… The law itself…is both meaningless drivel and an intentionally set courthouse time bomb. It’s so generic as to be applicable to both anything and nothing; like nearly all of the other recent bills premised on religious freedom, it supposes that literally any law can be nullified by the sincere belief of any single citizen that the law should not apply to them (strong echoes of the “sovereign citizen” flimflam there, and probably not coincidental)—while at the same time asserting that oh, of course we do not mean it for those laws where the federal courts have given states like Mississippi a butt-reddening what-for on which of citizens’ rights are not, in fact, optional.

Thus Mississippi can assert that its new law would not allow a landlord (or burger stand owner) to discriminate against black Americans because he believes black Americans to have been cursed by God, because that has already been explicitly nixed by the courts under the compelling interest standard, but a landlord (or burger stand owner) could freely discriminate against someone they believed to be A Gay, because hey, the damn courts haven’t quite told us we couldn’t. Not yet, anyway. It is a license to discriminate against and segregate literally any group that the state of Mississippi has not been previously explicitly barred from segregating and discriminating against. …

… Koch Industry Gasoline:
Chevron
Union
Union 76
Conoco

Koch Industry/Invista Products:
COMFOREL® fiberfill
COOLMAX® fabric
CORDURA® fabric
DACRON® fiber
POLYSHIELD® resin
SOLARMAX® fabric
SOMERELLE® bedding products
STAINMASTER® carpet
SUPPLEX® fabric
TACTEL® fiber
TACTESSE® carpet fiber
TERATE® polyols
TERATHANE® polyether glycol
THERMOLITE® fabric
PHENREZ® resin
POLARGUARD® fiber and
LYCRA® fiber

Koch Industry/Georgia-Pacific Products:
Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft ‘n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins

Georgia Pacific Building products:
Dense Armor Drywall and Decking
ToughArmor Gypsum board
Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood
Flexrock
Densglass sheathing
G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters)-
Agricultural Plaster
Arts & Crafts Plaster
Dental Plaster
General Purpose Plaster
Glass-reinforced Gypsum (GRG),etc.

"You don’t care and I don’t trust you."

Police notice, Tibet, 1993

Via wikipedja by way of dear Edosan

Police notice, Tibet, 1993

Via wikipedja by way of dear Edosan

As Republicans gnash their teeth over a series of states blocking the nutrition assistance cuts Republicans worked so hard to achieve, who exactly is benefiting from food stamps?

The annual report from the United States Department of Agriculture showed that about 45 percent of food stamp benefits went to children under 18, totaling about 20 million youngsters. Nine percent of recipients were age 60 or older, and nearly 10 percent were disabled adults who were under 60, according to the analysis of food stamp usage for the fiscal year that ended in September 2012.

So, yes, more than 60 percent were people we don’t expect to be in the workforce. At least, not if we retain some basic humanity. And a substantial percentage—about four in ten—live in a household in which someone is working. Because working poverty is very definitely a thing.

There are some simple, effective ways to reduce Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program spending. Raise the minimum wage. Invest in jobs. But that’s not The Republican Way. They’d rather cut the aid that keeps people fed without addressing the reasons they’re hungry to begin with.

Great news! Happy Spring, everyone!

NSA general counsel Rajesh De contradicts months of angry denials from big companies like Yahoo and Google

… The report says that there is a growing global public awareness of this power-grab. Polls carried out for Oxfam in the UK, Brazil, India, South Africa, Spain and US show that most people in all six countries believe that laws are skewed in favour of the rich. The UK polling carried out by Research Now, found that two-thirds of people thought ‘the rich had too much influence over the direction the country is headed’ and only one in ten disagreed. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the OECD club of rich nations.

Inequality has shot up the global agenda recently. US President Obama has made the issue one of his key priorities for 2014. The World Economic Forum has identified widening income disparities as the second greatest worldwide risk in the next 12-18 months. WEF’s Global Outlook report, published in November, warned inequality is undermining social stability and ‘threatening security on a global scale’.

Oxfam wants governments to take urgent action to reverse the trend. It is asking those attending Davos to make six-point personal pledge to tackle the problem.

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam Executive Director who will attend the Davos meetings, said:

"It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world’s population - that’s three and a half billion people - own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus.

"We cannot hope to win the fight against poverty without tackling inequality. Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table.

"In developed and developing countries alike we are increasingly living in a world where the lowest tax rates, the best health and education and the opportunity to influence are being given not just to the rich but also to their children.

"Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations. We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream. In too many countries economic growth already amounts to little more than a ‘winner takes all’ windfall for the richest."

The UK Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, chaired by Alun Milburn, warned in October that having stopped rising towards the end of the last century, social mobility is now flat-lining and “could go into reverse”. It found that too often being born poor leads to a lifetime of poverty.

Policies successfully demanded by the rich in recent decades include financial deregulation, tax havens and secrecy, anti-competitive business practice, lower tax rates on high incomes and investments and cuts or underinvestment in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970’s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, meaning that in many places the rich not only get more money but also pay less tax on it. …

… While the ‘God Hates’ crusade that Phelps has been on has continued, last year Fred himself dropped away from the monster he created, was excommunicated and the public was prevented from interviewing or talking to Fred.

Did Fred have a change of heart?
Was it all a massive ruse?

In the end, Phelps hate mongering has probably done more good for the gay rights movement then could have been imagined as it put a real, tangible face on hatred and forced society to accept that the slippery slope also involved creepy weirdos like Fred. Fred’s continuous picketting, protests and the like led more people to say ‘I can’t be on the same side as this guy’ and helps influence a generation that this kind of bigotry is wrong.

Last year, right before his ex-communication, Phelps faced confrontation of former members who wondered if Phelps himself wasn’t a gay man whose self hatred manifested itself as it did.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/…

Speaking in an interview with the Advocate, Drain speculated that Fred Phelps had at one point wanted to join the military, but suddenly changed his mind.

She said: “All I know is that he said he went to West Point, then all of a sudden he had a religious experience, and now he wanted to preach against sexual immorality, preach against the military, and ever since then things have kind of progressed.”

Drain went on to say that she thought his reaction to being asked by the media if he was gay himself was suspicious, in that it was particularly extreme.

“I never understood why, when [he was asked by the press], ‘Why are you so against the homosexuals? Did you have a homosexual experience? Do you have homosexual tendencies?’ And he would get so mad, he would shut down. And he’d be like, ‘I can’t talk to this person anymore, they’re stupid.’

“His reaction to that was stronger than any other question you can ask him. So I always wondered that — why does he get so mad? If I’m not gay, I’ll just say I’m not gay.”

Regardless, should this ex-communicated member of one of the most hate oriented churches in America be laid to rest, it is likely to be a major scene.. there would probably be some level of protests.

But Fred, you old hate monger, you despicable human being.. Thank you for putting a real face on hatred and bigotry. Your hate, your venom, your sheer level of evil reminded people all over the country that they couldn’t be on your side of this civil rights battle. And for that, I’ll tip my glass, and be glad the world is rid of you when you’re gone, and glad the world had to confront your madness as it did.

Don’t let the door slam ya on yr nasty ass.

The Julie Boonstra saga continues. Boonstra is the star of the most deceptive of the Koch brothers’ anti-Obamacare “horror stories,” and the one that has had to be debunked the most times. Here’s one more, from The Detroit News, and it turns out she’s saving even more money than previous debunkings revealed.


    Boonstra said Monday her new plan she dislikes is the Blue Cross Premier Gold health care plan—which caps patient responsibility for out-of-pocket costs at $5,100 a year, lower than the federal law’s maximum of $6,350 a year. It means the new plan will save her at least $1,200 compared with her former insurance plan she preferred that was ended under Obamacare’s coverage requirements.


    Boonstra’s old plan cost $1,100 a month in premiums or $13,200 a year, she previously told The Detroit News. It didn’t include money she spent on co-pays, prescription drugs and other out-of-pocket expenses.


    By contrast, the Blues’ plan premium costs $571 a month or $6,852 for the year. Since out-of-pocket costs are capped at $5,100, including deductibles, the maximum Boonstra would pay for all of her cancer treatment is $11,952 for the year.


    When advised of the details of her Blues’ plan, Boonstra said the idea that it would be cheaper “can’t be true.”


   “I personally do not believe that,” Boonstra said.


How very Republican of her, refusing to acknowledge the facts because they disprove her beliefs. Because she doesn’t personally believe she’ll actually be helped by Obamacare, she refuses to recognize the fact that it’s true. Speaking of Republicans, remember how the Kochs have used Republican activists in their ads in New Hampshire?


    Boonstra is the ex-wife of Mark Boonstra, the former Washtenaw County GOP chairman whom Gov. Rick Snyder appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 2012. Julie Boonstra said she’s never been a political person beyond advocating for lower-cost oral chemotherapy treatment in Washington.


Sorry, Ms. Boonstra, but I just personally do not believe that.


barrylyga:

American Internet speeds lag behind Estonia. ESTONIA. Let’s hear again how big cable mergers are good for consumers!

The GOP’s problem with non-white voters, in one awesome picture

What’s that they say about pictures worth 1,000 words? Try 10,000.

Big problem for GOP. Most important #CPAC2014 panel. Topic: minority outreach. View: largely empty room. http://t.co/LQKQ0QwwVc
— @JohnJHudak

Let’s be honest. CPAC should’ve been better prepared. By, like, scheduling that panel in a broom closet.

@JohnJHudak Must have been a panel on disenfranchising poor people down the hall #priorities
— @SHC_PR

The GOP’s problem with non-white voters, in one awesome picture

What’s that they say about pictures worth 1,000 words? Try 10,000.

Big problem for GOP. Most important #CPAC2014 panel. Topic: minority outreach. View: largely empty room. http://t.co/LQKQ0QwwVc
— @JohnJHudak

Let’s be honest. CPAC should’ve been better prepared. By, like, scheduling that panel in a broom closet.

@JohnJHudak Must have been a panel on disenfranchising poor people down the hall #priorities
— @SHC_PR

So the college Republicans commission a report to find out why their peers hate their party so much, and we can sit there and laugh that they spent money to discover the obvious:

Words that up-for-grabs voters associate with the GOP: “The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

But there were some nuggets of good info in there, such as one-quarter of young voters won’t even consider voting for a candidate who holds anti-gay views. I’m telling you, the millennials are changing this country for the better. On the other hand, we can go back to laughing when we see how these young Republicans react to that info:

    “On the ‘open-minded’ issue, yes, we will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table,” the authors wrote. “In the short term, the party ought to promote the diversity of thought within its ranks and make clear that we welcome healthy debate on the policy topic at hand.”

And:

    Republicans need to avoid allowing the abortion debate to be “conflated” with debates over contraception, rape and Planned Parenthood, the report recommended.

And:

    “If we don’t believe that Republicans are the ‘fend for yourself’ party, then it’s time for us to explain why — and to show our work,” the report said. “This will go a long way overall, but particularly with Latino voters, who tend to think the GOP couldn’t care less about them.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Have they taken a look at their party recently? They can’t “promote diversity” because the very word “diversity” is anathema to the GOP. Witness GOProud’s inability to exhibit at CPAC, lest the party’s Christianists boycott the event. And they are absolutely the party of “fend for yourself.” Where do you think that “43 percent” shit comes from, or the “you didn’t built that” hysteria of 2012? …

Rep. Paul Ryan waxed eloquent at CPAC Thursday on how completely Republicans understand the American people, in stark contrast to how “the left” is offering people “a full stomach and an empty soul.” Offering children a stomach full of school lunch, to be precise.

Ryan cited a story he heard from Eloise Anderson, who “serves in the cabinet of my buddy Scott Walker.” Anderson told Ryan of an encounter with:

    … a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school he would get a free lunch from a government program. He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown paper bag, just like the other kids.

    He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.

Hey, maybe if we take that kid’s free school lunch away, his parents will be able to scrounge up a brown paper bag to send him to school with every day. It’ll be empty, like his stomach, but whatever, brown paper bag = love.

What the left doesn’t understand, apparently, is that this child should go hungry because it’s been made clear to him that being poor means his parents somehow love him less. Trust Ryan to miss the pathos of a child having been taught this. And what about kids whose parents send them to school with lunch money, not brown paper bags, because both of their parents work and do not have time to be packing a lunch every day? Ryan’s version of parental love doesn’t make room for them either. What else might he require for a family to qualify as loving—a mother who meets the kids at the door after school bearing freshly baked cookies?

If you’re middle class and living a 1950s sitcom lifestyle, there’s room for you in Paul Ryan’s vision of non-empty souls. But, as poll after poll shows, American voters prefer a Democratic vision of a higher minimum wage, unemployment aid, Social Security, and a host of other programs that Ryan’s “empty soul” rhetoric is designed to cheapen.