Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birther Donald Trump Fails His Own Citizenship Test

I'm really not sure what chance Donald Trump has at winning the GOP nomination in 2012 but this probably won't help.

Trump has been making the rounds pandering to the Tea Billie crowd by calling into question Barack Obama's citizenship even going so far as to release his own birth certificate to make his point. Only one problem, apparently the document he presented isn't an official document.
The paper that Trump released says "Jamaica Hospital" on top and lists the date and time of what he says was his birth to "Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Trump." The piece of paper has a seal at the bottom.

But after several New York City-based readers contacted POLITICO's Maggie Haberman, her call to city officials revealed that an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency's seal and also a signature of the city registrar - neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the "sole issuing authority" of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and "city officials said it's not an official document."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How To Tell Who's In Charge

How does one know that a state is firmly in Rethuglican control without having to do much research? I would say the easiest way would be when you read that their House passes a discriminatory voter ID bill where a concealed carry permit is listed as one of the acceptable forms of ID...

And as if you really needed to ask, yes of course it is Texas.

Addendum as if you needed more evidence: Same state. House  working on a bill that would outlaw discrimination against creationists.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

GOP Wants To Use The IRS To Fight Abortion

While our Governor decides on whether or not to sign South Dakota's latest bill aimed at making abortion all but impossible here, the GOP in Washington have put forward their latest attempt to combat choice. They want to sic the IRS on women getting the procedure.
Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?

In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans' "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops—that is, during an audit, they'd have to detemine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.

 

Compassionate Conservatism

Minnesota's GOP targets the state's poor by introducing the latest in a seemingly never ending number of crazy bills that have hit since they took control of many state legislatures.
Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all.

On March 15, Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee testified in front of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee on House File 171. Buechner told committee members, “We would like to address the provision that makes it illegal for MFIP [one of Minnesota’s welfare programs] families to withdraw cash from the cash portion of the MFIP grant - and in fact, appears to make it illegal for MFIP families to have any type of money at all in their pockets. How do you expect people to take care of business like paying bills such as lights, gas, water, trash and phone?”

House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP - and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid - could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.

Monday, March 14, 2011

People Are Morons - The God Is Good Edition

If you thought the Facebook comments were bad, this girl makes them almost look tame in comparison.

"Video pulled because of copyright claim by a comedy site so I am guessing it was satire"

Wisconsin Dems No Longer Allowed to Vote In Committees

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald apparently has decided that a democracy no longer works in Wisconsin stating that the committee votes cast by Democrats will not be counted.
Please note that all 14 Democrat senators are still in contempt of the Senate. Therefore, when taking roll call votes on amendments and bills during executive sessions, Senate Democrats’ votes will not be reflected in the Records of Committee Proceedings or the Senate Journal. They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

One Plan To Replace Low Wage Illegal Workers

Ever wonder what this country would do to replace the low wage/low skilled illegal immigrant work force if the wingnuts got their way and kicked them all out of the country? A bill introduced last month in the Missouri legislature might provide some insight.
SB 222 – This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed. Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.
(via Pharyngula)

Definitely No US History Major

Tea Billie darling Michele Bachmann is many things but US history buff doesn't seem to be one of them. Speaking in New Hampshire, the state with the first primary, she decided to show off her ignorance in front of a crowd of a few local Conservative activists.
"What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty," the potential GOP presidential candidate said. "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors the very first price that had to be paid to make this the most magnificent nation that has ever arisen in the annals of man in 5,000 years of recorded history."
Oops, seems that Ms. Bachmann might want to add US history to the Constitution class she provides to US House members as last time I checked the battles of Lexington and Concord were in Massachusetts but why let facts get in the way?

Can you say President Bachmann?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Non-Budgetary Bill Amazingly Saves Jobs

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced that because of the GOP end around that stripped budgetary provisions from the "budget repair" bill, all of the 1500 layoff notices that went out to state employees were being rescinded. The stripping out of these provisions allowed the passing of the bill  taking away the collective bargaining rights of state workers without needing the votes from the Democrat's boycotting the debate.
Gov. Scott Walker announced on Friday that he was rescinding layoff notices for 1,500 state workers after Wisconsin lawmakers approved his plan to cut collective bargaining rights and benefits for public employees. The approval, after nearly a month of angry demonstrations and procedural maneuvering, will create enough budget savings, Mr. Walker said, that layoffs will not be needed now
So how exactly did a bill that had no budgetary provisions save enough money to stave off layoffs? Oh that right, despite all the Koch fueled BS to the contrary, it never was about the budget but was instead about union busting...silly me.

