Friday, December 28, 2012

Armed vigilantes in schools? What could possibly go wrong?

Armed vigilantes to protect schools? What could possibly go wrong?
Sheriff Joe "Birther" Arpaio has a plan to protect the 50 schools in his jurisdiction. Cops? You don't know Joe. Crazy Joe wants to put members of a "volunteer posse" in every school. You read that right. Crazy Joe thinks the way to keep our kids safe is to put armed vigilantes in every school.
Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio said he plans to send members of his department’s volunteer “posse” to patrol schools as a response to the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Arpaio said his plan, which he hopes to put into effect next week, would have volunteers providing security at 50 schools that fall under his jurisdiction. According to the station, the group of about 3,000 members includes 300 to 400 allowed to carry weapons 
 What could possibly go wrong? Flashback to another vigilante in Joe's jurisdiction...

Border vigilante and convicted murderer Shawna Forde on patrol

Shawna Forde, a border vigilante, was convicted today of two counts of murder for orchestrating a home invasion that left a 9-year-old Arizona girl and her father dead. 
Prosecutors said Forde planned the home invasion to rob Raul "Junior" Flores, who she (wrongly) thought was a drug dealer, to fund her border watch group. There were rumors that Flores, 29, had a stash of $4,000 in cash in the house. 
Flores and his daughter Bresenia were both killed in the May 2009 attack at their Arivaca, Ariz., home. His wife, Gina Gonzalez, was shot three times, but survived by playing dead.
 Yeah, great idea, Crazy Joe. Tell ya what, why don't you go back to your paranoid wingnut loon Birther conspiracy. Sure, it's crazy and stupid, like you, but it won't get anyone killed.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gazing Past 2012 All the Way to 2028 - Crystal Ball Shows Democrats Will Keep The White House for Decades

After calling this election bang on, I'm feeling my oats. I'm going out a limb - well, a pretty solid branch, anyway - to predict the next 4 presedential races.
Now that the 2012 presidential election is behind us, it's time to obsess over 2016. What does the future hold for Democrats and progressive voters? Gazing into my crystal ball, I see the same thing as an overwhelming majority of Democrats: Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. If she wants it.

Polls have consistently shown Clinton is by far the most popular member of the Obama administration. Asked about presedential choices for 2016, Democrats give Clinton a 50 point edge over the field. If Clinton announces for 2016, she's a lock to get the nomination.

Well, you don't need a crystal ball to know that, I can hear you thinking, and you're right. It's a no brainer. But what about beyond 2016? I'll stick with Hillary for 2020, too. By 2020 demographic reality will have destroyed the once Grand Old Party as a national party. Florida, already turning blue will be solid blue. Even ded red Texas will turn begin to turn blue by 2020.

The combination of the increasingly bat crap crazy GOP base nominating increasingly bat crap crazy candidates and the inescapable demographic reality that there just aren't enough angry old whites guys anymore means the GOP has no hope of winning the White House any time soon. Or maybe ever. So, Hillary in 2016 and 2020, but then what?

Here's were I gaze deeply into my crystal ball and see... Wow. Can that really be? Lemme take another look...

Yep, it's Michelle Obama. I see Michelle Obama running - and winning - in 2024 and again in 2028. I see a historic stretch not just of Democratic domination of the White House, but the continuance of the rise of women in politics leading to 16 unbroken years of a woman in the White House.

My crystal ball rarely fails me, but I'd better check the Magic Eight Ball, just to be sure...

There you go. It's unanimous. After Obama it's Clinton for eight, then Michelle Obama for eight more. I see it all clearly, now. The future is bright for Democrats.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Big Takeaway From the 2012 Election - It's the Turnout, Stupid

There's lots of talk already and there will be a lot more about what this election means what lessons we can learn. Some of the conclusions are obvious. The GOP has an old fat angry white guy problem, as in there just aren't enough of them anymore. The Hispanic vote share continues to rise, topping 10% for the first time, and went overwhelmingly for Obama. Women and younger voters went overwhelmingly for Obama as did more educated whites.

All of these are scary trends for the GOP that have been in the making for years and will continue to affect elections for many years to come. Conservatives are already claiming Obama doesn't have a mandate because he got only 40% of the white vote. In point of fact, Obama won every single demographic group except white males, and more specifically, low education Deep South white males.

It's actually these older, more conservative white males that have lost the mandate in America, not Obama. The demographic reality is the once Grand Old Party is in now in serious jeopardy of ceasing to exist as a national party.

These aren't lessons learned to me. These are self evident facts. The Hispanic vote will continue to grow, as will the minority vote in general. Minorities, women and younger voters will continue to break big for the Democrats. And old white guys will continue to die off.

To me, the big takeaway is it's the turnout, stupid. The lesson to be learned for progressives is when we turn out, we win. The big winner issues in 2012 were LGBT rights, women's rights, minority voting rights and marijuana, all issues dear to the hearts of progressives. The big losers were billionaires out to buy the election, the Tea Party and Karl Rove.

When we turn out, we win. Handily.

After the 2010 mid-terms, the MSM and the punditocracy hammered into us that the country hard turned hard right and the Tea Party was the new political powerhouse. This election proves just how wrong they all were. The 2010 electorate was very different from 2008. There were 41 million fewer voters in 2010 than 2008. This smaller electorate was more conservative and less representative of the country as a whole. The country didn't suddenly become more conservative. Progressives did a lousy job of turning out their voters.

