First-Degree Felony Charges Sought Against Texas Attorney General

 

Ken PaxtonThe anti-gay, Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, appears to be arse-deep in a hot, steaming pile of his own doo-doo! And, it’s got nothing to do with marriage equality. It seems Texas’ top lawyer (and tea party fave) may have committed securities fraud to the tune of $100,000+.

Last May he was disciplined by the Texas State Securities Board and paid a $1,000 dollar fine for acting as an investment advisor when he solicited clients for a friend’s investment firm, Mowery Capital Management (MCM).  Problem is, he wasn’t registered as an investment advisor. That’s a “no-no” under Texas law.

Paxton called this “an administrative error.”

This went down in 2004, 2005 and 2012, at which time he was also gainfully employed as a Republican state representative for District 70 in Collin County.

According to the disciplinary order,

“Respondent was compensated by MCM for each solicitation resulting in a client relationship with MCM. Specifically, MCM agreed to pay Respondent 30 percent of asset management fees collected by MCM from each client that Respondent solicited successfully.”

Somehow, Representative Paxton forgot to include this on his personal financial statements, filed with the Texas  Ethics Commission. (Probably just another three “administrative errors,” don’tcha know.)

After the disciplinary proceedings, a watchdog group, Texans for Public Justice, requested an investigation into whether Paxton committed any crimes in his dealings. This got tossed around like a hot potato until Colin County’s district attorney handed off the spud to the Texas Rangers. (And no, Chuck Norris wasn’t involved.)

The spud may have morphed into the proverbial can of worms. As Special Prosecutor Kent Schaffer put it,

“The Rangers went out to investigate one thing, and they came back with information on something else.” It’s turned into something different than when they started.”

While not giving specifics, Schaffer said there are fraud allegations exceeding $100,000. Under Texas law, that’s a first degree felony with a potential reward of a 99 year vacation at the Iron Bar Resort. Also, acting as an investment advisor, without being registered, is a third degree felony. He may also be charged with that.

Schaffer and his fellow special prosecutor, Brian Wise, plan to present evidence to the grand jury sometime in the next three weeks. According to Schaffer,

“We have a sufficient amount of evidence. Whether it leads to a criminal indictment or not is up to the grand jury.”

Attorney General Paxton has hired an ex federal district judge to aid in his defense.

Stay tuned!

Bobby Jindal Crams Into The Clown Car

145977880In a rather strange video on Bobby Jindal’s FaceBook page, he announced that he is running for president to his two children. (Probably the largest audience he could scarf up.) That brings the official total to 28 (including 13 that I have never heard of). There’s about five more waiting in the wings including a couple of has-been governors. However, other than possibly John Kasich, nobody with a nano chance.

Speaking of people without a nano chance, brings us back to Bobby.

Once upon a time, he was a bright and shining star in the Republican firmament. Then he opened his mouth. He was asked to give the Republican response to Obama’s first “State of the Union” speech. Putting it politely as possible, it didn’t help his image.

Both the New York Daily News and USA Today branded it one of the five worst SotU responses in history. (Btw, Marco Rubio made both lists as well.) About the best that was said is that he reminded some people of Kenneth the page, from 30 Rock. (He’s always reminded me of a 3rd runner-up in an Alfred E. Neuman look-alike contest.)

Bobby went back to being the governor of Louisiana and the world mostly forgot about him. Now, he’s back (at least in his mind) and he wants to be president.

Bobby is one of several candidates who are doing the most pandering to the “Christian” extremists in the party. (I call this group, which includes Cruz, Huckabee and Santorum, “the God Squad”.) In the past few cycles, it’s usually been just one major person in that position (Huckabee in ’08, Santorum in ’12) not that other candidates weren’t also trying to fish in that creek. As a result, both Huckabee and Santorum out performed most early projections. This time around, it looks a circular shoot out with these four splitting up the Religious Wrong vote so that none of them will gain much traction until some of them drop out. He who has the most generous billionaire will probably prevail and from all indications, that’s not Bobby.

Since he’s essentially asking for a promotion from chief executive of Louisiana to chief executive of the U.S., it behooves us to take a look at what he’s done to Louisiana.

