Idiot Republican and California representative David Dreier wants to deny healthcare to people diagnosed with massive tumors:[...]
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Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage just dug his Godwin hole deeper?way, way deeper:
During an interview with a reporter from the Burlington weekly Seven Days, LePage said that the IRS wasn't the Gestapo, but that the agency was headed in that direction.In case you missed it, LePage originally went Godwin earlier in the week with this remark:
"What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated," LePage said. "Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad ? yet."
Seven Days reporter Paul Heintz asked, "But they're headed in that direction?"
LePage responded, "They're headed in that direction."
Heintz then asked LePage if he knew what the Gestapo did during World War II. LePage said, "Yeah, they killed a lot of people." Heintz asked if he thought the IRS was going to kill a lot of people.
"Yeah," LePage said.
"They're headed in the direction of killing a lot of people? Are you serious?" Heintz asked.
LePage said he was "very serious," adding that the agency would be rationing health care.
"We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo?the IRS."LePage refused to apologize for his initial statement, saying "It was never intended to offend anyone and if someone's offended, then they ought to be goddamned mad at the federal government." Really, though, Paul LePage should just stop talking about Nazis.
"I mean, what would you do if you were Roberts? All of a sudden you find out that the people you thought were your friends have turned against you, they despise you, they mistreat you, they leak to the press. What do you do? Do you become more conservative? Or do you say, 'What am I doing with this crowd of lunatics.' Right? Maybe you have to reexamine your position."-- 7th Circuit Appeals Court Judge Richard A. Posner, in an NPR interview with Nina Totenberg, quoted by Linda Greenhouse
For a while now I've been contemplating the poignant image, or non-image, of poor Chief Justice "Smirkin' John" Roberts sneaking out of D.C. in the dead of night, one step ahead of the gathered lynch mob, going to ground in some impregnable.
What I like best about it is the glimpse he got of the social revolution he's played such a large role in bringing about: the New American Order of the vast hordes of cretinized thugs huddled panting at the toes of the .01% elites they've been enlisted to fluff. Here was the chief thinking he would always be safely ensconced in the owners' box smirking at the smelly, unwashed masses. And now suddenly here he is in the crosshairs of the very Right-Wing Noise Machine that has treated him with such reverence.
The spectacle of Christians vs. lions may not be entirely as entertaining when you find yourself, not merrily cheering the lions on, but down in the arena among the Christians. I like to think that possibly, facing the crazed wrath of the far right-wing pundits whose brains have rocketed off to somewhere in deep space, the chief finds them a mite less amusing.
I know there has been speculation that the smirkin' chief was always going to vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act out of his solidary with the financial elites whose rarified ranks include the insurance-industry giants who stand to be the recipients of those new premiums due to flow in once the ACA finally kicks in. This has seemed to me to reflect an understanding very different from my own as to what motivates people in general and Supreme Court justices in particular.
WE KNOW NOWTHAT SMIRKIN' JOHN DID
AN 11TH-HOUR SWTICHEROO ON THE ACA
But we know now -- thanks to the really remarkable, barely if it all precedented behind-the-scenes revelations about how the ACA decision was arrived at (see, for example, NY Mag's Margaret Hartmann's "Roberts Changed His Health Care Vote, Was Shunned by Other Justices") -- that this view of the chief justice's motivations was wrong on the facts. He was, we've learned, set to vote with his normal 5-4 bloc to strike down the individual mandate at the heart of the law. It turns out that all the reasoning he developed as to why the Commerce Clause isn't grounds for upholding the mandate, which found its way into his controlling "majority of one" opinion upholding most of ACA, was originally intended to buttress the High Court's takedown of the heart of the law.
Except something happened. We still don't know what, but naturally the crazed demagogues of the Far Right have decided it was politics. Somehow the chief, who has certainly never before shown any shyness in the face of political heat from his left, was suddenly reduced to a quivering gelatinous blob. Poor guy apparently just couldn't take the heat.
