Friday, June 26, 2015

Never Been More Proud To Be A Democrat

June 21-27: worst. week. ever (for conservatives)

1. ACA is the law of the land. Bitter irony for conservatives who hate poor people having insurance: you spent all that time, money and effort to defeat something that you have made untouchable by giving it TWO high court victories!

2. End of Sarah Palin and her idiot daughter. Sarah was FIRED from Fox we learned this week. Her condescending but promiscuous daughter, who raked in a quarter million giving abstinence speeches, got knocked up again by a different guy. That abstinence circuit is a great way to get laid, I guess.

3. Vaccines are finally mandatory in California.

4. The awful confederate flag and several monuments came down from official grounds all across the South.

5. Little thing called Marriage Equality. It is the law of the land in every county in every backwards state in the nation--including my home state of Florida.

take that Clarence Thomas!!

6. NEW! Thanks to activist Bree Newsome, for ONE morning at least, SC didn't have to wake up under the flag of slavery!! Well done, Bree! #FreeBree

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tide Turns: Even South Carolina and Mississippi Face Confederate Toxin! Yet Here in Florida....

Mitt Romney might be a complete bastard, but he was the first major right-winger to call for the flag of our defeated enemy, the flag of white supremacy, to come down from SC's state capitol. The teabag governor of SC followed. Sensing a tide turning, other conservative politicians quickly followed. Even the Speaker of the damn Mississippi state house has called for the confederate flag to be extracted from the state flag.

I hadn't seen such a turn in public opinion since gay marriage.

There is no purpose this flag serves other than hate. It is a relic of a failed, racist ideology. It is a flag of a defeated domestic enemy of the United States. It is a flag of rightwing terrorism.

No goddamned way does it deserve to fly on capitol grounds anymore than a swastika.

It shouldn't have taken nine innocent deaths to get us to at least this point. But apparently, for the complete bastards that make up GOP Florida, it still isn't enough.

If you are unfortunate enough to drive on highway I-75, you will notice a massive confederate flag--the largest in the US--flying by the roadside. It is maintained by the Sons of the confederacy. They not only have influence with our idiot lawmakers in Tallahassee, several of them ARE lawmakers.

Rick Scott isn't a member, but he is a fan. Scott did jump on the Nikki Haley bandwagon (after everyone else did) last week, but was asked about the movement to take down this giant Dixie flag which, in recent days, has gotten new momentum. He was given a chance to condemn this ugly monstrosity, but Rick Scott refused to do even that:

"There were nine individuals that lost their life last week in Charleston...That’s what we ought to be thinking about right now," Gov. Scott said. "There’s plenty of time to have other conversations about other things but right now we ought to be mourning that loss."

(BTW, if that bullsh-- sounds familiar, it's because that is almost verbatim the same non-answer he gave a CNN reporter after the Newtown massacre. The reporter blasted him when he steadfastly refused to take any preventative steps following the massacre and hiding behind the victims. The video went viral.)

To be fair, the flag is on private property. Barring any ordinance, he can't force it down. But no one is asking him to. They are only asking his goddamned opinion, and one in which the appropriate response is along the lines of "it's offensive, it's disgusting, and I don't approve of it".

Lest you think this is only a Rick Scott problem, think again. Although that huge, nasty flag is at least on someone's private land, the Sons of Confederacy members and supporters in our legislature somehow found it appropriate to set aside space and time at the rotunda of the Florida State Capital building to HONOR the flag of white supremacy!!!

I'm not just talking about the standard confederate flag, which was prominently displayed. , ALL the flags of the confederacy were on display, even the "stainless banner": a confederate flag emblazoned on a white field to emphasize the "supremacy of the white race"! That isn't my opinion. That was the statement of the designer of that flag, which became the 2nd official flag of the CSA.

And there is stood in the center of the rotunda building as if it was to be honored, in a state filled with people whose ancestors suffered its atrocities. (Rubio must have been so proud!)

Perhaps most egregious is a notoriously racist Sons of Confederacy member who is also a state representative. Rep Dennis Baxley, author of Stand Your Ground and several aspects of our voter suppression laws, spearheaded a bill that allowed racists like him to forbid state park administrators from honoring fallen Union soldiers!

