Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Whatever

Whatever happened to "fiscal responsibility"? Whatever happened to austerity? Whatever happened to "live within your means"? Oh, and whatever does Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Austerity) have to say about this?

Outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has decided to pull another political stunt on the border. Fresh off his ammosexual orgy "heat packing display" with Sean Hannity, Rick Perry decided to send about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the US-Mexico Border. And he wants the federal government to pay for this political stunt National Guard deployment.



Remember that National Guard troops are not authorized to make arrests. And keep in mind that Congress can easily alleviate the situation in South Texas by approving the $3.7 billion emergency appropriations bill that President Obama has proposed. Oh, and the comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation that Perry's fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill rejected would have added even more border security on top of the already aggressive border security regime that President Obama already has in place. (How does Rick Perry think all these #BorderChildren have been picked up by Border Patrol?)

So why is Rick Perry now doing this? Why is he ordering roughly 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the US-Mexico Border? Why is he ordering troops who can't even make arrests and demanding the feds pay for them? Why won't he instead do something more productive?

Well, why did infamous G-O-TEA pot stirrer Laura Ingraham concoct a brand new anti-Obama conspiracy theory centered on the downed Malaysian Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine? Why did G-O-TEA Demon Queen professional flame thrower Ann Coulter attack a teenage girl? Why has G-O-TEA conspiracy king Glenn Beck been mercilessly attacked by his own party for suggesting refugee children be treated with compassion?

Whatever happened to policy consistency? Whatever happened to human decency? And whatever happened to good political sense?

Whatever G-O-TEA politicians are thinking... Wait, are they even thinking? Or are they just reacting out of pure stupidi-TEA? Whatever they're doing, it's already a strong contender for "Most Ridiculous Political Stunt of the Year".

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yep, They're Your Typical Republicans.

So we're seeing this again. Once more, we're hearing all about "Republican rebranding". And this time, it's once again coming from an all too familiar source.

Earlier this month, we (again) heard State Senator Michael Roberson (R-Henderson) boast about his aborted illegal mining tax scheme. And then, he topped that with his super secret plan to magically "increase education funding". And just how will he accomplish that? Perhaps he'll eventually get back to us (or maybe his favorite media pundit?) with the details?

In the mean time, Senator Roberson is focusing on more important things... Like glossy mailers proclaiming how he and his hand picked candidates are "not your typical Republican(s)".

And how's that? Didn't they... Oh, wait. All but one in each chamber virulently opposed marriage equality when the Legislature was in session last year. And all but a tiny handful voted against the state version of ENDA in 2011. (And for the record, Roberson voted against both.)

But come on, didn't they... Oh, wait. In 2011, State Senator Michael Roberson led fellow Republican legislators against increased education funding. He also fought against implementation of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare that gave us Medicaid expansion. It was only last year when Senator Roberson suddenly turned around and proposed his destined-to-be-aborted illegal mining tax scheme. And he couldn't even unite his own Republican Caucus behind it. And when the going got tough, he turned back around to embrace the status quo.

Come on now, didn't they... Oh, wait. In a last ditch effort to stop the state background checks bill, Senator Michael Roberson proposed a competing "poison pill bill" during the very last week of the legislative session. Oh, yes. That's right. He & his G-O-TEA colleagues in Carson City resorted to the most underhanded of parliamentary tactics to kill even modest legislation aimed at curbing gun violence.

Now before anyone accuses us of being "blind partisans", let's get this out of the way. When Democratic leaders in Carson City tried to avoid reality, we called them out on it. We even called them out when a sex education bill died a very mysterious death. (And by the way, where was "Not Your Typical Republican" Michael Roberson when this happened?)

We just refuse to look the other way when certain politicians try to have it both ways. Say what you want about current Democratic leaders, but we've never seen them attempt this type of incredibly confusing and flagrantly misleading "rebranding". In this aspect, Michael Roberson and his hand-picked running mates sound a whole lot like your typical garden variety Republicans.

