Archive for U.S. Congress

Rick Perry, Governor Good Hair, Takes a Great Mug Shot

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perrywaronwomenRick Perry found  his niche.

Being indicted -- finally -- at the gubernatorial level.

It's going around, not the best year for conservative governors. Still praying that Chris Christie's moment is close. November is right around the proverbial corner.

It is critical that we all get our derrieres to the Voting Booth, friends. It's positively likely we may see (and hear) that giant fall from Trenton.

Perry

Superb footage by Maddow, she's been all over Perry. Two takes.
 

 

Maddow is ah-mazing, on every story - she does background and employs a fact checker. Remember those?

Fascinating piece on Perry by Cleveland Online.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- On paper, Texas Governor Rick Perry has been indicted by an Austin grand jury on two felony counts for coercion and abuse of official capacity. But in reality, Perry is being prosecuted for playing hardball politics and nothing more.

Perry's indictment stems from his response to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg pleading guilty to DUI charges in 2013. Perry, along with other Texas officials, demanded Lehmberg resign, declaring her unfit to continue serving as D.A. and head of the State's Public Integrity Unit. When Lehmberg refused, Perry used his line-item veto power to slash the funding of the Public Integrity Unit. Travis County is the county seat of the Texas Capitol. Perry and other elected officials have long sought to have the powers of the State Public Integrity Unit Transfered to the State Attorney General's office.

 

Courtesy By Jeff Darcy, Northeast Ohio Media Group

Courtesy/By Jeff Darcy, Northeast Ohio Media Group

The real abuse of power here seems to be the special prosecutor seeking to indict Perry for demanding the resignation of a D.A. convicted of DUI and using his constitutional line-item veto powers.

If politicians like Perry are going to start being jailed for being politicians and using authorized powers, it's going to take a lot of Texas illegal aliens to help build all the new prisons that will be needed to house them all.

Now there's yer' sign. Will Perry Operatives and Sugah Daddy's jump ship like the rats they are? Wouldn't be very nice to have poor GreenPeace stuck with him.

Perry's own words:



Gov. Rick Perry addresses ISIS in D.C. speech

Ick.

More Ick, sorry for the Fvx overtones.

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America's Militant Right Gets a Candidate Up to Bat - Georgia Pastor Jody Hice

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False
This is one of those stories that make you want to say about the entire country, "I know we are smarter than that!"

The camo military vehicle being used for Tea Party stumping is just the tip of the iceberg for this Hice cat, he's one of the crowd that sees President Obama as some evil super-villain to the Rabid Right  who is either completely incapable, wholly Sanz Feck and yet perplexingly clever enough to redistribute wealth and get a socialist agenda underway.

Typical Fvx Nation logic.

Which brings us back to Pastor Hice. Hice ain't nice, as one political friend commented on the southern fried nonsense that's erupting over in the Lipton Brigadiers wing of the GOP side of the 10th congressional district in the state of Georgia. Even for Georgia, it's distasteful.

The Koch Broz. are, of course, at the other end of the buck on this one. From a superb long form investigative report over at Vice:

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee endorsed Jody Hice because he is a true champion for conservative issues that are important to women and their families," wrote Penny Nance, the CEO of CWA. The most recently available disclosures show that the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee received $8.1 million from Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the oil baron Koch brothers' "secret bank," which is reportedly used to disperse funds from their fundraisers with other billionaire conservative donors. During roughly the same period as the Freedom Partners' check, the CWA LAC raised only $8.7 million, meaning the Koch donor network pays most of the group’s bills.

As jaw-dropping as the GOP Disconnect Lady Quote was, Vice had even more dirt on Pastor Hice's views on those who don't oppose abortion with every fiber of their fervently religious souls. He predictably went there on Hitler.

Hice calls America's record on abortion "much worse than Hitler's six million Jews," says Muslims do not "deserve First Amendment rights," has said that women should consider running for office only if their husbands approve, and has claimed that the Sandy Hook child massacre was God's response to ending school prayer.

you-think-im-ywwqli

For true quirkiness, he embraced the Jews and went postal on the Mormon Church, which ties in nicely to the Right's cloying love affair with Israel this summer but is relatively rarely seen in The Open. In other words, they usually try to keep this level of wingnuttery under wraps for surprisingly sensible reasons.

These are not views society ought to be comfortable with.

In a 2011 interview, during a chat that at one point revolved around Hice's contention that the Obama administration is "destroying, purposefully" America's "Judeo-Christian heritage," Hice was asked by an evangelical talk radio host if it would be worth "replacing Obama with Mormon [and failed 2012 GOP Presidential nominee] Mitt Romney?" Without missing a beat, Hice told the interviewer, Rick Wiles, that there was little difference between the two. Hice said one of the reasons he couldn't trust Romney was because of "his understanding of our Christian values." He added, Romney is "a wolf in sheep's clothing." (You can listen to the interview here.)

Romney was dogged by evangelicals who questioned his religion during both of his runs for the presidency. But those attacks were generally at the margins, made by inconsequential preachers or low-level politicians.

O-kay, now. We have ourselves a winner as far as extreme wackadoo militia types with a Judeo-Christian flavor go.