When he was elected, Louisiana had an $865 million surplus. He spent it. (Shades of George (duh) Bush) He then slashed income taxes, causing an $800 million deficit. Since then he’s balanced the budget by draining state trust funds and savings accounts. Over the years, he has given businesses hundreds of millions in tax incentives and state appropriations. This past year, he managed to close an almost $1 billion deficit by raiding accounts that were set up for other purposes and by selling state property. This year, the state is facing a $1.6 billion shortfall. And, since he has pledged to (out-of-state) Grover Norquist that he wouldn’t raise taxes, he doesn’t see that as a remedy.

He’s refused fed funds to expand Medicaid, not only hurting the state budget, but thousands of Louisianans. 751,000 don’t even have insurance. Louisiana ranks #2 in some sexually transmitted diseases, #3 & #4 in others. Teen pregnancy comes in at #5, but they’re #1 in HIV deaths.

Under Bobby’s “leadership”, the state has cut higher education funding by 43.2%. (Who need an edjimacation anyway?) In other numbers, Louisiana leads the country in incarcerations, with two-thirds being for drug or non-violent offenses. But, it’s only #2 in gun deaths. (I guess they’ll have to try harder.)

The list goes on and on, but you’ve got the general idea.

Problem is, he wants to do to the country what he’s done to Louisiana. However, as the New Orleans Times-Picayune put it,

Five years hence, however, I predict that if we remember Jindal’s tenure for anything, it will be his disastrous stewardship of the state’s finances. His ineptitude with budgets alone should disqualify him from supervising a small-town Dairy Queen, much less managing the U.S. government’s executive branch.

The reality is that he’ll never be President Bobby. His approval rating in Louisiana is a miserable 27%. Even Obama is more popular with Bobby’s constituents.

And then, there’s the results of the last several polls.

Other than being some comic relief, I don’t see much future for Bobby’s clown car ride.

 

Religious Fanatic Will Burn Or Be Shot If SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage

rsHello and welcome to another edition of “Nutz in the Nuze”.

The “filbert du jour” this time around is one Rick Scarborough. Rick, if you haven’t had the displeasure, is an ex Southern Baptist bible thumper. Nowadays, he’s busy running Vision America and the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration.

Vision America is pretty much your standard Religious Wrong web site. You know the type: pro-gun, anti-gay, anti-Obama, establish an American theocracy, etc. and to Hell with anyone who disagrees with them. (Seriously, these types believe that anyone who doesn’t see things their way is headed for the “hot place.”)

The Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration is an offshoot of Vision America. According to Right Wing Watch, their primary purpose, “appears to be leveling allegations of anti-Christian bigotry against any member of the federal judiciary who issues rulings that do not advance to the right-wing agenda.”

As to his political views,

I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat. I’m a Christocrat. My allegiance is to Jesus Christ.

(And, yet he devotes considerable time and effort to convince the flock to vote Republican.)

And, of course, that favorite of wing-nut bible thumpers throughout ‘Murica:

America is at war with the devil!

(He thinks the devil is winning. I think sanity is slowly rearing its head.)

His biggest bugaboo seems to be gay sex. Which reminds me of a line from Shakespeare.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

(Substitute “bible thumper” for “lady” and you get the picture.)

He thinks AIDS is God’s gift to the LGBT community. (His degree was not in medicine, obviously.)

Back in 2009, he made a dire prediction that if gay marriage was legal, it would

…criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality. Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality. The federal hate crimes law doesn’t target crime, but free speech.

In 2012, Rick claimed that “God” allowed Benghazi because “America is mired in sin!” (Gee, and all this time, I thought he drank the Regressive kule-aid that Benghazi happened because Obama/Clinton.)

In March, he claimed he had congressmen interested in signing a pledge to buck any court ruling making same-sex marriage legal.

