Wednesday Reads: It’s Black…Its White…It’s Whiter White

Good Afternoon

As you will notice today’s post is being accompanied by black and white stripes. (Or are they white and black stripes?)

Black and white printed stripes, black shadows against white skin, or white lights streaming upwards against a black night.

Whatever the case may be, I think the last few days have brought home my deepest fears…perhaps it is because I live in Banjoville, a town that is so predominately Trump territory. So I have the intimate knowledge of the “phenomena” that is Trump-ism… you know that shit that so many dumb-asses in the media write about…let me tell you plain and simple what is Trump’s Juju with the crowd who is voting for him come November.

It is white supremacy.

Shall I repeat it? Yes, I think I should.

White Supremacy.

image

 

And it brings with it all the other horrible baggage you would expect…the usual racism, hate, intolerance, misogyny, assholism, and all the rest peppered with a shit load of “christian values” as they define the code of religious virtue…as it applies to who they feel deserves it. Which you all know is limited to those they consider “right” enough (white enough) to meet the approved standard.

imageAs this quote from Juan Cole, when speaking about the shit-stain Rep. Stephen King…and his disgusting comment at the RNC on Monday: Rep. Stephen King, White People and ‘Civilization’

Rep. Steve King objected to a comment during a cable news discussion at MSNBC that this will be the last election dominated by old white people.


Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) offered an unusual defense of the racial homogeneity of his party during a panel on MSNBC Monday evening.

The group, led by Chris Hayes, was discussing the first day of the Republican national convention and Donald Trump’s history of racially-loaded comments and behavior. King told Hayes that he thought Trump had “modified” his behavior in that regard, but Esquire’s Charlie Pierce said he didn’t see much diversity reflected in the gathering itself.

image“If you’re really optimistic, you can say that this is the last time that old white people will command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face,” Pierce said. “That hall is wired,” he continued. “That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”

King objected.

“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

image“Than white people?” Hayes asked, clearly amazed.

“Than, than Western civilization itself,” King replied. “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

There are lots of basic things wrong with King’s statement, even just starting with his category of ‘whiteness’. Whiteness is not ‘natural’– it is an invented category. Were Irish white? A lot of English didn’t think so. “Whites” rioted against Greek immigrants to the US. White supremacists still argue over whether to let in Italian-Americans. Me, I don’t want to be called white and I decline that categorization whenever the government or other people with questionnaires will let me. The Appalachian side of my family probably has some Melungeon to it and some of us aren’t all that ‘white.’

imageCole goes on to correct King’s ridiculous statement about “civilization” here:

If by civilization is meant urban society with high rates of literacy, scientific and technological innovation, role specialization and division of labor, and high levels of collective government, then northern European Christians did not invent it.

Iraq, Iran, India, China and Egypt did. The Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Elamites, Persians, Indians, Chinese and the Pharaohs of Egypt had civilization for thousands of years while Celts in Britain were painting themselves blue and doing hunting and gathering in the wastes.

There is way more at the link, please go and read the full article.

imageYou can see video of the statements here: America And White Cultural Superiority: Representative Steve King

Of course it is no use to show or tell these Trumptarians the facts. Because they will go on, completely make up false stuff, put it in school books and teach it to the young children. And hey, they don’t even have to stick to charter schools anymore, in Texas…where most of the US public schools purchase their textbooks to use in the public education system, fact is a thing of the past.

A Textbook That Paints Mexican-Americans As Lazy Could Be Coming To A School Near You

It’s “deeply flawed,” but that hasn’t stopped the Texas State Board of Education before.

imageA proposed Mexican-American studies textbook has drawn harsh criticism for what Latino educators and scholars in Texas are calling a lack of scholarly expertise, major factual inaccuracies and demeaning characterizations of Mexican-Americans.

“What we have now is a deeply flawed and a deeply offensive textbook,” Celina Moreno, of the Texas Latino Education Coalition, said at a Monday press conference.

Groups like Moreno’s came together with professors who specialize in Mexican-American heritage, and who had been independently scrutinizing the textbook, to share some of their disturbing findings.

imageEmilio Zamora, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, reviewed material that covered the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-48 to the present. He said he found “five to seven serious, serious errors per page,” which render the entire publication “useless and even counterproductive.”

The Texas State Board of Education is currently reviewing the book for potential approval. Although the book’s fate is far from clear, the board has previously approved textbooks and curricula that deny climate change, promote creationism, whitewash historical events and maintain that the roots of Western democracy are found in the Bible.

And last year, the board rejected a proposal that state-approved elementary and high school textbooks be fact-checked by academics. 

imageOh, that emphasis is mine…

Because of the state’s tremendous clout in the educational publishing world, Dan Quinn of the nonpartisan educational watchdog group Texas Freedom Network told HuffPost that content that makes the grade in the Lone Star State is likely to be adopted ― in some form or another ― well beyond its borders.

I really feel that this has been coming for some time. I remember writing about this textbook shit years ago…it is one of the topics we have discussed frequently on the blog.

The lone proposal for a Mexican-American heritage textbook came from Momentum Instructions, a company linked to Cynthia Dunbar, a former education board member known for her extreme conservative views. Quinn described her four-year term on the board as “one culture war after another.”

imageIn a 2008 book titled One Nation Under God ― released while Dunbar was still serving on the state board ― she called public education “tyrannical” and a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion,” according to the Texas Observer.

As for the proposed textbook, Quinn suggested that Dunbar and its authors were seeking to “promote their own political and personal ideas.” He said the authors lack credible expertise in the field of Mexican-American studies.

Emails and calls to Momentum Instructions were not immediately returned.

For a few more remarks on this “textbook” see this article: Scholars Have Scathing Reviews for Mexican-American History Textbook

imageIt sounds like something you would expect in a nation that has Trump as the official GOP Candidate for President…

As the State Board of Education (SBOE) is accepting comments on the book before voting on it in November, a group of academics and advocacy groups decided to take a closer look at Mexican American Heritage. Organized as the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition, they announced their reviews Monday morning at the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) offices in Austin.

As it went on, the press conference began to sound more like the least successful book blurb pitch session ever:

“A deeply flawed and deeply offensive textbook that has no place in Texas classrooms.” — Celina Moreno, Texas Latino Education Coalition

image“Useless and even counter-productive.” — Emilio Zamora, professor of history at UT-Austin

“Replete with … offensive racial stereotypes.” — Lilliana Saldaña, associate professor of Mexican-American studies at UT-San Antonio

“So riddled with factual errors that a traditional publisher would not have recognized or tried to publish this book.” — Christopher Carmona, National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies-Tejas Foco

“Willfully irresponsible, culturally chauvinist and discriminatory.” — Zamora

“The person who wrote the section on Texas history would have failed a fourth-grade exam. … There are no women cited or quoted in the entire chapter.” — José María Herrera, assistant professor of education at UT-El Paso

image“Simply unworthy. … Obviously a fraud.” — Zamora, again

The coalition is calling for the SBOE to completely reject the book — not just require a few tweaks to the text — for a combination of factual errors, academic laziness and cultural insensitivity.

Saldaña noted that the book not only refers to indigenous people as “Indians,” but provides a lengthy explanation of why “Indians” is the best term to use. Elsewhere, Saldaña pointed out, the authors describe one group of people as driven by “bloodlust” — language she said was better suited to a Hollywood script than a serious academic text.

imageUh…chapters with no women writers or quotes? What the fuck? (Misogyny strikes again!) I don’t know, the few comments from members of the Republican board members will give you an example of how frustrating the attitude can be…Proposed Texas textbook describes Mexican-Americans as ‘lazy,’ new coalition works to block it – The Washington Post

The Texas State Board of Education is reviewing the proposed book and will consider public comments and feedback in September.

In an article in the Austin American-Statesman last month, one board member said the textbook was okay with him:

Board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, who opposed asking for a Mexican-American studies course and textbook, said the proposed book seems fine.

image“It’s really kind of amusing. The left-leaning, radical Hispanic activists, having pounded the table for special treatment, get approval for a special course that nobody else wanted,” Bradley said. “Now they don’t like their special textbook? I bet they want everyone to also get an A for just attending? The one thing we can’t fix in this world is unhappy people.”

It really pisses me off…fuck him. (That male superior tone in the statement. How I hate it.) And this is how the majority of the population in my home town think. It is exactly how a Trumptonain thinks. And it is the kind of person who will vote him into office.

imageJust one more link for you today…this: What’s on Display in Cleveland? The Republican Id – BillMoyers.com

The triumph of Trump has demonstrated the cost of the devil’s bargain that party elites — and the media — have accepted over the years.

What is on display at the RNC in Cleveland is the Republican id. We always suspected it would look something like this. But even though it reared its ugly head on occasion on Fox News or in Congress — on the lips of some right-wing preacher or billionaire hedge-fund manager. They would compare gays to Satan, progressive taxation to Naziism and people of color to criminals at best, animals at worst — but the more polite, polished folks who spoke for the party would always regretfully shake their well-coiffed heads and explain that wasn’t what the party was really about.

And to their eternal shame, most in the media ran interference for this confidence game, only to be blindsided when Trump demonstrated that it had always been a charade.

imageWell thanks to Donald Trump and his followers, the jig is up. Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama was just about the least offensive thing one heard from the podium on Monday night. The rest was a near orgy of hatred, racism, sexism and ethnocentrism. Rudy Giuliani has always presented himself as an avatar of “law and order.” This has been a conservative mantra for half a century. We always suspected it was code for the suppression of African-Americans and now we know. Ditto all this talk of “Judeo-Christian” values. It’s a code for Islamophobia and oppression. And the attacks on Hillary Clinton sound an awful lot as if they are being spoken by people who simply cannot accept the fact that women have the same rights and capabilities as men. And to their eternal shame, most in the media ran interference for this confidence game, only to be blindsided when Trump demonstrated that it had always been a charade.

