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jimrinWe truly must live in Bizarro world

(where everything is backwards) if we listen to the Republicans.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is crying “partisan politics” in his indictment for using his veto power. But his use of his veto power was a result of trying to use extortion to get Rosemary Lehmberg to resign from office. Oh yea, Rosemary Lehmberg is a Democrat.

Because the head of the department for investigating public corruption would not resign, he threatened (and then carried out) a veto to cut funding to the department. Since when is extortion legal? D’oh, it’s not, resulting in the indictment! To Perry, seems like political partisanship has priority over investigating corruption. Hmmm…


PS. This was not the one which I wanted to write, but this one is as crazy as anything else these days, I thought I need to write it. 4 months ago

razz51 2 years ago

jimrinFor those of you who are naysayers about global warming and support the political party who is also full of naysayers, I just have one word to say...


All of you who have seen the The March of the Penguins know that the only defense which the emperor penguins have is the severe cold of Antarctica. Without the severe cold, they are easy prey for their natural predators.

Two papers scheduled to be published this week have concluded that large parts of the ice sheet in western Antarctica have started to collapse and believe that its collapse is unstoppable now. Not only will the melting ice sheets raise the sea level of the oceans (good bye South Florida), but with the warming up of the Antarctica, predators of the emperor penguins will have an easier time reaching them.

Image generated from Climate Central. Click for larger version.

What is happening now was already predicted back in 1978 by eminent glaciologist, John H. Mercer of Ohio State University, but noone listened to him back then.

Image from Christian Science Monitor

If the political party you support follows policies which end up destroying the environment for your children and children’s children, what good are “family values” when there is no world left.

All animals in the world, like the emperor penguins, whether they know it or not, are depending on us humans to preserve the Earth where we all live. All our future generations are also depending on us. Looks like we’ve failed.


jimrinWhy do Republicans feel they can dictate morality?

I’m sure people have seen in the news Republican representative Vance McAllister was caught on video kissing staffer Melissa Peacock… and it wasn’t just a kiss, it’s more of a kiss which shows they are far more intimate. McAllister is married with 5 children. Peacock is also married.

McAllisters admits to messing up and asks for forgiveness:

“There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short and I’m asking for forgiveness. I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.”

The husband of Melissa Peacock and long-time now ex-friend of McAllister points out, McAllister has apologized to everyone except him.

McAllister ran on his Christian family values. In one of his commercials, he said “I need your prayers.” When his former friend asked, “When did you get religious?”, the response was “When I needed votes.”

Peacock donated over $10,000 ($5,200 from his wife and $5,2000 from himself) to McAllister’s campaign. I’m sure he wish he could have his money back. However, do you think this will change Peacock to vote Democrat? Doubtful. If he has $10,000 to donate to a local campaign and he already knew McAllister was a fake when it comes to religion, likely the reason Peacock votes Republican is for monetary reasons to keep taxes low.

Some people may say this is just an isolated incident, but there’s no proof that it is an isolated incident within the Republican Party. You only have to go as far back as the last presidential nomination to be reminded of Newt Gingrich who had (at least) two extra-marital affairs.

These Republicans were involved in the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton which is hypocritical considering their own personal behavior:

  • Henry Hyde, Representative (R-IL). In 1998, the Internet magazine stated that from 1965 to 1969, Hyde conducted an extramarital sexual affair with a married woman who had three children from her marriage. Hyde, who was 41 years old and married when the affair occurred, admitted to the affair in 1998, describing the relationship as a “youthful indiscretion”. The revelation of this affair took place as Hyde was spearheading the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
  • Newt Gingrich, Representative (R-GA) and leader of the Republican Revolution of 1994: Resigned from the House after admitting in 1998 to having had an affair with his intern while he was married to his second wife, and at the same time he was leading the impeachment of Bill Clinton for perjury regarding an affair with his intern Monica Lewinsky.
  • Robert Livingston, Representative (R-LA): called for the resignation of Bill Clinton and when his own extramarital affairs were leaked, his wife urged him to resign and urge Clinton to do likewise.
  • Bob Barr Representative (R-GA) had an affair while married. Barr had been the first lawmaker in either chamber to call for Clinton’s resignation due to the Lewinsky affair. Barr lost a primary challenge less than three years after the impeachment proceedings.
  • Dan Burton (R-IN) A combative critic of the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, Burton admitted that he had fathered a child out of wedlock.
  • Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-ID) aggressively called for the resignation of Bill Clinton, and admitted to her own six-year affair with a married rancher during the 1980s.
  • Ken Calvert, Representative (R-CA): champion of the Christian Coalition once said “We can’t forgive what occurred between the President and Lewinsky.” Arrested for soliciting a prostitute for oral sex in his car.

The above examples are dated because I wanted to point out the hypocrisy of those impeaching Clinton while being dishonest to their families and to the American people. Per the same wikipedia article, you can find more recent scandals where, not surprisingly, Republican scandals outnumber Democrat scandals 2:1 for the period 2010 to now… and even a higher ratio going back from 2000 to 2009.