Residents near the Olustee Battlefield state park wanted a very small memorial to honor the American soldiers who died there. This included the 35th US Colored Troops, who amazingly repulsed a confederate attack against overwhelming odds.

Several of the wounded black soldiers who were captured by confederates were clubbed to death by the rebel troops. Baxley and other GOP leaders refuse to honor them. Baxley even argued for "a sliver of diversity" and refused any memorial for them---but supported the no less than three monuments for the confederates who committed the war crimes!!

These monuments still stand at Olustee while today there is STILL nothing that honors the fallen American soldiers who died there.

Don't look to the GOP-led government to right this wrong anytime soon. Don't look at them to even condemn any symbols of hatred that are still honored in this state. They won't change. Why would they? Florida doesn't hold these racist lawmakers accountable for the atrocities they commit today. Why would they hold them accountable for honoring the ones committed so long ago?

Friday, June 19, 2015

GOP Lawmakers FINALLY Tackle Top Issue: Tax Cut for Those Who Spend Over $1 Million on Yacht Repairs

Floridians can't get healthcare and face an education budget crisis, but our teabag legislators tackled the top issue facing Florida.

Now, those oppressed yacht owners can finally have their sales tax capped at $60,000 if they spend more than one million on repairs.

You read that right. One million on JUST REPAIRS!! Only a handful of Florida boat owners (like the Kochs) can even take advantage of such a ludicrous thing. This was a targeted tax giveaway to the 1% of the 1%; in other words, those who need it least of all.

Charleston: Everything Wrong in One Photo

That's terrible... but what a deal!
Many people who live in Charleston, SC learned about the deadly gun massacre that killed nine people in their hometown from their morning paper---alongside an ad for dirt cheap guns, gun gear, and 50 rounds of ammo.

Anyone else seeing a problem here?

This isn't an anomaly. The Florida Times-Union led the story of a recent school bus shooting accompanied with a gun show sticker ad without a hint of irony.

(BTW, don't worry. The gun show went ahead as planned. There is never a time when they are considered in poor taste. Recall when Marilyn Manson cancelled his concert near Columbine, but the NRA went ahead with their show. I remember that because it was that day I could prove the anti-Christ showed more compassion than the gun lobby.)

In Connecticut, two newspapers ran gun ads while covering the horror of Sandy Hook. Some people even got mad at the papers when they apologized. I guess a sickening tragedy should never be an excuse to stop selling cheap guns and ammo for a few minutes.

Obama is right. We are the only civilized nation in the world with this kind of problem. No other nation has weekly gun massacres. Their citizens would be outraged and horrified by it. They would demand action. They would demand legislation be enacted. They would demand accountability to whatever psychopath dared to try and argue that this is normal.

Whereas here, it's apparently too much to even ask not to slap a gun advertisement on the same day we deal with the gruesome consequences of our sick gun culture.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

JEB Bush Picks Now to Build New Mansion

John Ellis Bush is so serious about "inequality" as a theme for his campaign that he has vowed to close the gap if elected--by somehow further de-regulating Wall Street and giving bigger tax breaks to the 1%. As an added trick, JEB would do this using the exact same people who created the epidemic, no less.

But for a Bush to really do hypocrisy well, you need a splash of tone deaf.

Thank you JEB:

The former Florida governor’s new home will be built on a 1.3-acre site worth at least $1.4 million...

This, mind you, is "just a cottage", according to JEB. A hotel room, if you will, that will be 3,000 square-feet and have a gorgeous wraparound porch with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. It will be ready in time for July.

Because nothing says you understand "inequality" like building ANOTHER mansion on a family compound.

No word on the car elevator....

Saturday, June 06, 2015

FL GOP kills Medicaid AND refuses to stop their $8 gold packages. HERE'S WHAT WE DO

The GOP teabagger-ruled Fl House refused a million people in florida the ability to get health insurance by killing the Medicaid expansion. They all complained about getting people dependent on "government handouts".

So in other words, they are saying don't be like them. They made NO change to their sweet, completely taxpayer-funded platinum-package that costs you and I $1 million per month!

The cost of this to the legislators, governor, cabinet and 17,589 select people in state government is a lousy $30 a month for a family, and $8 a month for an individual! It is the most generous in the US.

