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Friday, September 19, 2014

Why does the GOP have such POOR candidates?

We have the MN GOP endorsing the wack-a-doodle Michele MacDonald for the prestigious position on the state Supreme Court, running against the very distinguished incumbent candidate David Lillehaug.

The MN GOP would have better luck running a female version of Bozo the Clown, if you go by the series of antics and gaffes and criminal charges are trailing behind Michele MacDonald wherever she goes.

Earlier this week she was convicted of obstruction of justice, and speeding.

Perhaps the most serious concern for the electorate of Minnesota should be this gem, gleaned from the Strib:
"Judge Leslie Metzen ordered a psychological evaluation for MacDonald."

The daft woman is as far from qualified, and as far from possessing a judicial temperament, as one could get from incumbent Justice David Lillehaug.

MacDonald's apparent sole claim to the MN GOP endorsement -- and they knew about her legal problems when they endorsed her -- is that she likes to wave a Bible and say silly things.  I suppose that is still a step up from the I am not a witch conservative diz in Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, but not by much.

Then we have the latest west coast version of the conservative lady wack-a-doodle, Monica Wehby, who is a surgeon who apparently performs unnecessary surgeries, some of which harm children.  She is currently involved in a court case because of this.

But that is not her only problem; as noted from the WaPo this morning:

Monica Wehby: The pediatric neurosurgeon was already an underdog against Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and this didn't help. On Tuesday, Buzzfeed reported that Wehby's health plan appeared to have been plagiarized from a survey conducted for a conservative group. A Wehby spokesman denied the claim. Then came another Buzzfeed story on Wednesday revealing that Wehby's economic plan appeared to be plagiarized, too. Wehby's campaign admitted the material was problematic and removed it from her campaign Web site. The campaign pointed fingers at a former staffer who has denied being the culprit. In short, things have gotten ugly. Wehby has already had to deal with another major distraction: A Politico report in May about how she was accused of stalking her ex-boyfriend. Overcoming two big-time distractions in any campaign is tough -- let alone for a Republican running in deep blue Oregon.

The conservative group in question appears to be Karl Rove's crossroads folks.  Wehby tried to pass the blame on to her employees (and had a spokesperson explain she was too busy performing brain surgery on sick kids to pay attention to such stuff, much less respond to questions about it).  THAT does not appear to be true either.  Wehby tried to blame a former staffer, Charles Pearce.

From Oregonlive:
UPDATE: An email obtained by The Oregonian containing the original Word document draft of the economic policy appears to show that it was written by an employee at Meridian Pacific, a consulting firm working for Wehby, and not by Pearce.  John Peschong, a partner in the firm, told the Salem Statesman-Journal that he couldn't authenticate that the document was produced by his firm and said he couldn't reach the person named in the Word document, who no longer works for Meridian.

So you know how liberals keep insisting that conservatives of all stripes, but especially the tea partiers have utterly failed to come up with ANY new ideas? It's true.  And it's not like Wehby is the only right wing plagiarist (who is also involved in the medical profession) -- there's Rand Paul, and also

And Wehby did not only stalk her boyfriend, including breaking and entering his home, she also has had police called by her ex-husband for stalking him.  But hey -- the NRA endorsed her, because the NRA doesn't seem to have a problem with guns and stalkers who break and enter, or people with integrity problems.

Armed Voter Intimidation in Wisconsin?

If you wonder why I prefer the UK to the US.  Yesterday's referendum was carried out in a peaceful manner, despite strong sentiments on both sides.

On the other hand, it seems that in the US some people feel that they have a right to prevent people from voting.  I believe there are federal laws which prevent this sort of activity, but still:

In Wisconsin, it is a Class I felony to use or threaten to use force, violence, or restraint to compel a person to vote or not vote in an election. It is also a felony to impede or prevent someone’s ability to vote in an election, to bribe voters, or to coerce someone to vote for a particular candidate or ballot measure.

Voter intimidation is also illegal under federal law. The Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act make it a crime for election officials to attempt to “intimidate, threaten, or coerce” anyone from voting or attempting to vote, or registering to vote.