I may be in the minority, but I think that the consequences of an affair are a personal matter between the husband, wife, clergy, children… but not only do I despise a political party dictating morality, I despise even more politicians who run on a platform of dictating morality and then being immoral themselves.

So I don’t know what I find more aggravating:
  • The Republican Party trying to dictate morality when their own morality is bankrupt.
  • Voters who are easily swayed by the Republican Party’s message of morality so in turn, they are easily deceived to vote for them.

It’s unfortunate when people don’t realize they are being used and duped. David Kuo who worked for Bush Jr 2001 to 2003 exposed in his book “Tempting Faith” how they used religion just as a way to get votes, not that they actually planned to support any of the initiatives used to get votes.


jimrinI'll never understand rich people... (Part 3)

This isn’t as much about understanding rich people as it is understanding why they feel like they should be treated differently.

Let’s take the Comcast/Time Warner merger. As we know, monopolies are bad. (However, I assume libertarians feel there is nothing wrong with monopolies as government involvement is even worse). At any rate, the intent of the merger is to be able to take advantage of economies of scale. In theory, this could even be beneficial for the consumer as reduced costs for the company means the savings can be passed on to the consumer, right? That’s what American Airlines/US Airways told regulators that the merger will be good for consumers, but then apparently, they lied. At any rate, at least Comcast isn’t even trying to hide the fact that the merger will not be good for consumers, Comcast Executive VP David Cohen said:

“The impact on customer bills is always hard to quantify. We’re certainly not promising that customer bills are going to go down or even increase less rapidly. Frankly, most of the factors that go into customer bills are factors beyond our control.” Factors beyond their control? Like how much profit they want to make? Like how much they want to stick it to the consumer?

But I digress. I didn’t want to talk about rich companies (Comcast’s profit in 4Q2013 was $1.91 billion as if billions in profits in one quarter is not enough.)

Instead, my post is about the people who are part of a merger. When two companies merge, they obviously do not need two CEOs so one is considered redundant. Enter Robert Marcus, CEO of Time Warner. Based on him becoming redundant, he will get an $80 million “golden parachute”.

Hmmm, when a “normal” employee is identified as being redundant, somehow he or she doesn’t get an $80 million golden parachute, but when the CEO of a company who wasn’t able to put the company in good enough position to prevent being taken over, or who didn’t put his company to be the bigger of the two companies… or in other words, was a rather mediocre CEO, then this person gets $80 million when he is made redundant. And actually, Robert Marcus has been CEO for less than 3 months.

How could it be that someone who is CEO for 3 months receives an $80 million golden parachute? Because Robert Marcus had it written in the deal that this would be the payoff. Why can’t normal employees get some kind of deal to help guarantee how they will be treated? Oh, they could if they were part of a union… but somehow a union is a bad word, but golden parachutes like this are accepted? We really must live in a Bizarro world.


Everyone knows how controversial fracking is. However, somehow the Mayor and City Council members who had managed to put a moratorium on fracking in Flower Mound, TX were replaced by a more “business-friendly” Mayor and City Council. So basically if you are concerned about your health or your children’s health, you have to tough it out or move… unless you’re the CEO of Exxon Mobile. Then you start a suit that you don’t want fracking in your town. This is what Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerman and his Republican buddy Dick Armey have done. Heaven forbid if the property value should go down on his 83-acre horse ranch or 18-acre homestead. (Technically speaking, the fracking won’t be done in their town, only the building of a water tower required for fracking in neighboring Flower Mound.)

PS. My bad. Seems like fracking is safe and all the concerns about fracking are ideas planted into my mind by environmentalists. At least this is the explanation from Marita Noon, Executive Director of Energy Makes America Great as to why people express concern about fracking. You can see the video from the Daily Show below:


jimrinI'll never understand rich people...*

*Of course, I don’t really mean all rich people. I just mean rich, greedy people. Below image is of a rich person, not John Schnatter.

Let’s take Papa John’s CEO, John Schnatter.

From the referenced article: Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

Zane Terkel, CEO of Applebee’s also made a similar comment. And while I’m at it, I might as well also list Darden Restaurants Inc, owners of restaurants like Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and others who have already tried to put employees on a part-time schedule. Also, restaurants like Outback Steakhouse and Waffle House are donating heavily to the Republican Party and Republican PACs.

Why would restaurants donate to Republican candidates? McDonald’s owner Ray Kroc started the trend for McDonald back in 1972 when he started donating to Richard Nixon and to the Republican Party trying to pass a bill which would allow restaurants to pay teenagers less than minimum wage.

Now I have nothing against people being rich. I am sure people like John Schnatter worked hard to make a successful business. And guess what? He reaps the benefits of being successful. His 24,000-square-foot residence is valued at over $7 million. Good for him.

But he was able to become wealthy in the land of opportunity, America. So why is he using his wealth and power to now prevent those who are less advantaged than him from getting proper healthcare? What motivation could he possibly have against universal healthcare, except to line his pockets with even more money.

No wonder Jesus said: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”


jimrinGOP racist? Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh............