Now the NYT's longtime High Court-watcher, Linda Greenhouse, has advanced a theory, in her latest biweekly "Opinionator" blog column, "The Mystery of John Roberts."
Greenhouse first harks back to an outwardly similar instance of High Court late-stage mind-changing, in 1991-92, when still relative newbie Justice Anthony Kennedy (who, Greenhouse reminds us, is what the nation got saddled with -- my characterization, not hers -- in the aftermath of the First Borking, of the actual Bork itself, in 1987) was assigned by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to write the 5-4 majority opinion that would allow a prayer to be recited by a clergyman at a public high school graduation, and in the course of setting out the legal reasoning decided that it pointed in the other direction. He sent a note explaining his change of legal heart to Justice Harry Blackmun, who had been the ranking justice on the minority side and would now become the ranking justice on the majority, and therefore responsible for assigning the opinion. Greenhouse writes: "He told Justice Kennedy to keep writing."
Greenhouse reminds us of just what a furor the Anthony-authored Lee vs. Weisman ruling prohibiting graduation prayers created. Naturally conservatives were apoplectic. But they didn't make any effort, as they're doing know, to torch the Court. Despite occasional rumors of an Anthony switcheroo, the facts weren't even known until they slipped out of Justice Blackmun's papers when they reached the Library of Congress in 2001.
After making clear that she doesn't subscribe to a single-reason theory for Chief Justice Roberts's switcheroo, she proceeds to "suggest one," which I'm afraid I've tipped off by putting the quote from Judge Richard Posner (whom she calls "one of my favorite judges"; he's always seemed to me a really smart, smug slimebag), which she places at the end, at the top of this post. The factor she wants to call attention to is "the breathtaking radicalism of the other four conservative justices."
The opinion pointedly signed individually by Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. would have invalidated the entire Affordable Care Act, finding no one part of it severable from the rest. This astonishing act of judicial activism has received insufficient attention, because it ultimately didn't happen, but it surely got the chief justice's attention as a warning that his ostensible allies were about to drive the Supreme Court over the cliff and into the abyss.
Extraneous question: Is the liberal love affair with Anthony Kennedy -- which should have ended five years ago with his preposterously patronizing opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and suggesting that women are incapable of acting in their own best interests -- finally over?
fissures on the conservative side of the court may already be opening over how to approach next term's big cases on affirmative action (scrap it or confine it) and voting rights (declare the landmark Voting Rights Act obsolete, and therefore unconstitutional, or yield to the nearly unanimous vote by which Congress extended the law's Section Five for another 25 years). The first case is already on the court's docket, and the other is on its way, neither by happenstance. Both cases were created by conservative interest groups, primed and nurtured and pushed to the Supreme Court on the assumption that the moment for radical activism had finally arrived.
is what the word "conservative" means in 2012 and the decades ahead. And that's a mystery much more important to solve than who leaked and why.#
The press units are in a fevered state today over issues involving Bain Capital, my old company, and specifically whether I ceased my occupations there in 1999, as I have stated, or in later years, as my SEC filings have stated. I believe their confusion arises because they do not understand how business operates. SEC filings are not legally binding things; they are more like yearbook signatures to be given to the government. Hello, government, how are you, this was a fine year, was it not hilarious when I gave that fellow a haircut that one time, and so forth. It is a good opportunity to remind the government that you are a successful unit of wealth, but not so successful that you ought to be taxed for it?that sort of thing. None of it is of actual legal significance. If these reporters were successful investor units, they would understand it better.
Today I am traveling to the Wyoming home of previous vice presidential unit Richard "Dick" Cheney. We will be engaging in yet another fundraiser aimed at gathering the contributions of other units of great wealth. As with my recent trip to the NAACP, this event seems to require stricter behavior on my part than would normally be the case, though for different reasons. Apparently the former vice president is a greatly irritable unit, and an aficionado of torture, extradition and firing shotguns into the faces of his acquaintances. The descriptions of him make him sound so ominous that I had to ask my staff whether or not he was perhaps on bath salts.
