Tag Archives: Republican Party

Abortion: Politicking versus Real Life

15 Nov

Many people don’t realize that the 2012 Republican platform demands a ban on all abortions, with no exception made for rape, incest, or even to save the life of the mother. While some individual Republicans go along with those provisos, the party as a collective does not. This, in part, explains the rape eruptions from idiots suggesting that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape”, or that a pregnancy from rape is “part of God’s plan”, differentiating “emergency rape“, or that some women “rape easy” and what – deserve it?  

2012 Republican Platform: “Renewing American Values” : Repealing Obamacare 

Through Obamacare, the current Administration has promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare. We, however, affirm the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life. Numerous studies have shown that abortion endangers the health and well-being of women, and we stand firmly against it.

2012 Republican Platform: A Restoration of Constitutional Government: The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Woman ‘denied a termination’ dies in hospital: Irish Times November 14, 2012

The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

Ms. Halappanavar developed sepsis and died. Had the abortion been performed when it became clear that she was miscarrying, Ms. Halappanavar, a 31 year-old non-Irish, Hindu dentist, might still be alive today. I realize that the example is from Ireland, but Ireland’s prohibition on abortion is what the Republican Party in the United States wants to implement. Nowhere in the party platform is an exception made for the life of the mother, rape, or incest. 

The American Right, Atwater, and the Southern Strategy

14 Nov

President Obama’s re-election has made some people on the right go absolutely crazy. Right-wing websites and listservs are replete with cries of “America RIP”, and gosh-darn it, these people are such strong tea party patriots that they’re resorting to the most patriotic thing they can think of, now that they’ve lost a competitive race in a democratic election. 

They want to secede from the Union

European-style socialism is even encroaching this weekend on our motorsports, as Formula 1 races in Texas; Texas this weekend. (Rooting for Alonso is a safe bet).  But for those of you who may still be surprised by the outcome of the election – an outcome that only surprised people who had rejected mathematics, science, statistical probability, and evidenceyou can now be well distracted by a scandal involving the military, sex, and an abuse of the surveillance state we’ve grown and expanded since a bunch of Saudis on tourist visas blew up 3,000 Americans. 

The overreaction in the fascist corner of the national Republican Party’s shrinking, overwhelmingly white tent, is a temper tantrum of a party in crisis.

Remember Dick Morris?  The former Clinton aide, prostitute toe-licker, and Fox News “analyst” famously predicted on October 31, 2012 that Mitt Romney was really ahead and would win the election in a “landslide”. Right away, the Morris Law;  “whatever Dick Morris says is the exact opposite of reality” couldn’t have been more starkly on display. 

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

The idea that people watch a “news” channel that employs this fraud named “Dick Morris” is astonishing. The fact that he’s employed at all is amazing. But never fear, Dick Morris didn’t predict a Romney landslide because he’s wrong about everything, you guys. 

No, Dick Morris predicted the Romney landslide because he was lying. It was, as they say, math he made up as a Republican to make the Romney people feel better about themselves. He was the Republican Stu Smalley. Feelings. 

Sean [Hannity, naturally], I hope people aren’t mad at me about it… I spoke about what I believed and I think that there was a period of time when the Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said. And at the time that I said it, I believe I was right.

I’m glad Republicans watching their confirmation bias station have people like Dick Morris to lie to them to make them all feel better about themselves. If the opposition wants to keep itself in an ignorant bubble of dumb Limbaugh talking point regurgitation, the Democratic Party will continue to win elections by merely promoting policies based on ideas and fact. 

As a final note, in the last week we’ve witnessed an utter implosion of the Karl Rove myth. As it turns out, “Bush’s brain” wasn’t, and if he was the wonk in that bunch, it’s no wonder the country was the victim of such utter governmental malpractice for eight long years. Some are calling the grassroots Republican outrage at Rove a “civil war”. Just over 1% of the money Rove’s “American Crossroads” SuperPAC spent during the last election cycle went to actually win a race. The people who contributed to that worse-than-a-Ponzi scheme are none too pleased. If something is going poorly for Karl Rove, this is good for America. 

