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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah we're talking to you ...!  
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In other words a normal day for Republicans in the House... !

Today is - No Housework Day
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Editorial Comment

Don't know about where you are, but around here the pollen count is so high that the junkies and trying to turn their Meth back into Sudafed ... the five days of rains we are supposed to get will help, though.

Now the Happy News: 
The Spring BBQ season is off with a blast the local fundraiser for Progressives on Sunday was a rousing success - attended by more people than all of the 'easter' rites combined here locally. We ran out of BBQ before 1 o'clock, but nobody minded - it was fun and games for all (even the wingnut moles in the crowd).
We figured the turnout was so great because people are tired of being harassed and harangued by the religio-wingnuts trying to shove the 'right' religion down their throats.
The sleeping giant that is the Progressive majority has been awakened here in North Carolina as well as nationally and the wingnuts would be well off to slither under their rocks and stay there.

Farm News:
The plowing and tilling done and the early crops in, so it's on to the flower beds and the herb garden at both the farm house and the lake house - a good thing to have farm hands living on the farm and the tenants in our old house like to work on the farm as well ... so we really only have to concentrate on the lake house when it comes to lawn beautification.

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Enjoy and Have Fun.

Sarah Thomas Is About to Become the Most Hated Woman in America

Sarah Thomas2
No profession — not DMV clerks, not dentists, not IRS agents, not terrorists — attracts the level of bile from the American people that NFL referees do. Do…

Obama Unveils Smart Plan To Combat Climate Change While Training 75,000 Vets For Jobs

obama solar energy utah
While speaking in Utah, President Obama announced a new program that will combat climate change while training 75,000 veterans for jobs in the solar industry.
The President said:
I am announcing a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020. As part of this, we’re creating what we’re calling a solar ready vets program that’s modeled after some successful pilot initiatives that have already been established over the last several years.
It’s going to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry at ten bases including right here at Hill, and as part of this effort we’re also going to work with states to enable more veterans to use the post-9/11 GI Bill for solar job training.
It’s one of the many steps we’re taking to help nearly 700,000 military veterans and spouses get a job. In fact, about thirty percent of the federal workforce is now made up of veterans. I’ve said it before, and I think employers are starting to catch on if you really want to get the job done, hire a veteran.
The plan is smart because it trains tens of thousands of transitioning military personnel and spouses for a civilian job in an industry that is growing ten times faster than the national average. The president also pointed out the military bases that get a substantial percentage of their energy from the sun save money that can applied towards other goals and missions.
The nation has undergone a dramatic shift from a president who fought a foreign war for oil (Bush and Iraq) to a forward thinking president who is using growing clean energy industry industries to train veterans of the Bush wars for good paying jobs.
The plan that the President unveiled isn’t just good politics. It’s also common sense. No veteran should have to take a low-paying service industry job because they can’t find anything else. It is part of our national obligation to everything possible to help those who served succeed when they return home.
President Obama is creating opportunities for today’s veterans to acquire the jobs of tomorrow.

More Than A Million New Yorkers May Get The Right To Vote For The First Time

How to spot a liar

"Nixon and Zhou toast" by White House Photographer - Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary/gallery7.php. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nixon_and_Zhou_toast.jpg#/media/File:Nixon_and_Zhou_toast.jpg

For Obama Critics, Google Is Part of the Conspiracy — Until It Isn’t

EricSchmidtYou may have noticed the Republican Congress is a bit obsessed with besmirching anything even tangentially related to President Obama. Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt is apparently friends with…