After the outrage, the House did agree to raise their cost to a whopping $180 a month per family and $50 for an individual. However, the governor, cabinet and those thousands of staff still got to keep the $8 dollar meal.

Unfortunately, the state average for joe schmo is not quite as good. He pays $1347.00 PER MONTH! And he at least is able to get a plan.

My own idiot state rep, R-Jason Brodeur, was offended that anyone would want to take away his benefits that we generously provide him. He works for it! Adding guns to college campuses and trying to make it a lot easier for adoption agencies to discriminate is apparently a lot of work.

I am calling out our Democratic party to do something USEFUL for a change in 2016. I am talking about an amendment to our state Constitution to force the governor, his staff, and the legislators and their staff to pay insurance rates to levels that match the national average until the gap is closed!

For those of you outside Florida, the state has no ballot initiative process. It has to be in the form of an amendment to our constitution.

IF anyone wants to help me get started, leave a message in the comments.

Dropping off petitions of thousands of people to these idiots has been a waste of both time and paper. Getting it on the ballot, however, will make it happen. WE do have a constitutional process and a populace that would embrace this, especially in 2016.

If you don't want to do all the staff, then just the legislature, governor, and cabinet.

Can we make this happen???

Rick Scott Says: Convenience Store Workers Are Expendable!

It's yet another one of those fine moments in the Scott administration's sordid history, which shows once again just how clueless this governor can be.

Despite the fact that it was passed unanimously by the House and Senate, riddled as they are with Tea Party favorites; despite the fact that it was favored by the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Scott vetoed a bill that would have required extra security measures at convenience stores, especially during those critical early morning hours when robberies were most frequent.

His clueless excuse for this veto: It increased regulations and would slow job growth. Really.

Well, now, wait a moment, I think I understand the point about slowing job growth. You see, in Scott's miserly personal economy, minimal-wage peons like convenience store clerks are expendable sawdust. What he means is, if convenience stores have extra security, then we won't have as much risk of these clerks being shot and killed in robberies. Which means we won't have a chance for someone else to have a job when they take their place behind the counter.

I believe that's a sort of grim humor of the type Alan Grayson used when he said the Republican health care plan was: "Don't get sick, but if you do, die quickly." The more literal truth is more likely that Scott is so indifferent to the health and safety of others in the service of his agenda that he simply doesn't care about the impact of his decisions.

This veto reminded me of a much earlier story in which Scott said he was proud of every job he allegedly brought to Florida, even if they were something Mike Rowe would be too hesitant to touch. The thematic comment by Scott came right here:

Critics fault Scott for his enthusiasm for low-wage, service-sector jobs. But he brags about them. In Jacksonville, he trumpeted the 7-Eleven convenience store chain's plans to hire up to 800 workers at Florida stores.

"Who didn't grow up wanting a Slurpee?" Scott said. "Thank goodness for 7-Eleven."

That comment seems innocuous enough, but let's think about it for a moment.   Scott's pride in bringing such jobs here wasn't expressed by the rate of pay they provided, or the ability they provided to assist the economy, or by the quality of the job. It was rooted in some vague  memory of his own pleasure in downing frozen sugar water. He doesn't care about the people who have those jobs. He only cares about how they can serve his childish whims.

How was this man re-elected? I imagine it was by people with the same childish view of the world -- and the same perception that the rest of us are merely peons here to serve their whims, not human beings with lives of our own. And if a few of us get killed the process....well, it's just as Dickens put it a century and a half ago:

"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

Grayson wasn't the first to come up with that line to represent Tea Party ideology. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In Regards to Conservatives Fierce Defense of Child Rape

Conservatives heard about Josh Duggar raping at least 5 of his very young sisters. They heard about how his parents knew, tried to cover it all up, and sickeningly allowed it to continue for an entire year after they learned about it.