Call the police immediately if you see these people.

In fact, contact and file a report with the DoJ's Civil Rights Division:
The facebook page has been mirrored.

"Law abiding gun owners", my arse.

The more I see of you, the more I am convinced that the US needs strong gun regulations.  The pro-gun side is the best argument for strong gun control.

See also:
Legal Protections Against Voter Intimidation in Wisconsin.pdf
Government Accountability Board | STATE OF WISCONSIN
Voter Intimidation Complaints | Government Accountability Board

True of foreign policy
True of economic policy
True of civil rights policy

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Breaking Up is hard to do

Just to remind you, there is actually a world out there: Scotland will soon be voting on independence in another two days.

This is something I have a personal stake in and my opinion is "no".

This is an opinion based upon history and the politics of what will happen if Scotland does go independent.

While some people may look at this with a romantic eye, the reality is much harsher than people outside the UK realise.  Well, maybe the CIA does realise it, which makes me think they will have a hand in this.

First off, an independent Scotland will be very liberal.  Liberal to the point of becoming a nuclear free zone and kicking the Trident fleet out of the Clyde, which will not please the US.  Additionally, it will drain NATO of Scotland's military.  That will also bugger England's nuclear capability as they look for another place for the Trident fleet or an alternative to Trident.

If I were a Euroskeptic, this would be a godsend, as a newly independent Scotland will have to apply for membership in the European Union.

If I were conservative, this is a godsend for British Tories as Scotland is a very lefty state.  The Scottish Green Party is one of the sponsors of this referendum.

John Oliver gives a good summary of what is at stake, although I have not watched all of this video.

Americans tend to look at independence with a very romantic eye and fail to see the actual political  implications (well, except for those in the "elite" who see the issues quite plainly).

I'm surprised that someone I know who is a Scottish Historian, Neil Oliver, hasn't weighed in on this, but he did retweet this post:

Yeah, John Oliver did point out that the pro-Union side sounds like an impending divorce. In some ways, this is like a rocky marriage, with the alternative being worse than staying together.  Neither is totally happy with the other.

I did watch three serious programmes about the referendum:  Robert Peston's Scotland: for Richer or Poorer?, Andrew Neil's Scotland Votes, and Allan  Little's Panorama piece Scotland's Decision. They all pretty much confirmed my fear that this will be a bad point for the UK.  Although, this may be the apogee of the Scottish Independence movement.

Or something which people end up regretting if it does pass and the economic ramifications are as bad as predicted.

Scotland and England do have a degree of separation in that there is a slightly different currency (although lord knows what will happen if the Scottish pound breaks from the British Pound).  Scotland also has a different legal system from England and Wales.

Personally, I look at it from my perspective as a Jacobite.  The King across the water is no longer a viable option, despite the romantic images of the rebellions.  Those images are romanticising something which was seriously awful with people being hanged, drawn,and quartered; heads placed on the York City wall, and the driving of many people to a horrible land: North America.

The reality was that Union was born of necessity as Scotland plunged into a serious depression.

Like it or not, the UK is much better together.  The day after separation will be far more of a nightmare than the marriage.

Next time a neocon offers an opinion on the Middle East -- REMEMBER THIS


Monday, September 15, 2014

Thou shalt have no other gods before me...

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Exodus 20: 3-

And if you really want a laugh:


Yes, I do believe in the "golden rule (or rule of reciprocity), but the NRA is about the most diametrically opposed organisation to the Golden Rule I can think of.  They are the last organisation to try and use the "golden rule" for any purpose.

If you would rather be judges by 12 than carried by six, then you should allow criminals to have their legal right to a trial--not allow for summary execution and vigilante justice.

BTW, the picture above is of a piece by an artist named Al Farrow.  I'm not sure what his take is on this.  The work is called "Fingernail of the Trigger Finger of Santo Guerro".  The picture ended up on a gun loon page as a mash up between Christianity and guns.  Maybe that's Mr. Fallow's point.