Saturday, April 2, 2011

Is There No End To The Absurdities?

Where do we even start? Well, lets start in Montana. From Think Progress Montana State Rep Alan Hale Says “DUI Laws are Destroying a Way of Life” 

“These DUI laws are not doing our small businesses in our state any good at all. They are destroying them. They are destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years.”

Funny thing is that Alan Hale just happens to own and operate a bar in Basin Montana.

"Republican House of Representatives passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) to a Republican-drafted aviation bill that would essentially gut the planned pilot fatigue rules by requiring extensive tailoring to many different segments of the aviation industry, and exempting several others. 

Hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger blasted the amendment yesterday before it passed, saying “it creates a huge obstacle to new regulations,” and that, “at some point in the future, we don’t know when, it’s likely people will die unnecessarily.” Last night on the Ed Show, Sullenberger said the bill is a “slap in the face” to the Flight 3407 families. He also decried “special interests only interested in the bottom line.”

Right, pilots don’t need to be rested. They can snooze and just put the plane on autopilot. Hopefully they’ll wake up in time to land, and won’t be asleep if an engine falls off, or anything like that. 

"Lobbyists for industrial agriculture polluters cheered the 292-130 vote for H.R. 872, which “will amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act to clarify Congressional intent and eliminate the requirement for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits for applications of pesticides approved for use under FIFRA.” The California agribusiness lobby Western Farmers Association praised the “practical, bipartisan example of eliminating government regulations that needlessly increase farm business costs“

Sure, that’s a great idea. A few thousands gallons of pesticides never hurt anyone and besides, it will save farm business costs. That’s what’s really important.

"Maine State Rep. David Burns is the latest of many Republican lawmakers concerned that employers aren’t allowed to do enough to exploit child workers:
LD 1346 suggests several significant changes to Maine’s child labor law, most notably a 180-day period during which workers under age 20 would earn $5.25 an hour.
The state’s current minimum wage is $7.50 an hour.
Rep. David Burns, R-Whiting, is sponsoring the bill, which also would eliminate the maximum number of hours a minor over 16 can work during school days".

Well then, why not just legalize sweatshops? After all, with all the cuts to education the GOP is calling for, and some calling to eliminate public education all together, might as well get as much use out of these kids as possible. Hay if they can line the pockets of the rich with the sweat of uneducated children, why not, right? (Could this be why they are so intent to cut education? I guess they think it’s probably easier to control the uneducated.)

This one however has got to be at the top of the absurdity scale. HR1255 was voted on “and passed” the house yesterday. They call it “Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2011”  and it has to be the most blatantly unconstitutional thing that has ever even been brought to the floor, let alone passed. I listened to the house debate on this yesterday on C-Span and I truly couldn’t believe my ears. The act states:


(a) Deadline for Consideration of Legislation Funding the Government for the Remainder of Fiscal Year 2011- If the House has not received a message from the Senate before April 6, 2011, stating that it has passed a measure providing for the appropriations for the departments and agencies of the Government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, the provisions of H.R. 1, as passed by the House on February 19, 2011, are hereby enacted into law.
(b) Publication of Act- In publishing this Act in slip form and in the United States Statutes at Large pursuant to section 112 of title 1, United States Code, the Archivist of the United States shall include after the date of approval, if applicable, an appendix setting forth the text of the bill referred to in subsection (a).”

That’s right folks, according to House Republicans, the lawmaking process of the U.S. Constitution will be irrelevant according to HB 1255. And according to Eric Cantor, “If the Senate fails to pass HB1 by April 6th, then HB1, as passed, loaded with riders to further the extremist Right-Wing and Teavangelical agendas will automatically become the law of the land”. Basically that is saying, take it as it is or we will just make it law anyway. The fact that the Constitution does not permit the House to create law on it’s own can just be dammed. 

The GOP leaders who wasted government time doing nothing more than grandstanding for the tea partiers pushing this illegal, unconstitutional crap through the House should be sanctioned for ignorance and docked a days pay. You can’t tell me that they don’t know, that they CAN’T DO THAT! 

Here is a video from Think Progress of Rep Peter DeFazio talking about the bill the day before:

“All joking aside, the bill “is such an unbelievable, absurd waste of time,” DeFazio told ThinkProgress. “It’s a transparent ruse” for the GOP to “throw red meat to the Tea Party” while “negotiating behind their back.” “If I were one of the Tea Party people telling the Republicans to get steel in their spines, I’d be offended by this,” he said. Indeed, the Tea Party has been mercilessly attacking House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for negotiating a budget deal instead of gouging the budget with even more drastic cuts. A conflict, DeFazio said, that is exemplified by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) split from Boehner on negotiations.”

These kinds of things can only make one wonder, “who the hell elected these people”! What I see here is pretty much the same thing that happened in Wisconsin.  Governor Scott Walker underhandedly forced though legislation stripping collective bargaining rights from union workers. Another one of the latest GOP kind of “take it or we implement it anyway”, sort of things. Even after lawsuits were filed against it, a Wisconsin judge ordered that the law not be published until the case was heard, believe it or not, Walker had it published anyway.

The only good news is that people are waking up to the farce some of these lawmakers are making of our legal system. The people of Wisconsin have already begun re-call efforts on republicans responsible for forcing this legislation through. A re-call for Walker cannot by law begin until he has been in office for 1 year, but the people will be ready and waiting when the time comes. 

Politico reports that even the Police and Firefighters who have generally always voted republican are jumping on the bandwagon against the GOP. “Cops, Firefighters turn on GOP in labor fight”. 

It’s a political shift that could have significant repercussions, and not just because these right-leaning union members vote for Republicans in sizable numbers. Angry cops and firefighters make for bad PR — especially after Republicans under President George W. Bush aligned themselves so successfully with the heroes of Sept. 11 in the years since then.
Chuck Canterbury, the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said his members are “shocked” by the turn of events.”
“In Wisconsin, Walker, who was endorsed by some small police and fire unions, carved out a special exemption for them in his proposal that essentially denies all other public employees the right to collective bargaining.
But when Walker ordered the Capitol police to arrest Wisconsin demonstrators who refused to obey a curfew, they refused — and instead, hundreds of them lined up with the demonstrators to show solidarity.
“We know what’s right from wrong,” one officer shouted into a bullhorn in the packed Capitol building. “We will not be kicking anyone out. In fact, we will be sleeping here with you!”

Read the whole story at “Politico”

Cops and firefighters are not the only ones coming out in opposition to all this partisan nonsense. It’s as if the GOP has gone on a public self-destruct campaign of some sort and they don’t even care how big of a fool they make of themselves. The American people will however, stand up to this oppressive and foolish agenda, and come the next election they will put an end to this nonsense.

On a final note I must comment on Pastor Terry Jones from Florida. In defiance of pleadings from the White House to not risk endangering citizens by publicly burning the Koran and angering extremists whom would likely retaliate. Well, he did it anyway and yesterday during protests of that burning 2 people were beheaded and10 others murdered at an Afghan U.N. office when the protest turned violent.

“Read the story at TPM”

May Pastor Terry Jones never have another peaceful nights sleep, but spend the rest of his life being tormented by nightmares and the ghosts of those whose blood now on his hands.

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