Friday, June 26, 2015

SCOTUS Affirms Marriage Equality...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

From Declaration of Independence Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Preamble... United States Constitution

Yuppers, the majority decision legalizing marriage equality stands on firm ground. Further, a majority of Americans now accept (and or approve of) marriage equality.

Following is a roundup of articles:

Gay Marriage Backers Win Supreme Court Victory

Huckabee blasts SCOTUS "I will not acquiesce to an imperial court" vows to "resist and reject judicial tyranny"

Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry

Antonin Scalia Dissent In Marriage Equality Case Is Even More Unhinged Than You'd Think

More at Memeorandum

Expect a huge backlash of condemnation from the strident religious right moralists. Even as many ignore the divorce rate within their own religious sects and the adulterous activity of large numbers of their own members. Oh, the hypocrisy!

SCOTUS Upholds National Subsidies...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

In a 6-3 decision the SCOTUS upheld the ACA {ObamaCare} national subsidies and republicans have been responding as expected. Loud voices for therepeal of the ACA will constitute 2016 battle cry of the GOP presidential candidates. Clips from the HUFF POST POLITICS follow.

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)

I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing Obamacare on the American people."

“Despite the Court’s decision, ObamaCare is still a bad law that is having a negative impact on our country and on millions of Americans. I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions. We need Consumer Care, not ObamaCare.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

I am disappointed by today’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. But this decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare.

This fatally-flawed law imposes job-killing mandates, causes spending in Washington to skyrocket by $1.7 trillion, raises taxes by $1 trillion and drives up health care costs. Instead of fixing our health care system, it made the problems worse.

As President of the United States, I would make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities. I will work with Congress to repeal and replace this flawed law with conservative reforms that empower consumers with more choices and control over their health care decisions.

Here is what I believe: We need to put patients in charge of their own decisions and health care reform should actually lower costs. Entrepreneurs should be freed to lower costs and improve access to care – just like American ingenuity does in other sectors of the economy.

Americans deserve leadership that can actually fix our broken health care system, and they are certainly not getting it now from Washington, DC.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry

The Obama Administration has ignored the text of the Affordable Care Act time and again, and today’s ruling allows them to continue to disregard the letter of the law. While I disagree with the ruling, it was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare. We need leadership in the White House that recognizes the folly of having to pass a bill to know what’s in it. We need leadership that understands a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all policy does nothing to help health outcomes for Americans.

With individual premiums up more than 50 percent and nearly 5 million people losing their health plans, Americans deserve better than what we’re getting with Obamacare. It’s time we repealed Obamacare and replaced it with truly affordable, patient centered-health care reform, and I look forward to laying out my ideas on this issue.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the administration’s implementation of ObamaCare means Republicans in the House and Senate must redouble their efforts to repeal and replace this destructive and costly law. From the beginning, it was clear that ObamaCare would fail the American people and this has proven to be true across the country and in Wisconsin. Workers have lost hours because of new costs faced by their employers, people have lost their insurance and cannot afford the dramatic premium and fee increases, and many can no longer see their preferred doctors. Now, instead of just finger-pointing from the president for why his law is failing, we need real leadership in Washington, and Congress needs to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)

This decision turns both the rule of law and common sense on its head. Obamacare raises taxes, harms patients and doctors, and is the wrong fix for America's health care system.

As President, I would make it my mission to repeal it, and propose real solutions for our healthcare system.

As a physician, I know Americans need a healthcare system that reconnects patients, families, and doctors, rather than growing government bureaucracy.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

Today, the Supreme Court had its say; soon, the American people will have theirs.
President Obama would like this to be the end of the debate on Obamacare, but it isn’t. The debate will continue because the law has failed to accomplish its prime objective: Containing health care costs.

Republicans must outline a clear and coherent vision for health care to win the trust of the American people to repeal Obamacare. And right now, I am the only candidate to put forward a comprehensive plan.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, the debate will grow. Conservatives must be fearless in demanding that our leaders in Washington repeal and replace Obamacare with a plan that will lower health care costs and restore freedom.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)

This case was brought before the Supreme Court because President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress rammed through their hastily and deeply flawed legislation to create Obamacare, apparently without even proofreading their own bill. The result has been a disaster from day one. Today’s decision only reinforces why we need a president who will bring about real reform that repeals Obamacare and replaces it with a plan that expands consumer choice, increases coverage, delivers better value for the dollar, and gives states more control, without stifling job creation. As president, this is the kind of reform I would put in place.

Carly Fiorina

It is outrageous that the Supreme Court once again rewrote ObamaCare to save this deeply flawed law despite the plain text and in the face of overwhelming evidence that the law is not working for the majority of Americans.
ObamaCare has not lived up to what we were promised. Instead of more affordable care, premiums are rising. Instead of allowing those with insurance to stay on the plans they knew and liked, millions of people have been compelled to buy health plans that they didn't want. Many have been forced to move to Medicaid and yet more doctors are refusing to take Medicaid patients under this law. We were promised improved access and higher-quality care, but the complexity of ObamaCare is preventing the very competition that would allow more and better options for patients. Instead, hospitals, drug companies, and insurance companies are all consolidating. Instead of reducing the need for emergency care, we’re seeing more ER visits. There are a whole set of problems we’ve created and it has become clear that this law isn’t working.
The lasting solution here is what we've been saying all along. We need to repeal ObamaCare. It hasn't worked. We need to do the one thing we've never tried in our healthcare system—real competition. We know that competition provides lower prices and higher quality. But instead of a free market, healthcare so far has been a regulated oligopoly. We used to regulate insurance companies in all 50 states and now, we’ve nationalized that process. All Americans agreed with President Obama's goals of quality, affordable care, but that is not what we got. And competition doesn’t mean eliminating care for those with preexisting conditions. States should administer high-risk pools for those who have real needs. We’ve seen this in action – New Hampshire was able to administer high-risk pools effectively before Obamacare.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)

Today’s decision in King v. Burwell is judicial activism, plain and simple. For the second time in just a few years, a handful of unelected judges has rewritten the text of Obamacare in order to impose this failed law on millions of Americans. The first time, the Court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory ‘penalty’ into a ‘tax.’ Today, these robed Houdinis transmogrified a ‘federal exchange’ into an exchange ‘established by the State'.... After today’s ruling, Obamacare will now be responsible for imposing illegal taxes on more than 11 million individuals and for burdening hundreds of thousands of businesses with illegal penalties on their workers, killing jobs, and further slowing economic growth. President Obama’s health care law remains deeply unpopular and is harming countless Americans by increasing costs and worsening the quality of care. I remain fully committed to the repeal of Obamacare—every single word of it. And, in 2017, we will do exactly that.

