Monday, June 29, 2015

The Party of Stupid on the Gay Marriage Decision

Let's look at what three of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have had to say about the Supreme Court Gay Marriage decision.

First we have Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has urged state governors to defy the Supreme Court and order county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. So much for Huckabee's pledge to adhere to the Constitution of the United States.

Huckabee's rationale is that the ruling violates the 1st Amendment. Of course the ruling abides by the 14th Amendment and since it has nothing to do with religion, the press, speech, assembly or petition, I don't see how it could possibly violate the 1st Amendment.

What Huckabee probably means is it runs counter to his religious teaching which is NOT a problem as long as Huckabee can continue to express his opinion. The state ALWAYS trumps religious doctrine.

The state also says you can't stone a bride who can't demonstrate her virginity to death despite what Deuteronomy 22 says.

Then we have Ben Carson. Carson thinks that Congress can come up with a "creative" law that would nullify marriage equality. So apparently Carson doesn't know that the Constitution, upon which the SCOTUS decision is based, trumps a law passed by Congress regardless of how "creative" it is.

But the best one of all comes from Bobby Jindal. Jindal things we should just get rid of the Supreme Court. One has to wonder how Jindal proposes to get around Article III of the Consitution?

Oh wait, that's right, Jindal is a fucking idiot.

It's a sad day when these three bird brains are considered as even remotely possible candidates for president by a major political party.

Supreme Court Decisions

Gay Marriage

The court must actually rule on two questions.

(1) - Whether states can ban Gay Marriage or whether it is a constitutional right under the 14th Amendment

(2) - Whether states must recognize Gay Marriages performed in other states

My Opinion: The court should legalize Gay Marriage as a right under the 14th Amendment and require cross state recognition of Gay Marriages performed in other states and abroad.

What I Expect: I have a bad feeling about this one that we're going to get some sort of twisted legal abomination of a decision that's going to make the Dred Scott decision look like legal brilliance.

The Court Ruled: As everyone knows by now the court ruled that Gays have the right to marry under the 14th Amendment and states must recognize gay marriages from other states. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Liberal faction.


Redistricting

Arizona voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2000 stripping the Legislature of the power to draw districts and giving it to an independent redistricting commission to avoid "gerrymandering," the practice of the majority party in the legislature drawing weird shaped districts to give it a political advantage.

The Legislature went to court, pointing out that Article I of the Constitution specifies that "the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof."

My Opinion: Not only should independent redistricting commissions be allowed they should be required!

What I Expect: Given the conservative nature of the court I expect the Arizona Legislature to win on this one and we will gerrymander on.

The Court Ruled: Arizona voters have the right to decide how redistricting shall occur because based upon the Arizona Constitution it has equal law making authority with the legislature. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Liberal faction.


Lethal Injection

A challenge over the sedative used by several states in executions. The claim is that it merely paralyzes and doesn't protect from "cruel and unusual punishment" as advertised.

My Opinion: Since I'm opposed to Capital Punishment I'd like to see the court ban as many execution drugs as possible and make it harder and more expensive to continue with Capital Punishment.

What I Expect: I honestly don't know what to expect here. Could go either way.

The Court Ruled: The court decided that plaintiffs had not made the case for a violation of the ban against cruel and unusual punishment. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Conservative faction.


Violent Crime

A challenge to a federal law that sets mandatory minimum sentences for federal firearms offenders who already have three convictions for"violent felonies."

Advocates argue that the law is too vague in defining what is a "violent felony."

My Opinion: I don't know enough about this to have an opinion.

What I Expect: I don't know enough about this to have any idea what to expect.

The Court Ruled: The court ruled that adding an additional sentence violated due process. The vote was 8-1 with only Justice Alito dissenting.

Power Plant Pollution

Three cases asking the court to force the Environmental Protection Agency to consider the economic cost of complying with regulations limiting emissions from power plants before it issues any rules.

Of course since the EPA has never been asked to consider costs before, this could have far reaching implications if it goes the wrong way.