Boehner Tweets Hysteria over ISIL, Ignores Threats Closer to Home

Boehner is worried about the threat of ISIL in Syria and Iraq. About the global warming-driven drought in California? Not so much…
As The Washington Post explains California’s drought,
Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases act like a performance-enhancing steroid when it comes to warm weather extremes. They substantially increase the likelihood new records for hot weather are set. Like steroids are suspected for inflating homerun totals in Major League Baseball in the 1990s, the atmosphere’s version of steroids is a prime suspect for exploding hot weather records in California.
However, Boehner did claim that partisan politics play no role in his betrayal of his country:
John Boehner         @SpeakerBoehner
Pres Obama is trying to blame concerns about #Iran nuclear deal on partisan politics. That’s nonsense:
Completing his meetings in the Middle East, where he is further working against his own president and against the interests of the United States of America and for the benefit of Israel, Boehner said,
“The spread of radical Islam and Iran’s rising influence were the focus of the delegation’s discussions.”
Nothing, obviously, about the rising threat of the Religious Right’s influence here at home.
What Boehner won’t admit, because he won’t admit to anthropogenic global warming’s reality, is that climate change is driving the unrest in the Middle East today, just as it did in 1200 BCE, when climate change helped destroy the civilizations of the late Bronze Age.
Ignoring history and science both as unhelpful to his pocketbook, the House Speaker went on to claim that,
“The United States is fortunate to have allies that recognize the importance of our partnerships and the gravity of the threats we face. We owe it to our allies, and our people, to articulate a real, overarching strategy to defeat this enemy. This problem is growing faster than we can solve it, and American leadership is vital to closing the gap. For now, on behalf of our delegation and our constituents, let me thank all those who took the time to warmly welcome us.”
We actually have allies all over the place, allies whom the Republicans are seeking to suborn for their interests and that of their corporate masters, and against those of the United States and the rest of the world, by telling them the GOP will undermine Obama’s climate change deals in the same way they will undermine his foreign policy deals.
Such a betrayal is unprecedented in American history. But it’s not partisan politics, he claims.
It would be great if he could have a discussion with somebody about the rising influence of global warming on its disastrous effects on climate in the United States. But Boehner doesn’t care about things that really matter to Americans.
Like drought and severe, erratic weather as consequences of climate change. Climate change can actually kill Americans. ISIL? So far, ISIL (like Ebola) has killed fewer Americans than the right wing terrorists here at home he also carefully does not mention.
And even the Pentagon, which loves to fight wars as much as anybody, recognizes the threat of climate change to national security. Not that this means much to a party that wanted to defund Homeland Security, of course.
Boehner is more concerned about his right-wing friends in Israel than the family down the street. Well, maybe a few streets down the street. He lives in an exclusive neighborhood, after all, and doesn’t mingle with the hoi polloi.
Around lunchtime Friday, Boehner followed up his other tweets with this warning:
John Boehner         @SpeakerBoehner 
We owe it to our allies & our people to articulate an overarching strategy to defeat the terrorist threat.
You’d think he’d recognize that we owe it to our people to articulate an overarching strategy to defeat global warming.
I understand the threat of ISIL. I’m not sure how bombing Iran will help in that regard, however, unless somehow bombing Iran will defeat ISIL like bombing Iraq defeated al Qaeda.
Oh wait…
I’m just waiting now for the increasingly hysterical Boehner to join Lindsey Graham in hiding from ISIL under the senator’s South Carolina bed. He can’t be less useful there.

Government Smacks Down Chipotle For Telling An Employee That Talking About Wages ‘Creates Drama’

Republican Bill Would Ban Poor People From Buying Steak And Seafood

Image via Darin Dines Missouri Republican Rick Brattin is back, and this time he wants to ban poor people from purchasing steak and seafood, because only rich people should be...

Still Not Sure the Ferguson Police Were Infiltrated with Racism? Here’s the Ugly Proof