From the article:

Rep. Pat Garofalo, a fifth-term Republican from the St. Paul suburb of Farmington, tweeted Sunday night: “Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.”

Garofalo initially stuck by his words even after they drew hundreds of negative comments and more than 1,000 retweets, insisting they were misinterpreted.

“Misinterpreted”? Let’s see. How could we have misinterpreted it? It is known that the NBA has a high % of black professional athletes. If NBA teams were to fold, according to him, there would be an increase in street crime. So what would be the cause for the street crime by NBA teams folding?

Later, he “reconsidered” and “apologized”...

“I sincerely apologize to those who I unfairly categorized,” said Garofalo, who’s seeking a sixth term in the fall. “The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country. Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize.”

Let’s see. So he’s not apologizing to those who he felt he fairly categorized???

And it’s people like Garofalo who’s supposed to represent our country and represent all people when making decisions about laws which affect our country…?

I’ll likely amend this post if anything amusing related to this story pops up.


jimrinLove is a right, not a wrong

OK, I am sure everyone has heard about the abominable law which passed the Arizona senate which gives the right for people to discriminate against gay people if it is against their religion to treat people fairly or something like that.

Of course, we know this law passed straight down party lines with Republicans voting for it. The governor, also a Republican, has an easy out to veto this law. 3 Republican senators have changed their minds.

Hmmmm, so why didn’t they think this through prior to voting for it? Anyway, we’ll see what the governor will do.

It’s amazing what this party of hate and exclusion will do. Despite my posts, I don’t hate the right. I just don’t want anything to do with them. If they want to be hateful people, it’s their right. However, I don’t think it’s their right to pass hateful laws.

I mean, one would think we should be learning how to get better along, not how to be more discriminatory and less accepting of others. Just me, perhaps. 9 months ago

jimrinThe best chance in a while for a Democrat to become governor of Texas

Wendy Davis is the best chance in a long time for a Democrat to win the Texas governor’s race, but she is still trailing 6-15% depending on which polls you read.

Of course, the right including Sarah Palin try to smear her. They want to go all the back to when at 19, married with kids, she separated from her husband, and then went on to Law School. Some on the right even want to go as far as saying she prostituted herself to pay for her student loans.

I’d dearly love for the right to learn a lesson about judging others by having Wendy Davis win the election. If you’d also like to see this, you can help by going to her webpage

This election is getting national attention and Karl Rove and his cronies are contributing to her Republican opponent plus supporting negative ads against Wendy Davis. Davis’ campaign funds are based on grass root contributions from people. It will be difficult for her to compete against the big money interests available to her opponent, but she is a fighter.

By the way, while they are attacking Wendy, her Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, has embraced Ted Nugent. Ted Nugent was an invited speaker at one of his campaign stops. Nugent referred to Abbott as his friend and blood-brother. Right, this is the same guy who in a 1998 documentary admitted to being addicted to sex with underage girls: “In a 1998 documentary on VH1 “Behind the Music,” Nugent admitted to affairs with several under-aged girls. “I was addicted to girls. It was hopeless. It was beautiful,” he said.”

This is not the only lapse in judgment by Abbott. As the referenced article points out, when on Twitter, someone had referred to Davis as an “idiot” and “retard Barbie”, Abbott thanked him.

Since Nugent is an avid gun supporter, Abbott’s support for Nugent shows Republicans continue to place the value of guns over women.

And by the way, since there are those who want to accuse Davis as being a bad mother, what do her daughters say? Originally she wanted to keep them out of having to go through the difficult times when they were young, but the daughters insisted on coming forward publicly. They have spoken publicly but have also published letters. In the letter from one of her daughters, Dru, she writes:

“Both of my parents made sacrifices to make education happen for all of us, my sister and me included. And both of them have been great role models for what it means to care about people in the world…
People have come to know Wendy Davis the politician. But I want people to relate to Wendy Davis, my mother. I have a bond with my mother that is unlike any other.”


jimrinThe Republicans are at it again...

From Emily’s List:

Here is just a sample of the harm H.R. 7 could impose on women and families:

  • A woman serving our country in the armed forces could be permanently denied health insurance that includes abortion coverage except for very narrow circumstances.
  • A rape victim could be audited by the government and forced to prove her rape to IRS agents
  • A family without abortion coverage could be pushed into bankruptcy to try to cover any medical costs for an abortion needed to prevent severe damage to her health.
  • A woman could be forced to pay more in taxes because she needed abortion care.

Just one example why it’s important for Democrats to retain control of the Senate and to take control of the House. 11 months ago

jimrin“Democracy has been suspended.”

The more you find out about the Republicans, the less there is to like about them.

It turns out that Republicans conveniently passed a new rule hours before the scheduled shutdown to prevent any House member from being able to bring up the Senate budget up for a vote. Enough moderate Republicans had stated they would have voted for such a budget in order to prevent a shutdown, but since the rule change only allowed the House Majority leader to bring up the Senate budget for a vote, Eric Cantor opted not to do so.

