America’s Dumbest Congressman says gays getting massages in the Army will lead to terrorism

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) questions U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on

His brain comes with front and rear crumple zones.

Goal ThermometerWe have not named Louie Gohmert America’s Dumbest Congressman over nothing. He works hard at that title.

Rep. Louie Gohmert was an in-studio guest on the “Point Of View” radio program yesterday, where he went off on a bizarre tangent about Ancient Greece in trying to make the case that allowing gays to serve in the military “is not a good idea.”

Oh dear God, Louie Gohmert is going to explain Ancient Greece to us. This is like watching one of those crash-test videos where they send the car hurdling toward a solid concrete wall at sixty miles an hour just to see what happens. He’s picking up speed …

“I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, you know, there’s nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks,’” he said. “Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it’s a different kind of fighting, it’s a different kind of war and if you’re sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into a big, planned battle, then you’re not going to last very long.

Now reaching 50 miles an hour … 55 … 60 …

It’s guerrilla fighting. You are going to be ultimately vulnerable to terrorism and if that’s what you start doing in the military like the Greeks did … as people have said, ‘Louie, you have got to understand, you don’t even know your history.’ Oh yes I do. I know exactly. It’s not a good idea.”

Impact! The driver’s side seat goes through the windshield! A tire is catapulted twenty feet into the air! A wayward door handle hurdles toward the small crowd of watching scientists, hitting one in the head and knocking him senseless! Oh, the vehicular carnage! Why did we even attempt this? What were we trying to prove?

All right, so let’s sum up here. America’s Dumbest Congressman says in today’s modern fighting forces, if you allow gay people to join the Army and get pre-battle massages your forces are going to be vulnerable to terrorism … because reasons … and then gorilla fighters will come to steal all the bananas and America will fall. We’re a little sketchy on the details because he just sort of trailed off there mid-thought.

And it’s all because gay soldiers will want massages before shooting people.

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America’s Dumbest Congressman, ladies and gentlemen. One of the five-hundred plus people in America who has the most say in writing the rules the rest of us will live by, because one single district in Texas hates the rest of us just that much.

Diner waitress: Chris Christie ’should take one of our jobs for a week’ to understand minimum wage

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives a news conference in Trenton January 9, 2014.  Christie on Thursday fired a top aide at the center of a brewing scandal that public officials orchestrated a massive traffic snarl on the busy George Washington Bridg

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)

Goal Thermometer

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may have complained about being misunderstood on the minimum wage, but workers at the diner where he was speaking say he’s the one who doesn’t understand. Pushed to explain his comments that he was “tired of hearing about the minimum wage,” Christie just repeated himself on the substance, while adding some partisan attacks on President Obama as a “class warrior” and that complaint about being misunderstood: “My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them.” Gosh, why don’t people just believe in the goodness of his bullying little heart, no matter what he actually says or does?

“Maybe he should take one of our jobs for a week, like a training program, and try to itemize your bills,” said waitress Stacey Ellis, 32, after Christie insisted his words were misconstrued.

“He’ll know it’s not enough,” she continued. “I like him. He’s very likable. I just wish he would work on raising the minimum wage.”

Work on raising the minimum wage? We’re talking about a governor who vetoed a minimum wage increase passed by the legislature, only to have his state’s voters raise it through a ballot vote. New Jersey’s minimum wage is still only $8.25 an hour, though, so Stacey Ellis is absolutely correct that it should be raised further.

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Secretary of Labor Tom Perez had a harsher take on Christie’s minimum wage stance: “Chris Christie’s got his head in the sand if he’s getting tired about the minimum wage.”

Spotlight on green news & views: Climate talks, Politico amplifies BP’s lies, livestock antibiotics

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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Co-chairs Artur Runge-Metzger and Kishan Kumarsingh during Day 4 at the Bonn climate talks.

Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don’t attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. So far, more than 19,860 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

Day 4 at the UN climate talks in Bonn—by TierneySmith: “There are just two days of negotiations left, and much work remains. On Thursday afternoon, the talks’ two co-chairs took stock of how far the negotiations had moved since the start of this session, offering government negotiators a stern reality check. Their main tasks were to deliver clarity of what countries’ climate action commitments should include, and clarity on how to ramp-up climate action before those commitment periods take effect (ie between now and 2020, or ‘pre-2020 ambition’). But with time quickly running out, co-chair Artur Runge-Metzger acknowledged that the ‘ambition to finalise the two decisions is no longer possible in Bonn, they will have to be finalised in Lima’; when countries meet again at COP20 in December. He stressed that while ‘extensive exchanges’ had taken place on many issues, countries had ‘not touched on many important things’ and that co-operation must accelerate in the coming days. Much of the current frustration in Bonn focuses on delegates attempts to find common ground on the pledges they will submit as part of the 2015 global climate agreement – their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). After discussions yesterday were characterised by some as ‘demoralising,’ divisions between countries remained strong throughout the morning. Frustrated, co-chair Kishan Kumarsingh called on delegates to ‘look yourselves in the eye; ask yourself if we are on track.’”

