Monday, December 31, 2012

Occupy float to follow Rose Parade


The Occupy movement will be making a repeat appearance at the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade, organizers and police said Monday.
A 15-foot-high float, with "Mr. Monopoly" riding a red wagon, will wheel its way down the 5.5-mile route at the conclusion of the parade, organizers said. The board game character, intended to represent bankers, will have strings attached to participants who are on the verge of losing their homes or have lost their homes to foreclosure.
"It symbolizes the grip the banks have on individual homeowners," said Carlos Marroquin, an organizer with Occupy Fights Foreclosures. "We're protesting the foreclosure practices that continue to hurt millions of families."
Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a subcommittee of Occupy L.A., is hoping to capture the attention of the thousands of national and international viewers of the parade, Marroquin said, and highlight what they call "illegal bank practices."
Organizers expect at least 200 people to march alongside their float "Occupy Our Homes, It's Not All Roses for the Banksters' Victims." Participants will meet at 6 a.m. at Singer Park before making their way to the parade route. Occupy groups from across the region, including Irvine, Riverside and Pasadena, are expected to attend.
"We are not planning a civil disobedience; we're not going to interrupt the parade itself," Marroquin said. "We just want to bring attention to the foreclosure issues involving these major banks."
Germany-based Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are among the banks the Occupy protesters are criticizing.
The Pasadena Police Department has been working with Occupy Fights Foreclosures since announcing the group's participation last week.
"It was a little bit more last-minute than last year," said Police Chief Phillip Sanchez. "But they seem very cooperative."
The focus will be on ensuring the safety of parade participants and spectators, as well as protecting demonstrator's 1st Amendment rights, Sanchez said.
Occupy L.A.'s participation in the 2012 Rose Parade went off without a hitch, Sanchez said, and he expects it will be the same this time. Last year they marched the route after the Rose Parade with an octopus float made of plastic bags and a "peacekeeping team" to keep the calm.
There will be an increased law enforcement presence, including federal agents, at the 2013 parade because of the Occupy demonstration, Sanchez said.
Although official estimates tend to fluctuate, authorities expect nearly 900,000 people to attend the parade. Tournament of Roses officials said they expect more than 700,000 spectators.
"The big thing we'd like to get out there is that if someone sees something, they should say something," Sanchez said. "It's the best way we can prevent something from occurring."

House Has No Plan To Vote On Fiscal Cliff Tonight


A notice from the House Majority Whip's office indicates Republicans have no plans to hold a vote on any Senate-passed legislation to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. 
"There will be a Special GOP Conference Meeting at 5:00 p.m. in HC-5," according to the alert. "Immediately following Conference tonight, roughly 5:30-6:00 p.m. we will have our first and only vote series of the day on suspensions."
To translate, the House is only planning to vote on a handful of scheduled, non-controversial measures this evening. They plan to leave tonight whether or not the Senate passes a bill to avoid the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at midnight. That means that unless the GOP's plans change, then starting at midnight, the revenue baseline resets to a pre-Bush tax cut baseline, and any fiscal cliff legislation becomes a tax cut. 
The consequences for the shape of any deal are potentially huge, but still unclear.

Things The USA Should DO - Executives at collapsed Iceland bank jailed for fraud

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Two former executives at an Icelandic bank which collapsed in the 2008 financial meltdown were sentenced to jail on Friday for fraud which led to a 53 million euro loss, in the first major trial of Icelandic bankers linked to the crisis.
All three of the small North Atlantic island's top banks collapsed in quick succession in October 2008 due to big debts incurred during a rapid overseas expansion.
Glitnir was the first to fall after the collapse of Lehman Brothers caused international credit markets to freeze up.
A Reykjavik court sentenced Glitnir's former chief executive, Larus Welding, and former head of corporate finance, Gudmundur Hjaltason, each to nine months in jail, of which six months were suspended for two years. They had denied the charges.
Prosecutors said the two approved a loan to a company which owned shares in Glitnir so that the company could in turn repay a debt to Morgan Stanley.
The decision, taken outside the regular decision-making process, meant Glitnir was too exposed to the company and cost the bank at least 53.7 million euros (43 million pounds), the prosecution said.
The sentence was less than the jail terms of at least five years demanded by Iceland's special prosecutor, who is looking into alleged wrongdoing connected to the crisis.
"We have a conviction, which is of course the main thing," prosecutor Holmsteinn Sigurdsson told reporters outside the courtroom when asked whether he was disappointed with the length of the sentence.
The special prosecutor is also looking into alleged wrongdoing linked to the collapse of the other two former top banks, Landsbanki and Kaupthing.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hey Girl, Boy-Banders One Direction Gonna Make You Muslin All Night Long

Insane nutbag Debbie Schlussel, whose twitter bio reads like a mad libs experiment gone awry (she’s a movie critic AND a cultural observer AND a writer AND a journalist AND a terrorism expert. SUCK ON THAT LIBTARDS), has expanded her cultural observation powers to include the world of tween pop. Yes, Debbie Schlussel is here to warn parents that a member of boy group One Direction (we know who they are because we do not live in a cave, but we are not 12 so we have no idea which one is which either) is a muslin who wants to jihad and sexytime your daughters:

Author Junot Diaz: Current GOP is ‘a shelter for a lot of messed up and toxic paradigms’


Junot Diaz, an MIT professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, appeared on Bill Moyers on Dec. 28, where the writer discussed among other issues the recent election.
“Even the communities who came out to vote, I think, were shocked by their own numbers and by their own power,” he said of the diversity of the vote.
He criticized Bill O’Reilly and his comments about the decline of “traditional” America and a new class of people who want “stuff.”
“It’s sort of delusional,” Diaz said, going on to argue that “the majority, the plurality of voters in this country think the economic system is stacked against them. But I don’t think that they therefore turn around and say, “We want stuff.” I think what they say is, ‘And the Republican Party is part of the reason the economic system’s stacked against us.’”
He argues that O’Reilly’s version of the election “doesn’t do justice to who came out and voted.”
Diaz, a professor of creative writing at MIT, also discussed the shift he has witnessed in how young people understand college and education and “the sort of way that economic forces have saturated education.”
“The majority of my kids act like they’re in medieval guilds. And that when they finish the four years, they’ll be given a piece of paper that allows them to enter into the economic sort of circuits,” he said, a shift from his own experience, when there was a “belief and the idea that education was just good for you. It was part of being a citizen.”
Going back to politics, Diaz clarified that he is not against the existence of a conservative party but feels that the GOP is not truly conservative. “What we have right now, the sort of weird way the Republican party has come together as a shelter for a lot of messed up and toxic paradigms,” he said. “That doesn’t feel like a real honest conservative party. It would be nice to have one. You know? It’s, like, I’m not looking for the end of any one party.”
Diaz criticized Hollywood for what he claims is its consistent disregard of the reality of a diverse American population. “I think our cultural industries have lagged even behind banking. Look, you go to a bank, investment bank and say, ‘Listen, you need diversity?’ Investment bank is going to say, ‘Yeah, we do.’ Go to Hollywood and say, ‘We need diversity.’ They’re like, ‘Listen, we can only sell white.’ Sort of strange, man. But I think it’ll change eventually.”
He also called the idea of a post-racial America “gibberish.”
“The election of one person doesn’t speak to larger issues, I think, the way that people would like it to. We have to address always not what happens to one individual, but what is happening to communities,” he said.
And what is happening to communities, he said, is not racist but specifically white supremacist oppression. “The racial system that has sort of got this planet under a grip, a racial system that begins with the concept of coloniality, the racial system that sort of operates, whether it’s the Dominican Republic or the United States, isn’t called racism, technically, it’s called white supremacy,” he said. “We don’t like to call it white supremacy, because folks get real, like, iffy. They’re like ‘argh.’ But technically, it’s that…So whether it’s the privilege of money, the privilege of gender. I mean, try to get boys to talk about misogyny and patriarchy. Boys don’t want to talk about that. Why? Well, because, ‘Darn, if I talk about that, that’s a threat to my privilege.’”.............


Steelers Game Notes

Friday, December 28, 2012

Al Qaeda Disbands; Says Job of Destroying U.S. Economy Now in Congress’s Hands

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The international terror group known as Al Qaeda announced its dissolution today, saying that “our mission of destroying the American economy is now in the capable hands of the U.S. Congress.”
In an official statement published on the group’s website, the current leader of Al Qaeda said that Congress’s conduct during the so-called “fiscal-cliff” showdown convinced the terrorists that they had been outdone.
“We’ve been working overtime trying to come up with ways to terrorize the American people and wreck their economy,” said the statement from Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. “But even we couldn’t come up with something like this.”
Mr. al-Zawhiri said that the idea of holding the entire nation hostage with a clock ticking down to the end of the year “is completely insane and worthy of a Bond villain.”
“As terrorists, every now and then you have to step back and admire when someone else has beaten you at your own game,” he said. “This is one of those times.”
The Al Qaeda leader was fulsome in his praise for congressional leaders, saying, “We have made many scary videos in our time but none of them were as terrifying as Mitch McConnell.”
As for the future of Al Qaeda, the statement said that it would no longer be a terror network but would become “more of a social network,” offering reviews of new music, movies and video games.
In its first movie review, Al Qaeda gave the film “Zero Dark Thirty” two thumbs down.

Father jailed for beating 3 kids after they wouldn't say who farted in his car

A man viciously beat his own children for passing gas in his car causing the car to smell bad. The children are six, nine and twelve-years old.
Austin Davis, 32, became angry and beat his three children with a belt after none of them would own up to who had passed gas in the car.
Police were called to a home near DeLand, Florida. A woman at the home told police that one of the children told her they were beaten, because they would not tell Davis who passed gas in the car.
The pictures showed a 6-year-old, with several bruises on the buttocks, legs and thighs, and the 12-years-old, had bruises on the legs and thighs, while the 9-year-old refused to have pictures taken of the injuries for fear of retaliations if Davis found out that they reported the incident, according to reports. ..... MORE

Banks Paid Nearly $11 Billion In Fines In 2012

Banks Paid Nearly $11 Billion In Fines In 2012

Major banks this year paid $10.7 billion in fines for a host of transgressions, including money laundering and foreclosure fraud. As CNN Money noted, “Slightly more than half of the fines were related to improper mortgage practices.” However, those fines won’t put much of a dent in the financial sector’s bottom line, as “Thomson Reuters estimates that the financial sector stocks in the S&P 500 earned $167.7 billion in profits this year, up 21% from 2011.”

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bradlee Dean Tries New Career As Newtown-Obama-U.N. Conspiracy Theory Aggregator

You may, in spite of your best efforts, remember that Bradlee Dean guy. You know, the one who sued Rachel Maddow for defaming him by playing clips of things he actually said on his own radio show, and lost, big-time? Well, a man has to find a way to pay attorney fees for his gross lesbian nemesis somehow, so Rev. Bradlee “Crazier than Jimmy but less caloric than Paula” Dean is now writin’ him some columns for the WorldNut Daily. In his latest effort, he explains how the U.S. government is almost certainly behind the Newtown massacre, because obviously any President who supports “murdering 3,700 of ‘our children’ in the womb per day” would have no qualms about sending a covert agent to shoot twenty first-graders if it might allow him to seize all of America’s guns. READ MORE »

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Black Sabbath Sweet Leaf

Black Sabbath-Snowblind

Astronomy Picture of the Day - Yosemite Winter Night

Yosemite Winter Night
Image Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (, TWAN)
Explanation: In this evocative night skyscape a starry band of the Milky Way climbs over Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada Range, planet Earth. Jupiter is the brightest celestial beacon on the wintry scene, though. Standing nearly opposite the Sun in the constellation Taurus, the wandering planet joins yellowish Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster. Below, Orion always comes up sideways over a fence of mountains. And from there the twin stars of Gemini rise just across the Milky Way. As this peaceful winter night began, they followed Auriga the charioteer, its alpha star Capella near the top of the frame.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Metallica - Hate Train

Dana Loesch And Ghost Andrew Breitbart’s Wingnut Slap Fight: Which Terrible One Will You Root For?

We have an embarrassment of riches this holiday season. First we had the gift of Mike Crapo, abstaining Mormon, going all Drunky McDrunkerson and getting arrested. Today, however, brings us an even greater joy: wingnut fightsies! So far this week is like the best advent calendar ever! So who is fighting? In this corner, wearing a perpetually aggrieved mask of petulance, golden shower fetishist DANA LOESCH. In the other corner, the man who needs no introduction, dead anger bear ANDREW BREITBART! Yes, Loesch has sued’s “media empire” because their once-proud liaison has now been torn asunder: READ MORE »

Mitt Romney Didn’t Want To Be President Anyway, You Jerks

Whatever, being president is dumb. Who would want that anyway? I’m glad I didn’t get to be president. I’m going home. And give me my basketball back!
These are the thoughts of one Willard Romney, per his son of equally silly name, Taggert, who told the Boston Globe that, like, whatever man, Dad didn’t even want that stupid job, and that he didn’t even really want it during the campaign, either.
Believe it, folks: The man who ran for president — twice — didn’t actually want to be president. READ MORE »

Friday, December 21, 2012

Milk Prices Likely To Soar In January After Republican Obstruction Blocked The Farm Bill In The House


House Republicans let the five-year farm bill expire at the end of September without a new law to replace the massive measure covering billions of dollars in programs, including food stamps and agriculture subsidies. The Senate passed its own bipartisan, 10-year farm bill in June, and House Democrats and farm state Republicans attempted to force the House to consider a bill to replace it. But the GOP leadership steadfastly refused to vote on it.
As a result, milk prices could jump as high as $6 to $8 per gallon after Jan. 1, when the government will revert to following antiquated 1949 regulations without a farm bill in place:
Under the current program, the government sets a minimum price to cover dairy farmers’ production costs. If the market price drops below that, the government buys dairy products from farmers to buoy prices and increase demand. Since milk prices have remained above that minimum price in recent years, dairy farmers usually do better by selling their products commercially rather than to the government.
But if 1949 rules go into effect, the government would be required to buy dairy products at around $40 per hundredweight — roughly twice the current market price — to drive up the price of milk to cover dairy producers’ cost.
It would be bad for consumer demand in the long run,” said Chris Galen, a spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation, which represents more than 32,000 dairy farmers.
In the short term, farmers would see a windfall by selling to the government at a higher price, but as the New York Times reports, that would lead to higher prices in stores and less milk available for manufacturing butter and cheese. “I don’t think customers and food processors are going to pay double what they are paying now for dairy products,” said Dean Norton, a dairy farmer and president of the New York Farm Bureau.
Members of the House Agriculture Committee say they will go back to work on a new five-year farm bill in the new congressional session.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Robert Bork Finds Out if God Is A Strict Constructionist

Robert Bork, the partisan hack who finished carrying out Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” in 1973 (after two other men with actual character resigned rather than cooperate), helped to make the intellectually bankrupt notion of Constitutional “originalism” a staple of mainstream conservatism, and went on to fail to win confirmation to the Supreme Court, has died at the age of 85. According to leading experts, the 1987 Senate hearings on Bork’s confirmation marked the crucial point at which modern American political discourse began to irreversibly go into the shitter. READ MORE »

Mosque arsonist tells court: ‘I only know what I hear on Fox News’


An Indiana man convicted of setting fire to a mosque in Ohio told a judge on Wednesday that he committed the crimes because Fox News and conservative talk radio had convinced him that “most Muslims are terrorists.”
Randolph Linn, 52, accepted a plea deal in which he pled guilty to all charges in connection to setting a fire in the prayer room at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sept. 30. Under the deal, Linn is expected to serve 20 years in prison instead of 40.
Linn explained to the court that he had gotten “riled up” after watching Fox News.
“And I was more sad when Judge [Jack] Zouhary asked him that, ‘Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?’” one mosque member who attended the hearing recalled to WNWO. “And he said, ‘No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.’”
“Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,” Linn also reportedly told the judge. “Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”
Linn claimed that he had consumed 45 beers in the 6 hours before leaving his Indiana home to set fire to the mosque, which he had discovered while working as a truck driver.
After his arrest on Oct. 2, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ava Dusten said that Linn had told officers, “Fuck those Muslims… They would kill us if they got the chance.”
Linn is due back in court on April 16, 2013 for a formal sentencing.
A survey released by Fairleigh Dickinson University earlier this year determined that Fox News viewers were actually less informed that Americans who watched no news at all. In fact, at least seven studies in recent years have confirmed that Fox News viewers are more likely to be misinformed than other Americans............

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top Conservative Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School


If there were fewer women and more “male aggression” in Sandy Hook Elementary School, the massacre there never would have taken place, according to a contribution to a leading conservative magazine.
National Review, whose in-house editorial suggested Newtown was the price of the Second Amendment, published a piece on Wednesday from anti-feminist Charlotte Allen suggesting the reason the shooter was able to kill so many students was because Newtown was a “feminized setting:”
There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
Via Jessica Valenti, who notes that this is extraordinarily “disrespectful to the female teachers and staff at Sandy Hook. Allen mentions their heroism as an anomalous aside rather than exceptional bravery that saved lives. The bravery of the women in Newtown – principal Dawn Hochsprung and psychologist Mary Sherlach who rushed the shooter before being killed, teacher Victoria Soto who died protecting her students, Kaitlin Roig and Abbey Clements who hid their students and calmed them – is remarkable.”
Allen went on to blame Lanza’s mother, saying “You simply can’t give a non-working, non-school-enrolled 20-year-old man free range of your home, much less your cache of weapons…Unfortunately, the idea of being an ‘adult’ and a ‘man’ once one has reached physical maturity seems to have faded out of our coddling culture.”

YouTube Video of Child-Snatching Eagle is a Hoax

Students take credit for fake video of a child-snatching Golden Eagle

A video on YouTube of a Golden Eagle snatching up a toddler turned out to be fake. Students from Montreal's 3-D technology school Centre NAD came forward to take credit for the viral video that appears to show an eagle snatching a toddler in a park.
The video shows a scene where a flying eagle swoops down, picks up a toddler with its talons and travels several feet before dropping the child and flying away.
Students Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin made the video in a production simulation workshop class, according to a statement from the school. The eagle and the toddler were created in 3D animation and added to the film, the school said.
The video was uploaded on Tuesday night and has received over 2 million views by late Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Golden Eagle Tries To Snatch Up Baby Chillin In The Park! Fake

Tea Party Nation Knows What Causes Shootings: Unions, Loud Stereos and Sluts

There was a pretty bad shooting on Friday, and the only thing anybody can talk about is Why It Happened. Logical folk (i.e. us) have been saying it probably had something to do with guns and mental health, but people who don’t want that to be true have been saying there isn’t any evidence for it, despite all the evidence for it.
In their stead, however, they have been providing all sorts of other factors that are much more obvious, and do not require evidence. This is lucky because they do not have any.
The gun-massacre by the guy with seriously questionable mental health was not exacerbated by guns or mental health care, see, it was abortion pills, obviously. Also to blame: children who do not bum-rush gunmen, because they’re stupid. Also, courtesy of Mensa Brain-Astronaut Glenn Beck: Fisher-Price toys. DEFINITELY NOT GUNS.
But there is more. There is sooo much more, and it was decided by Tea Party Nation, so you know it’s real, and not a petty, steaming pile of Puritanical extremist propaganda that travels so far afield from the issues at hand that one can’t help but wonder what they think the issues actually are. Tell us, Tea Party Brain Timothy Birdnow, what are we to do, to stay not dead? READ MORE »

Daily Caller Gets Journalistic Scoop Of The Century: Obama’s Signature Looks Like A Dick

Oh good lurd

Sup, Daily Caller? Anything important happening in the world this week? No? That’s too bad, but at least it makes room among your pixels for this SHATTERING expose: Barack Obama’s signature, if you turn it sideways and then randomly add another line to it, LOOKS LIKE A DICK! READ MORE »

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Victoria Soto, the 1st grade teacher who sacrificed her life for her students


Steelers Game Notes

The Simpsons - Gun Shop

If You Liked Too Big To Fail, You Will Love Too Big To Indict

Did you know that there is now such a thing as “too big to indict”? This generally refers to institutions that are so big and so central to the entire economy of the whole world that there is nothing anyone can do to punish criminal activity and specifically refers to HSBC, a multinational banking conglomerate that laundered money for Mexican drug cartels and conducted business on behalf Iran and Sudan in spite of international sanctions. My, that sounds fun! READ MORE »

Friday, December 14, 2012

We have been informed by Mike Huckabee, his God kills children unless it receives sufficient attention......

Huckabee: Schools ‘A Place Of Carnage’ Because We ‘Systematically Removed God’

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee attributed the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in part to restrictions on school prayer and religious materials in the classroom. 
"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News, discussing the murder spree that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT that morning. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
Law enforcement has released few details on the alleged gunman, but Huckabee suggested that the separation of church and state may have spurred his rampage. 
"[W]e've made it a place where we don't want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability -- that we're not just going to have be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before, you know, a holy God in judgment," Huckabee said. "If we don't believe that, then we don't fear that."
He said those suffering from a crisis from faith should look to God in the community's response to the violence. But he added that "Maybe we ought to let [God] in on the front end and we wouldn't have to call him to show up when it's all said and done at the back end.".............

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Blasts Catholic Church For Creating A ‘Culture Of Dependency On Government, Not God’


In a little-noticed September speech at the Cherish Life Ministries Christian Life Summit, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), the state Republican Party’s apparent choice for governor in 2013, took aim at the Catholic Church for its advocacy on behalf of the poor, immigrants, and the uninsured. Because the Church’s leadership has advocated for the government to provide a social safety net, a role he believes is the responsibility of the Catholic Church itself, Cuccinelli said, “they have made themselves out to be nothing but the largest special interest group in America.”
Though the gathering was titled “Defending the ‘Least of These,’” Cuccinelli, a devout Catholic, blasted his church for attempting to do just that:
I’m probably not the guy most Catholic bishops care to see anymore because I zero-in on them every time I spot them in the room and they get sort of the three-minute version of the church piece of this. They’ve helped create a culture of dependency on government, not God. And rarely do you see the two – once churches get out of the business of serving the poor, or not get out of the business but hand over and argue that they shouldn’t be the primary institution in a society that is responsible for service to the poor.
Watch the video:

The comments convey his extreme view that the government should not provide services to those with the least. But when he claims that churches are asking the government “to step up and take on their role,” Cuccinelli unfairly suggests the Catholic Church has abdicated its own role in helping the poor. Through Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Church supports a wide array of programs aimed at reducing poverty in America. These include programs providing housing for the homeless, helping formerly homeless people rebuild their lives, and distributing food to the hungry. Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney praised their vital work in serving the nation’s poor. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development also gives millions of dollars in grants annually to programs that work to address the root causes of poverty in America.
A spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told ThinkProgress that in 2010, Catholic Charities USA provided food services to more than 7 million people, housing services to almost 500,000, and emergency services including assistance with clothing and prescription drug purchases to nearly 2 million.
Rev. Gerry Creedon, pastor at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City, Virginia, told ThinkProgress that the Church can’t do it all alone. “Not everything can be done with charity,” he explained, “The tithes of our church can’t deal with the housing crisis [or hunger]. Those are issues that goes beyond private donations.” He noted that the 1986 pastoral letter from the nation’s Catholic bishops “Economic Justice for All,” lays out the reasoning for the Church’s longstanding commitment to supporting public policies that reduce unemployment, poverty and other forms of economic inequality.

The September remarks were not the first time Cuccinelli has been openly critical of the Catholic Church’s focus on economic justice. In a June 2011 speech to the Virginia Christian Association, he mocked the Arlington Catholic Herald for including in its voter guides both issues like poverty assistance and health care access for the uninsured, in addition to the issues he deems more important, such as abortion. From a moral standpoint, abortion, he told them, was a much more important political issue than poverty and hunger. “For people who take seriously those considerations when they vote, it’s acceptable to distinguish between them,” he told them, “In fact, I would suggest to you that in your role, part of your role is to distinguish between them.”