You can see the video from USA Today by clicking the above image

Additional reference:

jimrinThe latest effort by the Republicans which puts the global economy at risk

is based on their hate of Obamacare.

Everyone in the US knows that the process to pass new legislation in the US is to get approval by the House, Senate, and the President. Since the Republican-controlled House has failed (40 times!) their attempts to overturn Obamacare through this process, they have decided to hold the budget hostage. Basically it’s “Do as we say or else the whole economy will be put at risk.” No other House in the history of US, whether Republican-controlled or Democratic-controlled ever tried to hold the budget hostage in order to get their way, but the Republican party has been taken over by extremists to push their agenda.

In a way, it’s ironic that Ted Cruz (R-TX) spent so much effort to put together a 21-hour speech in the Senate for his opposition to Obamacare, but has not done anything to help any of the 22.5% of the Texas population who has no health insurance.

And it’s not only the Republicans at Federal level who are doing nothing to help the poor and insured. 26 states have decided to refuse Federal funds to help those who are barely above poverty level but cannot afford health insurance. The commonality of these 26 states? They have a Republican legislatures/Republican governors.

One of these states is Missouri. As the Daily Show points out, these states could provide instant healthcare for these people, but have chosen not to.

Click the above image for the video from the Daily Show.

And if you have the time, the following is the videoclip preceding the above clip:

And just in case there is any doubt of the risks to the global economy, here are some references:

jimrinWith this representing the intelligence level of our electorate, no wonder it's an uphill battle for the Democrats.

Public Policy Polling polled probable Republican primary voters asking them:

Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?

It’s a very simple question. Bush or Obama.

The responses?

George W. Bush: 28%
Barack Obama: 29%
Not sure: 44%



jimrinWhat's wrong with this picture?

This is a screenshot of a new game created by a Republican PAC which allows you to hit Hillary every time she speaks.

On the surface, it may seem “cute”, but considering the image problem Republicans have about their treatment of women, this seems extremely inappropriate… that somehow the message is that it’s ok to use violence towards women and then even on top of that, use violence towards women when they do something like speak their minds.

And while Republicans as a whole cannot control how every single Republican group decides what to do with their money (and so by the way, those of you who donate to Republican PACs, this is how your money is being spent), if there’s enough outcry by Republicans, they would be able to shut this game down. However, there seems to be quite a defeaning silence from Republicans regarding this game.

As commented by Jess McIntosh, communications director of EMILY’s List:

This ridiculous behavior is why no amount of ‘re-branding’ is going to help Republicans win over women voters—they just don’t get it. Violence against women isn’t a ‘game.’ Slapping a woman for speaking isn’t actually a joke. It’s just gross.

Update: Posted image was removed from the source website, so I found a replacement image. 16 months ago

jimrinNormally one would expect presidents of universities and colleges to be a well-educated person...

and I’m sure Larry Arnn, president of Hillside College in Michigan, is no exception.

However, it just floors me that educated people like this still seem to have a mental block when it comes to minorities and women.

In a recent Michigan legislation subcommittee meeting, Larry Arnn referred to minorities as “dark ones”.

Oh yes, he is a Republican making $19,063 in contributions to the Republican Party (or Republican PAC) in 2012.

Oh yes, he did apologize for the use of the term “dark ones”. However, this statement doesn’t really sound like an apology:

His point was that the group monitoring enrollment of minorities at his college was doing this without any information about the students (because conveniently the college does not keep any). However, as “educated” as he is, I would have thought he could have come up with a better way to make his point than to say “dark ones”, which in the end, he did not make his point because he could not defend whether or not the college has a disproportionate low number of minority students.


jimrinIt would do the Republicans good if they would provide a primer biology/sex education course to all Republicans

so they could quit embarrassing themselves.

Another elected Republican representative, Trent Franks (R-AZ), is against a Democratic amendment which would make exceptions in cases of rape and incest because he says “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are [sic] very low.”

With such backwards thinking on biology basics, it literally scares me what other backwards thinking they have on other subjects for which we are entrusting them to make decisions.


jimrinWhy is it that the political party who feels they have the right to dictate morality

have such a skewed view of morality? E.W. Jackson is the Republican candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor and in a book he published in 2008, Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True, he warned that yoga can put you at risk for satanic possession.

In addition, he has compared Planned Parenthood to the KKK, has said gays are “frankly very sick people,” and said homosexuality “poisons culture.”

Finally, the article points out that rather than giving to the poor, he believes in “upward giving”. What is upward giving? It’s giving money to him (so that he can do the work of God). How convenient.


jimrinOK, this makes no sense to me.

Mark Sanford, the former disgraced governor of South Carolina, who cheated on his wife, used public funds to see his mistress in Argentina, while lying to his constituents that he was hiking in the Apalachians… won the special election for a Congressional seat in South Carolina.

Pictured: Sanford with his mistress, I mean, girlfriend, I mean just announced as fiance.

