Sunday Reads: Dinosaurs are Ruining my Life!Posted: January 31, 2016
They’re out to fuck with your lives too.
Yes, the dinosaurs are out in droves…particularly in the last 48 hours you will find them hunting the bare stark cornfields of Iowa.
Right before heading to church, Donald Trump ripped Ted Cruz’s campaign on Sunday morning for sending mailers to Iowa voters designed to look like official documents that accuse them of a “VOTING VIOLATION” for failure to turn out in past elections.
“The Cruz campaign issued a dishonest and deceptive get out the vote ad calling voters ‘in violation,'” Trump tweeted. “They are now under investigation. Bad!”
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Trump’s comments come after Iowa’s top elections official condemned the mailers on Saturday, though he did not announce any investigation.
Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement that Cruz’s mailers, which has the words “official public record” printed in red at the top, “misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law.”
“There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting,” said Paul, who was elected statewide as a Republican in 2014. “Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.”
The controversial Cruz mailers show the name of the person receiving the mail at the top and then give them a grade on an A to F scale. Below, it shows their neighbors and their voting scores. It then urges them to caucus next week and warns, “A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”
Ted Cruz on Saturday evening defended a mailer sent out by his campaign that has been criticized by Iowa’s secretary of state as “misleading” and a violation of “the spirit of the Iowa caucuses.”
“I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote,” Cruz said, speaking to reporters before a rally in Sioux City, Iowa.
Earlier Saturday, the Cruz campaign came under fire for sending out a mailer, with the look of an official state document, that warns of a “voting violation.” It informs voters they are receiving the notice “because of low expected voter turnout in your area” and says a “follow-up notice” may arrive after the Iowa caucuses.
The mailer looks like it is building on social science research showing that guilt is a powerful way to mobilize voters to turnout.
Cruz claimed that there was nothing wrong with the mailer—and that in fact mailers like this are routine. “Matt Schultz, who is a former secretary of state, is the chairman of our campaign, put out a public statement saying these mailers are routine,” he said. “The Iowa Republican Party has done so in the past—in past elections.”
Yes, deception is used frequently by Republicans in Iowa.
And you know, there is another link if you care:
There is one dinosaur who is really out on the kill. He is not one of those who viciously attacks his prey, his death dance is one of lethal environmental racism and contamination…while email messages clearly show he protected those of his fellow Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species .
Throughout most of 2015, the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder told the residents of Flint, Mich., that their tap water was safe to drink. But emails released on Thursday suggest the state was concerned about its own employees’ exposure to the city’s water as early as January of last year, even arranging for purified water to be provided at a state office building there.
The emails depict an exchange that month between employees of two state departments that expresses concern about the water’s safety within the Michigan government long before Mr. Snyder acknowledged to residents in the fall that there was a problem.
The correspondence — between employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget — was obtained by a liberal advocacy group, Progress Michigan. The news was reported on Thursday by The Detroit Free Press.
Lonnie Scott, the executive director of Progress Michigan, accused the state government of valuing the well-being of its employees more than that of Flint’s residents.
…attorneys have subpoenaed all emails and communications between Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) over the ongoing Flint water crisis, a few details have been released showing what can only be described as depraved indifference on the part of state workers to the plight of Flint citizens.
The Republican governor released some staff emails on Jan. 20, showing that he was well aware that Flint citizens were slowly being poisoned following a decision by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to force them to live with lead-tainted water.
Out of over 270 pages of communications released, one comment was stunning in its admission of how shabbily complaints over the water were treated by state workers.
According to the NY Times, Snyder was informed in one email that a state nurse told one young mother to not worry about the damage being done to her child when her son’s blood showed an elevated lead level.
“It is just a few IQ points. … It is not the end of the world,” the nurse reportedly told the worried mom.
According to whistle-blower Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, “If you were going to put something in a population to keep them down for generations to come — it would be lead.”
The state of Michigan and Flint have already come under attack for using a poster – created by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services — informing parents that it was safe to bathe their children in the contaminated water.
While the poster was pulled, an advisory remained on the state website informing residents that the water is “safe to use for washing because ‘lead in bath water will not soak into your skin fast or at high levels.’ ”
Gov. Snyder’s administration has until Feb. 9 to turn over all communications regarding Flint, dating back to 2011.
