Political Nutz

Observations on the pathetic state of American politics

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“Politics ain’t bean bag”

Those were some of the words of wisdom from Governor Christie today as he “apologized” and “took responsibility” for the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge as political payback against a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse the Governor’s reelection.  But Mr. Christie danced around the facts for two hours.  While “taking responsibility” he insisted multiple times that he knew nothing about the incident, it was an isolated event, and he doesn’t condone such tactics.  Really? There are a handful of such petty retributions going back to 2010.

I used to think maybe Christie was an exception: a Republican who might be a fair, rational, practical politician.  How naive.  Christie is just in with the wrong crowd: the GOP.  Today’s right-wingers can’t help themselves; they can’t resist petty, paranoid, lying, childish political tactics. It’s just the way they think. Imagine Christie in the White House with a staff full of these kinds of nut jobs.  It will be the Nixon era all over again….  I can’t wait.

 

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Time to Revisit FISA

It turns out the FISA court for reviewing surveillance requests has some flaws.  First of all, all eleven FISA judges are appointed (or anointed) by Chief Justice John Roberts with no review or confirmation by Congress, the President, Justice Department or anybody else. Ten of the eleven current justices are Republicans.  Worse, however, the FISA Court seems to be a simple rubber stamp for virtually all FBI or NSA requests to spy on… well, anyone.

Surveillance warrants are reviewed in secret with only the requesting agents present.  There are no counter arguments

A Reuters investigation found that from 2001 to 2012, FISA judges approved 20,909 surveillance and property search warrants while rejecting only 10.

So really the whole FISA system is a sham.  The judges are appointed without review, the review process takes place behind closed doors, and all requests are approved.

 

5-Year-Old Shoots 2-Year-Old Sister

Another example of why we just need more guns….

God is Watching Tim Tebow

What to say?  Forty-three percent of Americans in a recent poll believe divine intervention played a part in Denver Bronco victories led by quarterback Tim Tebow.  I just wonder what those folks think happened during that three-game losing streak when Terrific Tim was just plain lousy and the Broncos were outscored 87 to 40.  Was God maybe on vacation?  Gone Fishing?

John McCain Off the Deep End: Needs Counseling

Senator McCain provides still more evidence he is an old, angry, delusional man.  Commenting on the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from Iraq he said:

I believe history will judge this president’s leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves.

Nine years of fighting, over 4,500 dead, another 25,000 to 30,000 disabled.  And a trillion dollars spent.  And for Mr. McCain it’s not enough.  You would think a man who has known the horrors of combat personally would celebrate troops coming home alive.  Instead, Mr. McCain continues to push for some vague, never-ending U.S. involvement with no specific definition of victory.

Gov. Huckabee–The Fantasies Continue

Mike Huckabee‘s march through the strange world of conservative talk radio continued in an interview with Michael Medved where the Bible-thumping ex-governor offered his profoundly inaccurate thoughts about single mothers. Commenting on actress Natalie Portman, Mr. Huckabee said:

“Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care.”

Once again, the fallen-away governor let’s his personal judgments obscure the facts. Only about one-quarter of single mothers live in poverty and receive any form of government assistance. Nearly 80% are employed. And single moms have the same educational levels as married mothers.

So the stupendously uninformed Mr. Huckabee is wrong, wrong and wrong.  Let us pray that this nut-case doesn’t become president.

Huckabee Delusions Part II

Governor Huckabee just can’t stop himself from manufacturing an alternate universe to fit his hyper-conservative views.  In an interview with radio talk show host Bryan Fischer, the governor opined that Mr. Obama “has a different worldview and I think it’s, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.”

This goofball can’t speak a single sentence without making something up.  Most of us did not grow up “going to Boy Scouts.”  Whatever virtues the Scouts may impart to young men, membership in Scouting has been declining for the last thirty years and has never topped 20% of eligible males at its peak.  So at least 80% of U.S. were never Boy Scouts.  And the President was never a student in any madrassas.

Dear Rush: Seek Counseling, Please

What’s up with Rush Limbaugh‘s weird fixation with Michelle Obama?  Here’s one of the leaders of the Republican Party spending time on a national radio broadcast talking about what the First Lady had for dinner last night and letting his listeners know she’s not a svelte swimsuit model. Geez, what stunning insights!  

Maybe the years of drug abuse and his own over abundance of fat cells have finally scambled his brain completely.

Why I Don’t Trust the Republicans: They Lie

Republican Governor Scott Walker repeatedly lies about his plan to kill Wisconsin labor unions.  He keeps saying his “budget repair bill” is necessary to address the state’s budget woes.  Except, of course, there was a projected state surplus until the Badger state Republican Senate passed $120 million in tax breaks and incentives for businesses and the most wealthy citizens.  The governor fails to note as well that the proposed limits on state employee unions has no impact on the current deficit–none. 

The proposal is a union-busting effort pure and simple, nothing more, nothing less. Mr. Walker claims the that “State and local employees could continue to bargain for base pay, they would not be able to bargain over other compensation measures.”  Wow, big concession there!  Moreover the actual text of the bill reads ”total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by referendum.”  So, in reality there is no bargaining, period.  

But the proposed legislation is even more onerous with respect to the practical functioning of the union.    “Contracts would be limited to one year and wages would be frozen until the new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units are required to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union. Employers would be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units would not be required to pay dues.” All this greatly inhibits the ability of workers to have an effective union which is clearly the final intent.

So lying Governor Walker can say as many times as he wants that his proposal in a “budget repair bill”; anyone who can read knows perfectly well it’s a measure intended to kill public employee unions in Wisconsin.



Justice Scalia: Brilliant and Petty

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in the case of NASA v. Nelson, deciding that NASA’s standard background check, as applied to contract employees, does not violate a constitutional right to informational privacy.  I claim no expertise in Constitutional law; I’d be happy to leave that up to the collective wisdom of the Supreme Court.  Happy if it weren’t for the presence of Justice Scalia.  In a lengthy support of the Writ, Scalia repeatedly derides legal arguments and earlier court opinions with terms like “farcical,” “absurdity,” “incoherence” and “doctrinal obscurity.”  In his typical hyper-egotistical manner, he shows absolute disrespect for colleagues, both judges and attorneys.  It’s worrisome that someone with so little regard for the judicial system should hold such an influential position. It’s time for Mr. Scalia to step down.