While never a proponent of ObamaCare, believing it was bad law, it was at least an honest attempt at fixing what most agree was a bad exiting system. Republicans fought against its passage and have been critical of the law every sense. I for one am VERY ANXIOUS to hear in great specificity, precisely what each candidate has in mind should they win the general election and become president and they have there chance to work for repeal.

Call me a skeptic but it is unlikely any of them actually have a plan.

A decision against the health care law would have put the Republicans eyeing the presidency in a bind by forcing them to spell out what they proposed to do for millions of Americans without crucial subsidies. Now, however, they can continue to rail against the law rhetorically, promising to deal with the matter once they are in the White House. The fate of the law now depends on whether one of the following Republicans makes it there:

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mitt Gets It, While The GOP Continues To Stumble...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

As the shrinking "big tent republican" party struggles with doing the right thing as a party with respect to the confederate flag Governor Mitt Romney, the failed 2012 republican standard bearer came out loud and clear. It is time to take that flag down!

POLITICO - After letting a White House win slip through their fingers in 2012, Republicans made a commitment: It was time to broaden the conservative tent, to bring in the minority voters and the younger voters who have often felt alienated by hard-line social stances.

The past week showed that following through is a work in progress.

As debate raged about the Confederate flag boldly flying in front of South Carolina’s Capitol building, even as the nation reeled from the vicious gunning down of nine black parishioners at the hands of a white supremacist fond of posing with the rebel flag, the Republican candidates consistently failed to strongly come out against the divisive symbol.

They struggled, again and again, to follow through on the basic tenet of the post-2012, post-Mitt-Romney-face-flop autopsy — stop pissing off minorities in America.

Notably, it was Romney who cast the harshest light on the candidates’ unwillingness to take a stand over the weekend, stating, in no uncertain terms, that it was time to take that flag down.

Republican strategists, however, are defending the wobbles and hedges as awkward but probably necessary for a crowded field of candidates afraid to botch their chances in South Carolina, the first-in-the-South primary state.

“It’s been no profile in courage, but they all realize you’ve got to win the nomination first,” said David Mowery, an Alabama-based strategist. “Sometimes in the modern 24-hour-a-day news cycle, it’s better to take a step back rather than stepping out onto a limb and then have the limb get hacked off.”

The conversation about the rebel flag — long honored by Southern conservatives as a symbol of historic pride and long derided by others as a symbol of racism and hatred — gained unexpected momentum at the end of last week.

Kudos and hats off too Mitt Romney, he gets it. As for the rest of the wobbly squishy spineless fake leaders... You and your party will ultimately pay for your lack of integrity and courage.

Now, for the REST OF THE STORY.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Further Thoughts on Charleston, the Stars and Bars, Confederate Battle Flag, Symbolism and Such...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

A forewarning, this post will cover a few things and may very well get off on a tangent at times. It may become rambling and likely piss someone off a time or two. My apology in advance if it does; but that is just the ways things are. As "they" say, there is an ass for every seat and it seems there should be a thought for every mind. At least for those who choose to use their mind.

Watching the 2014 Netflix series The Following about a psychopathic serial killer with a cult of followers it got me thinking about how it parallels American politics. Now don't get me wrong here, the parallel has nothing to do with serial or cult murders, not one iota. It does however resemble, in a metaphorical way the followers of political parties and even religious sects conduct themselves as they instinctively react, almost in unison to what the party or religion asks them to. As a result engaging in any real and meaningful discussion is made almost impossible. Intended by to "powers behind the throne" methinks.

It's interesting how some folks, and they are found in every political and social group, grasp onto a particular theory, ideology, or belief that is advocated by the group without applying their own critical thinking skills. It simply gets accepted because the group or party says it is right or "good". That is certainly okay if one wants to be a follower. Perhaps many do; in fact is likely they do. This kind of behavior used to be called in psychology Groupthink. Groupthink in and of itself is not necessarily bad, however, it does become troubling and poses problems when those same folks berate, belittle, malign, misrepresent, and disrespect those who don't share their views or don't belong to the group, club, or party.

Just why it is that so many are troubled, or feel threatened by original thoughts or new ideas remains a mystery to folks who see things as they could be and should be. Maybe it's because a lot of folks see things as they are and become comfortable with it. That's okay for them, as long as they think it's okay for the rest to keep searching for something new and perhaps better. Hell, it's a good thing our radical forefathers, the enlightened and liberal thinkers that they were devised the democratic republic that they did. Right?. They were even so damn smart they crafted a way to change the founding and governing document to keep up with changing times and attitudes. Thankfully it hasn't been used all that much and as a result we've had a stable government for well over 200 years. Maybe the time has come to tweak t just a bit to keep t fresh and the people supporting it. BTW, did I mention where we would still be if somebody hadn't discovered fire and though of the round wheel? Learned how to use levers, discovered electricity and how to harness it, pump oil from below the earth's surface, been inquisitive enough to find and use vaccines, enveloped the internal combustion engine, learned how to create lift so it became possible to fly, etc, ans so forth? You get the picture right? Nothing stays the same forever, the same is true in politics and governance as well.

Once there was this really, really smart guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence that resulted in our breaking away from Great Britain, his name was Thomas Jefferson and he wrote some great stuff about all men being created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. If memory serves among these rights were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People loved it when it was written and it is still thought of as one of the great western documents. When studying these weighty and patriotic subjects in school, and in college, it always seemed odd that somehow the negro got overlooked when it cane to the freedom thing. That kinda reminded me of the "all animals are free, but some animals are freer than others". Now where was it that popped up? Oh yes, the reading of Animal Farm.

Anyway, 75 years or so later, in 1863 (if memory serves) another man came along by the name of Abraham Lincoln who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation . That fine document declared that slave were free men and women, something that was, as pointed out before, overlooked when the colonies declared their independence. For some it wasn't a problem because after all an entire region of the nation's economy was built on human bondage and slave labor. In fact Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but he did free 5 male slaves upon his death. Before the Emancipation Proclamation was written the nation embarked on a great War Between the States that started in 1861 and resulted in the loss of some 620,000 souls before it ended. Many causes have been given for the War Between the States and to one extent or another they all played a part. But, suffice it to say the Great American Civil War became at least symbolic of freeing the American slaves.