The Order

Last month, President Obama agreed to sign an executive order that has essentially been years in the making. He agreed to an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ workers. While it's not comprehensive, it is a step forward. And it can help fill the gap left by (the lower House of) Congress' failure to pass ENDA.

But in recent days, a new controversy has emerged. In the wake of the US Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, several LGBTQ civil rights organizations pulled their support of the current version of ENDA due to its religious exemptions. They then urged the President not to include any religious exemptions in his planned executive order.



He listened to them. The executive order that President Obama signed earlier today has no religious exemptions beyond what then President George W. Bush ordered for "faith based initiatives". And keep in mind that those "faith based" grants are separate from the federal contracts covered by this new executive order.

However, this may not be the end of it. Now that Hobby Lobby is on the books, it may inspire legal challenges to this executive order. While a full judicial overturn of the executive order seems unlikely now, LGBTQ civil rights advocates aren't taking anything for granted just yet.

And then, there's that other prickly issue, the issue that forced President Obama to sign this executive order in the first place. There's still no national ENDA in place. And now, the usual G-O-TEA suspects on Capitol Hill are blocking any legislative fixes to the statute the Supreme Court majority cited in Hobby Lobby.

As we've discussed here before, wrongful discrimination is still very much a reality for many people throughout the nation today. It can happen to food pantry workers. It can happen to police chiefs. It can happen to sport shop workers. And it can happen to college students.

Perhaps it won't happen at companies that happen to accept federal contracts any more... But when will the day arrive when all workers can live free of the fear that it might happen to them?

Home on Derange

This should be considered common sense. This should be a "no-brainer". Yet for some reason, we keep revisiting this.

On Friday, Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas) penned an op-ed for The Washington Post explaining exactly why it wasn't a good idea for the G-O-TEA echo chamber to celebrate Cliven Bundy's illegal "Range War". And yesterday, the Las Vegas Sun published an editorial on the issue. Basically, both detailed what we've been keeping track of since April. Need we go over that history again?

Perhaps we should revisit current events. Remember Murrieta? Remember Oracle? It's happening again.



Ironically, they're complaining about the lack of "enforcing the law". Yet when confronted with current anti-trafficking law, they scream in horror.

But then again, they didn't seem to care about the law when Cliven Bundy broke it. Rather, "TEA" flavored politicians and pundits celebrated the culture of lawlessness at #BundyRanch with reckless abandon. They only began to abandon the Bundy Gang when they became politically inconvenient.

However, they haven't actually abandoned the dangerous "Patriot Movement" behind #BundyRanch. Instead, they've moved over to its current cause celebre. Now, they're waging a war against refugee children.



On Saturday, a group of anti-immigrant protesters assembled just above the 215 Freeway in Henderson. Some were carrying signs relaying (misleading) messages that could have easily come directly from John Tanton himself, while a couple were wearing Oath Keepers paraphernalia. And this event was part of a "national day of action" organized by ALIPAC, the anti-immigrant political outfit run by notorious xenophobe William Gheen.

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(Photos courtesy of a long time reader)

Cliven Bundy's "Range War" is rooted in the same extreme anti-government ideology as the latest anti-immigrant campaign. And both have reached out to anti-government militia groups to further the "war". Yet both have attracted an alarming amount of support among supposedly "mainstream" G-O-TEA politicians and media personalities.

This should be considered common sense. This should be a "no-brainer". Yet for some reason, we're back on the range (war). And once again, we're having to remind some irresponsible political "players" that they're playing with ("sovereign citizen" fueled) fire.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

No Fun Here

It may be fun to stay at the YMCA, but it certainly isn't fun having to live one's childhood in total fear. Yesterday, we noted Arizona Congressional Candidate Adam Kwasman's (R) total failure to recognize the kids who were actually in that school bus yesterday. However, there's an even larger issue at hand here.

For far too long, too many politicians & pundits (particularly the "TEA" tinged ones) have been talking about the #BorderChildren as if they're all a bunch of hardened thugs out to rape, murder, and steal like there's no tomorrow. Oh, and they're also allegedly full of diseases. And according to them, the only solution to this problem is to deport them all ASAP.

