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Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,226

Journal Archives

More than 150 companies back update to Voting Rights Act

More than 150 companies back update to Voting Rights Act
Major businesses like PepsiCo, Macy's, Ikea and Nestlé USA signed on to a letter supporting the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
July 14, 2021, 10:31 AM EDT
By Jane C. Timm

More than 150 companies, including PepsiCo, Amazon and Target, threw their support behind updating the Voting Rights Act in a letter released Wednesday.

The signatories, all U.S. employers, urged Congress to enact the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, legislation that would restore a key provision of the 1965 law that was stripped out by the Supreme Court in 2013. The bill would again require jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to get permission from the Department of Justice to make changes to their elections, using an updated formula to determine those jurisdictions.

The letter made no mention of Republican efforts to tighten voting rules across the country after former President Donald Trump's election loss, focusing instead on "deep inequities" exposed by the 2020 contest in "how our elections are run."

"Despite decades of progress, impediments to exercising the right to vote persist in many states, especially for communities of color. We need federal protections to safeguard this fundamental right for all Americans," the letter, obtained by NBC News, said.

The legislation was named in honor of Rep. John Lewis, the longtime Democratic congressman from Georgia and leader of the civil rights movement who died last year. It was passed by the House last Congress, but that bill and the For the People Act, a more sweeping Democratic-led voting measure, face long odds in the Senate.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 14, 2021, 09:17 PM (5 replies)

Eric Boehlert: The media lash out at "boring" Biden


The media lash out at "boring" Biden
Nobody's getting $$ book deals
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago

After feasting on four years of Trump chaos inside the White House where leaks, gossip and scandal were the norm, Beltway journalists are losing patience with President Joe Biden’s brand of efficient and professional governing. The frustration is now spilling out into the open.

This week, the New York Times mocked Biden’s speech-giving skills, calling him “boring” and unable to inspire. The article’s sub-headline read, “Even the president labeled a speech boring recently, an admission that highlights a tendency toward delivering minutiae-filled discourse over scaling oratorical heights.”

The Times specifically acknowledged that while Biden’s speeches are often drowning in detail and substance, they’re not satisfying (to journalists) because there’s no music behind them. They’re not entertaining.


Oh, how they miss the Orange One.

“I loved covering Trump,” one prominent White House reporter said. “It was a great and fascinating story. It wasn’t just about him; it was about his movement and the institutions and America. The story was always so dramatic and had these larger than life characters. The stakes often felt very high. I like covering Biden, too, but it just doesn’t feel as dramatic.”

The media nostalgia is tangible, almost wistful. But never forget that Trump ripped families apart at the border. He colluded with a foreign power while in office. Got impeached twice. Called neo-Nazis “very fine people.” Made a public health emergency worse every day he was in office. Accused Obama of spying on his campaign. Shut down the government for one month because Congress wouldn’t fund his border wall to nowhere. He spent months denigrating the integrity of American elections.

Today, reporters can’t disguise their disdain for Biden, while missing Trump because he was “dramatic.” What an unflattering portrait journalists paint of themselves.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 14, 2021, 09:39 AM (12 replies)

The Rude Pundit:TN Legislators Are Outraged That Teenagers Might Want to(Checks Notes)Not Get Covid

The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Tennessee Legislators Are Outraged That Teenagers Might Want to (Checks Notes) Not Get Covid

The state of Tennessee abides by the "Mature Minor Doctrine" when it comes to almost all medical care. That means that minors between 14 and 18 years-old can see doctors on their own without a parent's permission. The physician or medical provider may decide not to provide care based on a judgment about the maturity of the teenager, but, generally, if you're over 14, you can get medical help (except abortions because, well, Tennessee). A 1987 Tennessee Supreme Court decision clearly put this doctrine in place for the state. Hell, the Tennessee legislature even passed legislation guaranteeing that minors could get medical care without parental consent for things like drug abuse, emergencies, and even contraception. Sometimes, sanity does exist where you least expect it. And then again...