Freedom for the African American was certainly no utopia as discrimination and overt racism continued to be a part of their lives. After Reconstruction the African American continued to face obstacles and discrimination well into (and beyond) the mid 1900's There were the Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan and opportunity, especially in he south was almost non existent.

There has been a lot in the news about race, racism, the Confederate Battle Flag, the Confederate Stars and Bars, andsouthern heritage and pride, The senseless massacre of 9 African Americans at a historical church in Charleston, South Carolina by 21 year old Dylan Roof brought these issue to America's consciousness again. Roof, in what was an obvious racially motivated massacre. This horrific crime has brought forth an outpouring of sympathy and support from South Carolinian citizens that bridges and unites the races. Yet, there remains some who fail to recognize the symbolism the Confederate Flag(s) hold for the African Americans we live and work with. For them, and many of us, it symbolizes the worst of America as it represents human bondage on our shores and the fight to keep it a viable economic and social system. Fortunately more prominent public officials are recognizing the need to remove the symbols of slavery from public display and relegate them to a museum of American history.

We shall leave you with this anecdote. While discussing American history with an African American friend several years my senior we found ourselves talking about race relations and racial attitudes in general. We agreed that there has been much progress (James lived in the south and was subjected to Jim Crow and the presence of the KKK) but much more is needed. As James is also somewhat a fan of Thomas Jefferson we begin talking about his legacy and his Declaration of Independence. James is an independent man and stubborn too. As we talked abut what a fine man Jefferson was and the truth of he ideals he enshrined in the DOI James asked me a question. In a simple and non judgmental way he asked me if I saw any hypocrisy in Jefferson's words and his actions. After a brief moment I answered honestly saying, why of course. Jim smiled and nodded. He then said Les, the history of African American bondage, the Jim Crow laws and the KKK as well as racial profiling are etched into history and memories of my people. He continued, saying I am an American and proud to be an American; proud to have raised my family in a great country even given it warts. But... those things, they still hurt me and they still hurt others of my race. I hope you understand Les.

This is for you James, and for the millions just like you. I hope you're well and that one day we meet again.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

As America Struggles With Race Relations and it's Unflattering Past...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Well, there ya have it. According to ex Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee we do not need a discussion about race and healing the scars that human bondage and racism created in this nation; a nation founded on the principle that all men possessed the unalienable right(s) of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Rights which presumably flowed from their creator, God.

Let us take a look for a moment at exactly where the southern Christians stood on human bondage {slavery].

Why Christians Should Support Slavery
Key reasons advanced by southern church leaders

Many southern Christians felt that slavery, in one Baptist minister’s words, “stands as an institution of God.” Here’s why.

Biblical Reasons

• Abraham, the “father of faith,” and all the patriarchs held slaves without God’s disapproval (Gen. 21:9–10).

• Canaan, Ham’s son, was made a slave to his brothers (Gen. 9:24–27).

• The Ten Commandments mention slavery twice, showing God’s implicit acceptance of it (Ex. 20:10, 17).

• Slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, and yet Jesus never spoke against it.

• The apostle Paul specifically commanded slaves to obey their masters (Eph. 6:5–8).

• Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master (Philem. 12).

Charitable and Evangelistic Reasons

• Slavery removes people from a culture that “worshipped the devil, practiced witchcraft, and sorcery” and other evils.

• Slavery brings heathens to a Christian land where they can hear the gospel. Christian masters provide religious instruction for their slaves.

• Under slavery, people are treated with kindness, as many northern visitors can attest.

• It is in slaveholders’ own interest to treat their slaves well.

• Slaves are treated more benevolently than are workers in oppressive northern factories.

Social Reasons

• Just as women are called to play a subordinate role (Eph. 5:22; 1 Tim. 2:11–15), so slaves are stationed by God in their place.

• Slavery is God’s means of protecting and providing for an inferior race (suffering the “curse of Ham” in Gen. 9:25 or even the punishment of Cain in Gen. 4:12).

• Abolition would lead to slave uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy. Consider the mob’s “rule of terror” during the French Revolution.

Political Reasons

• Christians are to obey civil authorities, and those authorities permit and protect slavery.

• The church should concentrate on spiritual matters, not political ones.

• Those who support abolition are, in James H. Thornwell’s words, “atheists, socialists, communists [and] red republicans.”

Well Governor Mike, given the sordidly racist history of the Christian Religion here in the good old USA I think perhaps that there national discussion just might be more in order than talking about conversions to the very religious ideology that supported human bondage and racism. Maybe it's jut me?

Read the text that accompanies the video BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Senator Rand Paul Saying It Exactly Right...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

For every self aware, rational, and understanding individual the Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of human bondage and racism. It has no place anywhere in a modern civilized nation, save a museum of history... PERIOD. While there are those who continue to deny it is racist and talk about heritage, honor, and even religion the saner and much more honest know the truth and we will continue to press the truth until even the most disillusioned can no longer deny it with a straight face.

Note what Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had to say on the subject:

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he believes the Confederate battle flag is “inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery” and needs to go.

“No, I agree, I think the flag is inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery, and particularly when people use it obviously for murder and to justify hated so vicious that you would kill somebody I think that that symbolism needs to end, and I think South Carolina is doing the right thing,” Paul told radio host Jeff Kuhner on WKRO radio on Tuesday morning.”

Paul added it was obviously a decision for South Carolina to make but said if he were in South Carolina he would vote to get rid of it. Paul said for every African-American the flag is a symbol of slavery and it was time to put in a museum.

“There have been people who have used it for southern pride and heritage and all of that but really to I think to every African-American in the country it’s a symbolism of slavery to them and now it’s a symbol of murder for this young man and so I think it’s time to put it in a museum.”

Kudos to Senator Paul for having the integrity to do the right thing. Political figures who step-up to the plate, especially republicans and southerners, and enunciate the truth further the national discussion on race and help to move the nation beyond an ugly part of it's past.

Via: Memeorandum

h/t: Progressive Eruptions


Mitch McConnell Wants to Remove Jefferson Davis Statue from Kentucky Capitol


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today said that he favors the removal of the Confederate flag from some Tennessee specialty license plates. 


RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has ordered the Confederate flag removed from Virginia state license plates.


