Friday Links from The Political Carnival
coal ash spill's destructive aftermath
By now we've all heard of the coal ash contaminants that have been wreaking havoc in North Carolina. If all goes as it appears, even GOP Governor McCrory might be going to jail when the dust settles. Carcinogenic-contaminated dust.
Over in nearby West Virginia, we've all heard about the multiple chemical spills by Freedom Industries, polluting the water in that state.
And these are just two of the more recent cases. There have been other chemical waste issues all across the country. And these aren't really accidents in the normal scheme of things. It's not like someone forgot to shut the door. It's worse than that. It's not the absence of adequate regulations. It's intentional.
Because the state governments have been under GOP anti-regulation delusion. They think that regulating chemical waste and storage is interference and that it affects the businesses' bottom lines. Forget what it does to the workers and the innocents who live in those areas. Just so long as it doesn't interfere with the cost of doing business, the GOP is all for it. Damn the people -- full profits ahead.
Turning their back on the safety of their state-wide constituents, the Republicans are setting course for harming or potentially killing all of us. They want to do away with safety regulations and restrictions over clean air and gas house emissions. Can't you just hear those Neanderthal Republicans? "Regulations... Baaad!!!"
WASHINGTON (AP) — Industry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
The court is hearing arguments Monday about a small but important piece of the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to cut the emissions — a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must also evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release.
The importance of this case is astronomical -- almost literally. The Republican Party is determined to poison us with deregulation. If they can't stop people from voting, or better yet, voting against them, they seem to be taking another attack,-- just plain kill us. What they overlook in their ignorance is that they're killing themselves at the very same time. See what having no customers does to your bottom line.
The air belongs to all of us equally -- and if you're going to pollute my air, you better be prepared for the consequences. As global warming and the greenhouse gases' various other effects are felt, we can't sit by and wait until it too late. Hopefully the SCOTUS will rule that way as well.
The Government has used eminent domain to confiscate property and condemn areas -- for the greater good. The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for government buildings and other facilities, public utilities, highways, and railroads; however, it may also be taken for reasons of public safety. Isn't that what we're talking about here?
Maybe we should start looking at those companies who don't comply with the EPA regulations, which pollute and condemn our health and safety with the same "for the better good" doctrine. Confiscate them and sell them off at public auction, not to be reopened until they meet safety standards.
Monday's case, for which the court has expanded argument time to 90 minutes from the usual 60, stems from the high court's 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, which said the agency has the authority under the Clean Air Act to limit emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles.
Two years later, with Obama in office, the EPA concluded that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases endangered human health and welfare. The administration used that finding to extend its regulatory reach beyond automobiles and develop national standards for large stationary sources.
Hopefully the mentally- and scientifically-corrupted and deficient Republican position will be defeated once and for all by the Supreme Court. It's wishful thinking that the GOP won't continue to attempt to retry and re-litigate this for years to come. But maybe they'll succumb to the dangers they have wrought upon all of us before any more innocents become afflicted or victims of global warming and chemical spills.
Check this out, a simply beautiful video that challenges what the usual staunch opponents of immigration reform want you to believe about immigrants. Bummer for all those conservatives who refer to immigrants as "illegals" and who oppose a pathway to citizenship. Why? Because if this is what they oppose, they're even bigger hypocrites and more tone deaf than we thought, and that should go over real well in November:
"We came here, not just to lift ourselves up economically, but also enrich the community."
"It's like a family reunion going on..."
"It doesn't matter what country we're from or what language we speak."
"I feel good when people leave happy."
A small Spanish-speaking immigrant church in North Carolina is doing all they can to make life better for everyone around them. Every week members of the church, many struggling to get by themselves, come out to cook a hot meal and distribute groceries for the week to local families in need. In the process, they've created a beautiful community.
Wait what? This is happening in-- dun dun dun-n-n!--North Carolina? Yes, despite the GOP's best efforts to screw up that lovely state, indeed it is.
Remember when those on the right insisted that we don't need no stinkin' tax increases, Affordable Care Act, or food stamps, because, they claimed, everyone should fend for themselves? Charities and churches will gladly take care of those in need, they said. Well, no, we said, not at the humungous scale necessary, that would be unrealistic. More like impossible.
However, on a much smaller scale, communities can make a difference, in this case a diverse community in which not everybody even *gasp!* speaks the same language. A little generosity can not only bring people together, but as we see here, provide food for families who need a boost, served with a side order of pride and friendship . A real live win-win.
See, conservatives? That's called-- What's that catchy little right wing phrase again? Oh yeah-- family values.
