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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Daily Drift

Don't you just hate that ...

Carolina Naturally is read in 194 countries around the world daily.
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Today in History

1695 Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul on the death of Amhed II.
1825 Congress approves Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the "Trail of Tears."
1862 President Abraham Lincoln issues General War Order No. 1, setting in motion the Union armies.
1900 Foreign diplomats in Peking fear revolt and demand that the Imperial Government discipline the Boxer Rebels.
1905 Russian General Kuropatkin takes the offensive in Manchuria. The Japanese under General Oyama suffer heavy casualties.
1916 President Woodrow Wilson opens preparedness program.
1918 Communists attempt to seize power in Finland.
1924 Lenin's body is laid in a marble tomb on Red Square near the Kremlin.
1935 A League of Nations majority favors depriving Japan of mandates.
1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt approves the sale of U.S. war planes to France.
1941 The United States and Great Britain begin high-level military talks in Washington.
1943 The first U.S. raids on the Reich blast Wilhelmshaven base and Emden.
1959 NASA selects 110 candidates for the first U.S. space flight.
1965 Military leaders oust the civilian government of Tran Van Huong in Saigon.
1967 Three astronauts are killed in a flash fire that engulfed their Apollo 1 spacecraft.
1973 A cease fire in Vietnam is called as the Paris peace accords are signed by the United States and North Vietnam.
1978 The State Supreme Court rules that Nazis can display the Swastika in a march in Skokie, Illinois.

Non Sequitur


China goofs up on censorship in the most awesome way

China goofs up on censorship in the most awesome way
Human error likely caused a glitch in China’s Great Firewall that saw millions of Internet users ironically rerouted to the homepage of a U.S.-based company which helps people evade Beijing’s web censorship.
Hundreds of millions of people attempting to visit China’s most popular websites on Tuesday afternoon found themselves redirected to Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT), a company that sells anti-censorship web services tailored for Chinese users.

Did you know ...

That half of black men and 38% of white men are arrested before age 23

That this DEA official freaks out at the thought of marijuana legalization

The 15 most common logical fallacies

You shouldn't be a dick to your childless friends

Polar Vortex Underscores Frozen Congressional Activity

Mother Nature is bitter and unforgiving all over. Maybe she's taking her cues from the inert members of Congress …
Deep Freeze Washington Oh the weather outside is frightful this winter, and this year there are very few places to hide. Last weekend as I boarded a flight to Nashville, visions of 50-degree temperatures danced in my head. The normal January range in the Music City is between 28 and 47 degrees, infinitely more tolerable than the climate in my hometown of Chicago. Alas, I deplaned in a disappointingly similar environment, where the thermometer struggled to reach the freezing point. Mother Nature is bitter and unforgiving all over.
Maybe she’s taking her cues from the inert members of Congress, who at the close of 2013 dared to make us consider the possibility of action. Briefly scared straight by the public backlash over the fall’s disastrous and ill-reasoned government shutdown, intransigent repugicans in the Senate (and to a lesser degree, the House) suddenly seemed in the mood to get things done. This led to the production of a bipartisan budget agreement, followed by feckless House Speaker John Boehner’s better-late-than never repudiation of right wing groups such as the Heritage Foundation, which have egregiously encouraged repugican cabal games of chicken over the last six years. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally found the political courage to change the broken chamber’s filibuster rules so that an enormous backlog of Executive Branch appointments could begin to be cleared. It was a heady time when actual work once again seemed possible.
But the spirit of compromise didn’t last. Early into the New Year, thousands of long-term job seekers were cut off from sorely needed unemployment insurance benefits. No sooner did the holiday bills and winter’s cruelty roll in than the repugican cabal doubled down on the suffering of the jobless. Despite the fact that respondents to a Faux News poll (!!!!) overwhelmingly favor the extension of benefits, to the tune of 69 percent, Congressional repugicans have continued to ignore the will of the people. Washington Post writer Aaron Blake rather charitably reports that “Congress is deadlocked over whether and how to continue funding unemployment insurance beyond that 26-week period.”
I would offer that there’s no deadlock about it. Democrats maintain some human empathy for the Great Recession-ravaged unemployed while repugican cabal standard bearers like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul leverage pretzel logic to avoid helping that wretched 47 percent of “takers.” Paul famously said, “the longer you have it [unemployment insurance], that it provides some disincentive to work, and that there are many studies that indicate this.”
I am betting that these “many studies” were conducted by wingnut research groups. As someone who has been on the layoff dole more than once in the course of a relatively short career, I can safely say that six months of roughly 30 percent the usual take home pay did not result in leisurely champagne and caviar consumption.
Only the party that brought us two budget and deficit busting wars, tax cuts and an unpaid for Medicare prescription drug benefit under the shrub junta could have the absolute, unmitigated gall to demand fiscal responsibility when it comes to helping suffering workers. And naturally, the repugican cabal has brushed aside numerous credible reports that extending the benefits actually creates jobs and saves the government money in the long run.
But let me not consume the entire column railing against repugican opposition to helping hardworking Americans survive. As the great Gail Collins of The New York Times wrote today on her end of “The Conversation” with David Brooks: “to be honest, if the president told a reporter that he had great confidence this would be the year we’d see immigration reform, better gun control, tax reform and a hike in the minimum wage, I’d probably be less excited than worried about his mental health.”
Anyone who believed that late fall’s sudden flurry of activity would extend past the New Year, or counted upon the repugican obsession with opposition to die along with the party’s shutdown approval rating, is discovering that the polar vortex is both metaphorically and literally in charge.

House repugicans Kick Off 2014 By Ignoring Everything the American People Want

The repugicans began 2014 the same way they started the past three years; working solely for their special interests' campaign donations and against the American people.