But Rove is a piker; an illegitimate heir to the Republican strategy to win the South and demagogue against the “other” was best explained by Ronald Reagan’s own evil genius, Lee Atwater. 

Atwater is famous for having outlined the Republican Party’s “Southern Strategy” which that party has used since the 70s to sound racist dog-whistles and win in the conservative South – a South which had rejected Republicans ever since the Civil War. Lincoln, you’ll recall, was a Republican. The Southern Strategy exists even today, as people blame Obama’s victory on minorities “takers” who “want stuff”. Read more here, but the infamous Atwater quote goes as follows

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

The Nation explains that, for years Republicans have bristled at that quote, hoping/claiming that it was made up. For the first time in history, the 42-minute audio of the Atwater interview from which that passage is pulled, is now online and available for you to hear. It has been found by the same fellow who earlier posted Romney’s 47% quip – James Carter IV.  

As the Republican Party searches for ways to re-invent itself, and as it complains about its electoral failure with non-white, non-male voters, it might want to consider not systematically spreading hate against those groups through its dog-whistle racism and its talk about “legitimate rape”. When the Republican Party becomes a post-Atwater entity, the country will hopefully be better off. 

A Must-Read

13 Nov

I had the misfortune of watching Fox News out of the corner of my eye last night and particularly watched Bill O’Reilly’s “talking points commentary” where he blamed Obama’s re-election on rising secularism in America. *sigh*. 

This open letter “to a future Republican strategist regarding white people” is something of a must-read, as it distills very neatly a lot of the problems and complaints that educated and rational Republicans have with the party’s contemporary politics and messaging. 

It starts out by confirming the authors’ bona fides as a white male who should be a loyal and dependable Republican voter. 

To whom it may concern regarding the United States federal elections of 2014, 2016 and beyond:

Allow me to introduce myself to you, the existing (or aspiring!) strategist for the Republican Party. My name is Eric Arnold Garland and I am a White Man. Boy, am I ever – you need sunglasses just to look at my photo!

If I read the news correctly, I fit a profile that is of extreme importance to the GOP, as I embody the archetype that fits your narrative of Real Americans. Just how much should my profile interest you? Are you sitting down?

  • My family lineage goes back to the MAYFLOWER, BOAT ONE!!! (Garland family of New England-> John Adams -> Howard Alden -> Plymouth colony ->KINGS OF MUTHAF***IN’ ENGLAND)
  • I am a heterosexual, married to the super Caucasian mother of my two beautiful children who are, inexplicably, EVEN WHITER THAN I AM.

He goes on to explain that he and his wife are educated and well-traveled, and that he has massive problems with the party’s positions and messaging on science, climate, healthcare, war, deficits/debt, and same-sex marriage. He goes on to complain about meanness. The passage on healthcare is particularly on-point: 

My wife and I are quite familiar with America’s healthcare system due to our professions, and having lived abroad extensively, also very aware of comparable systems. Your party’s insistence on declaring the private U.S. healthcare system “the best in the world” fails nearly every factual measure available to any curious mind. We watch our country piss away 60% more expenditures than the next most expensive system (Switzerland) for health outcomes that rival former Soviet bloc nations. On a personal scale, my wife watches poor WORKING people show up in emergency rooms with fourth-stage cancer because they were unable to afford primary care visits. I have watched countless small businesses unable to attract talented workers because of the outrageous and climbing cost of private insurance. And I watch European and Asian businesses outpace American companies because they can attract that talent without asking people to risk bankruptcy and death. That you think this state of affairs is somehow preferable to “Obamacare,” which you compared ludicrously to Trotskyite Russian communism, is a sign of deficient minds unfit to guide health policy in America.

I wholly endorse everything he says. Until the Republican Party returns to the world of facts and science, it will continue to marginalize itself both geographically and intellectually. 

(Tip of the hat to Little Green Footballs.) 

Grisanti Addresses the Criticism

28 Jun

Mark Grisanti is sorry.