Among my instructions: Do not make any sudden movements. Do not mention anything regarding Richard Nixon. Always announce yourself when entering a room, and avoid lingering in the former vice president's many blind spots. Other than that, it is to be a standard fundraiser, but I confess the presumed dangers do add an unusual sense of tension. In the end, however, I suspect it will be no more eventful than my Hamptons trip, although if the former vice president insists on also going on about how his nail salon ladies do not understand presidential politics, I may have to excuse myself early.
Blood flows down the face of an injured protester who was injured during clashes between supporters of Spanish coal miners and riot police as they ended a "Marcha Negra" (Black March) near the Industry Ministry in Madrid July 11, 2012 (Reuters/Paul Hanna)
At least 76 people have been injured in Madrid as clashes flared up between protesters and police, the latter using rubber bullets. Thousands of Spaniards turned out against new cuts introduced by the government.
Those injured include 33 police officers and 43 protesters ? miners and their supporters.
Minor arrests have been made so far, with eight people being detained. Three of those arrested reportedly threw bricks at police, local El Pais newspaper reported. The police have confirmed that there were no miners among the arrested.
Witnesses and demonstrators claim that police started the attack without any warning.
Protesters disagree with a 63 per cent cut in subsidies to coal mining companies, major contributors to the Spanish energy market. Unions say the plan threatens 30,000 jobs and could destroy their livelihoods.
Miners, who were hiking from the north of the country for the past two weeks, have been joined by tens of thousands of Spaniards also protesting against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy?s tax hike.
The prime minister announced his decision to raise VAT by 3 per cent as part of the plan to trim the public budget by 65 billion euro over the next two-and-a-half years. Rajoy also declared a 3.5-billion-euro cut to local government spending.
Many protesters marched more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) from mines in northern Spain.
As protesters call for more demonstrations to make their voices heard journalist and writer Miguel-Anxo Murado told RT that the government seems to underestimate the protests.
Much more at RT.com
One of the ways that supporters of California's Prop 32, the Trojan horse initiative to silence union activity in elections while facilitating corporate campaign spending, will probably press their case publicly is by claiming that unions spend ungodly[...]
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"Tupac back, I'm 2 glocks strapped
Rolling down in Philly this the new IraqSoon as I hit the the hood they screaming who got wacked It's a recession on the work, I'm screaming who got crack.."
Sorry Meek Mill, I have to start this post by saying that we have another "new Iraq" here in America. (16 kids under 15 murdered so far this year?!! WTF??!!) It is no longer my hometown of Killadelphia. We have 189 murders so far this year, and in the "new Iraq they have over 255 and counting. Young men are being slaughtered in the streets of America's second largest city, and it is about time some of us start giving a damn. (President Obama this means you as well.) Murders are up 38% so far this year and Mayor Rham Emanuel has no answers.
"More beat officers are now on the streets and staying in specific areas, replacing the large, specialized units that would temporarily drop into crime-ridden areas. Emanuel and McCarthy said they have no plans to change that strategy, and the mayor announced Monday that he's devoting another $4 million to tear down vacant buildings where gang members live and store guns and drugs.
The old tactic of flooding high-crime areas with teams of hundreds of officers for a short period of time, then moving the teams to other areas, was "like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound," McCarthy said. "We're not repairing anything by doing that."
Emanuel, who has made attacking the city's street gangs a cornerstone of his administration, was equally dismissive of the effectiveness of those citywide units.
"I don't think coming in, swatting something down and letting it come back in two weeks is strengthening a community," he said. "What it does is build up cynicism."
Honestly, I really don't give a damn about the cynicism or the feelings of the people in certain communities. Kids are dying.