My Opinion: Cost should not be a factor in EPA decisions.

What I Expect: I expect the court to order the EPA to consider cost. Hopefully it will be a narrow decision and not set a precedent that would effectively cripple the EPA.

The Court Ruled: The court ruled that the EPA had erred by not taking cost into account. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Conservative faction.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Gay Marriage wins at Supreme Court

OK, so I was just being paranoid.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition because a great victory has been won this 26th Day of June in the year 2015 of the Common Era.

In a narrow 5-4 decision the Supreme Court of the United States has declared that the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equality under the law means that states cannot ban same sex couples from getting married.

I was hoping that Chief Justice Roberts would see the light and join the majority but, alas, it was not to be.

Each of the four dissenters wrote individual dissents primarily arguing that this was simply not an issue for the courts to decide.

You will excuse me but one of the primary responsibilities of the court is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. That's WHY we have a 14th Amendment. I don't understand how anyone cannot see that.

Looking back over the years, in December of 2009, after a string of defeats, I said:

"The days of the long march have begun. The forces of light may be slightly battered and bloody, but they are unbowed and the fight is far from over. The retreat is simply to gather strength and prepare for the battles yet to come. 

Victory is certain. The only questions are how long will it take and what will be the cost."

As the tide began to turn I said in March of 2011:

"In the gay marriage fight victory is assured. The only questions are how long will it take, and what will be the cost. I look forward to seeing Gallagher and the rest of NOM boiled in their own bullshit. We’re not quite there yet, but the days of the long march appear to be over and the time for a new offensive appears to have come."

Then in February of 2012:

"There is a Gay Right firestorm brewing. The Long March is over and the counter offensive is in full swing. In Washington, Maine, Maryland and New Jersey the battle has been joined."

This isn't the end of course. The war will continue and only time will tell how long and hard a struggle remains. But hopefully all that remains is a mopping up operation. It's time to move on to other things like income equality and balancing the federal budget.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Now for the Big Ones

The court certainly has a taste for drama. Today's decision on Obamacare is just the appetizer. The main course and desert are yet to come.

Gay Marriage

This is the 1st biggie. The court must actually rule on two questions.

(1) - Whether states can ban Gay Marriage or whether it is a constitutional right under the 14th Amendment

(2) - Whether states must recognize Gay Marriages performed in other states

Of course if the court rules that Gay Marriage is protected under the 14th Amendment, the 2nd question becomes sort of obvious.

Regardless of whether you support or oppose gay marriage you have to recognize that it would be irresponsibility of the 1st order for the court to have refused to review lower court decisions until a split occurred, while allowing gay marriages to proceed, and then to reverse now.

The court should have stepped in immediately after the initial appeals court ruling. To try and roll back the clock now would be insanity and cause a level of legal chaos rarely before seen in this country. The costs alone associated with untangling things would be horrendous and that's not to mention the emotional toll.

Which doesn't mean a court with the likes of the Little Onion and Thomas the Obscure couldn't manage it but I can't believe Chief Justice Roberts would allow this on his watch.

My Opinion: The court should legalize Gay Marriage as a right under the 14th Amendment and require cross state recognition of Gay Marriages performed in other states and abroad.

What I Expect: I have a bad feeling about this one that we're going to get some sort of twisted legal abomination of a decision that's going to make the Dred Scott decision look like legal brilliance.


Redistricting

This one could easily have the single largest impact on the political structure of the Federal Government. Arizona voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2000 stripping the Legislature of the power to draw districts and giving it to an independent redistricting commission to avoid "gerrymandering," the practice of the majority party in the legislature drawing weird shaped districts to give it a political advantage.

The Legislature went to court, pointing out that Article I of the Constitution specifies that "the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof."

Except of course the election districts aren't part of the "the times, places and manner of holding elections" and gerrymandering violates the fundamental concept of fair elections.

My Opinion: Not only should independent redistricting commissions be allowed they should be required!

