Rick Perry Afraid to Interview With Texas Newspaper Editorial Boards – In not-so-shocking news, Rick Perry’s campaign declared that the governor won’t be bothering with newspaper editorial boards before the November election. This was Perry’s modus operandi in the March primary, so it’s more of an ongoing disappointment than a surprise. I’d just like to see the governor answer some tough questions about his record.
The governor’s spokesman said that Perry’s time is better spent talking directly to Texans. Translation: It’s a lot easier to give canned stump speeches to partisan crowds than to sit down for an hour and answers questions about your record.
Perry still hasn’t consented to debate Democrat Bill White. So, voters might not get the chance to hear important issues discussed in that format, either. What does that leave voters? So far, it sounds like they could be hearing a whole lot of Perry’s stump speech and not much else.
Rick Perry’s Brazen Abuse of Power – From the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board:
When the going was about to get tough for Gov. Rick Perry at the Texas Forensic Science Commission last fall, Perry sacked three commission members, including its chairman. The commission — created by the Legislature in 2005 to set standards for forensic analysis and investigate allegations of negligence or misconduct — was at long last about to consider the case of Todd Willingham.
Willingham was put to death in 2004 after being convicted of murdering his three daughters by arson. Substantial doubt exists about the forensic evidence used to obtain that conviction.
Just as the commission was set to hear expert testimony about the Willingham case, Perry’s new appointee — Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley — abruptly canceled the hearing. The move benefited Perry politically by delaying an official examination that could prove to be detrimental to his re-election effort.
Perry’s brazen manipulation of the commission represents an abuse of the gubernatorial power of appointment. Bradley’s political hatchet work on the governor’s behalf and lack of respect for open government render him unfit to serve as its chairman.
Rick Perry Using Political Smokescreens According to KPRC Channel 2 – Houston TV station KPRC (Click 2 Houston) Vice President and General Manager Larry Blackerby voiced an on-air editorial calling on Rick Perry to debate Bill White. Here is a partial transcript of the on-air editorial:
In a democracy, public debates are a must. It is one of the most direct ways voters can compare and contrast their choices for public office. It’s time for Governor Rick Perry to drop the political smokescreens and make himself available to debate Bill White.
Bill White has said yes; Rick Perry is using a political maneuver to avoid it.
Shame on you, Governor Perry, putting politics first over the people you say you want to represent.
You can watch the editorial here:
Republican Plan to Extend Tax Cuts for Rich Will Add $36 Billion to Deficit – A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year — and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation’s millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday.
New data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31 billion in tax breaks under the GOP plan in 2011, for an average tax cut per household of about $100,000.
Republican Candidate Stumps for South American Military Dictator-Style Retirement Program in U.S. – To those who’ve actually studied recent history, former Chilean military dictator Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte was a cruel tyrant. But to Sharron Angle, the tea parties’ favorite U.S. Senate candidate from Nevada, he had at least one good idea: replacing the country’s Social Security-like program with compulsory private retirement savings accounts.
José Piñera, Pinochet’s former labor minister, has since become one of the world’s leading advocates of privatizing pension accounts. After demolishing the nation’s political stronghold, he went to work for the conservative-leaning Cato Institute to advocate around the world for private retirement accounts. He’s even credited as the man who convinced former U.S. President George W. Bush to pursue an agenda of privatizing Social Security.
Another Republican Candidate Wants to Cut Social Security – A Republican House candidate in Florida named Daniel Webster wants take back the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security recipients since 2007. Sorry senior citizens, just suck it up!
Right-Wing Christians Scream “Jesus Hates” – About a dozen right-wing Christians, carrying placards and yelling “Islam is a lie,” angrily confronted worshippers outside a Fairfield Avenue mosque Friday.
“Jesus hates Muslims,” they screamed at worshippers arriving at the Masjid An-Noor mosque to prepare for the holy month of Ramadan. One protester shoved a placard at a group of young children leaving the mosque. “Murderers,” he shouted.
Muslim Community Center Protests Are Hateful, Illogical, and Un-American – It’s alarming and disheartening to see the angry, hate-filled rhetoric by some in response to the building of the Muslim Community Center in New York City, two blocks from the former World Trade Center. Some people truly appear to hate Muslims more than they love the ideals of our country.
Using the protesters’ twisted arguments, we should not allow a sushi restaurant to open near Pearl Harbor. It is like saying that because a handful of Catholic priests molested young boys, Catholic Churches should not be allowed to be built near elementary schools. Or because Bernie Madoff and several others in the recent Wall Street scandals were Jewish, no synagogues can be built near Wall Street.
Maybe we should look at what else is located near “ground zero” that could be considered offensive? How about the two falafel stands that serve Middle-Eastern foods, or the two strip clubs, or the trashy lingerie store? You remember that the 9/11 terrorists ate falafels and visited strip clubs before their attack. Or how about Fox News host Greg Gutfeld’s proposed gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also Islamic gay men, to be built next door to the proposed Muslim Community Center? Gutfeld says he is not joking about this. Or should we ban anyone that looks Muslim from walking or driving within two blocks of “ground zero?” Maybe the right-wingers could pass a law based on the show-me-your-papers law in Arizona?