Listen to the speeches by the Republican heavyweights who have agreed to take the stage in Cleveland; not one of them has put forth an actual idea that makes sense in terms of how to govern the United States. That’s because governance has long ceased being relevant to the Republican coalition. What holds it together is nothing more than nostalgia for a more oppressive America and resentment toward those who refuse, any longer, to sit on the back of bus.

imageMy only response to this is to say that it is what I’ve been seeing all along, for years…from my window into the world that is my “quiet redneck mountain town” of Banjoville, GA. It is frightening as hell. I cannot lean back and think this election is a done deal. That folks will vote for Hillary and that she is a foregone conclusion to win in November. I am truly scared Trump could pull it out, and the stupidity will put him in office…and we will once again see the white lights of supremacy that shone in Nuremberg those years ago…brightening the dark black skies over America…to make America Great Again…to make America Safe Again. (As the RNC message was on Monday.)

Fucking hell.

 

 

 

 


Sunday Afternoon Reads: Hello Sailor 

imageGood Afternoon

If any of y’all see my Facebook wall the past few weeks, you would notice a trend…centered around the word “fuck” as in “fuck it” or “fuck you”. It may be a picture of someone flicking a middle finger, giving the British two finger salute, or it would be just the phrase “Fuck” used in various ways. It is my silent form of protest you see…

Every time I see something in the news that pisses me off, I change it. (Well, not literally every time, because if that was the case the damn image on my wall would be constantly updating.)

Yesterday my right eye was swollen shut, allergies I am sure was the culprit, but damn if there was a part of me that feels it was something more…I was able to avoid reading the news online all together. And this for me was a wonderful joy. Until I saw something that Jslat wrote in the comments on Dak’s post yesterday: Saturday Reads: Let the Record show that Donald Trump is a textbook Misogynist and Racist | Sky Dancing

In reply to a link Dak posted which stated: Hillary Clinton Polls: Clinton Could Be Headed To Big Win In Oregon, Effectively Ending The Race For Bernie Sanders

Oregon has a closed primary!! It’s looking better with each poll!

Jslat made this observation…

 

Jslat

And yet on Face the Nation, the Bern was touted as the likely winner in OR!! Also, heard that Clinton was sloughing toward the nomination!!!

WTF! She will never win in the media’s eyes.

And that is the perfect example of what pisses me off the most. I can’t describe it any other way than to offer this up above.

(Oh… there are so many other things that piss me off, but Dak covered them in the post too. Add to that the Bernie Bros and their asshole contributions to the pile and you see why I have my “fuck this shit” Facebook campaign in full swing. )

So, for today I will just post a couple of links, make this an open thread…and wrap it up nicely with some vintage pictures of sailors. Yeah, let’s objectify some men…for a change.

I'll take the dark lovely man on the upper right hand corner, those three white boys can go back home for good.

I’ll take the dark and lovely man on the upper right hand corner, those three white boys can go back home for good.

GOP chairman says ‘people just don’t care’ about misogyny allegations against Donald Trump – LA Times

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Donald Trumpwould have to answer for allegations about repeatedly disrespecting women, but deflected concerns that it posed a major challenge for his presidential candidacy.

The GOP chairman appeared on Sunday television talk shows and was asked to respond to a New York Times report that documented Trump’s checkered history of disparaging women and making unwelcome advances toward them.

“These are things that he is going to have to answer for,” Priebus said on ABC’s “This Week.” “But I also think there are things from many years ago and I think that, you know, as Christians, judging each other I think is problematic.”

Problematic? Really? Nah…

When asked about the allegations on “Fox News Sunday,” Priebus said it wasn’t likely to affect Trump’s campaign because the American people want change to come to Washington.

“All these stories that come out, and they come out every couple weeks, people just don’t care,” Priebus said. “I think people look at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and say, ‘Who’s going to bring an earthquake to D.C.?’”

A Gallup poll published April 1 found that 70% of women had an unfavorable opinion of the billionaire businessman, who has been married three times.

Trump managed to catapult to the top of a crowded Republican presidential field and garner widespread support from voters despite a controversial style and personal politics that are often at odds with traditional conservatives. His positions on taxes, trade deals and military intervention, even as they have shifted, have not won fans among GOP leadership.

But that trend is beginning to shift.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin moved toward accepting Trump as the Republican presidential nominee Thursday after a closed-door meeting intended to show a gradual unifying of the party.

When asked about the encounter between the two GOP leaders on “This Week,” Priebus said he expects Ryan to endorse Trump.

“I get the sense that it was a great meeting,” he said. “I get the sense that it was everything both parties wanted it to be.”

Geez, someone get me a barf bag, I’m gonna hurl.

Other Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, have already moved toward Trump.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Trump supporter, said on “This Week” that Trump, as a nontraditional politician from outside Washington, isn’t a typical candidate and therefore isn’t judged in the same way. He doesn’t expect the allegations of misogyny to stick to Trump even as he is seemingly headed toward to a general election against the first female presidential candidate in U.S. history.

“People have not expected purity on his part,” Sessions said. “What they’re concerned about, they’re deeply concerned about, is this: somebody strong enough to take on Washington.”

No wait, I was just joking before about throwing up…after that Sessions quote, I really do want to vomit.

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This next link is rather obvious, at least for me: Democrats fear Sanders may undermine efforts to beat Trump | PBS NewsHour

Democratic Party leaders are upping the pressure on Bernie Sanders to drop his presidential campaign, alarmed that his continued presence is undermining efforts to beat the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and again win the White House.

“I don’t think they think of the downside of this,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a supporter of front-runner Hillary Clinton and broker of the post-primary peace between Clinton and then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.

“It’s actually harmful because she can’t make that general-election pivot the way she should,” Feinstein said. “Trump has made that pivot.”

image

I feel the Hillary campaign is thinking along the lines of Feinstein as well…the latest email from her camp was titled “Nuts” and said this:

Things are getting nuts around here! We’re opening offices every week in battleground states like Ohio and Florida, AND we’re fighting every day before the California primary, building for rallies in Kentucky, and even doing voter outreach in the U.S. Virgin Islands! (Hillary wasn’t kidding when she said we’re going to fight for every vote.)

Here’s the deal: Bernie’s not opening field offices in Ohio because he’s only focused on the primary. Donald Trump isn’t opening field offices in California because he’s only focused on the general. We’re the only ones running two races, which means we need this team to step up twice as much.

You know Bernie’s grassroots army and Trump’s billionaire buddies are coming through — can we count on you? Chip in $15 right now, and let’s win BOTH these fights.

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And what if Trump does win? Well we know a few places in Canada which has offered some refuge, now there is an island in Ireland that is doing the same.

An Irish Island Just Offered Political Asylum To Americans Fleeing A Trump Presidency

The idea of a Donald Trump presidency has filled many rational-minded Americans – especially Latino-Americans – with a great fear. The casual talk of mass deportations, ofreligious identity cards, of forcing the press to “tell the truth” are not proposals to be taken lightly. The talk of emigrating if the abrasive reality television star wins the election has become a running theme in the election – some taking it more seriously than others, but the fact that we have to discuss it at all is extremely disturbing.

Thankfully, our allies across the pond are ready to help. The Irish island of Inishturk has announced they would love to have Americans move there following a Trump victory. The tranquil island is in desperate need of new lifeblood, as their population has dwindled to 58, with only three children enrolled in school.

Mary Heanue, the island’s development officer, said that “I’ve heard there are quite a few people in America looking to move to Ireland and other countries if Donald Trump becomes president. I’d like them to know that we’d love to see them consider moving over here.

They’d be given a huge welcome and they’d find this is a fantastic place to live and to bring up children. Their kids would probably get the best education anywhere in the country too, because the teacher to pupil ratio is nearly one-on-one.

Although winters can be hard and it’s the kind of life that wouldn’t necessarily suit everyone, they’d find it very peaceful here and they’d soon find out there’s nowhere as nice in the world on a summer’s day than here.”

 

 

I’m up for it. What about you?

 

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Last links for today, Getting Botox doesn’t just leave YOUR face impossible to read | Daily Mail Online

Getting Botox doesn’t just leave YOUR face impossible to read: Study finds treatment can affect brain and leave people unable to process other’s emotions

  • Humans reproduce emotions they observe from others on their own body
  • As Botox temporarily paralyzes muscles in the face, it blocks this process
  • Researchers say this impairs ability to understand the emotions of others
  • Study revealed it’s especially difficult when observed expression is subtle

I think that explains quite a lot, don’t you?

For a more, medical abstract look at the study: Emotions in the age of Botox — ScienceDaily

Aesthetic treatments based on botulin toxin affect the perception of emotions, new research shows. The consequence of having Botox injected, scientists explain, depends on a temporary block of proprioceptive feedback, a process that helps us understand other people’s emotions by reproducing them on our own bodies.

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And lastly, a little tale about Prince and his legendary Superbowl halftime show performance…The Story Behind Prince’s Super Bowl Performance — Vulture I tell you one thing, the man made me cry that night when I saw the show live on TV.

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So, this is an open thread, what are you reading about today?


Wednesday Reads: Buckets of what?

 

That about sums it up….buckets of shit.

Today’s thread is hosted by a twisted children’s books spoof meme. I’ve done this theme before but since then more of the little devils have sprung up on Pinterest and the like so I thought, why not.

It is sadly however that the news stories I bring you are not spoofs, but the real thing, yes…these are the tales of children…no wait. Former Fetuses…. Who find themselves to be in the unfortunate circumstance now (at least) to be a Female Former Fetus aka Woman/Girl living in a PLUB Anti-choice world.

imageNow there are plenty of links here, some are a few weeks old…but they all focus on primarily one thing.

Starting off with Sam Bee.