As we've mentioned before, it's far easier for politicians to "discuss philosophy" and attack theoretical constructs than to deal with reality. These refugee children are escaping the epic violence and poverty that many of these very politicians helped create. And now that these children are here, ambitious G-O-TEA politicians want to further their political careers on the backs of these children by hurling all sorts of insults at them while threatening to return them to the very hell they escaped.



There's a reason why then President George W. Bush signed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act on December 23, 2008. And there's a reason why this law passed Congress overwhelmingly in late 2008. This law is meant to ensure legal due process and proper aid for victims of human trafficking.

How are elementary & middle school aged children supposed to brief Border Patrol agents with evidence documenting their reasons for migrating here within 48 hours? Think about that. When abused children seek help, do we expect them to show up at the local police station with a complete dossier documenting their abusers' crimes? There's a reason why we have a legal system complete with courtrooms, judges, and legal counsel.

But wait, there's more. For many "TEA" flavored politicians, deporting at-risk refugee children isn't enough. They also (still) want to deport DREAMers.

Oh, yes. That's right. They went there... Again. And now, they're attacking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) for calling out the idiocy of this latest G-O-TEA "immigration idea"... And for explaining the reality of life anywhere near the border.



In summary, Republican "leaders" in DC have been spending plenty of time attacking a law a Republican President signed into law in order to protect children in danger. And they're doing that on top of the usual attacks on DREAMers, President Obama, and the actually very secure border. And on top of all that, they want to play politics with even more children's lives. It may be fun for Republican "leaders" to play politics with this rather difficult and complicated issue, but everyone else would rather just work on real solutions.


Consider This

Another one? There was actually another one. Sadly, there was.

This time, it happened at Fashion Show Tuesday night. Oh, yes. That's right. There was another Las Vegas Strip shooting this week.



So far, the wounded victim has declined to speak to Metro Police about what occurred. After initial speculation about gang involvement, Metro Police now say this shooting was likely not gang motivated. They're still asking the public for help as they investigate.

Last year, we witnessed several Las Vegas Strip shootings. Earlier this year, we saw an alarming near miss at "Thunder Down Under". And now, there's this.



Oh, and there's this. In Stockton, California, 3 bank robbery suspects shot at police officers with AK-47 style assault weapons. A shootout then broke out with both sides trading fire. And ultimately, an innocent hostage and 2 of the suspects were shot dead. 2 more hostages were also shot, and they remain in critical condition.

Consider this: Where did these individuals (in Las Vegas and Stockton) obtain these firearms? And how did they do so? Could it be that they took advantage of the same loophole that Jerad Miller exploited to kick off his bloody "revolution"?

Now consider this: What stood in the way of even modest efforts to strengthen background checks to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands? Who stood in the way? And why did they do do?

Perhaps it's finally time for us to rethink our haphazard approach to all this #gunfail?

Who Are You?

Who are you? No really, stop and think about that. And think about what makes you who you are.

Who are you? What defines you? How do you see yourself? And why?

Debi Jackson had to confront this when her daughter came out to her. She was 4 at the time, and she already knew she's a girl. Debi Jackson did a Google search, realized her daughter is indeed a transgender girl, and then moved quickly to provide her daughter with the love & support she needed.



If only more people had the insight and compassion of Debi Jackson. Students like Jayce Marcus, Domaine Javier, & Christian Minard now have to fight against discrimination at the very institutions of higher learning that are supposed to provide a safe & supportive environment for them. Trudy Kitzmiller & Kristen Skinner had to threaten legal action to just to obtain proper customer service at the West Virginia DMV. And Mia Henderson was found murdered in Baltimore yesterday.



And now, LGBTQ Americans must ponder a new threat to equality. Last month, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that caused epic confusion. And now that 5 Supreme Court Justices seem to believe that corporations have license to do a number of things under the guise of "religious freedom", several LGBTQ civil rights organizations have decided to back away from the current version of ENDA in Congress due to its religious exemptions. In addition, they're urging President Obama to refrain from including religious exemptions in his executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ workers.

