Meet the Press goes Full Chipotle

LOL. Ok. I turned off Meet the Press. Not watching it.

Watch “the Daily Show” clip making fun of our press, as that is faaar more worth your time than this crap.

It’s really a testament to the sorry state of the GOP and our corporate media when *all* of the GOP panel members bring up the “Chipotle Video” (close circuit video of Hillary Clinton ordering a burrito without fanfare) as an example of how Clinton is out of touch and old and boring.

Nothing about policy, or experience or reality…just spinning a close circuit video. The political punditry TV class is like a weird papparazzi, that just takes pictures of itself taking pictures of others.

I noted this during the latest season of “House of Cards” where all the “journalists” in Washington were playing themselves playing themselves on TV. I think, for a lot of them, the job is scripted, and all about acting out said script.

The Press is not supposed to be like that. When we “Meet” them, as it were, what we are seeing is what they are now, which is a caricature of what the job should be.

I know, I know, it’s a constant Sunday morning lament. But it’s a really sorry state of affairs, and there’s little wonder as to why folks lose interest so quickly in sorting through it all.

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Correcting Rubio (re: Net Neutrality)

This is what happens when a (former) High School teacher grades a Senator’s op-ed on a technological subject.

That Senator is running for President, BTW.

Mark Takano's photo.

I only break out the red pen on special occasions. So when I saw Marco Rubio’s recent op-ed on Net Neutrality, you know I couldn’t resist. It is intentionally m

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2016: The Supreme Court Election

Just thinking a bit about the context of the upcoming Presidential election. For those that don’t know, I tend to write a good bit about such events, largely doing such writing as an (unpaid) job for the last 3 of them.

Certain themes arise around them, and a friend of mine, I think, struck the bass chord of this one….it’s about the SCOTUS.

For those unfamiliar with the term, let’s get introduced. SCOTUS stands for Supreme Court of the United States. SCotUS, if you are a stickler for capitalization, but that looks weird and is also hard to type, so SCOTUS, is often used as an abbreviation.

Here are the current Supreme Court Justices and their ages…

John G. Roberts: January 27, 1955 : 60 yrs.
Antonin Scalia: March 11, 1936: 79 yrs.
Anthony M. Kennedy: July 23, 1936: 78 yrs.
Clarence Thomas: June 23, 1948: 66 yrs.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: March 15, 1933: 82 yrs.
Stephen G. Breyer: August 15, 1938: 76 yrs.
Samuel Anthony Alito: April 1, 1950: 65 yrs.
Sonia Sotomayor: June 25, 1954: 60 yrs.
Elena Kagan: April 28, 1960: 54 yrs.

Now comes the kicker….via google (and it’s one of those common answers)…


78.7 yrs. According to a 2006 study conducted by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Supreme Court justices are retiring later and later. Before 1971, the average age of retiring Supreme Court justices was 68.3.

Even at 79 years…that puts three justices over that range *at the start* of the next President’s term (and one right on the cusp). Scalia and Ginsburg are on opposite ends of the spectrum, Kennedy is often a swing vote.

So it’s a 2-1 or 1-2 split on the “old guard” judges, if you will, pushing the limits of what the human mind can endure. The next President is likely to shift that to a 3-0 split, one way or the other, in finding their replacements.

This turns a court that has been on the 5-4, 4-5 knife’s edge for the last 20 years into a 6-3 machine that can decide some law….one way or the other.

There is, to my eyes as a consistent watcher, a MASSIVE DIFFERENCE in the ideologies that drive the important decision making in our political parties. From voting rights to access to healthcare to women’s rights to foreign wars to regulating Wall Street to accepting established science to…seriously…freaking science…to many other things…there are just soo many differences.

And these differences show up in legal theory. The SCOTUS is one-third of our government, it’s a BIG DEAL. It’s not very often that we get such a clear and straightforward VOTE in which direction it goes.

This Presidential election we do. We get to decide the Supreme Court.

I’ll be coming back to this theme, again and again and again, one would assume, but I do think it is terribly important. That’s what this election is about, to me.

The personalities are somewhat secondary, although endlessly entertaining/frustrating. It’s just important to keep sight of what is important in the chaos, and in this election, what’s important is the Supreme Court.

The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct

The biggest extinction event in planetary history was driven by the rapid acidification of our oceans, a new study concl​udes. So much carbon was released into the atmosphere, and the oceans absorbed so much of it so quickly, that marine life simply died off, from the bottom of the food chain up.

That doesn’t bode well for the present, given the disturbingly similar rate that our seas are acidifying right now. Parts of the Pacific, for instance, are already so acidic that sea snails’ shells begin dissolving as soon as they’re born.

via The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct | Motherboard.

Just another one of those observable effects of that human civilization is having on our planet.

 

Note: these are denied utterly and completely by the GOP.

GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires (well, folks with 10 millions) and billionaires. Does not Pay for It

The final tally was 240 to 179, with nearly every GOP lawmaker voting for it and nearly every Democrat voting against it.

When describing Republican tax proposals, it’s not uncommon to talk about policies that disproportionately benefit the very wealthy. GOP proponents will say a bill benefits all taxpayers, but they’ll brush past the fact that the rich benefit most. This, however, is altogether different – today’s bill, called the “Death Tax Repeal Act,” quite literally benefits multi-millionaires and billionaires exclusively.