Watch: Samantha Bee Exposes the Hideous Lie of Fake Abortion Clinics | Alternet

Recently Samantha Bee introduced her audience to an atrocious anti-woman lawmaker, Senator Renee Unterman of Georgia, who has fought against justice for rape victims. Turns out that is not the only thing Unterman has been doing. She also wrote legislation that allows Georgia to give state money to [Crisis] Pregnancy Resource Centers.

“Woman, have you lost your f*cking mind?” Samantha Bee, host of “Full Frontal,” shouted.

Pregnancy Resource Centers are places that deliberately mislead women about the services that they actually offer.

“Much like Renee Unterman, Crisis Pregnancy Centers may look sweet and helpful, but they’re really full of toxic bullsh*t,” confirmed Bee.

Samantha Bee Takes Down Fake Abortion Centers — The Cut

 

 

If you want to see the rape kit bit Sam Bee mentions in the Abortion clip…here is that video.

 

By the way, other Sam Bee videos can be seen here: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – YouTube

Back to the links…

imageCrisis Pregnancy Centers Are Pretty Bad at Dissuading People Seeking Abortion – Rewire

Until recently, a person who Googled “abortion clinic” might be directed to a CPC instead. CPCs, as a result, are reaching more clients than ever, but as statistics indicate, persuading very few to remain pregnant.

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are billed as alternatives to abortion clinics, but new data suggests they largely fail at their mission, persuading less than 4 percent of clients to forgo abortion care.

Of the 2.6 million clients who visited crisis pregnancy centers since 2004, 3.52 percent, or 92,679 people, decided against having an abortion. The statistics come from eKYROS.com, Inc., an anti-choice, Texas-based software company, which says more than 1,200 CPCs use its software to track clients and measure results.

The publicly available data, as the eKYROS website explains, reflects “clients who came to the center with initial intentions of Abortion or Undecided and then changed their mind to carry baby to term.”

The eKYROS software allows CPCs to collect demographic information on clients and categorize them based on a variety of criteria, including whether they are “abortion minded,” “abortion vulnerable,” or “likely to carry“—categories described in a software demo posted online. These categories are key to assessing whether the facilities are achieving what is at the heart of CPCs’ mission: convincing pregnant people to “choose life,” a viewpoint reflecting the largely evangelical Christian ideals of the centers’ religious operators.

imageFucking hell….

And as the Sam Bee video up top explains, these fuckers get money funds from the government! Yeah, as if having damn “tax free church status” wasn’t enough.

Georgia GOP Approves $2 Million for Anti-Choice Pregnancy Centers – Rewire

Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, said the Republican-backed measure “allows state funds to go to organizations providing women with incomplete information or outright misinformation.”

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a bill Tuesday that provides $2 million in state funding for anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), reported the Associated Press.

SB 308, sponsored by state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), would establish a program through the Georgia Department of Public Health that will provide grants to organizations “whose mission and practice is to provide alternatives to abortion services to medically indigent women at no cost.”

imageOh, but I wonder what will happen to those women and former fetuses once they are looking for help or assistance from these same fuckers?

State lawmaker seeks dramatic cuts in welfare, food stamps | www.ajc.com

This week I wrote about how Georgia won’t be requiring photos on food stamp cards. But that’s just a proxy for the real battle underway to dramatically scale back the food stamp program in Georgia.

State Rep. Greg Morris wants to dial back the state’s social safety net significantlyby requiring Georgia adopt only the bare minimum standards to qualify for federal welfare and food stamp funding.

imageGet this…

“The fundamental issue is that there are too many people” receiving benefits, said Morris, chairman of the House Banking Committee.

Morris has tried to trim the food stamp rolls before. In 2014, he sponsored House Bill 772, which required recipients suspected of using drugs to submit to urine tests and for all recipients to have their photos put on the EBT cards they use to access benefits.

About 1.6 million Georgians are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, roughly 16 percent of the overall state population, according to the state Division of Family and Children Services. About half of food stamp recipients are children.

The food stamp program brings $2.8 billion in annual federal aid to the state, with an average monthly benefit about just under $130 per person.

imageAssholes.

Meanwhile in Alabama, Alabama’s creative new anti-abortion strategy: regulate clinics like sex offenders – Vox

Over the past five years, some states have become quite creative about passing laws that seem specifically designed to close abortion clinics. Innocuous-sounding requirements about building codes ormedical licensing have proven so impossible for abortion providers to comply with that the Supreme Court is considering whether to overturn them.

But Alabama might have just come up with the most creative idea yet:forbidding abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of a public elementary or middle school. Two of the state’s five abortion clinics fit this description — two of the largest, no less, which together provide more than half of all abortions in the state.

imageAs Hannah Levintova of Mother Jones points out, the bill would quite literally regulate abortion clinics in a similar manner as sex offenders. Alabama state law forbids registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and child care facilities. And the bill’s sponsor has made this comparison explicit.

“We can put a restriction on whether a liquor store opens up across the street and make sure pedophiles stay away from schools,” Alabama state Sen. Paul Sanford told the Times Daily in February. “I just think having an abortion clinic that close to elementary-age school children that actually have to walk on the sidewalk past it is not the best thing.”

The bill’s opponents argue that the children would never even know abortions were performed there if not for the disruptive protests outside of the clinic. This, by the way, is why one Washington, DC, charter school is now suing anti-abortion activists.

imageWhat it’s like to own an abortion clinic in a deep red state | Fusion

June Ayers does not ignore calls.

It was after 4 p.m., and Reproductive Health Services, the clinic she has owned and operated for the last 30 years, was closed for the day. Ayers, in periwinkle scrubs dotted with purple butterflies, was seated behind a front desk covered with patient charts. A muted television played HGTV to an empty waiting room. The silent feed from the security cameras revealed a deserted parking lot.

But the phone kept ringing, so Ayers kept answering.

“Reproductive Health, may I help you?” Ayers, 61, has been repeating this line for decades. And her voice—Alabama drawl, all heavy vowels, sugar-sweet with a little rasp—is very likely one of the first things you will hear if you need an abortion within 100 miles of Montgomery.

The clinic is one of just five left in Alabama, which means that a majority of women in the state live in a county without an abortion provider. So in Alabama—like in Texas, like in Mississippi, like in a growing number of states across the country—to have an abortion means to travel.

It also means state-directed counseling intended to discourage abortion, a mandatory ultrasound, two separate clinic visits, and a 48-hour waiting period between them. For women who live outside of Montgomery, the waiting period requires time off work, traveling hundreds of miles for repeat trips, or finding somewhere to stay in the area overnight. And because 60% of women who have abortions are already mothers, the travel required means, in some cases, two full days of childcare. None of it comes cheap.

“And right now the state Legislature has seven other bills ready to go,” Ayers told me as we talked that afternoon, gliding her hand in the air like a conveyor belt.

Minors in the state must overcome another potential barrier: parental consent. Alabama is one of 21 states in the country that require minors to obtain the permission of at least one parentbefore terminating a pregnancy. If they can’t get that, whether because their parent is incarcerated or estranged, abusive, or strictly anti-abortion, then the law says they have to go to court.

For people under the age of 18, getting an abortion in Alabama is a little like that line about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire: all the same steps, except backward and in heels.

imageThe Long Term Impact Of Alabama’s New Abortion Clinic Location Restrictions | Care2 Causes

Alabama, never one to shy away from in your face anti-abortion sentiment, has come up with a new bill that will help to shutter clinics in the state – a requirement that all abortion providers be located at least 2000 feet from any schools. This seemingly innocuous restriction is poised to completely change the landscape of access in the state and beyond, even more than the critics themselves may realize.

The 2000 foot bill was introduced last legislative session as an attempt to close the abortion clinic in Huntsville, Ala., the only clinic in the northern part of the state. It was introduced to target the clinic, which had only recently reopened after moving to a new location because it could not meet the newly enforced building requirements that had been a part of new legislation passed one year prior. Instead, the clinic relocated into a new building that met most of the standards – but was also located across the street from a local school.

The bill failed to make it through both chambers last year, but came back again this session. A brief debate was held over whether the new legislation should allow a grandfather clause, which would have allowed existing clinics an exception. That proposal failed, and now Huntsville – and possibly the clinic in Tuscaloosa, Ala., too – is in danger of losing licensure.

 

imageI’ve used this article before in one of my post, but I think it is important to state it again here:

Missouri Republicans spend more than $8 million to block less than $400,000 in federal funding for Planned Parenthood 

Why?

Anyway, more crazy in Utah:

Utah abortion providers stumped by law requiring fetal pain relief | PBS NewsHour

Utah’s first-in-the-nation requirement that fetuses receive anesthesia or painkillers before some abortions takes effect Tuesday, but doctors say it’s unnecessary and impossible to comply with.

The law requires pain relief for a fetus before any abortion at 20 weeks of gestation or later, based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that stage.

 

New Utah Law Will Require Abortion Doctors To Lie To Their Patients | ThinkProgress

A new Utah law that goes into effect on Tuesday will force doctors to shirk their promise to “do no harm” by dangerously over-anesthetizing women who seek a later abortion.

Informed by anti-abortion state lawmakers rather than by medical experts, the “Protecting Unborn Children Amendment” requires physicians to administer an anesthetic to any women seeking an abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later, to “eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child.” Like many anti-abortion laws on the state level, Utah’s law rests on the unscientific belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

Most states that introduce “fetal pain” legislation try to ban abortions entirely after 20 weeks — and at least 12 have been successful. Utah is the first to pass a anesthesia-related bill instead of outright prohibiting the practice. But according to physicians, it may as well be a ban.

“You’re asking me to invent a procedure that doesn’t have any research to back it up,” said Dr. Leah Torres, an OB-GYN who works at one of Utah’s two licensed abortion clinics, in an interview with the New York Times. “You want me to experiment on my patients.”