When I first heard about the possibility that Clay Aiken might run for Congress, I was a bit dubious -- nah, can that. I thought it was a joke. I let the little funny drift off until yesterday. That's when he officially announced his campaign. Later in the day on Lawrence O'Donnell's show, he had a segment on the young crooner whose previous claim to fame was runner up on American Idol and a long run on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice.
Turns out there's a bit more to this teen icon or heartthrob or whatever your preconceived notions of this man might be. According to The Daily Beast:
[Aiken] shares a bit about his not-so-idyllic pre-Idol days (dad was an abusive drunk; young Clay and his mom slept on a neighbor’s living room floor for eight months) by way of explaining why he now feels moved to challenge Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers. (In a nutshell: She screwed struggling North Carolinians by backing sequestration and the shutdown.)
Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell showed a portion of the biographical film of the singer's background and why he wants to be a representative from his district in North Carolina. I have to say it's more than just impressive; it's moving, it's honest and genuine. He speaks clearly and precisely and spells out what he sees is wrong in Washington politics and what he'd do differently.
Celebrities have a difficult time with being taken seriously. Yet some have been able to overcome that challenge. One quickly comes to mind -- Ronnie Reagan.
Hopefully after you watch this short piece, you'll follow this contest with greater interest -- and perhaps those who are thinking of running might well be served by what Mr. Clay Aiken has to say.
Chuck Todd today was left scratching his head, trying to understand the concocted, convoluted thinking of North Carolina's Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican. The infamous governor who stacked the elections oversight in his state, every district supervisor is a Republican, has some contradictory things to say. He's living in the state or denial, not the tar heels state.
The Governor somehow feels that lopping seven days off of early voting isn't cutting hours, it's "compacting the calendar." That's one way to turn a phrase. It's tantamount to telling a person who's had an arm removed that it wasn't amputated, it was just compacted.
If you shorten the early voting time from 14 days to 7, there's no way that's not voter suppression. Dropping Sunday pre-election voting to McCrory is, get this, just giving the election personnel family time, ignoring the fact the Blacks historically vote after Church the Sunday preceding election Tuesday.
The word salad out of the state chief executive's mouth doesn't stop there. When questioned on stricter ID laws, he doesn't hesitate to bring up that in his state you needing an ID to buy Sudafed at the store. What he forgets is that a student ID is okay for controlled substance identification but not for voter registration or actual identification at the polls.
He has pushed and succeeded so far in getting the state to not accept student ID's to vote and has even gone so far as to remove any voter polling places on campuses. To combat criticism, he's increased the total number of polling places -- but only in Republican leaning districts. He's eliminated a number of voting locations, all in predominantly student or minority districts. His purpose is clear. He wants to weed out voters in Democratic leaning precincts.
Watch Chuck try to pin McCrory down and what comes out of the Governor's mouth. Neither he, nor what he says, can be trusted. The 2013 elections saw three of McCrory's Republicans go down to defeat in their contests, so it's looking like the Gov is headed for a benching, before he is cut from the team.
North Carolina GOP state Rep. Larry Pittman is a real card. What a comedian. He's a regular Laugh. Riot! Italicized!
No, I'll do you one better: He oughta get his very own late night talk show... so we can turn him off.
Here's what he told his supporters at a town hall meeting in Concord, via Taegan. Equally disturbing: the crowd laughed:
Someone had posted something with a picture of Barack Obama and across it said "traitor." And, you know, I don't always agree with the guy, I certainly didn't vote for him but I gotta defend him on this one.
I just don't think it's right at all to call Barack Obama a traitor. There's a lot of things he's done wrong but he is not a traitor. Not as far as I can tell. I haven't come across any evidence yet that he has done one thing to harm Kenya.
There's little attempt by the Republican party to hide their bigotry in North Carolina. At one time they were considered inspired. Now they're heading to become expired. They've quickly gone from impulsive to repulsive. If this ever was more evident than this video, I haven't seen it -- yet. But I am talking about the GOP/Tea Party.
Aasif Mandvi sat down with Don Yelton, a North Carolinian precinct captain who apparently missed the "don't be racist" memo. In the interview, he copped to loving portrayals of President Obama as a witch doctor, claimed that one of his best friends is black, and even used both the phrase "lazy blacks" and the N-word while defending the state's voter ID laws.
UPDATE: Don Yelton, the man who made racially insensitive comments on Wednesday's "Daily Show," has resigned his position as a GOP precinct captain upon the request of the North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope. Mr. Pope denounced his statements as "completely inappropriate and highly offensive." Pope also clarified that contrary to "The Daily Show's" identification, Yelton is not in fact a member of the NCGOP Executive Committee.
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Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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