Florida GOP finds new way to screw over voters

If rejecting the federal Medicaid expansion for people living in poverty was ‘awesome in evilness,’ this new scheme by Florida Republicans to deprive middle-class and poor voters their constitutionally mandated rights in the state’s largest population center is social sociopathy:


Think Progress — During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom.Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department quietly implemented a policy to close the bathrooms at all polling facilities, according to disability rights lawyer Marc Dubin. Dubin said the policy change was in “direct response” to an inquiry to the Elections Department about whether they had assessed accessibility of polling place bathrooms to those with disabilities.

These same polling places had six-hour lines in the last election, so you get the picture. A interesting evil feature here: there are laws, some part of the voting rights act, that require public polling places be accessible for the disabled. That applies to buildings and bathrooms, too. What these evil bastards have done is hijacked that reg to screw over everyone, justified on the paper-thin premise that it is fair: it’s fair because it makes bathrooms inaccessible for everyone, thus creating a level non-peeing field for handicapped and non-handicapped voters alike. Yeah. Stone cold evil clowns trying to rig elections in the favor of the super wealthy conservative rich.

When I first saw this, I tought for sure it had to be Onion-esque satire. I’m still not entirely sure. But it appears to be real. We have a petition that’s burning up the intertoobz on this sick scam here at Daily Kos.com.

OK you hardcore webpage divas & start up devs, how can we get rich?

So, I think I have a job and I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who have helped keep me afloat through 2013, which I hope will soon be the toughest year of my adult life fading in the rearview mirror. This particular job is a network support role and involves large agencies. It requires an extensive background check, now ongoing. If I pass that and it doesn’t fall through, the start date will be April 28th. It shouldn’t interfere with blogging and I’ll be able to get back into a regular habit without feeling like I’m wasting time doing something fun; writing and bitching about anything and everything here on FTB and elsewhere.

I know some of you have suggested consulting or being self employed in some way. I’m interested in knowing more about that. For example, there’s a lot of these companies popping up that set up web stores for small and medium sized businesses, like Web.com or Host Gator. Some offer design and support for the web pages, others hosting, still others will sync up social media, provide SEO services (SEO does sound a bit saturated, but I really don’t know enough about the state of that art to say for sure) and run email lists, a few try to do all these things.

What got me interested? Earlier this year an old friend who runs a landscaping biz offered me a few bucks [Read more…]

Conservative panelist bloviates on Real Time

On HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher last night a guest stated assertively, several times, that a tactical nuke is exclusively defined as a weapon designed to penetrate underground installations like a conventional bunker-buster. While there is no precise definition, the term generally refers to a nuclear device  that 1) produces an explosive yield measured more in kilotons than megatons and 2) is designed for use on a fluid, relatively nearby battlefield as opposed to a more distant fixed target like a military base or a city.

The individual was, I believe, Duncan Hunter (R – CA), staunch member of the Dunning-Kruger wing of the GOP. A syndrome which seems to afflict more and more conservatives these days. Hunter made this blanket claim, shooting down any skepticism by other panelists, with apparently little knowledge of the colloquial use of the term tactical nuke. He did so in a rather dismissive, smug manner and went on to imply that, since he served as a 2nd Lt in the US Marine Corp in Iraq, his view on any foreign policy issue, presumably including strategic and tactical nuclear devices, was beyond question. Among those views is Hunter’s more infamous statements that war with Iran will become necessary and the US should use nuclear weapons in a “massive aerial bombing campaign” together with conventional explosives. [Read more…]

Because the Internet

Many a blogger has speculated vainly on the mysterious and often bizarre choice of guests on the network Sunday talk news programs. The two main ones being Meet the Press with David Gregory and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Back in the days when I had a full-time job and couldn’t follow the fast-moving intrigues of the weekly news cycle, these shows were marginally useful and occasionally even entertaining. These days, as I wait for a phone call telling me I have or haven’t been hired for a network support role that would boost me back into the lower middle class, they’re worthless. By the time Sunday rolls around my cohorts and I have heard the latest partisan poutrages, talking points and counter talking points and obfuscations galore, which get regurgitated on Sunday morning verbatim, as if they were new and fresh and completely un-debunked six ways from, well, Sunday. [Read more…]

Teachers who save students from shootings “are not” heroes

The wingnut brigade has a big problem with public schools. Actually, their big money silent partners in crime have a problem: schools are generally supported in large part by property taxes and the 0.01% pay more, based on the value of their real estate holdings, than the typical middle-class homeowner pays on his or her tiny box or struggling single parents pay on their roach infested tenement. Ergo, any excuse to bash public ed and pick on teachers is eagerly taken up and, if it involves portraying teachers as cowards, so much the better. So, what to do about teachers who have saved little kids while crazy people prowl the halls with assault weapons blowing off tiny heads and snuffing out tiny lives?

RW Watch — On VCY America’s Crosstalk last week, Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt agreed with a caller who said that unarmed teachers who protect students during school shootings aren’t heroes. “When you see these stories on the news about teachers, and they’re saying they’re heroes because they’re running and hiding and locking doors and everything, and that’s supposed to be a heroic act. I think it’s sheer terror,” the caller complained. “I’d rather they be a hero with a good shot,” Pratt agreed.

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, just not the adults who sacrifice their lives to save them, huh? Let’s meet a few of these non heroes:

Maryrose Kristopik — music teacher, Newtown: Mrs Kristopik said: ‘I did take the children into the closet and talked with them to keep them quiet. I told them that I loved them. I said there was a bad person in the school. I didn’t want to tell them anything past that.’ Mrs Kristopik said she was standing in front of the other door and holding the handle to keep the children out of harm’s way.

Victoria Soto –, 1st grade, Newtown: When she became aware there was a gunman in the school, she hid her first-graders in closets and cabinets, then told the shooter they were in the gym. He turned the gun on Soto, killing her, but none of her students were harmed.

Antionette Tuff, accountant, Ronald McNair school: The bookkeeper, an eight-year veteran of the DeKalb County school district, talked suspect Michael Brandon Hill into surrendering after a brief standoff with police Tuesday afternoon. Faced with an armed 20-year-old who told her he was off his medication for a mental disorder, Tuff shared stories of heartbreak from her own life to help calm him down — a recent divorce, a son with multiple disabilities.

Larry Pratt may be a total, shameless, amoral sociopath or he may just a garden variety asshole. He’s sure not the guy any respectable org should want in the judges booth rating heroes. But when it comes to panic, I suspect Mr. Pratt may have some very real, first person insight into the mind of a coward.

Fort Hood brings out the dumbest politicians in Texas?

The title for dumbest Texas politician is not an easy one to earn. Just for starters, we have Louis Gohmert and Joe Barton setting an impossibly high standard. But several Lone Star congress critters have come out in the wake of another senseless shooting at Fort Hood, this one killing four people including the gunman and injuring more than a dozen others, and are vying for that dubious title. The solution, they say, is more guns in more hands: [Read more…]