GOP Budget Cuts Take Aim At Tsunami Warning Center

While our neighbors in Hawaii and the US West coast braced themselves for a potential Tsunami this morning in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, we are reminded that the hours that these residents had to prepare might not be there the next time if the GOP has their way. It seems the Tsunami warning system is in jeopardy due to a proposed 28% cut to the National Weather Service and one reason for the cuts apparently is that the data collected by the monitoring stations is "inconvenient" for the global warming deniers on the right.
In February, the union representing the National Weather Service warned that the Republican cuts could place the residents of Hawaii in mortal danger. "People could die... It could be serious," Barry Hirshorn, Pacific region chairman of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, told Hawaii's Star Advertiser. The House budget includes a 28 percent cut to the National Weather Service that would result in staffing cutbacks to Hawaii's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which monitors potential tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

The Obama administration is threatening to veto the cut, and Congressional Democrats have called the reduction a "reckless" means of forwarding a political agenda. "Those who claim that global warming is a myth find the hard data produced by such monitoring inconvenient," Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told the Star Advertiser. The cutback to the tsunami warning center also recalls Gov. Bobby Jindal's mockery of federal money for volcano monitoring back in 2009—just months before a volcano eruption in Iceland wreaked havoc on Europe.
So what do you say Kristi?

I'm Guessing His NRA Rating Will Drop

In case you missed it, Iowa has a proposal floating around their legislature that would allow residents to carry guns without any permit, training or background checks. You would likely suspect a law along those lines makes folks like me cringe and apparently some in the Iowa GOP feel the same way except it took an unexpected open mic for it to come out.
Republican Iowa State Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, speaker pro tem of the Iowa State House, was caught joking on a hot mic that a proposal which would allow state residents to carry weapons in public without permission from a sheriff and without any training or a background check might better be called the "give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic-bill."

More Birther Goodness

Tennessee State Senator and birther Mae Beavers recently introduced legislation in her state that would require that all Presidential candidates present their long-form birth certificate before qualifying to be on the ballot. The problem?

She doesn't even know what a long-form birth certificate is.
It's a far-fetched goal, and it turns out that Beavers, who recently discussed her bill on Reality Check, a radio show devoted to debunking birther legislation, still has some research to do. From the transcript:

RC: What are the specific requirements in the bill?

MB: That they have to have the long form birth certificate.

RC: What is the long form birth certificate?

MB: Now, you're asking me to get into a lot of things that I haven't really looked into yet.

The host then asked the obvious follow-up: why put a term into the bill, if you don't know what it means? Beavers responded, "Well, we are following some of the bills that have been filed in lots of other states, and you know how it is, you file your bill and, you know, you prepare before you go to committee."
It appears that the Koch brothers need to provide some training to go along with their talking point memos...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There Is Certainly Nothing Fishy Here...

Most people have heard of Clear Channel Communications, the media giant that owns untold number of radio stations across the country. What you may not know is that one of their subsidiaries is a company called Premiere Radio Networks which just happens to be the largest syndication company in the US which brings us tons of radio gold from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity (What no Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow?).

It seems that Premiere Radio Networks also provides other services which includes providing actors to call in to various talk shows with pre-scripted topics in order to provide "interesting radio" all without mentioning who they really were.
Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the  largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear  Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.

“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.”

The actors hired by Premiere to provide the aforementioned voice talents sign confidentiality agreements and so would not go on the record. But their accounts leave little room for doubt. All of the actors I questioned reported receiving scripts, calling in to real shows, pretending to be real people. Frequently, one actor said, the calls were live, sometimes recorded in advance, but never presented on-air as anything but real.
Hmmm, nothing fishy with this is there? I am certain they just want to make sure that their on air talent is able to stay on topic right?