Obamacare Delivers Knockout Blow To The repugican cabal As Majority Of States Have Expanded Medicaid

obama-smiling The further we go along into the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and more people see what it offers them, the less likely the repugican cabal is going to be able to do anything about the law and will have to accept it. A new CBS Poll released on Thursday shows that the majority of people like what the ACA provides them, and only a small minority want the law to be repealed.
While the approval ratings for the law are still in the net negative (-9%), when asked if they liked aspects of the law or wanted it repealed altogether, 56% of people stated they liked provisions in the law and would just like to see it improved, while only 34% wanted it repealed. That is a reduction of 9% from November’s poll. Basically, people are coming around on the law and seeing the benefits it offers, which is a bad thing for repugicans who have touted its complete repeal from day one.
It appears that the repugican cabal is slowly coming to the realization that their Obamacare repeal fantasy is now a thing of the past and that they need to start embracing it before it is too late. On Thursday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced that he will allow the state to expand Medicaid, which will cover an additional 60,000 residents of the state. This now means that the majority of US states have now expanded Medicaid coverage to its residents and will accept the additional federal funds.
If the reddest of red states (Utah) can come to the realization that it is better to provide additional help for its people, you have to wonder if and when the other red states will follow suit. It would seem like just a matter of time, right? For many of those states, sure. However, you do have certain governors who have national ambitions who will hold out as long as possible to keep their hardcore conservative cred. For instance, Texas won’t expand over the next several months, as outgoing Governor Rick Perry is going to put his hat in the ring for a Presidential nomination. Therefore, he can’t have that brought up in any of the repugican cabal debates or out on the campaign trail.
Same goes for Scott Walker in Wisconsin, despite the state being a more moderate one that supported President Obama in 2008 and 2012. However, Walker sees himself as a potential candidate, so he will hold off as long as possible. Louisiana and Bobby Jindal fall into this same category. Yet, you have a number of other solid red states where the governors don’t have Presidential ambitions, so how long will they hold out? Will they fall like dominoes now that Utah has jumped ship?
Currently, 26 states plus D.C. have expanded Medicaid. It appears that Missouri, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire will follow suit shortly, as they’ve been considering it for a while now. Virginia will almost certainly expand it very soon as Democrats recently swept the statewide elections and took control of one of the chambers of legislature. Other states with embattled repugican governors like Rick Scott in Florida and Paul LePage in Maine may also see an expansion sooner rather than later.
The thing is, once expansion of Medicaid takes effect in a state, there is no way the state is going to roll it back. That would be political suicide, as you would be placing tens of thousands of people in medical and financial peril by doing that. No repugican running is going to be able to win on a platform of taking away what is already in place. Therefore, it looks like you are only going to have a few stragglers who will hold out to the very end, mainly Deep South states like Alabama and Mississippi, and largely rural states like Wyoming and Idaho. Eventually, though, they will almost certainly have to come around, as residents will see that the majority of people in this country have access to something they don’t.

Regime Change in Virginia: New Attorney General Seeks to Overturn Gay Marriage Ban

AG Herring says Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, and he has filed a legal brief asking a federal court to end it. …
mark herring Elections have consequences. Virginia is a prime example, and nowhere are the consequences of the 2013 elections more evident than inside the Attorney General’s Office in Richmond. Less than two weeks into his term as the new Attorney General, Mark Herring (D) is reversing course from the legacy of his predecessor, repugican Ken Cuccinelli. Herring announced today that he believes Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, and he has filed a legal brief asking a federal court in Norfolk to strike down Virginia’s gay marriage ban.
In the brief Herring argues:
Virginia’s laws denying the right to marry to same-sex couples violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Attorney General will not defend the constitutionality of those laws, will argue for their being declared unconstitutional,  and will work to ensure that both sides of the issue are responsibly and vigorously briefed and argued before the courts to facilitate a decision on the merits, consistent with the rule of law.
Herring’s position represents a radical departure from that held by Ken Cuccinelli, the man he replaced. Cuccinnelli was a staunch opponent of marriage equality and once filed a brief equating same-sex marriage with polygamy.
Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2006, but Herring, who himself voted for a ban eight years ago, now believes that state amendment violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Herring argues that he does not want Virginia to be on the wrong side of history this time stating:
There have been times in some key landmark cases where Virginia was on the wrong side, was on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of the law,” he said. “And as attorney general, I’m going to make sure that the [people] presenting the state’s legal position on behalf of the people of Virginia are on the right side of history and on the right side of the law.
Herring further added that he “cannot and will not defend a law that violates Virginians’ fundamental constitutional rights.” Brian Coy, a spokesperson for Governor Terry McAuliffe confirms that the Governor supports Herring’s decision. The reversal of the VA Attorney General’s office from actively fighting marriage equality to actively promoting it, underscores that on social issues, the two parties are not at all alike. Elections have consequences, and regime change in Richmond means that gay and lesbian couples may soon have the right to marry in one of the states of the Old Confederacy.

Special Election Victory By Democrat Jennifer Wexton Completes repugican cabal Collapse in Virginia

In a battle to determine party control of the VA Senate, Jennifer Wexton (D) coasted to a resounding 53-37 victory over John Whitbeck (r). …
jennifer wexton A year ago the Virginia repugican cabal held the Governor’s office, the Lieutenant Governor’s office and the Attorney General’s office. In 2012, Virginia repugican Governor Bob McDonnell was considered as a strong potential running mate for Mitt Romney. He was also billed as a possible presidential candidate for 2016. At the 2013 state repugican cabal convention, delegates selected a slate of wingnut candidates to run in the fall election that included Ken Cuccinelli for Governor, E.W. Jackson for Lt. Governor and Mark Obenshain for Attorney General. All three of them lost and their offices switched from red to blue.
However, last night the repugican cabal had a chance for a small measure of redemption. In a special election to fill newly elected Attorney General Mark Herring’s old seat, and party control of the State Senate at stake, the repugicans at least had an opportunity to halt the bleeding. Although Virginia’s 33rd Senate District leans Democratic, repugicans were hopeful that a low turnout special election in the midst of a winter snowstorm, would give them a chance to win the race and secure a repugican majority in the State Senate.
Voters decided otherwise. Democrat Jennifer Wexton coasted to a resounding 53-37 victory over repugican John Whitbeck.  Joe T. May, a former repugican, running as an Independent garnered the remaining ten percent.  The repugicans still hold a majority in the state’s lower house (the House of Delegates), but Wexton’s victory gives Democrats control of the upper chamber, although the 6th District race won by Democrat Lynwood Lewis is still undergoing a recount.
With last night’s demoralizing defeat, the collapse of the Virginia repugican cabal is nearly complete. repugicans won Virginia in ten state Presidential elections from 1968 to 2004. Barack Obama swung the commonwealth into the blue column in 2008, but the repugican cabal regained their footing in 2009, sweeping the statewide races of Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General.  The revival proved short lived however. Now Bob McDonnell is more likely to find himself living in a prison cell than in the White House. Democrats not only control the state offices of Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General, but they also hold both US Senate seats. A recent poll shows Incumbent Senator Mark Warner (D) leading repugican challenger Ed Gillespie by a daunting 29 points, 50-21.
Yesterday’s special election merely underscored what has already become obvious to many political observers. The repugican message is falling flat on its face in Virginia. The state is turning blue and there is no evidence that it has any intentions of turning back.

Random Photos

Game On

Alison Lundergan Grimes has launched a missile of the jobs war at struggling repugican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a new ad…
david kennedy for alison grimes Kentucky Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes has launched a where are the jobs missile at struggling repugican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a new ad, in which a constituent says, “Mitch McConnell has been in there for 30 years, and I have yet to see his jobs plan.” Ouch.
Alison for Kentucky released “Our Strength Is Our People: David’s Story,” featuring Harlan County’s David Kennedy. Watch here:
Mr. Kennedy laid out how Mitch McConnell abandoned the county, “Mitch McConnell has been in there for 30 years, and I have yet to see his jobs plan.” He continued, “About five or six years ago, Mitch McConnell came into Harlan County, talked for a few minutes and then he got on his bus and he went on his way and we haven’t seen him since.”
Mr. Kennedy sees Alison Grimes as someone who will get things done. There can be no bigger dig at a Republican – party of the Government Shutdown – than this. And Mitch McConnell clearly couldn’t control the junior senator from Texas who shut the country down and cost us all millions of dollars doing it.
Kennedy said, “The first time I met Alison Grimes, she was running for Secretary of State. When the lady got up and spoke, I immediately turned my head and I said, ‘Wow. She’s sharp, she’s smart, she knows what she’s talking about. She’s quick on her feet. She would be one of the greatest things we could do for Kentucky, to send her on to Washington.’ We’ve heard a lot of politicians talk in the past, and I have confidence that Alison Grimes is not just a talker, but a doer.”
Doing something.
The repugicans have made easy targets of themselves by making history doing nothing. Mitch McConnell can’t be held personally responsible for the repugican-led House of Representatives, but Mitch McConnell can be held personally responsible for turning his back on the middle class in his home state.
It’s awkward because Alison Grimes is not in office as Senator to her state, and yet she has a real jobs plan. She is the only Kentucky Senatorial candidate to have a real jobs plan. McConnell has been trying to tie Grimes to Obama on any issue he can since he can’t very well be honest about his own policies and get re-elected. McConnell has tried hard to tie Grimes to Obama on coal because it’s a such a sensitive issue in the state, and yet this is one of the few issues the repugican and Democrat agree upon (the regulations issue re coal is off the table, now what, McConnell?).
While Grimes and McConnell both take pot shots at coal regulations as a job deterrent, analysts say that “federal regulations are only one factor in the regional downturn.” Thus, it’s rather important to have a jobs plan that focuses on something other than coal — in addition to promising to deregulate coal, if you will.
The point really is that McConnell has been blaming regulations for the lack of jobs, but what has he done about bringing in new jobs? Is he going to whinge on about regulations forever and act like he’s impotent to do anything else for another 30 years? The repugicans sure had no problem shutting down the government over their angst at millions getting access to affordable healthcare, so if they wanted to make a stink about actual jobs for the middle class, they could and they would.
Kentucky.Com laid out her jobs plan, which you can also read in detail here.
Grimes’ plan addressed a wide range of issues, calling for more affordable child care; improved education in science, math and computers; more support for entrepreneurs and workforce training; expanded early-childhood education; and improved high-speed Internet access in rural areas.
Grimes also advocated raising the minimum wage from the current level of $7.25 to $10.10, arguing it would raise the standard of living for many families. She elicited a standing ovation by saying that a minimum wage increase is long past due.
McConnell has voted against raising the minimum wage and for some reason is against pay equity for women, calling equal pay for equal work just another “special interest vote”. Do tell, Senator.
The Grimes campaign explained in a statement, “Unlike Mitch McConnell, Alison understands that unemployment and under-employment are more than a set of numbers; they are the stories of real people.”
Just how long can Mitch McConnell and the repugican cabal get away with not having a real jobs plan and just pointing their fingers and whining?
Jobs. Doing something. It’s what the people really want.
It’s only a matter of time until Democrats started attacking repugicans over their historical laziness and refusal to govern.
While repugicans did their victory dance over glitches in the Obamacare website, and foolishly banked on running against glitches and evil healthcare for the people, Democratic candidates were just waiting in the wings to hit repugicans over the head with their refusal to do anything about jobs.