When the Covid vaccine was made available to those 12 and up, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health, sent guidance to all vaccine providers as a response to inquiries about the applicability of the Mature Minor Doctrine in the case of the Covid vaccine. Prior to sending the email, Dr. Fiscus had contacted the Department of Health's general counsel for a statement she could use for the guidance, and she received an email that had the very document I linked to up there, adding that it had been "blessed by the Governor’s office on the subject" and "feel free to distribute to anyone." So she did.

And, because we live in the stupidest fucking time possible, someone complained and that complaint led to Republicans in the state legislature losing their shit. They attacked Dr. Fiscus and the Department of Health for the letter and for ads that featured kids that read, "Tennesseans 12+ Eligible for Vaccines: Give COVID-19 vaccines a shot." That's pretty much bullying, according to GOP assholes, like Rep. Scott Cepicky from the ass-end of nowhere, who said, "For a department of ours to make it seem like you need a vaccine...to fit in is peer pressure applied by the state of Tennessee. Personally, I think it's reprehensible that you would do that, that you would do that to our youth." Another dumbass, Sen. Janice Bowling from Sisterfuck or Pigass or something, said of the letter, which, again, was sent to vaccine providers in case a 14 year-old came in to get jabbed, "It is very disconcerting to see the letter, or memo, from Dr. Fiscus stating that Tennessee law allows the Department of Health to give vaccinations to children 14 years of age." Except Tennessee law does allow it. Also, Tennessee is way the fuck behind on vaccinations in general, with only 38% of the population fully-vaccinated and the Delta variant starting to kick medical asses.

And, because the stupidest fucking time possible always leads to the stupidest actions possible, the governor fired Dr. Fiscus. In her response to her termination, she wrote an impassioned plea: "I am afraid for my state. I am angry for the amazing people of the Tennessee Department of Health who have been mistreated by an uneducated public and leaders who have only their own interests in mind. And I am deeply saddened for the people of Tennessee, who will continue to become sick and die from this vaccine-preventable disease because they choose to listen to the nonsense spread by ignorant people." Damn straight. Science, motherfuckers.

And, because the stupidest fucking actions possible are always topped by something even stupider, today, the Tennessee Department of Health, which had already slowed outreach to young people on the Covid vaccine, decided that it "will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for coronavirus, but all diseases." That's right. That's how fucking awful this has gotten. That's how short-sighted, idiotic, and savage the Tennessee GOP is. No outreach for any vaccines they might have missed. No outreach for flu shots. Nor for meningococcal vaccines.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 14, 2021, 07:21 AM (2 replies)

Judge Roy Moore Loses His $95 Million Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen


Posted on Tue, Jul 13th, 2021 by Todd Neikirk
Judge Roy Moore Loses His $95 Million Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen

Roy Moore has been a bit of an albatross for the Republican party. The former Alabama Supreme Court Justice won the state’s senate primary in 2017. Then came accusations of sexual misconduct with an underage girl.

Thanks to those accusations, Democrat Doug Jones was able to win the race in the incredibly red state. Jones remained a US senator for over 2 years before losing to Tommy Tuberville in 2020.

To add insult to injury, Moore was also involved in a comedy skit conducted by Sacha Baron Cohen. The Borat comedian hooked the GOP lawmaker by pretending to give him an award for support to Israel. Once Moore got there, Cohen scanned him with a pedophile detecting wand that began to beep.

In response to the segment, Moore and his wife sued the comedian for $95 million. U.S. District Judge John Cronan threw the suit out of court on Tuesday.

He wrote in a statement that the segment was, “clearly a joke. It is simply inconceivable that the program’s audience would have found a segment with Judge Moore activating a supposed pedophile-detecting wand to be grounded in any factual basis.”