Alabama Gov. Bentley removes Confederate flags from Capitol grounds

Monday, June 22, 2015

Is America Moving Leftward, Becoming More Socially and Economically Liberal?...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

America is becoming more liberal, or if you prefer less conservative. For many more liberal actually means more libertarian, especially in the social sense. Even when it comes to economics America seems to be moving towards more moderate to liberal and less conservative. Certainly news that will have the old guard ideologically pure conservatives scratching their balding heads and wondering what went wrong. Of course their virulent and obnoxious rants about how America is going to hell in a hand basket (thinking Levin, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Coulter, et all here) will increase reaching fever pitch as the 2016 election grows closer. After all that is what conservatives do and do well; for the most part anyway.

We can rest assured that conservatives will never give a serious thought to, let alone analyze just why the trend is moving away from conservatism. Nope; they will continue to talk about how liberalism has ruined the country because of the liberal socialist agenda (and worse yet, Marxism) and how Obama has caused single handedly the decline of America and that respect for our country as declined globally because of the current president. Of course for the most part it is bunk but why would conservatives look to their own failed policies, hypocrisy, and dogged determination to remain as non inclusive as possible? Conservatives apparently never question themselves, they just know they are right because the Founding Fathers and God said so.

Anyway, this dude is socially liberal (or libertarian) and fiscally conservative (which is something republicans decidedly are not), and whatever anyone else happens to be IS just fine by me as long as they don't try and tell me what is the right thing. And yes, that goes for you too Dervish Sanders. And now, from POLITICO...

Democrats have been running away from the “liberal” label for a long time, but recent polling shows that rank-and-file Democrats are increasingly happy to pin the scarlet “L” on themselves. It may seem counterintuitive, but the rise in liberal pride is crucial to liberals building a long-lasting relationship with moderates and cementing a post-Obama leftward trajectory.

“Forty-seven percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents now identify as both socially liberal and economically moderate or liberal,” Gallup’s Frank Newport announced on Thursday. That’s up eight points since 2008 and 17 points since 2001. Earlier this year, the NBC/Wall Street Journal polling team deduced that 26 percent of voters overall self-identify as “liberal,” a four point spike since 2011. These new numbers are in line with longer-term trends: last year Pew found a 26-point increase since 1994 in “mostly or consistently liberal” Democrats.

As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama suggested he wished to emulate Ronald Reagan in how he “changed the trajectory of America.” Is this surge of liberal pride evidence that Obama has succeeded in moving the center of American politics leftward? Or has Obama, aided and abetted by the Bernie Sanders road show, unleashed an epidemic of delusion inside America’s deep blue dots?

Former Bush Administration aide Peter Wehner last month argued in a New York Times op-ed that Obama moved the Democratic Party too far to the left. While acknowledging that the country is more socially liberal, Wehner points to polls showing Republican edges on the economy and foreign policy. ...


Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ignoring the Likely Realities...

Rational Nation USA Purveyor of Truth

A psychopathic 21 year old white male guns down 9 people in a historic black church in Charleston South Carolina, a crime most likely motivated by racism and hatred for African Americans and the right wing, in this particular incident Rick Perry, tries to frame the issue as one of drug use.

Instead of talking about guns, Perry said, we should be talking about prescription drugs: “Also, I think there is a real issue to be talked about. It seems to me, again without having all the details about this, that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they’re used.”

He said that such drugs are responsible for high suicide and joblessness rates, adding that “there are a lot of issues underlying this that I think we as a country need to have a conversion about...
- Right Wing Watch

Rather than recognizing the possibility and likelihood this was a racially motivated crime (Root didn't hit a large predominately white church) the right simply ignores or else outright denies the possibility.

As for whether stricter and more uniform gun laws would prevent this type of crime or not; it is true that criminals will always find ways to do their dastardly deeds. But that should not prevent the USA from having a rational grown up discussion on how we might improve the effectiveness of firearm legislation. When it comes to firearm related deaths this should be part of the discussion. It is possible to protect the right to own firearms and at the same time reduce firearm deaths in our nation.

One thing is for certain, the beast WILL at some point raise it's violent and ugly head again. Perhaps someday the nation will be mature enough to have that rational discussion.

More reading here and here.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wal-Mart Saving Billions With Overseas Tax Havens...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. owns more than $76 billion of assets through a web of units in offshore tax havens around the world, though you wouldn’t know it from reading the giant retailer’s annual report.

A new study has found Wal-Mart has at least 78 offshore subsidiaries and branches, more than 30 created since 2009 and none mentioned in U.S. securities filings. Overseas operations have helped the company cut more than $3.5 billion off its income tax bills in the past six years, its annual reports show.

The study, researched by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and published Wednesday in a report by Americans for Tax Fairness, found 90 percent of Wal-Mart’s overseas assets are owned by subsidiaries in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, two of the most popular corporate tax havens.

Units in Luxembourg -- where the company has no stores -- reported $1.3 billion in profits between 2010 and 2013 and paid tax at a rate of less than 1 percent, according to the report.

All of Wal-Mart’s roughly 3,500 stores in China, Central America, the U.K., Brazil, Japan, South Africa and Chile appear to be owned through units in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Curacao and Luxembourg, according to the report from the advocacy group. The union conducted its research using publicly available documents filed in various countries by Wal-Mart and its subsidiaries.

Randy Hargrove, a Wal-Mart spokesman, called the report incomplete and “designed to mislead” by its union authors. He said the company has “processes in place to comply with applicable SEC and IRS rules, as well as the tax laws of each country where we operate.”

Excerpt Bloomberg Business

Bottom line? Incomplete report or not or not Wal-Mart has actively sought, and succeeded in finding multitudes of ways to avoid paying corporate txes. To the tune of billions and billions of dollars.

Yup, their the friend of America and the American workers. Keeping prices and wages low, they avoid tax liabilities as well. It may not be moral as America struggles but it is legal.

While we're at it lets all sing All HailCitizen United< as well. Continue reading the full article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Donald Likes Playing Both Sides...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

It comes as really no surprise that The Donald would know how important it is to grease the wheels of government through personal relationships with government officials. After all, knowing when and how to butter both sides of your proverbial bread is important in business as well as politics. Given The Donald's wealth you can almost consider him a special interest.

Yet we wonder why American politics and government is so GD screwed up. A small hint, looking into the mirror (collectively and thinking long and hard should give a clue.

POLITICO - Donald Trump jumped into the crowded and rowdy Republican presidential field on Tuesday, but the business magnate has astutely played both sides of the aisle for years, and has been especially cozy — financially and personally — with Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former New York senator who had some say over policy that could have impacted Trump’s vast business dealings, received donations from both him and son Donald Trump Jr. on separate occasions in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to state and federal disclosure records

Trump has also been generous with the Clinton Foundation, donating at least $100,000, according to the non-profit.