Sadder pictures. The two young boys are his sons:

His opponent was Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Yes, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert. However, as a candidate, she stood on her own. From a posted comment from one of the local newspapers:

Elizabeth Colbert Busch, has spent 20 years in the maritime industry that is intimately connected to our area’s history and economy. (The District where she was running is on the coast of South Carolina.) She has worked in a public-private partnership to establish a forward looking research facility (Clemson-renewable energy) that will provide employment and investment for years to come. She has served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Maritime association and others proving she knows how to work with diverse groups to accomplish a mutual goal. During her professional career she also raised three children, and although divorced she accomplished this difficult personal moment in an adult manner. When she says she will work for the good of the First District and not toe the party line I believe her. When she acts it is been with reason, maturity, and honesty. This is the sort of person that we need to be our representative to the congress.

Somehow she lost by 9 points. If we look at the gridlock in Congress, we shouldn’t blame Congress. We should blame the voters who put those people in Congress.

For a humorous look at the race, here is a clip from the Colbert Report earlier on in the campaign:

Click on the above image for the video. Colbert was responding to a clip where Joe Scarborough was saying that Elizabeth Colbert Busch had her own TV show, so on the Morning Joe Show, they spent time praising Mark Sanford for his “honesty”! What?

No wonder it’s so difficult to make any real progress. 19 months ago

jimrinNo shame.

Originally posted on Apr 16, 2008. Recently updated with replacement links for the videos.

I wish I could post a humorous Daily Show video to help offset the grim reality that not only has US used torture to try to extort information out of suspects, but also it has now been recently revealed that those high in the administration were involved in the decision. And although we should be used to the fact by now that this administration thinks nothing about lying to the American public, it is disgusting to see how blatantly they do it.

Click the following link if you don’t mind hearing people lie through their teeth:

I would like to remind people that many held at Guantanamo Bay are not known terrorists or even “enemy combatants”. Some were “people of interest” who the government felt they needed to question without being subject to any laws. It’s well known that boys as young as 14 years old were held at Guantanamo. In addition, it’s also known that many (most?) of those held at Guantanamo who were later transferred to custody of their current home country (such as Australia and UK) were released because there was not enough evidence to hold them on any charges.

Also announced today was Pulitzer prize winning AP photographer was released after being held for 2 years by US military in Iraq. He was never charged with any crime. Can you imagine if one of your loved ones was just taken by the military/government and held in prison without charges for two years?

Reference: USA Today

Grabbing people off the street, holding them in prison without any charges, torturing suspects… To me, this sounds more like Communist Russia, not USA. Are we really so scared of terrorists that we would be willing to sacrifice our principles and become exactly like those who we criticized and ridiculed in the past? It’s a shame…

PS. And this is the same administration who received a memo on August 6, 2001 entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S.” and did nothing because they thought the document was “primarily historical”.

OK, for those of you would need to have a good laugh after reading this, here is the video from the Daily Show.6 years ago


Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was one of the victims at Sandy Hook, spoke at her son’s memorial a week after his death:

Some autistic individuals rock their bodies, roll their heads, or flap their hands. Dylan was a flapper. Whenever he got excited or happy, he jumped up and down and flapped as hard as he could. One day I asked Dylan “Why do you flap?”

In all honesty, because Dylan had underdeveloped language skills, I wasn’t expecting him to answer, but he did. He said “Because I am a beautiful butterfly.”

It has been said that something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane half way around the world, that a small change or a single occurrence in one place can result in large differences elsewhere. It redefines the future.

Dylan is our butterfly. All of the children and adults who lost their lives last week are our butterflies. And if one butterfly can cause a hurricane, then 26 butterflies can change the world. I refuse to accept this as a senseless tragedy. I believe Dylan and the others that died with him are catalysts.

And while I selfishly wish that my child were with me and while I fear the empty space in my heart will never be filled, I am also at peace taking comfort in the knowledge that his death will have meaning. There will be a positive change from this.

The following Rachel Maddow segment shows Nicole Hockley’s emotional tribute from Dylan’s memorial:

Click the above image to see the video.

In the same clip from the Rachel Maddow Show, there is also a segment from 60 Minutes with the Sandy Hook parents. In the segment, Sandy Hook parent David Wheeler pleaded:

I’d like every parent in this country, that’s 150 million people, I’d like them to look in the mirror… and look in your eyes and say this will never happen to me, this will never happen in my school, this will never happen in my community, and see if you actually believe that.

And if there is a shadow, the slightest shadow of doubt about what you said, think about what you can do to change that, in your house, in your community, in your school, in your country. Because we have an obligation to our children to do this for them.

It’s going to happen again. It’s going to happen again. And every time, it’s somebody else’s school, it’s somebody else’s town, it’s somebody else’s community until one day, you wake up, and it’s not.

However, it has been a very depressing day in politics. Even though approximately 90% of Americans want increased background checks, the Senate could not pass the bill.

Some of the arguments for rejecting the bill:

Ted Cruz (R – TX) – In my opinion, adopting mandatory federal background checks… puts on the path to a push for federal regulation.

  • So per Ted Cruz, even though there is no federal regulation proposed in this bill and even though this bill is beneficial for Americans, he cannot vote for this bill just because what might happen at some unknown point in the future, which anyway would be a completely separate vote.

Richard Shelby (R – AL) – I believe we should not restrict transactions between law-abiding citizens especially since we will not prevent such transactions between criminals.

Tom Coborn (R – OK) – We need to recognize that we cannot legislate away the evil that is about us.

Charles Grassley (R – IA) – People who steal guns do not submit to background checks.

  • First, background checks does not restrict the transaction between law-abiding citizens.
  • Secondly, if we follow their logic that criminals do not follow laws, and that’s why there’s no need to pass this legislation, that means as well, there’s no need to pass any drug laws since criminals do not follow those laws and no need to pass laws against murder or stealing for the same reason.
  • Finally, some argue that not all gun violence will be eliminated by this legislation. Based on that argument, there’s no point in passing any legislation unless it can get rid of the problem 100%. Therefore, no need to pass any drug regulation unless it can eliminate the drug problem 100%, etc.

As John Oliver reports, Australia passed sweeping gun control laws in 1996. In the prior 18 years, there were 13 mass homicides (defined as 4 or more) and since 1996, there have been none. In the decade after the legislation was passed, homicide rates with firearms declined 60%, suicide rates declined 65%.

The following was part of the exchange between John Oliver and gun lobbyist Philip Van Cleave:

Click the above image for the John Oliver clip from the Daily Show.

Can someone remind me why we vote the above type of politicians into office? My view in life is that if you do nothing, nothing will change. Can someone tell me why we are paying these politicians to be in office if they basically refuse to do anything as a result of Sandy Hook?

And the Republican-controlled house is known as a do-nothing congress. The only reason such bills like the Hurricane Sandy relief bill was passed was because of the Democrats. Only 49 of the 234 Republicans voted to provide relief due to Hurricane Sandy. The Violence against Women Act only passed because of the Democrats. Only 87 of the same 234 Republicans voted for this act. The house needed to pass a bill in order to continue maintaining commemorative battlefield sites (like Gettysburg). Only 101 Republicans voted to continue maintaining these sites. So you see, if we had to depend on Republicans for these bills, these bills would not have passed. They really are do nothing. You can see the Rachel Maddow segment on this point here: This segment was taped when Maddow was being optimistic that the Senate would pass the background check bill and there would be pressure for the House to do something, but we know what happened in the Senate.


jimrinOldie but still hilarious...

Conan sometimes has some good stuff. This was hilarious… From “spin alley” after the 2004 Presidential Debate.

Since Stephen had looked at this entry recently, I was checking the link(s) to the videos. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the 2004 video. Here is a video from the Obama/Romney debate:

Where possible, I also updated the other references to working versions of the videos, but in case I don’t remember anymore what the original video was, I was not able to find an updated link. Anyway, these updates now cause 43T to say this is a recent entry even though it was from 2006.

Lots of good lines…

Insult Dog: (To Karl Rove) You’re Bush’s Brains, Karl… I was expecting a much smaller man.

To Bush spinner: So tell me, how painful was it when the doctor removed your sense of shame.

Bush spinner: The President won tonight. I’m just one of those helping the President do the job that he has to do.
Insult Dog:Yes, I believe the term is “whore”.

To Bush (female) spinner: Thanks for your time. Have a safe trip back to Stepford.

Bush spinner to Insult Dog puppet: You’re insulting me and you have a hand up your butt?
Insult Dog: And you don’t?

Other videos:

jimrinRepublican Party - Party of exclusion

Republicans found in the last elections that their policy of exclusion cost them the election. That was the conclusion of their report entitled “Growth and Opportunity Project” which they were themselves calling an “autopsy” to uncover what went wrong in the last election. The report said that they need to reach out more to youths and minorities. They plan to spend $10 million to have paid people go out in community to promote their message.

However, their message of being more inclusive seemed to have not been heard by those attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, who continue to bury their heads in the sand, make false accusations, and evade reality and facts.

For a humorous view of CPAC from the Daily Show, click the above image for the video. For the video segment prior to the above video, you can click here.

It doesn’t help that during a panel of CPAC titled “Trump the Race Card: Are you tired of being called a racist and you know you’re not one”, one of the participants sarcastically responds to a comment about a slave who wrote a letter to tell his former slave owner that he forgives him, “for giving him food and shelter all those years…?”

Click the above image for a video of Larry Wilmore from the Daily Show with some good advice for Republicans on how to get more votes from minorities and a video clip of the previously mentioned exchange.

It doesn’t help the Republican message when a Michigan Republican posted the article ””Everyone Should Know These Statistics On Homosexuals” on his Facebook page, where the article said gays are “filthy” and stated that gay people “account for half the murders in large cities”.

It doesn’t help the Republican message when North Carolina Republican Governor McCrory within 3 months of being in office, closed the Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs despite Hispanics being the fastest growing population in NC and despite the office being in existence for 14 years.

It doesn’t help when Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young uses the term “wetbacks” when referring to Hispanics. After it was pointed out to him that it is a derogatory term which should not be used, his initial statement said he “meant no disrespect”. The Anchorage Daily News pointed out though that he didn’t even apologize, so he later did apologize.

To “express…admiration today for the romance of the latin culture”, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul read a Pablo Neruda love poem at the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce meeting. Not quite the content you’d expect at a chamber of commerce meeting. And it’s definitely a surprise for a Republican to quote a poet who was pro-Communist and an elected Community Party official. Conversely, if Pablo Neruda were alive today, since he was a Communist, I am sure he would not be happy with someone who supports making cuts on the poor to be reading his poetry. It would be like a politician using a band’s song in a commercial or during the political campaign when the band does not support that politician. (Both Silversun Pickups and K’naan had issues with the Romney campaign using their songs.)

You can see Rachel Maddow’s segment on the above points here:

What seems to be consistent about the Republican Party is that they don’t seem to care about an issue unless it affects them directly.

Republican Senator Rob Portman came out to say that he now favors gay marriage once his son came out of the closet. (Interestingly enough, after Portman was re-elected.) Dick Cheney also toned down his view point against gay marriage due to his gay daughter.

Incredibly, 31 Republicans also opposed Hurricane Sandy relief, even though they had supported other similar bills when the disaster aid was proposed for their own state.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what Republicans candidate believe because they say something and their office has to later “clarify” they didn’t mean what they said.

This happened when Republican Ohio governor John Kasich said “If you want to have a civil union, that’s fine with me”, but later, his office had to put out a statement “The governor’s position is unchanged. He opposes gay marriage and he opposes changes Ohio’s constitution to allow for civil unions”.

And while around 90% of Americans believe in more comprehensive background checks for gun purchases, and even though House Majority Speaker Boehner stated in an interview: “They should actually do a real background check on everyone”, his office later had to clarify Boehner’s position is that he does not support more extensive background checks.

You can view a video segment from Rachel Maddow how Republicans’ statements contradict their own policies here:

The following is an emotional video of father Neil Heslin who lost his son at Sandy Hook:

And another strong testimony of father David Wheeler who also lost his son at Sandy Hook:

If you think the above makes the Republican Party look backwards, there’s more. Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli has been making an effort to make oral sex illegal in Virginia again. And Tennessee state senator Stacy Campfield who wants to reduce welfare money to families who have children with failing grades in school. And this is from a guy who seems to have an education deficit himself as he thinks AIDS started because of a guy having sex with a monkey and then having sex with other men. I think Stacy Campfield got his information from the same medical expert who advised Senate candidate Todd Akin that women who are raped don’t get pregnant because they have a “way” of shutting their reproductive organs down.

Click on the above image for the video from the Daily Show. While the bit itself is campy at times, it’s worth watching the video and the next one to cover both Cuccinelli and Campfield. (Just in case the second video doesn’t properly start after the first video, the second video is here:


jimrin10 years after the start of the Iraq War might be a good time to reflect

on mistakes that were made and how things could have been done better.

However, don’t ever expect the neocons to admit any mistakes.

Dick Cheney said in a recent interview “I did what I did, it’s all on the public record, and I feel very good about it. If I had to do it all over again, I’d do it in a minute” with no mention of how things could have been done better if he could do it all over again.

While I’m a believer not to have any regrets about what I have done in the past, I am a believer in learning from your past and if I had an opportunity to make things better, I would.

Cheney’s views really shouldn’t be surprising. As per Paul O’Neill who was Bush’s initial US Treasury Secretary in the Bush administration, stated that 10 days after Bush’s inauguration, which is 9 months before 9/11, Bush wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein and told his cabinet to “find me a way to do this”. When 9/11 occurred, the Bush administration tried to link 9/11 to Saddam Hussein, but couldn’t. After the war in Afghanistan, then they had to find another way which was to say Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. As we know now, this wasn’t true.

As pointed out by Ron Suskind in a discussion with Chris Matthews, “when you have a big lie, you got to have a big denial to follow it.” The denial is what we are seeing from the neocons. (The Chris Matthews segment is here)

In a recent interview, Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense under Bush, said that the Iraq War could have turned out better if only they had known how much manpower would be required to provide stability to Iraq.

What? Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki gave an estimate of several hundred thousands of troops required for peacekeeping in Iraq, at least twice the planned number. However, the Bush administration decided not to listen to him. Instead, they treated him more as an outcast and his influence as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was never the same after he gave that estimate. Is this the way to treat someone who has dedicated his life to protecting our country?

Anyway, not surprising as we found Bush do this during his presidency, the neocons are trying to rewrite history. My concern is not for the neocons (except for the fact some people consider Condoleezza Rice a good candidate for President), but the fact that you can still find this pattern of behavior the GOP today.


jimrinProgressive Dems are putting ads in Kentucky

questioning why McConnell and Republicans want to prevent a ban on assault weapons and background checks.

