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An old Independence Day tradition

by Eric Ferguson on July 4, 2015 · 0 comments

Happy Independence Day. When the Revolutionary War was still in living memory, a common part of community Independence Day celebrations was reading aloud the Declaration of Independence. NPR revived that tradition back in 1995, having hosts take turns reading a portion. It feels different verbalized that just read. Here it is:
 
Transcript here.
 
And an article about the text, explaining how it was written with the assumption it would be read aloud.

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Actual flag of the United States: note the size and position of the blue square relative to the stripes; note the number of rows of stars and the pattern of stars in alternating rows; note the number and width of the stripes.

Conservatives are angry all the time.  The further to the extreme right, the higher the sustained anger level.

 

Fact and reason have nothing to do with this anger level.  The anger is real; the causes are not.

 

The condition of perpetual free-floating rage on the right is the result of careful and deliberate priming – read LYING – by the right wing propaganda machine.  They tell their gullible little stooges that things are BAD BAD BAD, and without a thought to fact checking a word of it, the right wingers fall into line and foam at the mouth on command.

 

You tend not to see these stories in the mainstream media, because they don’t survive the fact checking process.  Tell the truth about these ginned up incidents, no one gets angry.   It takes lies to anger the base.  It takes lies to unite the base in support of bad candidates as well.  There is so much of this propaganda, that the right cannot fully identify why they are so angry –  they just know they ARE.

 

To move on to the latest of these manipulated anger political dramas, specifically about the flag (there are entire separate persistent right wing propaganda themes, memes, or genres, although they do sometimes overlap – black people are thugs, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.), here are a couple of the more recent ones.  The flag propaganda series posts illustrate qualities common to all of the different propaganda themes.

 

Nothing says patriotism like cars made in Korea……..or not.  Hey, I’m all for trade, so long as we have an even playing field to compete, but it is an issue in the TPP that we are suffering from some bad provisions of past trade agreements with South Korea, and Kia is just one of the imports that contribute to those problems of lost jobs and trade imbalance.

 

So in that larger world economics context, I was equal parts angry and amused at the latest two examples of right wing propaganda that usurps legitimate patriotism and hijacks the flag for purposes of propaganda.  Both take place in Florida, one in Sunrise, one in West Palm Beach.

 

Note that there is no upper  (viewers) left hand corner of blue (technically a canton) with 50 stars representing 50 states, but rather the blue takes up slightly less than half of the flag.   The number of stars in each row, and the arrangement of stars in each row also appear to be incorrect.

 

photo of the so-called ‘American Flags’ being flown at the Kia dealership in West Palm Beach.

Moving on to the ‘stripes’ of the flag, they are the wrong width, and there are more than the 13, representing the original colonies, that appear on our American flag.

 

These are NOT AMERICAN FLAGS.

 

This is a form of bunting, which is prohibited by local ordinance, apparently intended to keep dealerships from unduly junking up the municipality.

 
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millspartying2Stewart Mills, defeated last year in the eighth district by DFL incumbent Rick Nolan, tells The Duluth News Tribune (with a hat tip to Daily Kos Elections) that he thinks he has a better chance next year.
 
He said, in a statement that any time before last election would have been a “WTF” moment coming from a Republican, “Really, I didn’t lose that election so much as Rick Nolan rode Al Franken’s coattails.” Yes, he couldn’t win because of the popularity of Al Franken — the same Al Franken Republicans have insisted for years was a joke, not taken seriously, despised by everybody!! Maybe Mills at least realized “everybody” was defined as the denizens of the conservative bubble. Unfortunately, for bubblonians at least, those of us outside the bubble still get to vote.
 
To continue the theme, regarding winning if he tries again, Mills said, “I think it would be doable because neither (Mark) Dayton, Franken (nor) Klobuchar would be on top of the ticket if I run again. It would be between Rick Nolan and myself and the issues would largely be the same,” and later, “If I run again, there is a path to victory. It would be a race almost directly between Rick Nolan and myself — without the worry about influence from the top of the ticket.” OK, Republicans to my knowledge never said Klobuchar was despised by Minnesotans blah blah, but they sure insisted on the blah blah parts about Franken and Dayton, as if what they tell themselves on conservative talk radio is believed by everyone, until pre-election polls last year told them otherwise. So next year, it would just be Mills versus Nolan. No other elections next year higher up the ticket. Nope, can’t think of any other election going on next year. Oh right, that one.
 