This year's electorate is very similar to 2012 and very different from 2010. But the GOP ran as if it was still 2010, picking far right candidates in races they should have easily won. In 2012 the GOP had their best chance in years to take the Senate. There were three Democratic senators in their sights, all of whom should have been vulnerable. But the ultra conservative Tea Party base of the GOP dominated the low turnout primaries and nominated a bunch of nutbags. Not only did the nutbags, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, for example, all lose races that should have been easy GOP pick-ups, the Dems actually picked up two senate seats. That's a five seat swing, huge by Senate standards, that represents a complete and total rejection of the Tea Party and the hard core right wing of the GOP base.

Those who think the GOP has learned a lesson from 2012, don't bet on it. There's every indication they'll actually move further to the right and take up permanent residence in a land of conservative make believe '50's sitcom America that doesn't exist now and never did. There's every indication that GOP primary voters will continue to pick fundamentalist extremists and misogynist idiots. If anything, they'll go for even crazier candidates.

I plan to spend the next year gaming out strategies to convince progressive voters to turn out for mid-terms in numbers at least close to the turnout in presidential years. If we can come close to matching wingnut turnout in off year elections, we can not only keep the Senate, we can take back the House. But the numbers show it's not going to be easy.

In 2008, 131 million Americans cast ballots. In 2010, only 90.7 million people voted.

In 2008, 51% of registered young voters turned out to overwhelmingly vote for Obama and a whole slate of progressive candidates at every level. In 2010, less than 21% of young voters turned out.

In 2008, 10.2 million Latinos turned out to vote. In 2010, 6.6 million Latinos voted.

In 2008, 70.4 million women voted. in 2010, 48 million women voted. In 2008, women favored Democrats over Republicans by 56% to 42%. In 2010, far fewer women turned out, voting Democratic 49% and GOP 48%.

In the end it's simple math. The numbers show the 2010 electorate was much smaller, whiter, more male and more conservative than in 2008 or 2012. We lost. The lower the turnout, the more likely Democrats and progressives lose. in 2008 and 2012 turnout was much higher. We won. The calculation is easy. The larger the turnout, the more likely we win.

The trend line shows that turnout in presidential years has been steadily rising for some time while the trend line for mid term elections has been steadily falling. We have to do a better job of getting people out to vote in off year elections.

Keep this in mind, progressives, as we head toward the 2014 mid term elections. If we don't turn out in big numbers, we will lose seats in both houses and at all levels in state and local races. If we turnout in big numbers, we'll pick up seats and win races at all levels. It really is that simple. So, let's get to work now and make sure we get our voters to the polls in 2014.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How stupid are they? Oh... My... God! - Birthers Tout Badly Faked Vid As "Proof" Obama Was Born In Kenya

Everything Possible Happens brings you a complete and thorough debunking of the latest insane stupid assholery to crawl out of the fetid swamps of Lower Wingnuttia...

Not content with the insane babbling boobery of Orly Taitz and Donald Dumbshit, the birthers are back, and this time they have PROOF! PROOF, I tell you, PROOF! And the PROOF has already gone VIRAL throughout Lower Wingnuttia! It's out there, man, it's out there!

And what might this, er, "proof" be, a not crazy, not stupid, not wingnut racist fundie moran birther boob might ask?

Vice, a stinking cesspool of a vulgarian loonytoonian website and magazine that I refuse to link to, has posted PROOF, PROOF, I tell you, that Obama was actually born in KENYA and they have the VIDEO to prove it!

Without further ado, here's the hilariously badly faked video...

Did we say debunking? When huge, steaming piles of Teh Stupid come this fast and furious, it's hard to know where to start. For example...

*The video is supposedly a "VHS transfer of a Super-8 home movie filmed by Barack Sr." In fact, there was no Super-8 in 1961, when Obama was born. Kodak didn't release the Super-8 format until 1965.

*The Kenyan flag, Bendera ya Kenya, conveniently placed on the bedboard next to the medical chart, wasn't adopted until December of 1963.

*The woman in the video is obviously NOT the woman in the picture attached conveniently to the chart.

*The picture attached to the chart for no reason whatsoever is actually Ann Dunham's yearbook photo. Why would they attach a picture at all? They wouldn't, but if they did, why wouldn't they use a RECENT picture? What, no passport photo? Are we to believe Ann traveled the world with her yearbook in her purse just in case?

Ann Dunham's High School Graduation Picture
*The 6 inch long umbilical cord in the vid falls off on its own. Real umbilical cords are about 2 feet long and must be clamped, then cut.

*The child in the video is obviously not a newborn, unless it's a 25 pound alert newborn holding up its own head with eyes wide open.

*All newborns are covered in a white, milky substance called vermix, which protects the infant from amniotic fluid. Vermix clings especially in the area around the eyes and folds in the skin. There is no vermix on this "newborn."

*Whoever made this video has obviously not seen a live birth. Something important is missing entirely. Can you say "placenta"? You can say it, but you can't find one in the vid. In fact, the "newborn" comes out amazing clean with no sign of blood, amniotic fluid, vermix or fluids of any kind.

*Momma pops out this humongous, gargantuan, world's largest newborn ever easier than a baseball player spits out a pumpkin seed, and all in just a few effortless seconds. Not.