It’s not an exaggeration to say House Republicans, en masse, voted for a $269 billion giveaway to the top 0.2%. Under the plan, GOP lawmakers, who occasionally pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility,” would simply add the entire $269 billion cost to the deficit, leaving future generations to pay for a massive tax break for the hyper-wealthy.

Wait, it gets worse.

via GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires, billionaires | MSNBC.

Perhaps the most galling, and blatantly hypocritical, aspect of this situation is how blatant and galling it is.

You have GOP folks out there *campaigning* on the issue of income inequality…but they are saying the exact opposite of what the GOP is actually doing.

I mean…this is such a blatant and obvious payback to the GOP’s (small number of) extremely wealthy (and old) donors.

You have this party funded by like 40 billionaires in their 80’s….OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO PUSH THIS CRAP.

What’s really confounding is how anyone who isn’t an 80-year old billionaire supports this crap.

That’s the strange part, to me.

Yale Climate Opinion Maps

Yale Climate Opinion Maps.

Outstanding look at various opinions on global warming, as collected by various political/geographic entities.

I’d be interested to see this data weighted by income.  My assumption is that, if we did so, opinions would be very much tilted *against* the notion that this is happening.

My assumption goes that way because the legislature goes that way…so there’s the logic behind the illogical.

 

The Big Wall Street Money Behind Rafael “Ted” Cruz

And it turns out that pandering to the .001% is not a particularly bad paying profession. This is not a surprising, but the actual numbers here are staggering.

It’s up to $31,000,000/week, if you find the right sugar daddy.

This was what was warned about when the Supreme Court gave down the “Citizens United” ruling, that a single person, or very small group of people, could fully fund a “radical” candidate and how that’s not really good for democracy in general.

Trying to convince the Cruzies (rhymes with “crazies”) of the simple fact that the guy is backed by a single billionaire (although more will jump on board when the realize his supporters don’t give a shit what he *actually does*, only that he talks good) will be near impossible.

And trying to let them know that the 3.9% tax on investment income over $400,000/yr that is the cornerstone of paying for the expansion of medical insurance under the ACA is the simple financial motivation for such a person to back Cruz….well….the problem with that argument is that it is logical and fact based.

It goes like this…$1,000,000,000/yr in investment income. 3.8% of that (over $400,000) is $37,984,800/yr.

So this guy can invest in Cruz, and if it pays off….that’s about $40,000,000/yr (per billion in unearned income) that he can then spend on politicos to save that much in taxes.

It’s a pretty sick calculation (essentially taking heathcare aware from millions of Americans so one guy can have a slightly bigger dick in the measuring contests these assholes care about), but that’s what we are currently facing in this country.

That’s how bad it has gotten.

Ted Cruz, breaking fundraising records…that’s how bad it has gotten.

The reclusive Long Islander who made his fortune using computers to outsmart the stock market is a key early bankroller of Senator Ted Cruz’s fast campaign start.
NYTIMES.COM|BY ERIC LICHTBLAU

Study Forecasts 70% Loss of West Canada’s Glaciers

He added that since the projections for the study were based on the climate panel’s range of predictions, it was heartening to find that the panel’s projections that took into account the possibility of strong measures to combat climate change showed glacial loss leveling off. “There are still some good-behavior rewards there,” he said. “We have to get at this now.”

via Study Forecasts 70% Loss of West Canada’s Glaciers – NYTimes.com.

I wanted to highlight that quote because I think there is still hope for this issue.

I haven’t given up yet.   I do think the liars are losing, the question is whether or not it will be fast enough to keep things from getting out of hand.

The California drought is going to be a big factor.  If you haven’t read the linked story yet, now would be a good time, because it explains why the drought is probably going to get worse, for a long time.

Obama Gets Iran Deal, GOP Freaks Collective Shit

Just go ahead and get yourself elected, Lindsey, and you can do that (heck, this is the kind of stuff we want debated before we elect Presidents…and note how we elected Obama twice, to do just this kind of stuff).

The hatred of Obama and the cover it provides for the GOP has led to some very interesting and, frankly, openly seditious, behavior.

I have to wonder if the Tea Party is going to die off before the reality they inhabit is just too far gone from the rest of us to continue moving forward together.

Look at how many in the GOP talk about reality itself, and you begin to see this issue.

What the Obama administration has done (if the deal holds) is the same thing the Bush administration claimed to have wanted to do, stop Iran (Iraq) from obtaining WMD.

The difference here is that Iran, unlike Iraq, had an active program and Obama, unlike Bush, was able to do it without a decades long war, thousand of lives and trillions of dollars.

The discrepancy here is massively huge and, it would seem, the only choice the GOP has is to double and triple down on the Obama-hate.

Sad, but there it is.

Jesus F. Christ on teh Gays

“And yea, I ask of thee to do service for your fellow man. As I have fed the hungry and healed the sick and comforted the condemned and attended the afflicted and praised the abhorred and loved and loved and loved all men and command that you follow my example with no thought of any but God. Such is my will, such is the will of God.

Except for them gays, I think they’s icky, you don’t have to serve them.”

— Jesus Fucking Christ, people.