If you based your vote in the 2010 race for the 60th State Senate District  on Grisanti’s then-opposition to same-sex marriage, then he apologizes to you.

Grisanti held a late afternoon press conference at the Mahoney office building yesterday, and had two messages to get across; the apology was one of them. The other? He didn’t horse-trade for his vote.

It’s rare that a political figure so blatantly and openly flip-flops on an issue and reneges on a campaign promise. But Grisanti makes it clear that he agonized over this issue during the six months it was on his agenda, and his exhausted tone and defiant words are loaded with something all too rare in our politics: sincerity.

Grisanti said that his offices were deluged with calls from all around the country, but claimed that they split about 50/50, for and against marriage equality.  He downplayed any rifts, indicating that he had spoken to both Conservative Party chair Ralph Lorigo and Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy, and while they’re disappointed, everyone has to move on to the next issue.  The elephant in the room? Although the Conservative line helped Grisanti defeat Antoine Thompson last year, neither the ECGOP nor the Conservatives really lifted a finger to help him get elected last year. Aside from the endorsement, there was no lit, no canvassers, nothing. Grisanti beat an entrenched incumbent himself, and it’s clear he bristles at their threats regarding his marriage equality votes.

Rumors are swirling about the possibility that Grisanti will revert back to the Democratic Party – not a bad move in a Democratic district that the likeable, smart Grisanti won handily with an (R) after his name. Now that Langworthy and Lorigo so publicly have their knives out for Grisanti over this vote, Grisanti notably didn’t rule out a party switch at some point in the future.  He said that this same-sex marriage vote, when paired with his 2008 letter strongly opposing it, has taught him not to ever paint himself into a corner again.

Grisanti’s vote wasn’t influenced by the phone calls, or by internet chatter, joking that he can’t even get on his own Facebook page. Instead, he performed legal research on the matter, finding out that civil unions don’t really work, and that married couples enjoy 1,300+ rights and privileges that unmarried couples don’t. He had to compartmentalize his faith and examine the issue purely on the facts and the law, resulting in a conversion.  However, he would not agree to vote in favor of this law without strong religious exemptions and an inseverability clause, which would render the entire law null and void should a future court change so much as one word.  Grisanti says that the clergy to whom he’s spoken since his vote appreciate that language.

Channel 2 and the News’ Bob McCarthy were intensely interested in the “betrayal” angle, and whether Grisanti had committed “political suicide”. Grisanti smiled and replied that he’s new to politics and didn’t make his decision under pressure. He said it was going to pass anyway, but he could not in good conscience refuse to extend basic civil rights to his taxpaying constituents. He said he doesn’t know – or care – whether he committed political suicide with this vote. He didn’t get into politics to be re-elected, but to do good by his constituents. If they decide he should leave Albany, so be it.

Grisanti seems visibly exhausted by the last few weeks, but he went out of his way to defend his honor against those who call him dishonorable, against those who say he cut a deal for UB 2020 or that the governor made him some sort of guarantee in exchange for his vote. He said UB 2020 was a done deal, and that the Governor made absolutely no promises to him, and that there was no quid pro quo whatsoever for his vote.

I guess in western New York politics, we’ve become so cynical and jaded, expecting our electeds to be dirty, dishonorable deal-makers that when we see true leadership, hard work, and conscientious research and analysis, we really don’t know how to react and assume we’re being played.

I don’t think Grisanti is playing anyone.

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NY-26 One Day After Lee

11 Feb

First and foremost, I’d like to urge anyone with the last name “Konst”, and anyone pushing a “Konst” for any elected office in Western New York to lose my number, my email address, and my Twitter handle. I am absolutely appalled by the aggressive trial ballooning of Kathy Konst, who abandoned a pretty safe Democratic seat to go work for Chris Collins, setting up an almost impossible election campaign for Diane Terranova, thus paving the way for antidemocratic tea partier Dino Fudoli to win. (Konst left the legislative race too late for her name to be removed from the ballot, and litigation was required to do so. It was a colossal middle finger to the Democratic Party). The notion that Konst, who is working for an authoritarian Republican administration, might be authorized by the Democratic chairs of the counties touching NY-26 is beyond laughable. Erie County has the second-largest weighted vote in the process, and Lenihan wouldn’t advance Konst – even under duress – any sooner than he’d advance Ray Walter. She was just embroiled in a mini-scandal just a couple of short months ago, for God’s sake.