*And finally, my personal favorite, zoom in on the calendar conveniently placed next to the flag and the pic and you find that EVERY day in August of 1961 is shown as the 4th. Apparently the producers were too bleeping stupid to bother looking up the actual days as the fell in August of 1961, including FRIDAY, August 4th, Obama's birthday.

The lesson here is a familiar one; Never underestimate the stupidity of GOP racist wingnut birther imbeciles.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Iconic Austin Restaurant Pressures Employees To Vote GOP - Threats Of Cuts In Hours, Loss Of Income If GOP Loses, Obamacare Not Repealed

Image from Addicting Info
We've all read about GOP voter suppression efforts, but less attention has been paid to the efforts of private employers to coerce their workers to vote GOP. Service industry workers, especially those who depend on tips to make a living, are particularly vulnerable to this kind of pressure.

Some restaurant chains are already limiting employee hours, essentially creating an all part time work force to reduce labor costs and avoid the employer insurance requirements due to kick in next year under Obamacare. Ned Resnikoff reports Olive Garden and Red Lobster are among those who're experimenting with part time staff...

Rich Jeffers, a spokesperson for (Olive Garden and Red Lobster parent company) Darden, said the company was working on finding the "optimal mix" for satisfying the law's requirements while "address[ing] the cost implications of the Affordable Care Act."

"We're not moving people from full time to part time," said Jeffers. Instead, Darden has been "bringing on more people in part-time roles" in the restaurants they've opened since February, when the experiment began. The question the experiment is supposed to answer, he said, is, "Can we continue to deliver our brand experience with more part-time?"
While they say they are not reducing hours for full time employees - a claim disputed by workers and industry experts - the goal is clear. Darden hopes to shift from a mostly full time work force to an all part time work force and thereby avoid the employer requirements of the Affordable Care Act. But Saru Jayaraman, the director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, says Darden is merely using ACA as a pretext to trim labor costs...

Saru Jayaraman, the director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, alleged that Darden was using the Affordable Care Act as a mere pretext to cut back on labor costs. "Maybe they want to portray that that's the cause of the issue, but it really isn't," she said. As In These Times reported in July, ROC has been engaged in a multi-city campaign against Darden for months over charges of wage theft, grueling hours, unpaid overtime, and even racial discrimination.

Jayaraman also said that Darden was wrong to claim it had not cut hours for full-time employees. "Since we've started the campaign we've received messages ... from workers saying similar things saying their hours are being cut, their positions are being cut," she said.
Now, this trend has come to Obama friendly Austin, and in very disturbing ways. A well known and loved local chain just attached the following memo to the paychecks of all employees. The memo uses scare tactics and well worn wingnut talking points to pressure workers to tow the political line of the owners. The intent is clear; Vote GOP or else.

Regardless of how one feels about Obamacare, this is blatant coercion. This employer is using threats and intimidation to try to brow beat their employees to vote GOP. They don't say they *might* cut back hours for full time employees. They say the *will* turn full timers into part timers. Unless Obama is defeated and the GOP takes the House and the Senate.

Particularly distasteful to me - and many of their employees - is the blatant anti-Obama, pro GOP tired old talking points, many of which simply aren't true, interspersed with scare tactics and direct threats, complete with VERY SCARY ALL CAPS WARNINGS and unsubtle innuendo through Italics...

"...President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

" January, 20124 YOU will be to required to get and pay for health insurance."

"The actual bill is over 2,400 pages long..."

"YOU will have to buy insurance. Your employer _may_ help you, but YOU will be legally required to buy insurance."

"THIS IS THE LAW.... The law could be repealed, but that would require a Republican President, and Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). At this point "Hope" is not a strategy (ooh, BURN!). We need to plan our way forward to face the serious challenges that this new law presents to each of us."

I haven't named this restaurant. I know there'll be a clamor to out them, and that may happen in the future. But right now my primary concern is for the employees. Outing the restaurant would no doubt cause a significant backlash here in Obama friendly Austin. Business would suffer. Yes, the owners would take a well deserved financial hit, but it's the employees who would pay the steepest price, especially those who rely on tips. While conservatives might rush in to fill the void left by disgruntled progressives, it's likely not enough, as several servers told me, "Conservatives around here don't tip worth shit."
More important than punishing this one employer is realizing that this is happening all over the country and spreading the word. Businesses large and small are trying to intimidate, scare and coerce employees to vote GOP. Employers are free to have and express their political views, just like everyone else, but when expression turns into coercion, a dangerous line has been crossed. No one of any political stripe should be forced to accept views with which they fundamentally disagree just to keep their job.

My suggestion is instead of seeking to shame this one employer, let's all start asking all of our favorite restaurants and other service businesses if they've pressured their employees in any way.

"Have you or do you plan to pressure employees politically over ACA or any other issue?"

Let's make it a badge of honor for a local biz to proudly say, "No, we have never and would never try to coerce our employees to vote a particular way," and then publicly support those businesses that make such a pledge while avoiding those who don't.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Tempest in a T-shirt - Philly Teen's Shirt Sparks Viral Poutrage in Lower Wingnuttia

A teacher known for joking with her class makes a mild joke about a student's Romney T shirt on dress down day and it's POUTRAGE in Lower Wingnuttia!

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on how it all started...

Pawlucy was wearing a pink Romney/Ryan t-shirt on a "dress-down" day at school Friday when, she said, Gaymon began making fun of her. An adult aide waved a marker as if to draw an "X" on the shirt, Pawlucy said.