Utah physicians have strongly opposed the bill since its inception, arguing that unscientific opinions from state lawmakers have no place in a safe doctor-patient relationship — especially if they put a woman’s life at risk.

 

imageIn other Utah news…At Brigham Young, a Cost in Reporting a Rape – The New York Times

Before she could move into a dormitory atBrigham Young University or sign up for freshman classes, Brooke had to sign the college’s Honor Code.

Part moral compass and part contract, the Honor Code is a cornerstone of life for the nearly 30,000 students at Brigham Young, a Mormon-run university. It points students, faculty and staff members toward “moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” prizing chastity, honesty and virtue. It requires modest dress on campus, discourages consensual sex outside marriage and, among other things, prohibits drinking, drug use, same-sex intimacy and indecency, as well as sexual misconduct.

But after Brooke, 20, told the university that a fellow student had raped her at his apartment in February 2014, she said the Honor Code became a tool to punish her. She had taken LSD that night, and also told the university about an earlier sexual encounter with the same student that she said had been coerced. Four months after reporting the assault, she received a letter from the associate dean of students.

“You are being suspended from Brigham Young University because of your violation of the Honor Code including continued illegal drug use and consensual sex, effective immediately,” the letter read.

This is something of a habit over there at BYU…

In the past few weeks, Brooke and a handful of other female students have come forward, first at a rape-awareness conference and then in The Salt Lake Tribune, to say that after they made complaints of sexual abuse they had faced Honor Code investigations into whether they drank alcohol, took drugs or had consensual sex.

image“They treated me in such an un-Christlike way, like I was some sinner,” said Brooke, who agreed to be identified by her first name. “There was no forgiveness and mercy.”

Their accounts have brought a national debate over colleges’ disparate treatment of women who have reported sexual assaults crashing onto this faith-driven campus, where Mormon students gather from around the globe, skirts must fall to the knee and beards are outlawed. The women’s complaints have focused attention on how the university deals with such cases as it also seeks to uphold a moral code that lies at the heart of its identity.

Brigham Young’s policy on sexual misconduct urges students to come forward even if they have broken university policies. The university says that it investigates sexual assault complaints fully, but that it also has an obligation to pursue misconduct under the Honor Code. According to the sexual misconduct policy, violations of its code discouraging consensual sex are not exempt from scrutiny.

“Brigham Young University cares deeply about the safety of our students,” Carri Jenkins, a university spokeswoman, wrote in an email. “When a student reports a sexual assault, our primary focus is on the well-being of the victim.”

Sometimes, though, “facts come to light that a victim has engaged in prior Honor Code violations,” she said.

While the recent complaints about Brigham Young have come from female students, the university says that all students are required to follow the Honor Code “at all times,” whether on or off campus. Any potential violation that comes to the university’s attention could be investigated, it said. In the wake of the students’ complaints, the university announced last week that it would review how it handled reports of sexual assaults.

Go to the link to see other stories on the situation at BYU,  and to read more about this case.

Then remember this new law in Oklahoma:

imageOklahoma Says Drunk Girls Can’t Get Raped and the Other Worst Rape Laws in the U.S. – The Daily Beast

Bizarre loopholes and double standards in rape legislation aren’t just confined to Oklahoma.

On March 24, an Oklahoma appeals court unanimously ruled that “forcible sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation” (PDF). 

Translated into English: Forcing a woman to perform oral sex while she’s blackout drunk isn’t rape.

Oklahoma Watch first reported the shocking decision, which Tulsa County assistant district attorney Benjamin Fu called “dangerous” and “offensive.” Fu served as the lead prosecutor in a case against a 17-year-old boy who claimed in a police interview that a 16-year-old girl he drove home from a park had consented to oral sex.

 The girl said she did not remember what happened and another boy who rode in the car confirmed that she was having difficulty staying conscious. After she was taken to the hospital early the next morning, tests showed that her blood alcohol level was a staggering .341 and that traces of the boy’s DNA were around her mouth.

But because she was intoxicated—and because the alleged rape was oral rather than vaginal—the court determined that Oklahoma law did not apply to her case. 

Oklahoma’s “rape in the first degree” statute is fairly comprehensive, applying to victims who were mentally ill, intoxicated, unconscious, physically coerced, or threatened with violence. But the “forcible sodomy” statute only lists two barriers to consent: mental illness and violence. 

The difference between the statutes might seem like a technicality, but it’s one that the appeals court took seriously, writing that they could not “enlarge a statute” in order to prosecute the boy.

More alarming than this conclusion is the fact that these bizarre loopholes and double standards in rape legislation aren’t just confined to one state.

As of 2013, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The agency’s prior definition—“the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will”—was not only archaic, it was ambiguous about what, precisely, counted as rape: Did “carnal knowledge” include oral rape, anal rape, rape with an object? 

But even though the federal government has now laid out a crystal clear and expansive definition of rape, several states—not just Oklahoma—still regard nonconsensual vaginal penetration with a penis differently from other, equally serious forms of forcible sex.

As Jennifer Gentile Long, CEO of AEquitas, a resource for prosecutors in cases of violence against women, told The Guardian of the Oklahoma case, “There are still gaps in the ways laws are written that allow some cases to fall through the cracks. This case seems to be one of them.”

imageThat article has other state laws similar to OK which will make you red with anger…but since I am sticking to Oklahoma right now….

This Is Why A Ruling In An Oklahoma Courtroom Disgusted Everyone Including the DA

Unconscious, where you can’t make decisions because you are not awake.

 In an Oklahoma court, a decision was made that states the law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. The ruling is, of course, sparking outrage because critics say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and believing outdated notions in regards to rape.

Sexual Assault Ruling in Oklahoma Spurs Calls to Change State Laws – The New York Times

Outraged activists and prosecutors in Oklahoma called for changes to a state law on forced oral sex after a court rejected the prosecution of a teenage boy in Tulsa because his 16-year-old accuser had been intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness.

“Forcible sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation,” the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in the case.

image“We will not, in order to justify prosecution of a person for an offense, enlarge a statute beyond the fair meaning of its language,” it said.

Advocates for rape victims said the decision by the appeals court was not all that surprising given the patchwork inconsistency of state-by-state sexual assault laws that leave legal gray areas. But other experts said the ruling should jolt other states into examining their own laws.

Oklahoma court rules that forced oral sex is not rape if victim is unconscious from drinking

On yet another abortion front, in this war on women:

Meet the abortion doctor fighting her hospital’s ‘gag order’ | Fusion

Many women’s health advocates wear their passion on their sleeve. Diane Horvath-Cosper wears hers on her ankle, in the form of a coat hanger tattoo—a reminder to herself and others, she says, that our country is rapidly returning to the dark ages of abortion and the horrors this reality entails.

I know about Horvath-Cosper’s new tattoo because I was with her when she got it last month. After we left the tattoo parlor, she promptly Instagrammed a photo of it with the hashtag #NeverAgain, then turned to me and said, sarcastically, “My parents are going to love this.”

imageAs a fellow OBGYN and a friend of Horvath-Cosper’s, I was proud but not at all surprised when she announced, in a mic-drop moment last week, that she was taking legal action against her hospital for forbidding her to speak publicly about her work and beliefs as an abortion provider.

As The New York Times first reported, Horvath-Cosper is filing a civil rights complaint against MedStar Washington Center Hospital in Washington, D.C. for what she describes as a “gag order” that has essentially put the kibosh on her work as an abortion rights advocate. “I don’t think the way to deal with bullies is to cower and pull back,”she told the paper.

Not surprisingly, news of Horvath-Cosper’s decision temporarily broke the internet—or at least that sliver of the internet reserved for abortion news, making her an overnight feminist heroine.

Read the rest about Diane Horvath-Cosper at the link…

‘Abortion Reversal’ Is Scary, Bogus Science – The Daily Beast

Louisiana is the latest state to legislate ‘abortion reversal,’ an unproven and potentially dangerous procedure to counter medical abortion.

imageThe “abortion pill” isn’t one pill, but two pills taken in sequence. First, women visit a clinic and take mifepristone, which blocks progesterone. Then, one to two days later, the drug misoprostol can be used to induce an abortion at home. The entire process—known as medical, rather than surgical, abortion—is safe, effective, and increasingly common.

In recent years, the rise of medical abortion has led some anti-abortion activists and lawmakers to claim that the process can be reversed with an emergency treatment after the first pill. But even if they succeed at turning that myth into law, the truth is that science is not on their side.

What Part Of Your Rape Is My Problem? An Open Letter By Oklahoma Republicans | Left Wing Nation

The Latest Strategy To Prevent Women From Getting A Safe Abortion | ThinkProgress

And the rest of today’s links are on women…yes? And other things….

imageJudge accused of offering young men reduced sentences for sexual favors | www.ajc.com

A district court judge in Arkansas resigned Monday and agreed to never pursue public office again in the face of mounting evidence that he traded reduced sentences and fines for sexual favors and provocative photos of young men under the guise of “community service.”

The Arkansas Judicial and Disability Commission launched an investigation to determine whether to sanction or remove part-time Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann from the bench after an investigator working on an elder abuse case complained that witnesses connected to Boeckmann were dropping his name and refusing to speak with her.

During the course of their investigation, the commission unearthed allegations of misconduct dating back decades.

“He’s a criminal predator who used his judicial power to feed his corrupt desires,” David Sachar, executive director of the commission, told The Associated Press. “Every minute he served as a judge was an insult to the Arkansas Judiciary.”

Boeckmann became a Cross County District Court judge on Jan. 1, 2009. However, the commission said it discovered Boeckmann was using his position to sexually prey on young men as far back as 1985, when he worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney.

