Around the Twitterverse
DINOs Barack Obama and Bill Nelson have cooked up some hare-brained scheme that involves grabbing an asteroid from outer space and towing it into earth's orbit then putting it into the moon's orbit so we can, uh, get to Mars. The cost? Well, they first say it'll be a mere $100,000,000 that Obama will squeeze into his 2014 budget but the total cost will be closer to $2.3 billion (while Obama in that same budget will insist on cuts to Social Security and Medicare despite it not adding a red cent to the debt or deficit). NASA says they already have a guy in mind who can do the job:
Although, knowing the Obama administration, this asshole may wind up getting the cost-plus, no-bid contract, instead.
Meanwhile, southwest of Pottersville comes a story that had originally broken back in February but has an interesting postscript. His "honor", Mayor James D. Schiliro, was arrested in February and last month charged with recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and official oppression. My, my, what did his honor do?
Well, since you asked... This fine, upstanding Republican mayor had his local police department bring a 20 year-old acquaintance to his home, where he then plied the underaged male with wine, then asked him 20-30 times if he could blow him, then took out not one, not two but three guns and fired one of them into the floor near the terrified hostage. Sometime during this endlessly romantic encounter, Schiliro then put the gun to his head and threatened to blow out what was passing for his brains.
Oh, did I mention he was doing this while his teenaged daughter slept upstairs? And did I mention that he's one of Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" coalition? And did I mention that the night after the incident he'd quickly sold 8 of his 9 guns, including the one he fired into the floor? Oh, and did I mention that despite being formally charged with these various offenses, that he's recently filed papers to run for a fifth term and has resisted calls to resign?
To any of my gay readers who may live in Pennsylvania, I hear this up-and-coming young Republican stud of 38 is newly single and available.
On a much more serious note, you all may remember Rick Warren, the homophobic pastor that Obama had tapped to deliver the inaugural invocation in 2009. Warren's 27 year-old son Matthew committed suicide yesterday. The given cause was vaguely described as "an extended struggle with depression and mental illness."
Perhaps it's a little early to speculate one way or the other but one inevitably has to wonder whether or not poor Matthew was struggling with being gay and having a virulent right wing homophobe for a father. And, let's face it, it would be perfectly typical of a place like Warren's Saddleback Valley Community Church to describe homosexuality as a "mental illness" and cause for depression.
If you're a Christian or believe in any form of God, please direct your thoughts and prayers to the Warren family in this tragic time.
You want another reason why I loathe this country so much? Because in several states, most notoriously Ohio, struggling folks like me are being put in debtor's prisons for bills or fines that can be as small as $50 regardless of this practice being illegal for 180 years (debtor's prisons were outlawed in 1833). In many of these cases, the judges are ignorant of this basic legal fact that the US Constitution and many state constitutions (such as Ohio's) had banned debtor's prisons and their use. 30 years ago, the Supreme Court mandated that courts hold hearings to determine why debtors could not pay up before incarcerating them.
Despite this, people are being illegally arrested and incarcerated at an expense to the county that very often exceeds the amount owed and the defendants are often browbeaten into accepting payment plans or are remanded into custody without legal representation being given them. So way haven't these judges and lawyers been disbarred for these egregious lapses in scholarly erudition? I always thought ignorance of the law wasn't a valid defense.
Barbara Ehrenreich should write a book about this. It'd be very interesting to find out whether or not some of these debtor's prisons are corporately-owned. Meanwhile, read the ACLU's "The Outskirts of Hope" (.pdf file) to see how Ohio for one is throwing us back to the 18th century.
The Mayflower used to be a point of pride for blue-blooded fucks who thought they were better than those whose scurvy ancestors didn't happen to land on Plymouth Rock aboard that ship. Nowadays, Mayflower, as in Arkansas, where the bitumin pipeline spill occurred, is hardly a word associated with hubris. In fact, it's rapidly becoming an antonym for the democracy that our colonial ancestors founded. Witness this story, one that has some creepily reminiscent overtones of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that started with 11 human beings losing their lives in a preventable explosion.
It's abundantly obvious the fascists we have to worry about the most are not the ones like Obama whom we insist on electing but the corporate fascists who literally own this country as well as the fascists like Obama whom we insist on electing. And local, state and federal governments heel to and their bidding is enforced by local fascists known as the police. And, as with the Gulf coast after the Deepwater explosion and spill, journalists on private property are threatened with imprisonment and Exxon-Mobil even got the FAA, a federal agency, to institute a temporary no-fly zone over the spill area.
And yet, despite this, you just know that fascist twat Obama will give his seal of approval to the XL Pipeline that he'd deliberately punted until after the election. "Tar sands? What are these tar sands of which you speak, stranger?"
Considering the Republicans got their fat asses handed back to them and made to wear as party hats after three of the last four elections, how come they're still running this country into the ground? Well, Salon has the answer and it's basically, "With a little help from their friends on the left side of the aisle, starting with Chancellor Obama."
Speaking of fascists, the Republican-led Missouri state senate decided to give pharmacies the power to decide which contraception women (or, as Missouri native Rush Limpballs calls them, "sluts.") can have access to if any at all. Says Stephen Foster (No, not that one) at AddictingInfo.org,
If the bill were to become law, pharmacies across the state would be able to keep all forms of contraception off the shelves; meaning, even if a woman has a prescription from her doctor, a pharmacy could make the final decision regarding her health. For women who live in rural areas where pharmacies are few and far between, this legislation would force them to travel unnecessary distances to find a pharmacy willing to fill their prescriptions. Rape victims would be especially hit hard because pharmacies would be able to deny them emergency contraception.So, no contraception for women? OK, here's a trade-off: No Viagra for fat old white men (see Limpballs, Rush). Fair?
Finally, those of you oldtimers (meaning those of you who've been blogging and reading blogs since the Bush Dark Ages) may remember the name of David Kuo, the one who blew the lid off the Bush administration's "sad charade" of manipulating his so-called Christianity and faith-based initiatives for partisan political gain. Last Friday, Kuo died of brain cancer at age 44, according to his wife Kimberly. So, while you're sending prayers and best wishes to the Warren family over their loss, please continue and send more to Kuo's surviving relatives.