She also said Gaymon called the school "Democratic," and said Pawlucy's wearing of the Romney shirt was analogous to Gaymon, who is black, wearing a KKK shirt.
As students streamed out of the school Thursday afternoon, several groups of students shouted their support for Gaymon, calling her a "great teacher," "really fun," and "nothing like that story."

Students said Gaymon jokes around with her students, but never out of malice.
Samantha Pawlucy shows the Romney shirt that started it all

It's not okay to chastise or humiliate a student for any reason. Clearly that's not what happened here. This teacher is well known for using humor and joking with her class and she was obviously joking here, and every other student in the class knew it.

That said, it was a mistake to single out the T-shirt and a double mistake to joke about the KKK in class. But it wasn't harassment, bullying or in any way malicious. It's the girl's peers that humiliated her, not the teacher. Teenagers toss around taunts and make threats all of the time. Kids can be mean, you know. But the situation has gotten worse...

Angered by a teenager's claims of being humiliated by a teacher over a Romney/Ryan T-shirt, students at Charles Carroll High School ignored warnings from administrators and shouted obscenities out school windows at the girl's parents Friday morning.

Samantha Pawlucy had accused her geometry teacher of humiliating her for wearing the shirt, and stayed out of school after saying she learned students had made threats against her. To calm the situation, district officials addressed students Friday, urging them to leave Pawlucy alone.

Minutes later, some students were heckling Pawlucy's parents, shouting obscenities at them.
 But since you can't go after kids for being kids, her rents, who aren't politically active, went after the teacher. Now, Lower Wingnuttia is in full attack mode. The teacher, who is black, has been receiving phone messages complete with the requisite racist slurs and death threats...

"Watch your back, (nigger). I'mma blow your (fucking) brains out."

Gaymon lives with two of her aunts in Philadelphia; one of them said that she picked up the phone and heard a death threat around 6 p.m. Friday and that after that, they stopped answering the phone. The calls continued, with several callers leaving messages, before the women unplugged the phone, they said.

They played several messages for The Inquirer that were loaded with racial slurs and profanities.
Whatever happened in school that day, it was all in jest, the aunts said their niece told them.

Gaymon was not available to be interviewed.

"She's a jokester. Lynn is like the family clown," one of the aunts said. "When it comes to entertainment, she's the one."
(Gaymon) told (her aunts) she left school on the day of the incident believing her students, including Pawlucy, knew she had been joking.

Gaymon has long been an advocate for students, her aunts said, and had been on good terms with Pawlucy.

Pawlucy agreed that she (sic) gotten along with Gaymon and could see how Gaymon may have been joking. But she said the experience was humiliating.
Gaymon's aunts said she appreciated the support but wasn't happy with the divisive anger.

"Lynn's really hurting about Samantha. She's really, really hurting for that child," one of them said. "Do what Lynn would want, what she always wants her kids to do: Come to school. Do your homework. Be on time. Be respectful."
She said she hoped the Pawlucys would join them in calling for an end to all harassment, threats, and bullying. She said she'll be praying for Samantha Pawlucy and her family in church on Sunday, and wants to see the situation resolved peacefully.
Cheezus fracking crisco, grow a pair, WATB. Most people know better than to go full bat shit crazy over a teen with hurt feelings. Most people don't live in Lower Wingnuttia.

It's the actions of the rents that escalated this situation. The perfectly predictable - to a person of normal intelligence - harassment from her fellow students didn't start until after the parents made a big stink and went running to the media.

This mountain will be reduced back to a mole hill. Talk about teachable moments, at this point I'm guessing everyone involved has regrets, and they should. Lessons to be learned from this incident abound.

The teacher's joke was clumsy and inappropriate, but not malicious. The lesson is be careful what you say, even when you're kidding, especially in a classroom environment. Whom among us hasn't told an inappropriate or clumsy joke?

The lesson for the girl is if your feelings were hurt, say so. She had a good relationship with this teacher. She should have gone to her teacher right after class and said, "That hurt my feelings."

The lesson for the other students is yes, people do have differing political views. It's not necessary to agree with someone's politics to respect their right to express their opinion.

The lesson for the parents is don't take a minor incident in teendom and blow it up into a federal case. Get some bleeping perspective. Your teen is not a special princess to be protected from every pea. Instead of escalating the problem by going into full attack mode, how about actually addressing the problem directly and honestly?

The other, and perhaps most important,  lesson here is for all of us. Be careful. Too many Lower Wingnuttians are dangerous, violent, racist nutbags, and they will react viciously at any perceived poutrage. Death threats and racist slurs because of a joke of questionable taste? Really? WTF is wrong with you people?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Judge Throws Out WI Gov Walker's Union Busting Law

Photo by Micheal Sears - Protesters flood the streets around the Wisconsin State Capitol in March 2011 to protest Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining legislation.

Ring up another win for the good guys. Wholly owned Koch Brothers subsidiary Scott Walker just lost another big legal fight. Wisconsin Circuit Judge Juan B. Colas just struck down Walker's "kill the unions" law because it violates both the US Constitution and the Wisconsin Constitution guarantees of free speech.
Here's more...

Gov. Scott Walker's law repealing most collective bargaining for local and school employees was struck down by a Dane County judge Friday
Colas ruled that the law violated workers' constitutional rights by making denying to union workers certain powers available to their nonunion counterparts.
Under Walker's law, both the state and local governments were prohibited from bargaining over anything besides a cost of living salary adjustment. Other issues such as health benefits, pensions, workplace safety and other work rules were strictly off limits.

