Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tea Party group caught red-handed committing election fraud

This is the third negative story in a row about the Tea Party that I've found necessary to post. After all, they're the Tea Party. It's not like they've ever contributed anything positive.

Now, Americans for Prosperity - one of the country's leading Tea Party groups - has been caught up in an election fraud scandal in North Carolina, which has become one of the most politically competitive states. AFP was caught red-handed sending out a mailing to hundreds of thousands of voters designed to suppress voting. The mailings gave the wrong deadline for registering to vote, the wrong address for registration questions, the wrong zip code for turning in registration forms, and the wrong information on how voters will be informed of what precinct they're in.

Plus, many mailings were addressed to dead people, cats, and other ineligible voters.

AFP just committed a felony. And I don't give a shit if AFP knows I said this about their precious little club. I know they're monitoring me, after they added me to one of their social networking accounts, and I don't care.

Officials with North Carolina's State Board of Elections say they've been fielding nonstop phone calls from angry voters complaining about the mailings.

May the Tea Party's faces fall off in public.

(Source: http://wfae.org/post/americans-prosperity-voting-registration-mailer-stirs-confusion)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tea Party sends anti-Jewish hate mail to former IRS official

The Tea Party doesn't take it well when their lies get debunked in front of the whole nation.

This right-wing hate group played up last year's IRS "scandal" in which they claimed the agency was unfairly singling them out. But it turned out the IRS was actually much tougher on Occupy groups.

After Lois Lerner - director of the IRS's Exempt Organizations Unit - stepped down in the wake of the Tea Party's manufactured controversy, the Tea Party continued to target her. For starts, disgraced Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) filed a bill that would order Capitol police to arrest Lerner. Now Lerner has reported receiving Tea Party hate mail calling her a "dirty Jew" (in the Tea Party's words). Federal agents have had to guard her home due to death threats.

But Lois Lerner doesn't hide from the Tea Party criminals who want her dead. She told Politico, "I'm proud of my career and the job I did for this country."

After Lerner revealed the bigotry and threats she suffered, right-wing websites ridiculed her for her interview. That's because the Far Right overall is just as bigoted as the hate mail suggests.

I do not follow any religion, but I'm acquainted with good people from a variety of religious backgrounds. An offense to some should be considered an offense to all. If you support the Tea Party, you're supporting anti-Semitism. At all the Occupy events I've been to, I've never heard any Occupy participants utter anything that was an expression of prejudice against any group of people.

Think of the worst bigots you know. Notice they've joined the Tea Party, not Occupy.

The Media is just as guilty for supporting the Tea Party. Not surprising, considering the press's long list of prejudices. For example, The Media displayed their bias against gays by promoting the preposterous Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in 2012 after that fast food chain donated to an antigay hate group.

Be careful who you hate. It could be someone you pretended you loved.

(Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/lois-lerner-breaks-silence-irs-scandal-111181.html)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Appeasers within Occupy find new way to lose

The Occupy coalition should have sliced off its right wing long ago, and nobody can say I didn't provide fair warning. The atmosphere of unconditional appeasement that has plagued Occupy lately is one of the reasons - along with unchecked media bias - I've acquired such a pessimistic mood about the midterms in the past few weeks.

Occupy in its earlier stages never would have surrendered like it does now, but these days, that's all they ever do. Half the Occupy pages on Facebook now are indistinguishable from the Tea Party droid sites that became ubiquitous before Occupy. Take the site for Occupy Victoria in British Columbia, for example. Despite the recent climate change march in New York that drew 500,000 (which the right-wing media ignored), Occupy Victoria's page is primarily a climate change denier site now, and they even post propaganda to that effect from Tea Party websites. The site for Occupy Aspen in Colorado long ago became a lost cause. (John Denver is dancing with the mountains in his grave.)

Fact of the matter is, our side should be significantly ahead in the polls right now. One of the reasons it isn't - again, in addition to media bias - is Occupy's unconditional surrender.

The mere fact that the Tea Party has picked a small-time Miss Cleo to run in a school board election should make November a slam-dunk for us. But it isn't. The fact that Steven Maynard has become one of the leaders of the Kentucky GOP should make things as easy as shooting oranges in a barrel. But it hasn't. Mitch McConnell saying Israel has a dome and Sarah Palin saying the White House is at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue should send us cruising to victory. But it hasn't. A Tea Party candidate for Campbell County Commissioner filing a frivolous lawsuit against the library should give our side an almost automatic win. But it hasn't.

It's bad enough to keep having to fight this battle every 6 to 8 years, so who in Occupy thought it was a good idea to make us fight it every 2 years? I hope the appeasers within Occupy enjoy our new right-wing Senate - because that's exactly what we're gonna end up with because of them. I know voter turnout is important, but you always have to assume our side has much lighter turnout - in addition to suffering vote suppression. Why make it worse by allowing Occupy to be taken over by the Far Right?

When the GOP wins Senate seats in places like Colorado and Iowa that shouldn't even be close, how will Occupy react? Will a new movement emerge a few months later like Occupy did after the last midterm - only to be gutted in another 3 years?

You don't play nice with fascists. The looming electoral disaster is a perfect illustration of why. Don't cry to me on the morning after the election, because I warned Occupy about this danger right from the giddy-up.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Microsoft kills 'LCQ'

In the wacky world of Windows, the modus operandi is usually one step forward and a billion steps back, and the way Microsoft has mishandled its Windows Movie Maker application is a perfect example of this.

For years, I've used this program - which once had a reliable version included with Windows - for my 'Lawn Chair Quarterback' vignettes and other projects. The computer I buyed 3 years ago - the one I just retired because a mandatory Windows 7 update all but hosed it - didn't include it, so I had to download it when I got that machine. Later, I had to download a newer version, because the old version stopped working properly.

My new computer includes a brand new version of Windows Movie Maker, but it bears no resemblance to the old version that I knew how to use, so I downloaded an old version. But the old edition doesn't work on the new computer. Of course. So I had to teach myself how to use the new version.

That might have been the end of it, except now I can't figure out how to cut and paste audio from the same video. The 'LCQ' I had planned for this week needed this feature - and there's to be no arguing about it. So I asked around on Twitter and Facebook where I could find this feature in the new version. I needed the answer by 9 PM tonight, or 'LCQ' gets it.

I never got an answer. That's because the self-styled technological wizards at Windows got rid of this feature in the new version.

So no more 'LCQ'. All because Windows can't get its poop in a group. Cut and paste of audio is one of the most simple features a video editing program in 2014 should have, and the new Movie Maker doesn't even have it.

Maybe someday, Windows will come out with a Collector's Edition of Windows Movie Maker that has all 16.4.3528.0331 versions of this program on a deluxe set of 20 CD's. Then 'LCQ' may come back, and you'll laugh again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

St. Louiseein' still St. Louisbelievin' after all these years

I amassed 98 Roads Scholaring photos during last month's St. Louis trip. And that's not even an "if poo." That's an "if certainty."

As usual, you're gonna peep 'em and weep 'em...


Sunday, September 21, 2014

People plopped stuff at Ploptoberfest

Sometimes you really can have too much of a good thing - even ploppings.

I went to the Saturday installment of Cincinnati's Oktoberfest - which I call Ploptoberfest, as you know. I call it that because people always put things in the toilets in the portable outhouses. It's been going on for years.

This time, we got more than we bargained for. Early in the day, I noticed someone had put a pair of underpants in a toilet. It's unclear whether they were poopy. Later, I noticed someone had thrown a stick of underarm antiperspirant in a toilet. People actually talked about that plopping. I heard a man mention it while emerging from that outhouse. Later still, I saw that someone had put what looked like part of a broken toy squirt gun in a toilet.

All these ploppings were hilarious, of course, but the resulting messes in the portable restrooms forced me to leave Ploptoberfest early. The restrooms were filthy, and this was the most crowded Ploptoberfest I've ever seen - so the lines for the restrooms became way too long. I think some of the outhouses had to be taken out of service due to ploppings. And I really had to go. I'm talking about a deuce, folks. There was no way in hell I was going to use a restroom that was in such disrepair for that - especially with the line that would expand outside. So I decided to embark (arf arf!) on the 20-minute ride home just so I could enjoy a clean johndola. In brief (ahem), the ploppings were apparently so pervasive that they caused the huge restroom lines that defined the festival.

There was other mischief too. To the surprise of nobody, I saw some guy stealing one of the life-sized cardboard cutouts of the Samuel Adams beer man. He was seen walking away from Fountain Square carrying the cutout.

The only celebrity look-alike I saw was one of the most uproarious I've seen in a while. I saw a Phil Collins look-alike who was wearing a Payne Stewart hat just like Phil Collins used to do.

Also, I saw 2 people who were in such a festive mood that they bubbled.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Big Bird Special"

Another snappy answer to a stupid question...

Tea Party threatening voters (again)

Ooh! Threats!

Up in Wisconsin, the Tea Party has now formed its own "militia" to intimidate voters at the polls. They call theirselves the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia. I seem to recall True the Vote doing something like this a few years back (while all their voter fraud complaints were being discredited), but the tough talk isn't scaring anyone.

The Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia's main targets are folks who signed the petition to support the recall election against fascist Gov. Scott Walker 2 years ago. On their Facebook page, this "militia" posted a message declaring, "Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia is a force that is armed. Do not approach our members by engaging in a physical hostile act because you are going to get put down like a rabid dog."

If I lived in Wisconsin, my message would be this: I dare you. They lay a finger on me, they get a bloody face. I wonder if they even carry weapons, because they're probably such wusses that they're afraid of scissors and paper airplanes.

These right-wing thugs plan to conduct "militia training" tomorrow where they will hand out "watch lists" of voters to harass.

Voter intimidation is a crime.

Bill would gag workers exposing freeloaders

The First Amendment is under attack in Michigan.

After the Wolverine State passed its hated "right-to-work" law, the Far Right still hasn't gotten its class hatred out of their system. They never do. The draconian welfare "reform" law of 1996 wasn't enough for them, and "right-to-work" isn't either. So now Tea Party State Rep. Kevin Daley has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for workers to publicize the names of scabs who refuse to pay union fees for the benefits they receive.

This bill is an unconstitutional attack on free speech. Period. Full stop. If someone won't pay their union fees, why is it wrong for someone else to point this out? This is like when "baseball" tried to silence Joe Nuxhall for pointing out that an umpire who started a fight with Pete Rose was a strikebreaker.

And so, the party of "limited government" attacks again.

(Source: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/capitol/2014/09/19/bill-bans-right-work-bullying/15877911)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Don't have a Dow, man

I believe it was Sunday that the latest mandatory round of Windows 7 updates more or less fried my old computer. One of few things I could do with my old machine after that was use it to order a new one.

So I did, and the delivery bloke brang it yesterday. Although Windows 8.1 looks like it was written for people who weren't even born yet when this blog started, I haven't had any major problems with it yet.

But one thing about Windows 8.1 just bakes my gizzard. The default desktop has an assortment of shiny apps built in, which appear automatically - and one of them is, of all things, the latest Dow Jones stock report.

I was 14 when the 1987 stock market crash occurred, and because I was young and foolish, I thought at the time that market crashes were a bad thing. But actually, Reagan had already gutted the economy. The crash was just a correction. As much as we hear that the 1929 crash kicked off the Great Depression, my grandparents were always talking about how poor they were even before the crash. Wikipedia says the 1920s before the crash "was a time of wealth and excess." Not true. They should have asked my grandparents how much wealth there was.

The 1990s and 2000s saw unprecedented growth in the stock market. But where did I fit in on this imaginary economic boom? Why didn't I see any of that prosperity that the right-wing media was always beating its chest about? This was more proof that the market is antithetical to real prosperity.

It was also around 1987 that I overheard 2 men at a Reds game complaining that the scoreboard kept showing the latest Dow Jones numbers instead of something baseball-related. These were hard-working guys who couldn't have cared less about the Dow. That's how I feel about Windows 8.1 automatically showing the Dow numbers. Windows should instead show something more useful like polling data for the upcoming election or how many pounds of shit have been produced today by animals at the zoo.

There might be a way to shut off this feature, but I don't know yet.

In 2014, having stock reports automatically appear on your computer interests very few people besides wealthy investors. In the 1990s and 2000s, Americans were much more likely to vote with their boss. That was a historic aberration. Hopefully we won't return to those bad old days.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "I Believe I Can Fly"

Tim tries to fly to Denver by flapping his arms...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Senate majority supports corporate personhood amendment

Something happened today that hadn't happened yet since a rogue Supreme Court issued the unconstitutional Citizens United ruling almost 5 years ago.

Today, the Senate voted on a proposed constitutional amendment to restore America's campaign finance laws and bring down the hammer on corporate personhood. The vote was 54 in favor and 42 opposed. It was a perfect party line vote, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no.

But it didn't meet the two-thirds necessary to actually approve the amendment - or the 60 votes needed to break a Tea Party filibuster.

Nonetheless, with a majority now clearly in favor of the amendment, this is a clarion call for Congress to create a statutory remedy for Citizens United - and for the President to exercise his power to issue executive orders.

This story also highlights Republican obstructionism just in time for the midterms.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Have no fear, our September ish is here!

It was tough, but this year's Back-to-School edition of The Last Word is pub!

Our schools haven't been very funny lately - with all the racism and violent crime exposed in this issue - so I'm in a rather humorless mood. Nonetheless, there are a few amusing reminisces about my high school years in the latest edition.

So point your pooper here...


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ACLU swings to far right

I am done with the ACLU.

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded as a defender of constitutional liberties - and lived up to this goal for decades. But now its founders must be spinning in their graves.

Right now, the Senate is debating a much-needed constitutional amendment that would restore campaign finance laws and prohibit corporations from financing political campaigns. Surveys show that over 80% of the public supports the amendment.

I'd expect the amendment to be blocked by the usual suspects like the fascist Heritage Foundation - but not by the ACLU. Nonetheless, the ACLU has written a letter to senators to oppose the amendment. The ACLU says the amendment would gut the First Amendment and "censor" political speech.

Aw, how cute, the ACLU now thinks keeping corporations from buying elections is "censorship."

This is the biggest issue in American law so far in the 21st century, and the ACLU is unabashedly on the wrong side.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Tim Takes Apart Computer"

Tim takes apart an old, broken computer he's hoarded for 3 years since he replaced it...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bob McDonnell convicted

Another rising Tea Party star disgraced for life.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen have now both been found guilty of public corruption. The former governor was convicted on 11 of 13 counts; his wife was convicted of 9 of 13. They both cried like big babies when the court clerk read the verdict. They face up to 20 years in prison for each count.

(And yes, Bob McDonnell's physical resemblance to singer Glen Campbell has been noted.)

Baseball caves to police state

Major League Baseball isn't quite as bad as the NFL yet in the way it treats its fans - but it's getting there.

Many Americans agree that there's few things quite as exciting as a good, competitive ballgame, but league officials are doing their worst to put a diaper on America's national pastime. The Cincinnati Reds have announced that - starting tomorrow - they plan to implement walk-through metal detectors at their stadium. This is an effort to comply with a mandate from "baseball" requiring all 30 big league teams to do the same.

Major League Baseball's diktat results from its collaboration with the Department of Homeland Stupidity, a relic that was designed as the thuggish Bush regime's personal plaything.

All I know is this: In my day, we didn't have metal detectors at baseball games, and we survived. If "baseball" can't grasp that, that's their problem.

Since the Reds' ballpark is taxpayer-funded, the county needs to tell the Reds they can't install metal detectors. Plus, the government needs to revoke baseball's antitrust exemption.

Like I said, this isn't as bad as the NFL, which literally fondles spectators at each game. The NFL treats its fans more shittily than any other sporting league I know of, so I've boycotted the NFL for years. I hope this story isn't part of a trend that forces me to do the same to Major League Baseball. That's why our public officials need to step up to the plate and prevent it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Record Man endorses voter fraud

It's nice to know that advocating voter fraud is the Republicans' new electoral strategy.

