Friday, August 08, 2014
Rev. Rick Wiles Welcomes Ebola - God’s Gift To America
The deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in west Africa has the world’s attention. The American Center for Disease Control recently declared that the current crisis is “unprecedented,” and, yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO), held an emergency meeting and declared that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is “an international public health emergency.”
Not too many people on the planet are celebrating the Ebola outbreak . . . but then Reverend Rick Wiles is not like everyone else . . .
From his roost at “Trunews” radio, Wiles foretold:
This Ebola epidemic could become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming. Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography, and abortion.
An interesting take, to say the least, on how politically selective viruses can be but then Rev. Wiles tells us just how to protect ourselves and our loved ones:
If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.
Admittedly, some less extreme variations on that pitch can be found in churches throughout the land, but, Rev. Wiles is a multi-faceted prophet and, like others of his generation of doomsayers, has discovered the utility of enhancing his prophecy with a liberal dollop of partisan politics.
For example, the previous day, he shared these divinely-inspired insights on how President Obama could exploit the Ebola epidemic to grow the government and force Americans to be inoculated with a vaccine:
Obama would claim executive powers to mandate that every human being in the United States be vaccinated. They could use the panic to stampede hundreds of millions of people in this country to be vaccinated, in fact billions worldwide, they could stampede the world to receive to (sic) a vaccine against a deadly virus and nobody knows what is in the vaccine.
Which strikes me as peculiarly similar to the way in which Rev. Wiles “uses the panic” to “mandate that every human being in the United States” “make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you.”
Wiles would be easy to dismiss as just another self-educated End Times prophet with his own media operation. But a look at his guest book is pretty chilling. Evidently, quite a few Republican members, and former members, of Congress find it expedient to visit with Rev. Wiles, from time to time, for a convo on his latest conspiracy theory.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 08/08/14 at 11:16 AM
Friday, August 01, 2014
What Happens To A DREAMER Deterred?
Does he get swept up
like a felon a-roam?
Or hide as if on the lam—
in his home?
Does this bill go down
in a Senate defeat
or should a Presidential veto
stomp it complete?
And what should voters
make of this load—
Could this party implode?
Never mind my doggerel, as I pause to consider that the House leadership handed over the reins to people who say things like “I hang out with border patrol agents clandestinely”, and kids are loaded up with birth control pills before being set out on “rape paths”, and that migrants with “calves like cantaloupes” schlep backpacks with 75 lbs of marijuana over the border. (Which I still say is an amazing weight loss boot camp concept, no? Seriously, I think Rep. Steve King has never watched a Cheech and Chong movie if he thinks this is how “grass” gets up here.) So of course, they voted to end the work permits of over a half-million jobs-having undocumented young people who have basically not known any other country, and are in fact not in any way tied to the current border crisis (leaving them to be potentially deported to countries with which they have no ties), stepped up to pay for National Guard deployments—which is just going to corral, not contain, more young migrant folks who will just be put in the system, and brushed away the compassionate option to detain the youngsters until a hearing could be held to determine a possible refugee or asylum status—which does not at all address the plight these youths are fleeing, and sends them back into possible “rape paths” and into the hands of drug cartels.
So, uh, nice going GOP reps, you have some kind of thing to go back to the constituents that voted you in with? And oh darn, you think you will have Harry Reid to blame for this bill getting shot down once the Senate comes back, and not Ted Cruz?
I don’t think that’s how things really stand, at all. Because in one breath, yesterday, there was a little inhalation of “The President will have to act unilaterally because we can’t get our shit together”. And today, the exhalation is: “The President will still have to act unilaterally, because this is the nonsense we come up with when we do get our shit together”.
Guess what? Both options are not helping. Our tax money is paying for the GOP House to be less than useless, and sue Obama for doing things on his own, and then a taxpayer-funded Representative like Michele Mouth-Breathing Bachmann talks about putting a handcuff on one of his hands. While all this election-year floundering is basically called “leaving it up to the President to fix it and take blame”?