What I Expect: Given the conservative nature of the court I expect the Arizona Legislature to win on this one and we will gerrymander on.


Lethal Injection

A challenge over the sedative used by several states in executions. The claim is that it merely paralyzes and doesn't protect from "cruel and unusual punishment" as advertised.

My Opinion: Since I'm opposed to Capital Punishment I'd like to see the court ban as many execution drugs as possible and make it harder and more expensive to continue with Capital Punishment.

What I Expect: I honestly don't know what to expect here. Could go either way.


Violent Crime

A challenge to a federal law that sets mandatory minimum sentences for federal firearms offenders who already have three convictions for "violent felonies."

Advocates argue that the law is too vague in defining what is a "violent felony."

My Opinion: I don't know enough about this to have an opinion.

What I Expect: I don't know enough about this to have any idea what to expect.


Power Plant Pollution

Three cases asking the court to force the Environmental Protection Agency to consider the economic cost of complying with regulations limiting emissions from power plants before it issues any rules.

Of course since the EPA has never been asked to consider costs before, this could have far reaching implications if it goes the wrong way.

My Opinion: Cost should not be a factor in EPA decisions.

What I Expect: I expect the court to order the EPA to consider cost. Hopefully it will be a narrow decision and not set a precedent that would effectively cripple the EPA.

King v. Burwell

In a 6-3 decision the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare tax credits can be available on both the federal healthcare.gov exchange and exchanges established by the individual states.

Conservatives had argued that the letter of the law allowed tax credits only on exchanges established by the states despite both the GAO and IRS ruling otherwise.

The intent of the law was never really in question. What was in question was the sloppiness of the language.

This was far and away the most mean spirited law suit I've ever heard of. It was solely aimed at taking critically needed health care away from people while providing no benefit to anyone.

Anyway, with Roberts and Kennedy joining the four liberals, the Supreme Court has done the right thing. Based upon the tone of his dissent, the Little Onion must be foaming at the mouth.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Latest Republican List

The big news of course is that Jeb Bush has officially declared his candidacy and, get ready, here it comes, Donald Trump has also declared he's running.

In the wake of the tragedy in Charleston where a white supremacist walked into a black church and killed nine people, we have words from some Republicans about the incident and about the flying of the Confederate flag in the South Carolina capital.

#1 - George Patacki* - The man is actually sane and did a pretty good job as governor of New York. I don't see how the hell he's going to win a Republican primary but you never know. This might be the guy the money can combine behind.

#2 - Jeb Bush* - Florida survived him as governor and he couldn't possibly be as bad as brother Dubya. But the man needs to learn that he's not Hispanic as he claimed once. Jeb doesn't really seem to understand what's going on in Iraq either. Still, after thinking about it I think I prefer him over Rubio.

 #3 - Marco Rubio* - I don't agree with Rubio on a lot but he doesn't strike me as completely crazy like a few of the others in this field. One big problem with Marco is he seems to be intent on avoiding difficult questions rather than addressing them. Not a terribly encouraging trait for a potential president.

#4 - Chris Christie - Anything to get him out of New Jersey. Besides, Christie would at least be entertaining as hell. If it weren't for his idiotic deal with Exxon-Mobil, I might even list him higher. 

#5 - Rand Paul* - Like his dad, not only does Paul not have any solutions, he doesn't even understand the questions. This is a man that wants to eliminate Meals on Wheels because seniors that can't afford food should depend upon charity. His stand against the Patriot Act however moves him ahead of Cruz.

#6 - Carly Fiorina* - There's a reason she's an ex-CEO. Aside from missing all sorts of earning goals while at HP she was known as a divisive factor and laid off thousands of workers while sending jobs overseas. Eventually the HP board had enough and booted her ass out. But I had to move her above the Fudd line. She's just incompetent and probably not crazy.

