Posts tagged ‘Oklahoma’

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Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, who was clearly there to dismantle the agency and make it a lap dog of corporations, oh, and don’t forget denying science, is in hot water over his ethical failures, and the latest, trying to fire or sideline those that have tried to call out his lapses. Now think about this. He was the elected Attorney General from Oklahoma. You know, the guy who enforces the laws. Now you understand the teacher strike there. The teachers do not want to be part of a government system that produces mindless morons like Pruitt or the people who put him in power. They want their kids to be able to think. Now Oklahoma is Redder than Red so any parallels you want to draw about voting for Trump, failed conservatism, and dumber than a brick are more than appropriate.

Here in River City (Sacramento) the Stephon Clark protests go on. As I wrote before, this is a tragedy, the cops executed this guy, and nothing is going to happen because the laws favor the police. And I can kind of understand the black communities anger, as much as any white dude can. But what they are doing is counterproductive. Sure Martin Luther King Marched, but he was fighting for equality and voter rights. He was trying to be lawful in a morally and ethical way and yet let police demonstrate their brutality and hatred.

The Sacramento demonstrators, sadly made up of mostly just the black community, are disrupting the community demanding the police officers be charged which, of course, they are not going to be. Totally wrong focus that highlights them against us mentality that then alienates the community. The proof, very, very sadly, is in a story that noted that a nurse fired for her racist comments saying Stephon Clark got what he deserved, had raise $25,000 on GoFundMe. African-Americans have real grievances and they are a special case, there is systematic racism, but to win this battle, they have got to quit making it about them as a special case. Strange how that works.

Michelle Goldberg wrote a really interesting piece this morning about QAnon, which I had never heard of, but where apparently the Trump faithful including Roseanne Barr get their fantasies about Trump. Apparently it is a site created to push the fantasy that all the chaos and incompetence you see is really all part of a brilliant secret plan to make things better with all the secret programs going on:

You don’t create a wild fantasy about your leader being a covert genius unless you understand that to most people, he looks like something quite different. You don’t need an occult story about how your side is secretly winning if it’s actually winning. Publicly, many right-wing politicians and pundits disdain the Mueller investigation and pretend to believe that Trump’s ties to Russia are negligible. But among part of the Trump base, the effort to explain them away appears to be creating psychic strain.

“You cannot possibly imagine the size of this,” said a Q dispatch last month. “Trust the plan. Trust there are more good than bad.” Q almost certainly doesn’t know any state secrets, but he, she, or they understand that some fervent Trump supporters require more reassurance than they’re willing to admit. Their desperate conviction that they will be proven right about Trump betrays a secret fear that they will be proven wrong.

It is amazing what people will do to not think and try to support what they want to believe. Had they been in charge, we would still think the sun revolved around the earth and voodoo medicine works.

Now and finally in the category of lying sack of shit, here is a summary of fact checks from President DFF’s statements yesterday. You will note that most of this is either a racist rant (be afraid, they will rape your women) to absolute lies about a myriad of issues:

“You remember my opening remarks at Trump Tower when I opened, everyone said oh he is so tough and I used the word rape. And yesterday, it came out where, this journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before.”

Now this is such an unmitigated lie and attempt at racial fear mongering.  Implicit here is Mexicans coming across the border will rape your white women.  Of course that is a lie, but similar to what Southern politicians did back in the 60s in regard to black men.  Then he tried to make it about the Caravan, except there is no known rapes among or by the Caravan people, and let’s just clear the air here.  Those people in the Caravan are coming to the border to turn themselves in and ask for political asylum.  They faced rape, murder, and the children being abducted in their home country due to drug gangs whose livelihood we support by our need for drugs, so they did what any loving parent would do.  He turns them into rapists and murders.  What a pig.

He then repeated the lie about chain immigration:

 “If you have a baby on our land congratulations, that baby is a United States citizen. We are the only ones…So this guy because he is here can get the Mother and the Father and the Grandmother and the cousins and the brother.”

This is another blatant lie.  In theory it would work, but each link in the chain takes years, sometimes decades to approve and get in the country.  The waiting list for a typical family is over 12 years.  It does not happen, another strawman. Here are some more from the NYT:

“They used to call it tax reform. And for 40 years, they couldn’t pass anything and they didn’t know why.”

False. Tax cuts were passed under Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Read more here.

“We had a trade deficit of almost $500 billion last year with China.”

This is exaggerated. The American trade deficit with China was closer to $400 billion in 2017. Read more here.

“In many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that. They always like to say, ‘Oh, that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people, and it’s very hard because the state guards their records.”

This is false. There have been no credible allegations of fraudulent voting at anything close to this scale during the 2016 election. Read more here.