After Tea Party favorite Scott "Records" Brown was defeated by Elizabeth Warren in his bid for reelection as a senator from Massachusetts in 2012 - when Brown ran the worst race-baiting campaign of the year - Brown moved to New Hampshire so he could now run for senator there. He's trailing badly.

But no bother! Who really cares when you can just rely on out-of-state supporters to visit your state to vote for ya? Brown is now encouraging folks in other states who support him to visit New Hampshire on Election Day to vote for him.

This is illegal, of course, but laws don't stop Republicans. This is the party that committed wire fraud earlier this year by setting up fake websites that appeared to be fundraising sites for opponents - though the money raised by the sites went straight to GOP coffers.

After Tea Party buses were seen hauling supporters to multiple polling places in our area, I have little doubt they'll take Record Man's recommendation.

(Source: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scott-brown-out-of-state-supporters-should-vote-for-me-anyway)

PG&E should suffer for fatal blast

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a record-smashing fine of $1.4 billion against Pacific Gas & Electric for causing a natural gas pipeline explosion in 2010 in San Bruno that killed 8 people, severely injured another 58, and leveled a whole neighborhood.

That sounds like a lot of money, but the penalty isn't nearly stiff enough. There should be strong prison terms for members of PG&E's board of directors. If a corporation wants rights like a person, then it needs to go to prison like a person.

Nonetheless, this fine shatters the previous California record of $38 million - which was also imposed on PG&E, for a similar blast in Rancho Cordova in 2008 that the company was responsible for. I guess PG&E didn't learn shit from that fine. The California Public Utilities Commission has also ruled that PG&E can't pass the cost of paying the latest fine onto customers. Plus, a federal grand jury has indicted PG&E for 12 felonies.

But in my opinion, it's still not enough - unless someone goes to prison. America puts hard-working parents in prison for minor drug offenses. It seems that every day, we read another article about police gunning down an unarmed person for no reason. But if you're a big utility company, anything goes - as we've seen countless times before.

Monday, September 1, 2014

More celeb look-alikes in the Northwest

I keep hearing more stories of celebrity look-alikes being sighted by someone on a vacation in the Northwestern U.S.

At an Idaho restaurant, an Edith Bunker look-alike was seen. A George Clooney look-alike was discovered at Olympic National Park, and an Alan Alda look-alike was sighted at the Seattle airport. On the subsequent flight, there was a sighting of a flight attendant who resembled Kentucky's Senate frontrunner Alison Lundergan Grimes.

I've also been told that a young woman bubbled on the streets of Spokane with extreme dispatch.

The "right-to-work" antidote!

It's Labor Day, but sadly, the Far Right's war against the American worker continues unchecked. The Media lately has been happy to help by spreading outright lies to promote misnamed "right-to-work" laws - which has now become the anti-worker Right's top priority, much as "free trade" was 20 years ago.

As a member of the National Writers Union, I know organized labor is a lifesaver. For me, that's literally true. I'm convinced I'd be dead by now if it wasn't for the benefits unions provide.

With the authoritarian Right chomping at the bit to enact "right-to-work" in Kentucky and other key states, what would be a good antidote? For starts, free bargaining states should extend their labor protections to residents who commute to "right-to-work" states - so that the "right-to-work" law does not apply to them. (Then again, why would a resident of a free state work in a "right-to-work" state? I don't know anyone eager to commute to Indiana these days.) But we also need something bolder.

We should pass a law that automatically unionizes corporations that have more than a certain number of employees. Under my law, workers wouldn't be required to join the union, but they'd at least have the option. And workers who choose to join would at least have union benefits they now lack. If there's no state or federal law to do this, local municipalities should act.

Hitler had the world's first "right-to-work" law. That's what the Tea Party and the Republican Right aspire to. Make no mistake: Union-busting is fascism. There's a good reason why a Kentucky legislative committee recently rejected "right-to-work" by a vote of 15 to 4.

The states targeted by the "right-to-work" Gestapo need to stand strong. Our legislators should move forward with the antidote I've proposed.