But we are also looking at Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in office, so don't-don't-do not even entertain the thought of slacking off in 98 days and let the vote get away from us.

notsure

Seriously. If that's chump change for the Koch Brothers, it's come down to the voting booth for power moves.

 

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Radioactive waste a toxic byproduct of fracking, drilling in N. Dakota

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headdesk radioactive waste fracking

Back in May I wrote, Hey Big Oil "pro-lifers": Fossil fuels may be killing babies! Today's Los Angeles Times has an extensive report about how, in North Dakota, fracking may very well be producing radioactive waste. Again, "pro-lifers," the question is: What do you value more, life or profits?

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

So you know how Republicans despise oversight? Because, freedom! Don'tcha wonder if they ever consider their fellow Americans' freedom to keep breathing? Especially those self-proclaimed right-to-lifers. It's hard to fathom that they are actually this okay with exposure to deadly toxins as long as their corporate gods make a buck.

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

Am I repeating myself? I tend to do that when I'm livid. And appalled. And sickened. But I'm not sickened in a way that will potentially kill me. No, that's reserved for the victims of Fracking, Inc. in North Dakota, the second-largest oil-producing state, right after Texas.

Did I mention that North Dakota doesn't have an environmental protection agency?

Did I mention that New Mexico GOP Gov. Susana Martinez weakened her state's rules on hazardous waste last year?

Did I mention that the EPA is not providing adequate oversight? That would be the Environmental PROTECTION Agency.

Did I mention that my head is throbbing from banging it on my desk?

Via the L.A. Times must-read story:

Nearly 1,000 radioactive filters were found last year at the landfill, part of a growing tide of often toxic waste produced by the state's oil and gas rush. Oil field waste includes drill cuttings — rock and earth that come up a well bore — along with drilling fluids and wastewater laced with chemicals used in fracking.

To many local and tribal officials, environmentalists and some industry managers in North Dakota, the dumping of the socks [filters clotted with radioactive dirt] and the proliferation of other waste shows the government falling short in safeguarding the environment against oil field pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency decided during the Reagan era to classify oil field waste as not hazardous, exempting it from tight controls and leaving it to be managed by widely varied state laws. Nationally, no one tracks how many millions of tons of waste the fossil fuel boom generates, or where it ends up.

There's that "leaving it to the states" beast raising its ugly head again. Republican-run states have done so well with the Affordable Care Act and voting rights. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for one thing, North Dakota situating "slop pits" of poison over "known aquifers" could be a teeny tiny problem.

Some of the people quoted in the article requested anonymity because they were afraid of repercussions-- like, you know, getting fired-- for trying to point out things like waste management failures, fear of carcinogens in groundwater, exemptions for radioactive elements being classified as hazardous waste, and for putting frackin' lives in danger. Things like that.

And then there's-- ta-daa!-- Congress:

The EPA says it cannot reclassify oil field waste as hazardous without legislative action, which, with the current Congress, is unlikely.

bangheadSee: "Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

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"Absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for GOP"

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democracy setback

A report just came out from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. It confirmed what many of us already knew: that Americans are "staying away from the polls in droves." Not good, not good at all. The prediction is that the midterm primary elections will set record lows in voter turnout. "Who cares?" many of you may be asking. Well, per the Los Angeles Times, that would be a real setback for democracy:

Why does that matter? “It presents a danger to our society insofar as democracy does thrive on the consent and involvement of the governed,” said Curtis Gans, director of the nonpartisan election research center and a decades-long student of voter behavior. “Leadership needs some form of mandate.”

The study says a major factor in the low turnout is a sense of futility: congressional districts consciously drawn to favor one party or the other, which leave many voters wondering why they should bother participating when the outcome is preordained.

Got that? Gerrymandering is a major culprit. Scroll through our many posts on that subject.

gerrymander definition

To repeat, low voter turnout is bad for democracy... and usually bad for Democrats, specifically.

Adjacent to that article was another one about a different kind of setback. It has a somewhat encouraging title (key word: somewhat), No partisan wave building for fall elections, but GOP gains likely:

[F]or now, the absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for Republicans, who had hoped earlier this year that the unpopularity of President Obama's healthcare law would guarantee big gains for them.  [...]

The public's dismal view of Congress probably accounts for some of that lack of enthusiasm about voting.

That last sentence is an understatement, IMHO. Our own Sherry Hardy wrote a great post about that here, and I followed up here.

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

And from the Timing Is Everything Dep't., Steve Kornacki subbed for Chris Matthews on Hardball and treated us to his own "Let Me Finish" segment in which he opined on the long game for Democrats:

Kornacki:

Right now, at least, it doesn't look like a big Republican wave is building, and it does look like Democrats can at least hold their own this fall. And if they can do that, then it sets up the real battle in 2016...

In 2016, Republicans won't just get to take shots at the White House, they'll have to put up a candidate of their own. They'll have to write a platform of their own, run on an agenda that might not sit that well with most Americans. There could be a huge opportunity for Democrats...

2014 is important to [the Democrats], but 2016? That's the ball game.

You know what to do:

vote  turnout  gotv

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