Moore and his wife, nonplussed by the decision. Their lawyer, Larry Klayman, said in a statement, “Judge Cronan’s ruling makes no factual and legal sense. To the contrary, Judge Cronan’s dismissal is the joke, and more than a bad joke at that.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jul 13, 2021, 10:23 PM (18 replies)

Joe Biden Is Done Coddling Conservatives and Their Anti-Vaccine Bullshit

Levin Report
Joe Biden Is Done Coddling Conservatives and Their Anti-Vaccine Bullshit
The administration is calling out conservative anti-vaxxers for the dangerous hacks they are.
By Bess Levin
July 12, 2021

Republican lawmakers, their pals on Fox News, and various other conservatives with major platforms say and do a lot of things these days that elicit the response, “What the f--k is wrong with you?” Describing the people who attacked the U.S. Capitol as peaceful “patriots.” Telling viewers to call child protective services on the parents of children wearing masks. Claiming Democrats are part of a satanic cult that eats children. All of these things are insane, but few are as enraging of late than the sustained campaign by vocal conservatives to convince Americans not to get vaccinated against a contagious disease that has killed 605,000 Americans and counting, a variant of which is significantly more transmissible and can result in more serious cases to boot.

For months, the Joe Biden administration’s approach to anti-vaxxers—of which Biden’s predecessor is one!—was to basically treat their fearmongering and outbursts like a toddler’s tantrums and ignore them, presumably thinking that acknowledging them would make things worse. But with new infections up, vaccination rates slowing down, and virtually all COVID-19 deaths among the unvaccinated, the federal government is taking a new tack: approaching anti-vaxxers like the dangerous hacks they are.

Per Politico:

The Biden administration is casting conservative opponents of its COVID-19 vaccine campaign as dangerous and extreme, adopting a more aggressive political posture in an attempt to maneuver through the public health conundrum. The White House has decided to hit back harder on misinformation and scare tactics after Republican lawmakers and conservative activists pledged to fight the administration’s stated plans to go “door-to-door” to increase vaccination rates. The pushback will include directly calling out social media platforms and conservative news shows that promote such tactics.

[Anthony] Fauci took some of that messaging to Sunday cable news shows, including underscoring the idea that door-to-door vaccination efforts are an attempt to remove barriers to access and that 99.5% of deaths due to COVID are among people who are unvaccinated. “Those data kind of hits you right between the eyes,” Fauci said of the fatalities. Beyond Fauci, Press Secretary Jen Psaki has pushed back on Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene—a lawmaker she once said she’d not mention from the podium—who compared the administration’s vaccine campaign to Nazis. Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID response director, rebuked Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who contended falsely in a tweet that government “agents” were going door-to-door to “compel vaccination.”

According to reporters Natasha Korecki and Eugene Daniels, Biden-allied groups like the Democratic National Committee will also “engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages.“ In a statement, White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz said, “When we see deliberate efforts to spread misinformation, we view that as an impediment to the country's public health and will not shy away from calling that out.”


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jul 13, 2021, 02:11 PM (25 replies)

Texas Dems to Biden, Congress: Show the Same Courage We've Shown to Protect Voting Rights

1 hour ago
Texas Dems to Biden, Congress: Show the Same Courage We’ve Shown to Protect Voting Rights
“We were quite literally forced to move and leave the state.”
Inae Oh
News and Engagement EditorBio | Follow

Texas House Democrats—who fled the state in a bold move to halt the advancement of a sweeping voter suppression bill—urged the White House and Senate Democrats on Tuesday to pass federal voting rights legislation.

At a press conference Tuesday in Washington, DC, the group of Democrats specifically called on Biden and Congress to demonstrate “the same courage” they had shown by traveling to the nation’s capital during a special legislative session that had been called by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has since threatened to arrest the more than 50 Democrats who fled. As they did in a statement confirming their plans to boycott the session before hopping aboard two private planes on Monday, the group once again hailed both the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the For the People Act as examples of model legislation for protecting voting rights at the federal level and implored Congress to pass them.

“We were quite literally forced to move and leave the state of Texas,” Texas Rep. Rhetta Bowers said in a press conference flanked by some of her fellow state Democrats. “We also know that we are living right now on borrowed time in Texas. And we can’t stay here indefinitely, to run out the clock, to stop Republican anti-voter bills.” Bower said that although Texas Democrats would use “everything in our power to fight back,” they ultimately needed Congress to act with the same urgency.

“We are not going to buckle to the ‘big lie’ in the state of Texas—the ‘big lie’ that has resulted in anti-democratic legislation throughout the United States,” Rep. Rafael Anchia added.