green dots

BP’s Politico puff piece wasn’t just shady journalism ethics—it was mostly a lie—by Stuart H Smith: “BP, with a huge assist from the popular Beltway-insider website Politico, stirred up the muddy waters of the Deepwater Horizon spill aftermath this week when it published a corporate-love-letter-disguised-as-news entitled, “No, BP Didn’t Ruin the Gulf.” Anyone expecting humility from a firm whose court-certified wanton negligence killed 11 people and seriously polluted America’s most precious natural resource clearly hasn’t followed the story lately. The story hit the Internet Wednesday morning and caused an immediate stir—but mostly on the topic of journalism ethics. For one thing, the story initially had the trappings of a news article, without the large label of ‘Opinion’ that such an op-ed is expected to carry (that changed after the outcry); readers got to the bottom of the piece before learning it was written by BP’s in-house spin-doctor-in-chief, corporate spokesman Geoff Morrell. [...] But the ethics controversy wasn’t what troubled me the most. What bothered me about the piece—and should bother all readers—is that the claims by Morrell are sometimes dubious, sometimes misleading, and much of the time just an old-fashioned lie. Those of us who’ve followed the story for the last four years can feel pretty confident in saying this: Yes, BP actually did ruin the Gulf.”

green dots

Big Oil spends big money to stop fracking ban in Santa Barbara County—by Dan Bacher: “The struggle by proponents of Measure 1  the initiative to ban fracking and other extreme oil extraction techniques in Santa Barbara County, is a David vs. Goliath battle that parallels the No on Proposition 1 campaign. Big oil companies are dumping millions into the coastal county to defeat the measure, just like corporate agribusiness, billionaires and oil companies are spending millions to pass Governor Jerry Brown’s water bond. The Yes on Measure P campaign had a war chest of about $284,000 as of October 16, 2014, largely from hundreds of individuals and county residents, according to the Santa Barbara Independent. This amount notably mounts to only a small fraction of anti-Measure P funds. The same article reported that Measure P opponents have raised $7.6 million. ‘Californians for Energy Independence’ has funneled over $5 million of its $7.6 million war chest to the ‘No’ side.”

green dots

Worse Than Those Boy Scouts That Tipped Over a Rock—by ban nock: “Remember those overweight adult Boy Scouts that tipped over a rock in Utah? Well, a woman from NY has gone one better. Traveling to many National Parks throughout the country she has painted on rocks then taken selfies and posted to various social media sites. Some paintings are just graffiti [...] Others are in more visible places [...] She paints in acrylic so it doesn’t come off with the weather. Below the fold for some photos where she shows some skin. The National Park defacer has the where  with all to travel to most National Parks you might have heard of. Below she is in desert country. She hit Rocky Mountain National, Zion, Canyonlands, J Tree, Yosemite, Crater Lakes, Bryce, Grand Staircase, I love the photos where she is crawling all over the petroglyphs in J Tree to get her selfie. Probably she is in karmic touch with those other artists hundreds, or thousands of years ago.”

One of vandal's acrylic drawings. That is Crater Lake in the background.

One of the prolific vandal’s acrylic drawings. That is Crater Lake in the background.

You can find more rescued green diaries below the orange garden layout.

Chuck Todd in Wisconsin: Voters Are Really Burned Out

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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Meet The Voters: Chuck Todd heads to Wisconsin, where the third gubernatorial election in four years has voters feeling fatugied from the partisanship.



This week in the war on workers: ‘We suck’ on minimum wage, labor secretary says

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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Raise the minimum wage rally with a man holding sign saying

Goal Thermometer

Pushing back on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s minimum wage rant, Labor Secretary Tom Perez highlighted some actual New Jersey workers, as opposed to the imaginary parents around a kitchen table Christie won’t stop talking about:

“I’ve met with minimum-wage workers in New Jersey,” Perez said today at a Bloomberg News event in Washington. “I’ve met with folks who—the only raise they got, they’re baggage handlers at Newark Airport, and the only raise they got was when the voters increased the minimum wage.”

But, you know, Chris Christie says people aspire to more, so screw those workers and their actual real-life raises. Christie is only representative of a bigger problem, though, and Perez didn’t mince words on that:

The U.S. federal wage floor ranks third-lowest—as a percentage of median wage—among the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a status that Perez said was embarrassing.

“I mean, we suck,” Perez said. “We really do.”

