Posted by: JanF | July 10, 2014

President Obama: “This isn’t theater”

It is emblematic of the hyperpartisanship which has our country in a stranglehold that the president has to remind people that the humanitarian crisis on the border is not theater. But apparently, no crisis or incident (BENGHAZIII!), can be addressed without first dousing the follicles set ablaze by the media and their need to fill air time and print to satisfy the 10-minute news cycle.

From NBC News

President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he is not visiting the U.S. border while in Texas because he is “not interested in photo-ops” and urged Congress to approve funding to deal with the surge of minors illegally streaming into the country.

“There is nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on,” Obama said. “This isn’t theater, this is a problem. I’m not interested in photo ops.

Obama met with local politicians and religious leaders in Dallas, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, to discuss the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border. The White House has asked for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis, a request that has been panned by some Republicans who say the president’s policies are to blame for migrant children believing they can stay in the country illegally.

Pardon me, the president’s policies??? The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that reflected the president’s policies and which would have helped mitigate this crisis, including some of the money that is now part of an emergency request. But the Republican House of Representatives would not take up the bill because they knew it would pass and that would enrage the nativist wing of the increasingly wingnutty Republican Party. And it is more important to keep their base frothing for the mid-term elections than to solve problems.

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Posted by: JanF | July 7, 2014

It’s the misogyny, y’all

In trying to make sense of The Way Things Are in a post-Hobby Lobby world, it is important to peel away the layers and understand what the Hobby Lobby ruling is and, more importantly, what it isn’t.

The Supreme Court ruled that a closely-held corporation can avoid paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive options if the belief about how those methods work offends the religious feelings of the majority stockholders.

Yes, the ruling is a direct assault on common sense in its attempt to assign freedom of religious expression to a corporation.

Yes, the ruling is science-denialism writ large.

Yes, it is a poke in the eye to the separation of powers: where a law passed by Congress and signed by the president can be, not merely ruled unconstitutional, but hacked up and rewritten by a court.

And it is likely a specific poke in the eye to President Barack Obama who the right wing has become completely unhinged over to the point that they want to nullify the results of two presidential elections and three congressional elections.

What it really is: complete and utter disrespect for women.

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On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964

The act outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin and gave the federal courts jurisdiction over enforcement, taking it out of the state courts where justice was uneven at best.

The Civil Rights Act had political ramifications as well. Its adoption caused a mass exodus of angry racists from the Democratic Party in the old south to the Republican Party. And the politics borne of hatred of The Other gave the not-so-Grand Old Party the presidency for 28 out of the next 40 years.

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Posted by: JanF | June 25, 2014

Tea hee hee!!

A few weeks ago, post-primary Wednesday morning found gleeful Democrats celebrating the double-digit loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Last night there was another set of primary elections, most notably in Mississippi where there was a runoff between incumbent GOP Senator Thadd Cochran and tea party challenger state Senator Chris McDaniel.

Early in the evening, BWD spoke for me:

But the result was much better than expected … Cochran won, unleashing the hounds of hell, specifically, an angry tea party activist named Amy Kremer:

@amykremer If Cochran wins this #mssen race, the GOP is done. They teamed up with Dems to steal a race. Kiss the base goodbye.

@amykremer
Sad that GOP establishment has to reach out to the Dems to help keep the Barbour lobbying business profitable. That’s politics ppl. #mssen

Base kissing? Very unsanitary. But the idea of angry Republicans boycotting the November election and opening the door to a Democratic pickup? Please proceed, tea partiers, please proceed.

And a bonus! The former vice presidential candidate and half-term governor of Alaska will not stand for this …

Tbogg (@tbogg)

On Hannity, @SarahPalinUSA floats idea of Tea Partiers forming third party. #OhPleaseOhPlease June 25, 2014

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Posted by: JanF | June 21, 2014

Sun, sun, sun … here it comes!

Today marks the Summer Solstice. Astronomically, it looks like this:

The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. The seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. That will occur on June 21st at 10:51 UTC (6:51am Eastern, 5:51am Central, 4:51am Mountain, and 3:51am Pacific Time).

Today and tomorrow the sunrise (near where I live) will be 5:15am and sunset will be 8:29pm … 15 hours and 14 minutes of sunlight. On Winter Solstice, six loooong months ago, sunrise was at 7:15am and sunset was at 4:22pm, barely 9 hours of sunlight.