The remarks came as Abbott vowed to arrest the Democrats that had walked out on the session, thus denying the state’s House of Representatives the two-thirds quorum needed to conduct official state business. In recent weeks, Texas Republicans, led by Abbott, have aggressively pushed to enact a sweeping set of bills that seek to ban drive-through and 24-hour voting, add new ID requirements for mail voting, and prohibit election officials from proactively sending out absentee ballot request forms.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jul 13, 2021, 02:02 PM (10 replies)

After Republicans Stab Capitol Police In The Back, Democrats Step Up To Fund Them


Posted on Mon, Jul 12th, 2021 by Jason Easley
After Republicans Stab Capitol Police In The Back, Democrats Step Up To Fund Them
After Senate Republicans offered a funding proposal that he described as inadequate, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) unveiled his bill to fully fund the Capitol Police.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Leahy Announced $3.7 Billion Bill To Fund Capitol Police.

Chairman Leahy’s office announced in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday introduced a comprehensive emergency security supplemental to address the urgent security needs facing the Capitol and the country. The $3.7 billion bill would address the violent insurrection that took place on January 6, provide funding for costs incurred on the Capitol complex and the Department of Defense related to the COVID pandemic, and provide the resources to support our Afghan partners as the United States’ mission winds down. “

Senate Republicans Offered “Inadequate” Funding

Sen. Leahy described the Republican offer as inadequate, “We did not budget for an insurrection, and I am glad that my Republican colleagues have joined the negotiating table on this urgent matter, but their proposal falls far short of the needs of the moment. A violent insurrection happened. A pandemic happened. And the President announced the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. These events created urgent needs that must be met now. A piecemeal approach is no way to govern, and I have been here long enough to know that a promise to do it ‘later’ is no promise at all. I look forward to working with my friend, Vice Chairman Shelby, on a comprehensive, bipartisan path forward before the Senate leaves for the August recess.”

Republicans Betray Law Enforcement

This should be a no-brainer. There should be zero opposition to fully funding the people who protected members of Congress and risked their own lives during the 1/6 attack.

Senate Republicans dragged their feet and seemed perfectly content to allow the Capitol Police to be defunded.

Democrats stepped up to the plate.

Republicans talk a big game on the issues, but time and again, it is Democrats who act and get things done.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 12, 2021, 09:47 PM (4 replies)

Advisor To Major Pro-Trump Group Runs Racist Newsletter

Advisor To Major Pro-Trump Group Runs Racist Newsletter
Turning Point USA advisor Rip McIntosh remains unapologetic about the anti-Black screeds he has published.
By Nick R. Martin | July 12, 2021 7:02 a.m.
This article was co-published with The Informant, which covers hate and extremism in the U.S.

It was an email so racist it might make a ku klux klansman blush.

An advisor for the influential conservative youth organization Turning Point USA recently published an essay for subscribers of his personal newsletter that, among other things, said Black people have “become socially incompatible with other races” and “American Black culture has evolved into an un-fixable and crime-ridden mess.”

It also said white people aren’t racist but “just exhausted” with Black people. It portrayed post-Civil War America as a 150-year-long “experiment” to see whether Black people could be “taken from the jungles of Africa,” enslaved, and then integrated into a majority-white society. It said that experiment had failed.


The essay, titled “On the Question of Systemic Racism in the United States,” was emailed out just hours after Sen. Tim Scott, a Black Republican from South Carolina, gave a nationally televised speech on behalf of the GOP in which he said “America is not a racist country,” a claim that was debated for days afterward. The essay made no direct mention of the speech, but it closed with a similar phrase: “America is not a racist nation.”


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 12, 2021, 09:38 PM (0 replies)

Eric Boehlert: The next Big Lie -- the insurrection never happened

The next Big Lie — the insurrection never happened
“It was peaceful protest”
Eric Boehlert
3 hr ago

Embarking on a vast propaganda campaign designed to erase one of the deadliest bouts of domestic, political terrorism in this country, Trump media and their GOP acolytes are moving quickly to peddle the next Big Lie, claiming that the January 6 insurrection never happened.

