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To Commemorate 9/11 The Koch Owned GOPT Blocked Citizens United

Free speech destroy Citizens United

I admit to despising everything about Citizens United.  I still my initial reaction to the news of that ruling. Continue reading

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Former GOP Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell Guilty of Corruption

McDonnell Guilty

On Thursday, a Virginia jury found Bob McDonnell guilty on 11 of 13 corruption charges.  Continue reading

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Ferguson More Peaceful As Militarized Police Replaced With Highway Patrol

In the days following Mike Brown’s killing at the hand of a Ferguson police officer,  people were teagassed in their back yards.  The Mayor unilaterally placed a time limit on the first amendment.  Peaceful protestors were arrested subjected to teargas and rubber bullets.  Journalists were arrested.  A State Senator was teargassed.  Antonio French was dragged from his car, arrested and eventually released.  No charges, no police reports.  In at least some cases, people were not read their rights.

The police continue to withhold basic information about Mike Brown’s death.

Police attacked media crews and confiscated cell phones from people who exercised their first amendment right to video what the police were doing.

Twitter was ablaze with questions.  One of those question was where are the Libertarians?  The so called freedom fighters who defended Cliven Bundy from the “tyranny” of paying the money he owed were no where to be found as police in Ferguson showed America what tyranny looks like.  Where were those Tea Party “patriots” who appointed themselves guardians of the U.S. Constitution?

While officials in Ferguson were arresting journalists for doing their jobs, dragging a politician from his car for trying to escape the toxic affects of teargas, Ted Cruz was defending the police from the safety of his facebook page.

 

Police officers risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and any time a young man loses his life in a confrontation with law enforcement, it is tragic.

This is Cruz trying to shift attention from the militarized police using excessive force, the arrests without reports or informing people of their rights.  He was trying to divert our attention from the rubber bullets shot at people who were there to bring calm according to Antonio French who was actually there.

Cruz was hoping to distract from the fact that people were being tear gassed on their own property simply because they were exercising their right to protest peacefully when it was dark outside.   He was hoping we wouldn’t notice that reporters were arrested for doing their job, that Al Jazeera was tear gassed for the same reason.  He was hoping we wouldn’t care about the many people whose names we don’t know, but whose rights were just as violated.

Steve King denied the role of  racial profiling in the longer term tensions in Ferguson by suggesting there ain’t no racial profiling because the majority of the community are of the same continental origin.

“This idea of no racial profiling,” King said, “I’ve seen the video. It looks to me like you don’t need to bother with that particular factor because they all appear to be of a single, you know, of a single origin, I should say, a continental origin might be the way to phrase that.”

He missed the part about the militarized and for all practical purposes, exclusively white, police force teargassing and shooting rubber bullets at black protesters.   Ooops, maybe that’s a bit too much detail for Mr. King.  Or maybe looking at the facts in Ferguson is just a tad inconvenient if you’re pandering to people who believe that the constitution is the personal property of white, right wing faux Christians.

Of course, what do you expect from someone who describes immigrants as “drug runners” with calves the size of cantaloupes or is surprised because Dreamers are “very good at English.”

The reality is this is one of those moments when we see the sharp contrasts between “conservative” and “liberal” politiicans.  While Cruz and King were diverting attention from violations of people’s civil and constitutional rights of an entire community, right wing media was playing up the actions of a few to distort the reality of the many engaged in peaceful protest.  It’s straight out of the conservative rule book on law and order.  The police can do no wrong period.

Compare that President Barack Obama’s recognition of all the facts.  He rightfully condemned the infrequent, but none the less occurring, acts of looting and violence. But, he also condemned the excessive force and violations of rights under the constitution – something that didn’t matter to the right wing politicians and media.

Finally, today, Missouri’s governor announced that the state’s highway patrol would take over security matters and from what I’ve seen in the accounts by people on the scene, this step in itself is having a positive impact.

This proves that the way police conduct themselves matters.