“We have very weak laws because of the Democrats,” the president said, adding, “We had very, very weak laws. We have the worst laws — you ever think catch-and-release, which we’re terminating very quickly.

False. Mr. Trump is referring to a practice, not a law, where detained immigrants are released until court proceedings because of legal and logistical constraints. It has occurred under Republican and Democratic administrations alike, including under Mr. Trump. Read more here.

Conclusion:  President DFF is a lying sack of shit and the people who believe in him are deluded morons.  How is that for direct?  See Michelle Goldman above for how they delude themselves with a secret agenda even though he looks like a moron, walks like a moron, and talks like a moron.  If you want to be afraid, he is the one you should be afraid of.  Have a great weekend.  Carpe Diem.

But If We Did Have an Election On Issues …

Then you would soon come to the conclusion that Republicans are bat shit crazy! Here is the latest from Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain:

The Oklahoma legislature has introduced an anti-transgender bill and declared a state of emergency over access to bathrooms. “It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist,” the legislation reads. It’s just one of many anti-trans bills that have been introduced across the country recently. 

This is after these same nut jobs passed a law, clearly unconstitutional, that makes it a felony for Doctors to perform abortions.  But we want to put them in charge of the nation led by Donald Trump who hasn’t a clue* about just about anything.  Really? A state of emergency?  Where’s the data that shows our bathrooms are under attack.  Maybe they should mobilize the National Guard to do genital checks at bathroom doors.  I can’t think of a better use of our tax money.

Really people?  This is what you are voting for?  I got to brush up on my Canadian.  Eh?

*This is the man who is going to ban Muslims from the country and how do you tell if they are Muslim?  You can tell just “by looking at them”.  I would almost agree with this if it were Republicans since if they are old, fat, and white, they are probably conservative, but then I am old, fat, and white, and am a Progressive.  So much for the know’em when you see’em test.  Maybe we should tattoo all of them.  Wait! Wasn’t that done by ….

Oh My Brain Hurts

A tornado ripped through Oklahoma yesterday and hit a school with little kids in the Gym.  Ten minutes before it hit the Gym teacher took the kids to shelter. All the kids were pulled out alive and uninjured.  Afterwards she was quoted as saying:

It’s a miracle, It’s a miracle.  God was looking out for those little girls.

Oh, my brain hurts.  If he was watching out why did he hit the school in the first place?  Was it punishment for gays?  No sweet lady, they survived because good public policy built shelters in the schools (probably with help from FEMA funds), the schools practice tornado drills, and you, not God, took them to safety when the time came.  God was nowhere to be seen.  Maybe you ought to ask why God killed the one person who did die elsewhere if you are going to give him/her credit for saving the girls.  Oh, my brain hurts.

Just Some Crazy Sunday Morning Thoughts

The first one, crazy thought that is, is how anyone could vote for Republicans who are demonstrating just how out of touch and opposed to progress they are. Timothy Egan wrote a great column the other day asking the critical questions:

Are Republicans really going to spend the first year of their new majority trying to undo everything the president has done — to roll back the clock? Will they defend isolation of Cuba against the wishes of most young Cuban-Americans? Will they restore a family-destroying deportation policy, when Obama’s de-emphasis on sending illegal immigrants home has already given him a 15-point boost among Latinos? Will they take away health insurance from millions who never had it before? Will they insist that nothing can be done on climate change, while an agreement is on the table for the world’s two biggest polluters, the United States and China, to do something significant?

I mean it just screams that they don’t have any ideas. Oh wait, pass the Keystone pipeline which doesn’t pencil out anymore. By starting to be aggressive and proactive, President Obama is drawing a clear line for most Americans between the differences between Republicans and Democrats and that bodes well for 2016.

On those older Cubans who are just horrified that we would try something else in Cuba, I can’t help wondering how many of them were in the favored upper classes with Baptista while the rest of the country languished in poverty as servants? No wonder they are unhappy. Castro took away their cookies and servants, educated most of the population, and gave them healthcare. Wouldn’t you be mad too? Here is probably the reality: Communism doesn’t work, but neither does pure capitalism. So it will evolve into some from of social democracy.

Did you see where Nebraska and Oklahoma were suing Colorado because the access to marijuana is spilling over into their states? I guess state’s rights only goes so far for some of these Republican states. They claim they are being overburdened trying to enforce their moronic laws against marijuana. I have a suggestion. Focus the police on more important crimes and get real about marijuana. It is so hard to make change and move forward when so many little scared people are trying to drag you back.

Everyone is shocked, shocked, shocked I tell you about the Sony hacking. Do you remember when the Feds wanted to pass a law requiring private industry to face reality in 2012? It was defeated by the Republicans:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other business groups and a number of Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona, opposed the bill, arguing that the legislation would be too burdensome for companies. They continued to oppose it even when Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., agreed to water it down and make the security standards optional.