By any measure having to do with the minimum wage, it’s hard to argue that one.

You know Republicans aren’t going to raise the minimum wage. We need to elect Democrats to make that happen, so please chip in $3 to Daily Kos’ endorsed candidates.

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Continue reading below the fold for more of the week’s labor and education news.

Feds to Recognize Gay Marriage in Six More States

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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The federal government is recognizing gay marriage in six more states, extending federal benefits to those couples.



Feds to Recognize Gay Marriage in Six More States

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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The federal government is recognizing gay marriage in six more states, extending federal benefits to those couples.



Saturday nutpick-a-palooza: Was the world created 6,000 years ago?

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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Today’s source material:

World Net Daily story screencap: "WAS WORLD CREATED 6,028 YEARS AGO TODAY? Exclusive: Joseph Farah takes on atheist who says gravity is the author of life"

No.

No it wasn’t.

Why do I think it matters how old the Earth is?

There are two reasons:

I take the Bible literally – and seriously. And the Bible strongly affirms a date in the neighborhood of 6,000 years, at least for the age of man, who was created on the sixth day, according to Genesis. If that’s not true, it calls into question the rest of the Bible’s accuracy.

Atheists like Dawkins and Hawking are every bit as dogmatic about their theories of the age of the Earth as I am. They know they need lots of time to give their fairy tales about life spontaneously generating any credibility at all. Godless miracles require time, you know, lots of time.

Science equals fairy tales, but a book is FACT? But this is my favorite part:

I know what some of you are thinking: “Farah, what about the dinosaurs that were tens of millions of years old? How do you explain that?” Quite simply, I don’t believe it. Throughout man’s history, in every culture, we have stories, pictures and sculptures depicting dragons and leviathans and sea serpents. Are we to believe these were all concocted in man’s imagination? Even the Bible references such observations. If behemoths like the one described in chapter 40 of the Book of Job somehow threatened the Bible account of history, I don’t think it would be there.

Throughout history, we also have accounts of wizards and hobbits and Godzilla and nymphs and centaurs and Zeus and Thor and hydras and lots of other creatures that have to be true because otherwise someone wouldn’t have written about them.

Phew! Fun! Now let’s see the crazies respond, below the fold.

This week in the war on voting: Colorado’s mail-in voter law changed candidates’ campaign approach

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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NC voting suppression protest

This Week in the War on Voting is a joint project of Joan McCarter and Meteor Blades.

Georgians in court over allegedly missing registrations:

By the NGP’s estimate, some 800,000 Georgians—”people of color, voters between the ages of 18 and 29, and unmarried women—what the group calls the ‘Rising American Electorate’” weren’t registered to vote at the beginning of this year. Since then the group—founded by state Rep. Stacey Abrams, Democratic leader of the Georgia House—says it and 12 partner groups have registered around 116,000 new voters. But earlier this month, NGP complained that the registrations in five counties—all of them surrounding large Democratic strongholds in Atlanta, Columbus and Savannah—had not processed some 40,000 of these registrations. Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the claim is wrong.

Garrett Epps sharply questions Chief Justice John Roberts’ commitment to non-discrimination as a consequence of ruling on Texas voter ID case.

GOP officials withheld data on voter ID:

[The] state officials working to pass a voter photo ID law in 2011 knew that more than 500,000 of the state’s registered voters did not have the credentials needed to cast ballots under the new requirement. But they did not share that information with lawmakers rushing to pass the legislation.

Now that the bill is law, in-person voters must present one of seven specified forms of photo identification in order to have their votes counted.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UCI School of Law, says Supreme Court erred badly in Texas voter ID ruling:

The Supreme Court’s decision Oct. 18 to allow Texas’ restrictive voter identification law to go into effect is deeply disturbing and simply wrong. [...]

There are so many things that are troubling about the court’s action. It is the first time in decades that the Supreme Court has allowed an election law to go into effect after a federal trial court found it to be unconstitutional race discrimination. Appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, are supposed to defer to the fact-finding by the trial courts. Here, the district court held a trial, engaged in extensive fact-finding and wrote a very detailed opinion.

Also, this continues a trend in recent weeks of the Supreme Court deciding which election systems can go into effect in unsigned orders without written opinions.

Jesse Richman and David Earnest argue that voting by non-citizens is high enough that it could alter the results of some close races.

Colorado’s new voting law means candidates must make their final arguments earlier: By Friday, more than half a million Coloradans had already mailed in their ballots. By Nov. 3, the day before Election Day, it’s quite possible that the majority of those who going to vote will have already voted. Every registered citizen received a ballot in the mail, and those who aren’t registered can do so right up through election day.  