Not to discourage Mills, as I like the entertainment of a loopy candidate like most news junkies, but if you lost in a red wave during a non-presidential year, are your odds really better next year? Yes — if you’re a Democrat.
 
Comments below fold.
 

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Behold a new iteration of conservative Christianity at war WITH ITSELF.

Yesterday, in the news, a Montana man applied for a second marriage license to legally marry his ‘second’ wife.  Conservative social media went crazy claiming  this was the inevitable next step in their (made up) liberal war on Biblical marriage. From CBS News:

 

Montana man seeks license for second wife
HELENA, Mont. – A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage.

…The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday made gay marriages legal nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them.

…Collier said he is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for polygamy and now belongs to no religious organization. He said he and his wives hid their relationship for years, but became tired of hiding and went public by appearing on the reality cable television show “Sister Wives.”

 

Anyone who actually reads the Bible would be aware that it mandates polygamy, and in particular that Levirate marriage especially requires that a man marry all of his brothers’ wives and get them pregnant, if any or all of the brothers die.   But the Bible permitted polygamy, concubinage and sex slavery, but that was men having multiple women, never the other way around.  From the old testament, specifically the Pentateuch first five books of the Bible) aka the Torah:

Deuteronomy 25:5-10

“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’

 

Anyone who has followed the course of OPPOSITION to gay marriage would be aware of the funding by Mormons of Prop 8 in California, and other anti-gay marriage legislative initiatives.  From the Atlantic:

The Mormon Money Behind Proposition 8
Californians Against Hate released figures Tuesday showing that $17.67 million was contributed by 59,000 Mormon families since August to groups like Yes on 8. Contributions in support of Prop. 8 total $22.88 million. Additionally, the group reports that Mormons have contributed $6.9 million to pass a a similar law, Proposition 102, in Arizona…

Karger said Californians Against Hate came up with the figures by cross-referencing donor information from the California secretary of state with Brigham Young University alumni lists, church memberships, and other personal documentation that could identify Mormon Church members. He said the surge in support has been an attempt to boost the church’s social standing among the greater religious community.

“For whatever reason, they’re trying to get some respect from other religions,” he told The Advocate Tuesday. “They’ve always been looked down upon by the Christians, the Catholics, and evangelicals.” Success with the marriage amendment would give the church credibility, Karger said.

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The Battle of the Alamo in Texas in the spring of 1836 lasted 11 days, following a 13 day siege of the fort. The Battle was ultimately lost, not even a Pyrrhic victory, but it became a famous and unifying loss.

 

The modern opposition, no matter how vehement those who are in opposition CLAIM to be, lasted less than 24 hours, not even the 24 days of the Alamo conflict.

 

Raw Story notes:

 

Texas county clerk reverses course, starts issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Texas county clerk said on Tuesday her office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reversing a previous decision that was based on religious objections.

Some counties in other socially conservative states such as Kentucky have declined to issue such licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry. The controversy could result in a new round of lawsuits over gay marriage.

Katie Lang, clerk of Hood County, southwest of Fort Worth, said staffers will issue the licenses although she will not do so based on her Christian beliefs, which she believes are protected under the Constitution.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said county clerks who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Paxton, a Republican, said those officials could expect to be sued but would have ample legal support.

“Several groups have publicly expressed their willingness to help government employees who feel their religious rights have been violated,” a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said.

Legal experts said same-sex couples could seek injunctions compelling clerks to issue licenses and easily win, based on the Supreme Court decision. They also could file civil suits seeking damages from counties that are largely rural and short on funds for a prolonged legal fight.

But clerks could try to request pre-emptively an injunction or judgment that says they do not have to issue the licenses because of religious liberty, said Texas A&M University law professor Meg Penrose.

Counties in the most populous areas of Texas began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples shortly after the Supreme Court ruling.

Out of 254 counties in Texas, 114 are ready and willing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, according to the Dallas Morning News. Nearly 100 other counties said they were waiting for software upgrades and gender-neutral application forms.

So we have 214 counties out of 254 that are cooperating with the recent gay marriage SCOTUS decision.