The timeline shows one sick thing after another:

  1. The family only contacting elders of their weird church, where Josh was arranged to receive "counseling" from a bullshit treatment program. (Doing manual labor on a building for the GD Hobby Lobby ISN'T TREATMENT!!) Oh, and the guy running the program was a sexual offender as well.
  2. The molestation continued, and Jim Bob Duggar told "law enforcement". Well, a close friend who happened to be a state trooper, but with the understanding that no charges would be filed. The state trooper gave Josh a "stern talking to", and all was forgiven. Jim Bob's friendly state trooper, of course, was also embroiled in his own child sex scandal where he was later sentenced to 56 years in prison for child pornography.
  3. Anonymous tips lead to a real investigation. Unfortunately, the day that the Washington Post makes a FOI request for the records, a court order is issued to destroy them all.
Josh Duggar's net worth is half a million. He had a lucrative job at the Family Research Council giving speeches on how it's gay people who harm children.

All of this should piss you off. I would think that this transcends political ideology and that conservatives should be angry as well.

OH, and they are!!---at the media for bringing it up.

I am so incredibly sorry that you’re even having to post this [apology] on your Facebook page.

The media can be shameless & so hurtful

The comments from the "moral values" crowd defending the most heinous action you could do with a small child are shocking and ludicrous. It started when one of those asshats argued with me that, first of all, there is no such thing as "child rape"--it is all "molestation". He was actually quibbling over calling it molestation because somehow that sounded better than rape. (There was digital penetration, genius, which is rape. But if it you makes you "feel better", then please: call it "incestuous molestation". Better?)

It got a lot worse.

You can go to Josh's facebook or instagram page and see these sickos for yourself, as well as any conservative discussion board. They are so bad that Salon.com and the DailyMail compiled several lists of conservatives' disgusting themes in defense of child rape:

  • It was just a "mistake" (not a serious crime)
  • His apology was tough enough
  • Liberal media is mean
  • Jesus forgave him so shut up (what, did He call and tell you?)
  • We all have "skeletons in our closet"
  • It's so much better than being gay because at least he stopped doing it
  • Everyone else is doing it, so let's all chill out (really! several people said this! One sick bastard even said his uncle is a pedophile and NO BIG WHOOP!)
A lot of them use the term "sensationalizing" the story, as if anyone can exaggerate how bad and wrong it is to RAPE A YOUNG CHILD!! (oh, and Benghazi).

One of the worst ones (there were many) were a variation on this theme:

  • Children all lie and exaggerate, so it probably wasn't as bad as people are making it out to be.
If any kid is reading this and you actually hear your parents say garbage like this, I plead with you: RUN!!! (I hope to God someone will take the small Duggar girls away from those enabling monsters who dare call themselves "parents".)

Many cons have used the term "sensationalizing" the story. This exact word came from Mike Huckabee's very long-winded and despicable defense of Josh Duggar's child raping habit. Huckabee told everyone to relax: raping a small child is a forgivable offense, but the real crime is how mean normal people are for being so upset about this.

According to that rat bastard, it's okay to hide behind Jesus when committing horrific crimes. The real sin, Huckabee says, is being born homosexual and those of us who support their basic rights. WE are the ones going to hell. As are women who want control of their own bodies. As are medical patients who want medicinal relief that isn't harsh or addictive.

But child rape? Apparently that's cool.

This isn't the first time Huckabee defended child rape.

In Ted Nugent's 1998 episode of VH1’s Behind The Music, Ted proudly admits to repeatedly raping underage girls. (They sickeningly referred to it as “his weakness for young women"). This is a man who coaxed a 12-year old to give him oral sex. He wrote a song about violently raping a 13-year-old, and another song about what he did in real life: became the legal guardian of an underage girl JUST SO he could have sex with her.

For crying out loud, his freaking songlist includes "Jailbait" and "I Am a Predator". (Seriously, how less ambiguous can he be?!)

Huckabee didn't lecture Ted at all. Instead, he invited this serial pedophile to ride with Huck as he campaigned as a conservative "family values" candidate.

Hell, on Huckabee's show on Fox, Mikey even jammed with that rapist while singing about having sex as a 10-year old!!

Huckabee also fiercely defended Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, and even led the boycott of Cracker Barrel when they pulled Phil's tchotchkes from their shelves. This happened right after Phil told an audience that 20-year olds were too old to marry and instead they should go after 15-year olds!

All of this, and Huckabee still thinks he has some moral authority to deem the Duggars great parents while simultaneously criticizing the Obamas as "corrupting" their kids because they let them listen to Beyonce. (As far as I know, she never sang about raping a child.)