“Now you gotta get the vote out for literally almost three weeks,” said Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who signed the election changes passed by his party and is now running for re-election against Republican Bob Beauprez, a former congressman.

Beauprez is feeling the same urgency.

“You pretty well have to have your whole game plan out there and your case made so early now,” he said.

Sixth Circuit Court rejects an appeal over the right to vote absentee of Ohioans jailed but not convicted: The decision was predicated on the view of two judges on the three judge panel that the coalition of 22 churches that brought the case did not have standing. Chief Judge R. Guy Cole dissented, arguing that the coalition was right to assert standing because it had had its limited get-out-the-vote resources diverted by having to train its canvassers about the problem for “late-jailed voters” who missed the absentee deadline by being arrested and would not be able to cast a ballot in person on Election Day because they have not yet been released. Cole also stated he agreed with the district court’s ruling that late-jailed people have the same right to cast a ballot as late-hospitalized people even though they have missed the absentee ballot deadline.

Right-wing True the Vote group claims elections will be stolen this year: Among the reasons: same-day registration, Department of Justice attacks on voter ID laws, Homeland Security’s blocking of information that might identify non-citizens who vote, failure of electronic equipment and the alleged pre-marking of ballots.

Jonathan Chait on how Republicans justify poll taxes:

During the Obama era, the Republican Party has made the modern revival of the poll tax a point of party dogma. Direct poll taxes have been illegal for 50 years, but the GOP has discovered a workaround. They have passed laws requiring photo identification, forcing prospective voters who lack them, who are disproportionately Democratic and nonwhite, to undergo the extra time and inconvenience of acquiring them. They have likewise fought to reduce early voting hours on nights and weekends, thereby making it harder for wage workers and single parents, who have less flexibility at work and in their child care, to cast a ballot.

The effect of all these policies is identical to a poll tax. (Indeed, a study found that the cost they impose is considerably greater than existing poll taxes at the time they were banned.)

Emily Badger calls out Rich Lowry’s take on voter ID: The National Review editor argues that voter ID doesn’t hurt many citizens, a small percentage at most wind up not having their votes count. Writes Badger:

What stands out about this argument is the idea that any disenfranchisement would be OK, when a central rationale for voter ID laws in the first place is that any voter fraud is not.

This week at progressive state blogs: Ohio job growth way behind, infighting in Beauprez camp

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 25-10-2014-05-2008

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megaphone

Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view, inside information and often an edgy voice that we just don’t get from the traditional media. This week in progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite state- or city-based blog you think I should be watching. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At Plunderbund of Ohio, John Michael Spinelli writes—Economic Research Expert: Ohio Job Growth Has Trailed The Nation “For The Last 23 Months”:

Plunderbund blog logo

Earlier today we reported that Ohio now ranks 45th in the country for job creation (out of 50, in case you were wondering) according to Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

Ohio job data miners say the actual job growth rate in Ohio year-over-year for September was 0.6 percent compared to a 2 percent growth rate for the USA.
“The gap between Ohio and the USA widened in September once again, unfortunately,” said Economic Research Analyst George Zeller, who keeps tabs on the scoreboard of job growth information.

Based in Cleveland, an important region of the state for manufacturing jobs, Zeller told OhioNewsBureau via email today that “we are in recovery in Ohio, which is the good news. The bad news is that it continues to be… too slow and well below the national average.”

Zeller said he and ASU peer into the same data and are on the same page but in a slightly different way. According to Zeller, Ohio needs to desperately speed up the recovery in order “to recover the jobs that we lost since 2007.”  He said the poor performance in September is not a one month data fluke. “It has happened every month for the last 23 months consecutively.”

At My Left Nutmeg of Connecticut, ctblogger writes—Malloy must come clean on his attempt to end collective bargaining rights:

As someone who is disgusted with the stream of lies from the uniuon leadership and Gov Malloy on this issue, I hope the media will start asking questions about this subject -ctblogger
In defense of its endorsement of Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy, the Connecticut Education Association is using its EXAMINE THE FACTS campaign to tell teachers that Malloy, “Supports teachers’ rights to collectively bargain and negotiate contracts, benefits, and working conditions.”

At the same time, most of Connecticut’s other unions are trying to persuade their members that if elected, Republican Tom Foley will follow Wisconsin’s right-wing, anti-union governor and destroy collective bargaining altogether.

But the fact remains that Governor Malloy is the only Democratic governor in the nation to propose unilaterally eliminating collective bargaining rights for a group of public employees.

In Malloy’s case, as part of his corporate education reform industry initiative, he proposed repealing collectively bargaining rights for public school teachers working in the poorest schools. [...]

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, Governor Malloy has an obligation to come clean about his position on collective bargaining.

There are more excerpts from progressive state blogs below the orange doohickey.