In another sign of their closeness, Clinton attended Trump’s 2005 wedding to current wife Melania Knauss at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, along with the likes of Katie Couric, Billy Joel and then-“American Idol” judge Simon Cowell. (According to People, Clinton had front-pew seating. Though Bill missed the ceremony itself, he did show up to the reception.)

She wasn’t the only Democratic beneficiary of Trump’s wealth. Trump donated $5,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 cycle, effectively buoying the election prospects of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, respectively.

Just $1,000 of Trump’s money in the 2006 cycle went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The last time Trump considered a White House run in 2011, reporters seized upon the fact that he has given most of his money to Democrats and Democratic causes, according to records.

Trump defended his donations to New York Democrats in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that April, proclaiming that in the state, “everyone is Democratic” and implying that to donate otherwise would be waste of his money.

“So, what am I going to do, contribute to Republicans? Am I going to contribute to, I mean, one thing I’m not stupid. Am I going to contribute to a Republican for my whole life when they get, they run against some Democrat. And the most they can get is one percent of the vote,” he said, noting his “good relationship” with and donations to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Trump last donated to Schumer directly in 2010, though he had made donations ranging from $250 to $2,000 since 1996.


Beginning with the 2012 cycle, however, financial disclosures show that Trump has donated exclusively to Republican candidates and groups.

Be certain The Donald's contribution were made with his special interests in mind (nothing really wrong with that per se), what would be damaging is if there were to be a quid pro quo arrangement hidden somewhere. Not saying there is, but ya just never know these days.

Full story BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum0


"He is not a serious Republican candidate."

Al serious folks realize the above about The Donald. But the real estate and entertainment mogul (and megalomaniac) will if nothing else keep serious people laughing as he makes a fool of himself.

Click link above to read article.

Mr. Bluster and Pomp Donald Trump (aka The Donald) Announces Candidacy for President 2016...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The Donald made it official yesterday, he is jumping in the clown car and tossing his hat into the ring for the republican nomination for the presidency of the United States of America.

In a pre Trump announcement the FiveThirtyEight laid out The Donald's chances of securing his party's nomination. Supported by data going back to 1980 Trump has no chance of success. Of course The Donald knows this, and we believe The Donald is merely looking to parlay what is certain to be an ill fated run into a media event. Simply put, he is looking to make money of the event and fill his bulging pockets further.

... A whopping 57 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view of Trump, according to an average of the three most recent polls. That beats former record holder Pat Buchanan, who had a 43 percent unfavorable rating at this point in the 2000 election cycle.1 Buchanan, of course, ended up running as an independent.

Taking into account name recognition, Trump’s net favorability rating (favorable minus unfavorable) of -32 percentage points stands out for its pure terribleness at this point in the campaign. Like his unfavorable rating, it is by far the worst of the 106 presidential candidates since 1980 who are in our database.

For this reason alone, Trump has a better chance of cameoing in another “Home Alone” movie with Macaulay Culkin — or playing in the NBA Finals — than winning the Republican nomination.

Yes sir, for The Donald it likely isn't about winning the nomination. Bt how much he can increase his unpopularity and wealth.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Who-Ahh He's Decided...

Will it be a rerun? Damn, lets hope not. America can't stand yet afford another war or a financial meltdown.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Donald Still Toying With 2016...

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Donald Trump, or The Donald if you prefer, is all about, well, Donald. A blustery showman and political con man he is about as qualified as my next door neighbor to be president of these United States of America, his 9 billion notwithstanding. In fact his wealth should be a disqualifier because the dude hasn't got a clue what it's like to live like the middle class and average Americans. With The Donald the wealthy would become even more wealthy because the wealthy are his pals; not that there is anything wrong with that as long as everybody else shares in economic growth , but we all know that is unlikely don't we?

Here's a good idea fof ya Donald, why don't you build a sound proof wall around yourself? Most of America is tired of hearing from you.

Odds are he won't run, he just loves the limelight and patting himself on his back every chance he gets.

The Latest Donald Story.

Via: Memeorandum

Here We Go Again (In the Name of Free Speech)...

ROCHESTER (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A New Hampshire man wants to defy an Islamic prohibition on depicting the prophet Muhammad in pictures and plans to host a “Draw Muhammad” art contest in August.

Jerry Delemus, a 60-year-old former Marine, says the freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment trumps any religion’s limitations on such expression, “If we back away from our freedom as citizens a little bit at a time, the next thing you know, we don’t have any freedoms left,” DeLemus explained to the CBS affiliate WGME.

Damn straight! I'm down with free speech and the right to express ones viewpoints peacefully. In writing and comedy for sure.

DeLemus said he hasn’t heard from the local Islamic community, but residents in the area aren’t sure the event is a good idea. Eric Adema said, “I don’t understand the point of inciting violence, it’s just going to cause more problems.”

On the other hand the residents have a point, I suppose. Keep quiet so as to not to upset. Wonder if the Muslims plan on stopping terrorist activity in the name of Allah.

A venue has yet to be determined, but DeLemus says the contest will likely take place in August. He says he recognizes there are risks inherent in hosting such an event, but adds that he plans on having plenty of security on hand.

In early May police killed two gunmen and a security guard was injured at a similar event in Garland.

Early this year, a gunman killed 12 people at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine for publishing satirical pictures of Muhammad.

Jerry Delemus plans on holding his own “Draw Muhammad” contest — despite what happened in Garland:

All things considered it seems reasonable to not relinquish our first amendment rights of free political; and religious speech just to play nice with those who have done us harm. Then again god taste does on occasion pay great dividends.

What say you all?

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Free Trade or Not; That is the Question...

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Purveyor of Truth

As America faces tough economic times and perceives the benefits of trade as being realized only by only the wealthiest of Americans and corporations the following article by David Frum in The Atlantic provides an interesting perspective on free trade in general an the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) specifically. Regardless of your trade stance the article warrants attention.

The natural tendency of democratic societies is gradually to accumulate barriers to international trade. The Bush administration itself exemplified this: At the same time as it pleaded for fast-trade authority, it imposed restrictions on foreign steel. Relentless international action on trade liberalization offsets equally relentless domestic pressure for trade protection.

Freer trade is always a tough vote. As long ago as the 1960s, Barry Goldwater tried to make a campaign issue out of John F. Kennedy’s allegedly excessive trade liberalization. Yet from the 1940s through the 1990s, freer trade benefited from the almost unanimous elite consensus in its favor—and the strong public instinct to defer to elites when unanimous.