#7 - Donald Trump* - The man may not have any political experience but he knows his way around finances. He has a tendency to say some strange stuff but he's not loony toons. It's a toss-up between him and Fiorina but she at least has run a political campaign.

#8 - Rick Perry* - OK, look, Perry sounds loony toons but I don't think he's really that crazy. He's certainly not as crazy as Cruz or Santorum so I'm sliding him in pretty low but above the Elmer Fudd Line. Perry thinks the Charleston shooting was an "accident." How did Texas survive having this yahoo as governor?

#9 - Lindsey Graham* - I can go with about 50% of what I've heard this guy say which is much better than most of these turkeys. Unfortunately Lindsay thinks the Confederate Flag is part of "who we are" even though it's been used in a "racist way." I can't condone that sort of attitude so Graham drops big time.

=====THE ELMER FUDD LINE====

#10 - Ted Cruz* - Cruz is hopeless but most of the others are even worse! Even so he continues to slide rapidly.

#11 - Scott Walker - Talk about scrapping the bottom of the barrel. The more this guy opens his mouth the more of a clown he makes himself out to be.

#12 - Bobby Jindel - Undoubtedly the worst of the people that might actually be considered qualified. Look what a "great" job he did in Louisiana where the economy is in a shambles. Why would anyone vote for this turkey? The legislature refused to pass an RFRA due to pressure from the business community so Jindel issued an executive order to accomplish essentially the same thing. The mayor of New Orleans promptly issued a counter executive order. Nothing like a little chaos on the Bayou. 

#13 - Rick Santorum* - Yes, incredible as it may sound, there's someone even worse than Walker and Jindel. He's worse because I don't even consider this ass wipe qualified for the job. Santorum also side stepped the Confederate flag question. Yes Rick, it's an issue for the state but you must have some sort of personal opinion.

#14 - Ben Carson* - This man is utterly delusional. I seriously believe that he has mental problems. I hope he gets regular brain scans just in case there's something growing up there. Supposedly Carson won a straw poll in South Carolina which goes to show you how dumb they are in South Carolina. However, Huckabee had the poor judgement to appear in Janet Porter's latest anti-gay propaganda film. Carson at least isn't that dumb.

#15 - Mike Huckabee* - Mike has gone seriously down hill in the last eight years or so. He's dropped in my list because after thinking about who might be at least qualified to be president from this list, I can't honestly say I consider Huckabee, despite his stint as governor of Arkansas, to be qualified. Huckabee has at least posted his positions. Wilson had 14 points, God had ten commandments but Huckabee's got 18 pledges. To be honest I don't agree with many of them. Huckabee's latest nonsense is refusing to express an opinion on the Confederate Flag issue. Yes Mike, it's an issue for the state but you must have some sort of personal opinion.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Let's Talk Jenner

I haven't said anything about the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner story because, to be completely honest, I don't really know what to say about it.

Even when I read descriptions from people like the American Psychological Association, it makes little or no sense to me.

"Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women."

Seriously? So your plumbing and chromosomes don't define your gender? Your gender is defined by the roles, behaviors and activities expected by society?

So does the definition of gender change over time? Would that mean if you were to be time ported into the past (or future) you might have a gender identity problem? Perhaps some of us wouldn't be looked upon as male in ancient Sparta because the roles, behaviors and activities expected of ancient Spartan males we might find somewhat repulsive?

Then there's sexual orientation.

"Sexual orientation refers to an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person, whereas gender identity refers to one’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else."

Something else? You know, I'm just going to let that one slide.

So, if your sex is male, gender identity is female and sexual orientation is male, you're apparently considered heterosexual. However if your sex is male, gender identity is female and sexual orientation is female, you're apparently considered a lesbian.

Sure that make perfect sense to me. Well, not really.

Here's my problem. I'm having a hard time buying that gender is simply a societal definition. Does anyone seriously think if we were to start an isolated society someplace and totally reversed the definition of gender roles that it would work?

I don't understand but I suppose that doesn't really matter. My lack of understanding is no reason for me to judge so I suppose I'll just shrug my shoulders and go with the flow.