Within minutes of yesterday’s Lee resignation, Konst loyalists were relentlessly pushing the notion that DCCC had already identified Konst as a front-runner for the NY-26 race, and that the chairs of the rural counties were either already behind a Konst candidacy, or were actively pushing for it. In my discussions throughout the day, I discovered that none of this was true. I’m sure they contacted DCCC, but there’s no chance D-trip would go against the wishes of the party chairs. When I tried to put a lid on what was starting to be ignorant speculation by out-of-town media regarding Konst, I was met with aggressive good-cop, bad-cop pushback. (I had one Konst loyalist calling to try to reason with me while another threatened me with a defamation lawsuit – SIMULTANEOUSLY). All done! Good bye! Please don’t ever contact me again! Have a nice day!

So, let’s turn from the race for the Republican seat in Cuckooland to NY-26.

The jockeying yesterday was intense – a Congressional seat is a big get for any political person, for any political faction.

The Reynolds faction was pushing State Senator George Maziarz. However, Maziarz was just recently appointed President pro Tem, which comes with some choice lulus (including a $30k stipend). In addition, Senate President Skelos wasn’t all too happy about losing a member of his caucus when the majority is only 2 seats deep. By the end of the day, a Maziarz candidacy seemed rather unlikely indeed.

The Collins faction was promoting Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, who is a relative newcomer to politics, having used her Talking Phone Book fortune to replace a disgraced Mike Cole. She’s been in the Assembly minority, is a solid Republican, is uncontroversial and well-liked, and is self-funded. It’s a win all around. Even the people who suggestively grunted Paladino’s name for this seat were met with their leader backing Corwin.

There had been talk of Collins running, but he is focused on re-election as County Executive, and frankly he wouldn’t work well as just one freshman member of Congress. His ego is too big, and his elbows are too sharp.

Unalloyed lunatic Jack Davis’ name popped up with the added information that he had recently switched party affiliation to the Republican Party. He has been doing a humorless Willy Wonka act out in Akron since losing the Democratic primary to Jon Powers in 2008. You know the millionaire save-jobs drill, but I can’t imagine the county chairs would authorize Jack Davis over a perfectly reasonable Jane Corwin. Non-starter.

On the Democratic side, apart from the Konst circus I outline above, the stars were beginning to align for County Clerk Kathy Hochul. Sources say she was very interested and was working the phones, looking for pledges of financial and logistical backing.  Mark Poloncarz has also been mentioned, and is still exploring the possibility. Hochul has a good ground operation, a great reputation among Democrats and Republicans alike, money in the bank, President Obama appointed her husband as Assistant US Attorney, her Democratic bona fides are unimpeachable, and she has the ability to raise money. It’s a win all around.

Other names that popped up included Jon Powers, who was very popular in 2008 with the Netroots, and whose candidacy was deliberately torpedoed by a vicious and unscrupulous Jack Davis campaign. The problem is that Powers has lived in DC, promoting veterans’ issues since leaving the area (a bit late in some people’s opinions) in an effort to hand Alice Kryzan his minor party line. Kryzan herself has expressed interest, but she’s 0:2 in regional political campaigns and doesn’t have anywhere close to the base of support that Hochul does. A Working Families Party officer named Sam Williams expressed interest, but let’s be honest – this is a R+6 district, and you can already hear the shouts of “ACORN!!!1!”.

Buffalo-area native and Obama Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton was mentioned, but he indicated that it was “unlikely” that he’d enter the race.

But in the end, the Democratic bench for this seat is rather slim. Cuomo has yet to call a special election, but the sooner the parties get their candidates in line, the better.