That deference has eroded. A recent Pew Research poll found that although 58 percent of Americans felt that free trade benefits the national economy, just 43 percent thought such deals benefited their own families finances. And pluralities of Americans believe that free trade slows economic growth, lowers wages, and leads to job losses.

These are responses that cause economists to roll their eyes. But most of us aren’t economists. We know what we experience—and what most Americans have experienced are many more foreign products on their shelves, a half-decade of weak job growth for Americans, and stagnating or declining living standards for all but the wealthiest.

Economic and political leaders can argue that the nation’s economic troubles are not traceable to free trade—that Americans would have been even worse off if they reverted to protectionism. The trouble is that Americans no longer trust their leaders. If polls can be relied upon, trust in leaders and institutions has plunged to the lowest levels ever recorded, lower even than during the dismal days of the mid-1970s.

The belief that the economic system is rigged in favor of the wealthy and that ordinary people can no longer get ahead run is especially intense. Americans increasingly perceive the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer. Their view of business corporations has turned especially hostile, very nearly as hostile as their view of government.

Trade is a pro-growth policy. But when the proceeds of growth are not widely shared, and not perceived as widely shared, it becomes difficult to sustain the consensus in favor of pro-growth measures—especially when those measures seem to impose costs on American workers. That’s the warning in today’s congressional action.

For trade to be truly free it must be reasonably regulated.

Find complete article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Gov. Scott Walker, A Man To Fear...

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is soon to announce his candidacy for the republican nomination for president of the United States of America. Make no mistake about his intentions. Hailed as a right to work advocate his agenda in Wisconsin was to break the backs of labor and his agenda if elected president will no doubt be the same. He is no friend of labor or the small businessman or businesswomen. His loyalty lies with the millionaires and billionaires whose only concern is corporate profits and reducing labor costs as a primary vehicle in doing so.

Gov. Walker, in his own words is to, "divide and conquer. Divide labor and secure the conquest. As for America and the middle class an their American Dream? Well, too f^cking bad.

Beware of this man and think really really hard before considering him for the highest office in our republic. Unless you truly want a new feudalism taking root in America.

In Wisconsin, where the labor movement took root a century ago, a campaign by the governor has broken its power. His political allies hope he can take a similar campaign nationwide.

The New York Times - On his first day of work in three months, Randy Bryce asked his foreman for the next day off. He wanted to go to the Capitol in Madison, Wis., and testify against a proposed law. Bryce, a member of Milwaukee Ironworkers Local 8, was unloading truckloads of steel beams to build a warehouse near Kenosha, and he needed the job. He has an 8-year-old son, his debts were piling up and a 10-hour shift paid more than $300. But the legislation, which Republicans were rushing through the State Senate, angered him enough to sacrifice the hours. Supporters called it a “right to work” bill, because it prohibited unions from requiring employees to pay dues. But to Bryce, that appealing name hid the true purpose of the bill, which was to destroy unions.

The next morning, Bryce, who is 50 and has close-­cropped black hair and a horseshoe mustache, woke up at 5:30, got dressed in his usual jeans, hoodie and Local 8 varsity jacket with an I-beam and an American flag stitched on the back and drove 90 miles to Madison in his gray Mustang. Despite the February chill, crowds had begun to gather in the square outside the Capitol. The scene was reminiscent of a similar one that played out four years earlier, in 2011, when thousands of people occupied the Capitol’s rotunda for more than two weeks to protest Act 10, a law that demolished collective-­bargaining rights for nearly all public employees. The protests in Madison were the first significant resistance to the ascendant Tea Party and helped set the stage for Occupy Wall Street. For Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, it was the moment that started his conservative ascent. “The Republican Party has a demonstrated, genuine hero and potential star in its ranks, and he is the governor of Wisconsin,” Rush Limbaugh said last year. The unions, Democrats and other perceived enemies, he continued, had “thrown everything they’ve got at Scott Walker, and he has beat them back without one syllable of complaint, without one ounce of whining. All he has done is win.” Walker is expected to announce in the next few weeks that he is entering the 2016 presidential race.


At 6 p.m., Bryce’s name finally appeared on the list of coming speakers. He paced the hallway outside the hearing room in anticipation. But 20 minutes later, Stephen Nass, the Republican senator who is the chairman of the Labor and Government Reform Committee, announced that there was a “credible threat of disruption” and that the hearing would be adjourned so the committee could vote to move the bill forward (it passed). A labor organizer, it turned out, had told The Milwaukee Journal ­Sentinel that some people planned to stand up in protest at 7 p.m., when testimony was to be cut off. (“I went through Act 10 — it was ugly,” Nass said earlier in the hearing, referring to the difficulty some senators experienced reaching various parts of the Capitol after the rotunda was occupied. “We had to go through a tunnel like rats. We don’t want to go through that again.”) About a hundred people were still in line to testify. A chant of “Let us speak” erupted. But Nass quickly took the committee members’ votes and was then escorted out, with his two Republican colleagues, by a phalanx of state troopers.

Bryce still wanted to speak. He had lost a day’s wages, and the committee’s two Democratic senators had remained to hear more testimony. State troopers were now blocking the door to the hearing room, though, so he decided to address a group of protesters in the hallway outside instead.

“My name is Randy Bryce,” he began in a loud voice. “I’ve been a member of Ironworkers Local 8 since 1997. I’ve had the privilege in that time to work on many of Wisconsin’s landmarks, private businesses and numerous other parts of our infrastructure.” As he spoke, the protesters began to quiet. Bryce described how he had wandered from job to job after he left the Army, how Local 8’s apprenticeship program had given him direction, a real career. Finally, he presented the case against what he called “a blatant political attack” on his union. “All of our representatives are elected,” he said. “All of the decisions that we make are voted on. The general membership is given monthly reports on how every dime is spent. Every dime spent is voted on. Unlike what is taking place this week, Ironworkers Local 8 is pure democracy. I am disappointed beyond words at not just what this bill contains, but how it is being passed.”

Two days later, just after the full Senate approved the bill that would make Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state, Scott Walker was in Maryland, attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual showcase for conservative activists and Republican presidential hopefuls. At a question-­and-­answer session, one attendee asked Walker how he, as president, would confront the threat from radical Islamist groups like ISIS. Walker’s answer was simple, and may in the end define his candidacy. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters,” he said, “I can do the same across the world.”