You know, some people might think this is transparently bullshit. But I suspect sadly enough that it still isn’t transparent enough for regular voting people. This was a purely political and useless vote, and it will be loved by somebody(ies), nonetheless.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 08/01/14 at 10:39 PM
Friday, July 25, 2014
House Republican Caucus: The Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight
Well, Speaker Boehner Sues the President is officially a thing now. The House Rules Committee, the gatekeeper for legislation and resolutions to get to a floor vote, ruled yesterday, along partisan lines, to allow it. Personally, I’m all for it because, lately, the GOP’s flair for far-fetched, stagy political tactics is the “gift that keeps on giving” for Democratic fund-raising.
And House Democrats certainly made the most of the amendment process, yesterday, to press that advantage. Nobody covered that quite as well as Rachel Maddow and David Corn, last night . . .
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/25/14 at 12:36 PM
Friday, July 11, 2014
GOP Case Against Obama: A Few Charges Short Of An Indictment
Late yesterday afternoon House Speaker John Boehner announced to the White House, and any American with an IQ above room temperature, that his lawsuit decrying the lawless “king-like” presidency of Barack Obama is, indeed, a nothingburger. And that’s a nothinburger “hold the bun, cheese and special sauce, please.”
Boehner opened this particular gambit with the rather unorthodox legal maneuver of announcing that he intended to sue the President for numerous constitutional abuses . . . TBD:
. . . [o]n matters ranging from health care and energy to foreign policy and education, President Obama has repeatedly run an end-around on the American people and their elected legislators, straining the boundaries of the solemn oath he took on Inauguration Day.
That’s clear as mud . . . Imagine your co-worker puts a Post-it on your desk that says “Planning to sue you, just not sure what about yet . . . stay tuned.”
Nevertheless, Mr Boehner floated the idea to his caucus in a memo, leaked it to the press, and defended it in a CNN Op-Ed, all within about 2 weeks time which, these days, is warp speed for anything House-related. He’s under time pressure, you see, because he wants to draft a resolution and vote on it before the end of July recess, because . . . the Constitution can’t wait!
After months of feverish Right-eous rhetoric over the tyrannical lawlessness and over-reach of Obama, and days of media speculation over how sweeping the lawsuit might be, we now have a “Draft” resolution.
And, from the looks of it, Republicans were able to boil down the huge laundry list of Obama’s five years of historically egregious assaults on the Constitution to one slightly ink-stained white button-down shirt with French cuffs worn for the signing of the Affordable Care Act.
Something tells me this isn’t going to sit well with the torches and pitchforks set and judging by Boehner’s uncharacteristic tetchiness this week, I suspect he knows that. His mission, since he chose to accept it, was to satisfy the bloodlust of the Crazy Caucus without committing political hara-kiri—a balancing act which is getting nearly impossible to pull off.
And, I don’t suppose that the deliriously good news about Obamacare, breaking at the same time, made Boehner feel particularly confident in his options.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/11/14 at 12:07 PM
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
GOP Shooting Blanks In The War On Poverty
Today, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) submitted a post to RealClearPolitics.com entitled “Why the War on Poverty Failed & How We Can Win It.” Let me spare you any undue excitement—he never really got around to detailing either.
Evidently. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has stepped away from his somewhat embarrassing stint as front-man for the GOP’s “50 Years of Fail” concern trolling over the fact that, despite the War On Poverty program there are still poor people. That leaves the position open for some newbie back-benchers to cut their teeth on.
Whatever . . . Rokita has picked up the torch but appears to be having a little trouble keeping it lit. As we know from past encounters, Rep. Rokita is a bit of a wag—you might remember him as the chauvinist swashbuckler who reprimanded CNN journalist Carol Costello about her barbed questions during last Fall’s government shutdown, saying “Carol, you’re beautiful, but you have to be honest as well.”
Or that time, in 2007, when, while encouraging Republicans to appeal to more African-American voters, Rokita cited the statistic that 90% of African-Americans vote Democratic then asked:
How can that be? Ninety to ten. Who’s the master and who’s the slave in that relationship? How can that be healthy?
You get the picture . . . so Todd starts out waggish:
Fine, I admit it, you caught us red-handed—the Republican Party is the party of the “rich.”