Swill O’Really’s Obama Interview Before Super Bowl Will Hardly Be ‘Fair And Balanced’

bill o Faux announced on Thursday that Faux News talk-show host Bill O’Reilly will interview President Barack Obama before the Super Bowl on February 2nd. This is actually going to be a two-part interview, as the first part will be shown live prior to the telecast of the football game, while the second part will be taped and shown the following night on O’Really’s show The O’Really Factor.
It is a tradition for the President to do an interview with the network that is hosting the Super Bowl. As Faux has it this year, they gave the interview to O’Really, just as they did back in 2011. Typically, other networks give the interview to someone from the ‘straight-news’ division, not an opinion show host. For instance, last year, CBS gave the interview to Scott Pelley. Instead of giving this over the Shep Smith or Chris Wallace, they prefer to use O’Really. Obviously, this shows that opinion matters more than straight news reporting to Faux.
It is also probably fair to say that O’Really pushed for this due to his ego. Notice that the former tabloid show host also scored a second interview segment to air on his show. That is sure to be a nice little ratings boost for O’Really. I would bet good money that O’Really will be harsher in tone and present more difficult questions for the President during the taped segment, so as to satisfy his rabid, anti-Obama audience. Whereas for the Super Bowl interview, he will probably be gentler and try to pass himself off as a fair interviewer.
You do have to give it to the President, though. The man’s a good sport. He’s already been interviewed by O’Really twice before. Once, in 2008, when he was still running for President, and the 2011 Super Bowl interview. The last interview was a much easier affair than the caustic one that O’Really conducted in 2008. Yet, the 2011 interview still had some tense moments and attempts by O’Really to corner the President on some subjects. Plus, Obama has to know the absolute derision and contempt that Faux News and its viewers have for him.
It will be interesting to see how the cool, collected President handles O’Really this time around. What tricks will SwillO have up his sleeve for this interview? In front of tens of millions of people, will O’Really try to pull Benghazi out of his behind to try to rattle the President? Will he give the President any credit for anything? It is Faux News, so I think we all know the answer to these questions.

Ann Coulter Claims Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz Are Afraid to Debate ‘Smart’ Wingnuts

Ann Coulter has completely departed from reality with her claim that Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz are not repugican slayers, but cowards who are afraid to debate smart wingnuts. 
Problem is there is no such animal as a 'smart' wingnut.

maddow-fox-newsCoulter showed up on Faux and Friends to explain away the story surrounding her comment that that mothership of morning lies won’t have conservatives on who can put two sentences together. She did this by claiming that Maddow and Schultz are afraid to debate wingnuts.
She said, “I was talking about I had sent out a tweet, obviously I was talking 100% about MSNBC, it drives me crazy that they never have a half articulate wingnut on, and which is you know, ok, you’re living in your little insular world and you end up saying crazy things, but then particularly Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz are always acting like these big repugican slayers, and repugican will argue with me. So I was up at 3 AM last week, and I see this thing from Ed Schultz saying repugicans are afraid to debate me, so I tweeted back put me on your show you lying there’s nothing wrong with the word I used, I know you’re going to bleep me, so I won’t say it, it’s a synonym for pansy.”
Coulter went on to claim that Faux has intelligent liberals while MSNBC gets conservative stooges like Todd Harris and Megan McCain to appear on their shows. Of course, Coulter is completely full of it. Rand Paul used to appear on Rachel Maddow until he made a complete fool of himself by opposing the Civil Rights Act on her show, and after Maddow pushed him on it, he has never appeared on her show again.
Maddow tries desperately to book repugicans on her show, but they won’t go on her show. Ed Schultz has the same problem. The repugicans won’t go on his show. The reason isn’t because they are afraid that they will lose an argument. The repugicans refuse go on these shows because they fear the questions that they will be asked. The repugicans don’t want to discuss why they won’t extend unemployment benefits, oppose raising the minimum wage, cut food stamps, and keep blocking jobs bills.
With the rise of Faux News, most repugicans refuse to leave the perpetually softballing Faux universe. Even the repugican cabal friendly Sunday morning shows have become too much for most repugicans to handle. Coulter reversed reality to fit her own motives. Maddow and Schultz aren’t afraid of repugicans, but repugicans are afraid of what would happen to them if they left the Faux News bubble.

Wendy Davis’ Ex-Husband Admirably Refuses To Play The repugican cabal’s Gotcha Game

wendydavis-texas On Tuesday, Jeff Davis declined CNN’s request to appear in an on-camera interview regarding Wendy Davis’ personal life story. Instead, he gave them an email response stating that he feels that Wendy Davis “would make a very capable governor.” This was not only an instance of Mr. Davis showing the utmost respect for his ex-wife and her current situation, but also his refusal to play the media ‘gotcha’ game that the repugican cabal was hoping for. He is not allowing himself to get caught up in a non-story that is only out there in an attempt to bring down a person that scares the crap out of the repugican cabal and Texas conservatives.
This all stems from supposed ‘discrepancies’ in Wendy Davis’ past comments about her life. Basically, repugicans are trying to discredit her story that she went from being a young, single mother who lived in a trailer and that she was able to work her way up through Harvard Law School and is now on the verge up being Governor of Texas. Since wingnuts in Texas see her as a huge threat to the political status quo there, recently they’ve decided to play semantics with the details and question her honesty.
Due to an article that was published on Sunday in the Dallas Morning News, repugicans, and especially her gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott’s campaign, have grabbed hold of the narrative that Davis did not have it nearly as hard as she’s stated and that she is a liar. And since she is a liar and a fake, she cannot be trusted. Essentially, they are making it seem like she had an easy road to get where she is now and that things were never tough for her. That she made it all up. In fact, wingnuts made #MoreFakeThanWendyDavis trend on Twitter earlier this week.
Davis herself decided to address this ‘controversy’ head on, and released a bullet-point, detailed history of her adult life. While she didn’t technically get divorced until she was 21, she was separated from her first husband when she was 19 and lived in a trailer at that point with her daughter. Therefore, her saying she was a single mother living in a trailer when she was 19 may not be ‘technically’ correct, but only an obtuse a-hole would make an issue of it.
Apparently, another issue for the repugicans is that Wendy Davis hasn’t given enough credit to her second husband regarding the assistance he gave towards her getting her law degree at Harvard. While this is completely false, as she has on many times in interviews stated that Jeff Davis was pivotal in helping her achieve her current position, it shouldn’t be surprising that a husband assists his wife financially and vice versa. That is what marriage is. The family finances go towards all of the family members. Why was it necessary for Wendy Davis to have to explain that they used money form her husband’s 401(k) loan to help pay for tuition?
Thankfully, Jeff Davis isn’t playing along with the narrative that the media and repugicans want to play out. In his email to CNN, he even stated that while the 401(k) loan was used partially to help pay for Wendy’s tuition, he did it for other reasons. Because, you know, those are decisions that families have to make when it comes to finances. It almost seems like there was a hope by repugicans and their willing media lackeys that Jeff Davis was going to joyfully roll over on his ex-wife and give them a juicy story that they could use to shred her. Instead, he basically told them all to shove off.
The fear that Texas, and national, repugicans feel of Wendy Davis is palpable. With the Texas gubernatorial election fast approaching, Abbott and his cohorts can sense that Davis is just going to keep building on her growing popularity and possibly turn Texas blue. They will do anything they can to tear her down, make her seem disingenuous and fake. However, the more they go after her with sexist and specious attacks like this, the more it will backfire on them. The fact is, Wendy Davis isn’t going away anytime soon, and that scares the hell out of them.

Ann Coulter Calls Wendy Davis ‘A Gold-Digger Who Found A Sugar Daddy’

ann coulter In an article that was published on Real unClear Politics Thursday morning, Ann Coulter claimed that Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is nothing more than “a gold-digger who found a sugar daddy” who took advantage of her ex-husband Jeff Davis to get her way in life. Essentially, in her article, Coulter frames Davis as someone who never had a tough time in her life and who has always taken advantage of others to get what she wanted. In other words, this is a typical conservative hit piece meant to slander someone that Republicans are scared to death of.
In standard Coulter style, this article starts off with her attempt to be ‘funny’, which of course falls completely flat. Perhaps old, racist white people who keep Fox News on 24/7 may get a hoot out of it (and, let’s face it, that is Coulter’s only audience) but the normal, functioning adult will just roll their eyes at her attempts at satire and humor. After her initial paragraphs, she goes right into hammering Davis as being a gold-digging, lying whore who created a completely fictitious set of events in her life to gain sympathy with voters and build her popularity.
The jealousy in Coulter’s piece is palpable. Whenever she sees a progressive female politician that starts gaining traction with not just liberals, but uncommitted, independent voters, it just makes her seethe. That is when she has to go out of her way to denounce and trample on the person’s reputation. She is basically a junkyard dog for the right who will do whatever she can to rip apart someone who might be seen as a hero to those on the left.
Recently, Coulter made some waves by saying that those on the left, especially at MSNBC, were scared to debate with ‘smart wingnuts.’ Of course, she was referring to herself as being one of the ‘smart wingnuts.’ However, with Coulter, she has become so reviled, that nobody other than the safe haven of Fox News will have her on. Her nasty demeanor and penchant for blatantly lying makes her an unwelcome guest anywhere that isn’t speaking the gospel to lunatic fringe. The reason she doesn’t get invited to appear anywhere but Fox these days is because nobody can stand her. She is seen as completely unreasonable.
This article she wrote is a perfect example of her nastiness. A ‘smart wingnut’ wouldn’t sit there and write a tabloidesque, gossip column about a politician. A ‘smart wingnut’ wouldn’t go into the gutter and focus completely on how she views someone else’s personal life. That is all Coulter did with this piece. She completely judged Davis’ life based on the version she wants to believe. She treats Wendy Davis as if she is a character in some two-bit trashy romance novel, trampling over men and family to get what she wants.
Coulter cannot discuss substantively about politics. Instead, her bread and butter is taking low-blows and personal pot shots at her targets on the left. While it might make the lunatic fringe happy, it also makes her a pariah. She has boxed herself, only able to speak and reach a super specialized audience due to her antics. Nobody can take her seriously, and this article shows why. She only knows how to write trash and speak in hateful tones.

Mike Huckabee Worries that Women Want ‘Uncle Sugar’ to Hand Them Birth Control

The repugicans like Mitch McConnell are very proud of their endorsements from Mike Huckabee so it's instructive when Huckabee concern trolls about women wanting Uncle Sugar …
mike huckabeeMitch McConnell endorser Mike Huckabee made the mistake of offering his opinions on women today on NBC News. Understand, he based these on the “women he knows”, so that might explain the disconnect with the real world. But still. Huckabee thinks the main problem women face is Democrats telling them to get some sugar from Uncle Sugar. Seriously. Huckabee tells us that Democrats want to tell women that “they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government.”
Huckabee, “Women I know are outraged that Democrats think that women are nothing more than helpless hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for their birth control medication.”
I confess that Huckabee lost me at “their birth control medication” because I thought men benefited from that as well. No? But yes, this is a winning strategy — because the party that seeks to make all abortion illegal is also defunding birth control for poverty stricken women. This is how they say, “Ladies, we’re on your side! But that pregnancy that results from an act that takes two? That’s on you, sweetie.” Luckily since they are against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and refused to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act for a year, we can get a real picture of their idea of female “freedom”.
So, Huckabee assured us that he sees women as smart and capable. So capable that his repugican cabal stands for the “recognition of equality of women and the capacity of women.” Don’t expect that “recognition” to come in the form of the only thing that matters, and that’s policy.
If you don’t believe me, ask a repugican how they feel about heavily regulating industry while we TELL industry that we have total faith in their capacity to do right. We just see no need to act on that faith policy wise. Uh-huh.
Or ask a repugican why if they see women as so great, why they don’t trust us to make our own medical decisions. Why do they feel the need to control us via their Big Government at every turn if they think we are so great? Why do they think government is the perfect vehicle to control women by passing laws that make it hard to get an abortion and defund access to birth control, but then they don’t think government is a good vehicle for pay equity.
This, Huckabee tells us, is not a “war on them” it’s a “war for them”. Oh. Don’t you feel better now?
I wondered when we’d get to shaming women’s libidos in this discussion. It didn’t take long. It’s the Democrats who are waging war on you ladies, Huckabee tells us oh so not condescendingly. Democrats want to tell women that “they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government.”
McConnell has been super impressed with his major endorser of Mike Huckabee in the past.
Birds of a feather etc.
So ladies, aren’t you glad that Mitch and his buddies really GET IT? Stop asking for things from Uncle Sugar! Mitch might not believe in pay equity for women, but hey. You wouldn’t be worried about that if you were one of the women Huckabee knows. Or rather, I suspect he means women he “admires”, because a woman that a repugican admires does not depend upon her paycheck for stability because she has the good sense to turn all of her power over to her Patriarchal Good Old Boy, who will do as he sees fit. A girl just has to hope that he doesn’t see the Appalachian Trail as fit, or like a certain Florida repugican, replacing his entire family with a new one overnight and then pretending his other kids don’t exist.
Ladies, stop holding your hands out for Uncle Sugar. Jump back into that binder you came from like a good girl and hush up about things you don’t understand.
Hey, repugicans, this whole rebranding thing with taking back the “war on women” narrative by saying it’s not true and pointing fingers at the Democrats is working super well so far! Keep it up!!

The FBI Launches an Investigation Into Chris Christie Withholding Sandy Relief Funds

Chris Christie and his Lt. Governor are now the subjects of a federal investigation …
Chris ChristieThe dominoes are starting to fall in the image of repugican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and 2016 repugican cabal presidential hopeful.
After Mayor Dawn Zimmer made stunning allegations on MSNBC last weekend that the Christie administration threatened to withhold Sandy Aid funds from her New Jersey town of Hoboken, U.S. Attorneys requested a Sunday meeting with her. The fact that this took place on a Sunday signified the seriousness of her allegations.
Thursday morning, NBC
reported that three sources with direct knowledge of the probe told them that the FBI has begun questioning witnesses about Zimmer’s allegations. They are investigating whether or not Christie’s Lt Governor and key aides threatened to only release the funds upon the Mayor’s approval of a development project for a Christie donor with close ties to a very influential Christie appointee. This is a separate investigation from Bridgegate.
Their sources told NBC that federal agents have already questioned Zimmer’s chief of staff, Dan Bryan, and her communications director Juan Melli, who “are among at least five witnesses who Zimmer told the FBI could confirm that she had previously told them about the conversation she says she had with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno last May.”
The New York Times reports yet another witness who can verify that these accusations aren’t new:
A Hoboken city councilman, David Mello, said in an interview that Ms. Zimmer had also told him about the threat by Ms. Guadagno, a Republican. Mr. Mello, a Democrat, said he had been upset to hear about what he called “this quid pro quo ultimatum by the lieutenant governor.”
Ms. Guadagno had denied the allegations made by Mayor Zimmer, claiming they are illogical.
“Mayor Zimmer’s version of our conversation in May of 2013 is not only false, but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined.”
But even as she denied Zimmer’s allegations, evidence was already mounting to support Zimmer’s accusations, and the close ties between the developer and Christie, along with the corresponding failure to deliver but 1% of the requested Sandy Aid to a town flooded by 80% really doesn’t bode well. Furthermore, the developer in question, the Rockefeller Group, has been battling the residents who objected to what they seem to think is the developer’s attempts to get special treatment in a development project.
Remember, while repugicans try to convince the media that there’s nothing to see here because there’s no proof that Christie benefited personally or financially. Certainly some federal prosecutors agree with that assessment, as well, so there’s a lot of sound bites making the rounds this morning on that front. However, Chicago Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted for asking about a possible Cabinet post while discussing a Senate successor to Obama.
The two attorneys who both represented and prosecuted Blagojevich disagree with the assessment that this isn’t illegal, according to the North Jersey.com Ironically, the former assistant U. S. Attorney who prosecuted Blagojevich is also assisting in the NH state Legislature’s bridge investigation.
North Jersey reported:
Chicago defense attorney Sam Adam Jr., who represented former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in a corruption trial, disagreed with Hanly’s assessment.
Adam said aggressive prosecutors do not need an explicit benefit to bring a case, noting Blagojevich was convicted for asking about a possible Cabinet post in President Obama’s administration during discussions over appointing a successor to Obama in the U.S. Senate. The attorney assisting in the state Legislature’s bridge investigation, Reid Schar, is a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Blagojevich.
“It does not have to be explicit any longer,” Adam said. “You don’t have to have a conversation where someone says, we’ll give you one if you do the other.”
Illegal or not, it is definitely an abuse of power and a most egregious one at that, given the circumstances of a town full of people desperate for aid after a huge super storm. It also completely destroys any notion of Chris Christie the bipartisan Sandy Aid man of the people. Here he is, looking like a petty bully who put people’s lives at risk in the politically motivated lane closure and again, turned his back on the people suffering after Sandy hit, in order to assist a donor and high level appointee.

Christie Scandal Grows As a Second Mayor Accuses Governor of Hurting Citizens for Revenge

Things are getting worse for Chris Christie by the day, as the mayor of Elizabeth, NJ has come forward to accuse the governor of closing down the state’s 4th largest DMV as an act of political revenge.
According to the Daily Mail,
chris christieGovernor Chris Christie has been accused of exacting still more political revenge after his administration shut down the DMV office in a large New Jersey city three years ago – and Democratic politicians say it was because they opposed his tax policies and worked for his Election Day opponent.
‘He shut it down, plain and simple, and of course this was political,’ New Jersey state Assemblyman Joe Cryan told MailOnline of the Motor Vehicle Commission office in Elizabeth, the fourth-largest city in New Jersey. ‘This was complete retribution. … There was no other possible explanation for it.’

The closure of MVC offices in Elizabeth and two other towns came at the end of 2010, ten weeks after the governor’s office notified local officials that the decision had been made. Whispers had circulated around Trenton for months about a plan to consolidate locations, but insiders tell MailOnline that no one expected Elizabeth to be on the short list.
The decision to close his city’s MVC office, Bollwage said, came after a drawn-out legislative battle over annual increases on property tax rates.

What happened in Elizabeth is sounding a lot like what happened in Fort Lee and Hoboken. The message is clear. Anyone who opposes Chris Christie had better be prepared for the governor to misuse his power to get even. In Fort Lee, Christie caused traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. In Hoboken, Sandy relief funds were withheld, and in Elizabeth a population that is largely poor and black lost their DMV after Democratic leaders opposed Christie’s property tax plan.
One incident can be explained away. Two incidents are a pattern. Three incidents represent intentional behavior. The more information that comes out about Christie and his administration, the harder it is to believe his, “I didn’t know nothin’ ’bout no Bridgegate excuses.” It is becoming clear that Bridgegate was just an example the way that Chris Christie operates.
Anyone who opposes Chris Christie in New Jersey faces retribution. This is not the record of a man who belongs in the White House. Heck, this isn’t the behavior of someone who is fit to be president. It is all falling apart for Chris Christie. His image is ruined. His brand is shattered, and each revelation makes it less likely that he will ever be president.



JP Morgan’s Frauds are Epic, Unprecedented in World History

Why aren't these banksters still breathing free air? 
Their air should be filtered through steel bars!
William Black is both a Professor of Law and Economics. He has a wealth of opinions on the politics of spying and Wall Street crime.
Professor Black is a former financial regulator and an expert in white collar crime.  What does the Professor think about the trouble JP Morgan Chase has been in over things such as the so-called London Whale trading losses, the selling of tainted mortgage bonds and being a conduit for convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff?  Just these three legal debacles alone have cost the bank nearly $23 billion in fines, restitution and trading losses in the last year.  
 Professor Black says, “CEO Jamie Dimon has presided over the largest financial crime spree in world history. . . . It depends on how you count it, but it is more than a dozen, and more in the range of 15 major felonies that either the United States investigators have found, state investigators have found or foreign governments have found.”  The Professor goes on to say, “JP Morgan’s frauds are epic in scale, unprecedented in world history. . . in these $23 billion we’re talking about, these are frauds that made Jamie Dimon and other senior officers incredibly wealthy by creating fictional income that led to very real bonuses.” 

OWS Punches Walmart In the Gut By Leaking The Scripts Used to Keep Unions Out

The myth that Walmart doesn’t actively discourage employees from unionizing was dealt a blow today when Occupy Wall Street leaked the actual scripts Walmart uses to teach managers how to discourage employees from forming a union.
The Walmart company line has always been that the stores aren’t unionized, because employees don’t want a union. In 2011 Walmart’s Northeast Communications Director Steve Restivo said, “I think our associates, time and again, have recognized that it’s not a better deal for them. I think we’ve got a pretty good track record, and I can point to some examples, where our associates have turned down the opportunity to join a union, time and time again. I mean, the organizing effort is fairly aggressive. We have a clear and open line of communication with our associates. Our associates recognize that they appreciate that, and they know that the wages and benefits they receive are extremely competitive in the industry.”
The truth is that Walmart aggressively pressures and threatens employees to prevent them from unionizing. The proof of this behavior came today as Occupy Wall Street released the scripts that Walmart instructs their managers to use in order to keep the unions out.
Walmart expects their managers to be ministers of propaganda. It doesn’t matter that these stories aren’t true, and are riddled with anti-union lies. All that matters is that the unions are kept out.
The reason why Walmart wants to keep the unions out is because on average unionized employees earn 28% more than non-union employees. Union members earn an average of $4.95 more an hour than non-union employees. That equals and extra $10,300 a year, or enough to pull the average Walmart employee out of poverty.
One of Walmart’s favorite tactics if employees do vote to form a union is to close down. After butchers in Jacksonville, TX voted to unionize, Walmart announced that meat cutting would end at 180 stores. In 2004, after workers in Jonquiére, Quebec voted to become the first unionized Walmart in North America, Walmart closed the store.
Walmart is a serial violator of labor laws who most recently was busted by the NLRB for illegal retaliation against employees who were demanding higher wages and better working conditions. There is a reason why customers are fleeing Walmart for stores like Costco where employees earn a living wage. At a time when the gap between rich and poor has never been greater, many customers are refusing to shop at a chain whose business model is to pay their employees so little that they have to rely on food stamps. Walmart could pay their employees a living wage, but the Walton family has decided not to.
OWS hit Walmart hard by debunking one of the corporate giant’s biggest lies. Employees want to unionize, and soon Walmart will be faced with a choice. They are going to have to treat their employees better or risk collapse, because millions of Americans are tired of supporting the nation’s largest welfare recipients (the Walton family).