In the fall of 1980, Ronald Reagan, then a Republican presidential candidate, sent a letter to Robert Poli, the president of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, seeking the endorsement of the union, many of whose members were military veterans and socially conservative. “You can rest assured,” Reagan wrote, “that if I am elected president, I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and workdays so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety.” The union gave Reagan its endorsement.

Eight months later, after contract negotiations with the Federal Aviation Administration failed, the members of the union voted to strike, violating an oath signed by federal employees. Reagan was unsympathetic. After 48 hours, he invoked a provision of Taft-­Hartley and not only fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers, but also had them permanently replaced. The union’s strike fund was frozen, many of its local leaders were imprisoned and, until 1993, the former strikers were banned from the Civil Service. Since Reagan broke that union, the number of large-scale strikes begun in a given year in the United States has fallen to 11 (last year) from 145 (in 1981). In 2014, only 11 percent of all American workers and 7 percent of private-­sector workers belonged to a union.

The night before Walker announced his plans for Act 10 to the public, he gathered his cabinet in the governor’s mansion for a private dinner and a pep talk. During the dinner, Walker stood up and held aloft a picture of Reagan. He singled out the firing of the air traffic controllers as “one of the most defining moments” of Reagan’s political career — a moment, he said, that “was the first crack in the Berlin Wall.”


In southeastern Wisconsin, union ironworkers earn $55 an hour and receive $33 of that in pretax income. (The difference goes to funding their pensions, health care and training.) The pretax pay for a unionized ironworker in Iowa, a right-to-work state since 1947, tops out at $26 an hour. In Texas, also a right-to-work state since 1947, the sole ironworkers’ local offers pretax wages of $18 an hour. Nonunion workers in the state doing the same job make about $8 an hour. “A mile of U.S. highway in Texas costs close to the same as it does in Wisconsin, certainly not less than half,” Colin Millard, an organizer for the Iron Workers International Union, told me. “So it is only a question of who makes the money — the workers or the owners.”

Ironwork is a dangerous job. It has the sixth-highest fatality rate in the country, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. A 2011 University of Michigan study concluded that the fatality rate in construction trades was 40 percent higher in right-to-work states. Local 8 offers a four-year training program that requires more than 7,000 hours of combined classroom and on-the-job study. Even many right-to-work proponents single out the building trades’ training programs, like Local 8’s, as exemplary.

That is one reason many Wisconsin business owners, who might be expected to cheer the demise of unions and welcome cheaper labor costs, have not done so. Contractors rely on the unions to certify and drug-test workers and keep their workers current on new technologies and job skills. Collectively, Wisconsin’s trade unions contributed more than $30 million last year to training programs

Bill Kennedy, the president of Rock Road Companies, a family-­owned asphalt-­paving operation with headquarters in Janesville, Wis., flew back early from a Florida business trip to testify against the right-to-work bill at the same Senate hearing where Bryce tried to speak. Kennedy also helps run the Wisconsin Contractors Coalition, an organization of business owners whose positions on labor issues counter those of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the most powerful statewide business lobby, which has pushed hard for right-to-work. Within a few months of its founding in 2014, Kennedy’s coalition attracted nearly 450 like-minded businesses that collectively employ some 120,000 people. Like many of the group’s members, Kennedy voted for Walker and contributed to each of his campaigns.

“There’s this misguided myth that unions and management don’t get along,” Kennedy told me the day after the hearing. Rock Road was founded in 1913 by Kennedy’s grandfather. It was a hauling business until the Depression, when it began bidding on government-­funded projects like railroad beds and town roads. At its summertime peak, Kennedy’s company employs about 150 workers. His opposition to right-to-work is rooted in pragmatism. “It’s a business bottom-­line issue,” he said. “Right-to-work is going to compromise my quality, my competitiveness. The unions are my partner. They’re almost like a screening agency.” Kennedy’s greatest fear is that right-to-work will undermine the unions’ contribution, and eventually the quality and skills of his employees. “This is a working system,” he said. “I have never understood this right-to-work agenda.”


In 1956, the Republican Party platform declared: “The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower administration.” President Richard Nixon enthusiastically courted the white “hard-hat vote,” winning a majority of union households in the 1972 election. During a news conference announcing the replacement of the air traffic controllers, Reagan boasted of his union bona fides as a lifelong member of the A.F.L.-­C.I.O. who led the Screen Actors Guild in its first-­ever strike. Walker’s own consistent praise for private unions appears, with the passage of right-to-work, to have come to an end, and with it any sense that his party must even pretend to support labor.

Many union leaders worry that if Walker is elected president, Congress could pass a national right-to-work bill. In January, Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, introduced such a bill in the House; it now has 98 co-­sponsors. In February, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, sponsored a similar bill, which now has co-­sponsors in Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, and 15 other Republicans.

Read the complete article BELOW THE FOLD,

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 12, 2015

It's A Strange World or, Only In America...

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Rachel Dolezal, the president of the NAACP in Spokane and former education director of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, is seen here as a child, when she was growing up in Northwest Montana. A family member provided this photo.

Kudos to the NAACP on their statement of support for Rachel Dolezal. While the media will likely keep this in the news for as long as it is possible American life will go on and people of all stripes will continue to struggle with the challenges of modern life and a fraying society.


June 12, 2015
Baltimore, MD – For 106 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has held a long and proud tradition of receiving support from people of all faiths, races, colors and creeds. NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter. One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership. The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record. In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization.

Hate language sent through mail and social media along with credible threats continue to be a serious issue for our units in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation. We take all threats seriously and encourage the FBI and the Department of Justice to fully investigate each occurrence.

Stories HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Feds Looking To Socially Engineer American Communities...

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Purveyor of Truth

As Obama and the federal government eye regulations to socially engineer communities to conform to the governments broad plan to make everything and everybody equal. Yeah right. Utopia Rising.

THE HILL - The Obama administration is moving forward with regulations designed to help diversify America’s wealthier neighborhoods, drawing fire from critics who decry the proposal as executive overreach in search of an “unrealistic utopia.”

A final Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule due out this month is aimed at ending decades of deep-rooted segregation around the country.

The regulations would use grant money as an incentive for communities to build affordable housing in more affluent areas while also taking steps to upgrade poorer areas with better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as part of a gentrification of those communities.
“HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a HUD spokeswoman said. “The proposed policy seeks to break down barriers to access to opportunity in communities supported by HUD funds.”