We’re saying, before that, we will never obey that tyrannical law. It’s counter to natural law, and God’s higher law…We will simply refuse to comply with recognizing same-sex ‘marriage’ as legitimate. The Supreme Court does not have the inherent right [to make that change]. We’ll going to continue doing what we’ve always done…they better have a lot of prisons and jails.
A couple of weeks later, he stated,
Now the high court is threatening to unleash the spirit of hell on the nation, if they deny what nature clearly teaches on this subject of gender and marriage
(No word as to why Big Daddy hasn’t released the spirit of hell on the 16 countries that have already legalized it.)
In April, he upped the ante:
We don’t capitulate, we fight until we die, we push back with all our might!
This brings us up to his latest publicity grabber. (There’s more, but you get the picture.)
Last week, in a conference call for the National Emergency Coalition, he doubled down:
We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.
The preachers need to get out front, the leaders need to get out front, out front of these ordinary citizens and say, ‘Shoot me first.

(Cause, as you know, there’s never a flame thrower around when you need one, but there’s always lots of guns.)

Now, from what he says, he’s volunteering to be blazed or bulleted for the cause. Don’t bet your loose change on it. That probably has about as much validity as Rushbo’s promise to leave the country if ObamaCare went into effect. (I hear the weather’s nice in Costa Rica, but they have “socialized medicine” as does almost every developed country.)

The court’s ruling on marriage equality (The “right” hates that term!) is coming within the next few days, as is their ruling on ObamaCare (Which, Rick also hates!). Then we’ll see if he puts his body on the line, instead of just his mouth.

Jail Time, Not Bailouts – Iceland’s Answer To The Bank-Induced Recession

 

Bankers-Behind-Bars-Magnús-Sveinn-HelgasonWhen the banking induced “Great Recession of ’08” struck, Iceland’s economic hit was among the hardest. However, instead of rewarding fraudulent banking procedures with tons of money, they took a different path. It turned out to be the quickest road to recovery.

When most people think of Iceland, they envision fire and ice. Major volcanoes and vast ice fields are abundant due to its position on the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. (A hot July day in Reykjavik is around 55 degrees.) However, Iceland is also noted for being one of the Nordic Socialist countries, complete with universal health care and education and a lot other Tea Party nightmares. Therefore, as you might imagine, they tend to view and react to situations slightly differently than the U.S.

Prior to the recession, Iceland had one of the more thriving economies in the world, in spite of the fact that their total population (327,000) wouldn’t even fill a mid-sized American city. When the recession struck, they were among the earliest and hardest hit. However, instead of running to the vaults to shower the banks with money, they let the banks fail. They also resisted traveling down the European/Republican austerity road. Instead, they kept their social programs intact at a time when they were most needed.

And, they sent fraudulent bankers to jail.

When Iceland’s three major banks collapsed, it resulted in defaults totaling $114 billion in a country with a gross domestic product (GDP) of only $19 billion. In October, 2008 the parliament passed emergency legislation to take over the domestic operations of the major  banks and established new banks to handle them. They did not, however, take over any of the foreign assets or obligations. Those stayed with the original banks, right into bankruptcy.

They then brought charges against several banking executives for fraud and market manipulation, resulting in sentences ranging from four to five and a half years. As the special prosecutor said,

Why should we have a part of our society that is not being policed or without responsibility?

In the U.S., we simply tapped a few wrists with small fines, that ended up being paid by their respective banks. (Can you say “got off scot free?”)

Sending the bank executives off to play rock hockey for a few years didn’t solve the problem, but it did send a message not to do that again.

At its worst, Icelandic currency, the Icelandic krona (ISK) was trading at around 250 ISK per Euro. In order to qualify for an IMF (International Monetary Fund) loan, Iceland raised interest rates to 18%, which, of course, attracted bank deposits. Iceland also received a $2.5 billion loan from Europe’s Nordic countries.

To power its recovery, Iceland utilized its natural advantages such as its clean, cheap geothermal energy to attract the tech industry. Icelandic commercial fishing remained strong and as the general world economy picked up, the tourist industry bloomed. The deeply depreciated krona also helped make Iceland and Icelandic products very attractive, economically.  On the banking front, they facilitated domestic debt restructuring and fiscal adjustments as conditions changed.

As to how it has all turned out, here’s what the International Monetary Fund Survey has to say about it:

Iceland has rebounded after the 2008/9 crisis and will soon surpass pre-crisis output levels with strong performance in tourism and fisheries. Debt ratios are on a downward path and balance sheets have broadly been restored. The financial sector is back on track though with some important items remaining on the docket.