At this point, there’s nothing too big for the right-wing noise machine to try to whitewash and gaslight — like the fact that a pro-Trump horde was responsible for breaking into the U.S. Capitol, attempted to disrupt the congressional vote certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory, and then chanted death threats against then-Vice President Mike Pence.


What’s unfolding now within the far-right fever swamp is a Kremlin-style indoctrination that aims to re-educate millions of Americans. It’s being done just as more police videos from the shockingly violent, mob-soaked day are released as part of court proceedings. (“You’re going to die tonight” one Trump thug screams at a Capitol cop.) Also, The New York Times recently created an extraordinarily detailed, minute-by-minute video chronology of the insurrection carnage.

Fact: Seven people died in connection with the January 6 violence, including two suicides in the following days. More than 535 rioters have since been charged with crimes. At least 70 defendants have been ordered to stay in jail. And nearly 150 police officers were assaulted that day.

The GOP’s increasingly brazen behavior is difficult to describe using the traditional language applied to mainstream American politics. This is far more cultish conduct where all semblance of reality is stripped away and the pursuit of the fever dream (the insurrection never happened!) becomes the ultimate prize. This more resembles a mass brainwashing exercise, that’s being fueled by dangerous and radical media players.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 12, 2021, 10:56 AM (1 replies)

CPAC has become the place Republicans go to sit around the campfire and scare themselves sillier

Nuckin' futs.

CPAC has become the place Republicans go to sit around the campfire and scare themselves sillier
Mark Sumner
Daily Kos Staff
Saturday July 10, 2021 · 6:09 PM EDT

How can we be sure that we’ve drifted into the Worst Possible Timeline? Because it’s always CPAC. Not content with one event in 2021, the Conservative Political Action Conference is on again, with CPAC Part 2, Eclectic Bugaboos now underway in Dallas.

Once upon a time, the History Channel actually had shows about history. The Science Channel had shows that tried to explain science. The Discovery Channel had programming that did not involve people redesigning a cottage, cabin, or breezy loft apartment. In each case, the people behind those platforms seem to have started out with high-minded ideals, with the intention of bringing knowledge to members of the public who were drawn to their channels by the implication behind the name. Then, somewhere along the line, they discovered that they could draw more eyeballs more cheaply with programming where wild-eyed commentators talked about ancient aliens, sincere plumbers spent their off hours searching for ghosts, and perky hosts convinced people that gluing straw to their walls was a good look.

Maybe something similar happened with CPAC. At the very least, Republicans used to act as if the meetings involved a serious transfer of conservative philosophy. Way back when the conferences started in 1974, it was at CPAC that Ronald Reagan gave the first draft of the “shining city on a hill” speech that would later become his signature party trick. There was even the time CPAC organizers ran Richard Spencer out of the building, with the head of the American Conservative Union complaining that the alt-right was everything that conservatives despise.

That was (checks notes) 2017. Though, just to be clear, that same ACU invited Milo Yiannopoulos a year before Spencer was scolded, so the idea that they were actually against racism, misogyny, or xenophobia always seemed like a stunt for the cameras. In any case, they’re certainly not hiding any of those sterling qualities at this year’s CPAC, an event that must leave guys like Spencer and Yiannopoulos happy to say they’re not associated with those extremists.

What has been the level of Republican discourse at this CPAC event? Well, there’s Madison Cawthorn, the designated heir to Louie Gohmert’s traditional role in Congress, explaining the CPAC-truth behind President Biden’s talk of asking volunteers to go door-to-door helping to expand vaccine availability. The real plan, according to Cawthorn, is to build a “massive mechanism” that can then be used to “go door-to-door to take your guns” or “door-to-door to take your Bibles.”
Honestly, of all the speeches given at this year’s CPAC, Cawthorn’s may be the most instructive. Because when it comes to “exchanging conservative ideas” in 2021, what that really means is collaborating on the scariest story, whether or not it makes any sense. Cawthorn is demonstrating exactly how this works, and everyone is nodding right along, because what he’s saying is absolutely core to the Republican Party — which, as a reminder, has no platform. The Republican Party exists only to hold power and spread fear. That’s it.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jul 11, 2021, 08:18 AM (8 replies)
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