 

From the Dallas News earlier this week:

 

Benefits to be extended to spouses of Texas’ gay state workers
AUSTIN — The state bureaucracy is moving forward to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, even as statewide elected leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have lambasted the landmark ruling. Starting Wednesday — less than a week after the decision — the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System will extend benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees. That means the list of employers providing same-sex partner benefits will include the state’s largest: the state itself.

I expect that the remaining pockets of opposition are going to crumble. But if they do not, I expect not only action by the DOJ, but from individuals like those who brought suits that rose to the level of the SCOTUS decision. …READ MORE

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Tailings Pond Breach 20140805From Monday:
 

Environmental groups implored Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday to push for changes to PolyMet Mining’s plans to mine copper, nickel and precious metals near the Boundary Waters…
 
“Since the Legislature has failed to act, and the Department of Natural Resources has not required PolyMet to implement the recommendations of the expert review panel at Mount Polley,” said Aaron Klemz with Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, “it’s up to Gov. Dayton to do what’s needed to protect Minnesota’s clean water.”
(MPR)

Three huge red flags are being emphasized. Any one by itself should be enough to, at least, force major changes to the project.
 

The mine design uses the same approach to storing toxic mine waste that caused the worst disaster in Canadian mining history at the Mount Polley mine. PolyMet proposes to use a forty year-old dam to hold back billions of gallons of mine waste mixed with water, the same technology used at Mount Polley. An investigation by the British Columbia government called for an end to the practice of storing mine waste mixed with water, since it led to such disastrous results. The PFEIS dismisses the recommendations of the Mount Polley Review Panel in a single paragraph.
 
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At the end of the most recent Supreme Court session, we again have Senator Cruz making wild statements about the latest SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage and the ACA.

 

Some are ironic, some are just bubbling buckets of pus designed to deceive and mislead his electorate base.

 

From Today News:

White House hopeful Ted Cruz believes Supreme Court judges who voted in favor same-sex marriage and national health care “rewrote the Constitution,” he said Monday on TODAY.
Cruz, a Harvard grad, criticized the Supreme Court justices as a group of “elites” from Harvard or Yale who lack religious diversity.

“They think that our views are simply parochial and don’t deserve to be respected,” he said. He said it was a point amplified by Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented in both cases: “What a crazy system to have the most important issues of our day decided by unelected lawyers.”

Let us Fisk these statements.

To Fisk: verb 1.(slang) to refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point
Word Origin:  after the use of this technique by Robert Fisk (born 1946), British journalist, to criticize articles (- dictionary.com)

First of all we have the grotesque hypocrisy of Cruz being a Harvard Law graduate com laude, and much like President Obama, a few years ahead of him, Cruz was an editor of the Law Review. So for Cruz to criticize ANY justice of the SCOTUS as an ‘elite’ for having high qualifications for the bench is ridiculous. It is precisely people with legal training who should be sitting on the Supreme Court Bench. A lack of such credentials should be a deterrent, not a qualification to serve on the SCOTUS.

 

This is the rankest kind of pandering to the anti-intellectual crowd of the willfully ignorant conservative extremists.

 

Then Cruz goes on to complain about what the Today article refers to as a lack of religious diversity because none of the SCOTUS justices were Evangelicals.

 

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT OR EVEN DESIRABILITY THAT EVANGELICALS HAVE A SEAT ON THE SCOTUS BENCH. Cruz is not concerned about an ACTUAL diversity of religion on the court — he does not seek the court adding  Jews, Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs or Hindus. THAT would be genuine religious diversity, as would having an atheist or agnostic. The reason we do NOT have that provision is that we are NOT A THEOCRACY. It is INTENTIONAL that there be no preference for Evangelicals – OR ANY OTHER BELIEF OR FAITH.

But this is not a failing of the court, this is a feature not a bug of our Constitution, and it has a name:  the No Religious Test Clause, Article VI, paragraph 3.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

So for Cruz, who is in his own right genuinely knowledgeable about the Constitution, to complain about this is to conservatives as some kind of religious SLIGHT to them, or quality of unfairness, is a crock of manure too toxic to be used as organic fertilizer.  It is intended only to foment distrust of the government and to promote ignorance about our Constitution.