There’s nothing in the Constitution which says Americans are guaranteed the right to assault weapons, just as there are no guaranteed rights to own cluster bombs and nuclear weapons. The second amendment only states the right to bear “arms”. It’s unreasonable to think that any “arms” are allowed, so the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Click the above image for the video. Or click this link if you’d like to help get the message out:

For the record, this is the wording of the amended second amendment as stated in wikipedia:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I am sure Thomas Jefferson who ratified the wording as Secretary of State would be greatly disappointed how we have taken the second amendment which was intended to help ensure a free nation to how people are given the right to own assault weapons for no real reason. (Protection? Really…?) It was Thomas Jefferson who stated:

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Image from naturalhistorymag.com21 months ago

jimrinRepublican Ed Orcutt wants to impose a tax on bicycles because they are unhealthy and bad for the environment

From the article:
Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt says bikes are bad for the environment because they cause cyclists to have “an increased heart rate and respiration.” “You would be giving off more carbon dioxide if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” he said, before admitting that he had not “done any analysis” of the difference between carbon dioxide emissions of bikes and cars. Of course not.

There’s been an update to the article where Orcutt later “recognizes that bikes emit less carbon than cars”.

Do we really think people like Ed Orcutt is a good use of taxpayers’ money?

OK, the above image has nothing to do with the article, but I don’t even know what skit that is from…


jimrinI don't know whether to laugh or cry...

But comedy shows like The Daily Show do not need to worry about finding material as long as the Tea Party is around. In fact, the writers do not even have to worry about coming up with material. All they need to do is interview Tea Party members.

The Daily Show’s Al Madrigal did a story on the Florida Tea Party being concerned that the government is interfering with their rights to be able to ride manatees. Again, their premise is they should be able to do whatever they want, independent of the impact to others (people or animals) and independent on whether it is good for the country.

Click the above image for the video. 22 months ago

jimrinI would say they have their priorities wrong...

Especially in light of billions of profits being pulled in by big oil. 22 months ago

jimrinNo war against women?

From the referenced article:

Eight Senators on Monday voted not to consider the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill that protects victims of domestic violence. The Senators who voted against moving to debate on the bill were:

Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Tim Scott (R-SC)
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
James Risch (R-ID)

Someone in the comments pointed out that Ted Cruz is not up for re-election until 2018. However, his fellow Texan John Coryn is up for reelection in 2014.

From the commenter:
“Coryn voted against the Veterans Jobs Bill during the last Congress. I (as a Vet) won’t forget that betrayal.”


jimrinFiscal irresponsibility?

No surprise, but it didn’t take long for partisanship to rear its ugly head.

Republican House speaker Boehner put out soundbites saying that the President should “get serious”. Obama has already made it clear that he wants to reduce the deficit by raising taxes on those making over $250,000. The Republican plan only raised taxes for those making over $1,000,000. Now which side seems to be the one which is not taking reducing the Federal deficit seriously?

And then Boehner wanted to push through his “Plan B” tax plan, even though he knows Obama will not sign it. Just another waste of time rather than trying to solve the problem.

However, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center has looked at the details of the Republican’s Plan B and discovered on average, besides raising taxes on those making over $1,000,000, it would also raise taxes on those earning less than $200,000! In fact, 1 in 5 who earn less than $20,000 would see an increase of over $1,000! What? And not only that, it would decrease taxes for those earning between $200,000 and $1,000,000.

Anyway, so Boehner wanted to push Plan B through the house, but he discovered he does not even have enough Republican support for the Plan. So rather than risk an embarrassing defeat, he’s called off the vote and recessed the House for Christmas.

Now, where was that post about Republicans wasting millions of tax payers money on “symbolic” votes…? Oh yeah, it’s here.

Update: The scary part about Boehner not being able to get enough votes from Republicans is because tea party members do not want to have any tax increase, even for the rich. Aren’t we glad we have such extremists in our government blocking progress? Anyway, it might be the only chance Boehner has of passing anything is to get a plan which Democrats will support and some moderate Republicans, too, leaving the tea party members out in the cold. Of course, the chance of Boehner supporting a plan which the Democrats support is likely very slim. Maybe we are headed toward the fiscal cliff.

Update 2: This AP article has an interesting analysis of the situation. It’s the old premise be careful what you wish for because you may get it. The Republican Party was able to resurrect itself on the popularity of the Tea Party movement and pledging no new taxes. Now, they can’t even pass meaningful legislation even though they are the majority.


jimrinCongratulations to President Barack Obama on re-election

Also, congratulations to Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Murphy, Sherrod Brown, Bill Nelson, Claire McCaskill, Bob Casey, Joe Donnelly, Tammy Baldwin, Jon Tester, and Heidi Heitkamp on winning their Senate seats and increasing the Democratic majority.

I can’t list all the House races, but one which is noteworthy, congratulations to Tammy Duckworth for winner her House seat, showing once again not only was she a hero in Iraq but she can also be a hero for the people she represents.

By the way, I will keep this goal open until the Republican party stops trying to dictate morality, until the Republican party stops putting interests of corporations above people, and until the Republican party starts representing all Americans. 2 years ago

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