OH, and BTW Mike? Someone who tries to cover up their own son violently murdering a dog needs to shut the hell up on parenting.

And then there's Bill O'Reilly, who gleefully told Greta Van Sustren that a 15-year-old kidnap victim and victim of 4 years of serial rape must have "liked" his situation because he didn't have to go to school. (H/T Blue in NC)

I know it is pointless to argue with cons on child rape because they are often insane. They believe in this crap about "Babylon's laws" or "Man's Law", which is not Biblical Law.

OK, I'll play that game too. You know what the Bible says on abortion or homosexuality?? Nothing. Nowhere in either the Old or New Testaments is "abortion" forbidden, and nowhere in the Bible did Jesus say one word about homosexuality. Right-wing pseudo-Christians apparently think Christianity is defined as opposition to abortion, homosexuality and pre-marital sex: the three things Jesus NEVER. MENTIONED. ONCE.

(He did have entire chapters devoted to helping the poor, but F_ that I guess.)

In the Holy Book, all sorts of horrible acts are explicitly condemned and/or proscribed, but not any of those three are even brought up.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS CONDEMNED IN THE BIBLE? Rape!!

The Bible unequivocally condemns rape of any kind (Deuteronomy 22) and even states the punishment for it should be the most extreme punishment possible--death for the rapist. If we are going all Biblical, then Josh Duggar should be killed.

No one is calling for that. Apparently, cons think killing someone is only okay for someone selling loose cigarettes or walking home from the store after buying Skittles.

I was absolutely horrified when ISIS was trying to religiously justify prepubescent rape. Conservatives, in their zealous defense of a fellow homo-hater, are trying to do the same thing. Looking at how ISIS treats "infidels" and homosexuals, and looking how they justify their heinous crimes, it isn't ISIS itself who is a threat---it's those in our country who apparently want to emulate them.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Feds Didn't Blink....They'll Force Scott to Think!

The recent offer by the feds to provide a lesser scale of funding for the Low Income Pool is being characterized by some as a caving in to Rick Scott, or as "blinking" in this game of funding chicken. Others are saying it's more like a rescue mission so that the poor in this state don't end up suffering because of Scott's stubbornness. You can count me among those who go with the second choice, and add this: I think it's a tactical concession that is meant to force Scott to further reveal himself for what he really is.

As of this moment, the feds have the high moral ground. They've offered a compromise that will allow Florida -- if Scott and the Legislature want it -- to continue to fund this desperate need for the next two years. After all, Florida has an almost two billion dollar surplus projected (or 8 billion, if you believe Scott). They could make up for themselves much of what would be cut from the LIP grant for the next fiscal year. If they wanted to.

Of course, that may mean that Scott will have to break a campaign promise or two, such as not funding education as high as he campaigned on. But since this was a guy who promised in 2009 not to cut education, and immediately did so anyway, I'm sure that would disturb him about as much as a housefly would disturb Godzilla.

Or, Scott might have to compromise by not delivering more of those delicious tax cuts to big business....or even that generous $14 per year he was offering us peons who live in the trenches as a savings on our cable TV bill. But if that's the case, Scott will still be forced to show his hand: Will he consider tax breaks for his business allies more important -- or the health and welfare of the poor, sick, and vulnerable? If he chooses the first option, he'll play right into the hands of his opposition.

I think the feds also know that there's a good chance that Scott, demagogue that he is, will say NO to this offer, and continue his lawsuit against the feds, demanding that they send him ALL the money he wants for LIP. All his talk of a state government shutdown may be a hint not of what he expects from a recalcitrant Legislature, but of what he plans to do, as far as he can make it possible, through his own executive power. This is the true coloration of Rick Scott, Hospital CEO, coming through now that he has nothing to lose and no election to face. I think the feds know this. And I think they're using it to paint Scott into a corner. You can just see his eyes nervously darting back and forth as he looks for a way out. There probably isn't one, not that makes Scott come out looking like the caring hero.

Earlier this year I asked whether to expect Happy Face Rick Scott or Tea Party Rick Scott. It looks like I forgot an even more extreme option: Temper Tantrum Tyrant Scott. I'll have to keep that title in mind from now on.