Think about that. It's 2014. And still, millions of Americans must worry about things like whether they can live as "normal" families, whether they can hold a job, whether they can stay in school, and even whether they can manage to live another day.



Who are they? Who are these people? We are people. We are workers. We are students. We are veterans. We are DREAMers. We are parents. We are families. We are Americans, Americans with Constitutional rights.

Who are you? Are you a mere "political issue"? Or are you a real human being who deserves real respect?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Village Idiots

Who knew this is what a true crisis looks like? It's so shocking. It's so eye-popping. And it's oh so... Stupid.

Arizona State Rep. Adam Kwasman (R) wants to move up to Congress. Apparently, he saw yesterday's big anti-immigrant protest in Oracle, Arizona, as a great campaign photo-op. So he traveled to Oracle and called attention to a big yellow school bus. And then, this happened.



At least Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Carson City) had a tele-town-hall to hide behind when he was asked about immigration on Monday. And at least Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) was nowhere to be found when immigrant rights activists showed up at his district office yesterday. But alas, Adam Kwasman wasn't that lucky. And he certainly wasn't prepared for the revelation that the big yellow school bus actually contained local YMCA campers.



Who knew it could be so fun to stay at the YMCA? But alas, the children weren't greeted by the real Village People. Rather, they were greeted by the seemingly surreal village idiots.



The only ones missing from the village idiots' convention were Cliven Bundy and the rest of the "Patriot Movement" domestic terrorists haterade addicts. After all, we know how much fun they have at the YMCA.

But seriously, this is ridiculous. Actually, this whole display of idiocy by the 21st Century Know Nothings is ridiculous. It's as ridiculous as Adam Kwasman's Congressional campaign... And dare we say it's as ridiculous as Adam Laxalt's entire political career.

Who knew this is what a true crisis looks like? Actually, we did. And we've been pointing this out ever since the media began discussing "Republican rebranding".

As usual, you're welcome.

When You Wish Upon... What?!

OK, kids. It's time to fire up the Wayback Machine. Let's travel back to January 2013. Remember the sordid tale of John Swallow & Jeremy Johnson?

Wait, who?!

Here's what we know so far. St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson wanted the legal equivalent of a magic wand to wave away a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation into his internet marketing company, I Works. So he contacted then Deputy Utah Attorney General John Swallow (R), who then connected him with the late Check City (payday loan provider) owner Richard Rawle. 

Now here's where we descend into "he said, he said" territory. Johnson alleges that Swallow & Rawle struck a deal with him where he'd give them $600,000... For them to then bribe Senator [Harry] Reid [D] into making the FTC investigation of I Works go away. 

However, Swallow vehemently denies this allegation. Swallow's version of the story goes as this: He just thought (at the time that) Johnson was facing an unfair probe by the FTC. So he referred Johnson to his former employer Rawle. And he's even presented an affidavit from Rawle (prepared just before his death) stating Johnson paid Rawle $250,000 to hire federal lobbyists to make Johnson's case in DC.

At the very least, some sleazy wheeling-dealing was going on here. And now that John Swallow is Utah's Attorney General, he's facing the political scandal of his life. However, there's been nothing produced so far that confirms that Reid accepted any kind of bribe from Johnson, Swallow, and/or Rawle.



Yesterday, Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow (R) & Mark Shurtleff (R) were indicted on 23 counts. They face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. And yes, this has to do with their alleged dealings with Jeremy Johnson and the late Richard Rawle.

Already, this is causing a huge political earthquake in Utah. And already, investigators are suggesting more indictments are on the way in the Swallow-Johnson corruption case.

However, some in Utah are disappointed that the federal Department of Justice declined to take this case. Even the lead investigators have suggested such. Could it possibly be...

Still, no. Even as certain figures whisper about Senator Harry Reid's potential involvement, no evidence has actually been found. We only have Jeremy Johnson's claims that Senator Reid is involved. And keep in mind that Jeremy Johnson had demanded a refund of the $250,000 he paid Richard Rawle because Senator Reid never made that pesky FTC investigation of I Works go away!