As for Chris Lee? All evidence of his existence has been scrubbed from his local offices, and he’s hiding out with his extended family in Florida, not taking calls. The Craigslist story has let open the floodgates about old stories, confirmed and rumored, about Lee’s past womanizing. Nobody was ever able to pin them down, but chances are that this wasn’t the first time Lee trolled Craigslist for dates, and that his sudden nationwide notoriety might jog other women’s memories in the greater DC area.

Lee has left his family in tatters, his constituents unrepresented and unserved, and damaged his own reputation. That’s pretty stark, but not irreparable. America loves comebacks and second chances, so long as the wrongdoer expresses the right amount of contrition and does his penance. Don’t count Chris Lee out in the future.

Buffalo News’ Glibertorial Can F Off

20 Nov
Presidential Arrival
Image by WNYMedia via Flickr

The Buffalo News’ weekly Saturday editorial glibfest:

IT’S THE PRODUCT: Perhaps the most ludicrous argument being advanced by the president and Democrats is that the country’s rejection of policies like Obamacare is due to his failure to properly describe the programs and their benefits. Well . . . no.

If ever there was a failed concept to try to sell to the American people, this was it. Obama is as skilled a communicator as any president we’ve had. His presentations, in content and delivery, are unsurpassed. The truth is that the policies themselves have backfired. It isn’t how he said it; it’s what he did.

First of all, if it is the product, that must explain the ongoing, precipitous decline of the daily broadsheet in a one-paper town.

Secondly, what policies have “backfired”, precisely? “Policies like Obamacare” is what’s cited, but there’s no specificity here. Are we suggesting that the stimulus didn’t work? Perhaps it wasn’t as effective as sold, but there’s no doubt that governmental pump-priming of the economy helped bring about the last several quarters’ worth of economic growth, thus de jure ending the recession, if not in spirit.

The stimulus which, among other things, subsidized COBRA so that the unemployed could at least make an attempt at affording to keep their health care coverage? The extension of unemployment benefits so that people looking for work can continue to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their families in a jobless recovery? And what of this jobless recovery, eh? By Republican arguments, it ought not exist, since the rich have their much-beloved Bush tax cuts. And as we all know, a reduction in the highest marginal tax rate from 39% to 35% is the difference between socialism and capitalism; it is the difference between Stalin and Reagan; it is the very mechanism by which all jobs are created by the superwealthy. Odd that this hasn’t materialized.

And “Obamacare” – perhaps the Buffalo News is so flush with cash that the medical insurance-middleman status quo was working alright for them, but the system is unnecessarily expensive, comparatively inefficient, produces poor statistical results, and involves the enrichment of completely unnecessary middlemen who add nothing to the health care equation whatsoever. So, what President Obama implemented didn’t go as far as Hillarycare would have in the 90s, instead opting for what is, in essence, a Republican plan initiated in Massachusetts under then-Governor Mitt Romney.

But because it was Obama pushing it, the Republicans derided everything as a communard takeover of the entire healthcare industry by the federal government – a damned and contemptible lie. They blocked it every step of the way in keeping with their “we hope Obama fails, and our singular purpose is to make it so” obstructionism.

In the meantime, rescission is illegal, lifetime maximums are abolished, copays for well visits will be nil, and mechanisms will be put in place to make health insurance more affordable.

Unfortunately for everyone, the United States remains alone in the industrialized world by not guaranteeing health care as a right for all its citizens. Every other country had this civic discussion, and formulated a wide variety of solutions to make sure that health care is provided well and affordably. They all do it better and more effectively than we. The product? The product is that we picked a half-assed semi-solution to the health care issue, avoiding bringing about real change. This is thanks to the reactionary right wing of the Republican Party, which more or less opted out of governmental participating altogether over the past couple of years and is quite satisfied with the status quo.

To me, national Republicans are embodied in, and reflected by, incoming Congressman Andy Harris from Maryland – a physician who ran on a “repeal Obamacare” platform.

He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.

Exactly. Have a great weekend.