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David Gregory out, Chuck Todd Brought In To Deal the Final Blow To MTP

David Gregory Chuck Todd

On Thursday, David Gregory announced on twitter, what everyone already knew.  He is leaving Meet The Press and MSNBC. Continue reading

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Four Days Later Ferguson Police Short on Answers But Big on Militarization

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Of all the lows that Republicans stoop to, their claims that there is a war on white people and the right wing’s faux Christianity are without question the most disgusting. Continue reading

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Koch Candidate Shows Business Savvy with Company Owing $100k in Back Taxes

Merkley ahead

Jeff Merkley continues to wipe the floor with Monica Wehby in Oregon’s race for the U.S. Senate.  The latest poll shows Merkley is holding his lead with a clear majority of the vote at 52.7% to Wehby’s 38.1%

The Koch Brothers targeted Merkley, perhaps because he is an effective Senator who actually gives a damn about the 99% of Americans for who the Kochs have nothing but contempt.  But, for all the money the Koch brothers poured into Monica Wehby’s campaign, the polls suggest that voters in Oregon are sticking with Jeff Merkley.

As a Koch Brother candidate, Monica Wehby emphasizes her expertise in the private sector and what the Tea Party calls a “job creator” as qualifications to represent Oregon in the U.S. Senate.  Too bad her “expertise” failed her when she invested in a company that owes 100k in back property taxes.  Before going further there is nothing about this story that suggests Wehby did anything illegal.  Since Wehby suggests that “expertise” in the private sector qualifies her to be a Senator, her ability to make good investment decisions is fair game.

The Huffington Post reports Wehby’s financial disclosure form lists her as a “Member of American Beef Processing LLC since December 2010.”  It’s a company that hasn’t been doing very well.

But the startup hasn’t done well. The Clackamas County Clerk’s office lists two properties owned by American Beef Processing that owed a total of $103,414.62in delinquent taxes. One property owed $81,232.66 in taxes, accrued from 2009 to 2012, and another owed $22,181.96, accrued in 2012. Both properties are listed at 15501 SE Piazza Ave. in Clackamas County, and the clerk’s office confirmed to HuffPost that they are owned by American Beef Processing. The documents can be viewed here and here.

Wehby tries to walk the fact that this company is not doing well and the fact that it owes over $100k in back taxes by saying she is just a small investor and besides it isn’t like she has much say in the day-to-day operations of the company.

The thing is she lists this companies as one of her “positions held outside of government”  along with her other positions as a doctor at Legacy Health Systems, trustee of the AMA and “member” of  Ecola Point Development LLC.   To be fair, Wehby did make money as a doctor and during her AMA gig. Her investment at Ecola Point is valued between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000.  Of course, if as she claims she isn’t responsible for American Beef Processing, the same logic applies to Ecola Point.

It’s interesting that Wehby is one of a handful of women, the Koch brothers deemed worthy of letting out of the kitchen to carry water for the Koch agenda of economic freedom for the 1% with poverty, political oppression and regulation over every aspect of life  for everyone else.

The greater lesson lies in the fact, that no matter how much money the Koch brothers “invest” in their water boys and occasional water girl, voting still matters.  Jeff Merkley has had a huge lead throughout this race because he believes in government of the people, by the people and for the people.

 

 

 

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NC Tea Party Wants to Impeach Roy Cooper For What Scalia Predicted.

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Republicans in North Carolina have a new motto.  If you can’t win elections with your ideas, cheat.  On Friday, Judge Thomas D. Shroeder assured the state’s Republicans will have the legal cover they wanted to cheat.  To that end, Rock the Vote is stepping up to help make sure you don’t get turned away at the polls. First, Rock the Vote is a great place to learn what you need to do to protect your vote. They also provide a phone number to call if have a problem at the polls.  Put this number on your phone and spread it around to everyone you know. 866-OUR-VOTE

If you have a problem at the polls or you see someone else is having a problem dial that number!