 

This is just the crassest ploy to extract conservative mouth breathers and knuckle draggers from their hard earned cash.

 

Likewise, the emotional appeal to the exclusion of reason and logic, and facts, that the SCOTUS decision is one of the ‘darkest days’ of our nation is propaganda, designed to manipulate the weak-minded who vote for candidates like Cruz.

 

Like the No Religious Test clause, it is a feature, a deliberate choice, that the SCOTUS Justices are not elected and have no term limits, a choice made by the Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution, which they created to solve the obvious problems and failures of the original government post-American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Unity.  This Constitution was established by those august Founding Fathers, who were well aware of the need to avoid political pressures on that entity.  It was not an oversight, it was not a mistake, and it was ratified by the people of the United States after it was created through a carefully negotiated approval process.  Specifically, Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2 states:

[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

 

The approval of those Justices by the Senate, by our directly elected Senators courtesy of <u>the 17th amendment to the Constitution,</u> which superseded Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution.  Ironically and inexplicably, Cruz wants to repeal the 17th amendment, so that citizens of the United States would no longer be entrusted with direct elections of their Senators to Congress – he wants to take that away from citizens, whom he apparently does not trust with that power — but he now claims by inference that he wants those same citizens to directly elect the SCOTUS Justices, whom the Senate approves or votes down on our behalf.  Either the electorate is trustworthy to vote, or they are not.

Here is the text of the 17th amendment, that Cruz wants to repeal:

 

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect that the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

We elect or senators to approve Justices appointed to the SCOTUS on our behalf; we ARE represented adequately.   Specifically the Senate holds the power to advise and consent to nominations from the President, which confers legitimacy on the SCOTUS by an approval process that includes both the Executive branch and the senior /more prestigious  house of the Legislative branch.  Direct election would not confer greater legitimacy on the SCOTUS Justices, particularly when we have been faced with such an epidemic of conservative enacted voter suppression and resulting decline in voter participation.
All Cruz is angling for is to offer the illusion of a means of control for the minority fringe to hijack the Constitution and to gin up dissatisfaction with the fact that everyone sometimes has to contend with a decision they do not like.  Rational thinking or a respect for the Constitution have nothing to do with his position.
We saw no such objections to the SCOTUS over Hobby Lobby, an ENTIRELY PAROCHIAL decision.  If Cruz was making a valid criticism, that criticism would have been appropriate to the legitimacy of that decision as well, yet no such criticism was offered.  The minority extremist right wing evangelical fringe won on that one.

 

This kind of invalid criticism from Cruz ONLY appeals to those who claim to LOVE the Constitution, but who have no functional working knowledge of it.

 

These dishonest and unconstitutional opinions of Senator Rafael Cruz should disqualify him with the electorate of the United States from being a presidential candidate.

 

Cruz is genuinely demonstrating that he is a danger to the nation, a threat to the Constitution, and that he is a profoundly dishonest man.

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greedI don’t pretend to know how the Greek crisis will turn out. I do think the Greek people have put up with far too much crap already.
 

Paul Krugman has long been sounding the alarm about the relentless imposition of economy-hobbling austerity measures on Greece. Now, the worst-case scenario he has warned about seems to be coming to pass, with Greek banks closing and panic spreading. Will anyone learn the right lesson? Doubtful…
 
He takes the stance that Greece should vote ‘no’ and leave the euro. Because they have no choice. Further austerity will ruin them.
 
Yes, Krugman allows, the Greeks did need to cut back their overspending in the 2000s, but they have done that repeatedly and dutifully raised taxes. The problem is they cut so much spending that their economy simply collapsed.
(AlterNet)

If this new entity is not all hung up on “austerity,” it really could run the World Bank into the ground:
 
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Bobby Jindal has no chance in hell of winning the presidency, or of being asked to be the Vice Presidential candidate on someone else’s ticket.  So why would he announce a run for office?

 

Last week,  Piyush “Bobby” Jindal with his wife Supriya, announced his intention to get into the race to be the GOP nominee for president in 2016.  Louisiana has some unusual practices in gubernatorial elections; it holds them in the year before a year divisible by 4, which is November 2015; and it allows the governor two consecutive terms, but require a 4 year interim term out of office before a candidate for governor can run for additional terms, also in a maximum of two consecutive 4 year terms.  Essentially a governor, should he or she be sufficiently popular can run for two terms in office, one term out, then two terms in office again.