Let’s Have a Toast

25 Oct

There’s been a lot in the news lately about bullying and the affects it can have on kids.  I’ve never been particularly handsome or thin, so when I was a kid I was subjected to my share of bullying.  I was lucky always to have close friends, and being an only child certainly helped in terms of what I’d term “dealing with assholes“.

Bullying and hate speech must be particularly difficult for kids who are different because of something inherent in their being; something they can’t change. For instance, being mocked for your ethnicity, race, religion, or sexual orientation.  I can only imagine how crushing it must be for a kid who’s gay – or even an effeminate straight kid – to be called hateful, dehumanizing names.

I know that as I teach my kids right from wrong, I’ll do everything in my power to keep them from bullying other kids, to instill in them a need to accept and appreciate people’s uniqueness and differences, and that I will defend them and protect them to the best of my abilities against being bullied by others.

On Saturday night, someone I followed on Twitter whose username is “Jeffrey_Dennis” called me a “no talent fuck”, a “fathead”, and compared my likeness to that of a character from an extremely obscure, short-lived failure of a mid-90s sitcom.   Who the hell is “Jeffrey Dennis“?

When douchebags tweet

Jeffrey Dennis Hannon.  Carl Paladino’s recently offended, openly gay nephew.

You may recall that candidate Carl Paladino had a problem a couple of weeks ago regarding his stance on homosexuality. After parroting bigoted anti-gay nonsense written down for him by detestable homophobe Yehuda Levin, Paladino had to backtrack, claiming to totally support and be completely ok with homosexuality except for the *yuck* idea that they might love each other and get married, or enter into civil unions:

I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t,” he said. ”I didn’t march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our children.”

I don’t know how it works in your family, but none of my uncles would make a crack about something about me that I can’t change.  No one in my family would parrot someone else’s hate speech and pass it off as their own.

Yet Jeff Hannon, a 23 year-old nephew of Carl Paladino’s, has evidently forgiven his uncle, and went on Twitter Saturday night to call me fat and ugly.  Guilty, as charged.

His childish insults are like a badge of honor.

Because I’m better than Jeff Hannon; I’m better than this 23 year-old scion of Important Buffalo Families®, working for his nouveau-riche megalomaniacal uncle, making over $250k at Uncle Carl’s Ellicott Development. (That’s two hundred and fifty thousand plus reasons to quickly forgive one’s asshole uncle-cum-boss).  Let’s have a toast to the douchebags. Good looking kid, born into wealth and influence  – must be nice.  Tough life, there.  

And to think, I feel badly for that kid.  It must suck being so publicly insulted by your own flesh and blood.  Why, Uncle Carl himself noted that Hannon “suffers every day with discriminatory people.” It must be crushing to belong to a political party that has no respect or use for him or his ilk.  No joke, the Republican platform on gay rights is nonexistent, and when the issue comes up, mainstream Republican dogma on gay rights differs only stylistically from that of the Westboro Baptist Church. Let’s have a toast to the assholes.

The GOP has spent the last three decades aligning itself with Christian fundamentalists on social issues, making a crystal clear choice in favor of bigotry over love.

I think Carl Paladino’s nephew Jeff Hannon should enjoy the civil right to marry someone he loves, regardless of gender. Uncle Carl doesn’t, nor ever would. Let’s have a toast for the scumbags.

While Mr. Hannon may have worn purple last week, I doubt that his uncle did.  He seems like a hateful, petty little kid.  I hope he grows up someday.

Coniglio: I’m Holding Back!

10 Jun

Not to be outdone by “don’t get between me and a camera Jim” Ostrowski, Allen “Obama is a seekrit muslin Manchooriyun Kandidayt” Coniglio weighs in on the tea party split.  Why only a tiny handful of people would want anything to do with him and any group with which he’s associated is a question for the ages.

The following was posted yesterday by Jim Ostrowski on his blog, Political Class Dismissed. This is essential reading for anyone who has been asking why the tea party movement has been split, who caused it, and why can’t they all just get along? I am going to post Jim’s entire statement because it is all essential to understanding the story, it is efficiently stated, and there are no wasted words. I will tell you that there is much more to this story and much that we have been holding back for the past several months. We will release those details when we are able to do so.