Their site provides vital information for all fifty states, so check it out and tell your friends to check it out as well. Next, you can read their reaction to the ruling here. Rock the Vote also set up a petition to demand politicians in all states, protect the vote.

Even with their vote suppression laws, and perhaps a recognition on some level that vote suppression will fail as it has before, the Tea Party wants to energize the base with promises of an impeachment show to blame Roy Cooper for the inevitable down fall of North Carolina’s ban on marriage equality.

NC Amendment 1

Image via Adventure Paul

If it sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the same trick the Tea Party wingnuts within the Republican Party are using throughout the United States.

There are important differences between the two.  The Federal impeachment show will be telecast if Republicans win control of the Senate, with President Barack Obama as their target.

My sources in North Carolina suggest the state’s version of an impeachment show, with Roy Cooper as the target, isn’t going to happen. Still, this serves as a teachable moment about the Tea Party mentality.

The similarities between the Tea Party impeachment fantasies lie in their absurdity and in what is ultimately a mockery of the purpose of impeachment proceedings.

The Federal impeachment show, in reality, is based on Barack Obama committing the high crime of being being elected president twice while black and the misdemeanor of being a Democrat.

Like their federal counterparts, North Carolina’s Tea Party believes that being a Democrat should be an impeachable offense, of which Roy Cooper is guilty.  His high crime is having the intellectual capacity to decide against wasting tax payer resources on an exercise in the futility in making losing arguments.  Specifically, Cooper used this rational when he decided to discontinue defending the state’s anti- marriage equality law.  Moreover, Roy Cooper is guilty of recognizing that the same court that struck down Virginia’s ban on same sex marriages will likely rule the same way on the North Carolina version.  Cooper also committed the crime of recognizing that the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue. However, Cooper’s biggest offense is his refusal to put reality aside to give the Tea Party what it wants.

The SCOTUS managed to evade the question of whether same sex marriages are protected under the U.S. constitution in its previous rulings.  Now that Virginia and Utah have taken their respective bans on same sex marriage to the Roberts court, there is no place to hide, punt or evade.

That said, Roy Cooper’s job as Attorney-General is to make decisions about which legal battles to pursue based on the law and the reality is, the future for homophobic fantasies of bans on same sex marriage is bleak.  Advocates of marriage equality won 20 cases in the year since the Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). A year ago, Antonin Scalia who is opposed to marriage equality, saw the same legal realities that led to Roy Cooper’s decision to discontinue the fight.

How easy it is, indeed how inevitable, to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status. No one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.

However, telling the Tea Party about reality results in the same reaction as saying no to a two year old.  The inevitable result is a temper tantrum followed by screams of “I wanna impeachment show!”

Norm Sanderson raised the prospect of impeachment at the first meeting of Morehead-Beaufort Tea Party – to an audience of 16. 

If he’s not going to defend what we, the citizens of North Carolina, want him to defend, we need to probably impeach him because he’s been a vocal opponent of the marriage amendment ever since it was passed. Our leadership hasn’t made the final decision but everything is on ready, set, go if that’s what we want to do.

In short, Sanderson says he wants to impeach Cooper because instead of doing what the Tea Party wants he recognized the very reality that Atonin Scalia predicted a year ago.

Image Amendment 1 Adventure Paul

Main Image: Truthdig

 

 

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Remembering Robin Williams and His Amazing Ability to “Touch Every Element of The Human Spirit”

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The tragic news about Robin Williams’ death is just starting to sink in. Continue reading

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Gun Sense – Not! Texas Agency Wants to Sell Alcohol at Gun Shows

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It can only happen at gun shows in Texas. It’s where you can strap a semi-automatic on your back and go to church, a restaurant or a baseball game.  You can block traffic in the name of promoting gun culture.  You can shoot someone first, see if you had a reason to fear them later. Continue reading

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Obama Says The problems in Iraq Cannot Be Solved Overnight

Obama on Iraq

Throughout Barack Obama’s Presidency, the GOP made it clear they wanted him to fail. Continue reading

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