The silence of the black press and some of our leaders on this issue has been shameful. With the exception of a few online news outlets, (shout out to Politic 365) no one seems to want to talk about this issue or how we can tackle it.
And, if I am going to be honest, I don't have much room to point fingers. Here in my hometown kids more kids have Glocks than bicycles, and they are killing each other at an alarming rate as well.
I could give you some ideas on how I think we could tackle this problem, but I suspect that it wouldn't do any good. The parents of these urban terrorist are the ones who have to be called out, but some smart mouth lawyer on a blog from Philly isn't going to make them listen. The people they elected to lead them better start stepping up to the plate and being accountable to the people they serve. If it means telling them some uncomfortable truths about themselves and passing some tough laws along the way, well then so be it.
Some other folks who have to face some tough and uncomfortable truths today are the people up in "white hat" nation. Now that we know that a Catholic church style cover up took place up in "Happy Valley" for at least the past fourteen years, it's time for the folks who worshiped at the alter of Joe Pa to take a serious look at themselves and an even more serious look at the icon who they worshiped for all these years.
Let this be a lesson to all those people who value the power of institutions and money over real people: The truth always comes out in the end.
Finally, I am sure that the main stream media will leave this story alone, but it looks like our guy Flipper might have some splaining to do:
"Republican candidate Mitt Romney was listed as the chairman and CEO of Bain Capital on government documents years after he says he gave up control of the private equity firm, The Boston Globe revealed Thursday in a report that intensified a war of words between the rival campaigns.
Romney has said he left the firm in February 1999 to take charge of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has repeatedly used that as a defense when asked about bankruptcies and worker layoffs at Bain-controlled companies after that date.
The Globe, however, said it found nine SEC filings that describe Romney as running the company after that point. The report said some indicate he had control of five Bain Capital entities formed in January 2002.
In addition, the newspaper said Massachusetts disclosure forms indicate that Romney made at least $100,000 as a Bain ?executive? in 2001 and 2002, apart from his investment earnings. They also show he was paid as a Bain executive while he was directing the Olympics, the Globe reported." [Source]
Move along folks, there is nothing to see here. Just another politician who likes to play fast and loose with the truth on his way to "Etch A Sketching" his way to 1600 Pennsylvania, Avenue.
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enlargeIn 2005 I was pulled over for a routine traffic stop. In 2006, I nearly went to jail over it.
It was bad enough that I was pulled over for something I didn't actually do. What made it worse was that my drivers' license, which I had paid to renew a couple of months before, had not been renewed, nor had I been notified that it wasn't renewed.
Driving with an expired license meant they could impound my car and leave me there standing in my PJs after a morning school drop. I opted to walk home and leave the car parked instead.
Unraveling all of this took me some time, mostly due to name changes. I was born with one name, acquired another one in 1978 when I was married for the first time, dropped that in 1989 when I was divorced and went back to my maiden name, then married in 1989 and had a new last name. It's not all that uncommon, actually.
Evidently somewhere along the way the Social Security Administration hadn't caught up with the name changes, so when they ran the renewal for my drivers' license there was a mismatch, which caused my license not to renew, but evidently didn't give the DMV a reason to let me know that.
Understanding the problem was far easier than fixing it. In California, your identity on your drivers' license must match up with your Social Security name of record, thanks to the Real ID Act. If it doesn't, you won't get a license. It doesn't matter how many certified documents you plunk on the table, and in my case, I plunked plenty.
I was missing one crucial document, one I could not get. I had my certified (long form) birth certificate with raised seal, I had a certified copy of my divorce decree changing my name back to my maiden name, and I had a certified copy of my current marriage certificate. Social Security had my maiden name, but to prove your identity with the Social Security administration, you must supply twodocuments with that name on them.
Of course, I only had one, and it was not acceptable under their requirements. This is because Social Security requires a drivers' license to establish identity. Can you say Catch-22? In order to get my drivers' license issued, I had to have a Social Security match. I didn't. And in order to establish my identity for Social Security, I had to have a valid drivers' license which I no longer had because my license had expired.