I would like to further add that the Tea Party Coalition and two of its members, Jim Ostrowski and me, have been under an unrelenting assault from forces allied to the political machines in Buffalo and Erie County. Not only has Rus Thompson, who for all intents and purposes is a representative and willing player for that machine, been actively involved in spreading lies and hatred toward and about us, but several of his allies from the far left wing of the democrat machine have done his bidding as well. For some reason, they seem to have become obsessed with me and waste no opportunity to take shots in my direction. I would like to thank them for that as they are proving what I have been saying all along, that the Tea Party Coalition is the last honest element in the Buffalo tea party movement. Remember, these people are friends with Rus Thompson, who has never, as far as I know, ever been attacked in any serious way by these writer/journalist wannabes who have no problem in repeating things that are fed to them by someone who has openly stated to the current Erie County Republican chairman, Nicholas Langworthy, that he is going to take Jim and me, “out at the knees”. He has been working on doing just that for the past several months.

There is a movement underway right now, engineered by Rus Thompson in collusion with the Republican Party and their chairman, Nick Langworthy, to take over the Buffalo tea party and turn it into a political machine with Thompson at the controls. Then, we would have a phony tea party which would be little more than an extension of the Republican machine, much like the Conservative party is to the Republicans and like the Working Families party is to the Democrats. The deal making has already taken place on a number of levels and on a number of occasions. If challenged by Rus Thompson or anyone else associated with his corrupt interests on any of what I have said here, I will then be forced to REVEAL EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF ALL THE REST OF THIS SICKENING STORY. I will affirm that everything that I have said thus far and that I will say is absolutely true and I can prove it all, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE. I should hope that these people would be smart enough to understand that I am not kidding and I have had enough of their nonsense.

Because we refused to play along with them, they have set out to destroy us and they have worked at it as though it were a full time job. This is machine politics at its ugliest and after hearing this, if anyone should be so foolish as to believe another word that comes out of Rus Thompson’s mouth, or that of his little friend, Nick Langworthy, then shame on you. I can speak only for myself but I can assure you that I will NEVER play along with any of these corrupt people or any of their corrupt tactics and I would never betray the trust of the people who have been good enough to allow me into their lives and who have participated with me in making the tea party the greatest force for reform in our nation’s history. I have never been involved in politics in any serious way before this past year and I can now understand why decent people tend to stay away from it. It is a cutthroat and ruthless, rotten game where grown people who should know better, do things for which they should be ashamed. Most of them, however, are not ashamed, until they get exposed. I think, however, that some of the people involved in these things are truly shameless.

Shorter Allen Coniglio:

Jim and I wanted to create a different type of political machine.  We didn’t want to align ourselves with the existing machine, because it wouldn’t be pure enough, Jim tells me.

I think Coniglio should just stick to repeating fringe birther conspiracy theories.  This one is my favorite:

I have written several times of this exact thing, that obama and his boys would trump up some kind of event in order to declare martial law and suspend the constittution. Some have called me paranoid. One notorious liberal has called me crazy Most people think I just need to calm down. Glenn Beck recently did an interview with Newsmax and he referred to this possibility as the “Reichstag effect”, named for the burning of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in 1933. Here it is from the Newsmax interview:

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/beck_obama_reichstag_fox/2009/09/2…
. . . his real worry is that many Washington elitists really don’t like our form of government and want to see it abolished.

“I fear a Reichstag moment,” he said, referring to the 1933 burning of Germany’s parliament building in Berlin that the Nazis blamed on communists and Hitler used as an excuse to suspend constitutional liberties and consolidate power.

“God forbid, another 9/11. Something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced.”

