Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hastert goes to prison

Another Republican gets a free ride courtesy of the tax payers yet again.

Yup, ol' pervy Uncle Denny is getting 3 squares and a bed for, oh, possibly a year or so, because of his conviction over paying hush money to underaged victims of his alleged sexual misconduct.

I have to say "alleged" because he can't be charged with molesting the kids, as the statute of limitations has run out. But he IS guilty of paying out up to $3.5 million to at least one of his victims.

Look, you don't pay that kind of coin if you aren't guilty of what you're trying to cover up. Obviously he touched the kids.

And this isn't a partisan frenzy, seeing as Hastert is long gone from the House.

No, the partisan frenzy was 10 years ago, when his pal Joe Lieberman defended him (and in essence called me a liar) when I asked him about it after a public event in Milford.

Good ol' Joe. Always backing the wrong guy.

Isn't it weird how Dennis Hastert defended former Rep. Mark Foley (accused of sending sexually explicit texts to teenage male Congressional pages)?

I guess those old perverts really stick together.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The NRA wins again

Yesterday the Senate voted down several common-sense gun control measures that would have taken guns out of the hands of exactly ZERO law-abiding gun owners, while simultaneously keeping guns from being purchased by suspected terrorists and people on the no-fly list.

This is absolutely no surprise, as the Republicans are so terrified of being primaried for their own seats by massively-fund NRA-approved candidates that basically all of them voted against the measures.

Last week's dramatic Senate filibuster in the wake of the Orlando massacre by Connecticut senator Chris Murphy forced the chamber to take up the vote. While nobody honestly expected the bills to pass, it DID show just how hypocritical the Republicans are when matters of preventing gun violence are brought up. The partisan voting lines showed America just where their candidates lean on an issue that has been receiving overwhelming support in recent polls.

Hopefully this will equate to the Democrats taking back enough seats in both Houses of Congress that we will get meaningful legislation passed during the upcoming Clinton administration.

Ever since the Newtown mass shooting, I've known of a sure-fire way to immediately turn public opinion so much against the NRA-supported candidates that even THEY will have to vote for common-sense legislation:

Release the Sandy Hook crime scene photos.

Just by doing this one simple thing, the entire debate will be rendered unnecessary, as the horrific imagery will completely end any discussion on the need for private citizens to have access to assault rifles.

Of course, this will never happen (barring a successful legal challenge to the DOJ on the public need to see these photos) as the carnage will both bring incredible pain to the families of the victims, and absolutely horrify the American public.

Which is why it needs to be done.

Because without meaningful legislation to end this madness, we'll see even MORE schools, MORE nightclubs, MORE shopping malls, MORE theaters...basically, more EVERYTHING being shot up by mentally-damaged individuals or terrorists with agendas of hatred.

All of this because the NRA is a powerful lobby, and some fearful Americans are willing to put up with the more and more frequent mass shootings because they feel safer cuddling with their AR-15s.

Simply release the photos of Sandy Hook, Pulse, Aurora, San Bernadito, and Virginia Tech.

Do this ONE thing, and we'll see life-saving legislation fly through Congress faster than a speeding bullet.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Night Music Club v.46

Leonard Cohen is an important voice in music, and many of his songs from years ago have the ability to echo their message just as powerfully today.

This being an election year here in the USA, this song seems like an especially appropriate selection.

Leonard Cohen - "Democracy" (1992)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


My senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy, boldly took the lead in the firearms debate today when he began a filibuster that is currently running strong at press time (in other words, when I hit "Publish") hours later.

I know the likelihood of enough Republicans supporting ANY legislation that might make it even SLIGHTLY more difficult for crazy people to purchase assault weapons is somewhere in the neighborhood of Pluto being reclassified as a planet.

But this gesture opens a serious dialog in this election year. One that may have lasting repercussions going into the next administration and Congress.

I have never felt more proud of our representation in our little home state!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Another massacre

And Congress responds with silence...again.

Well, not ALL of them...Jim Himes (CT-04) responds with absolute clarity:

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sunday Night Music Club v.45

This week's installment of SNMC features Aussie rocker Courtney Barnett.

Barnett plays a live version of the rocking "Pedestrian at Best", from her debut studio album "Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit" recorded at The Triple Door, sponsored by KEXP in Seattle.

I'm not a big fan of the band's "official" music videos, and much prefer their live performances. It almost seems like Australia music videos are scripted by the same people who created most of the late '80s and early '90s MTV videos. They seem a bit dated and hackneyed.

As far as videos go, Barnett's true charisma shines in her concert appearances. She has the stage presence and post-punk charm of a 21st century Chrissie Hynde.

But she's no "pretender"...she's for real.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Flashback 2008: Angry Hillary Supporters speak out

I'm getting tired of hearing from Clinton fans about how terrible it is that Sanders supporters aren't happy with the way the primary system is being rigged by the Democratic National Committee to make Hillary the presumptive nominee. The Clinton supporters are attacking Sanders fans, calling them "Bernie Bros" (a term I feel is disrespectful and belittling. Imagine the outrage if someone started calling Clinton supporters "Hillary Ho's"!) and railing against them and accusing them of pledging to NOT vote for Clinton if she wins the nomination.

Guess what?

Clinton supporters are the ones who came up with that strategy back in 2008!

And boy, they were very vocal about it.

Yeah, they said that!

So, the angry Hillary supporters created the PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass), people who swear to vote for McCain, or write in Hillary's name should Obama be nominated:

And here's another fervent Hillary supporter letting everyone know exactly how much she supports the nominee:

"An inadequate black male!"

"Goddamn the Democrats!"

Sheesh! Imagine if a Sanders supporter let loose with a rant like that about Hillary.

So, perhaps some of you Hillary supporters should tone it down a little when attributing your own behaviors to people who support Sanders.

Because you all know there wasn't a single chair thrown at the Nevada convention, but you all couldn't resist jumping onto that bullshit meme because it makes your candidate seem more like a victim.

Grow. The. Fuck. Up.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Overtime upgrade

This week President Obama endorsed the new Department of Labor rule regarding overtime pay for workers who acquire more than 40 hours a week. Basically, it raises the threshold for those salaried workers who currently work for unpaid overtime.

Previous to this rule, which goes into effect in December 2016, if you made more than $23,660 per year, you were exempt from overtime pay. The DOL has doubled that amount, so if you're salaried and make less than $47,476, you get overtime pay when you work more than 40 hours. And this amount will be revisited every 3 years to make adjustments based on cost of living and average salary wages.

Another big plus is that exemptions for salaried workers who have managerial duties are also stopped. Which means (and this is close to home since my wife is a manager at her job) that employers will either have to compensate managerial workers for overtime, or limit them to a strict 40 hour work week.

Either of which is fine for us. I'd be happy with my wife either being paid for her 50-hour work weeks, or being home at dinner time and on weekends.

This is a good thing, and a fair thing, and I only hope we continue to see workers protected by their government.

Hey, it ain't so bad to see a lame duck president still doing good things for us working Americans!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Shenanigans in Nevada


SHəˈnanəɡənz/noun informal

plural noun: shenanigans

secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering.
"widespread financial shenanigans had ruined the fortunes of many"

And then, of course, there's the wild unfounded accusations made by Hillary supporters (and please note that I call them "supporters", not "bots", "bros", or any other sort of insult) that spread like wildfire after the convention fiasco. Via Bob Morris, a political blogger in Nevada:

"Berniebot chair-throwing truthers!" Gosh, I'm finding all of this comically absurd in a deranged way.

There is furious argument about whether or not Sanders supporters threw chairs in anger at the train-wreck Nevada State Convention. Really!

"The video shows a chair being thrown."
"Does not. He picked up the chair, that's all."
"He picked in up in anger."
"Did not."
(Repeat conversation for all videos concerning chairs. Then insult each other for being corrupt corporate sellouts / commie socialist troublemakers.)

RalstonReports has been cheerfully poking the BernieBro Beast about this and the results in his Twitter thread on this are fast and furious.

I still don't know what happened there. People who were there sometimes have differing accounts...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sanders takes another state

(About 30 years ago I parachuted from the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia, and lived!)

In yesterdays West Virginia primary, Bernie Sanders won convincingly over Hillary Clinton.

In a state that she won eight years ago.

I thought Hillary was supposed to be unbeatable in the South.

Obviously, there has been a significant change in the voters' perception of Clinton.

Sanders won big, with 51.4% of the Democratic vote to Clinton's 36%. Possibly this number was helped because of the "semi-open" primary system they use, where voters registered under a party MUST vote in their party's primary, but unaffiliated (independent) voters may vote in either primary.

So Bernie's huge margin may have to do with the fact that, just as in the general election, unaffiliated voters may vote for either candidate. This reflects the polling that has Sanders consistently doing better against Trump than Clinton.

But the Democratic machine overwhelmingly wants Hillary to be their candidate, and Bernie will never be treated fairly by the party apparatus. The game is rigged, and going in everyone can see the writing on the wall.

However, there's still about 10 weeks to go before the convention, and even if Hillary wins the required number of delegates outright before California, Bernie will still have a huge amount of popular support going into Philadelphia in late July. He'll have a dramatic affect on the party's platform, and he's already influencing Clinton's rhetoric. Moving her more toward the liberal end of the spectrum, although she's still as firmly a conservative Democrat as Barack Obama.

And I can't believe anyone actually WANTS a third term of Obama at this point.