They Just Keep Coming

Rick Perry has now officially declared so he gets a shiny asterisk and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, who I completely forgot about, also declared. I listened to Graham's speech and I could relate to about 50% which is way better than most of these lunatics.

That gives me an idea. I'm going to introduce an "Elmer Fudd" line like the Mendoza line in baseball except instead of batting averages, it will mark the "Loony Tunes" line!

In the meantime I'm going to slide Graham in at #2.

#1 - George Patacki* - The man is actually sane and did a pretty good job as governor of New York. I don't see how the hell he's going to win a Republican primary but you never know. This might be the guy the money can combine behind.

#2 - Lindsey Graham* - I can go with about 50% of what I've heard this guy say which is much better than most of these turkeys.

#3 - Marco Rubio* - I don't agree with Rubio on a lot but he doesn't strike me as completely crazy like a few of the others in this field.  One big problem with Marco is he seems to be intent on avoiding difficult questions rather than addressing them. Not a terribly encouraging trait for a potential president.


#4 - Jeb Bush - Florida survived him as governor and he couldn't possibly be as bad as brother Dubya. But the man needs to learn that he's not Hispanic as he claimed once. Jeb doesn't really seem to understand what's going on in Iraq either so he falls to #4.


 #5 - Chris Christie - Anything to get him out of New Jersey. Besides, Christie would at least be entertaining as hell. If it weren't for his idiotic deal with Exxon-Mobil, I might even list him higher.


 #6 - Rand Paul* - Like his dad, not only does Paul not have any solutions, he doesn't even understand the questions. This is a man that wants to eliminate Meals on Wheels because seniors that can't afford food should depend upon charity. His stand against the Patriot Act however moves him ahead of Cruz.


#7 - Rick Perry* - OK, look, Perry sounds loony tunes but I don't think he's really that crazy. He's certainly not as crazy as Cruz or Santorum so I'm sliding him in at #7.


#8 - Carly Fiorina* - There's a reason she's an ex-CEO. Aside from missing all sorts of earning goals while at HP she was known as a divisive factor and laid off thousands of workers while sending jobs overseas. Eventually the HP board had enough and booted her ass out. But I had to move her above the Fudd line. She's just incompetent and probably not crazy.

=====THE ELMER FUDD LINE====

#9 - Ted Cruz* - Cruz is hopeless but most of the others are even worse! Even so he continues to slide rapidly.


 #10 - Scott Walker - Talk about scrapping the bottom of the barrel. The more this guy opens his mouth the more of a clown he makes himself out to be.


 #11 - Bobby Jindel - Undoubtedly the worst of the people that might actually be considered qualified. Look what a "great" job he did in Louisiana where the economy is in a shambles. Why would anyone vote for this turkey? The legislature refused to pass an RFRA due to pressure from the business community so Jindel issued an executive order to accomplish essentially the same thing. The mayor of New Orleans promptly issued a counter executive order. Nothing like a little chaos on the Bayou.


 #12 - Mike Huckabee* - Mike has gone seriously down hill in the last eight years or so. He's dropped in my list because after thinking about who might be at least qualified to be president from this list, I can't honestly say I consider Huckabee, despite his stint as governor of Arkansas, to be qualified. Huckabee has at least posted his positions. Wilson had 14 points, God had ten commandments but Huckabee's got 18 pledges. To be honest I don't agree with many of them.

 #13 - Rick Santorum* - Yes, incredible as it may sound, there's someone even worse than Walker and Jindel. He's worse because I don't even consider this ass wipe qualified for the job.


 #14 - Ben Carson* - This man is utterly delusional. I seriously believe that he has mental problems. I hope he gets regular brain scans just in case there's something growing up there. Supposedly Carson won a straw poll in South Carolina which goes to show you how dumb they are in South Carolina.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Huckabee's 18 Pledges

I thought it was 16 but I must have miscounted the last time. Wilson had 14 points, God had ten commandments and Huckabee has 18 pledges.