On Monday, the sunrise will be one minute later, signalling the waning of the year. But that’s Monday and today we have 914 minutes of sunlight to enjoy!!

(Don’t forget to hover!)

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Posted by: JanF | June 11, 2014

“… you knew I was a snake”

Tuesday night, the tea party wing of the Republican Party turned on one of their own. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his primary to Dave Brat, a professor who teaches Ayn Randian economics to college students. Brat spent $122,000 to Cantor’s $5 million.

Now she clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight
But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite
[chorus]
“I saved you,” cried that woman
“And you’ve bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in

Tweets …
@imillhiser: “The Tea Party’s been a tremendously positive input, I think… certainly for our party, you see the benefit.” -Eric Cantor, Nov. 10, 2010

@JuddLegum: Lesson GOP will take from Cantor’s loss: Kill immigration reform Real lesson: No matter how much you pander to Tea Party, it’s never enough

@DanaHoule: This shows a resurgence of the Republican establ…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

@lizzwinstead: ERIC CANTOR IS TOO LIBERAL FOR THE REPUBLICANS IN VIRGINIA! #murica #YourPartyIsCurdled

The Republicans made a deal with the devil and released the hounds of hell … who are biting them in the hinder.

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Today is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s speech calling upon us to work with him to build a Great Society.

In that speech, President Johnson outlined the principles behind the programs he would later propose; programs intended to lift Americans out of poverty, first by ending discrimination, then by putting a safety net under our elderly in the form of Medicare and finally, by launching programs intended to improve the well-being of all of our citizens. Some programs were resounding successes and some were unable to be implemented or were dismantled by Ronald Reagan and his demon spawn ideological progeny.

The paths could not have been more clearly marked. We can be a Great Society or we can be the puny country that the Reagan Republicans, and now Ryan Republicans, want for us; a country where George W. Bush’s have-mores hoard the wealth and despoil our natural resources: a path leading us to a country where the middle class is destroyed and our children are left with an earth that is uninhabitable.

A quick scan of right-wing opinion pieces shows that, to Republicans, championing the causes of minorities and the working poor is called “Democrats pandering”. That is because to them it would be pandering, an attempt to get people’s votes by pretending to care about them. To Democrats, civil rights and women’s reproductive rights and the rights of workers and LGBT rights are not poll-tested talking points … they are the core of our party and embedded as Democratic Party principles.

It is not pandering, it is who we are.

It is the promise of a Great Society, one that “rests on abundance and liberty for all” and “demands an end to poverty and racial injustice” with this reminder from LBJ: “we have the power to shape the civilization that we want. But we need your will, your labor, your hearts, if we are to build that kind of society.”

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Posted by: JanF | May 3, 2014

The Party of Lincoln? Er, no.

On Sunday morning, the above-the-fold headline in the Wisconsin State Journal, the paper of record for the State of Wisconsin, declared “Assembly members against secession”.

Let’s ignore for a moment how low the bar for political sanity has been set if the paper is reporting as NEWS(!) that the Republican caucus in the state assembly is not in favor of Wisconsin seceding from the Union.

Let’s also ignore the fact that not all of the Republicans in the state assembly signed the letter that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) sent to the delegates meeting this weekend at the Wisconsin State GOP Convention. Because it makes me cringe to think that my fellow Wisconsinites would elect state representatives who don’t even believe in the United States Constitution.

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Posted by: JanF | May 1, 2014

April Showers are Bringing May Flowers

At Winter Solstice, the light starts returning; gradually the memory of the long nights fades until the light and dark are equal on Spring Equinox. From that point on, the light returns more rapidly and on May 1st we arrive at the midpoint between equinox and Summer Solstice.

Today, my sunrise was at 5:47am CDT and my sunset will be at 7:48pm … more than 14 hours of daylight, adding 2 hours since the equinox. By the end of May, we will have added 49 more minutes of daylight.

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Posted by: JanF | April 22, 2014

An Earth Day Wake-up Call

It has been depressing lately, reading about the penny-wise pound-foolish despoiling of our earth for short term profits and jobs that will disappear in a few years. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin … the list goes on. Maybe we need an Earth Day wake-up call to remind us of what is important.

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