Those can all now be bargained.
The GOP war on workers is going about as well as the GOP war on voters. Every law these wingnut morans pass is overturned. Unless and until it gets to the wingnut dominated Supreme Court. This is why it's so vital to not let Willard and the Wingnuts win. The next prez is likely to get at least 2 and possibly 3 SCoUS appointments.

Lower Wingnuttia Lunacy: Embassy Marines Weren't Allowed To Carry Live Ammo - Marines: Idiot Wingnuttians Totally FOS

It's hard to keep track of the asinine nonsense that moves through Lower Wingnuttia at the speed of light, thanks to the flying monkey squad and the wingnutosphere, but this is just, well, fucking sick. You won't see many better examples of just how craven, dishonest and bat crap crazy these stupid assholes and their followers are than this.

The latest paranoid nutbag lunatic conspiracy theory to spur poutrage in Lower Wingnuttia is a claim that Barack Obama ordered Marines guarding our embassy in Egypt to not carry live ammo. This is such an intensely stupid, insanely asinine claim that it's hard to believe it requires refutation, but never underestimate the raw STPUIDITY of Lower Wingnuttians.

Forget that the original "report," which any sane person would immediately recognize as horse poop, came from only one source, Nightwatch, an "intelligence" blog by discredited lying lunatic John McCreary. Forget that nobody bothered to, oh, say, you know, CONFIRM anything. The flames of Teh Stupid were fanned into a blaze of bat crappery by many of the regular wingnut morans who pass for pundits among anencephallics. Professional monkey turd hurlers like Jay Severin, John Podhoretz, Michael Graham and Kurt Schlichter were quick to pounce.

Here's more from Mother Jones...
Early Thursday morning, conservative military bloggers began to float reports that the US ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, did not permit US Marine security guards to carry live ammunition. Within hours, this "no ammo" rumor in response to the embassy attack in Cairo lit up right-wing social media, with the allegation unquestioningly blamed on the White House.
Recognizing bat crap when they see it, Mother Jones called the Marines. Guess what they found out? Read it for yourself from this official memo from the Marine Corps...
The Ambassador did not impose restrictions on weapons or weapons status on the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG) detachment. The MCESG Marines in Cairo were allowed to have live ammunition in their weapons. The Ambassador and Regional Security Officer have been completely and appropriately engaged with the security situation. Reports of Marines not being able to have their weapons loaded per direction from the Ambassador are not accurate.
You might think this crystal clear repudiation would stop the poutrage and the spread of the bat crappery. Silly sane person! Not in Lower Wingnuttia. That's where even the most insane, ridiculous, absurd stupid asshole lies go to live on forever in the dark, cobwebbed corners of otherwise empty wingnut minds.

Romney: Middle Income Is $250,000 Per Year - Say WHAT!?

Hey, fellow middle class Americans, are you enjoying the TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS Willard Romdroid thinks you make every year? I poop you not, he really is THAT bleeping out of touch. Witness as witless Romdroid tells ABC, with a straight face, no less, that "middle income is $200,000 to $250,000."

Hey, Willard, you moran, NINETY-SEVEN PERCENT of Americans DO NOT make $250 grand/yr or anything close. FYI, you moran, "middle income" in the US is $43,000/yr. You're only off by a FACTOR OF SIX! Here's Willard farting nonsesne to George Stephanoupolis...
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?

MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less. So number one, don’t reduce– or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them. 
Of course, this is the same stupid asshole who said $360,000 is "not very much" money and who tried to make a $10,000 bet during a debate, so WTF does he know about real money in the real world? I bet if you asked him about money in the Caymans or Switzerland, he'd get the answer right down to the penny.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Analysis: Romney paid only 13.9% tax on $22 million. Under Ryan's plan he'd have paid LESS THAN ONE PERCENT

What's wrong with this picture? Other than two chicken-hawks posing in front of a battleship...
Over at The Atlantic, business and economics editor Mathew O'Brien has been crunching numbers. He compared what Romney's tax rate for the one year of partial returns Willard has released - only 13.9% on $22 million in taxable income - to what he'd pay under Paul Ryan's plan. Are you sitting down?

Under Ryan's plan Willard would have paid an effective rate of...


This isn't speculation. This isn't a guesstimate. This is running the exact numbers from Willard's tax return using the exact numbers from Ryan's tax plan. This is fact.

From The Atlantic...

Under Paul Ryan's plan, Mitt Romney wouldn't pay any taxes for the next ten years -- or any of the years after that. Now, do I know that that's true. Yes, I'm certain.
Well, maybe not quite nothing. In 2010 -- the only year we have seen a full return from him -- Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little? Well, the vast majority of Romney's income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.
But what about corporate taxes? Aren't they a double tax on savings and investment, so Romney's "real" rate is higher than his headline rate? No. As Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has pointed out, Romney has structured his investments as "pass-throughs" that avoid corporate tax. In other words, the 0.82 percent tax rate is really a 0.82 percent tax rate.
 Apparently the Rombot has calculated that the best way to fend of questions about why he won't release his tax records, as every major candidate in this quadrant of the galaxy does, and why, despite eye popping income, he pays at a rate far lower than the average American, is to team up with a guy who would REDUCE Willard's already super low rich guys only tax rate to, essentially, NOTHING.

Yeah, boy, howdy, why, that's SURE to work, Willard! Brillyent strategery!

Of course, there is another possibility. Maybe it really is strategery. Maybe Willard figures picking an extreme far right wing, controversial, highly divisive running mate is good strategery because it worked so well last time for John McCain.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gibson Enters Plea Bargain In Illegal Woods Case, Admits Intentional Law Breaking, Lying...

Gibson Les Paul "Classic"
I wrote two posts about this story last year, when Lower Wingnuttia guitar fans erupted in poutrage over the Kenyan Mau Mau Socialist Muslim sleeper agent taking away their rock. You should read those pieces, here, and here, for background, but the short of it is, as usual with Lower Wingnuttia poutrage, it was all a giant crock of crap to begin with. Here's a quick recap...

Gibson, formerly a private company of craftsmen in Kalamazoo, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of a giant South American conglomerate. The first thing the new owners did was fire all of the old workers and move the company to Nashville, where they could replace craftsmen with machines and not have to worry about pesky details like paying a living wage to the remaining humans they do employ.

The second thing the new owners did was to start trading in the illegal black market of endangered species, specifically, exotic woods protected by a 100 year old international treaty. And they got caught.

Gibson made wild-ass pleas to Lower Wingnuttia, claiming the evil gubmint, and Barack Obama, personally, was out to get them. In point of fact, at the time the feds seized the load of incoming illegal wood that started it all, they had no idea it belonged to Gibson. But hey, since when have facts ever mattered in Lower Wingnuttia?

Well, guess what, Wingnuttians? Gibson has now ADMITTED that they broke the law intentionally, then lied their right wing corporate asses off about it. And you idiots fell for it. Again.

Here's an update on Gibson's plea bargain deal from Mother Jones...
Gibson agreed to pay a $300,000 fine for the ebony from Madagascar that was taken in the first raid. The company also agreed to make a $50,000 donation to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote conservation work and forfeited the seized illegal wood, which was valued at $261,844.
Here's a link to the settlement agreement...

DOJ notes that Madagascar is a country that has a major problem with illegal logging, and that its ebony is particularly threatened, which prompted the government to ban the export of unfinished ebony products in 2006. Importing those products would be considered illegal both under Malagasy law and under the Lacey Act
 Here's some details of Gibson's deliberate law breaking from the DoJ statement of facts, part of the settlement agreement...
Gibson participated in a trip to Madagascar, sponsored by a non-profit organization. Participants on the trip, including the Gibson employee, were told that a law passed in 2006 in Madagascar banned the harvest of ebony and the export of any ebony products that were not in finished form. They were further told by trip organizers that instrument parts, such as fingerboard blanks, would be considered unfinished and therefore illegal to export under the 2006 law. Participants also visited the facility of the exporter in Madagascar, from which Gibson’s supplier sourced its Madagascar ebony, and were informed that the wood at the facility was under seizure at that time and could not be moved. 
After the Gibson employee returned from Madagascar with this information, he conveyed the information to superiors and others at Gibson. The information received by the Gibson employee during the June 2008 trip, and sent to company management by the employee and others following the June 2008 trip, was not further investigated or acted upon prior to Gibson continuing to place orders with its supplier. Gibson received four shipments of Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks from its supplier between October 2008 and September 2009.
1960 tobacco sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard

 So, there you go, Wingutty rockers. Gibson really is a huge pile of shit. I say this as a huge fan of the old Gibson. The REAL Gibson. Like the 1960 Les Paul Standard above, very similar to the '59 tobacco sunburst Standard I used to own. Anyone who's been around will tell you today's Gibson guitars are junk compared to real Gibsons. Now, the once spotless name of Gibson has been subverted by a huge, heartless, felonious corporation out to make Big Bux using a cherished name to sell mediocre crapola at premium prices.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Top 11 Nuggets of Teh Stupid From the Most Popular Christian Home School "Science" Text

How stupid are they, home scholers [sic} edition: The ignorant fundie boob.babble that passes for "science" in actual Christian home school "science" textbooks...

No, this is not an Onion article. Yes, the most popular "science" text used by idiot fundie home shoolers really does "teach" the following total nonsense, and all in the very 1st chapter. I poop you not.

Here's the top 11 nuggets of rock hard stupid just in the first chapter of the most popular "science" text for fundie moran home schoolers, re-written from a post to

1. Since no one saw the moon formed, science is the same as faith. Forget all of that science stuff - you know, like data, observation, the fact we've actually been there, etc. - because Bronze Age goat herders knew better.

2. The moon is  only 10,000 years old (see 1, 'cause that's not at all like circular reasoning or stupid bleephole kettle logic).

3. Absurd wild-ass guesses based on superstition and nonsense are just like scientific theories.

4. Forget all of those science-type theories and all of the data and evidence. We ignorant fundie morans KNOW how it all happened, 'cause some Bronze Age goat herders told us so.

5. Only evil godless Yankees use technology! That's why the good, upright KKKristians - slave owners, just like the Bible says - lost the War of Northern Aggression!

6. God uses "special signs" to warn us about God's own genocide. You know, mysterious special signs that nobody can explain or predict, like solar and lunar eclipses.

7. The Grand Canyon is only a few thousand years old and was caused by the Great Flood the last time God decided to commit planetary genocide. You know, the exact same Great flood described in the epic poem 'Gilgamesh,' which predates the fairy stories of the Bronze Age goat herders by 1,500 years or so.

8. God wants all of the glaciers to melt so we'll have drinking water.

9. Actually, I rather like fiddleheads...

10. Electricity, magnets and all of that stuff is a total mystery nobody understands and probably doesn't exist because you can't see it or hear it or feel it. Well, unless you're struck by lightning, but, apparently this is a logical leap to far for the idiots that wrote this garbage and the incredible imbeciles who buy into such full throated, 100% Grade AAA USDA Prime STUPIDITY.

11. BTW, we put in some of that godless "science" stuff, too, but just so we could get a publisher to put the rest of this happy horse poop out. You can just ignore it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What If Colorado Theater Patrons Were Armed? It would have been worse. It could have been much worse.

There's been a chorus of claims from idiots like Louie Ghomert and various NRA types that if only there had been someone packing in the theater, many lives could have been saved. This is such an intensely stupid claim that it's hard to believe it requires refutation. However, never underestimate the stupidity of the denizens of Lower Wingnuttia.

First off, we'll start with the obvious...

* Pitch black theatre with the only light coming in flashes from the screen (strobe effect)
*Loud noises, including gunshots, from screen, loud gunshots in theater
*Clouds of tear gas
*Hundreds of screaming people literally falling all over each other in a total panic

Plus this guy...

...who, in addition to wearing head to toe bullet stopping tac gear, is packing a 12 gauge shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle with a 100 round clip and a Glock .40, methodically pumping out 4 rounds per second or so.

Under these conditions even an expert pistol marksman is highly unlikely to get of a hit in the tiny area of vulnerability in the shooter's tac gear. Not to mention, odds are you could put 12 rounds center mass into this guy with a compact 9, the most common handgun used for concealed carry, and not leave anything more than a bruise.

But it gets worse...

Imagine if there had been multiple people packing. Now you have a bunch of people firing from a bunch of different places. Crossfire vectors everywhere. Two more theaters at full capacity are on either side, separated only by paper thin walls.

What you have now is a recipe for total disaster. But it gets worse....

Imagine you're a cop who happens to be in a position to respond almost instantly. You walk in to this darkened theater completely blind; It'll take 90 seconds or so for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Shots are coming from every direction from a number of shooters. Who do you shoot?

From any of these scenarios the probability of a better outcome is virtually nil while the odds of an even worse outcome are astronomical.

If you have any remaining doubts about what happens when a guy with a handgun tries to take on a guy with an AR-15 in full tac gear, take a look at the following videos, courtesy of weapons testing company BrassFetcher...

Here's a super high speed video that shows the damage from a 9mm high velocity round using ballistic gelatin that mimics human flesh. This type of round is the most common for concealed carry and is easily stopped by the type of gear the shooter was wearing.

Here's a high speed video of a Remington .223, the round used in the Colorado shooting, into ballistic gelatin. Notice the massive trauma caused by the "spall" effect as the bullet tumbles into the gel.

Now, ask yourself, what kind of idiot would take on a guy with a .223 AR-15 and a 100 round clip with his compact 9 and 12 shots at most? I'll tell you what kind of idiot. A dead idiot.

Caveat: I am a gun owner. In fact, in addition to a 9mm and a .40 cal, I have high power weaponry that's actually superior to what the Colorado shooter had. But I didn't have to trade in my brains to get my guns. Like the vast majority of gun owners, I support common sense regulation of firearms.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Frenchified cheese eating pussy-ass surrender monkeys who wear those faggotty berets

Steve Douchey and his fellow idiot babblebots at Fux and Friends have a big problem with the US Olympic uniform: the berets. Douchey and friends spent an entire segment whining about berets and wondering why it couldn't have been macho Merkin cowboy hats or maybe sweat stained gimme caps...

The immediate response of poutrage from much of Lower Wingnuttia was entirely predictable: "Damn right! What kind of Frenchified cheese eating pussy-ass surrender monkeys would wear one of those faggoty berets?" Even tea bagging wingnut bigot Lou Dobbs chimed in...
"Some are also criticizing Ralph Lauren for topping off what is supposed to be a patriotic with a classic French beret of all things! I know, the U.S. Army Green Berets, Black Berets, etc. But it just so happens, I don’t like those berets either.”
In point of fact, Lou and ignorant wingnut morans everywhere, the beret is not French. It's been around since the Bronze Age, you stupid bleeps. Even the "classic French" beret isn't French, you stupid bleeps. It's Basque, you stupid bleeps. That's why, you stupid bleeps, the French for beret is "béret basque." The beret didn't even become popular in France until the late 19th/early 20th century, you stupid bleeps.

Man, is nothing too inane or too stupid that you stupid wingnut bleeps won't trip over each in your rush to make giant hairy asses of yourselves? Sheesh...

As a public service to Lower Wingnuttians who wonder what kind of Frenchified cheese eating pussy-ass surrender monkeys would wear those faggoty berets, THIS kind...
US Army Special Forces officer and right wing hero James Gordon "Bo" Gritz, awarded:

Silver Star with 4 oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier's Medal,  Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valor, one silver and four bronze oak leaf clusters (10 awards), Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with "V" device for valor (25 awards including 2 for valor), Army Commendation Medal with "V" device for valor and one oak leaf cluster (possibly more), Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster,  Meritorious Unit Commendation,  Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (unit award) Vietnam Civil Actions Medal (unit award), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one silver campaign star in lieu of five bronze service stars (possibly entitled to more), Armed Forces Reserve Medal,  National Order of Vietnam, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, Republic of Vietnam Honor Medal, Republic of Vietnam Staff Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Wound Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Gold Medal of Cambodia 2 awards, Combat Infantryman Badge, Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Scuba Diver Badge, Salvage Diver Badge, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab
Official US Army field combat uniform
US Army NCO Honor Guard
US Army official combat uniform, details
US Marine Vietnam hero John Ripley

USN Search & Rescue helicopter pilot on carrier duty
US Army Ranger Special Forces beret from official photo
US Army 82nd Airborne beret from official photo
The legendary US Army Green Berets honoring fallen comrades
US Army Green Beret commander Col. David Fridovich, wearing a Bronze Star
Not all beret wearing heroes are found in war zones

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Freeh Report Details Decades Long JoPa, Penn State Cover-up of Sandusky Raping Little Boys - PSU Deserves the NCAA Death Penalty, at the very least

Well, well, well, it turns out that not only did JoPa know all about Jerry Sandusky raping little boys, everyone in the athletic department and school administration knew, too. And what did they do to stop this horrendous, felonious abuse that went on for fourteen fucking years?
Not one goddamn thing.

In fact, they actively covered it up. All of them. Then they all lied their asses off to a Grand Jury. The independent Freeh report on the Penn State abuse scandal has just been released. Here's a link to the full stomach churning report...

...and here are some excerpts from Freeh's comments to the media...

Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest.

In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20th of this year, we see evidence of their proposed plan of action in February 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to the authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities. Their failure to protect the February 9, 2001 child victim, or make attempts to identify him, created a dangerous situation for other unknown, unsuspecting young boys who were lured to the Penn State campus and football games by Sandusky and victimized repeatedly by him.

Further, they exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child’s identity, about what McQueary saw in the shower on the night of February 9, 2001.
In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University – Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley – repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large. Although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky’s victims.
The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s.
Their callous and shocking disregard for child victims was underscored by the Grand Jury, which noted in its November 4, 2011 presentment that there was no “attempt to investigate, to identify Victim 2 or to protect that child or others from similar conduct, except as related to preventing its reoccurrence on University property.”
 I said it when this story first broke and I'll say it again. Assuming the university survives the flood of lawsuits - no sure bet - if the scumbags at Penn State can't find the simple human decency to drop their football program, the NCAA should step in and give them the death penalty.
Don't bet on it. Last year they had a chance to do the right thing. The raping little boys story broke before the end of the season. As the evidence shows, JoPa and the rest of the Nittany Scumbags knew the truth, but they decided it was more important to play one more game than to do the right thing.

It wasn't just Jerry Sandusky who raped those little boys for all of those years. JoPa, Penn Sate's administration, the Board of Regents and by extension the entire university are all every bit as guilty of raping those little boys, as is the GOP scumbag prick then prosecutor who ignored these allegations so he could run for governor. Any on of them could have stopped it. Not one of them did.

Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

GOP Doubles Down On Voter Suppression - Millions Disenfranchised, 600,000 in Texas Alone

Gov. Rick Perry signs Voter ID bill into law
It's not really news that tea bagging Texas GOPers are aggressively defending their blatant attempt to disenfranchise 600,000 mostly poor, minority and/or older voters. Lying (about imaginary voter fraud), cheating (gerrymandering, voter ID laws) and stealing (the right to vote from millions) is what they do. From The Guardian, via RawStory...
Texas will launch a challenge to a central piece of civil rights legislation in a Washington court on Monday in a case the Obama administration has characterised as a fight to protect the right to vote.
Critics have described the move as “voter suppression” by the state’s Republican administration aimed at stripping the ballot from people more likely to support Democrats.

Federal officials say that the state is obliged to get justice department approval for the move under the Voting Rights Act.
 Voter fraud? It's a LIE. The only fraud is the GOP disenfranchising millions of voters, like the 600,000 voters they've disenfranchised here in Texas. Going back more than two decades, out of hundreds of millions of ballots cast there have been only thirteen documented cases of in person voter fraud and most of them were found to be unintentional.

The non partisan federal U.S. Election Assistance Commission spent two years studying voter fraud claims. In 2006 they produced a report that concluded, "There is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling-place fraud, or at least much less than is claimed, including voter impersonation, 'dead' voters, non-citizen voting and felon voters."

The lying BushCo Boobs nixed this inconvenient truth, changing the conclusion in 2007 to say there is a “great deal of debate” on the issue. Then they hid the taxpayer funded report away, never to be released to the tax paying public. USA Today did a story on the report with the unambiguous headline "Report refutes fraud at poll sites"...
The (EAC) consultants found little evidence of (fraud). Barry Weinberg, former deputy chief of the voting section in the Justice Department's civil rights division, reviewed their work. "Fraud at the polling place is generally difficult to pull off," he says. "It takes a lot of planning and a lot of coordination."
See for yourself. Despite the BushCo Boos trying to hide the report, you can still read the original.  Here's a link to the original EAC report, before the lying, thieving BushCo Boobs changed the conclusions...

Don't let the GOP get away with disenfranchising millions of voters. Sunlight is the best disinfectant here. Don't believe the lies. Educate yourself about the facts. Then, spread the word...