And is it really about the location? We now have the “Christian” Pastor from Florida who is threatening to burn Korans on September 11 – the way the Nazis burned Torahs. And we have those who are protesting mosques being built in other parts of the country hundreds of miles from Ground Zero and threatening to release pigs on the property to keep the Muslims away.
Allowing the Muslim Community Center to be built where it is being proposed represents the best of America -the idea that the United States is a special place in the world, a beacon of fairness that welcomes and protects the rights of all its people. Too many have sacrificed their lives for these sacred rights to say that certain Americans should not enjoy them simply because of their religion.
Some Sensible Comments on the Above Story – The reactionary right wing’s response [to the proposed NYC Muslim Community Center] opposes the very nature of our nation’s values: liberty and tolerance. In this country, the fact that we still have this type of hate is disheartening, to say the least. It is like we are living in a twilight zone. As the conservatives and the right continue to preach that they are the ones who are on god’s side, I am dismayed to see them behave in quite the opposite manner.
As a nation that was founded by men and women who were being persecuted for their particular faith, we should know that the best path to finding freedom is finding freedom for others. We were formed as a pluralistic society and this means we welcome all religions. Islam did not attack the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, sick and twisted men did, who not only hijacked four airplanes but also hijacked a religion. Let us not stereotype the over one billion Muslims around the world because of the evil acts of a few. A decision like this one, to support or not support the construction of this center, defines who we are as a nation. It’s at the essence of our values, our freedom of expression, freedom of religion and religious tolerance.
There are moments that define our nation. There are moments that test the strength of our character. There are moments that test the essence of our freedoms. Let this be that moment and let us pass this test with grace and dignity.
Republican Candidate Urges Building Internment Camps – A Republican state house candidate from northern Florida is standing by her proposal to build internment camps. Now doesn’t that sound like the America we all love? Not!
Republican Congressman from Texas Makes it into the Urban Dictionary – From the Urban Dictionary:
Gohmert – verb: to say something that is obviously and patently untrue to the point of stupidity, then when called upon to provide concrete evidence of the assertion, to flounder about angrily while shouting about the integrity of the questioner.
Example: The Congressman Gohmerted for 5 minutes when called upon by Anderson Cooper to provide evidence that terror babies are being sneaked across the border.
Republican Hypocrisy on Spending – House Republican leaders have fought to maintain partisan unity in their effort to kill the stimulus. Every single Republican in the House and every single Republican in the Senate — with the exception of three, voted against it. They failed to defeat it, but they did weaken it. Then, they cast the stimulus that they weakened as a failure in order to win elections in 2010. In a coordinated effort, Republicans have used every opportunity to attack the stimulus. However, even the conservative American Enterprise Institute found that the stimulus had boosted the U.S. economy by 4 percent. Then, many of the same Republican lawmakers who tried to kill the legislation have been returning to their home states to claim credit for popular stimulus programs, including Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) who requested $3 billion In stimulus funds. A research report finds that over half of the GOP caucus, 110 lawmakers — from the House and Senate — are guilty of stimulus hypocrisy. Now, as the election draws near, Republicans are attacking the program again, including Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) who sent out an expensive four-page, glossy, heavy-paper mailer to everyone in his district to attack the stimulus as wasteful. How much did he spend on that mailer?
Now, the conservative Americans for Prosperity Foundation will kick off a $4.1-million ad campaign (talk about spending!) in 11 states and two dozen of the most competitive congressional races, slamming “wasteful federal spending.” Last week, President Obama cited the organization at an Austin, Texas, fundraiser. He said “groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity” could dump millions into an election without voters knowing who was behind the effort.
“And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are,” Obama said in Austin. “You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation. You don’t know if it’s a big oil company or a big bank. You don’t know if it’s an insurance company that wants to see some of the provisions in health reform repealed because it’s good for their bottom line. …
“A Supreme Court decision allowed this to happen,” Obama added. “And we tried to fix it, just by saying disclose what’s going on, and making sure that foreign companies can’t influence our elections.”
Air Pollution Kills and Must be Dealt With – Elbert Jovante Woods, the son of the former Cincinnati Bengals fullback Ickey Woods, died this Saturday. He was only 16. His doctors blamed extreme heat and poor air quality for the teen’s death. ‘We’ve actually had a lot of patients in the last week come in with exacerbation of asthma,’ said Dr. David Bernstein, a University of Cincinnati researcher. ‘We think it’s probably related to air quality.’
Power plants are the largest source of fine particle pollution, which is formed when sulfur dioxide and other pollutants react in the atmosphere.
Here in the Cincinnati area, power plant emissions have increased dramatically over the last several years. Between 1996 and 2003, emissions increased 83% at the Miami Fort plant in Hamilton County and 54% at the Walter C Beckjord plant in Clermont County.
Because of their small size, fine particles can bypass the body’s natural defenses, such as coughing and sneezing, and lodge deep in the lungs or even pass into the bloodstream, causing serious respiratory and cardiovascular problems, such as asthma attacks, heart attacks, and lung cancer. Fine particle pollution cuts short the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year, according to EPA.