OK, here we go. Let's remember that this is a man that thinks he should be President of the United States.

Not everything he says I disagree with but the problem is simply stating that you will do something without any indication as to HOW you expect to go about it only addresses the first part of the question. We can talk whether or not this is a good objective or a bad objective but even the best of intentions can become a big problem with a lousy implementation.

I will adhere to the Constitution of the United States. 
Actually you would be taking an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution. The problem here is agreeing on what the Constitution means. I don't think most Americans would be willing to accept your interpretation Huck. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't.

The next three pledges are related so I'm going to talk about them together.

I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes. 

I will advocate for a complete overhaul of our tax system. This means passing the FairTax and abolishing the IRS. 

I will support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. 

Just about every reputable organization that has looked at the US budget situation agrees that a combination of new taxes and spending cuts is necessary.

The basic argument is who gets cut and who gets additional taxes?

To say you're going to balance the budget but at the same time declare no new taxes is wishful thinking. But, show me the math and I can perhaps be convinced.

I've looked at the Fair Tax and I'm pretty sure it's anything but fair and would most likely lead to a tremendous revenue shortfall.

The basic idea of the Fair Tax is to replace both payroll and income taxes with a consumption tax and something called a prebate. A prebate is sort of a necessities allowance that everyone receives to cover the consumption tax on necessities. Including people making billions of dollars which strikes me as more than a little ridiculous.

Also tuition, interest payments, local taxes and savings and investments are tax free. This implies to me that capital gains taxes are gone. Corporate income taxes are also eliminated. The consumption tax is set to 23% based upon a typical 15% income tax bracket, 6.2% in Social Security Tax and 1.4% in Medicare taxes. The 23% is INCLUSIVE so that makes it similar to a 30% sales tax.

Here are the immediate problems I see with the Fair Tax. One caveat is there may in fact be resolutions to some of these questions. I just may not be aware of them.

- What happens to the 6.2% Social Security and 1.4% Medicare employer matching funds? As far as I can see they're gone with nothing to replace them.

- The 0.9% additional Medicare tax on high earners (over $250k filing jointly) also appears to have disappeared. What's replacing that?

- I did a check on their Fair Tax Calculator and I would be entitled to about a $460 prebate per month. All of this money comes off the top. What's replacing it?

- What revenue stream replaces corporate income taxes and capital gains taxes?

- If you make less than $44,000 and are on Social Security, at least 50% of your Social Security is not currently taxed. But under the Fair Tax, if you spend it, it's taxed. I see no allowance for Social Security in the prebate calculator.

- Here's some simple math. If your tax bracket is 15% then you end up paying more tax because you don't pay 15% on everything. The first $18,000 is taxed at 10% for those filing jointly. If your tax bracket is higher than 15% then you're definitely getting a tax reduction. If you invest a lot of your salary, like most rich folks do, then you're getting a huge tax cut.

In general, if you spend almost all of your salary you pay the tax on everything. if you don't spend it, or spend it outside the US, then you're not taxed on it. Guess who spends most or all of their salary and guess who spends not all or most of their salary?

The bottom line is the math screams to me that this is a scheme for getting the poor and the middle class to further subsidize the rich.

I will now, and will for the duration of my presidency, promote and sign all measures leading to Obamacare’s defunding, deauthorization, and repeal. 
What is it that Republicans have against (a) getting people health care and (b) slowing the growth of health care costs? The ACA can be improved but it's a good start.

I will oppose amnesty and government benefits for illegal immigrants who violated our laws, repeal President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders, and secure our borders. 
This issue is more complicated than it looks and I would like to see real bipartisan immigration reform. This sort of statement doesn't accomplish anything. I have a serious problem with young adults brought here by their parents as children and living most of their lives as Americans being booted out of the country because of something their parents did wrong. That's not justice.