As the above survey also states, Iceland is “the first 2008-10 crisis country in Europe to surpass its pre-crisis peak of economic output.”

The krona is now running 1.5 ISK per Euro. (up from 250/1 in 2008) The 2014 inflation rate was 2.05%. (down from 12.59% in 2008) The wage index is running at 190.9. (up from 132.8 in 2008)

Btw, they did all this while keeping their social welfare intact. (There goes another bagger day-dream.)

Religious Wing-Nut: The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming

russian_t_80_tanks_44200300You might remember Rick Wiles from such brain farts as his April rant that if the (not-so) Supremes declared same-sex marriages legal, that “God” would send a fireball from space to destroy the U.S..

I guess Big Daddy’s fireball stash is a bit low, since it seems he’s out-sourced the job to Putin. And Wiles knows Vladimir’s first target. (Spoiler alert: It’s a “Christian” radio station in Alaska.) Which caused me to wonder, did Ukraine declare gay marriage legal? (I checked. Nope, they didn’t.)

Le’ me ‘splain. (To quote Desi Arnez.)

Like many religious wrong faux “Christians,” our boy Rick is convinced that his God (whoever that is) is so anti-gay that he’ll destroy any country named United States of America that dares declare gay sex legal. I guess the 16 countries that have already legalized it don’t share that name, so they get a pass.

In any case, back in March, Rick warned his listeners that they had a year to flee the U.S. or suffer the consequences.

“There may be a year remaining in which you can get out and save your family. I’m convinced the Luciferian Illuminatus that control this country will dismantle it over the next two years and the Phoenix will ascend to replace the old constitutional republic.”
This was before “God” told him we would end up in flames. (Stopping the “Luciferian Illuminatus” just in time…..or something like that.) In fact, Rick has said so many stupid, contradictory things that I did a little organizing with the help of Right Wing Watch

That brings us up the present. (And, believe me, I’ve omitted a lot of other nonsense for the sake of brevity.)

There is one area in which Wiles separates himself from other religious troglodytes. He’s just not into the whole “rapture” thingy, famous in bad books and even worse movies. (Even the Nick Cage version couldn’t garner more than 2% on the “Rotten Tomato Meter“. )

And, therein lies the possible cause of Rick’s latest tirade.

For those who haven’t quite figured out the innerwebby thing, Rick has a syndicated radio show on a number of stations, including one in Anchorage, Alaska. At least he did for a whole three days.

It seems on the very first broadcast carried by the station, Rick blasted pre-tribulation rapture, a subject near and dear to the station’s owners. Pre-tribulation rapture is when all the “good guys & gals” float up to heaven (According to Mormons, that’s somewhere in the vicinity of the planet Kolob.) while the rest of us suffer seven years of nasty. Well, the station wasn’t going to stand for that kind of heresy, so they cancelled his show.

Rick Wiles is not one to take dismissal lightly!

“All I can say to the KATB board of directors is you guys will be the first people to see the Russian soldiers moving across the Bering Strait to invade the continental U.S.A. and bring judgment to this country for becoming a land of sodomites. Don’t worry. You will be raptured before World War III begins, right?”
The KATB Board of Directors, must have incredible vision to be the first people to see the Russian invasion. Russia is 3081 miles distant from Anchorage.
But hey, it’s only June. I’m sure Rick will discover other threats that will eliminate the U.S. long before Russia mobilizes. (Because, you know, sodomy!)

Rick Santorum Claims That Supreme Court Decisions Are Only Their Opinions

Former US Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 15, 2013.   AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the problems of campaigning for the Republican Presidential nomination is that you can’t be out-flanked on the right. Let someone on your starboard side and there goes the Bubba vote (aka the Republican base). This has led to several serious flip-flops over the past few years. (Willie Romney comes to mind real quick.) This is also the reason that many positions, long-held by Republican politicos, are now anathema to those same politicians. Single-payer health insurance is just one example.

The problem, of course, is that it can lead to some illogical, untenable and even illegal positions. Which is just fine with the aforementioned Bubbas. They have a track record of not being too familiar, let alone comfortable, with inconvenient facts. To far too many of them, their fantasies trump reality every time.