Just in case there are folks out there who are still clinging to the hope that the Ferguson police and city officials were accused of racism for no reason, here’s the ugly proof of what went on behind the scenes. For starters, we have an email that shows President Barack Obama, leader of the free world, as a chimpanzee being fed by former President Ronald Reagan.
This image, only possible due to the Washington Post’s records request and titled per WaPo “E-mail forwarded by Ferguson’s court clerk to two police supervisors in 2011,” is among the things that Ferguson defenders must admit now. The photo is captioned, “Rare photo of Ronald Reagan babysitting Barack Obama in early 1962.”
racism Ferguson emails
“These are the racist e-mails that got 3 Ferguson police and court officials fired,” reads the header to the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and Kimberly Kindy exclusive. The emails were sent between 2008- 2011 and often targeted President Obama and minorities in general. They were sent and received by Ferguson court clerk Mary Ann Twitty, former Ferguson police captain Rick Heke, and former police sergeant William Mudd. Lowery and Kindy point out that all three were removed from their jobs by the Justice Department after they found the emails.
Here’s a sampling, but you should head over to see them for yourself:
In an e-mail that Mudd forwarded to Twitty — which she then forwarded to others — in May 2011, the body of the message declares:
“A black woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital [for] pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.'”
Another, sent by Mudd on June 7, 2011, included a photo of two dogs and compared them to welfare recipients.
Another e-mail Twitty sent both men on March 1, 2010, included a short story titled “Leroy’s last child support payment.”
In an e-mail written Nov. 14, 2008, Henke wrote to a recipient whose identity was redacted in the records, that “we shouldn’t worry about him being president for very long because what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
In case it’s not obvious what’s so egregious about these emails, here’s a portion of “Leroy’s last child support payment”:
Leroy's child support racist email
The bigotry wasn’t contained to race, the emails are also “religiously insensitive.” This isn’t a surprise, because bigotry is always seeking a cheap shot to help the bigot feel better about themselves. They’ll take it out on anyone who isn’t as powerful as them. They are always looking for the easy target.
Bigotry and intolerance are unfortunately rampant in our society, but they must not be tolerated in positions of power — especially among police who have the power to kill at a moment’s notice. We must not allow judgment that is clouded by racism into a position that is designed to protect and serve the diverse public.
These emails are a part of the pattern of racially discriminatory tactics and behavior that the Justice Department found. The emails are damning physical proof that once and for all serve to blow the right-wing defense of the Ferguson Police Department to smithereens.
It’s too bad that victims of the Ferguson officials’ racism didn’t have this proof when they needed it.

Fugelsang: ‘If You Don’t Like Gay People, Take It Up With The Manufacturer’

Fugelsang: ‘If You Don’t Like Gay People, Take It Up With The Manufacturer’
John Fugelsang zinged wingnut hate speech radio hack Heidi Harris on this Friday's The Ed Show.

No, Yoga In Public Schools Is NOT Turning Kids Into Hindus, Says California Appeals Court

Photo by IlonaIt’s a bad week for christians’ “religious freedom.” They can’t even triumph over yoga.

Twitter Hilariously Mocks religio-wingnut ‘christians’ With #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

Tea Party Jesus photo collage by Elisabeth Parker for Addicting Info. With apologies to "Dogma" and Buddy Christ.
Religio-wingnut “christians” brought this on themselves. That’s what happens when you don’t actually read the bible you hide behind.

Newspaper Finds Perfect Way To Shame Anti-LGBT Lawmakers: Print Every Last One Of Their Faces

There are few forces more powerful in the Universe than shame. The idea of being publicly derided for your actions have probably kept more than a few people...