 

imageReport Catholic Hospitals Denying Reproductive Care

Jailed in El Salvador after losing their pregnancies

State’s doctors join suit over Dignity Health sterilization ban – SFGate

Purity Pledges May Lead to a Higher Chance of Pregnancy and STDs | Teen Vogue

Priest banned for molesting girl gets a new job as director of teen pregnancy center

Atlanta AIDS epidemic as bad as in some developing countries | www.ajc.com

Gloria Steinem: Feminism and New Documentary – Motto

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Says Olympic Boycott Is ‘On The Table’ | ThinkProgress

Former Australian PM Julia Gillard: Women Need to Call Out Sexism – Fortune

Study: Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, gets the most negative media coverage – Vox

FOX News Tried to Delete Their Fans’ Racism Towards Malia Obama, But We Got Screenshots

imageTrump appeals to men ‘petrified to speak to women’ | Jay Bookman

Donald Trump Promises To Appoint Anti-Abortion Justices To Supreme Court

Anti-Abortion Group Once “Disgusted” by Donald Trump Now Supports Him | Mother Jones

Two Decades After Genocide, Rwanda’s Women Have Made the Nation Thrive – The Daily Beast

Stonewall Inn First LGBTQIA National Monument | The Mary Sue

And we will end this post with Women in Unexpected Places: Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction – Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press

Erika Janik and her new book Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction! Pistols and Petticoats is a lively exploration of the struggles women have faced in law enforcement and in mystery fiction since the late nineteenth century. Working in a profession considered to be strictly a man’s domain, investigating women were nearly always at odds with society. These sleuths and detectives refused to let that stop them, and paved the way to a modern professional life for women on the force and in popular culture. We caught up with Janik to ask her about the social implications of women joining the police force, “murder as entertainment,” and how the reality of policewomen compares with the stories told in the crime genre.

What made you decide to write a book on women detectives and the mystery genre?

Something that always grabs my interest is what I sometimes refer to as “women in unexpected places.” I ran across a woman in Chicago who ran her own private detection agency around the turn-of-the-twentieth century and immediately wanted to know more. That led me deep into reading about real women in law enforcement—there are some real characters in the early years!—and thinking about how that reality compared with the fictional worlds I knew from a lifetime of books, television, and movies.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, how did the role of women in detective stories differ from women’s perceived role in society? How does it differ today, if at all?

Fictional female detectives were definitely on the fringes of acceptable female behavior of the time. Women were thought to be emotional—not logical—and rational beings capable of putting the pieces of a mystery together. Women were also expected to be in the home, not out on the street tailing suspects or inspecting crime scenes for clues. At the same time, though, most of these fictional detectives were either young women or spinsters, two stages of life during which women had a bit more latitude because they didn’t have husbands or children.

Fictional detectives today are much closer to real women in that it’s not unusual for a woman to work or to be out in the city at night on her own. Fictional detectives today also tend to have more complicated personal lives. They may be divorced or from a troubled home. One thing that hasn’t changed is that fictional detectives still tend not to be married.

Pistols and PetticoatsIndustrialization and greater education opportunities in the nineteenth century gave women more time to volunteer and to work in social reform. One role borne of this charitable work was the prison matron, a role that paved the way for women on the force. How did the introduction of prison matrons in women’s correctional facilities impact the lives of female inmates and the view of women in policing?

Reformers lobbied hard for the introduction of prison matrons to help protect female inmates from abuse in prisons run by and designed for men. In some prisons, female and male inmates were housed in the same cell, while in others, women were packed together in a single room and largely ignored. Prison matrons did bring more attention to female inmates and had a better understanding of their charges. It also helped to change perceptions of female inmates among the matrons and other reformers. Where before, a woman in prison would be considered “fallen” and beyond redemption, through their work, matrons began to sympathize and understand the circumstances that often drove women to crime. They actually began to point to men as the problem and cause of women’s downfall.

Prison matrons helped ease the path for women in policing because they demonstrated that women could successfully work in a law enforcement capacity.

When women first entered the world of policing, the typical lady detective was young and unmarried or an older “spinster” to allow more time to focus on the job, as all other women were expected to be married and tending to their families. What were the societal implications when married women and mothers began to enter the police force?

Married women entering the police force faced many of the same obstacles and pressures as any married, working mother took on, though law enforcement definitely had the added potential of bodily harm or even death on the job. Fictional female detectives today still tend to be young or unmarried “spinsters,” widows, or divorcees today—that hasn’t changed. This is one area where reality strongly diverges from fiction because many real female officers had partners and children from the very beginning. For instance, Chicago detective Alice Clement was married with a daughter and still made headlines for her adventures in the 1910s.

 

Sounds like an interesting book…..

Why do you believe “murder as entertainment” as depicted in crime fiction and news reporting was such a satisfying genre for audiences in the nineteenth century? How do audiences view the genre today, and how does that affect the way we view current policewomen and female detectives?

I think that murder becomes satisfying entertainment as it becomes less common and as societies become more ordered. When you aren’t living in fear for your life every day, crime can be thrilling and fun as well as a way to play out our fears within a safe space. We also love a good story, even better if it has clear good and bad guys to cheer for and root against. I don’t think that has changed. Scandinavia is one of the safest places in the world today and yet their top literary genre is crime.

There are far more women in fictional detective settings than in real life. I think these fictional depictions of policewomen on television, in particular, have made it easier for our culture to imagine and accept a woman in that role. Unfortunately, that hasn’t necessarily translated to parity on our nation’s police forces.

Or as any of the links in today’s post show…women still are fighting for their basic rights. We have a woman running for president, dealing with a negative press like no other…women jailed for miscarriages, abortions…doctors required to lie to their patients, if only things were like fictional novels. (But even then, horror tales of Handmaids can and do become reality.)

This is an open thread.


Live Blog: Indiana Votes

1cf2647383bfe7ec5a46d3f3dcc6d26bGood Evening!

We’re still hanging in here with the primaries given that this year’s  Most Delusional Campaign and Candidate award has three contenders still vying for trophy.  Maybe it has something to do with the vast level of ignorance when it comes to math, science, and basic recognition of facts and reality that permeates the country.  I know that I’ve seen an appalling increase in lack of math, statistics, and basic knowledge since my undergrad days.

Five-Thirty-Eight argues there could be three possible outcomes tonight for the GOP,  Well, yes, that’s true.  But, which will it be?

Donald Trump may be a runaway train. He has blasted through his 50 percent “ceiling,” outperforming his polls and winning a clear majority in the last six states to cast ballots. All that success occurred in the Northeast, however, so here’s the question: Is Trump wrapping up this nomination, or is he just really strong in the Northeast?

We’ll get some answers in Indiana on Tuesday. It’s a culturally conservative state where many political observers (including yours truly) thought Ted Cruz had a good shot at coalescing the anti-Trump vote. Indiana is also, in terms of demographics, slightly below average for Trump. In other words, the #StopTrump movement, if it’s at all serious, should win the Hoosier State. And yet, Trump leads in most of the polling there.

Clinton has no party scheduled tonight and is clearly focused on the General Election.

Hillary Clinton is ready to put the Democratic primary in her rear view mirror and get to work on Donald Trump.

She made that abundantly clear in an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Tuesday in West Virginia. Clinton also said that the FBI has still not contacted her regarding her private email server, and the Democratic front-runner detailed under what circumstances she would release transcripts of her paid speeches.

“I’m really focused on moving into the general election,” Clinton said when asked about the primary election Tuesday in Indiana. “And I think that’s where we have to be, because we’re going to have a tough campaign against a candidate who will literally say or do anything. And we’re going to take him on at every turn on what’s really important to the people of our country.”

Clinton shrugged off questions about Bernie Sanders, who is vowing to challenge Clinton all the way to the Democratic National Convention in July.

“We’re going to unify the party, and we’re going to have a great convention and we’re going to be absolutely focused on making our case to the American public against Donald Trump, and I think he will be a part of that,” Clinton said.

Giving the most clear picture of her campaign’s general election strategy from the candidate’s own mouth, she said she will try to avoid getting into the mud with Trump and keep her attacks focused on his policy and fitness to do the job.

Exit poll information has begun to be released.58d006ee1dfb8892ac0c0ad3859464c8

Preliminary exit poll results from Indiana’s Democratic primary show a contest with turnout that’s higher than usual this year among liberals (notably strong liberals), young voters, whites and those focused on a candidate who’s honest or cares about people like them – all some of Bernie Sanders’ better groups to date.

Clinton’s ideas are seen as more realistic by Indiana voters – nearly eight in 10 vs. more than six in 10 for Sanders – but the gap’s a bit smaller than usual in preliminary exit poll results. It’s been 76 to 57 percent in the nine states where the question’s been asked before.

Clinton’s also done well so far by linking herself with Barack Obama. More Indiana voters think the next president should continue Obama’s policies, half, while fewer, just more than a third, prefer a more liberal direction. But, again, the gap’s smaller than usual. Supporters of more liberal policies are more numerous than average in Indiana, a group that’s voted heavily for Sanders in past contests.

Meanwhile, back in Bernie Land we see more talk about a contested convention. Some of the press aren’t so enthusiastic.  Some of them are.

What Sanders is proposing is a necessary quest—and a realistic one. Already, he is better positioned than any recent insurgent challenger to engage in rules and platform debates, as well as in dialogues about everything from the vice-presidential nomination to the character of the fall campaign. As veteran political analyst Rhodes Cook noted in a survey prepared for The Atlantic, by mid-April, Sanders had exceeded the overall vote totals and percentages of Howard Dean in 2004, Jesse Jackson in 1988, Gary Hart in 1984, and Ted Kennedy in 1980, among others. (While Barack Obama’s 2008 challenge to Clinton began as something of an insurgency, he eventually ran with the solid support of key party leaders like Kennedy.) By the time the District of Columbia votes on June 14, Sanders will have more pledged delegates than any challenger seeking to influence a national convention and its nominee since the party began to democratize its nominating process following the disastrous, boss-dominated convention of 1968.

suffrage valentine 1I prefer Michael Cohen’s take at the Boston Globe.

