Friday, June 12, 2015

Seared Music: America - "Ventura Highway"

...whenever I listen to this song, I think of the open road and the freedom to travel, to go wherever the mind takes you, whenever and without having to ask permission...that is America.

House Rejects Trade Bill, Rebuffs Obama's Trade Request

....its' one thing when the opposition rejects your efforts, its' quite another when your own party does so...
WASHINGTON — House Democrats rebuffed a dramatic personal appeal from President Obama on Friday, torpedoing his ambitious push to expand his trade negotiating power — and, quite likely, his chance to secure a legacy-defining trade accord spanning the Pacific Ocean.
In a remarkable rejection of a president they have resolutely backed, House Democrats voted to kill assistance to workers displaced by global trade, a program their party created and has stood by for four decades. By doing so, they brought down legislation granting the president trade promotion authority — the power to negotiate trade deals that cannot be amended or filibustered by Congress — before it could even come to a final vote.
“We want a better deal for America’s workers,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader who has guided the president’s agenda for two terms and was personally lobbied by Mr. Obama until the last minute.
Republican leaders tried to muster support from their own party for trade adjustment assistance, a program they have long derided as an ineffective waste of money and sop to organized labor. But not enough Republicans were willing to save the program. (New York Times)
Worse, the vote wasn't even close, 302-126 against. That's not just a defeat, that's an ass-whooping of a defeat. Now, the question is: can something be salvaged of this or has it gone down to defeat once and for all?

The Supreme Court Jester

Founder's Quote, 12 June 2015

Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Wilson Nicholas — 1803

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Seared Music: The Psychedelic Furs - "Dumb Waiters"

*reads song title* ....paging Mr. Streiff....

Streiff Is An Idiot

Past ".... is an idiot" posts:
Today's installment of "....is an idiot" goes to a RedState writer named Streiff who recently wrote a hit piece on the Pentagon and the seeming "corruption" of the U.S. Army. First, a little background: earlier this week the Pentagon held a Gay Pride Event; one of the attendees' was a 1-star Army general, who introduced his husband at the event. This, of course, offended the delicate sensibilities of social conservatives, who are still under the illusion that LGBT individuals shouldn't serve in the military whatsoever....but Streiff took it a step further; here's what he wrote that earns him the "Is An Idiot" award...quoting:
The issue in both these cases is not the sexual preference of the officers but the fact that they entered on active duty at a time when it was against Army regulations — and illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice — to engage in homosexual activity. This is what is known as a fraudulent appointment. It is actually a federal crime. They accepted a salary under false pretenses. Any punishments they awarded are illegal because they held their commissions illegally. The Army is now honoring them as some sort of hero — General Smith says her promotion is about “upholding Army values” which, at some point after I left, were expanded to include lying and deceit. At a minimum, neither of these officers should have been promoted because they are self-confessed and unrepentant liars.(RedState)
See the key part above? Assuming that B.Gen. Taylor entered the Army in the late 80's, what Streiff is essentially saying here is that, by serving their country honorably without concern over their sexual orientation, they're also violating the very oaths they've sworn to defend. This kind of logic makes absolutely no fucking sense...I mean, seriously, Streiff, where's the evidence at hand above? The question he posits is a no-win question that does nothing....if Taylor answers one way, he's screwed by the system, if he answers the other way, he's screwed for lying to the authorities. In other words, its' a gotcha' question that serves no purpose in this day & age....

...but where he really earns the idiot sobriquet is in insinuating the the United States military needs to be purged of its' LGBT servicemembers for no other reason than their sexual orientation...uhmm, Mr. Streiff, we've been down that road and we ain't going back, sir. The U.S. military, by most accounts, is still the most professional organization in the country and one reason it is so is the professionalism, honor and service of its' members. Even when they do things that defy logic and common sense, they're still far more professional than America sometimes deserves and one of the reasons for that professionalism is the apolitical nature of the military; they don't take sides in political debates (nor should they)...they simply carry out the orders of the civilian leadership in power, irrespective of who leads the country. To suggest that they do otherwise, as Mr. Streiff suggests they do, is frankly an insult to not only the men & women currently serving, but to all those who've served...

...so, Mr. Streiff, 
...here's your sign, you stupid-ass sonuvabitch!

Founder's Quote, 11 June 2015

A lady asked Dr. Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got - a republic or a monarchy?" "A republic," replied the Doctor, "if you can keep it." - Benjamin Franklin, Farrandís Records of the Federal Convention of 1787

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Seared Music: One Day As A Lion - "Wild International"

...cause sometimes you just wanna' look over at the Deluded Left and shoot 'em a bird, saying "Fuck you" to 'em at the same time...

Is It Just Me....

...or is this yet more reasons to have term limits for legislators?

Founder's Quote, 9 June 2015

If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected. - Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography — 1821

Monday, June 8, 2015

Seared Music: Argent - "Thunder & Lightning"

...given today's weather, this is an apt song...

ISIS: "We Have 71 Soldiers In 15 States"

Oh yeah? Well, Mohammedans....

Should The LGBT Community Exploit The Religious Right's Animus Towards Them?

In a word, yes. As Alvin McEwen over at Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters points out,
When it comes to good old fashioned strategic warfare, the lgbt community stinks. We really do. How is it that we can allow anti-gay figures to falsely claim that they have no animus against us, no ignorance against us when we have so much ammunition to choose from?  How is it that folks like Tony Perkins and organizations such as the Family Research Council can even begin an attempt to control the argument in this so-called culture war when at the very least, all we need to do is to raise a stink by making conversations like the following (an old "friend" of ours, Peter LaBarbera being interviewed by VCY America's Crosstalk call-in show) go viral: (LaBarbera remarks, as recorded on SoundCloud).
As Harry S. Truman once posited...
 I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it's hell.
For what its' worth, we need to do the same....when the religious right tells lies, falsehoods and mistruths about the LGBT community, instead of ignoring them, go on the offense. Tell the truth about them and let them feel society's wrath; turn the tables on them. If they think it's hell, we should simply tell them, 'well, then, start treating us with the respect we're due as equal members of society, you hidebound sons-of-bitches!"

Use...rinse...and REPEAT.

SCOTUS's 2014 Case Docket Gets Slimmer...And Slimmer...

Past SCOTUS case snippets....
This morning, the Supreme Court continued to lighten off its' 2014 case docket w/a couple of decisions...
  • Zivotofsky v. Kerry (13-628): In this decision, the High Court, using their power of original jurisdiction, ruled that on matters regarding recognition of foreign sovereignty, the power of recognition exists solely with the President and not with the Secretary of State. The case here involves whether an individual born of U.S. citizens in Jerusalem is allowed to list their place of birth as Israel rather than as Jerusalem, which is recognized solely as an international city; however, the Court also ruled that Congress has a role in foreign diplomacy through the passage and debate of laws, treaties and agreements between the United States and other countries
  • Jackson v. San Francisco (14-704, pg.11 of SCOTUSOrder - 8 June 2015): In a 7-2 denial of certiorari, the High Court denied a request for a hearing on the constitutionality of San Francisco's gun laws, in particular Sect. 4512 which restricts the right of an individual to own or possess a firearm unless it is kept w/in a locked firearms case. This is the first case of note to examine the limits set forth in the 2008 Heller decision, something that both the 9th Circuit and the Supreme Court acknowledged (especially in regards to the dissents on denial of cert by Justices Scalia and Alito)
With the one decision settled above, the Court has roughly 20 cases left, but with only three weeks remaining in the Court's term, it is widely expected by Court Kremlinologists that the Court may end up issuing decisions on either Thursdays or Fridays as an effort to lighten the Monday case dumps, which will likely be the days we see the Court's major decisions released...

Founder's Quote, 8 June 2015

The tendency of a national bank is to increase public and private credit. The former gives power to the state, for the protection of its rights and interests: and the latter facilitates and extends the operations of commerce among individuals. Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state. - Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures — 1790