Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What's a Few Carbon Emissions?

Rep. Stefanik continues to give value for campaign money given.

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, voted for a bill last week to postpone states’ compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

Other Republicans followed suit on Wednesday — 239 voted yes, and four voted no, while 176 Democrats voted no and eight voted yes.

It's so nice to live in an enlightened state (NY, but yes, of mind too).

“New York already caps carbon pollution from power plants, so the Clean Power Plan is really about the rest of the country catching up to what we’ve been doing for years,” Bambrick said. “We would like to see the New York delegation stand up for the interests of New Yorkers and tell the rest of the country it’s time to stand up for what New York is already doing.”

From Environmental Advocates of NY:

Today, just days after Pope Francis appealed for climate leadership, and as world leaders are developing ways to cut carbon emissions, Representative Elise Stefanik cast her first climate vote and supported legislation (HR2042) to block implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, incite states to ignore federal law, and create a legal boondoggle that would stall climate action for years, if not decades, to come.

Ted Cruz Says Mexico Sending Rapists To US

The GOP seems to want 0% of the Hispanic vote.

"When it comes to Donald Trump, I like Donald Trump. I think he's terrific. I think he's brash. I think he speaks the truth," Cruz said Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends.

And what The Donald said:

During his campaign announcement, Trump accused Mexico of sending its rapists and drug dealers to America.

And then there is Ann Coulter whom no one has yet thrown a bucket of water on. 

She spends a lot of time in the book trying to prove that Mexicans are prone to child rape.

Monday, June 29, 2015

First Vegan Pope?

I wish Arthur Poletti for his effort to convince Pope Francis to become the first vegan pope.

Being the Pope will not be easy. Hopefully, with God’s guidance you will be inspired and motivated, like no other Pope before you, to go against the status quo, and take a firm stand against all odds, criticisms, and adversaries. Especially when you are certain that God and you are right about a controversial subject.

Your Holiness, surely you will agree that God is the supreme symbol of compassion, kindness, life, and love for all creatures with a soul, and the best reason why none of God's precious animals should ever have to suffer and die so people can eat them, and or their dairy products.

Therefore, since there are no factory farms or slaughterhouses in Heaven, as it should be on Earth, now would be a great time for hundreds of millions of people to begin changing their eating habits.

Your Holiness, for these obvious reasons please seriously consider the significance of personally supporting and promoting God’s will.

Your timely announcement revealing that you have stopped eating meat and dairy products will promote — VEGANISM — like never before, and it will convince millions of people that you are personally supporting your love and God's love for all animals, setting the example and the precedent for religious leaders, government officials,and hundreds of millions of people throughout the world to appreciate and emulate.

Holy Father, your brave and bold historic action of becoming the FIRST VEGAN POPE would send a powerful message throughout the world, like a “lightning bolt from heaven,” that God and “Your Holiness” want to stop the hideous, completely unnecessary, seemingly never ending holocaust of God's precious animals.

Soon after your historic and courageous announcement happens, many urgently-needed benefits for animals, humans, the earth, and the earth’s atmosphere will begin to certainly occur, with the excellent prospects of a multitude of endless residual benefits.

It's not a major action, but there is a Credo petition to urge the pope to become Vegan. 

I went back and listened the the Funiciello show where he had Kate Austin-Avon and Don Donofrio as guests. Just wanted to double check to see if he had at least some principles that call for ending or reducing meat consumption to help save the planet, not to mention any moral principles. I had forgotten this bit. He tells Austin-Avon, a Vegan, that one of the most amusing things he's heard is from Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain calls Vegans a Hamas-like splinter group of vegetarians. See, it's funny because you're comparing a group that out of moral compassion for animals doesn't eat them and is also concerned about the future of our planet to a terrorist group. How fuckin' droll! Now, hummus-like splinter group might have been funny. And there's bonus patronization when he tells us that he has earned the right to eat meat because he's killed animals before. So, if you've killed animals that gives you the right to have others slaughter them to feed you food that you don't need to survive and to support an industry that is the top polluter in the world. Yes, he's the Green Party candidate for Congress in our district.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Republican War On American Health

OK, yeah blah blah blah from the Republicans, they are going to keep on keepin' on to repeal and replace Obamacare. I'm not going to bother putting any links up to the meaningless drivel that they are spouting. Why read that when you can be reading PAUL KRUGMAN.

Opponents of the law insisted that it would actually reduce coverage; in reality, around 15 million Americans have gained insurance.

What about costs? In 2013 there were dire warnings about a looming “rate shock”; instead, premiums came in well below expectations. In 2014 the usual suspects declared that huge premium increases were looming for 2015; the actual rise was just 2 percent. There was another flurry of scare stories about rate hikes earlier this year, but as more information comes in it looks as if premium increases for 2016 will be bigger than for this year but still modest by historical standards — which means that premiums remain much lower than expected.
And there has also been a sharp slowdown in the growth of overall health spending, which is probably due in part to the cost-control measures, largely aimed at Medicare, that were also an important part of health reform.
What about economic side effects? One of the many, many Republican votes against Obamacare involved passing something called the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, and opponents have consistently warned that helping Americans afford health care would lead to economic doom. But there’s no job-killing in the data: The U.S. economy has added more than 240,000 jobs a month on average since Obamacare went into effect, its biggest gains since the 1990s.
It was sad to see Scalia have a tantrum in full reactionary political mode. He's usually a better justice than that.
Finally, what about claims that health reform would cause the budget deficit to explode? In reality, the deficit has continued to decline, and the Congressional Budget Office recently reaffirmed its conclusion that repealing Obamacare would increase, not reduce, the deficit.
Put all these things together, and what you have is a portrait of policy triumph — a law that, despite everything its opponents have done to undermine it, is achieving its goals, costing less than expected, and making the lives of millions of Americans better and more secure.

But what conservatives have always feared about health reform is the possibility that it might succeed, and in so doing remind voters that sometimes government action can improve ordinary Americans’ lives.

That’s why the right went all out to destroy the Clinton health plan in 1993, and tried to do the same to the Affordable Care Act. But Obamacare has survived, it’s here, and it’s working. The great conservative nightmare has come true. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Yeah, I don't know why I didn't just copy and paste the whole thing either. But there is much more and it's great, so go read it so I don't get in trouble with the NYTimes. It's bad enough that CSM is the paper of record here. 

But what I really wanted to talk about was how the Republican Party wants us to eat more meat and kill ourselves with it as well as killing the planet.  

The report, which informs the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that are updated every five years, found that “a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet.” This is the first time the sustainability of our dietary choices has been taken into consideration by the DGAC; according to the report, it is “essential to ensure a healthy food supply will be available for future generations.”

This past Wednesday, the House approved two spendingbills that would completely alter the way the government is permitted to adapt the DGAC’s evidence-based recommendations. They do so by raising that standard of evidence: the agencies that form the Dietary Guidelines, they say, can only rely on the very strongest science in these matters. The DGAC rates its evidence on a three-level scale — “strong,” “moderate” and “limited” — and the science supporting a plant-based diet was deemed “moderate”: too low, by the bills’ standards, to be relevant.

And I will recommend two books that occupy places of honor on my bookshelf (at the Crandall Library), Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer and The Modern Savage by James McWilliams. It's not easy to avoid meat in our meat-based society, but it's worth at least cutting back to any extent possible. Think of the poor animals in their cages where they can't move when you eat that bacon burger and chicken fries.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pope Frank Takes On The Merchants Of Death

Yes, what armaments would Jesus manufacture?

At a youth rally in Turin, Italy on Sunday, the pontiff turned his gaze on the arms industry, criticizing those who manufacture or invest in weapons and yet call themselves Christians.

If there was an office higher than pope in the world, I would gladly nominate Pope Francis for that. Good on him!

In other news of man making it easier to kill his fellow man:
After signing two bills that loosen Wisconsin's gun laws, Gov. Scott Walker defended the timing of his public event Wednesday, saying it had been scheduled before nine people were shot and killed last week in a South Carolina church.

With his signature, the all-but-certain Republican presidential candidate eliminated the state's 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases and allowed off-duty, retired and out-of-state police officers to carry firearms on school grounds. Both measures passed earlier this month in the GOP-majority Legislature with bipartisan support.

You know, it's expected from Walker, but nice going Wisconsin Democrats.

Oh, good hell. This is courtesy of Charles Pierce and barely pertinent to the post, but I gotta put it up.

A Florida man accidentally shot himself dead when he checked if his gun was loaded by putting it to his head and pulling the trigger, police said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tom Engelhardt On How Safe Guns Make You

This is pretty much a bookmark.

Let’s take a look at a few of the dangers of armed life in these United States, a quick survey of national insecurity in a country armed to the teeth.

There's too much to copy and paste from, so it all has to be read. Worth noting the link to more killed by toddlers than terrorists and the number of mass shootings in 2015. Both of those were pretty outstanding. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

It's For Identifying Assholes

I live in Northern NY and unfortunately still see vehicles and clothing with the confederate flag on them. I want to thank John Oliver for pointing out the upside to that.

So, thanks for the head's up!