Other area’s in the country feel a similar death dance, from different dinosaurs…
South Dakota has 272 Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUMs) which are contaminating waterways such as the Cheyenne River, and desecrating sacred and ceremonial sites. An estimated 169 AUMs are located within 50 miles of Mt. Rushmore where millions of tourists risk exposure to radioactive pollution each year.The delegation is warning of the toxic legacy caused by more than 15,000 AUMs nationwide, extreme water contamination, surface strip coal mining and power plants burning coal-laced with radioactive particles, radioactive waste from oil well drilling in the Bakken Oil Range, mill tailings, waste storage, and renewed mining threats to sacred places such as Mt. Taylor in New Mexico and Red Butte in Arizona.Indigenous communities have been disproportionately impacted as approximately 75 percent of AUMs are located on federal and Tribal lands.“In 2015 the Gold King Mine spill was a wake-up call to address dangers of abandoned mines, but there are currently more than 15,000 toxic uranium mines that remain abandoned throughout the US”, said Ms. White Face. “For more than 50 years, many of these hazardous sites have been contaminating the land, air, water, and national monuments such as Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Each one of these thousands of abandoned uranium mines is a potential Gold King mine disaster with the greater added threat of radioactive pollution. For the sake of our health, air, land, and water, we can’t let that happen.”[…]UPDATE: The Navajo Nation’s non-Indian water rights attorney is once again giving away Navajo water rights. Navajos are urging the Navajo President to veto a water rights settlement for Utah Navajo water rights, ramrodded through the Navajo Nation Council on Tuesday.Read more:The water contamination on the Navajo Nation is more horrific than in Flint, Michigan. However, the contamination continues because of the racism in the United States which disregards the contamination in Indian country. The collapsed media in Indian country, and the biased mainstream media, fail to expose it.Today, an Indigenous delegation begins a series of protests and events in Washington D.C. to expose the radioactive pollution in Indian country.The Navajo Nation’s water has been poisoned since the 1950s by uranium mining, then by coal mining, and dirty coal-fired power plants.Navajo water has long been contaminated by Peabody Coal mining on Black Mesa, uranium spills, strewn radioactive tailing from the Cold War uranium mining, and recently the EPA’s poisoning of the Animas and San Juan Rivers.Further, the US government knew when it relocated Navajos to the Sanders, Arizona, area that radiation from the Church Rock, N.M., uranium spill would poison their water by way of the Rio Puerco wash. In the Four Corners region, three coal fired power plants poison the water in runoffs.Dine’ (Navajo) Louise Benally, resisting relocation at Big Mountain for 40 years, said, “Our water has been impacted since the 1950’s on to today.” Read more at:Meanwhile, in south central Arizona, Apaches continue their fight against the copper mine which Arizona Sen. John McCain sneaked into the defense bill. McCain’s land giveaway to Resolution Copper would desecrate the Apache ceremonial grounds at Oak Flat. The copper mine would result in an environmental disaster, which includes poisoning the water. McCain has long been a member of the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which reveals the true nature of this committee and its role in the theft of Indian lands, and the poisoning of Indian country by corporate polluters. Apaches welcome all to their march at the end of February.
With the Iowa caucuses only days away, Senator Ted Cruz has announced the formation of a “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition that aims to “champion every child, born and unborn.”
Among the national co-chairs of that coalition is Troy Newman, one of the more malevolent figures in the anti-choice movement. He is the president of the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, and a board member at the Center for Medical Progress, which just saw two employees indicted in Houston for deceptions conducted while creating the now-infamous “baby parts” videos that targeted Planned Parenthood.
Newman has often suggested that the murder of abortion doctors is legally permissible, and his group has been connected to several notorious anti-choice acts of violence over the past 20 years.
It would be virtually impossible not to be aware of this fact—it defines Newman’s career—yet Cruz said in a statement Wednesday that “Every single national co-chair in this coalition has led the charge for the pro-life cause and is a true inspiration.” Newman formally endorsed Cruz back in November, which created a small stir-up in the press, and Cruz is now doubling down on his connection with Newman.
Cruz unveiled his new “pro-life coalition” at a Wednesday night rally in Des Moines where he argued that he is the candidate with the most credible opposition to abortion. “The question we ought to ask is, don’t tell me that you’re pro-life. Show me. When have you stood up and fought to defend the right to life?” he said.
Some articles that will give you a breather in all this massive pile of dinosaur shit…
That one above is by Mary Steenburgen.