…The Republican senators in opposition didn’t even listen to Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, who urged the Senate to pass the bipartisan cybersecurity legislation. If they don’t heed the advice of one of the nation’s premier experts on the issue (he’s also commander of the United States Cyber Command), then perhaps they weren’t paying attention to the facts?

These are the people we have put in charge of our Congress. Kind of makes you feel all warm and cozy doesn’t it?

Finally there was a great article in the NYT about how constructive criticism in military hospitals has led to retribution for healthcare workers. As I like to say it is all about the incentives. Keeping cost low and moving patients on so the numbers look good is how you get promoted, and is how patient care gets shoved to the side. But my point is not just about how bad some military hospitals are but that if we want to change something, we have to look at the incentives and how they operate against us. See why change is so hard in the U.S. until we are almost face down in the gutter? The people in power like the way the system works because the incentives go to them.

Just another Sunday morning watching the rain come down. Now I have to walk my animals.

Some Thoughts on the Death Penalty

There are some crimes that surely demand the death penalty. We all have that emotion. But think about it assuming it could be applied fairly and innocent people don’t get caught up in its web. If the state can sanctify life taking for certain crimes, then isn’t the state an extension of ourselves and therefore we too can take a life? If we the people can murder someone for a crime, does that not justify someone taking a life for a perceived crime?

Of course if you don’t buy that, there is the little issue of the fact that it is in no way applied fairly and innocent people do in fact get executed. It is estimated that 200 have been so far and the ratio of black on white to white on black perpetrators is 10-1*. The system is stacked against the poor and minorities. Then there is the issue of closure. This I know something about. I lost a daughter who was killed while walking in a bike path by a drunk hit and run driver.

There is no closure. Maybe hunting for the perpetrator distracts for awhile, but when they are caught and punished your loved one is still dead and there is this gigantic hole in your heart. I love watching cop shows on TV where the police tell a grieved relative that they will catch the person who did this. It may make the police feel better, but it doesn’t help. You like to think there is justice in the world and whoever did this horrible thing will get his, and he should be caught and stopped, but it doesn’t really help when he/she is.

Nor as data tells us, is the death penalty a deterrent. So we have this system that catches and sentences people to death, mostly guilty, but some not, mostly applied to poor and minority perpetrators, and it doesn’t deter murder. Why do we do it again? We do it because we want revenge. See Oklahoma (another state I will never live in). Their rush to “justice” was barbaric. But the mind set of revenge was on full display.

We carry out the death penalty because we want revenge. In a sick way it makes us feel better to smash the other guy, except it doesn’t and only lowers us to their level. We have very secure prisons and life without parole in many ways may be a worst punishment than the the death penalty as the perpetrator will have to live with his crime. And in a nation of mostly Christians, you think that redemption should be a big part of what our justice system should be about. But it isn’t. It is about revenge. But we are number 1. I will let you fill in the blank on what we are number 1 in.

I have no idea why we continue down this road that only demeans us as a society. I have a feeling that when all is said and done, what will convince us to stop it will be a cost analysis that says it is not worth the cost. It always comes down to the money. That says something really sad also.

*“The United States Sentencing Commission found that even when convicted of similar crimes, black men receive sentences almost 20 percent longer than white men. Other studies show that being a black defendant convicted of murdering a white victim dramatically increases the odds of being sentenced to death. While one-half of all murder victims are white, 80 percent of capital-sentencing cases involve white victims. In North Carolina, a defendant accused of killing a white person is three times more likely to be sentenced to die than a defendant accused of killing a black person. In Louisiana, the odds of receiving a death sentence are 97 percent higher in cases involving white victims than black victims. Meanwhile, African Americans are disproportionately sentenced to death row—that is, in a greater proportion than the percentage of crime for which they’re responsible.”

Friday Follies

Well, what is there to say? The News can’t get any stranger:

  • Michele Bachmann is retiring and when one of her advisors was confronted with her many wild ass claims, he said that sometimes she got things wrong, but she spoke and stood up for many people. Sadly those people she spoke for didn’t need a spokesperson, but probably a therapist
  • In the vein of can people think, Animal Planet has aired two shows on Mermaids which claim evidence to finding Mermaids, both of which were hoaxes, but netted their largest audiences. Quick, get them to a voting booth so the Republicans can win a national election
  • Unemployment hit an all time high this week in the Eurozone. That austerity thing working out for you? Just need to hang in there a little longer because the good times are just around the corner? What does it take to finally admit you were wrong and change course? Well the people who need to make that decision are not suffering the brunt of austerity so it will be a long time coming. Meanwhile back here in the good old USA, we have, (drum roll), austerity. Anybody seen a jobs plan?
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