 

I would argue that the answer to this candidacy lies in the experience of another Republican, from the Dubya administration, equally failed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.  Gonzales, for years after he left government office, was unable to find a job — any kind of job, much less as a practicing lawyer.  Eventually a big donor player in Texas politics was able to force through a pity job for Alberto, teaching a couple of so-called ‘special’ classes at a university for atypically big $$$$ relative to other not-staff instructors, over the strong objections of the administration, academic staff and students.  The job was pure political patronage, not merit.

 

Texas Tech University Faculty Protest Alberto Gonzales Appointment

 According to a local TV station as late as last night there were 45 signatories to the petition, whose creator is quoted by the Avalanche-Journal thusly:

Walter Schaller, a Tech philosophy professor since 1986, said Friday he decided to take action because “with the emphasis on ethics the university has adopted, a guy that misled Congress is not the kind of person we want to represent Texas Tech.”

The petition protesting Gonzales’ appointment as a visiting professor in political science isn’t a secret from the college’s chancellor. Not surprisingly, Texas Tech University Chancellor Kent Hance has said he’ll go ahead with the appointment. Hance, Tech’s third chancellor and the first alumnus to serve the university in that position is a lawyer and a veteran politician.
The A-J gives some more details on Schaller’s petition and position regarding Gonzales:

The petition cites two main reasons for opposing Gonzales’ hire: because the chancellor should not hire faculty and because Gonzales’ record is questionable. The attorney general resigned from his post amid controversy in 2007.

“It is unclear what Gonzales has done that makes him deserving of employment at Texas Tech. Does he have a noteworthy academic record? Does he have a record of publishing in law reviews? Was his service to his country particularly distinguished?,” the petition reads.
Hance’s hiring of a “good friend” is in conflict with Tech’s “Statement of Ethical Principles,” according to the petition, which calls the chancellor’s involvement in selecting faculty and the “celebrity hire” as “troubling.”

The document goes on to list Gonzales “ethical failings,” including: frequently misleading Congress and the American people; rejecting the Geneva Conventions; denying the constitutional right of habeas corpus; and showing more loyalty to President George W. Bush than to the Constitution.
“I tried to document all of the charges against Gonzales,” Schaller said, citing a 2008 Department of Justice report and a 2009 Inspector Generals’ report investigating Gonzales’ surveillance programs as his information sources.

After the limited gig was up at Texas Tech, Gonzales went on to become the dean of a tiny Christian below-the-tiers ranking, only provisionally accredited  law school which at the time he started there in 2012 was not even provisionally accredited. This was a step DOWN from Texas Tech. This could fairly be termed another right wing evangelical pity job for someone no law firm in the nation was interested in taking on staff as a practicing attorney.  This is the best a failed  very public, highly partisan political figure can hope for when you are so conspicuously, even scandalously unsuccessful.  No one wants you, not in the public sector, and not in the private sector.  In this regard, I would argue that Jindal is very much like Gonzales, and that therefore his no-hope presidential run is really a run at finding a sympathetic patronage position,  one that avoids complete destitution and total humiliation.

 

From the WSJ:

Belmont University on Thursday announced that it has hired Mr. Gonzales to be dean of its law school.
Mr. Gonzales has taught at the law school since 2012, lecturing students on topics such as constitutional law, separation of powers, national security law, according to the university.
Belmont College of Law, part of a private Christian university in Nashville, enrolled about 300 students during the 2013-14 academic year, its third year in operation. Last year, it received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association.

Given how much Jindal has wrangled and tangled in opposition to business, large and small, in his own state, in pursuing culture war and right wing failed economic policy, it is unlikely that the private sector would want anything to do with him as an employee in or outside of Louisiana.  Jindal has offended entities in his state like IBM, as well as the highly lucrative hospitality industry, with his actions and his extreme ideology.  You have to be very extreme to be too far to the right for one of the deep south Bible belt states.

 

Jindal has his own wealthy patron / pal, the Duck Dynasty patriarch, but in the context of the Donor class where other players include the Koch brothers and the likes of Sheldon Adelson, that is insignificant, unless you can imagine Piyush working on a duck call assembly line.  The Dynasty clan is not academically affiliated, and might well be described more as academically challenged.

