Black boys

 Posted by at 22:31  Politics
Jul 152013
 

Whatever your views on the George Zimmeran/Trayvon Martin verdict, I heartily recommend that you take a few moments to read this article by Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post. I’ll get you started, but you’ll need to click on the article’s title to read the whole thing.

Black boys denied the right to be young

Justice failed Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. We should be appalled and outraged, but perhaps not surprised, that it failed him again Saturday night, with a verdict setting his killer free.

Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have — but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid.

George Zimmerman’s acquittal was set in motion on Feb. 26, 2012, before Martin’s body was cold. When Sanford, Fla., police arrived on the scene, they encountered a grown man who acknowledged killing an unarmed 17-year-old boy. They did not arrest the man or test him for drug or alcohol use. They conducted a less-than-energetic search for forensic evidence. They hardly bothered to look for witnesses.

Only a national outcry forced authorities to investigate the killing seriously. Even after six weeks, evidence was found to justify arresting Zimmerman, charging him with second-degree murder and putting him on trial. But the chance of dispassionately and definitively establishing what happened that night was probably lost. The only complete narrative of what transpired was Zimmerman’s.

Jurors knew that Zimmerman was an overeager would-be cop, a self-appointed guardian of the neighborhood who carried a loaded gun. They were told that he profiled Martin — young, black, hooded sweatshirt — as a criminal. They heard that he stalked Martin despite the advice of a 911 operator; that the stalking led to a confrontation; and that, in the confrontation, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest.

Please read the entire article.

Zimmerman not guilty

 Posted by at 21:20  General
Jul 132013
 

I knew he would get away with it: George Zimmerman found not guilty of murder in Trayvon Martin’s death.

Update: Statement from President Obama issued Sunday, July 14:

The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

One way we can prevent future tragedies like this is to ensure that murderers like George Zimmerman spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

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Jul 132013
 

The American Taliban had their way with the women of Texas last night…

Texas Senate passes controversial abortion bill

AUSTIN, Texas — After more than eight hours of debate, the plan to enact some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion regulations was approved 19-11 by the Texas Senate late Friday.

This issue – which will restrict abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and put in place regulations so strict that only a handful of abortion clinics, including one in Fort Worth, likely will remain – thrust Texas into the national limelight and drew thousands of activists for and against the legislation to the state Capitol to witness the debate.

As the roar of thousands could be heard inside the normally quiet Senate chambers, senators were poised to vote along party lines to approve the measure and send it to Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to quickly sign it into law.

I still do not understand why the Republicans believe they have the right to tell women what to do with their own bodies. Those decisions should be left to a woman, her family and her team of medical professionals. Is this part of the “small government” the Republicans are always talking about? I really do believe that Texas just turned blue.

In other news, we have further proof that you simply cannot a believe a word the Republicans say…

Protesters Question Report on Confiscations

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday that officers had discovered more than a dozen jars containing “suspected” feces and urine at the Texas Capitol, the site of an intense debate among state senators over abortion restrictions.

In a press release, the agency offered scant details about the seizures and did not say where the items were taken or what happened to them, prompting abortion rights activists to express doubts about the official account.

The department said the items were found after the agency received information that protesters had planned to use a “variety of items or props to disrupt legislative proceedings at the Texas Capitol.”

“During these inspections, DPS officers have thus far discovered one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint,” the news release said. “All of these items — as well as significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti possessed by individuals — were required to be discarded; otherwise those individuals were denied entry into the gallery.”

DPS officers outside the Senate gallery and at each entrance to the Capitol told The Texas Tribune they had not seen or found jars containing feces or urine, and multiple officers throughout the Capitol said they had not heard of any jars being found until a reporter mentioned it. Several officers also said they had not heard anything on the DPS radio system about jars of any excrement.

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Weekly Address 07-13-13

 Posted by at 10:20  Politics
Jul 132013
 

“Strengthening our Economy by Passing Bipartisan Immigration Reform”

From the White House weblog:

President Obama discusses how a large, bipartisan majority in the Senate voted to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which would add a big boost to our economy, strengthen Social Security, and modernize our legal immigration system to make it more consistent with our value. He calls on Congress to pass this commonsense bill quickly so that we can fix our broken immigration system and keep America strong for years to come.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

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Transcript after the break.

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Perry not done yet

 Posted by at 15:03  Politics, Republicans
Jul 102013
 

All the good people in Texas got kind of excited the other day when Rick Perry announced he would not seek another term as our governor. Still, though, he has 18 months left in his current term. And, as author James Moore points out, he ain’t done yet…

Cowboy Rick Perry will ride again — in 2016

No one should expect anything new out of Perry. He will keep traveling the country annoying other state leaders while talking about jobs in Texas and acting like he persuaded God to pour dinosaur wine into our soil and then seduced California tech companies into moving where real estate and labor are less expensive. Texas has always been a job engine because of natural resources, weather and people, not politicians.

No mention will be made by Perry of the fact that a large number of jobs lured to Texas using taxpayer money are minimum wage, nor will he talk about how Texas is 50th in the percentage of population with a high school diploma, or how it’s first in the nation with 28.8% uninsured.

The governor will keep arguing against Obamacare regardless of the fact it insures 3 million more Texans and reduces the uninsured overall to 12%. Don’t expect him to detail, either, that his state is 50th in per capita spending on health care, 51st in benefits for the Women, Infants and Children program, and, even though he is pushing abortion restrictions, Perry will certainly not let anyone know he presides over a state ranked 50th in the percentage of women receiving prenatal care in their first trimesters.

And if his leadership has been so inspiring, why is it that Texas is also last in the percentage of the voting age population that actually votes?

The Texas governor has a good life. And he knows it. He’s already drawing his $7,698 a month pension from the state, and his $150,000 salary, living in a beautiful mansion in downtown Austin, and traveling on jets with an entourage of security and sycophants. But that’s nothing compared with being president. So, no, the cowboy isn’t riding away. He’s hanging around the saloon.

And trying to get another drink.

That’s just a bit of James’ article. Click on the title to read the whole thing.

Unfortunately, we have not yet seen the last of King Rick.

Texas gets a break

 Posted by at 21:29  Politics, Republicans
Jul 082013
 

The state of Texas finally got a break today…

Perry Says He Won’t Seek Governorship Again in Texas

SAN ANTONIO — Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor of Texas and an unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate last year, announced on Monday that he would not seek another term but would instead “pray and reflect and work to determine my own future path.”

“The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership,” Mr. Perry told a crowd of supporters in a cavernous heavy equipment dealership here. “Today, I am announcing I will not seek re-election as governor of Texas.”

As for what happens after his term is over in 18 months, he said he would “announce any future considerations in due time,” almost certainly an allusion to the possibility of a White House bid in 2016, though he made no direct reference to it. Mr. Perry has indicated regret over entering the presidential race relatively late in the process and has said that back trouble and a lack of sleep contributed to his gaffe-plagued campaign.

But it is an open question whether an earlier start and better health would make a difference for Mr. Perry, should he try to run again. Mr. Perry faces some daunting challenges. First, he would have to convince Republican primary voters that he is not the lightweight who could not recite the third of three federal agencies he would eliminate and blurted out, “Oops.”

I’m hoping that Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee both decide to throw their hats in the ring in 2016. This country could use some real-life comedy.

Perry quitting now puts Attorney General Greg Abbott in front of the race for the Republican nomination for the next Texas governor. I’ve heard that he already has $18 million banked for the race. Believe it or not, Abbott would actually be worse for Texas than Perry. Perry flirted heavily with the Tea Party. Abbott is married to it.

And the rich get richer

 Posted by at 10:25  economy, Politics
Jul 062013
 

If this doesn’t get your dander up, I honestly do not know what will (other than Republicans, of course)…

CEOs Make 273 Times the Average Worker

If you’re the CEO of a major company today, you make, on average, about 273 times more than the average worker. That’s according to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) of the CEO-to-worker pay ratio at top 350 firms. The average pay, EPI found, was $14.1 million in 2012, up 12.7 percent from 2011.

That’s a big change from a half-century ago. In 1965, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was about 20-to-1, but it grew over the next three decades, and that growth picked up speed in the ’90s. It peaked in 2000 before the early 2000s recession, with a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 383.4-to-1. It hit a lesser peak again in 2007, before the Great Recession, with a ratio of 351.3-to-1. During the recovery, CEO pay has been climbing upward once more. At the same time, for most Americans, wages have remained stagnant at best.

I mean, come on, most of these guys can’t even throw a football!

Weekly Address 07-04-13

 Posted by at 11:39  Politics
Jul 042013
 

“Celebrating Independence Day”

From the White House weblog:

President Obama commemorates our nation’s Independence Day, and recognizes the generations of Americans— from farmers to teachers to entrepreneurs—who worked together to make the United States what it is today. The President also thanked the men and women of the military, who have given so much to defend the United States at home and abroad, and said that we are grateful for their service and sacrifice.

Transcript after the break.

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