The same candidate who has been railing against independent voters being disenfranchised, who has called the primary system undemocratic, and who has complained about superdelegates, in general, is now calling on those same superdelegates to vote against Clinton (that would apparently include delegates from the states Clinton has won), even though she will almost certainly have the most pledged delegates and the most votes. In head-to-head general election polls, Clinton trounces Trump, but since Sanders trounces him by a bit more, he argues that he should be the nominee.

In the realm of illogical, self-serving, hypocritical, intellectually dishonest political arguments, this is practically the gold standard. But with six weeks to go until the last primary, I have great confidence that the Sanders campaign will find some way to top it.

So, join us as we count down to California by watching the returns from Indiana tonight!!


Sunday Reads: Funny Funnies

 


Afternoon

That has to be one of the funniest cartoons I’ve seen in a while. Especially when you put it into the context with the image above it…

Today’s post is going to be packed with cartoons. I think we all need something to lift us out the pit, I won’t call it a pit of despair, because it is much too filled with shit to give it a name as romantic as that. Let’s just say we need a laugh. Also, so many cartoonist have Prince Memorials today. How could I resist.

05/02 Mike Luckovich: Devil’s double. | Mike Luckovich

050116 luckovich toon ed

Darth Vader/Dark Money: 04/20/2016 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe

Cartoon by J.D. Crowe - Darth Vader/Dark Money

Mike Luckovich: The Twenty Dollar Bill – Truthdig

 

HARRIET TUBMAN: 04/21/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - HARRIET TUBMAN

04/29/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

HILLARY WINS NEW YORK: 04/20/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - HILLARY WINS NEW YORK

04/21/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

RIP PRINCE: 04/22/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - RIP PRINCE

04/22 Mike Luckovich: Missing Prince. | Mike Luckovich

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Eternally Prince: 04/22/2016 Cartoon by Ed Hall

Cartoon by Ed Hall - Eternally Prince

04/23/2016 Cartoon by Phil Hands

Cartoon by Phil Hands -

04/23/2016 Cartoon by Dennis Rano

Cartoon by Dennis Rano -

04/23/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

04/22/2016 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

 

Cagle Cartoons, you know what to do…

Prince RIP

Prince

His Purple Majesty RIP Prince

Prince tribute

Prince Tribute Cartoon

Prince 1958 2016

Prince

The Artist

More found here: prince death

Non-Prince Tribute Cagle Cartoons:

This one reminds me of that old Twilight Zone episode: Sexist Pig Switch

Trying to Nail Down Bernie’s Coffin | DarylCagle.com

Trump and the women’s card

Priebus and Butt head

 

CRUZ IS THE DEVIL: 04/29/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - CRUZ IS THE DEVIL

WOMAN’S CARD: 04/27/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - WOMAN'S CARD

Iceberg Hillary: 04/29/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Iceberg Hillary

Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Carly FIorina joins Cruz campaign: 04/29/2016 Cartoon by Gary Varvel

Cartoon by Gary Varvel - Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Carly FIorina joins Cruz campaign

The Hail Carly: 04/29/2016 Cartoon by Ed Hall

Cartoon by Ed Hall - The Hail Carly

Woman’s Card: 04/27/2016 Cartoon by Ed Hall

Cartoon by Ed Hall - Woman's Card

 

 

New Yorker Cartoons…At this link: New Yorker Cartoons April 25, 2016 – The New Yorker

One to enjoy…give that link a look see, I like the one with the medieval kings.

IMG_5568

 

04/29/2016 Cartoon by Bob Gorrell

Cartoon by Bob Gorrell -

Trump Stakes: 04/30/2016 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Trump Stakes

04/28/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

04/24/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

04/17/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

04/10/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

That one above is an older one, but I thought I would still include it.

04/27/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

04/28/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

 

Cruz and Fiorina: 04/29/2016 Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Cartoon by Steve Greenberg - Cruz and Fiorina

 

Unbound Cruz: 04/21/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Unbound Cruz

Prince: 04/24/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Prince

One Man, One Vote: 04/26/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - One Man, One Vote

This one, the way Trump is drawn, made me laugh like hell: Jaws: 04/28/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Jaws

 

04/21/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

Is it me or does that Jackson look like Ted Danson?

04/27/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

04/28/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

04/19 Mike Luckovich: polar opposites | Mike Luckovich

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04/20 Mike Luckovich: Twin towers | Mike Luckovich

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Saudi Tower: 04/28/2016 Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Cartoon by Steve Greenberg - Saudi Tower

Witch Doctor: 04/15/2016 Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Cartoon by Steve Greenberg - Witch Doctor

Don’t Tread on Me: 04/27/2016 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Don't Tread on Me

04/29/2016 Cartoon by Lisa Benson

Cartoon by Lisa Benson -

 

4/24 Mike Luckovich: North Carolina monitor | Mike Luckovich

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04/27 Mike Luckovich: Acceptance | Mike Luckovich

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General Election Preview: 04/30/2016 Cartoon by Sage Stossel

Cartoon by Sage Stossel - General Election Preview

 

04/28 Mike Luckovich: Second Choice | Mike Luckovich

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I saw a post on Facebook the other day, mentioning the irony in these Republican assholes…passing all these bathroom bills and shit for the “protection of our daughters and sons” in restrooms against perverts. And yet at the same time, begging for a lesser sentence of an actual prosecuted child molester and former House Speaker…Denny Hasert.

04/28/2016 Cartoon by Lisa Benson

Cartoon by Lisa Benson -

This one is insulting, at least to my Thelma and Louis sensibilities:

04/28/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

04/28/2016 Cartoon by Paul Berge

Cartoon by Paul Berge -

Another reference to a beloved movie, Rosebud anyone?

04/28/2016 Cartoon by Tim Eagan

Cartoon by Tim Eagan -

04/28/2016 Cartoon by Phil Hands for those who are waiting.

Cartoon by Phil Hands -

04/25/2016 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

 

04/29 Mike Luckovich: Trump card. | Mike Luckovich

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I will end this with a mic drop, Obama style:

Obama Literally Drops The Mic

 

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You can see the mic drop at regular speed at the link above. Please do go check it out.

Here Are Obama’s Best Jokes From Tonight’s Sizzling White House Correspondents’ Dinner | Mother Jones

Watch Larry Wilmore Make Everyone Nervous At The 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner -Full Wilmore speech at that link…

Obama kills it at White House Correspondent Dinner (Full text and video)

Fox host has white hot ragespasm after Wilmore says N-Word to Obama

That is all folks…this is an open thread.


Wednesday Reads: Take my wife, please…

 In the latest showdown between the two jokers vying for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz revive an old Henny Youngman bit….with a bit of a twist.  Actually, I should say tweet because this skit played out on the Twitter.

Y’all have to remember Henny Youngman was known as The King of the One-liners. And the famous of Youngman’s jokes, the punchline was, “Take my wife, please. ”

Well…keep that in mind as you check this out:

GOP Primary Contest Continues to Resemble Third-Grade Playground | Mother Jones

Liz Mair was anti-Trump before being anti-Trump was cool. After being let go from the Scott Walker campaign last March, she spent months during the summer and fall trying to get conservatives to take the threat of Trump seriously. In December she started up a super PAC dedicated to defeating him. But Mair also has a sense of humor—something that’s gotten her in trouble before. Her super PAC was called Make America Awesome.

Anyway, Mair decided to run a Facebook ad in Utah that featured Trump’s wife, Melania, from a nude photoshoot she did many years ago:

Of course this did not go over well and Trump reacted in the usual…Trumpy-douche fashion….

GOP Primary Contest Continues to Resemble Third Grade Playground Mother Jones

Sigh.

imageLadies and gentlemen, this is your Republican presidential primary. Slut shaming, schoolyard threats, and puerile taunts all carried out in full public view on Twitter. Are you feeling sorry for the demise of the smoke-filled room yet?

Well, that is what they call entertainment today…right?

Reality TV?

Later on however…..

Trump tweets threat about Cruz’s wife – POLITICO

Liz Mair, who co-founded the anti-Trump super PAC, took to Twitter to set Trump straight about the ad’s provenance.

Trump tweets threat about Cruz s wife POLITICO

Heidi Cruz took an upaid absence as an managing director with Goldman Sachs last year after her husband began his presidential campaign. Cruz met her husband while working on the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, marrying in 2001.

imageWhile it is unclear what Trump could be referring to with respect to Cruz’s wife, BuzzFeed News reported last March on a heavily redacted 2005 police report where Heidi Cruz was spotted sitting on the ground near a Texas highway outside of Austin. According to the report itself, Heidi Cruz displayed no “signs of intoxication.”

“About a decade ago, when Mrs. Cruz returned from D.C. to Texas and faced a significant professional transition, she experienced a brief bout of depression,” Jason Miller, an adviser to Cruz, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News at the time, in response to inquiries. “Like millions of Americans, she came through that struggle with prayer, Christian counseling, and the love and support of her husband and family.”

imageMore on this crap here: Donald Trump Threatens to ‘Spill the Beans’ on Cruz’s Wife After Racy Photo of Melania Trump Used in Ad – ABC News

Ted Cruz: Donald Trump’s attack on my wife shows his character – POLITICO

Now for the results of yesterday’s primaries/caucuses:

Trump, Clinton win in Arizona; Sanders takes Utah, Idaho – NY Daily News

imageClinton edges closer to nomination with Arizona win

Ted Cruz Wins Utah Republican Caucus

Bernie Sanders wins Utah Democratic caucuses

Clinton and Trump Win Arizona; Cruz Picks Up Utah; Sanders Takes 2 – The New York Times

Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz – POLITICO

Club For Growth Decides to Back Ted Cruz – WSJ

 

imageThe Trump v Clinton movie is coming. The primaries are just a subplot | Jeb Lund | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump and Clinton Clash After Brussels Attacks – Bloomberg Politics

Cruz: ‘Empower Law Enforcement To Patrol And Secure Muslim Neighborhoods’ : NPR – I can’t even comment on that one.

Ted Cruz: Police need to ‘patrol’ Muslim neighborhoods – CNNPolitics.com

Shakesville: Ted Cruz Urges “Patrol and Secure” of Muslim Communities

imageTrump says Muslims not doing enough to prevent attacks | Reuters

GOP Senate Candidate Blames Brussels Attack On Hillary Clinton

 

Oh gawd, help me…Trump Says He Will Delegate Supreme Court Appointments To The Heritage Foundation | ThinkProgress

 

There have been new developments overnight in the Brussels IS terrorist attacks.

Suspected Brussels attacker still on the run, brothers ID’d – NY Daily News

imageBrussels attacks: 2 suicide bombers identified – Business Insider

2 Brothers Identified as Brussels Attackers; 3rd Suspect Is Sought – The New York Times

Pictures of brothers and suspect still at large can be found here: Brussels Attacks: Suicide Bombers Were Brothers – NBC News

The latest news can be found here: World News liveblog | Reuters.com

imageThere are still some Americans missing according to a Reuters report.

More on Brussels….

Why was Brussels attacked? – AJE News

Cities lit up in tribute to Brussels victims – in pictures | World news | The Guardian

#BrusselsAttacks: Grief, Islam and double standards – AJE News

Solidarity, debate over Islam’s future in the West and anger at politicisation dominate social media after bombings.

imageChalk tributes on Belgium’s pavements – BBC News

Also, some stories on Obama’s  recent trip to Cuba , and his current visit to Argentina.

Remarks by President Obama to the People of Cuba | whitehouse.gov

Mr. Obama’s Honest Message in Cuba – The New York Times

‘Historic’ game in Cuba ignores the pain so many people endured

Another loss. That’s what this already feels like to so much of Miami — before the “historic” baseball game has even been played. As if the Cubans who fled to this country haven’t already felt enough of those losses over the decades. Lost childhoods. Lost roots. Lost families. Lost land. Lost freedoms. Lost lives in the ocean that divides Cuba and America like the million miles of distance between desperation and hope.

imageCuban Dissidents Praise ‘Closeness and Trust’ After Meeting With Obama – The New York Times

A Cuban family in Havana is enthralled and heartened by Obama’s words | Tampa Bay Times

Obama meets Argentine leader amid regional political shift | Reuters– There is a picture of the Obamas, their daughters and Michelle’s mom coming off Airforce One at that link…I love that.
I will include a few odds and ends here, all various items for you to scan through.

imageBaby formula extortionist gets eight years for poison threat | World news | The Guardian

An Auckland businessman who threatened to poison baby formula bound for China in a bid to blackmail New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar dairy industry has been jailed for more than eight years.

Jeremy Kerr, 60, pleaded guilty to two counts of blackmail after sending threatening letters containing a pesticide called 1080 to dairy giant Fonterra and the New Zealand Farmers Federation in 2014.

imageIn the letters he threatened to lace baby formula destined for various markets – with China the only country specifically named – unless New Zealand stopped using 1080.

The threat to supplies bound for China, a major importer of New Zealand baby formula, was not initially disclosed publicly by New Zealand authorities, who tightened access to it in domestic shops.

They also launched a massive investigation into the threat to New Zealand’s dairy sector, the country’s biggest export earner.

imageWow….more at link…

‘Fitbit for your period’: the rise of fertility tracking | Moira Weigel | Technology | The Guardian

I don’t know about that…but Bebe is having surgery a week from today, doctor thinks she has Endometriosis …and is doing a D&C and Laparoscopy on her to take care of it before she starts treatment.

Florida teen with fake gun shot dead by cops after standoff – NY Daily News

imageGeorgia teen arrested after allegedly threatening Trump online | www.ajc.com

Florida girl, 12, charged with battery after pinching butt – NY Daily News

Ash tree set for extinction in Europe – BBC News

Sydney schoolgirl ‘wired cash to IS’ – BBC News

Remember the story about the woman in China who died of starvation when she was trapped in her office elevator? Shades of that tint this story from Atlanta…

imageTrapped worker dies in Atlanta hotel freezer | Tampa Bay Times

A kitchen worker died after she was apparently trapped inside of a walk-in freezer for about 13 hours at a downtown Atlanta hotel, police said Tuesday.

A search for the woman began when she didn’t return home after her shift at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, one of the city’s most recognizable skyscrapers with its cylindrical shape. Investigators reviewed hotel surveillance video, and they think she may have entered the freezer about 8 p.m. Monday. She was found shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, Atlanta police Lt. Charles Hampton said.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the woman as Carolyn Robinson, 61, of East Point.

imageThere was evidence the woman tried to get out of the freezer, but Hampton didn’t elaborate on what led investigators to believe that.

“It appears that there was some type of mechanism to allow anyone who was inside to be able to exit,” Hampton said. He wasn’t sure if it was working properly.

“Right now there does not appear to be any foul play,” Hampton said.

How tragic….

I know it is a sad way to end a thread…but I think it makes a point to say…life is short, you never know what is going to happen.

Deep Breath….
Which brings us to the end of the post, so what’s happening in your neck of the woods?


Friday Reads: Republican Debate proves Adulting is Hard

Good Afternoon!Screen-Shot-2016-01-04-at-4.27.53-PM (1)

Sometimes the way things work in this country really confuses me.  Do you realize that our most well paid people either play with balls, play dress up and make believe, rely on their parents’ money, or gamble for a living? No wonder so many of them have such a difficult time adulting.  What really confuses me is when they convince themselves they’re grown up enough to do something substantive like lead the country or fund some idiot to run the country the way they desire. The Republican debate last night basically highlighted a group of toddlers trying to act all grown up.  It didn’t work for me.

Trump must have decided that he needed to prove he could adult last night. It didn’t really lead to any more substantive talk on actionable policy  even though CNN pundits tried to convince each other that it did. Every thing was still grandiose abstractions. It did allow little Marco Rubio to apologize for his 7th grade locker room antics last time.   Additionally, we got a peek at what an absolutely fanatical and slimy a person we have in Ted Cruz.  

The upcoming problem is that the General Election is not the Republican primary.    How can Hillary continue to face petulant toddlers and the pundit parents that continue to enable them?

At last night’s debate, Donald Trump lorded it over his rivals with supreme confidence. Gone was narcissistic, rambling, insult-spraying Trump. In his place stood calm, unifying, presidential Trump. The Donald noted with satisfaction that his foes were mostly laying off of him. “I can’t believe how civil it’s been up here,” he said, by which he really meant, “all you losers have surrendered to me, and I’m loving every minute of it.” And Trump may be right: it’s possible that by next week, he will be on a path to winning the nomination outright.

But if there is anything last night’s debate really revealed, it’s that Trump may not have any idea what is about to hit him soon enough. If Trump does become the nominee, he will run into a buzz saw of reality otherwise known as the general election, and he may not know how badly mangled he’ll get.

Last night’s debate is being widely described as a shift in tone: rather than lob schoolyard insults at each other, the GOP candidates had a real policy debate. And that’s true. But in the process, the debate really revealed the limitationsto the scrutiny Trump has faced on policy in the context of the GOP primaries — and that foreshadows, by contrast, just how brutal the scrutiny of Trump on policy will be in the general election, once those limitations are removed.

Consider a few of the main attacks that Trump had to endure last night. When Trump vaguely promised to keep entitlements solvent and to cut “waste, fraud and abuse,” Marco Rubio made a spirited case against Trump’s budgetary hocus pocus, repeatedly saying the numbers “don’t add up.” But Rubio was constrained from pointing out a key reason Trump’s numbers don’t add up — Trump’s tax plan would deliver a huge, deficit-busting tax cut for the rich — because Rubio’s plan does the same thing. Democrats speaking to a general election audience will be freer to attack Trump on this front.

Cuz-Moses-for-socialRepublicans continue to offer up policy that has never worked.   What confuses me is how their voters don’t see that Trump’s tax plan is the same old, same old that all Republicans offer up.  Are they all so wrapped up watching the shiny objects neatly wrapped up in ribbons of xenophobia, racism, misogyny and bigotry towards the GLBT community?

Here’s a nice little mini-scenario from my literally and figuratively sinking state of Louisiana.  Business subsidies and cuts in taxes to the rich have gutted our ability to provide basic services and come any where near the ability to balance the budget.  We just even elected a blue dog Dem as governor.  However,  the usual suspects have decided the way to try to close the gap is by sales tax increases on everything including food.

The poor in this state are paying for taxcuts to the rich.  That’s the only Republican policy any of them have besides distracting their base with abortion controls here.  It’s the local version of shiny object. Look !  We’re robbing you blind but we’ll restrict abortions even more to make you feel all holier than thou!  This is a lot of the same crap that occurred on that stage last night. Government is the problem so you’re never going to get that bridge fixed, but hey, no trust fund baby will experience the evil death tax and look over there!  We’ll build a wall because Mexican Rapists!!!

Louisianans will pay more and get back less under a compromise struck Wednesday over the state’s enormous budget gap.

The deal raises sales taxes by 25 percent — from four cents on the dollar to five — and applies the higher rate to a number of transactions that had previously been exempt from sales taxes.

It also falls $830 million short of fixing the state’s problems, making further cuts likely to services that have already been gutted.

Because the sales tax applies to consumption rather than income, the hike Louisiana lawmakers agreed to will be regressive: While people in the top 20 percent of the income distribution will pay 41 percent of the total cost of the tax hike according to the Louisiana Budget Project, the sales tax mechanism takes a bigger bite out of a poor family’s income than a rich one’s. Politicians are making poor people shoulder a load caused primarily by ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) tax breaks for the rich.