Fights Over 'Religious Freedom' And Gay Rights Are Costing Republicans

As Culture War Rekindles, Republicans Are The First To Get Burned
Opponents of an Arkansas religious objection measure chant outside the Arkansas state Capitol on Wednesday.
Following a firestorm of criticism, Republican governors in Indiana and Arkansas signed revised versions of their states' Religious Freedom Restoration bills Thursday night. In Indiana the language was adjusted, and in Arkansas it was significantly scaled back to more closely align with the federal law.
National Republicans, especially the ones running for president, have to hope it's enough to get them out of the hole they dug themselves on religious freedom and gay rights. It's worth taking a look at what the whole brouhaha has cost the GOP.
Republicans Face Backlash Over Indiana, Arkansas 'Religious Freedom' Laws
Here are four questions about what this issue means for the GOP:
1) Why didn't Republicans anticipate this firestorm?
It's possible that Republicans' big electoral thefts in November blinded them to just how controversial this would be. Gov. Asa Hutchison, R-Ark., and Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., seemed genuinely taken aback by the demand for boycotts and the backlash from big corporations like Eli Lilly, WalMart and Apple, as well as the NCAA.
It's as if Republicans — particularly in the deep-red states of Arkansas and Indiana — operate according to a different political calculus, insulated from the divide between their own conservative constituents and changing national opinion. Because of redistricting and the phenomenon of a midterm electorate that leans a lot more Republican than a presidential-year electorate, there are now many more GOP governors and many more conservative majorities in state legislatures. And those majorities are moving forward with an agenda that satisfies their base of social conservatives but is seen as intolerant and divisive by the business community and a growing majority of voters in the country. This week, those two opposing dynamics reignited the culture war, with Republican politicians as the first casualties.
2) Is this about more than just religious freedom?
Yes! It's about a much bigger, much more fundamental problem for the GOP. A new Pew poll showed that 61 percent of young Republicans favor gay marriage. Hutchinson said his own son signed a petition asking him to veto the bill that he instead sent back to the Legislature for revision.
The Republicans can't appeal to young voters if they're on the wrong side of gay marriage, because gay rights is a symbol of tolerance for so many young voters — not to mention suburban women. The same is true for one of the fastest-growing parts of the electorate — Hispanics. How do Republicans show Hispanics that they are welcoming and inclusive if they oppose a path to legalization for hard-working immigrants here illegally?
The views of the GOP's white, older, conservative primary electorate are farther away from the center of American public opinion than the Democratic base is right now. That's the challenge for the GOP — it needs to project an image of tolerance in order to win the White House while at the same time satisfying its conservative base, which, in this case, wants Christian florists, bakers and photographers to have the right to refuse services to gay weddings. It will take a very talented candidate to square that circle.
3) OK, so how will Republican candidates resolve this larger tension?
Good question! The debates during the primaries will, presumably, reveal the answer.
Of all the GOP presidential hopefuls, Jeb Bush has given this the most thought. He seems determined not to fall into the trap that Mitt Romney did in 2012 — moving so far to the right during the GOP primaries (remember "self deportation"?) that he couldn't make it back to the center to win the general election.
Bush has said his strategy is to run as if he's willing "to lose the primary in order to win the general."
4) How's that working out for Jeb Bush so far?
Not so great. All the leading Republican presidential hopefuls, including Bush, came out in favor of the Arkansas and Indiana bills. By Wednesday, though, Bush was backtracking, insisting that religious freedom is a core value but that we also shouldn't discriminate based on sexual orientation.
Bush didn't explain how he would balance those two values, only that he was sure Indiana would "get to that place."
So, for Bush, the "lose the primary" strategy sometimes means sticking to his principles in opposition to the GOP base (as he has on immigration reform and Common Core education standards) but sometimes, on issues like religious freedom, he seems to fuzz it up.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has no doubts about what side he's on. In Iowa on Wednesday, Cruz blasted the "big business" wing of the GOP, saying they are "running shamelessly to endorse the radical, gay marriage agenda over religious liberty. "

Rushbo And Me, Or How I Became An Environmentalist And He Became Irrelevant

Rushbo And Me, Or How I Became An Environmentalist And He Became Irrelevant
It's always the women they go after. Always.

Kansas Declares Itself a Gun Free-for-All

What could possibly go wrong with this idea? Kansas' Sam Brownback (R) signed a bill into law on Thursday that allows Kansas residents over the age of… 

Kansas School Districts Shut Down Weeks Early Thanks To Brownback’s Tax-Slashing Lunacy

Kansas' schools were already underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars before Sam Brownback (R) initiated significant mid-year cuts this spring. Now, a pair of districts in north-central Kansas are ending the school year early.

The Wingnut Plan for an ‘Anti-Tax Utopia’ in Kansas Has Been a Miserable Failure

According to recent data, the “utterly delusional Sam Brownback” and his experiment in supply-side economics has been a failure.
New numbers from the state of Kansas show that tax revenue came in $11.2 million below expectations in March, which is just the latest example in a string of lower-than-expected tax receipts.
From Salon:
Lawmakers must fill a $344 million revenue shortfall by June, and Brownback has moved to plug Kansas’ fiscal hole by slashing education funding, gutting the state’s pension fund, and cutting infrastructure. Additionally, the governor has proposed new sales taxes, which disproportionately impact the poor, in order to proceed full steam ahead with his income tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
While personal income tax revenue was above expectations last month, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports that revenues from oil and gas, sales, and corporate income taxes were well short of what analysts had projected, largely owing to a state economy whose performance is less robust than the Brownback administration had predicted. Given that Brownback aims to eventually eliminate income taxes, the state will depend on those other sources of revenue in the years to come.
“Kansas continues to bleed revenue as is evident by this month’s numbers,” Democratic House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs said in an interview with the Capital-Journal. ”How we resolve this issue remains unknown as the legislative session is nearly over and we haven’t seen a comprehensive balanced budget.”