Which brings me to today’s specific example, guest starring everybody’s favorite frothy mouth “Guy from God”, Rick Santorum (I call him “Saint Orum”) For most of his early life, the saint was pro-choice. Then he saw which direction the wind was blowing in Republican politics. Now, he’s not only pro-abortion, he’s anti-contraceptive. He is also on his 2nd ride in the Republican presidential clown car.

For a good portion of the last cycle, he owned the starboard position. This time around, with Cruz, Huckabee, Carson, Jindle and Perry all calling “shotgun,” he’s got a lot more competition.

For instance, In late April, Mike (the Huckster) Huckabee stated,

I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that — the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God. When it comes to prayer, when it comes to life, and when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, the court cannot change what God has created.

In other words, the Huckster’s religion (or mythology, depending on your point of view) trumps the American constitution. So much for the 1st Amendment!

Wow! If you’re Rick Santorum, how do you top (Or, is that bottom?) that? Not to worry! The saint’s got it covered, ’cause God’s his guide.

I’m trying to walk down a path that God is leading me. I figured if this is what he is calling me to do, then I just have to go out and work hard”…

Yesterday morning (6/10/15) Saint Orum got on the phone with Glenn (Conspiracies-R-Me) Beck, to do a little flanking. Glenn started the ball rolling by claiming, that if the Supreme Court makes same-sex marriage legal, churches would be stripped of their tax-exempt status and forced to perform gay marriages. The saint jumped right in with both feet.

This is tantamount to government establishing religion. When the United States government comes in and says this is what you are going to believe, this is how you’re going to practice your faith, this is a new religion. This violates, in my opinion, the Establishment Clause in the Constitution that says that Congress shall make no law with respect to an establishment of religion. If the government goes around and tells churches what they have to believe in and what their doctrine is, that is something that is a violation of the First Amendment.
A few of quick interjections: First of all, if religions engage in politics, they are not supposed to be tax-exempt! (Get on the stick I.R.S.!) Second of all, I’ve seen nothing that says the government would ever require churches to perform gay marriages. The laws say the state’s can’t refuse to grant marriage licenses for same-sex marriages. Churches don’t issue licenses, they are merely one venue for performing marriages. Lastly, gay marriage is not a religion in any way shape or form.
According to Rick, the Supreme Court’s opinion, is just that – an opinion, not the law of the land.
If they get it wrong and the consequences are what I suspect they will be toward people of faith,” he said, “then this president will fight back.
Good luck with that fantasy. In real life, the Executive branch does NOT trump the Judicial branch. To do so is grounds for impeachment.
But, then again, Saint Orum will never face that situation, because he’s never going to be president.

Idaho Republicans Propose Teaching The Bible In Science And Law Classes

UntitledThe “Religious Wrong” along with their Republican allies (when they are not one and the same) keep trying to inject their mythology and their Bronze Age laws into the mainstream. Never mind the fact that the United States was founded as a secular nation with a constitutional division between church and state. They don’t believe that anyway. In their bubble, fantasies trump facts!

Their latest brain fart comes to us courtesy of the Idaho Republican Party.

Idaho GOP LogoTHEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Idaho County Central Committee encourages the Idaho legislature to draft and support a bill stating that the Bible is expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant;

Now, I have no problem with the bible being discussed in literature classes and it has certainly had an effect on history. However, using it as a text in an astronomy, biology or geology class is ludicrous. The earth is more than 6000 years old. It took more than a week to form. And “God” didn’t create 200,000,000,000 galaxies containing an average of 200,000,000,000 stars each, in an afternoon, despite what Genesis claims. Oh, and contrary to their hallucinations, evolution is a proven fact. Not only do we have fossil records, it has been observed in real-time. For a more in-depth analysis of Creationist claims, click here.

But, like I said, these troglodytes don’t let facts get in the way of the magical manipulations imagined by ancient priests while imbibing the local loco weed a bit too heavily.

Then we come to using the bible in teaching law. What a substantial portion of the wing-nut religioso’s would like, they say, is a return to biblical law. If their actions and words are any indication, not biblical law based on the teachings of Christ, but Old Testament law. (Back to the basics and all that.) The funny (as in both “ha ha” and “peculiar”) thing is that Old Testament law is almost exactly the same as Sharia law, which they profess to hate. (Jews, Christians and Muslims are all “Children of the Book”)

In any case, religious law, despite what Mike Huckabee might say, does not trump American law. (There’s that pesky 1st Amendment with its separation of church and state.)