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/09/14 at 01:48 PM
Monday, July 07, 2014
House of Representatives: Special Victims Unit
What today’s GOP lacks in strategic success it more than makes up for with chutzpah and an apparent imperviousness to embarrassment.
Allow me to explain . . .
Make Obama a one-term president. FAIL
Repeal Obamacare. FAIL
Rehab the GOP for future electoral success. FAIL
Create JOBS!JOBS!JOBS! FAIL
Sabotage economic recovery. FAIL
Maintain Perma-War status. FAIL
Prove that the White House covered up its role in Benghazi. FAIL
Prove that the White House unfairly targeted conservatives via IRS. FAIL
Defend DOMA and prevent Marriage Equality. FAIL
See what I mean? These people are like the Eveready Bunnies of headbanging.
Their latest cry for attention is to sue the president for going about the business of presidenting in the hope that some justice-challenged judge will try to send President Obama to time-out . . . or something.
Right before the July 4th break, Speaker Boehner announced this fiendishly clever plan so that representatives of the fringier fringe could go home without being pelted with rotten tomatoes by the IMPEACH!!!OBUMMER!! faction. You see, unfortunately, far too many clueless “Washington outsiders” were sent to the Capitol, in 2010, based on wild-eyed promises to repeal Obamacare and/or impeach the president for assorted crimes against TEA Party sensibilities.
Now the natives are getting restless and wondering what the hell is taking so loooooong? USA?
So it is that the GOP is feeding this new Impeachment Lite meme to distract the hordes from their now maggoty dead horse issues—OBAMACARE! IRS! BENGHAZI!—which will soon have to be buried for public health reasons.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/07/14 at 10:09 AM
Friday, July 04, 2014
Mittmentum or Tilting At Oval Offices
My dream, for this Independence Day 2014, is a dream of sweet freedom from the Republican Party in its current psychopathic incarnation. And, for once, it looks like maybe dreams do come true!
Anyone who doubts that the 21st Century GOP is lumbering inexorably toward the tarpits of history should go, posthaste, to DraftMitt.org and savor the sweet reek of FAIL.
In an era of frantic Republican rejiggering, nothing quite says political desperation like the notion of trotting out Willard M Romney’s empty suit for yet another rackety run at the Oval Office. To me, this move says more about the dearth of talent in the Republican party and its donors’ apparent reluctance to throw good money after bad, than it does about any flimsy case that could be made regarding Mr Romney’s presidential qualifications.
One month after it’s debut, DraftMitt.org has racked up just under 29K supporters—short of a groundswell, as they say in politics. So far, no one is actually taking credit for this swell idea. The website prominently displays a disclaimer that Romney has not bankrolled it—actually it’s such a nondescript little canned site that my paperboy could have funded it. There are no RNC or other traces of GOP branding, just Mitt and Ronnie Reagan playing bookends.
Also, too, there’s the banner link using the 2012 campaign coinage retread “Mittmentum.” Ask Karl Rove about “mittmentum.” At any rate, that link takes us to the now notorious Washington Times poll that proves, at least in the echo chamber, that: “Hands down, Obama is the worst president since WWII” and that most Americans now regret not having voted for Romney in 2012.
Really? who recycles embarrassing reminders of a failed attempt? Even #DraftMitt is a recycled Twitter tag that takes one to a 2013 page tagged with “Because MA needs Mitt Romney in the Senate” with 3 tweets and 10 followers.
I could be wrong but I’m starting to get a sense of Tagg Romney, Campaign Manager, behind the scenes, here.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/04/14 at 10:31 AM
Sunday, June 22, 2014
No Country For Grumpy Old Men
One of my favorite people, George Carlin, once said:
Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.
Which, I believe, aptly describes one of my least favorite people, George Will.
George Will and I are of the same generation so I have been around for every captivating moment of Will’s philosopher-newsman journalistic career and I’m afraid that I am in total agreement with Frank Moraes of Frankly Curious on the merits of George Will:
I have a visceral hatred for George Will, because he is so much just William Buckley: the Next Generation. Although just like with Star Trek, the next generation has none of the spark of the original.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/22/14 at 11:35 AM
Saturday, June 21, 2014
“Lyin’ Ryan” Accuses IRS Commissioner of . . . Lying.
Well, it’s been a rather surreal week what with every neocon zombie rising from the crypt to dance on the graves of the hundreds of thousands whose lives they destroyed playing their chickenhawk war games. And the media rushing to capture their every demented word on the matter as if it had anything to do with reality. Or truth. Or integrity.
The whole business seemed to blindside a fair number of Americans who registered a collective STFU you squirrelly nutjobs—we got rid of you for a reason.
I think the most galling thing about this hallucinatory political theater is that most sane, average Americans expect that when people in high places are exposed as liars, traitors, cheats and troublemakers they will somehow have the good grace to shuffle away from the limelight and lead lives of quiet desperation, grateful that their fellow citizens have not punished them as severely as they deserve.
But, as we learned this week, some people are simply not “wired” like the rest of us. They don’t play by the same rules and they are obviously not burdened by conscience. Mental health experts might diagnose such people as victims of antisocial personality disorders.
A few of the characteristics of antisocial personality disorder are:
Superficial charm and good intelligence
Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
Untruthfulness and insincerity
Lack of remorse and shame
Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
Pathological egocentricity and incapacity for love
We all know a few—these people blend. They are not disturbed enough to commit but they are certainly disturbed enough to wreak havoc in the lives of those they touch.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/21/14 at 12:35 PM
Monday, June 02, 2014
What If Republicans Held A Leadership Conference And No Leaders Showed Up?
We must stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.
Those inspirational words were uttered by the Republican Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal in January, 2013.
Bobby Jindal, however, has shown very little inclination to take his own advice and, in fact, six months later suffered a bout of “stupid” himself in the form of a kamikaze Op-Ed in Politico:
Republican political correctness is all the rage, and it’s all roughly the same: we need to stop being conservative… we need to abandon our principles (at least the ones that don’t poll well)… we need to let the smart guys in Washington pick our candidates…we need big data and analytics so we can optimize… we need to be more libertarian…we need to endorse abortion…we need fewer debates…and the list goes on.
The overall level of panic and apology from the operative class in our party is absurd and unmerited. It’s time to stop the bedwetting.
No more self-analysis; we’ve had our catharsis. The season for navel gazing has passed.
Let’s stop defeating ourselves, get on offense, and go kick the other guys around. If you’ve followed the news over the past month, they are certainly asking for it. We are the conservative party in America — deal with it. We have a lot of dissenting voices. So what? Deal with it. The American public waxes and wanes. Fine. It will wax again soon enough. Deal with it, and start fighting for our principles instead of against them, so we can be in position to create the next wave.
At some point, the American public is going to revolt against the nanny state and the leftward march of this president. I don’t know when the tipping point will come, but I believe it will come soon.
Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.
Their philosophy does not work and it got our nation into the mess it’s in.
Eventually Americans will rise up against this new era of big government and this new reign of politically correct terror. In the meantime Republicans — hold fast, get smarter, get disciplined, get on offense, and put on your big boy pants.
That terrible thud? That was Jindal tripping on the hems of his “big boy pants.”
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/02/14 at 10:19 AM
Sunday, June 01, 2014
Leave No Man Behind
Nothing makes Republicans madder than President Obama doing his job and succeeding. They’ve spent the last few weeks blowing up pseudo-scandals, like Macy’s parade balloons, that they hope to keep inflated through the summer.
Poor old Prosecutor Gowdy is still arm-wrestling with Judge Issa over witnesses and trying to get his “show horses” to finish reading Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies before the big trial.
And BOOM! along comes Obama saying I’ll see your Benghazi Special Investigation, your IRS and VA scandals and raise you a high-profile Imperial Presidency prisoner swap.
There! you want something to cry about? I’ll give you something to cry about.
But they’ll have to be smart to put points on the board with this one because no one really wants to hear any whining about a soldier’s homecoming . . . they’re not smart, though, are they?
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said in a statement that Obama is required by law to notify Congress 30 days before any terrorists are transferred from the U.S. facility. They said Obama also is required to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated.
The top Republicans on the House and Senate armed-services committees cautioned that “we must carefully examine the means by which we secured [Bergdahl’s] freedom,” warning that the U.S. had effectively reneged on its policy not to negotiate with terrorists.
Which is a curious statement since the US has not designated the Taliban a terrorist organization. But, by now, we should be used to our Congresspersons playing fast and loose with facts.
In addition, how is it that a Congress that has been one of the most shamefully ineffectual, abysmal flops in the history of American governance can get all snippy about being sidelined when something real needs to happen? If these people had to operate for one week in their beloved free market they’d be toast. All of them.
Perhaps, if Congress hadn’t been so anxious to stymie the president’s pledge to close Guantanamo and had been more inclined to provide those Gitmo prisoners with anything like due process they wouldn’t have still been been moldering away there to use in a swap.
And, about that 30 day notification law? It was attached to last year’s defense bill to prevent Obama from moving on Guantanamo closure. When he signed that defense bill last year, Obama said that “other provisions of the bill on military programs were too important to jeopardize” by vetoing it outright. Instead, Obama signed the defense bill but also issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.
And he did. Imagine that, a politician who means what he says.
The White House said it moved as quickly as possible given the opportunity that arose to secure Bergdahl’s release. Citing “these unique and exigent circumstances,” the White House said a decision was made to go ahead with the transfer despite the legal requirement of 30 days advance notice to Congress “due to a near-term opportunity to save Sergeant Bergdahl’s life.”
The administration determined that given these unique and exigent circumstances, such a transfer should go forward notwithstanding the notice requirement.
Especially since the alternative was to go hat-in-hand to the same Congress that already shut down Bergdahl’s release once, in 2012.
As Raw Story reports:
In addition to using congressional oversight, special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman was told by Republican leadership that negotiating an exchange of Sgt. Bergdahl that involved detainees from Guantanamo Bay would be the president’s “Willie Horton moment.”
Does it get any more cynical than that?
Of course, Obama’s action in this case is not without precedent. In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan faced a similar dilemma - seven Americans held hostage by Iranians in Lebanon. Ronald Reagan felt that, as president, “he had the duty to bring those Americans home.” He decided that giving Iran 1500 missiles was a fair trade. I’d say Obama did a much better deal trading five Taliban members and saving the missiles for another time.
Taliban is not al Qaeda. Taliban is not designated a terrorist organization by the US. Neither are these people being repatriated, they have been handed over to the Qatari government, an American ally in the region.
Meanwhile, while admitting they celebrate Bergdahl’s release, McKeon and Inhofe warned that the exchange “may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.”
“Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” they said.
If Congress would like to discuss presidential actions that “put our forces . . . around the world at even greater risk,” perhaps the time is right for a thorough investigation of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq . . . ? Or their cavalier abandonment of said Wounded Warriors when their medical care requires more funding than our parsimonious Congress is willing to dole out?
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/01/14 at 11:40 AM
Monday, April 28, 2014
Hey Bro, Your Cunning Disguise is Slipping
I remember the day that it dawned on my nine-year-old self that yelling “I’m rubber, you’re glue” was a pretty ineffective defense. And it was somewhere around the tenth grade that I realized that turning an argument inside out, while a good trick, wasn’t the same as winning it. That probably explains America’s recent impatience with the “both sides do it” school of partisan political debate.
At 64, I have lived through some of America’s most fraught historical decades, I won’t get into listing milestones—everyone here can count backward and figure that out. Suffice it to say that I have lived through enough to develop some amount of perspective regarding what counts and what fades away.
There are times when I despair that our national discourse has become so thoroughly dumbed-down that it’s barely worth participating. Maybe sending men to the moon, and technological advances that we never dreamed of, and a few that we did, have exhausted us and resulted in the current backlash against science, history and facts.
We are now in the process of banning books that mention masturbation, in high schools, [maybe they won’t find out?], teaching children that evolution is debatable, that history isn’t true and, more seriously, denying that our actions are destroying the environment that we depend on.
We are slipping inexorably into a slough of silliness, while life is still just as seriously life-or-death as it ever was for some. But, the most disturbing trend, in my opinion, is the tendency to disown our reality.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/28/14 at 10:56 AM
Friday, April 25, 2014
Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy: “Cincy” Seitz Edition
Meet State Senator Bill “Cincy” Seitz who is fighting the good fight to save Ohioans from being crushed under the jackboots of what he calls “enviro-socialist rent-seekers” pushing renewable power sources. [rent-seekers??]
Five years ago, Cincy Seitz, and just about every other man-Jack in the Ohio legislature, voted to approve a forward-looking, long-term clean air standard for the state of Ohio. That was probably a very good idea since Ohio, at that time, was fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the nation.
The enacted standard requires that utility companies institute energy efficiency measures including drawing at least 12.5 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2025. And, oh what a success story that clean air implementation has been in Ohio.
According to a Union of Concerned Scientists study:
. . . the state’s clean energy standards are driving job creation and investment, reducing air pollutant emissions and setting a foundation for Ohio’s transition to cheaper, cleaner, and more stable energy sources.
According to Ohio Public Utilities Commission documents, more than 1,000 renewable energy projects have been built so far to meet Ohio’s renewable energy standard. This represents hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Ohio communities. Wind and solar companies alone comprise more than 300 businesses that employ almost 8,000 people, according to industry reporting. At the same time, utilities’ energy efficiency programs have generated almost $1 billion in net savings for Ohio ratepayers – almost three dollars in savings for every dollar invested.
These projects create real, well-paying jobs that contribute to the economic growth of communities across the state. Together, Ohio’s clean energy standards are doing what they were intended to do – spur investment, create jobs and begin transitioning Ohio to a cleaner energy future.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/25/14 at 10:58 AM
Thursday, April 24, 2014
ALEC: A Legislator for Every Corporation
Ever notice how when something particularly butt-headed, laughable or creepy happens out in the state “laboratories of democracy,” it is usually accompanied by the unsettling sound of ALEC flapping its leathery wings overhead?
For those of you who are blissfully ignorant of ALEC and its doings, ALEC is a corporate-sponsored lobby shop and “bill mill” dressed up as a non-profit charitable organization. Corporations pay huge annual dues to sit on ALEC task forces, in each state, and hold state legislators hands throughout the law-making process. So, it is far from surprising that the resulting state laws are exceedingly corporate-friendly.
And the reason this happens on a state level rather than the federal level? because it CAN. Here’s a good explanation of how this works from progressivestates.org:
Even as state legislatures make spending decisions of the same order as federal legislators, they generally lack any comparable staffing or support. Most state legislatures are made up of poorly paid, part-time lawmakers with few if any staff to research or evaluate the laws they are asked to approve.
So when ALEC delivers “model legislation” to its legislative allies to promote, there are few staff members in the legislature to challenge the expertise presented or uncover the hidden payoffs for corporate interests contained in the legislation.
Moderate legislators appreciate the attention to their needs served by ALEC, so in times of political crisis (“crises” often created by the drumbeat of local media stories generated by ALEC corporate allies), they often feel they need to sign onto some legislation to solve the crisis.
And if there is no alternative legislation available, ALEC can create majority support for its legislation just by being the only serious legislation being discussed on the matter. Since states have little or no public reporting requirements that would require disclosure of junkets and gifts awarded to legislators, ALEC can spirit key state legislators off to luxury “conferences” to win them over to their legislation. And the lack in most states of public disclosure laws for lobbying means that ALEC and its allies can usually operate under the radar of any serious media or political scrutiny.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/24/14 at 12:16 PM
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Don’t Fence Me In
Looks like the jig might be just about up for Cliven Bundy. As it turns out, rather than a Noble Patriot deserving a place of honor in the How The West Was Won Hall of Fame, old Cliven is just a pretty pathetic garden variety liar. Or, if you prefer, a high plains grifter . . . in keeping with the western motif.
A local Nevada TV station was inspired by Bundy’s stirring personal history to do a little digging into his background and found that the details differ significantly from the King James Version elicited by BundyBooster, Sean Hannity, et al.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 04/23/14 at 10:27 AM