Alternatively, the Social Security office (after three trips), said they might accept a yearbook photo or other photo ID with my maiden name, but this was in 2005 and I hadn't had that name on anything since, oh, 1978 or so.
On December 23, 2005 I finally had a meltdown at the Social Security Administration window at 4:00 pm after sitting there with every document I could find to demonstrate that I was in fact who I was. Keep in mind that my first name never changed. My picture on my expired drivers' license was me. No one disputed that. I was due in court the first week of 2006 and expected to produce a valid drivers' license or go to jail, and they were deadly serious about that, as I discovered.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I actually did burst into tears in abject frustration that day, and the nice public worker at the window finally had mercy on me and agreed to take copies of all of my documents and get a supervisor to approve my name change. But because of the holidays, she couldn't promise me the name change would actually appear in their database anytime soon.
So I went to court and landed in front of a judge and assistant DA who surely must be Tea Party members today. Yes, I was hostile. Yes, I was frustrated. I certainly wasn't humble enough for them, because I was angry -- furious, in fact -- that I was being humiliated in public because I couldn't satisfy the idiotic bureaucratic Catch-22 requirements to actually be standing there with a verified drivers' license, and no, I couldn't even show them a temporary license because the databases were still mismatched.
However, they didn't toss me in the clink. I was granted a grumpy ten-day extension, and a kind DMV worker agreed to call me the minute the databases matched. One day before the extension expired, I was handed my temporary license with my name which now matches up with the Social Security database.
It took two and a half months from the day of the ticket to the day I was able to finally say my identity was established.
I'm a white, middle-aged mom of three. I've voted in every single election since I was 18. I've lived at the same address for twenty years. I'm hardly a transient, and I'm hardly stuffing the ballot box.If California had VoterID laws like the states that have put them into effect, I would have been banned from voting in any election that was held in that 2 1/2 months. And if I hadn't been pulled over for that citation, I could possibly have been ignorant of the fact that my license wasn't renewed for months, since renewal usually means you pay the fee and at some point you receive a sticker, but who pays attention to that?
It's not just the poor, elderly, and people of color affected by these laws. It's women. Lots of women. Women who change their names on their Social Security card but wait to change them on their license until the next renewal. Women who use both names. Many, many women.The fallout is just beginning and time is short.
People need to understand how these Voter ID laws disenfranchise ordinary people -- Republican AND Democrat -- for reasons that are bogus, stupid, and discriminate against women.
While there is scant presidential polling on this Thursday, what little exists looks pretty solid for Barack Obama, on balance.
However, that's not the headline story today. The headline is that the right wing of the GOP looks primed to pull off a coup over another establishment Republican candidate. And this time, it does not appear likely to bite them on the ass in the general election.
On to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-44)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Pew): Obama d. Romney (50-43)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)
NORTH CAROLINA (Myers Research for Project New America?D): Romney d. Obama (49-48)
HI-SEN (Benenson Strategy Group for Hirono): Mazie Hirono (D) 53, Linda Lingle (R) 41A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
HI-SEN (Voter/Consumer Research for Lingle): Ed Case (D) 41, Linda Lingle (R) 40; Lingle 45, Mazie Hirono (D) 40
HI-SEN?D (Voter/Consumer Research for Lingle): Mazie Hirono 40, Ed Case 39
NV-04 (Tarrance Group for Tarkanian): Danny Tarkanian (R) 47, Steven Horsford (D) 41
ND-SEN (Rasmussen): Rick Berg (R) 49, Heidi Heitkamp (D) 40
OK-02?R (Cole Hargraves Snodgrass for Mullin): Markwayne Mullin 57, George Faught 20
TX-SEN?R (PPP): Ted Cruz 49, David Dewhurst 44
TX-SEN?R (Wenzel Strategies for Citizens United): Ted Cruz 47, David Dewhurst 38