Archive for laws

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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Republicans Graham & Labrador Lead Charge Of Anarchy

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IncarceratedImmigrantChildrenKOMOw292h212image:  KOMO News

The law is the law. If you don't like it, change it, but don't break it.

Sadly, the cry from the confused right wing is two-fold. The first is a given. Whatever the issue is, it's Obama's fault. The second is, only follow the law when you like it. Look at Cliven Bundy as an example.

We are now facing a critical time on our borders. Vast numbers of undocumented immigrants, many of them unaccompanied minors, are crossing our border in order to seek refuge and asylum. Others just looking for a new start, being sent by their families to stake out a new start for a more promising future.

Regardless of the reason they are here, we have laws and they must be followed or else we have anarchy -- something the right wing of the Republican party is wont to commence. They're losing their grasp on the control of the country and will do everything within their capacity to not fall into obscurity. Even if it means our system must fall along with them.

The law is quite simple in regards to this immigration crisis. There's a legislative process set up and it must be followed until such time as it's changed. Sadly GOP mouthpieces like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), two loudmouths without brains, are leading a charge of anarchy. They want due process of law ignored. Law that their party passed. In 2002 it was the Homeland Security Act and then in 2008 it was the Human Trafficking Act -- both bills signed by Republican George Bush. Both laws spell out exactly how children are to be dealt with who arrive across our borders as undocumented immigrants. 

Congressman Luis Gutierrez, (D-Illinois) spelled it out quite simply and clearly with Chris Hayes last night during All In. Please take a look and you'll understand what the Republicans and right wingers refuse to accept.

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Pedophile Pastor's Most Amazing Apology -- You Don't Say

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TV Quiz Show

Years ago there used to be daytime game shows on every network. They were a staple item, so to speak. It was soaps, gamers and an occasional talk show -- Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin come to mind.

One of the very popular audience participation shows -- the technical name for game shows in that era -- was one called, "YOU DON'T SAY." Its concept was to get your partner to say a famous persons name based on clues. These clues were discerned when the player left off the last word of the sentence. From that the partner had to guess a famous name. An example. "The head of a college or university is usually referred to as the (blank). The hope is the partner would answer dean and then they would guess Dean Martin. Pretty simple stuff. Leaving off the last word was the gimmick of YOU DON'T SAY.

The point of the story is that the host of the show, first Jack Barry and later Tom Kennedy, would begin show with the immortal words, "It's not what you say that counts, it's what YOU DON'T SAY."

Well, perhaps this show has been brought back and you didn't know it. But from the feverish rantings against the Christian Journal, some people have gotten the memo.

From Raw Story comes this headline:

Ex-youth Pastor Describes Felony Sex Crimes as Extramarital ‘Friendship’ in Christian Journal

The clue here are the words, extramarital friendship when used to describe a pedophile rape.

The story goes on to talk about the apology letter the convicted youth pastor wrote and was printed online at the Christian Journal. It drew such ire that a hashtag was set up and used by hundreds of Twitter users urging Leadership Journal, which is published by Christianity Today, to #TakeDownThisPost.

What's got all of these folks in an uproar? Well, despite a 2,540 word essay of apology, the convicted child sex offending pastor neglected to mention the words "rape," “crime,” “law,” “statutory,” or “illegal.” Imagine an apology of 2,540 words and somehow none of the truly descriptive nouns or adjectives made their way into this essay?

How do you apologize for committing the illegal crime of statutory rape on a child which is obviously against the law without using those words. See, I used all of those words in one sentence. I didn't need 2000+ to do it.

And that's what got me thinking. Maybe this pastor is auditioning to be a contestant on the return of YOU DON'T SAY.

He's certainly got the concept down -- it's not what you say that counts, it's what you don't say. Where's that Tom Kennedy when you need him?

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The House Votes For Another Crazy Bill

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Smoking A Joint Raw Story:

A Republican congressman has successfully pushed legislation to pressure the U.S. Department of Justice to crack down on marijuana in states that have legalized its use. “It is with growing alarm that we see this administration selectively executing and enforcing federal law,” Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) said Wednesday on the House floor.

Growing alarm, huh?

On Friday, a seemingly contradictory measure was passed. The House of Representatives approved an amendment to prohibit the federal agency from spending taxpayer money on activities designed to stop the use of medical marijuana in states in which such use is legal.

Then comes this dickwad from Louisiana. Somehow he got enough other bozos in the House to go along with him in trying to step their foot back down on the accelerator to force more arrests by the Justice Department. All this at a time when it's become more clear that marijuana busts are a racial issue. The numbers are staggering. But how about this wacky logic by Representative Fleming?  He's pushed through the following (by voice vote):

Fleming’s amendment reduces the Department of Justice’s Salaries and Expenses, Legal Activities account by $866,000 until the Attorney General enforces the Controlled Substances Act in every state.

So, by cutting the Justice Department's budget, how can they step up enforcement? What Fleming and his ilk have actually done is made it more unlikely the DOJ has the money to take on these marijuana cases. I guess this means stupid is as stupid does. Good work Republicans. Now I feel safer lighting up a reefer because there's less money to apprehend me.

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Republican Cry Babies Wanted Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Left Behind

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cry baby

America prides itself on many things, but at the vanguard is its pledge to the military, "No soldier left behind."

Presidents are called upon to make tough decisions -- life or death in many cases. And when it comes to public safety, military engagements and leadership, we give those reins to our elected chief executive. We even give the President something called 'executive powers' which allow him or (someday) her to make split second decisions on our national best interests. It could be war, it could be a national disaster or it could be something else. Sometimes there just isn't time to sit back and cogitate.

Friday was one of those rare, but important moments. Our one remaining prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 28, of Hailey, Idaho, was handed over to U.S. special operations forces by the Taliban. This didn't come without a concession on our side. We had to release five prisoners we were holding in Guantanamo Bay Prison.

Time was of importance according to the White House. The window to take advantage of this opportunity was closing fast. Our commander-in-chief, duly elected to make these decisions, decisively acted. And today Sgt. Bergdahl is a free man.

So why are the Republicans so angry with our president? According to them, he broke the law to free this prisoner. And you know what, they're partially right. U.S. law requires the president to notify Congress 30 days before any terrorists are transferred from the U.S. facility. But what if the window of opportunity didn't allow for 30 days to make this move? Should we have just left one of our own brave soldiers behind to face torture or death? A few Republicans are saying so.

What was the real cost here? Millions of dollars for one. And that cost was to the American taxpayer, but no more. According to Reuters:

(Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers pushing to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay said on Wednesday that its cost has skyrocketed to $2.7 million per inmate this year and argued it is too expensive to keep open while the country is fighting budget deficits.

So we let five prisoners go. None of them were posing a threat to us. And probably none will pose a threat to us in the future.  We saved $13.5 million dollars, found a country to take these prisoners off of our hands (Qatar) and we're that much closer to closing down Gitmo at 454 million taxpayer dollars a year and rising.

How dare Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California and Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who should know better, publicly shun the return of one of our soldiers? McKeon is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Inhofe is the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

These two buffoons, masquerading as our representatives, have the gall to criticize this presidential action. It would be cowardly not to have taken advantage of the opportunity to peacefully and safely manipulate the return of a captured hero.

When will the Republicans learn and accept that their candidate lost the election and Obama won? And with that comes the responsibilities of executive decision making. Yes, there is a law that says there should be a 30 day period before this action takes place. But there's also a law that grants presidents executive orders. And Obama did what the weak-kneed GOP can't stand. Obama saw an opportunity to do what's right and he seized it.

Now all the whining Republicans have for bluster is a technicality. Certainly that's not going to go too far. Just ask America whether they want a freed American prisoner brought home, or an opportunity lost because the Republican cry babies didn't get a chance to weigh in.

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I Take My Justice With A Slap And A Racial Slur

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RacistMississippiJudgew257h244

There's a good chance that you or someone you know will at a point in their life be called in front of a judge to resolve some issue. Maybe it's a renter/landlord dispute, or perhaps it's a speeding ticket. Maybe it'll even be something more substantial, but the odds are it's going to happen sometime.

What we all hope though is that justice is meted out fairly and with no prejudice.

Well, if you live in Mississippi, don't be so sure. Here's a shocking and sobering report about Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white.  Talking Points Memo:

A Mississippi judge [Weisengerger] allegedly slapped a young mentally disabled black man [Eric Rivers] earlier this month at a flea market and yelled "run, n----, run," the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Sunday.

An apparent witness, Tammy Westbrook, told the newspaper Rivers was offering to help flea market vendors unload their goods when Weisenberger slapped him twice, then yelled "run, n----, run" as he fled. Westbrook and her sister, a vendor at the flea market, recalled that they thought Weisenberger was a law enforcement officer because he was wearing a security guard's uniform.

So this is the man who's pounding his gavel and dispatching justice. In a state with a Black population of nearly 40%, there's a chance this judge has issued quite a few punishments on minorities. Is there a chance he's only a bigot displaying racial hatred and animus when he's not wearing his robes?

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