 

And given his failure to be a successful public speaker, like his 2009 State of the Union response, I just do not see Jindal successfully making a living on the speaking engagement circuit the way someone like Bill and Hillary Clinton have done, or even the big-hair-brained Sarah Palin.  Jindal is not white-trashy and is too educated-elite for the Palin teabagger crowd, no matter how much religious zealotry he spouts.

 

Governor Jindal, who has the WORST approval ratings of any governor in the country, is also the past Vice Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association.  Also in the race is New Jersey Governor and 2014 chair of the Republican Governor’s Association is expected presidential candidate Chris Christie, who has the second worst approval ratings of any sitting governor in the country.  both Jindal and Christie were the darlings of the right back in 2012. Now, not so much as their respective states are in bad shape and they face scandal and controversy, not to mention being unable to carry their own respective state in a general election.  That suggests that Jindal, and probably Christie, will be short lived as candidates this election cycle, and further that the Republican clown car turned shuttle bus will become self-limiting around the end of 2015 into early 2016.

 

The respective chance at the White House for both Jindal and Christie seems to have come and gone.  That can probably be said of Huckster-bee and Perry as well, and of Pataki, and as his record becomes better known, of Scott Walker.  Jebbie might be able to skate by for a while longer, but his record is not really all that stellar as a governor either.  The whole lot look to be versions of fail like former half-term governor Sarah Palin.

 

It is fair to say that Jindal’s  recent presidential announcement did not go well, in fact it went as poorly as his past response to President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union speech, which went only marginally better than crazy-eyes Michele Bachmann’s Teabagger rebuttal did in 2011; both were the subject of much well deserved mockery.

 

In 2015, Jindal has failed substantially to improve on that 2009 failure, or his 2015 State of the Union tweet failure.

 

From the Inquistir

Bobby Jindal’s Presidential Announcement Video Is New Source Of Ridicule

While Bobby Jindal’s announcement that he was getting into an already crowded GOP presidential field was met by celebration in some sectors, there are also plenty of people who think Bobby Jindal entered the race in the worst way possible. In particular, Bobby Jindal’s announcement video seemed to show that the Louisiana Governor’s own family is only slightly on board with his candidacy.

The right wing propaganda machine would have us believe their big bench of candidates, declared and waiting to declare, is full of stronger candidates than Mitt Romney was last time around. They now try to claim their blue-chip candidate in 2014 was more chipped / flawed and weak than they claimed at the time. But the reality is that every one of the candidates entering the race THIS cycle is weaker, less plausible, and are probably less sincere than Romney in actually seeking to attain to the presidency. Rather there is money and possible position and influence lurking for the also-rans, and I would argue that Jindal, but not only Jindal, is really pursuing THAT goal, not the oval office.  Most of what is playing out nominally as a race is  superficial pandering to the rabid primary voters, coating a core of political prostitution marketing.  To corrupt a well known phrase, there is gold in them thar shills.

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PolyMet doesn’t cut it in DNR report

by Dan Burns on June 29, 2015 · 0 comments

Tailings Pond Breach 20140805Not even close.
 

State regulators have released a much-anticipated third version of a preliminary environmental report on PolyMet Mining Corp.’s proposed mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area…
 
PolyMet officials are praising the report as a major milestone. But critics say the environmental impact statement, which details how the company plans to treat water from the mine’s leftover waste and abandoned mine site, doesn’t include enough safeguards to protect northeast Minnesota’s fragile environment.
 
“We’re either talking about a catastrophic release of toxic waste, or a long-term slow seeping of toxic waste from this site,” said Aaron Klemz, communications director for Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. “Either way, we think it’s a bad deal for Minnesota.”
 
…Environmental groups are planning a news conference for Monday to detail their objections to the proposal. Among them, Klemz said, is that the document dismissed a major Canadian mine accident in 2014, in which a dam holding back a tailings pond at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine burst, releasing over 1 billion gallons of waste into nearby lakes and rivers.
(MPR)

(The image is of part, just part, of the aftermath of the Mount Polley disaster.)
 
An excellent article also recently appeared about the project’s real owner/operator, the horrific multinational conglomerate Glencore, detailing its appalling history:
 
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