Ted Nugent Calls Obama a Chimpanzee and Subhuman Mongrel

Nugent said, "The gun debate is about good people having the individual right from god, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, to stop evil people.
Ted Nugent Subhuman MongrelMy father, as I have related here on other occasions, was a racist. He didn’t much like Jews and he didn’t like blacks – but I can say this for him: he equally loathed what he called “white trash.” He taught us kids that there were different classes of people, white trash being, to his mind, the lowest of the low. I think he saw them as an embarrassment to that nebulous and often changing state of being called “white.” This “class” idea went contrary to my early egalitarian spirit, but in time, as I got out in the world and began to experience things for myself, I began to believe he might be right about that much at least. In his mind, these classifications of people were based not on birth or genetics but on upbringing and behavior. A person revealed himself in how he acted. I remember many profanity-laden “discourses” on the subject.
I do believe he thought people could “improve” themselves, though being a cynic, he probably considered such instances unlikely. Having grown up abandoned to an orphanage, he came by his cynicism honestly and I suspect now that he saw himself as evidence of this potential for upward mobility. And he did indeed change and even soften in some of his outlooks in time.
I would now go farther, and perhaps regress myself: I think Ted Nugent, who the other day in an interview with Guns.com (where else?), called President Barack Obama a “chimpanzee” and “subhuman mongrel,” actually proves my father’s point about classes of human beings.
See what you think:
I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America. I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, [Attorney General] Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, [Sen.] Dick Durbin, [former New York City Mayor] Michael Bloomberg and all of the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent.
Ted Nugent cannot, of course, point to any actual treasonous activities by the president, and there are, I believe, good reasons for this. Rather than simply dismiss Nugent as the douche he no doubt is, I would like to talk about these.
Cicero said “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
Ted Nugent is deficient on a number of levels. His education, for one. Now, while I understand we are all to some extent victims of our flawed educational system, which is more or less better or worse depending on the luck of the draw, a person can always overcome that deficit through reading, and, more importantly, thinking about what he has heard and read. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Ted Nugent might know that if he had heard of Socrates, but I find that unlikely because Ted Nugent quite clearly doesn’t care for being educated. If he did, he would not be so ignorant. In this day and age, there is simply no excuse for the levels of ignorance he demonstrates on an almost daily basis.
It’s breathtaking. Witness his answer to Guns.com’s request for Nugent to define himself:
The gun debate is about good people having the individual right from god, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, to stop evil people. If you find fault with that you’re on the side of the evil people — duh.
Duh. Indeed. This utterance at least explains how Nugent could think President Obama is guilty of treason.
I happen to think my third grader could do better. Not only does the Constitution not grant the right to people to “stop evil people,” it does not define who or what “evil people” might be. It grants, for the purposes of a well-ordered militia in the days before a standing army, the right to bear arms. Therefore, to the thinking of the Founding Fathers, an evil person is certainly not anyone who disagrees with you. Thus, while it is tempting, I cannot accuse Nugent of having the mentality of a third grader.
Perhaps not even a second grader. But his mentality and intellectual development is definitely childlike, and childish.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Achievement has no color.”
Nugent is also a bigot and a racist. Now, I should say here too that I was brought up to be both. I also overcame both. As I grew into adulthood, I started thinking for myself, always questioning my early, ingrained assumptions and preconceptions. Actually seeing and meeting and talking to people as opposed to simply being told about them by your parents, tends to have this effect on an open mind.
I came sooner rather than later to the belief that my parents were wrong on a number of levels, and this process of self improvement has continued all my life long. I am constantly having to re-adjust my thinking in light of new facts and I am proud of this fact. I can very much appreciate President Barack Obama’s emerging thoughts about marriage equality because if you’re worth the weight of your component parts, you will have experienced the same sort of evolution in thinking about the world around you. Change is not evil; it is good.
Nugent, quite clearly, has no more desire to overcome this moral deficit than he does his educational deficit. Unlike Socrates, he has not begun to examine his life. He is, to put it bluntly – as witnessed by his utterances in recent years – content to be a despicable and ignorant cracker, or “white trash” in my father’s words,. I could joke that perhaps the “Cat Scratch Fever” got to him, but this isn’t a joking matter, and I’m not willing to cut him the kind of slack that would make him a victim of circumstances beyond his control. No adult is a prisoner of his own ignorance. Nugent has it in his power to be a different person, a better person, but he chooses to be numbered among the dregs of society instead.
Anne Frank wrote, “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
I grew up very much admiring Anne Frank, but Anne Frank was wrong on this score. The Nazis were not really good at heart. Neither is Ted Nugent, who, in the essentials of his thinking, is only a haircut away from being a Nazi himself. But J.R.R. Tolkien was certainly right when he wrote, “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
It is people like Anne Frank who make it worth writing for and it is people like Ted Nugent we are fighting against. The only problem with fighting against the Ted Nugents of this world is that we are left with the disagreeable task of dealing with ignorant hicks like Ted Nugent and the people they inspire. We can’t ignore them; they won’t go away quietly if we do.
Nugent laments that he has “failed to galvanize and prod” but there are those who hang on his every word, because it excuses their own failings as human beings. Misery, as they say, loves company. So, too, apparently, does ignorance.