At the end of tonight’s Trump-less GOP debate, the candidates played the customary “wander around the stage and pretend you actually like each other” game. But apparently, even when they’re just pretending, the candidates stillcan’t bring themselves to stomach Ted Cruz.
Video of the full “ignore the asshole Ted” at the link.
And now a look at how the Dinosaurs look from outside the USA:
In connection with this…
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am very concerned when I see presidential candidates fanning the flames of animosity. In the ’30s in Germany, Jews were the target, but the dangerous rhetoric of today is focused on Muslims and particularly Syrian refugees. Like the anti-Semitic tirades of decades ago, many of the same ingredients are present in the speeches of candidates who hold surprisingly high levels of support from the American people.
It is an all too familiar recipe: Strip away individuality and wrap everyone in the group into an amorphous and frightening entity. Speak about what they will take from us and add in a strong nationalist sentiment that allows people to justify their hatred as patriotic allegiance. It was this lethal combination that sent my family to Auschwitz, my father to the gas chamber, and me, a boy of 16, to a slave labor camp where I was forced to build railroads on starvation rations. The SS guards were able to do this to us because they lost sight of our humanity and of our individuality.
Unfortunately, there will always be leaders who will attempt to garner power through the vilification of others. McCarthy in the ’50s, and George Wallace a little later, come easily to mind. History is never on the side of these leaders. Instead, it reveres the people who opposed them. And so it will be with our fear mongering candidates and the citizens who refuse to support them.
Leaders can be persuasive, and rhetoric can be powerful, but we always have the option to think more deeply than these politicians and to resist being swayed by words meant to denigrate others. We have some powerful tools in the arsenal of our own minds. Scientists have found that we can resist prejudice by focusing on the commonalities between others and ourselves, by recognizing the joys and pains experienced by the individual and how these are so very similar to our own experiences.
When I see Syrian refugees on television struggling to make their way to safety, I see the similarity between their plight and my own struggles to come to America after I was liberated from the camps. I can remember what it was like to flee danger in search of a safe place to begin my life anew, the fear as we bribed Soviet border guards to let us pass, the arduous journey, day and night, carrying all of our belongings on our backs, the grief and worry for family who had stayed behind.
And a last round up of various links:
State Rep. Tommy Benton is an unapologetic supporter of Georgia’s Confederate heritage.
He flatly asserts the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery, compares Confederate leaders to the Founding Fathers and is profoundly irritated with what he deems a “cultural cleansing” of Southern history. He also said the Ku Klux Klan, while he didn’t agree with all of their methods, “made a lot of people straighten up.” (Read the AJC’s latest coverage here.)
The Ku Klux Klan has gotten a bad rap, according to one Georgia lawmaker. He says the terror group “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order” that “made a lot of people straighten up.”
That leader is now hellbent on stopping the “cultural cleansing” of the South’s heritage. So far this year, State Rep. Tommy Benton (R) has co-sponsored two bills to preserve the Confederate’s legacy.
Following the massacre at the historic Emanuel AME Church last year, activists and lawmakershave pushed to removeConfederatesymbols in the South. According to Benton, those efforts constitute “cultural terrorism,” akin to what ISIS is doing.
“That’s no better than what ISIS is doing, destroying museums and monuments,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). “I feel very strongly about this. I think it has gone far enough. There is some idea out there that certain parts of history out there don’t matter anymore and that’s a bunch of bunk.”
So on Wednesday, Benton introduced House Resolution 1179, which would amend the state constitution to prevent the tarnishing of monuments at Stone Mountain. Referencing Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the bill says “heroes of the Confederate States of America … shall never been altered, removed, concealed or obscured in any fashion and shall be preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.”
Benton also introduced House Bill 855 to make Confederate Memorial Day and Lee’s birthday “public and legal holidays.” During his interview with AJC, Benton echoed the longstanding argument that the Civil War was not about slavery.
The KKK, for example, is currently devising new ways to recruit new members and “save [their] race.” The hate group has ramped up its inflammatory rhetoric, calling for the murder ofimmigrants and gay people. It’s creating neighborhood watch groups to snuff out criminal activity. And now it’s organizing around Donald Trump’s Islamophobia.
And finally, the end all of all dinosaurs coming to get you….if you live in Kentucky…you can rely on two things. Death and your Taxes going towards the Jesus rides a Dinosaur Museum.
Kentucky taxpayers may end up subsidizing this embarrassing project after all.
This is an open thread….