Since Idaho is a deep red state with the Republicans controlling the legislature and the governor’s office, there’s a good chance their proposal might make it into law, at least temporarily. As for getting past the inevitable law suits, not a snowball’s chance in Hell. (If there was one.)

Stay tuned!

Kansas Governor Declares War On Kansas Courts

cbbb96d4e2742a88bbfe1205f705ff87Kansas is a mess! It’s what you get when state government goes full-blown Tea Party.

After the 2013 fiscal year, Kansas had around $700 million in the state’s reserve fund. Then Governor Sam Brownback’s tax cuts went to work.

The governor had promised his tax cuts would lead to a better, wealthier Kansas. As he put it,

We put forward a roadmap for Kansas. It’s a plan to grow our economy, it’s a plan to create private-sector jobs, it’s a plan to excel in education, it’s a plan to support our families, it’s a plan to move forward. We campaigned on the roadmap, we won on the roadmap, we will govern on the roadmap.

He even imported Arthur Laffer, the man who invented “trickle-down” economics, to sell it to the suckers, I mean citizens. The story line was that in eliminating taxes for 200,000 businesses and slashing the tax rates for the wealthy, businesses would flock to Kansas, creating jobs and more disposable income. Thus they would make up the difference in sales taxes. While all this was transpiring, Kansas would keep the budget balanced by cutting unnecessary expenditures in areas like social services, infrastructure, highways and education.

For the 2014 fiscal year, tax collections came in $333 million short of expectations. The Kansas legislature had cut $150 million in those “unnecessary expenditures,” but total collections were down $700 million from the previous year. The state had to raid the reserve fund to the tune of $320 million to balance the books.

In May, Moody lowered Kansas’ credit rating from Aa1 to Aa2, citing sluggish recovery and risky tax plan. In August, Standard and Poor’s followed suit by lowering Kansas’ bond rating from AA+ to AA, citing the state’s unbalanced budget caused by the 2012 tax cuts.

This year is even worse. Even wiping out that $380 million remaining in the reserve fund, Kansas is coming up $279 million short. According to the Kansas constitution, the books must be balanced and they’ve got less than three weeks to do it. The bell tolls at midnight, June 30.

Oh, and next year the shortfall is expected to be in the neighborhood of $800 million and the reserve fund cupboard is bare!

Brownback’s solution actually has some tax increases in it. He wants to raise cigarette taxes to bring in an additional $81 million and booze taxes for another $27 million. And, of course, more cuts of those “unnecessary expenditures.” Medicaid gets hit for $50 million and education for $100 million.

Wherein lies a major problem.

In spite of his “plan to excel in education,” a good percentage of the “unnecessary expenditures” were in education. The way education funding was handled, brought him into conflict with the state’s court systems. It seems there’s a provision in Kansas’ constitution that requires education to be properly funded.

In March, 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court found that there was a disparity between funding schools in rich and poor neighborhoods and told the legislature to fix the problem ASAP. They also instructed the district court to examine the under-funding issue. In December, the district court ruled the schools were under funded. The judges said that per pupil spending should be between $4,654 and $4,980 per year. Currently, the states spends $3,846.

Early this year, the state legislature, in which Republicans enjoy a “super majority,” passed a bill which created equitable funding for the schools at the expense of increasing over-all funding. This sent the issue back to district court. The supreme court is expected to rule on both issues sometime later this year.

Some of you may recall from American History 101, that the US has three branches of government that are supposed to provide checks and balances. Co-equal in theory, if not always in fact, it has served pretty well over the long run. Kansas has much the same system. However, it may not for long.

It seems that Brownback doesn’t like his pet pipe dreams challenged, and by damn, he’s teaming up with the legislature to do something about it. If the judicial branch keeps throwing spanners in the works, he’s going to strip them of some of their powers, prerogatives and funding.

After the court’s March ruling, the legislature passed a blantantly political bill, striping the supreme courts ability to set district court budgets and appoint district chief judges.

