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!

They Tax Food In Kansas?

Yes, they really do.

Kansas lawmakers agreed to balance the budget by raising sales taxes, but that means some struggling families will have to pinch pennies even more.

Last week, Kansas lawmakers agreed to raise next month's sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.5 percent.

Low-income residents will especially feel the hike when paying their grocery store bill.

My heart goes out to people who live in these red-state hellholes. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Need To Post Something More Upbeat. Thanks Pope Francis

Can we run him for president or at least the Green Party choice for Congress in my district?

 Pope Francis’ call for global action on climate change encourages actions ranging from the practical – car-pooling and recycling – to the adoption of an international treaty binding richer nations to help poorer nations adapt. 

In the first ever encyclical on the environment, the Roman Catholic leader urges "decisive action, here and now" to confront environmental degradation and global warming. Its 184 pages offer a harsh critique of the “structurally perverse” forces of capitalism, globalization, and modernity that are turning the Earth into an “immense pile of filth.”

The encyclical's unapologetic language reaffirms the pope’s unwavering stance against environmental destruction and human-derived climate change.

I'm sure I'm not the right person to say this but, "Bless him." He doesn't mince words, for sure. Unlike all of our politicians in the US, he actually is a scientist (and he has a soul).

In closely adhering to the “less is more” lifestyle that he has become known for, Francis shuns air conditioners and gated communities. He calls on the faithful to embrace an “ecological conversion” and urges them to use public transit, plant trees, turn off unnecessary lights.

The pope argues for reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and replacing them with sources of renewable energy. 

That's what Jesus would do. You hear a lot of that, but you don't see much of it. 

We Live In A Sick Society

More gun violence equals more gun sales or what's good for the funeral industry is good for Smith and Wesson.

The irony of the gun control debate is that when it seems tighter gun control policy is coming, sales spike.
"[W]e experienced strong consumer demand for our firearm products following a new administration taking office in Washington, D.C. in 2009," said the management of gunmaker Smith & Wesson.

And, of course, having a scary, black president is good for gun sales, too. Really, nothing slows them down. Yee ha!

That's when President Barack Obama moved into the White House.

The thought of a President Cuomo is starting to sound better. Once again, I thank God for life in a relatively gun sane state. 

On his website, gun advocate John Lott writes: “Not surprising that yet another mass public shooting has taken place where guns were banned. Yet, again, the ban only ensured that the victims were vulnerable…. With the exception of just two cases, all the mass public shootings since at least 1950 have occurred where guns are banned. This tragic case is no different.”

Elsewhere online, National Rifle Association board member Charles Cotton wrote, “Eight of [Pinckney’s] church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”

Yes, because you should certainly have to expect to go armed to a Bible study group. The answer is always more guns. 

President Obama expressed frustration over the politics of gun control.

“Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on a gun,” he said. “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”

“I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now,” Obama continued. “But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”

“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” Obama said. “Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.” (“By my count, this will be at least the 14th time Pres Obama has made a statement on a shooting attack,” CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted.)

Dead of the night, just outlaw their shit. Ask Andrew for instructions. Or at least that's how the pro-gun propaganda here goes. The courts have called bullshit on that. There's a sickness in our country.

Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention, the Brady Campaign reports.

And the cure is more guns, just ask Wayne LaPierre.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Live Blogging Uncommon Sense

This is actually kind of semi-liveblogged since I wasn't online for the last half of the show and just took some notes. MF is talking to the GF powers that be in the Green Party, Delbert Gregory and Valerie Epstein.

Until 1:30 anyway. Now going on about Ralph Nader for some reason. Who gives a fuck about Nader? Lots of trashing of Democrats. No mention of the Pope Francis's encyclical. Yes, they are quite the Green Party. 

No mention of the shooting in South Carolina which is interesting given MF's gun-nuttery. No word on whether the party actually stands for Birtherism and Trutherism either. I'm not learning much about the party. Jill Stein is apparently awesome. And she probably is. More crying about Ralph Nader. No time to discuss Bernie Sanders. Why?

 Matt doesn't like Bernie's voting record. Oil trains are a big issue for DG. They are for me as well because I live in Fort Edward. Can't disagree with that. Apparently the solution is to "reduce, re-use and recycle." Talk is about solar panels, too. VE's big issue is economic equality. I can't disagree with that either. 

MF can't afford, I guess, to have health insurance. Guessing it may be more on principle. If he can't afford it, maybe he needs to economize somewhere. He's mentioned this before and, I believe, the fact that his workers don't have it either. I'm guessing if they get sick or break a bone they throw themselves on the mercy of society and let the rest of us pay for it. 

DG doesn't like voter apathy. He lists a bunch of things Democrats, to my mind, have a lot of responsibility for instituting: voting rights fro women, civil rights, gay marriage, etc. He asks, "why are we subsidizing GE?

So, these are just my randomly taken notes on the program.

On Wednesday night in Charleston a man shot 9 people in a black church. This radio show took place on Thursday afternoon. Really Delbert? Fucking voter apathy? That's what comes to mind as a big issue for you? Maybe you and Valerie feel safe because of the SAFE Act which was instituted by a Democratic governor. That's why we don't have fucksticks running around with guns in the local Applebee's. Maybe they didn't want to step on Matt's toes.

"If you don't feel we need guns to defend ourselves against tyranny, then you're not paying attention." 

Here's Charles Pierce on the shooting. And Tbogg.

I'd just like to mention the previous GP candidate for Congress from the 21st district, Donald Hassig.

At a candidate forum Thursday in St. Lawrence County, Hassig responded to a question about the potential loosening of rules that would allow more migrant workers to seek legal employment in the region by bashing Spanish-speaking laborers as harmful to cattle because of their limited English.

"I would like to see them get their asses kicked out of here," Hassig said in audio captured by North Country Public Radio.

In a release the next day, state Green Party co-chair Gloria Mattera called Hassig's comments "disturbing and reprehensible." Party Secretary Peter LaVenia of Albany — a candidate for state Senate running against Democratic incumbent Neil Breslin — noted in the statement that the Greens have "long supported the rights of migrant farm workers." 

OK, now that admittedly is pretty crazy. All around. I find it hard to believe that MF doesn't say crazier shit than that before he gets out of bed in the morning, though. What's a little xenophobia next a Birther, Truther, GunNut candidate?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pierce On The Pope On The Earth

Just go read it. I swear this damn Pope Frank is gonna turn me Catholic.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Six Reasons Among Many Not To Re-engage In Iraq

Mostly just putting up this post in order to bookmark this article.

Would more US troops improve the situation in Iraq?
What is the endgame here?
If the Iraqi-US coalition retakes these areas from the Islamic State, then what?
Would US troops really encourage Iraq to enact political reforms?
Will more troops undermine US message to Iraq when it left the first time?

Do the Iraqis actually want us there?

In answering the six questions posed by Anna Mulrine, I get: Most likely not, Who knows, No one knows, Good God no, Yes and When did they ever. For better answers and analysis hit the link.

For more in good links: Tbogg on Trump.

Michelle Obama Joins Tea Party

But afterward:

During her visit, Obama is expected to announce a new $200 million US-UK partnership to support girls' education in countries affected by conflict, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Launched in March, the Let Girls Learn initiative will support teacher training, girls' leadership camps, and other community-based programs around the world.

Educating girls isn't just a moral issue, but a public health issue, a national security issue, and an economic issue, Obama argued, making the case that educating girls leads to lower rates of maternal and infant mortality, combats violent extremism, and can boost both individual earning power as well as an entire country's economy.

Photos for the FLOTUS:

You can never have too much compost!

Bean patch in the foreground and tansy to the right of the hose.

Raised bed.

And yet another raised bed. 

The church that gives Church Street in FE its name. 

If you click'em, they should get bigger.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Prayers Do Get Answered

Pretend billionaire Donald Trump! is going to be a pretend presidential candidate at last. Yeah, I was praying for Sarah Palin too, but there's still time.

Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump said on Tuesday he is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created," Trump said in a launch speech at his Trump Tower skyscraper in Manhattan.

So, that's at least the second candidate the GOP is running who is known for firing people.

From Salon:

With Trump officially joining the race, he vindicates the increasingly obvious analysis that the Republican Party, at the presidential level at least, is little more than a shell corporation for opportunists and careerists who aren’t interested in governing or even winning. The addition of Trump is the would-be final brick in the effort to turn the GOP’s nominating process into a dysfunctional and menacingly ugly reality show competition in which the contestants each scramble to be the most flagrant panderer to the Tea Party base and, subsequently, augment their Q-scores within the lucrative conservative entertainment complex. That’s the real prize, and Trump, above all the others, is aiming to scoop up as much of that as he can. He won’t win the nomination, but that’s not his goal, nor is it the goal of most of the field. The real race is for celebrity heft.


The fact of the matter is that Trump is a circus sideshow attraction who’s incongruously being regarded as a somewhat serious contender, at least according to the polls. If the first debate were to be held tomorrow, Trump would be one of the top-tier candidates invited to participate. Again, fantastic for those of us who make a living tearing down cartoon characters like Trump, but it’s really bad news for American politics.

Yes, I can cut and paste like a Doctor of PoliSci. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Need to Raise That Old Profile

So, Matt's interviewing someone from the Warren County Green Party this week on his radio show. Curious, I did a web search about them. Results:

  1. Warren County, New York Democratic Committee
The Warren County New York Democratic Committee, welcoming and uniting Democrats, ... Follow Warren Democrats On Twitter! Blue Bird For A Blue County!
  1. Find a Local or County Green Group | Green Party ...
... Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, Washington: Upper Hudson Green Party. Chair: Allison Kratzat | sister.of ... Green Party of New York County (Manhattan, NYC ...
  1. Matt Funiciello For Congress - Glens Falls, New ...
See more places in Glens Falls, New York; Liked by This Page. Howie Hawkins for NY Governor. ... Matt Funiciello For Congress shared Warren County Green Party ...
  1. Warren County, NY
Welcome to Warren County. We hope you enjoy your time in Warren County! This website has been created to provide residents, ... New York 12845.
  1. Warren County Sheriff's Office
Nathan H. "Bud" York ... Warren County is a tourist community centered around the Lake George, New York Area.
  1. Warren County, New York - Wikipedia, the free...
Warren County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 65,707. The county seat is Queensbury The county is named in honor ...
  1. Limousine Service in Warren County, NEW JERSEY
Limousine Transportation and Rental Services in Warren County, NEW ... Party Limousine Service in Warren County; ... service in the New York/New Jersey ...
  1. New York claims to be Pennsylvania, CNN reports |...
Jun 13, 2015 · New York's parents issues statement denying claim. “Warren Kinsella's book, ... Tea Party Tim & Foreigners; Teacher, ...
  1. Green Party of New Jersey - Official Site
The Green Party of New Jersey is the state party organization for the Green Party of the United States. The Green Party of New Jersey is one of the ... Green Jobs ...
  1. Warren County GOP

Party_Symbol; Important State of NJ contact info; Assembly Republican Video. February 5th, ... WARREN COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE PO BOX 446 BELVIDERE, NJ 07823.

Really loved that the first result was Warren County NY Democratic Committee. Yeah, the Greens are a force to be reckoned with.

MEA CULPA: I neglected to search Facebook for a page on the Warren County Greens, and they do have one. I generally avoid FB and keep my account down. I fear Mark Zuckerberg having access to information on me more than I fear the NSA.

MEA CULPA ON THAT MEA CULPA: Yes, reading is fundamental. Upon closer examination, like looking at the URL, I see that's Warren County Virginia. There is an Upper Hudson Green Party site. That'll have to do. I wish them well. For good measure, a link to GPNY. And it's not on FB, bless their hearts. Here's their Ten Key Values.

I find nothing to disagree with in them. I also see nothing saying they support Birther and Truther conspiracy theories or gun nuttery either, though. My inclination is toward reforming the Democratic Party as the most achievable plan. It's certainly more so than building a Green Party that's ever going to elect anyone to anything. If I was to get disillusioned enough with the Dems, I believe my backup would be to throw in with the Working Families Party. I do support them and am willing to take a better look at them. Just a point in fact. That GP page has 108 likes; the WF page has 46,614, one of which is mine.

Of course, maybe they are a puppet of the corporations, too.

NUMBER CRUNCHING: Out of curiosity, I looked to see who received more votes in the gubernatorial contest last in our blessed state of NY, Zephyr Teachout or Howie Hawkins. Despite the fact that she was running in the primary so was only eligible to receive votes from Dems, Teachout received 180,336. Hawkins was running as a Green in the general election and received 108,321. That's 60% if my number crunching is correct.

And yes, I haz a sad cuz the WF party sold out to Cuomo and did not endorse Teachout. They need a little reformation, as well.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Freedom From Health Insurance, er Obamacare

As long as you work freedom into it, it has to be good. I'm beginning to love Chris Wallace. He must be angling to keep his job in the coming post-Rubert Fox News era. To be fair, he has shown flashes of brilliance in the past. Nice job in questioning former VEEP candidate Ryan here.

They're gonna have "a bridge from Obamacare." I don't think I want to buy a bridge from them, though. Oh yeah, the ramming down the throat thing is in there, too. 

Ryan instead insisted that that party only wants to give the American people “freedom from Obamacare,” including the 16 million who gained coverage under the law, and the 129 million who no longer have to worry about losing coverage because of pre-existing conditions. 

ASIDE: But not totally off-topic. Funiciello rambled on about healthcare on his radio that possibly only I listen to. He made a comment about a guy only making $10 an hour and having a family of four and then being forced to go out and purchase health insurance. Just wanted to point out how much that sounds like utter bullshit. My impression is that he would be eligible for his insurance to be fully subsidized. Unfortunately, I don't know that for sure. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

One More Reason to be a Vegetarian

Thanks Charles Pierce. I've changed my mind about about actually eating a little flesh today.

Call me crazy, but I'd rather like to know whether my hamburger got dribbled off the floor of a Shanghai factory floor a few times before it got packaged up. You combine domestic lobbying juggernauts with the authority of international trade institutions and this is what you get. If you're lucky, you don't get anything else.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

This Should Be Good

Et tu, Fox News: in which Chris Wallace displays some Mike Wallace skills. Or channeling Charles Pierce.

"I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we're really good at, which is theology and morality," he said.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Santorum attempted to defend his remarks. Host Chris Wallace pointed out that Santorum talks plenty about climate change, even though he doesn't even have a background in science, like the pope does.

"I guess the question would be, if he shouldn't talk about it, should you?" Wallace asked.


Santorum argued that politicians "have to make decision with respect to our public policy that affect American workers." He added that the pope "can talk about whatever he wants," but it might not be the best issue for him to "use his moral authority for."

The ball's in your court, Chris:

"He would say he's protecting the earth," Wallace replied.

Oh, snap!

"I would say that that's important thing to do, but I think there are more pressing problems confronting the earth than climate change," Santorum said.

Of course, we've already established that Santorum is not a scientist and the pope is.

Two Good Ones from Ken (and One from Tim)

One, touting the utility of the SAFE Act towards installing a totalitarian dictatorship in New York. Oh wait, that last part was in the comments.

When the Senate chose to select John Flanagan as majority leader last month, it further sealed the Safe Act’s fate. Flanagan voted for the Safe Act two years ago and, as a Long Island Republican, his constituents are likely to support the law.

Traitorous, RINO dog (rhino dog). Don't listen to that for 10 minutes. 

What puzzles me is that the safest place in the state — upstate — seems to have so many residents who feel the need to protect themselves, while it is the downstate residents from communities that have far more crime who support more gun control.

Yeah, but happiness safety is a warm gun.

And frankly, I’ve never felt safer. 

Same here. But then I avoid the Atlanta airport and Georgia in general.

Bonus Ken: on our representative to Congress who is totally voting the same way Aaron Woolf would have.  

Last month, Rep. Elise Stefanik was among 240 members of the House of Representatives to vote for repealing the Inheritance Tax. So did every other Republican in upstate New York. Only three Republicans voted against the bill.

Because Tom Joad's family is totally being thrown to the wolves by the feds. Greedy bastards. And apparently we have always been at war with eastasia Canada. 

We know she is an advocate for Fort Drum, in favor of Lake Placid holding another Winter Olympics and for locating a missile defense system in Watertown, even though the Pentagon says it does not want it, all while saying she wants to set a new standard for bipartisanship.

OK, Tim Armstrong. Just because.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Good Health News for Empire Staters

The assembly in our fair (it's all those things) state has voted to one-up Obamacare.

The New York Assembly wants to cut out the middle man.

A bill that passed 89-47 would essentially eliminate insurance companies and cover all New Yorkers' healthcare needs through a so-called single payer system.

Our Senate, unfortunately, is not so fair. 

An identical bill hasn't advanced in the state Senate, so the measure is not likely become law any time soon.

And just to stick another shiv in the idea that there is no difference between Dems and Reps.

The vote fell roughly along party lines.

Oooh, look, 81 sponsors. All Democrats

Traveler's Warning from Hometown Blog

There is a definite possibility of incurring lead poisoning when visiting the Atlanta Airport. Being forewarned is being forearmed. Well, not in the way this guy is.

The story of a man who walked into Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday carrying a loaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle has gone viral. And here’s the most amazing part of it: his actions were completely legal, thanks to Georgia’s gun laws. Passed in 2014, the HB 512 Safe Carry Protection Act allows people to openly carry a rifle in an airport, so long as they don’t try to go through security.  

The armed Cooley was dropping his daughter off for a flight, when  police officers approached Cooley, asking why he was carrying a semiautomatic weapon with an extended capacity 100-round drum. 

His response? “Safety.”  

Yes, the story has gone viral. It's good that any nut out there who wants to set a new record for mass murder can head on down to the Atlanta Airport with, presumably, any number of weapons and any amount of ammo.

Here's the take at CSM:

Cooley took affront to the attention, citing a common refrain among public-carry advocates: that he doesn’t need to account for other people’s feelings or fears when conducting lawful activity. 

Whatsamatter? You libs can't tell a good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun?

"People think that if you're simply carrying your firearm, regardless of how you're carrying it, you're a bad person," Cooley later told the New York Daily News. "But if you're not carrying it in a menacing or threatening manner, it should be no cause for concern for anybody."

See, it's so obvious. 

CSM mentions a couple of other second amendment performance artists. Make sure you view the videos at both. First up is the guy at his town library's summer reading party.

Warren, who normally takes his gun wherever he goes, was stopped by library officials at the Summer Reading Party and asked to leave, although the law does not permit libraries to ban guns.

You did watch the clip, right? No mistaking him as a bad guy who might go all mass murder on a group of elementary school kids. I like the part in the clip where he relies on God for his safety first and gun second. WTF? Oh ye of little faith!

Warren also said that "criminals don't open carry."

No, but I think psychos usually fuckin' do. Next psycho good guy with a gun. 

The unidentified Georgia man with a gun in his holster brought a baseball game to a screeching halt at a Forsyth County park this Tuesday, after he refused to leave a parking lot overlooking the field.

"He's just walking around [saying]'See my gun? Look, I got a gun and there's nothing you can do about it.' He knew he was frightening people. He knew exactly what he was doing," mom Karen Rabb told WSB-TV. “He scared people to the point where we stopped the game, took the kids out of the dugout and behind the dugout, and kind of hunkered down."

But, until he starts shooting people he's still a "good guy with a gun."

About 22 people called 911 to report the man's antics. When police confronted him, they found out that he had a permit to carry the weapon. He hadn’t made any violent threats or pulled the gun out of its holster, so cops said there was nothing they could do to stop him.

They added (or should have), "There's no law against being an asshole."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Et Tu, Bernie, Et Tu

It's sad to see that Bernie Sanders has become a faux liberal.

  • Joanne Gavin How about getting Bernie Sanders on the show?
    • https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-1/c0.1.24.24/p24x24/1508111_1418397551807037_8555018379890179854_n.jpg?oh=d412dceb3a0b9dce2f9c6a0124d73f55&oe=5608A64B&__gda__=1443230494_8ca66d370ee48a53f09ebd710530c7a8
UnCommon Sense I have a feeling he's saving himself solely for national media, Joanne.

During my congressional campaign, we reached out to Bernie and were completely ignored.

Ralph Nader has told me that Bernie doesn't ever respond to any of his letters. Nor does his staff.

You could reach out to Bernie's people on my behalf but he's being pretty clear, by running as a Democrat, that he is choosing to not be part of a movement forward.

I certainly wish that, at least, he'd write an essay explaining what he's trying to build by running with a corporatist war party.

Yes, how strange that Sanders would decline (by not acknowledging Funiciello's existence) to be on a radio show that has already featured a birther/sovereign citizen (Robert Schultz), a 9/11 conspiracy theorist (Tony Cerro) and is featuring a Tea Party activist (David Livingston) this week. The first two of the above-mentioned guests were not challenged in any way in their beliefs. 

Yeah, it's Sanders that's not part of the movement forward. And good for him for ignoring Nader, too.

HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT: Go and enjoy "Learning Curves are for Pussies." Hopefully the voters of the 21st district have a learning curve.

PARTIAL MEA CULPA: I did listen to the full show with David Livingston and if I had missed the last few minutes, this would be a full mea culpa. Livingson's story of his service in Vietnam was admirable. I have sympathy for him for that and for the health problems of his daughter, likely caused by his exposure to Agent Orange. He fights against war and for peace now and I love him for that.

He did lose me at the end by revealing that he has, I believe he said, 72 different DVD's for sale. Examples included 9/11 theories and chemtrails. And, unbelievably, the Bilderbergs. Really? Still? The Bilderberg's?

Oh God, apparently yes.

Proponents of Bilderberg conspiracy theories in the United States include individuals and groups such as the John Birch Society,[47][52] political activist Phyllis Schlafly,[52] writer Jim Tucker,[53] political activist Lyndon LaRouche,[54] radio host Alex Jones,[2][55][56] and politician Jesse Ventura, who made the Bilderberg group a topic of a 2009 episode of his TruTV series Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.[57] Non-American proponents include Russian-Canadian writer Daniel Estulin.[58]

I know Funiciello doesn't get his news from the "corporate news media." I gotta wonder if he gets it from Alex Jones and Infowars, though. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Freedom of Speech for Imams

Not in Saudi Arabia, of course. Interesting article that shows that even Muslim imams are against war and such. After I had been assured by so many right-wingers that it was the religion of the sword or some such. These guys might get on well with Pope Frank.

Boasting millions of followers across the world, a generation of Saudi clerics and Islamic scholars are reaching beyond government-controlled mosques and satellite television stations to criticize Riyadh and its autocratic Arab allies, using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to stoke dissent.

Now amid growing online criticism of Riyadh’s war in Yemen and poor government services at home, Saudi authorities are censoring the clerics, triggering a showdown that has been brewing since the early days of the Arab Spring.

If you've lost the clerics, can Democracy be far behind?

But the crackdown does not begin or end with Yemen. Wary of clerics’ growing social media followings, Riyadh has warned imams against criticizing the government’s policies at home or its allies abroad.

Unfortunately, if it is you might end up like Egypt

Morsi and more than 100 others were sentenced to death last month over a mass prison break in 2011 that occurred during protests against ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

I'm pretty sure the grand mufti is not going to listen to me, but let's try not executing Morsi. 

“These highly politicized trials that contravene all standards of justice, the judiciary is doing its part to cement a new political reality in Egypt, one that seeks to silence all dissent and restore the full strength of the authoritarian system that was in place for decades,” he said.

Yeah, that's at least part of the reason. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Bush Gang Officially Become War Criminals

Thank you Charles Pierce for the tip. Former Bushies likely won't be visiting Kuala Lumpur soon.

It’s official; George W Bush is a war criminal.

In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were yesterday (Fri) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.
The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

But please go read all of it.