The broad sales tax hike will raise $1.1 billion against the nearly $3 billion shortfall over the next 16 months. Lawmakers scrounged another $81 million from alcohol and cigarette tax hikes. These, too, are disproportionately targeted to low-income consumers who are more likely to smoke than wealthier people.

That’s not to say the deal was a complete rout for the underclass. Businesses lost some sales tax exemptions, and Democrats thwarted a campaign to raise the sales tax rate by twice as much.

The sales tax bump is temporary, scheduled to revert at the end of fiscal year 2018 according to the language of the bill. But with more red ink still on Louisiana’s horizon, lawmakers may be tempted to prolong the pain for shoppers in their state.

A slate of smaller business and sales tax tweaks will raise another $35 million or so. Much of the revenue raised by the combination of bills is listed as “uncertain” according to Associated Press. But state leaders expect these yet-unwritten tax provisions, including a sales tax for online purchases, to raise hundreds of millions more dollars.

The package still falls $30 million short of what Louisiana needs to fund all state services from now until the end of June, and $800 million shy of what’s needed for fiscal year 2017. Lawmakers faced a combined $3 billion gap over those two periods when Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) called them into the special session that closed about three quarters of the total hole.

Key state services are going to disappear into that remaining quarter of the budget hole. The $30 million shortfall this year will force cuts to agencies like the Department of Chilldren and Family Services, which was already at about half strength after massive cuts late in Jindal’s term.

Refugees-Cruz-2600How dumb can people that vote Republican continue to be?  That’s what I keep asking over and over. Most Americans can see things slipping away.  Why are they looking for love in all the wrong places?

Ted Cruz has turned into the darling of the National Review and the Luntz Focus Group.  If there ever was an example of some one who can’t adult, it’s Ted Cruz.  Do not follow this link unless you want to wind up at the Blaze where belief in the bizarre is a full time, ongoing concern.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) earned a 100-percent score from conservatives in Frank Luntz’s focus group when he talked about eliminating bureaucrats in Washington who are “killing jobs” at Thursday night’s GOP debate.

No Republican seems to understand what it takes to actually run a country or create an environment where there are jobs these days.  They might as well stand up and say that little green men from mars taking money from you create jobs because that’s just about as a real.  Like I said, the National Review just endorsed him.  That’s proof they believe in little green men from mars creating jobs.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given that most of them still think the math-disabled Stephen Moore is an economist.

Let’s not forget. Ted Cruz is an end timer.  He’s as besotted with as much end the world religious nonsense as the wackiest ayatollah in Iran.  Every child likes a good fairy tale.  But at some point and especially that point where some one wants to be the leader of the free world, you have to give up childish things.  

Rafael Cruz is a pastor with Purifying Fire International Ministry, although in January 2014, as Ted Cruz was preparing his presidential swing, Rafael Cruz scrapped the group’s website after various blogs began identifying the ministry as rooted in “a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism.”

Dominionism calls on anointed Christian leaders to take over government to make the laws of the nation in accordance with Biblical laws. Rafael Cruz, at the Pastor Larry Huch’s New Beginnings mega-church in Bedford Texas, outside Dallas, on Aug. 26, 2012, in a Dominionist sermon proclaimed his son, Ted Cruz, to be the “anointed one,” a Dominionist Messiah who would bring God’s law to reign.

At a Dominionist pastor’s meeting held at the Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 19 and 20, 2013, the following “anointing prayer” was read over.

So to pull all this logic together, God anoints priests to work in the church directly and kings to go out into the marketplace to conquer, plunder, and bring back the spoils to the church. The reason governmental regulation has to disappear from the marketplace is to make it completely available to the plunder of Christian “kings” who will accomplish the “end time transfer of wealth.”

Then “God’s bankers” will usher in the “coming of the messiah.”

The government is being shut down so that God’s bankers can bring Jesus back. In an editorial published in the Washington Post on Feb. 4, on the heels of Cruz’s victory in the Iowa GOP primary, John Fea of the Religion News Service published an op-ed piece noting the frequent references Ted Cruz makes in stump speeches to his father “the traveling evangelist” Rafael Cruz.

“During a 2012 sermon at the New Beginnings Church in Bedford, Texas, Rafael Cruz described his son’s political campaign as a direct fulfillment of biblical prophecy,” Fea wrote. “The elder Cruz told the congregation God would anoint Christian ‘kings’ to preside over an ‘end-time transfer of wealth’ from the wicked to the righteous. After this sermon, Larry Huch, the pastor of New Beginnings, claimed Cruz’s recent election to the U.S. Senate was a sign he was one of these kings.”

giphy (1)Please let all that sink in as we consider if Trump–whose bullying behavior and racism has attracted the endorsement of the KKK–is really the worst alternative that the Republicans have emanated from they’re “tell them anything as long as we get our tax cuts” philosophy to life. The Republicans haven’t been too upset by the sight of a young black woman being assaulted or a black man being cold cocked.  But, damn, assault one of their own and it’s on!!!

Brietbart tries to square the circle about the apparent assault on their reporter, Michelle Fields, allegedly by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Their gist – it may have been a security guy on the grassy knoll, not Lewandowski [Ben Terris, WaPo eyewitness, stands firm.]:

The Scrum: Video Emerges to Suggest WaPo Reporter Ben Terris Misidentifies Lewandowski in Fields Incident

Contrary to what Donald Trump said Thursday evening after the GOP debate, the incident certainly happened. However, the person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

As Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson said Thursday on the Fox Business Network, “someone probably did grab her,” i.e. Fields, though Pierson claimed it could not have been Lewandowski.

Audio of the incident, published on Politico, shows Fields asking Terris if the individual who pulled her left arm was, in fact, “Corey.” Terris says it was — an assertion he later repeated in print: “I watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the way. He was Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 41-year-old campaign manager.”

However, Lewandowski was not the only “man with short-cropped hair and a suit” walking near Trump. And he was walking on the opposite side of Trump from Fields, and Terris.

More video is likely to surface [Here is MSNBC – see UPDATE]:

People regularly get assaulted at Trump Rallies. Have you ever heard of that kind of thing before?OFFICIAL-TRUMP-BALLOON700-622x900

A 78-year-old white man punched a black protester in the face at a Donald Trump rally and was charged with assault, media said Thursday, in chaotic scenes on the presidential campaign trail.

John McGraw — who later said that next time “we might have to kill him” — was also charged with battery and disorderly conduct after the event Wednesday night in North Carolina, the Cumberland County sheriff’s office told the local TV station WRAL.

The incident was condemned by Bernie Sanders, who is vying with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the White House.

“No one in America should ever fear for their safety at a political rally. This ugly incident confirms that the politics of division has no place in our country. Mr. Trump should take responsibility for addressing his supporters’ violent actions,” Sanders said.

Multiple videos of the assault show McGraw abruptly punching the young black man in the face as he was walking up a stairway with other protesters being escorted out by police, amid cries of “USA! USA!”

McGraw was not arrested until Thursday morning, as video of the assault gained widespread attention. He was released after posting a $2,500 bond, CNN reported.

 

So, why do all these Republicans find it so difficult to adult?   Are we truly watching them fall apart? Can we get enough turnout by the rest of us to end this now?  Is this the Republicans “McGovern” moment?  Is it a repeat of the Goldwater campaign?  Nate Silver discusses this election and “The Party Decides”  which is a 2008 book by the political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel and John Zaller.

Nonetheless, truly disastrous nominations like McGovern’s have been rare. Instead, parties have usually nominated candidates who, as the book puts it, are:

  1. “Credible and at least reasonably electable”;
  2. “Representatives of their partisan traditions.”

You might describe these two dimensions (as we sometimes have) as “electability” and “ideological fit.” The goal for a party is to find a candidate who scores highly along both axes. George W. Bush in 2000, for example, was acceptable to all major factions of the GOP, but he also began the race as a “compassionate conservative” with a highly favorable image among general election voters. It’s no surprise that Bush won his nomination easily.

At other times, the party must contemplate a trade-off between these goals. Sometimes, it will choose a candidate who breaks with party orthodoxy in important ways, but who has a lot of crossover appeal to general election voters. Bill Clinton in 1992 and John McCain in 2008 are good examples. Or, it may go for broke with an ideologically “pure” candidate whose electability is unproven. Sometimes, the gamble pays off, as it did for Republicans with Ronald Reagan in 1980, but there’s also the risk of winding up with the next Barry Goldwater. Note that Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, if chosen, would arguably8 fit into the category of ideologically pure but electorally dubious nominees.

There were no good candidates put forth by the Republicans this year. We’re actually getting to the point where we’re down to perhaps the worst two and the party is getting behind the crazy person over the malignant narcissist.  Actually more telling is that Carly Fiorina got behind Ted Cruz and Ben Carson is now behind Trump.   What we found out about them pretty much gives us an indication of why they went after who they did.  Fiorina’s crazy attachment to all the untrue things about Planned Parenthood showed that she was mean and completely irrational.  Carson came off as an idiot savant.  He was at least successful at something and much well thought of albeit I’m still not sure exactly how some one that spacey could do complex surgery.

Then, there’s Bernie Sanders.

It seems obvious to me that there’s only one person that gives the country a chance of a future in the race.  Trump will sell us to the highest bidder. Cruz will blow us up to get to the end times.  Sanders will ignore everything but his own 70s paradigm of the world and we’ll be lucky if anything gets done at all any where but in his mind.

The choice has never seemed more clear.  I really hope Hillary’s life time experience of being denigrated and persecuted serves her well  We’re going to have to make a huge wall around her because it can only get worse as we careen towards the General. We need to be adults backing the only adult candidate in the room.

These beautiful caricatures/political cartoons are drawn by Steve Brodner who also does wonderful commentary.  I’m a yugggge fan.  Visit his page for more wonderful drawings.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?