I will stand for the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception until the grave. Taking this unequivocal stand includes fighting to defund Planned Parenthood. 
Politicians seriously need to get their noses out of people's private health issues. Only about 3% of Planned Parenthood services are abortion services. 80% help reduce unplanned pregnancies which actually REDUCES abortions. If you "defund Planned Parenthood" the number of abortions might actually skyrocket.

I will stand for the Institution of Marriage and vigorously oppose any redefinition. 
Blah, blah, blah. It's time to come to grips with the simple fact that this ship has probably sailed. If the SCOTUS rules for marriage equality in June it will be long gone.

I will defend our 2nd Amendment rights and oppose gun control legislation.
If you don't think we should be keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and people just too plan stupid to handle them, then you're not thinking this through. Gun control legislation is intended to keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them.

I will fight for the United States military to be the most feared, respected, and capable fighting force the world has ever known. 
And here I always thought it already was.

I will restore our military infrastructure after years of abuse and neglect.
I'm all for common soldiers getting paid better and having better benefits. Soldiers should not have to rely on food stamps to feed their families and they should have better housing. Beyond that, you'll have to get more specific about this one. If you're talking about White Sands Missile Range, the place could definitely use some sprucing up

I will stand with our friend and ally Israel in our shared fight against Radical Islam. 
Then you better tell Netanyahu to get his act together or you might find yourself getting very lonely in the support for Israel club.

I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capability. 
I agree with the objective but we'll have to see about the approach.

I will end the national disgrace of failing to properly care for our veterans. 
I agree 100% and note the point above about soldier salaries, benefits and housing.

I will protect Social Security and Medicare and never rob seniors of the benefits they were promised and forced to pay for. 
I agree again but seniors look like they would take a bath with the so-called Fair Tax. You're going to have to fit this in with the rest of your tax ideas. Unfortunately all of those look really bad so why do I suspect this one will be just as bad?

I will fight to kill Common Core and restore common sense. Education is a family function - not a federal function. 
Clearly you don't understand Common Core. It's not a federal function. It was put together by the states in order to try and introduces standards across the country. The federal government simply put  a monetary incentive on the table. The objective is good, standards work, but if the implementation can be better, then let's improve it. By the way, what the hell does "Education is a family function" mean?

I will support the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices. They must be committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench.
Great, just what we need. A bunch of dinosaurs like Scalia and Thomas driving us back into the 1950s.

I will fight for term limits for members of Congress and judges.
I agree with this as well but, once again, the devil is in the details.

Huckabee is basically tossing out pledges to do what he thinks the under 80 IQ Republican base wants to hear. He clearly hasn't thought a lot of this through. If he was a tad less doctrinaire I would feel more comfortable,

For example, if he said he was going to focus on balancing the budget primarily through cost cutting and tax reform, I wouldn't argue with it. But to declare a solution, no taxes, the Fair Tax and a balanced budget amendment, that are very probably mutually exclusive doesn't fill me with a whole lot of confidence.

I suppose that's why I have him all the way down at #10 in the Republican menagerie.

Muhammad Cartoons on Buses

Pamela Geller is the head of an anti-Islamic group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative. I was familiar with Geller from Right Wing Watch but she got a lot of free publicity when two Islamic sympathizers tried to crash her contest in Texas about drawing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad and got themselves killed.

Geller is loony tunes and utterly delusional with respect to Islam. She has no idea what Sharia Law actually is but is convinced it's somehow taking over here in the states. She's a nut that trivializes real issues and deserves to be ignored.

Unfortunately the incident in Texas has gotten her attention that she doesn't deserve.

Her latest idea is to publish the winning cartoon on buses in Washington DC claiming it's free speech.

Now, I published a few of the Danish cartoons that caused all that trouble and proudly proclaimed Je Suis Charlie as well so I'm not one that's been terribly careful about upsetting Muslim sensibilities.

But Geller isn't in the publishing or satire business and this idea strikes me as having the sole purpose of insulting Muslims and attempting to incite a reaction.

Fighting Words, speech or print intended to invoke hatred or violence are NOT covered by the 1st Amendment guarantee of free speech and this idea strikes me as being perilously close to Fighting Words if it's not over the line.

Patacki Joins the Crowd

I'm starting to lose track of who has actually declared themselves a candidate but I'll do the best I can. George Pataki has declared his candidacy and Rick Perry is making noises like he'll declare any day now so I've added him as well. An asterisk indicates I think he or she has formally declared.

#1 - George Patacki* - The man is actually sane and did a pretty good job as governor of New York. I don't see how the hell he's going to win a Republican primary but you never know. This might be the guy the money can combine behind.

 #2 - Marco Rubio* - I don't agree with Rubio on a lot but he doesn't strike me as completely crazy like a few of the others in this field.  One big problem with Marco is he seems to be intent on avoiding difficult questions rather than addressing them. Not a terribly encouraging trait for a potential president.

#3 - Jeb Bush - Florida survived him as governor and he couldn't possibly be as bad as brother Dubya. But the man needs to learn that he's not Hispanic as he claimed once. Jeb doesn't really seem to understand what's going on in Iraq either so he falls to #3.

 #3 - Chris Christie - Anything to get him out of New Jersey. Besides, Christie would at least be entertaining as hell. If it weren't for his idiotic deal with Exxon-Mobil, I might even list him higher.

 #4 - Rand Paul* - Like his dad, not only does Paul not have any solutions, he doesn't even understand the questions. This is a man that wants to eliminate Meals on Wheels because seniors that can't afford food should depend upon charity. His stand against the Patriot Act however moves him ahead of Cruz.

#5 - Rick Perry - OK, look, Perry sounds loony tunes but I don't think he's really that crazy. He's certainly not as crazy as Cruz or Santorum so I'm sliding him in at #5.

#6 - Ted Cruz* - Cruz is hopeless but most of the others are even worse! Even so he continues to slide rapidly.

 #7 - Scott Walker - Talk about scrapping the bottom of the barrel. The more this guy opens his mouth the more of a clown he makes himself out to be.

 #8 - Bobby Jindel - Undoubtedly the worst of the people that might actually be considered qualified. Look what a "great" job he did in Louisiana where the economy is in a shambles. Why would anyone vote for this turkey? The legislature refused to pass an RFRA due to pressure from the business community so Jindel issued an executive order to accomplish essentially the same thing. The mayor of New Orleans promptly issued a counter executive order. Nothing like a little chaos on the Bayou.

 #9 - Carly Fiorina* - There's a reason she's an ex-CEO. Aside from missing all sorts of earning goals while at HP she was known as a divisive factor and laid off thousands of workers while sending jobs overseas. Eventually the HP board had enough and booted her ass out.

 #10 - Mike Huckabee* - Mike has gone seriously down hill in the last eight years or so. He's dropped in my list because after thinking about who might be at least qualified to be president from this list, I can't honestly say I consider Huckabee, despite his stint as governor of Arkansas, to be qualified.

Huckabee has at least posted his positions. Wilson had 14 points, God had ten commandments but Huckabee's got 17 pledges. To be honest I don't agree with many of them.

 #11 - Rick Santorum* - Yes, incredible as it may sound, there's someone even worse than Walker and Jindel. He's worse because I don't even consider this ass wipe qualified for the job.

 #12 - Ben Carson* - This man is utterly delusional. I seriously believe that he has mental problems. I hope he gets regular brain scans just in case there's something growing up there. Supposedly Carson won a straw poll in South Carolina which goes to show you how dumb they are in South Carolina.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ireland Approves Gay Marriage

Ireland became the 1st country to approve Gay Marriage by popular vote.

Despite strong lobbying by the Catholic Church the Irish voted for marriage equality by a solid 62-38 majority.

Can you hears the walls of bigotry crumbling?

As for the Church, the dinosaur inched closer to extinction.