It’s a tough sell for some conservatives. Among them is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who argued that the administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.”

“American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government,” said Gosar, who is leading an effort in the House to block the regulations.

Damn, just got so ill Ill simply leave ya THE LINK to the rest.

Via: Memeorabdum

Th GOP's Top Secret Plan To "Fix" ObamaCare...

"We'll let you know depending on the outcome of the decision."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

As the SCOTUS considers the challenge to ObamaCare (ACA) subsidies the GOP finds itself in quite a dilemma. The GOP's not so secret hopes that the Justices do not rule in favor of the conservatives (TP'ers) desires to overturn parts of ObamaCare do to the political likelihood of losing support and votes from republicans who were getting subsidies is well known. So, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is sounding an awful lot like former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who said, and I paraphrase, in order to know what's in the bill we have to pass the bill. I don't know about anyone else but I smell hypocrisy and the stench is not desirable. But hey, there is the modern GOP and whether it knows it or not the American people are on to their BS and hypocrisy and in coming election cycles the GOP will pay the price for it's disingenuous proclamations and hypocrisy.

Bloomberg Politics - Congressional Republican leaders say they have a fallback plan ready to go if the Supreme Court cripples a core component of ObamaCare this month.

But the details of the plan are being kept secret.

"We'll have a plan that makes sense for the American people," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday in a radio interview with The Joe Elliott Show.

But what's in the plan?

"We'll let you know depending on the outcome of the decision," the Kentucky Republican said, referring to the case King v. Burwell, which is expected to be decided this month.

Bloomberg tried to get answers Tuesday from the senior Republicans who work on health policy. Their fallback plan might interest millions of Americans who stand to lose their insurance subsidies, as well as the insurance industry, which would likely lose many customers and be compelled raise premiums. Details to come, the planners say.

"Yeah, we are" ready to act, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, the chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in an interview. But what will the action be? "We'll let you know if we have to do it," he said.


Republicans have struggled since passage of the 2010 health care law to unify behind alternatives, even as they continue to call for "repeal and replace." It's not yet clear Republican leaders have the support to pass a bill to mitigate the chaos that experts say will occur if the Supreme Court voids the federal exchange subsidies. Conservatives familiar with the matter say privately that Republican leaders want to convey to the Supreme Court, particularly Chief Justice John Roberts, that they'll be ready to act if the ruling goes their way.

A bill offered by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has garnered 32 Senate Republican supporters. It would extend the subsidies through August 2017 and repeal the law's individual and employer mandates. But even a temporary extension of Obamacare subsidies faces conservative skepticism, particularly in the House. And repeal of the mandates wouldn't fly with the White House, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday at a House hearing. Other Republican health care proposals have less support.


Republicans have rejected his idea to simply tweak the law to clarify that Obamacare premium subsidies are available in all 50 states. At issue in the case is whether the language in the statute forbids Americans in two-thirds of states who are enrolled through the federal exchange from accessing the subsidies, which were designed to make coverage affordable for lower-income people.

Democrats said they don't know of a Republican plan.

"We have no idea what they’re talking about. It might be a secret, or it might not exist," said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. "All I know is that smart Republicans know that the ruling they’re publicly rooting for would be a disaster for them."

There is a slight feeling the GOP just might self destruct; given enough time.

Full article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When Principle Trumps Common Sense and Reason...

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A Christian couple with children in Australia have decided to divorce should Australia vote to allow marriage equality, aka same sex marriage. Their decision for divorcing after 10 years of marital bliss would be their way of protesting what amounts to in their minds a redefining of marriage. Believing that marriage equality will destroy the "sacred bond" that exists between mother, father, and child in the traditional marriage they then believe marriage becomes meaningless and therefore just an empty contract they would no longer wish to be in.

While the Jensen's logic thread when analyzed in the narrowest confines of Christianity and the Church is non contradictory (to a point) and therefor seemingly rational, it certainly seems less than logical and rational to divorce, thereby denying their children the sanctity of the marriage contract that was originally blessed by the Church and one the state would have no interest in changing.

What this amounts to is a fundamentalist Christian couple that has merely found a new way to protest the fact they disapprove of changing attitudes. In this instance it is indeed principle trumping common sense and there is no value or substance to e gained other that to make them feel good in having stood for their religious principles. And life will continue to go on for the rest of the world.

The Sydney Morning Herald - "My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government's regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnisation of same sex couples,"


Jensen told Fairfax Media that he and his wife entered into their marriage "as a fundamental order of creation, part of God's intimate story for human history, man and woman, for the sake of children, faithful and for life".

"And so, if later on in the year the state does go ahead and changes the definition of marriage and changes the terms of that contract then we can no longer partake in that new definition unfortunately,"

Legalising same-sex marriage would undermine "our most sacred institution, and have serious consequences for children who would grow up without a mother or father,"


"Once you say that marriage is detached from children, [that it's] just about love, then when three people come to the state and say 'well we're all in love', then the state has no grounds, except unjust discrimination, to say why they can't get married,"

"When it becomes detached to the child's right to a mother and a father and the sacred institution that it is, then suddenly it becomes meaningless and those boundaries can't be put back in place

AUDIO and more of the story BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Jeb Bush Believes Unwed Mothers Should Be Publically Shamed...

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Purveyor of Truth

More reasons to question why one should even consider voting for Jeb Bush for president in 2016 (or ever) should he nominated by republicans.

Huffington Post - Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called "The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

"One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red "A" for "adulterer" on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. "Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

As governor of Florida in 2001, Bush had the opportunity to test his theory on public shaming. He declined to veto a very controversial bill that required single mothers who did not know the identity of the father to publish their sexual histories in a newspaper before they could legally put their babies up for adoption. He later signed a repeal of the so-called "Scarlet Letter" law in 2003 after it was successfully challenged in court.

Bush's ideas about public shaming extended beyond unwed parents. He said American schools and the welfare system could use a healthy dose of shame as well. “For many, it is more shameful to work than to take public assistance -- that is how backward shame has become!” he wrote, adding that the juvenile criminal justice system also "seems to be lacking in humiliation."

"In the context of present-day society we need to make kids feel shame before their friends rather than their family. The Miami Herald columnist Robert Steinback has a good idea. He suggests dressing these juveniles in frilly pink jumpsuits and making them sweep the streets of their own neighborhoods! Would these kids be so cavalier then?"

It might have been 20 years ago but even the slightest possibility Jeb may still thinks this way is enough to disqualify him IMV.

Continue reading article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum