It looks as if Republicans in the Indiana House are actually trying to do some good. A group of them went to daycares in the state to see what they could.
The need to change Indiana's day care system became clear to Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, two years ago. He and other lawmakers toured several Indiana day cares and found some appalling conditions.
At one ministry called "Little Miracles," the kitchen floor was sticky and speckled with mouse feces. Food was left to warm unattended on a stove. Two workers looked after 56 children.
Like Miller, Holdman is a Republican, a staunch conservative and a member of an evangelical Christian church. In fact, Holdman oversees his church's finances. The last thing he wanted was to bury churches under burdensome regulation. But, as he had seen for himself, the differences between centers run well and those run poorly were astounding.
Ministry day cares were exempt from most basic rules — such as having staff trained in first aid; keeping dangerous items such as poisonous chemicals, medicines and guns out of a child's reach; and keeping children under adult supervision at all times. Most important to child advocates, they weren't required to meet basic guidelines on how many children can be packed into a room.
Snacktime!! I'm sure you're wondering who's behind "Mouse Caca For Kiddies", and since you read this blog I'm guessing that a couple things will come to mind. Republican. Churchy. Something to lose. And that would be Eric Miller, founder of the aptly named "Advance America" (co-incidentally also the name of a sleezy exploitative payday loan shark company) Here's Eric during the 2010 campaign. (He looks more like my old dentist than a high powered crazy lobbyist.)
Miller made it clear he saw the amendment as a step down a slippery slope that could eventually leave Indiana churches under the thumb of the state. Soon, Advance America turned up the political heat, sending emails across the state telling supporters Senate Bill 305 was an attack on religious freedom.
The alerts warned that the legislation would "give new massive and unprecedented power over churches to a state agency." One said, "a pastor could be charged with a crime, go to jail and pay a fine if he doesn't operate his church ministry the way the government tells him to." This, despite the fact Kubacki and others have said repeatedly: The only pastors in danger of jail would be those breaking laws already on the books.
Some legislators, including Holdman, say the tactic was akin to "pulling a fire alarm."
Yep, no background checks for daycare workers (if the pervs have found Jesus, who are we to judge?), no sanitary restrictions, and if there's not enough workers to keep an eye on the rugrats, there's always Jesus looking over their shoulder, yes?
Read the whole story here, but suffice it to say they tried. And-
As the reforms narrowed, Kubacki and Smith said they made a point of keeping Miller informed, reassuring him they weren't trying to put churches out of business. But at one point, Kubacki said, Miller asked her why the bill was needed.
"Where is the outcry?" he asked.
"I'll tell you where the outcry is," Kubacki replied. "The outcry is the mothers who have lost children in day cares. That's the outcry."
In fact, at least 22 children have died in Indiana day cares since 2009, according to a Star investigation, with 16 of them in unlicensed day cares.
Well, it's Monday and we're back to work. Something's been gnawing at me over the long weekend, and it wasn't the long lines for Black Friday, Small Saturday or today's Cyber Monday.
Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, as everyone who's still reaching for some anti-acid knows. Our belts are still let out two notches too many and we're still shaking our heads over some of the conversations with distant (in some cases from reality) relatives that we now won't have to have endure until next November.
A standard piece of tradition fare for me and my family is and has been for over half a century the watching of at least some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Face it, it's a staple item and as much a part of the holiday as the pumpkin pie, the turkey itself or the tryptophan-induced coma after eating.
In scanning the globe for stories as I do each day, plus monitoring the Twittersphere, looking for instantaneous reactions to the world at large, I was shocked and amazed and the outrage and uproar one of the performances generated from the televised parade.
It was this performance of the Tony Award-winning musical, Kinky Boots.
Here's a sampling of the uproar of tweets this performance generated:
Now I have to explain "Kinky Boots" to my kids. Thanks, Macy's. #MacysParade
— Jonathan Becker (@jonbecker) November 28, 2013
And then then there was this one:
— First Flight (@Kittyhawken) November 28, 2013
Now these are but three samplings of the fear and potential hate that are being demonstrated by some pretty opinionated folks. What are they really afraid of?
They seem to feel that indicating any alternative lifestyle is harmful. What is it in this family-friendly clip they are compelled to explain to their children, or even worse, protect them from?
This is a celebration of life. Do these shallow people think that LGBT people have an illness? Haven't we gotten past that yet? This is no more a choice than the zebra having stripes or the peacock having feathers. Being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender is a part of life. A healthy part. And perpetuating fears isn't helping anything or anybody. Being LGBT is not contagious nor are they recruiters to their "sexuality." Recruitment is left to missionaries, sports coaches and the military. Three fears your children should be warned about more than something that's not a choice.
Ignorance is what's at hand here. And it's the tweeters who are demonstrating fear and perpetuating hate. If you want to "educate" your children, or America in general, and protect them, warn them of the dangers of ignorance and intolerance. That's going to do them much more good than scaring and misinforming them.
Don't be a poster child for stupid. Be a leader in smart.
So perhaps if you feel you need to explain anything to your children, it should be tolerance, acceptance and if you're really progressive, a sense of high, snappy, fashion.
As a guy writing about this, I can only cringe. This post is about bathrooms, obstinance and ignorance-- oh, and penis removal. The focus of this week's wackatude of the week is a member of the school board in Colorado. It seems she's got the Wizard of Oz's Scarecrow deficiency which has led her to making perhaps the most outrageous statement since Michele Bachmann died.