It is my concern that something like this will happen in the US. I do not doubt for one minute that obama and his thugs are capable of such an action and I am more than certain that should he find it impossible to to rig the elctions in 2010 or 2012 to allow him to continue his policies or, if he finds himself on the verge of being exposed as a noncitizen, having been born in Kenya, that would be his cue. This man is a terrorist, a thug, an unscrupulous, classless human being. He will do whatever he believes he can get away with. He is not bound by any ethical or moral concerns as most people would be. Like Hitler, he will do anything to impose his will on the people of this country and ultimately, the world. Prepare yourselves. Do not abandon your efforts. Be eternally vigilant, as that is the price of freedom.

Allen

Like I said, Coniglio is the most unintentionally hilarious, deliberately ignorant local Obama-hating teabagger in town.  Good luck with that “coalition”, Jim.  Oh, and here’s a an actors’ recreation of Coniglio and Ostrowski at a donut shop:

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What’s Spanish for “Gastarbeiter”?

27 Apr

There are books’ worth of statutes, regulations, procedural rules, and background information on the issues of police stops. Generally, a cop can briefly detain you and ask you questions if he has a reasonable suspicion that you’ve committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime. Definitions like “reasonable suspicion” get litigated because they’re open to so much interpretation.

The legalities and constitutional issues surrounding these types of police interactions are what separate us from police states. Nothing can be done arbitrarily or with impunity.

But Arizona recently passed a law allowing state law enforcement to detain and demand proof of citizenship from people who they reasonably suspect may be in the country illegally.

In other words, it’s a license for police officers to stop, detain, and investigate someone who “looks” or “acts” like an undocumented immigrant. There’s no question that it’s directed towards illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America, so it will exclusively be affecting the day to day lives of Arizona Latinos.

I guess this law is a whole lot easier than cracking down on people who illegally employ undocumented immigrants. It’s the lazy, unconstitutional way out. Unconstitutional because at its essence it requires Hispanic people present in Arizona to keep proof of citizenship on their person at all times and subjects them – and only them – to a “papers, please” police state reality. This law makes it a crime for a Latino person in Arizona to not always carry their immigration documents – Green Card, Passport. It’s not just a 4th and 5th Amendment problem, it’s also a massive equal protection issue. Irish immigrants, I suspect, won’t be subjected to these rules because…well, you know.

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What other ethnic group will we single out for especial treatment? The Republican Party makes occasional progress with Latino voters because they tend to be more socially conservative, but then they pass and support laws like this ones and drive them into the waiting Democrats’ arms.

Megan McCain leaves this thought in her piece:

Arizona is ground zero for the wingnuts. There’s a problem with illegal immigration and no one wants to do anything constructive about it so you get crap like this.

It’s no surprise whatsoever that the teabaggers, given a direct and palpable example of what an unconstitutional police state looks like, remain silent. Because it’s only bad when Democrats do it. Especially Democrats from Africa or Chicago or California who “pal around with terrorists”. Even George W. Bush recognized the need for comprehensive immigration policy reform, but was thwarted by those in his own party who are more narrow-minded (!) and refused to go along with anything that could be called “amnesty”. Because “amnesty” is an epithet, I guess.

First American Latino who gets detained will sue, and this law is not long for this world. It’s a shame that the United States’ immigration policy is mired in the 1960s, but God forbid we make tough decisions and change things to stem the illegality. A reasonable guest worker program would be completely acceptable, document the undocumented, permit these immigrants doing menial work you won’t do to do the work, send money home to Mexico, and be taxed on all of it.

Just over 30% of Arizona’s population is of Hispanic origin – twice the national average. 1/3 of the state’s population now has to carry citizenship papers on their person in their own country. Because some people of Hispanic origin are doing something bad, the lazy and stupid solution is to criminalize the entire population.

It beats thinking. Or problem-solving.

Sometimes, it’s not unlike the Buffalo mentality – see how everyone else does it relatively effectively, and then do the exact opposite.

There will be a march in Buffalo for immigration reform on May 1st, starting at Goodell and Main at 2pm, ending up at MLK, Jr. Park. Immigration is an important issue, and we’re hurting our own economic growth by keeping skilled people out. We’re also hurting ourselves and turning our backs on the Constitution when we single out particular ethnic groups for special police scrutiny.