This February, a district court chief judge sued the state of Kansas, arguing that the bill violates the doctrine of separation of powers and is unconstitutional.

Last month, legislators drafted a separate budget for the courts. The budget has a provision that would eliminate all funding for the courts if any court has the audacity to find their bill striping the courts unconstitutional or invalidates it in any way.

The Kansas City Star was not amused!

Threatening to defund the state’s court system is a vengeful and dangerous tactic. Basically, lawmakers are attempting to extort Supreme Court justices to rule in the Legislature’s favor or be shut down.

Conservative Kansas lawmakers have been disrespectful of the state’s courts and judges since rulings on school funding and other matters didn’t go their way. But their willingness to deprive Kansas citizens of a working court process is shocking.

So, there you have it. The legislature is in overtime (at $43,000 a day) trying to make money appear that isn’t there. And, next year portends to be a LOT WORSE! The Republican controlled branches and the judiciary are at war with each other. The business and wealthy tax refugees never showed up. In fact, Brownback’s whole financial scheme turns out to be just a scam.
Stay tuned!

 

States Should Secede Over Gay Marriage According To CEO Of Ultra-Conservative Website

photo-atlasshrugs2000typepadcom.siOne of my more onerous tasks as a political commentator (aka “snarkist”) is having to slog my way through wing-nut posts such as WND (World Net Daily, or, as I call it, “Weird Nuts Drooling”).

WND, in case you haven’t had the “pleasure” is “Conspiracy Central,” 2nd only to Glenn (Conspiracies-R-Us) Beck’s “Blaze”. Their biggest success was promoting “Birtherism

Granted, the absurdity of some of their postings does evoke a gawfaw or three, but I always feel so unclean afterwords. Nevertheless, it is part of my job to keep up with what the nut cake brigade is up to.

In doing that, I ran across this little jewel: “Does Same-Sex Marriage Warrant Secession?” by Joseph Farah. Joe’s the CEO of Weird Nuts Drooling and used to be an editor at the Sacramento Union. (When I lived in Sacramento, we used to refer to the Union as Sacramento’s crappy newspaper, as opposed to the Bee, which was far less biased in its coverage.) Even Ann Coulter can’t stomach Joe. She’s called him a “swine” and a “publicity whore.” (Something about which, she’s quite knowledgeable.)

But, I digress.

Joe kicks off his post by whining about the inevitability of the (not-so) Supremes declaring same-sex marriage as a “right.” Then he gets to the “meat” of the post.

I’ve heard some chatter about civil disobedience. That’s all well and good. But I don’t see much in the way of serious organization taking place.

What I do see is a lot of grass-roots concern. I know there are millions of Christians, Jews and others who would pull up stakes and move to another country that honored the institution of marriage as it was designed by God – a union between one man and one woman.

Well, there’s a country that hates gays almost as much as Joe does: Russia. (I’ll bet he and his ilk would fit right in.) But, that turns out to be “Plan B.” What Joe would really prefer in “Plan A,” is that some state would secede.

Is there one state in 50 that would not only defy the coming abomination, but secede in response? The rewards could be great. I would certainly consider relocating. How about you?

The founders of this country found a place of refuge in America and shaped it into the greatest self-governing nation in the history of world. Just think what one state could do if it simply stuck to the principles that made this country great? Americans wouldn’t have to cross an ocean to rediscover what brought most of our ancestors here. We could simply drive.

Earth to Joe: They tried that back in 1860. Didn’t work out so well!

Not one to let a little thing like the Civil War pop his bubble, Joe is downright panic stricken.

We don’t have much time before the nine high priests in black robes decide to follow Baal instead of the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

We need a Promised Land. We need an Exodus strategy.

Personally, I prefer his “Plan B”. The U.S. would be in a hell of a lot better shape without all the “religious” bigots running around!

Actually though, if the court does back gay marriages, don’t expect Joe to leave the country, any more than Rush fulfilling his promise to leave if ObamaCare passed.  Both statements are just B.S. flavored mouth farts to rouse the rabble.

Is Sarah Palin A Chronic Drunk?

Drunk-Sarah-PalinThe good news (if you’re American) is that Sister Sarah Palin is not hitching a ride on the presidential clown car. The gooder news (if you’re a professional snarkist, such as yours truly) it that she just won’t go away. To incorporate a bit of British slang, she’s the git* that keeps on giving.

*Git: A pejorative with origins in British English for a silly, incompetent, stupid, annoying, senile, elderly or childish person. It is usually an insult, more severe than twit or idiot but less severe than wanker, arsehole or twat (Who says my posts aren’t educational?)

I think the pressure and stress of being “Caribou Barbie” and the Regressives’ favorite wet dream is getting to her. Her verbiage has always been a bit of a nut salad, but over the last couple of years it seems she’s loaded even more filberts to the mix. Either that or she’s developing a very friendly relationship with Mr. Daniels, Mr. Beam, Old Grand Dad or maybe a Wild Turkey or two.

Let’s look at the record. (I’ll report, you decide!)

Back in 2013, (10/17/13, to be exact) Sister Sarah showed up on Megyn Kelly’s show to bitch (Now there’s a sexist term.) about Obama (naturally).

I think that remark is one of his more out of touch remarks that we’ve heard in recent days. No. What emboldened our enemies and what empowered our competitors was his promise to fundamentally transform America from being a solvent, free, exceptional country into something we’re not gonna recognize. Also, what has emboldened enemies is that he with doubling of our debt since he’s been elected, putting us on a path towards bankruptcy, and then locking up pipelines and resources that will result in us being more reliant on foreign imports for energy, and then of course he, having left behind, his administration having left behind our brave men in Benghazi to be murdered, and then of course there’s Syria, where he promised to bomb Syria because in that civil war, Syria was going to bomb Syria, and then we never heard another word again about his threat to bomb in a foreign civil war, and then of course, most recently, Megyn, he, uh, using our military, those who would fight against our enemies. Our military. Our vets. Shutting down their memorials. And holding them hostage in terms of budget deals. Uh, threatening to withhold paychecks for our brave men and women.

In July of last year, Sister Sarah gave an extremely slurred 30 minute speech at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado. You can check it out here.

It got so bad that one member of the audience even called the police to complain about her drunken behavior. She was subsequently arrested for having a blood alcohol reading three times the legal limit. She was also high on pot, but that’s legal in Colorado. They threw her in the tank to sober up and released her after she posted bail.

Then in September, there was that infamous drunken brawl she got involved in at a party she and her family crashed.

In January of this year, she addressed the Iowa Freedom Summit and kicked the alcoholic hilarity up a couple of notches. It got so bad that she got a “Thank you!” from the Democratic National Committee Communications Director. (I’d also like to thank her. I got over 350,000 hits on my post covering it.)

That, more or less brings us up to last week when “Boozy Barbie” struck again. This time on her Facebook page.

Responding to Martin O’Malley’s entry into the Democratic Primary Campaign:

As cool as [O’Malley] is with his rock ‘n roll persona, this typical liberal’s erroneous grasp of our Bill of Rights merely continues the strange and disastrous agenda of Barack Obama. Good to know he doesn’t have much chance of winning. The democrats have greased the skids for their chosen one, despite the media games that play the public with various “competing” campaigns used for gamey distractions.

On the Republicans being the civil rights and women’s equality party:

By now, most of those ol’ Reagan democrats have come to realize that it was the party of Lincoln and Reagan all these years fighting for and winning the abolishment of slavery, civil rights for all Americans, equal rights for women, free markets, individual liberty, constitutional protections, private sector job growth, and a sensible foreign policy rooted in peace through strength. For those who still identify as democrats, it’s quite easy to bid a deceptive party an overdue farewell. Just tell me what state you’re a resident of, and I’ll post links to your voter registration office. Click on it. There you can finally bust free of a party that’s long since abandoned you. I recommend then registering “independent,” or the equivalent of, in your state. Your newfound sweet freedom will empower you!

And, I’m not sure what this one was about.

Here’s just one reason to do it: abolishing your name from the liberal’s roll chips away at the democrat party’s foundation that actually supports un-American acts like this.

In closing I’ll leave you with one of my favorite rambles, Sister Sarah’s reaction to Elizabeth Warren’s “11 Tenets of Progressivism,” which included positions such as these:

We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!

Boozy Backwoods Barbie’s response: