP hates President Obama more than they love their country, and their current love affair with a REAL dictator shows how far down the road to Crazytown that hatred has taken them.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Well, if it's for a position in the Justice Department, for gawdsakes, don't be a lawyer!
Seven Senate Democrats joined the Republicans in denying President Obama's choice, Debo Adegbile, to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division because he represented a convicted cop killer. IOW, Attorney Adegbile was practicing US law, so that disqualified him?
"Lawyers hoping for a political appointment in the future, take note: the U.S. Senate is now judging attorneys based on their representation of politically unpopular clients.
In a move sure to rattle the legal community, a majority of senators voted Wednesday to block the confirmation of a respected civil rights lawyer to a top Justice Department spot because he helped get a convicted murderer off death row.
All Republicans and a handful of Democrats voted to sink Debo Adegbile’s nomination to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
The overriding reason for their opposition was that he once represented Mumia Abu-Jamal, a death row inmate convicted 30 years ago of killing a Philadelphia police officer.
Adegbile did not make the decision to take on the case. When he became the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in 2012, the group was already representing Abu-Jamal, and Adegbile continued to do so on a narrow constitutional issue. In other words, he was just doing his job by advocating for his client."
"Ahead of the vote, members of the Bar of the Supreme Court warned senators against sinking Adegbile’s confirmation based on his representation of Abu-Jamal.
In a January letter to Leahy and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, they argued that taking such action could send the wrong message to attorneys everywhere. “LDF’s advocacy on behalf of Mr. Abu-Jamal does not disqualify Mr. Adegbile from leading the Civil Rights Division,” reads the letter.
“To conclude otherwise would send the wrong message to any lawyer who is affiliated, or might be asked to become involved, with a difficult, unpopular case for the purpose of enforcing and preserving important constitutional principles.”
Would the Senate Democrats and Republicans have voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts? In his career, he did pro bono work and defended a mass murderer.
"In 2008, a federal appeals court unanimously held — with two Reagan appointees on the panel — that procedures used during a convicted cop killer named Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death penalty hearing violated the Constitution.
Specifically, the panel of predominantly Republican judges concluded that the trial judge gave the jury a confusing form that could have been read to require a death sentence unless every single juror agreed to a life sentence.
The NAACP LDF filed an amicus brief on Abu-Jamal’s behalf. At least one of the Democrats who opposed Adegbile, Sen. Casey, cited his work to overturn this unconstitutional death sentence as the reason for his opposition.
As MSNBC’s Adam Serwer points out, the Senate was not always so critical of lawyers who help bad people fight potentially unconstitutional death sentences. Indeed, as an attorney in private practice,
Chief Justice John Roberts “devoted 25 pro bono hours” to representing a mass murderer recently executed in Florida.--Think Progress
This is foolish and incredibly stupid. The seven Democrats are cowards and should be ashamed of themselves for denying a well-qualified lawyer because he did his job as a lawyer in his limited representation of the defendant. Work, by the way, that is guaranteed by the US Constitution.
What would those Democrats and Republicans have done with our second president, John Adams. People apparently do not read history. John Adams defended the British soldiers who were involved in the Boston Massacre. He won that case, from which he was famously quoted, "Facts are stubborn things," And he was castigated for doing so and terribly unpopular with the colonial patriots at the time. Adams defended the hated British! Would those Democrats and Republicans have denied John Adams the presidency because he did his job?
There is no reason except cowardice on the part of the Democrats and the Republicans' usual obstruction to deny a lawyer who practices law under our Constitution and who is clearly qualified for the position in the Justice Department.
James R. Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association (ABA):
"As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to deliberate over the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, I write to address the criticism this nominee has received regarding the legal representation he provided to a death-sentenced prisoner.
A fundamental tenet of our justice system and our Constitution is that anyone who faces loss of liberty has a right to legal counsel. Lawyers have an ethical obligation to uphold that principle and provide zealous representation to people who otherwise would stand alone against the power and resources of the government - even to those accused or convicted of terrible crimes.
The American people understand this obligation, and the corollary principle stated in rule 1.2(b) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct that "[a] lawyer's representation of a client does not constitute an endorsement of the client's political, economic, social or moral views or activities."
I was alarmed to learn that there is some opposition to Mr. Adegbile's nomination based solely on his efforts to protect the fundamental rights of an unpopular client while working at the Legal Defense Fund.
His work, like the work of ABA members who provide thousands of hours of pro bono legal services every year, is consistent with the finest tradition of this country's legal profession and should be commended, not condemned. [American Bar Association, 1/13/14]" --M.M.