We get it. This is awful news for Utah Republicans. Many sense this case goes far deeper than some money Rawle, Shurtleff, and Swallow passed around. And certain media pundits are hungry for a big, splashy "SCANDAL!!!" involving Nevada's top elected leader.

But no matter how much certain pundits & politicians wish for a "Reid connection" here, they can't wish it into being true. Just as they couldn't turn a UNLV Foundation fundraiser into a giant "Hillary Clinton SCANDAL!!!", they can't just wish it into reality.

The 2014 Election Cycle isn't even over yet, and already some politicians & pundits are wishing for 2016 fireworks. And already, they're wishing for "SCANDALZZZ!!!" that only seem to be political mirages. Perhaps instead of wishing for that which will never materialize, they need to focus on what's actually here.

Think About It.

He thought he could get away with it. He thought he had pulled off the perfect switcheroo. He thought he had deftly handled this "political hot potato".

Now, it looks like the potato just exploded in Rep. Joe Heck's (R-Henderson) face. Rep. Joe Heck had tried hard to have it both ways on comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). But after 16 months of dancing around the issue, Rep. Heck finally publicly embraced the 21st Century Know Nothings last month when he allowed his staff to call the police on immigrant rights activists. Rep. Heck then doubled down on this earlier this month by personally dismissing immigrant rights activists in Boulder City.

#Vegas families calling 4 @RepJoeHeck to stop blocking #CIR #... on Twitpic

And now, Heck's 21st Century Know Nothing base is exploding in rage over children. Yet while he's been busy pandering to them, other NV-03 residents have been waiting to be heard. Yesterday, they paid a visit to Rep. Heck's Henderson adjacent district office.



Remember that while politicians & pundits are screaming over #BorderChildren (and failing to note their own role in creating this crisis), we're witnessing tragedies unfold throughout the nation. American families have had to live in fear of being torn apart. And yes, American kids must live in fear of having their DREAMs ripped to shreds.

Immigrants come here seeking a better life. They come for various reasons, and they come from different parts of the world. But ultimately, they come here seeking "The American Dream".



Hell, this has been happening for over 500 years. Unless you're Native American, your ancestors were immigrants. Even Rep. Heck has acknowledged that his grandparents immigrated from Italy. Does he realize what they experienced when they came here?

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Think about it. Rep. Heck's ancestors came to America seeking a better life. Our ancestors came to America seeking a better life. US immigration law has frequently changed over the past 238 years. And the first European immigrants to America were "illegal" in that they were confiscating tribal lands.

So really, who are we to break up American families? Who are we to denigrate refugee children? And who are Rep. Heck and his Congressional colleagues (particularly the "TEA" flavored ones) to lecture everyone else on immigration policy? Think about that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Who Could Have Guessed?

Who could have guessed? Who could have figured? Who could have possibly foreseen this?

In Seminole County, Florida, Mark Stanley claims he was legally justified in stealing copper wiring from a church... Because the law doesn't apply to him. A similar story has emerged in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania, where Ishaq Ibrahim claims "common law" allowed him and his cohorts to rob a bank. And just last week, Kevin Green was convicted of robbery in nearby Philadelphia despite Green's claim that the very court he was tried in is "unconstitutional".

But wait, there's more. In Oracle, Arizona, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (R) encouraged local 21st Century Know Nothings to conduct a Murrieta style bus blockade to prevent #BorderChildren from reaching their promised shelter. And to make matters even worse, Paul Babeu and the anti-immigrant rabble rousers summoned the notorious Arizona State Militia to further intimidate the bus full of children.



Sound familiar yet? For one, all the above mentioned figures claim they can commit these crimes because they're "sovereign citizens". And in the Arizona case, the Arizona State Militia happens to be the ideological and organizational offspring of the Minuteman Project, the same outfit that spawned the likes of Shawna Forde and JT Ready.

Oh, and let's not forget this: the Arizona State Militia also rushed to fellow "sovereign citizen" Cliven Bundy's defense back in April. After all, they don't recognize the law. And #BundyRanch gave them the perfect opportunity to launch their ideal "Range War" against the federal government.

So they're all at it again. This time, Cliven Bundy is cheering from the sidelines while his "Patriot Movement" comrades take the "Range War" to a whole new level.

And speaking of whole new level, the Salt Lake City FBI recently arrested John David Huggins after uncovering his plot to blow up the Tremonton, Utah, police department. Of course, he wanted to "start an anti-government revolution". Hmmm... Where have we heard this before? (Hint: Remember the rants of Jerad & Amanda Miller.)

Who could have guessed? Who could have figured? Who could have possibly surmised all of this? Actually, the evidence has been all around us. We just need to start noticing it.

Imagine

Imagine living your life as you think you know it. You're sure you know who you are. And you're quite sure where you want to go with your future and what you want to do with your life.

Now imagine watching all of that suddenly fade away. Suddenly, you're no longer feeling so secure. Suddenly, you're unsure of your own future. Suddenly, you can relate to the story of Jose Antonio Vargas and the millions of other DREAMers living in this nation.



Just this morning, Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested and detained by US Border Patrol agents in McAllen, Texas. Ironically, Vargas was there to report on the Central American refugee crisis. It didn't take long for Vargas himself to become part of the story.

But then again, Jose Antonio Vargas himself is a refugee. His family brought him into the US so he could escape the poverty he was enduring in the Philippines and build a better life. He didn't even know he was undocumented until he was 16.

And he's not alone. Many more refugees have come here seeking asylum and hoping for a fresh start. And while a Kenyan woman recently succeeded in attaining legal status, millions more LGBTQ immigrants are living in limbo and waiting for the opportunity to emerge from the shadows.



And they're not alone. Bryan Rivera's mother just wanted her son to succeed. When she sued her abusive ex for child support, he turned her in to ICE. Bryan had to seek the aid of Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas) to free his mother from Henderson Detention Center.

Imagine having the solution to this problem right at your desk. And imagine that solution also holding the potential to boost the economy. Now imagine that solution being smothered to death in the lower House of Congress because the 21st Century Know Nothings don't want any solutions.



If Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) and his House Republican colleagues truly care about finding a comprehensive solution to this complex problem, they know exactly where to find it. Oh, and where might that be? Try HR 15.

They don't need to imagine something else. They can simply take up what's been waiting for them since October. And they can actually be productive for a change. Now imagine that.


How About Those "Family Values"

It's something they always talk about. It's something they want us to believe they care about. So why does it all too often seem like they don't really give a flying f--k about it?

Of course, we're talking about the G-O-TEA's relationship with "family values". Even as "TEA" flavored politicians have boasted about their "pro-family record", they've stood by and allowed millions of American families to be ripped apart. And on top of that, they want to rip apart many millions more American families.

And now, they're targeting children. Oh, yes. That's right. The alleged "pro-life party" is now speaking of refugee children as if they're a horde of terrorists and/or walking diseases.

In recent days, we've been investigating the source of all this vitriol that's now being directed at Central American migrant children. John Tanton and the late Barbara Coe essentially planted the seeds of this hate with their rabidly xenophobic campaign against immigrants. Jim Gilchrist then took fueled this hate and powered it up to a whole new level when he launched the Minutemen Project. He also furthered the ambitions of Shawna Forde, JT Ready, and a number of neo-Nazi radicals.

Jim Gilchrist is now seeking to take advantage of the current refugee crisis by relaunching Minutemen militia patrols along the US-Mexico Border. And now, he has the official seal of approval from Cliven Bundy and the "Patriot Movement".

They're going after families. They're going after children. And they're pointing guns at people because "measles" and "prayer rugs".

Earlier this year, some Republican Members of Congress (cough- Joe Heck- cough) tried hard to have it both ways on comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). Now, they're not even trying to sound "pro-reform". They're not just turning hard against CIR. They're now pandering to those who want to point guns at refugee children and impeach President Obama for actually enforcing the law on handling these refugee children.

It's something they always want to talk about... But what are they actually doing? What do they want to do to millions of American families? And what are they aiming to do to the children coming here seeking a better life? And we're supposed to believe they're "the family values party"?


Monday, July 14, 2014

Borderline Grandstanding

And just like that, she's back. What? You thought she'd pass up another opportunity to grab some more cringe worthy headlines?

Ann Coulter has never been one to shy away from flame wars. Rather, she revels in starting them. So today, she decided to cap off her xenophobic campaign against soccer with a Twitter tirade against newly minted MSNBC daytime host Jose Diaz Balart.

But wait, what exactly did Jose Diaz Balart do? Oh, he just did a live interview on his debut show with Maria, a teenage girl from Honduras who recently came to the US to escape the living hell that her former home had become.



This morning, Jose Diaz Balart dared to expose the real life human tragedy that's fueling the Central American refugee crisis. That's why the usual G-O-TEA suspects are fuming. It's so much easier to stage an ammosexual orgy a "Border visit" photo-op.



Once upon a time, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) made a big splash in helping pass S 744. But when the 21st Century Know Nothings demanded an end to any kind of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), Senator Rubio turned around to kill his own bill.

But now, all of a sudden, Senator Marco Rubio wants his own CIR bill brought back to life... After he helped kill it in such a brutal manner. We can only wonder what inspired Senator Rubio's latest flip-flop change of heart.

Is it the tremendous backlog of cases in immigration courts? Is it the discovery that his G-O-TEA colleagues on Capitol Hill passed up $900 billion in federal budget dedicit reduction to wage a fight over a mere $4 billion to address this immediate issue? Is it the sight of all these refugees coming here to escape the suffering they've endured in Central America? Or is it just the realization that most of his fellow Congressional Republicans once again failed to solve the crisis they created?

As we've discussed before, these refugees are real people. They are coming here to escape the real life horror story that Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador have become. Pointless "borderline grandstanding" will do nothing to solve this problem.

It's always easier to attack a theoretical construct than it is to denigrate real people escaping real suffering. Right now, many Congressional Republicans think they can stir up some "borderline grandstanding" and use it to their advantage this fall and in 2016. They may want to think twice before they proceed any further down this road.

The Heat Is On

It's been awfully hot outside lately. In fact, records were broken yesterday. Fallon, Yerington, & Lovelock all broke their previous respective record highs when they all hit 105 yesterday. And Reno hit a new record high of 103 yesterday.



Hmmm... Why does this seem so familiar? Perhaps this is because Nevada has been stuck in a perpetual heatwave and drought for over a decade? What might possibly be causing this extended hot & dry spell? (Hint: Think climate change.)

Last week, the Koch funded Heartland Institute hosted a climate denial "climate optimists'" convention at Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip. There, they dismissed their own record of climate denial talk of "denial" and "disaster" so they could instead turn up the happy talk on how "there's no way we could do that much damage to this great planet with our puny little carbon emissions". And of course, they reaffirmed their belief that we're better off "staying the course" with dirty fossil fuels than accelerating the switch to renewable energy.

Hmmm... Why does this sound so familiar? Might it be due to the fact that the Heartland Institute is part of the Koch-topus that's out to kill clean energy? And might it be due to the fact that the Heartland Institute also received plenty of funding from the (rest of the) fossil fuel industry?



Even a number of conservatives have come around to accept both the science of climate change and the need for climate action. Despite their "libertarian populist" rhetoric, the Heartland Institute and its "TEA" powered ideological soulmates are increasingly isolated in their hardened opposition to any & all climate action. Most Americans support President Obama's climate action plan. And the more evidence we see of climate change, the more reasons we have to act.

Lake Mead is about to hit a record low water level. Reno just hit a new record high temperature. And wildfire season began awfully early this year. Shouldn't we take notice?

We recognize Nevada tends to be quite hot during summer... But we're not used to this much heat. And we're certainly not used to this much drought. We simply can't afford to deny the reality outside, the reality that may just parch us and scorch us to death if we don't take further action.