Oh, she didn't die? My bad. I thought with all those stupid remarks attributed to her, if she was still living, she'd had denied them. I guess that's what happens when you're not fully informed.
A Colorado school board member is facing criticism after she said that transgender students would need to be castrated before the student could use the school bathrooms that fit their gender identity.
Talk about holding it in when you need to go.
According to Delta County School Board member Katherine Svenson a person born transgendered should be put under the knife. For what? I understand for religious reasons Jews are snipped in the bud, but now a person's sexuality is the determining factor? And Svenson's not just talking about a little snip from the tip. She wants the entire plumbing removed. What planet are we on?
I'm not sure when we're talking about Delta County. My map says it's in the Grand Junction area of Colorado. Though I know they've voted in some districts to secede, the entire state of Colorado is still part of the US.
“I don’t have a problem if some boys think they are girls, I’m just saying as long as they can impregnate a woman, they’re not going to go in the girls' locker-room,”she [Svenson] said.
Somehow Board Member Svenson isn't aware of her own states laws.
Back in June, Colorado's Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of a transgender students having the right to use the restroom for the gender that they identify as.
Seventeen states, including Colorado and the District of Columbia, now outlaw discrimination against transgendered people.
So, if you're up for some total wackiness, listen to Ms. Svenson defending herself. Close your eyes and you'll think you're hearing the late Congresswoman Bachmann. Oops. Sorry. I did it again. Well, watch this anyway:
The latest farm bill which is headed to a vote includes a $40 Billion dollar cut to SNAP. the supplemental nutrition assistance program. This will directly effect 1 in 7 Americans -- men, women, children, seniors, military. No one who receives this food subsidy will be spared part or even all of their benefits.
Who's pushing for this? Guess!
To be fair there are some in the GOP party who want to vote down this bill. But their reason is frightening. They don't think that the cutting of $40 billion goes deep enough. They literally want to starve children and seniors to death. The less of them collecting, the better. They're just moochers gaming the system. They don't add anything to the GOP way of life, so get rid of them any way you can. After all, their crime is they're too young or too old to work. That's their fault.
The real ironic part of this farm bill are those who are pushing the hardest for it. It's not to help farmers. It's to help them, farm owners. Here's the rub, passing this bill puts money in their pockets while the needy starve.
Let me name a few congressmen(women) who are fighting tooth and nail for this bill to pass. And you want to know why? Check this out, courtesy of Buzz Feed:
During the food stamp debate, GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, who received thousands in farm subsidies, responded to a Democratic Congressman during the debate over the cuts by quoting the bible, saying “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
Fincher himself has received his own large share of government money. From 1999 to 2012, Stephen & Lynn Fincher Farms received $3,483,824 in agriculture subsidies. Last year he took in $70,574 alone.
Seems Fincher's up on his bible babble, but what about people who live in glass houses should not throw stones? Not the bible, a Spanish proverb, but perhaps a bit more appropriate. Then there's:
Another Republican congresswoman who voted to make cuts to the food stamp program was Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri. Her farm received more than $800,000 in Department of Agriculture subsidies from 1995-2012.
Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, whos farm received $3.4 million in subsidies from 1995-2012.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a Republican Rep. from Indiana also received his fair share of government subsidies. He personally took in nearly $200,000 for the farm he co-owns with his father.
This is not a full list, but just a sampling.
Now I said there's a way for Democrats to stop the cuts all together. From Mother Jones:
And as Boehner saw in June, winning House Democrats' votes for a bill that slashes food stamps by billions of dollars is a heavy lift—after all, if no farm bill passes, food stamps spending would remain at current levels. Why compromise when you can win by doing nothing at all? "It would make sense," emails a House Democratic aide, "for progressives to vote against [the farm bill].
Need a visual: Here you go.
Hey Gov. Walker, it was your choice to to have the federal government run Wisconsin's health care exchange.
Speaking of which, how nice that you allow yourself the freedom of choice, but you refuse to make that option available to women who seek health care services, including abortion. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says, ""We have a pro-life majority in the state Senate right now, and because of that there's always a willingness to work on" anti-abortion legislation, which caused one Wisconsin state Dem senator to expect "all out hell."
But I digress.
So Scotty, explain to all those families exactly what contingency plans you have if Obamacare enrollment is still glitchy, or if the federal government makes your plan impossible to implement. 77,000-plus inquiring minds want to know.
Because, see, there's a time gap that will affect people who will lose their BadgerCare (Medicaid) eligibility but would then have to meet the deadline to enroll in the Affordable Care Act via the marketplace.
How's that GOP outreach thing workin' for ya, Scotty?
Wisconsin health care advocates want Gov. Scott Walker to say what will happen with 77,000 adults being shifted off Medicaid in January if they are not able to get coverage through the new health insurance exchange in time. [...]
In late September, the state notified 77,000 people, most of them parents, that they might be affected. But letters letting people know for sure won’t be sent until Nov. 23, when the state expects to be ready to use new federal criteria to determine eligibility. [...]
In late September, the state notified 77,000 people, most of them parents, that they might be affected. But letters letting people know for sure won’t be sent until Nov. 23, when the state expects to be ready to use new federal criteria to determine eligibility.
Just in time for the holidays! Which party is waging a "War on Christmas" again?
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