Archive for laws

Speaker of the House Boehner Calling It Quits

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I quit

Faced with an imminent crushing and humiliating defeat by his own caucus, Speaker of the House Boehner unexpectedly quit today. No, he didn't give up his Speakership -- only his obligations to run the House.  He's decided to throw in the towel, do nothing (something he excels at), and hang out a sign on Congress's door saying, "Gone Fishing. Be back in 5 weeks."

With no significant immigration bill to assuage the border fears he and his fellow Republicans fueled, he looks like he's a loser who's no longer got the control over his own people. Stick a fork in the old fool. He's done.

He can take solace in the fact that his leadership isn't the only one to take an embarrassing wallop by pulling his weak and ineffective immigration bill. The troika of House GOP leaders all were crushed. Washington Post reports:

The pulling of the bill marked an embarrassing failure in the first real test of the new leadership team that takes office Thursday following Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor’s resignation as majority leader.

Exiting a closed-door morning huddle at the Republican National Committee, senior Republicans had expressed confidence that the Boehner proposal would pass.

As recently as Thursday morning, hours before the scheduled summer break, Boehner had signaled he wanted a bill passed so the Democrats couldn't use the August break to pound away at the Xenophobic GOP. To ensure he could get conservative Republicans on his side, he was even ready to do away with the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program (DACA) -- surely something that would would get the Tea Party right wing immigration haters on board. It was all but assured -- and then the collapse. Newly elected GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise dashed Boehner's hopes with the news that he couldn't drum up the votes. Out the window went the bill as well as any possibility of getting Latino or Asian votes in the fall.

Smells-Like-Bullshit_o_99704

So now Boehner and his two cohorts have five weeks to hide their faces before they're called back to spend three more weeks doing nothing and then going on their next scheduled break. The national budget, transportation, immigration, embassy appointments, education reform, long term unemployment -- all of these are now going unattended.

Well, Boehner's done. And truthfully so is the GOP as they used to be known. There are three parties now in the US running our government -- Democrats, the remnant Republicans, and the Tea Party.

Are you an unhappy Republican? If so, blame John Boehner -- but do it quick. He might retire before returning. His orange face is obviously not wanted in Washington D.C. anymore, unless it's on a Wanted poster for obstruction of justice and dereliction of Duty.

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Hobby Lobby Ruling Opens Doors For Satanists To Strike Down Anti-Abortion Laws

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Sunshine Behind Cloud

My father used to say, "There's nary an ill wind that doesn't blow some good." Pretty smart guy, my pop.

While everyone on the right is cheering the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby finding and looking for more religiously restrictive ways to use it, there're some others who are seeing a bright lining to this dark cloud. Those people are the Satanists.

Okay, most of you think those who worship Satan march to a much different drummer than the rest of us. Sure they do. But they have a right to their beliefs and the Hobby Lobby decision is a religious-based determination. And Satanism, despite how little or much you know about it, fits the description of a bona-fide religion.

Now comes the interesting part. The Satanists are making an argument, based on the Supreme Court's finding, that some anti-abortion laws are forcing a state's religious belief on them and therefore need not be followed. The Raw Story:

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.

In some states, that information consists of pro-life propaganda that links abortion to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers, or discusses “post-abortion syndrome,” a mental condition not recognized by any major medical or psychiatric organization.

Regardless of your personal religious beliefs, you can see the argument here that science is being misused, misconstrued or misinterpreted to serve a "right wing, religious" view. There has been no consensus on abortion leading to higher rates of breast or ovarian cancer or "post-abortion syndrome." Truthfully, postpartum depression is a real and acknowledged clinical psychosis and that's generally, by definition, after a child has been carried to term.

Because the Satanic Temple bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others,” it claims that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its religious beliefs.

Now I get to use a favorite word -- ergo -- this makes forcing a woman to read informed consent laws unconstitutional. At least in the 35 states that require it.

Hobby Lobby and the Satanists could be a blessing in disguise, or as my pop would say, the good that the ill wind kicked up.

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GOP Won't Vote To Protect Our Borders But They Do Vote To Protect Wall Street

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Wall Street

While the GOP is playing games of distraction with the lives of innocent children at our border, with phony IRS scandals perpetrated by Darrell Issa, and bogus Benghazi fantasies trashing human lives, the Republicans quietly used that to very quietly pass a bill which will impact all of us. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then the GOP has done its job of 'follow the shiny object' while they attack us and our financial and consumer protections.

While the GOP won't vote for money to protect our borders, it quietly found time to vote on a bill to protect Wall Street.

Raw Story:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to slash funding for Wall Street oversight and revamp new agencies dedicated to cracking down on fraud against consumers and policing risks after the financial crisis.

The $21.3 billion funding bill, which covers appropriations for the 2015 fiscal year beginning Oct 1 for financial services and other areas of government, passed the House in a 228 to 195 vote along largely partisan lines.

Ask yourself this: why are Republicans protecting Wall Street over the US citizenry? They claim border security is a major concern. What about our financial security and our customer fraud protections?

It [the bill] would temporarily bar a group of regulators responsible for policing market risks from designating large non-bank companies as “systemically important” – so big that their failure would destabilize markets.

In lay terms, it would make them "Too big to fail, too big to jail." Is that really the GOP looking out for us? Can any Republican say, "Lehman Brothers?"

The legislation would also cut mail delivery on Saturdays. Along with that is another seemingly unrelated issue to the Wall Street funding bill. This piece of legislation would prevent the District of Columbia from using federal funds to pay for abortions [including incest and rape victims] and implement rules that decriminalize marijuana use. What's the connection to Wall Street oversight with these tag-ons? Is this a funding bill or some criminal bill? Maybe the only thing criminal about it is that it passed the GOP house.

So as not to make this sound too one-sided. The House Republicans in this spending bill did take a much needed stab at cutting the deficit with a partial spending off-set.

It includes a ban on using taxpayer funds to pay for oil paintings of government officials, including the president and members of Congress.

If that makes it through the Democratic senate (fat chance there), we'll finally have a cost saver we can all live with.

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Xenophobes Should Remember M.S. St. Louis, 1939

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MS St. Louis 2

If you could ask FDR about his toughest decisions as President, one of them would be the "Voyage of the Damned" tempest. For those who don't associate that event, here's the simple recap:

In 1939, a German ocean liner, the MS St. Louis, carried 937 German Jewish refugees seeking asylum in the United States. They arrived at our shores but were denied admission to our country. The result was the ship was returned to Europe where most of these refugees were put into concentration camps. 254 of them died.

Now we see a huge influx of refugee children, trying to escape similar circumstances that caused the ill-fated MS St. Louis voyage to set sail for America. And what do today's xenophobic right-wingers propose? They want our country to negate due process of law -- specifically the 2008 George Bush signed bill (the child trafficking law) which sets regulations as to how undocumented minors entering this country are treated.

If Obama were to use his executive order powers, he'd be labeled a tyrant taking the law into his own hands. If he allows the law to work, he is condemned for upholding the law. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

children immigrant holding cell 3picture: Western Free Press

Hopefully unlike FDR, Obama won't ice his heart and send these innocent children back home to a fate of rape, severe physical injury/maiming, or even the ultimate, death. These children are refugees, fleeing for their safety. This is the time for compassion, not unfounded fears. America needs to show heart, not knee-jerk reactions to false rumors and innuendos.

The Senate passed a bi-partisan immigration bill over a year ago that might have lessened this influx by adding the manpower and facilities needed to handle this crisis. If the political right needs to do any finger-pointing, then the proper culprit here is one of their own, John Boehner. The Speaker of the House has consistently rejected calls to bring the Senate immigration bill to the House floor for consideration and a vote.

The Republicans in the House made this uncomfortable bed. Now we must all lie in it.

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