Oops: Michigan Republicans Have Passed a Right to Work Law that may be Impossible to Implement

By: Sarah Jones

Did Michigan Republicans even read the ALEC-Koch “Right-to-Work” legislation they just passed?
It doesn’t appear likely. Why? Because the law may not be able to be implemented as intended.
Just as the Wisconsin law violated their state constitution, so it appears the Michigan law does the same, albeit for different reasons. In addition to the violation of the state constitution, just as in Wisconsin, we also have a lawsuit filed over the violation of the Michigan Open Meetings law. But to the constitutional issue…
Michigan Senate Democrats report, “The Michigan Constitution gives clear authority to the Civil Service Commission over conditions of employment for the state’s workforce. Experts have suggested today only a vote of the Civil Service Commission could enact Right to Work policies for state workers.”
This is the sort of thing that happens when a national organization is writing your legislation for you. But one assumes that the big boys at ALEC did not count on the uber laziness of the Republicans. Surely they were meant to fine tune the bill to suit their state. But then, when you shove a bill through in a lameduck session and don’t hold it open for debate, these things tend to happen.
Senator Bert Johnson (D – Detroit) pointed out that not only the public, but also the lawmakers were not given a chance to read the bills, “The public was not given an opportunity to read these bills, legislators were not given an opportunity to read these bills, and we now know that the Governor himself either didn’t read or didn’t understand these bills himself. This process has been a complete affront to Democracy from the start and was nothing more than a political gift to the Koch Brothers and ALEC who bought and paid for this legislation.”
Over and over again, we see Republicans violating the law to pass ALEC legislation, and we also see them refusing to even read the bills they present let alone the bills of the opposition. What, exactly, are they being paid by the people to do, if not read and write legislation that actually fits the laws?
The same law that Governor Walker passed in violation of Open Meetings laws and in violation of the state constitution was struck down by the courts in September. The millions wasted on passing legislation illegally and fighting it in courts speaks to the seriousness of Republicans when they talk about deficits. There’s always money to enact a political agenda aimed at the opposition party, but there’s no money for starving kids.
Further irony is provided by Michigan State Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R-Alto), who called the passage of the “right-to-work” law “freeing” the workers. Apparently Ms. Lyons didn’t want her husband freed. He is a corrections officer and Ms. Lyons fought to have corrections officers exempted from the law. She explained, “When we talk about the brave women in police and fire we need to remember people in corrections. These guys work in conditions that we can’t even begin to imagine. It’s not financial. It’s philosophy. I am saying we need to treat our corrections officers that way we treat our police men and women and firefighter men and women.”

So, Ms. Lyons believes that we should treat our corrections officers (like her husband) the way we treat our police and firefighters, which she implies is better than we treat the other workers, because they work in tough conditions and therefor deserve or have earned the right to be treated better. And yet, she calls denying the right to collectively bargain freedom. What we have here is an admission by a Republican that when it comes to their own personal lives, they’ll take the union, please. No doubt Ms. Lyons is familiar with all that the union does to protect her husband. If she’s lucky, the law she supported will be struck down.

Police Question Fox Contributor’s ‘Punch’ Tale


If Fox News contributor Steven Crowder wants justice after being assaulted during right-to-work protests in Michigan this week, he sure has a weird way of showing it. That’s the word from Michigan State Police, who are ready to investigate and prosecute the man who punched Crowder multiple times on camera Tuesday — if only Crowder would let them.
The video of Crowder taking those punches has gone viral, even as Crowder’s story about the circumstances has started to unravel. Regardless of exactly what happened leading up top the punches, however, there’s a potential crime caught on film and according to Michigan State Police, Crowder has so far shown no interest in having it investigated.
“There is video footage of him being assaulted. We don’t know who the suspect is, but we could do a several month investigation and find the suspect,” Inspector Gene Adamczyk, spokesperson for the state police, told TPM on Thursday. “But if Mr. Crowder is not going to prosecute, we have not gained anything, we’ve wasted resources.”
So far Crowder has not sought out police help after he was hit. Adamczyk pointed out he’s instead turned the video into a national conservative media tour.
“I saw Mr. Crowder’s interview on Sean Hannity and he wants to have an MMA-sanctioned fight with this individual,” he said. Crowder told Hannity that if the suspect doesn’t come forward for the MMA fight (which he said would be held for charity), Crowder would “press charges.”
Adamczyk did not sound impressed by the plan.
“You can’t leverage the law for personal gain,” he said. “Either you’re the victim, or you’re not. So if he’s the victim of an assault, and he wants to file a complaint, we will definitely investigate it.”
Meanwhile, media reports have poked holes in the original, edited video Crowder posted online after he was punched. The New York Times reported “a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that [Crowder] left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit.”
The unedited footage shows “the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian,” the Times reported.
Adamczyk doesn’t understand why Crowder wouldn’t report the crime to the police and get the perpetrator prosecuted. He stressed that the MSP will not go forward with an investigation unless a crime is reported, and “there are all types of personal reasons” people sometimes don’t report a crime, he said.
“If somebody broke into your house, wouldn’t you immediately report it to the police? If someone assaulted you or your family member wouldn’t you report it immediately to the police?” Adamczyk said. “Well, why wouldn’t you, unless there’s a personal agenda there.”

Hostess Executives Teach Us All A Little Lesson About Personal Responsibility

Today is really a red-letter day for corporate malfeasance and incompetence here at Wonkette, isn’t it? It is! And such a day wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of the Hostess CEO, whose corporate “maneuvers” might “deprive” workers of some of their pension money by using it for “operations.” (This is corporate speak for saying that the CEOs padded executive pay by stealing money from worker pensions.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GOP Pollster: Republicans Have ‘Run Out Of’ White Voters


Republicans need to dramatically improve their standing with Latino voters or risk becoming a “regional party” of disaffected whites, according to a study released Wednesday by a GOP pollster.
“Republicans have run out of persuadable white voters,” Resurgent Republic pollster Whit Ayres and the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network’s Jennifer Korn concluded in a memo detailing the results of the study.
Resurgent Republic surveyed Latino voters in four states — New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and Florida — and concluded that the GOP brand was on life support. Respondents said Republicans did not respect their community’s values and concerns by a 51-44 margin in Florida, 54-40 in New Mexico, 59-35 in Nevada, and 63-30 in Colorado. By contrast Democrats were seen as respectful by a dominant 67-28 spread in Florida, 72- 23 percent in both New Mexico and Nevada, and 76-20 in Colorado.
“If Republicans achieve 40 percent or more of Hispanics nationally, they can elect conservative Republicans to national office,” the memo authors wrote. “Settling for a quarter or less of the Hispanic vote nationally will relegate Republicans to a regional party with few national prospects.”
In past elections, Republicans were able to offset losses with minorities by running up the score with whites. But Ayres and Korn noted that Romney “won a landslide among white voters,” dominating Obama 59-39 and winning majorities of every subset, from women to Catholics to young people. Thanks to Obama’s dominant performance with Latinos, Asians, and African Americans, the president was nonetheless re-elected by a comfortable margin.
In a conference call with reporters, Ayres dismissed suggestions from Republican pundits like the New York Times’ Ross Douthat that moderating on immigration might cause whites to abandon the GOP. He cited George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign, in which the party reached its high water mark with Latino voters in exit polls while also turning out white evangelicals at high rates, as a model.
“It is not a mutually exclusive endeavor in the hands of a gifted candidate,” Ayres told TPM.
The good news for Republicans, Ayres said, is that the party has some clear paths to improve their performance. He recommended a combination of immigration reform paired with a better and more extensive outreach campaign designed to slowly rebuild the party’s standing over several elections. Winning the majority of Hispanic voters anytime soon isn’t realistic, but a reasonable goal might be winning just Hispanic conservatives — usually around 40-45 percent of the electorate in the states surveyed.
Another ray of light is Republican success in recruiting more Hispanic candidates. While it didn’t rescue them from defeat in 2012, Ayres argued that it shouldn’t be viewed as a sideshow either. He pointed out that the GOP brand was stronger in Florida, New Mexico, and Nevada, than in Colorado, where as many as 87 percent of Latino voters went for Obama. The difference? Florida has Sen. Marco Rubio (and a more conservative Cuban population) and New Mexico and Nevada have popular Republican governors of Latino descent in Susana Martinez and Brian Sandoval. By contrast, Colorado’s “de facto” Republican nominee for governor in 2010 was anti-immigrant third party candidate Tom Tancredo.
“Campaigns matter and candidates matter and we see the effects of those leaders,” Ayers said.

Michigan Pundit Bloviating On ‘Right-To-Work’ Is Newspaper Union Freeloader, Imagine That

Every so often, in the midst of a great controversy, a very special column must be written. This column must be so earnest and serious and high-minded that it literally says nothing substantial about the issue at hand. It is a sacred piece of journalistic opinion that absolves the best people of the burden of thinking about the contentious issue at hand or its serious real world consequences for thousands of people. Truly, this is punditry’s highest calling — as the intellectual lubricant for the gears of our dysfunctional status quo.
The vital task of writing this column about Michigan’s Right to Work law fell to Detroit Free Press business editor and feckless, brown-nosing hack Tom Walsh. Wonketteers will instantly recognize Walsh’s style as that of a second-rate Richard Cohen, if that second-rate Richard Cohen was stuck at a local Gannett daily.
The governor’s signature Tuesday on a package of right-to-work bills passed by the Legislature the same day will not trigger a stampede of companies rushing into Michigan to invest and create jobs, as proponents claim.
Nor, however, is right-to-work some heinous abrogation of human rights that will be a death knell for labor unions, as opponents wail.
So why all the fuss?

12.12.12: The Concert for Sandy Relief (Live from MSG)

GOP Needs To Focus On Education, Says Man Whose State Textbooks Say Loch Ness Monster Is Real

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave a speech yesterday outlining his version of what the GOP needs to do differently in order to be less like the GOP. Startlingly, there is a way to make fun of it.
His prescription: Education! We need to fix education! Which sounds like a great idea, until you take into account that the guy saying it took a prolific, probably unconstitutional dump on his state’s education system, and that members of the party he is saying it to have come out vigorously against evolution, teachers’ bargaining rights, embryology, knowledge-based college admission guidelines, the age of the Earth, student loan programs, and the entire skill of critical thinking. It’s like proposing salad reform be embraced by velociraptors: It might help the raptors look better, but they just aren’t built for it. READ MORE »

God Smite - CNBC Set Piece Falls On Former Romney Adviser

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Never Forget! Union Thugs Push Down Koch Brothers Tent, Punch Steven Crowder In Face

Like the mighty towers of the World Trade Center, a tent belonging to the Michigan chapter of Americans for Prosperity fell in Lansing today because it was attacked by terrorists who hate our freedom…to not pay union dues but still receive the protection organized labor provides workers.
Labor protesters, angry about Michigan’s passage of a Right to Work law, destroyed AFP’s tent thing today. Or maybe that’s what THEY want you to think! Maybe AFP wrecked their own tent to make labor protesters look bad on Drudge Report.
Was 12/11 an inside job? READ MORE »

Ravi Shankar at Woodstock

How Michigan Voters Can Repeal The GOP’s Anti-Union Powergrab


Earlier today, the Michigan House passed a so-called “right-to-work” law. The anti-union legislation, which permits workers to benefit from the high salaries gained through collective bargaining without contributing to the union that negotiates those higher salaries for them, will cost both union and non-union workers an estimated $1,500 a year in wages, in addition to costing thousands of Michiganders health benefits and pensions.
Anti-union lawmakers attached a budget appropriation to the bill in order to thwart efforts to repeal it by referendum — the Michigan Constitution provides that “[t]he power of referendum does not extend to acts making appropriations for state institutions or to meet deficiencies in state funds.” This is not the end of the story, however. Under that same constitution, Michigan voters may still restore the lost wages and collective bargaining power denied by this bill through a state ballot initiative:
The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution. The power of referendum does not extend to acts making appropriations for state institutions or to meet deficiencies in state funds and must be invoked in the manner prescribed by law within 90 days following the final adjournment of the legislative session at which the law was enacted. To invoke the initiative or referendum, petitions signed by a number of registered electors, not less than eight percent for initiative and five percent for referendum of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election at which a governor was elected shall be required.
No law as to which the power of referendum properly has been invoked shall be effective thereafter unless approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon at the next general election.
By attaching the appropriations provision to the anti-union bill, its supporters accomplished two things: they increased the number of signatures necessary to place it before the voters, and they guaranteed that, if enacted, it will be in effect at least until it can be repealed in the next general election. Nevertheless, Michigan voters are far from powerless. In the last Michigan gubernatorial election, voters cast a total of 3,226,088 votes. So workers and their allies will need to collect just under 260,000 signatures to place a repeal initiative on the ballot.

McCain wants Senate report on torture made public


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) believes that the public deserves to see the findings of a 6,000-page report on “enhanced interrogation techniques” used under the George W. Bush administration.
McCain told reporters Tuesday that he wants the report made public ahead of a Senate panel vote to approve the long-awaited report.
“Absolutely it should be made public,” McCain said.
McCain, a vocal opponent of the Bush administration’s use of enhanced interrogation on terror detainees, said that he had yet to speak about the release of the report with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whose committee is voting on the report Thursday.
While the Senate panel plans to approve the report this week to conclude a three-year inquiry, that does not mean it will be made public. The approval will trigger a review by the White House, intelligence community and lawmakers over what should be unclassified.
Human-rights groups are renewing their calls for the release of the report as the vote approaches this week, which McCain said he would support.
McCain also reiterated his belief that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques did not lead to information that helped U.S. forces kill Osama bin Laden.
“We did not get any meaningful information unclassified, we did not get any meaningful information by torturing people,” McCain said.
Feinstein has made similar statements, but some Republicans argue that the intelligence gained from enhanced interrogation helped track bin Laden down.
The debate over torture has also surfaced in reviews of the new film about the bin Laden raid, titled “Zero Dark Thirty,” which includes scenes showing detainees subjected to techniques like waterboarding.

How Long Before Fox News Ambush Guy Who Donated To Obama Hits Unemployment Line?

Jesse Watters, the Fox News correspondent who made a name for himself as Bill O’Reilly’s ambush interview guy, has some ‘splaining to do. Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that a Federal Elections Commission filing shows Watters donated $500 to the Obama campaign in late September. Which kind of seems at odds with his recent on-air opinion that Obama voters are “zombies” who would mindlessly support their Dear Leader “as long as there was Obamacare, gay marriage and abortion on demand.” (Then again, he’s also a guy who — assuming he was involved in producing this idiotic video clip — thinks using “record scratch” sound effects is a hilariously comedic way to suggest that someone is terribly wrongheaded. Skee-RATCH???) READ MORE »