Sunday, April 25, 2010

The View From The Deck - Week Ending 4/25/10

Thanks to our current SCOTUS, cruelty to animals is now protected by law!  It's not bad enough that they forced property owners to sell their homes to developers (who haven't by the way), or stopped the 2000 recount in Bush vs. Gore that likely would've found that Al Gore won.  Now they've decided that the Constitution protects animal abusers who torture dogs and record their violence for sale as videos because a law Congress passed in 1999 against animal cruelty was written too vaguely, and could have been used to outlaw hunting videos.  Really?  It's been effect for 11 years and all of a sudden there's a danger to hunting videos?  It was an eight to one decision, and the lone hold-out surprised me, it was Sam Alito.  Rebutting the majority's view that the law was too broad, Alito argued it could still be used to stop crush videos, which apparently appeal to some people's sexual fetish by showing women in stiletto heels crushing kittens to death.  Once again, animals being maimed and tortured will be widely available for the sick bastards that enjoy watching this stuff.  The fact that nasty horrible people can harm animals is despicable enough, but the fact that there's actually a market for this trash is nauseating.  I've read every article I could find about this decision and I still don't understand how this falls under "free speech."  It appears that common sense has been replaced by some poorly written part of the Constitution regarding free speech. There's a big difference between allowing abuse of animals, children or people on videos and "free speech."

General Motors Co. has repaid $8.1 billion in loans it got from the U.S. and Canadian governments, a move CEO Edward Whitacre Jr.  says is a sign automaker is on the road to recovery.  But during bankruptcy, the U.S. government reduced the loan portion to $6.7 billion and converted the rest to company stock, while the Canadian governments held $1.4 billion in loans. Those loans were repaid Tuesday, five years ahead of schedule.  GM hopes to repay the remaining $45.3 billion to the U.S. government and $8.1 billion to Canada via a public stock offering, maybe later this year. The U.S. government now owns 61 percent of the company and Canada owns roughly 12 percent.  I'd like to add that the quality of U.S. vehicles go a vote of confidence in a new poll. An Associated Press-GfK survey finds that slightly more Americans now say the U.S. makes better-quality vehicles than Asia, with 38 percent saying U.S. cars are best and 33 percent preferring autos made by Asian companies.  No matter how anyone feels about American made cars, the fact of the matter is, this "loan" saved a ridiculous amount of jobs and kept people off the unemployment ledger.  I don't understand how the very same people that said "let them die," are concerned about the new HCR bill costing jobs!  The right wing has absolutely no consistency with their rants.  Do they even realize what they're saying is, "screw the blue collar worker, but make sure the health care industry is still able to continue ripping us off at their will."

The Florida Republican Party on Thursday invoked a "Party Loyalty Oath" forbidding its members from supporting Gov. Charlie Crist if he decides to run as an independent in the state's Senate race.  While it's not unheard of for a political party to require its leaders to support its candidates, the use of the specific phrase "loyalty oath" is a bit creepy and suggests that the Republicants haven't moved past the McCarthyite mindset of the 1950s. I would also point out that the Democratic Party did not pull this kind of a stunt when Joe Lieberman switched in 2006. The next time someone tries to call the Democrats the party of tyranny, just remind them of this.

You know that famous slogan that the Teabaggers have tried to make their own since the black guy won?  You know, the one Michele Bachmann and the gun nuts like to use for their own benefit?  Who knew that the famous "Don't Tread on Me" slogan would no longer be applicable in Arizona?!  On Friday, Rethuglican governor Jan Brewer signed a bill that allows Arizona cops to stop and demand documentation from anyone they suspect to be an illegal immigrant. It makes it a crime to not carry papers documenting your citizenship or your immigration status so if you don't have papers on you, handcuffs will be. I'm pretty sure they won't be on the lookout for Canadians.  We all concede there's an immigration problem, but let's not pretend this isn't racial profiling either.  This is a very slippery slope and I don't see how this is going to end well.

At one of the gun nuts rallies on Monday, April 19 (the 15 year anniversary of Oklahoma City), one whackjob claimed that their rally was actually a love fest, continuing, "OK. Now, there‘s a certain reporter made comments, Rachel Maddow—and I have to say to her: it‘s a good thing that this is a lovefest, otherwise we‘d tar and feather you."  Huh?  I have to assume it's because she narrated the documentary questioning whether the anti-government movement of today could end up with a Tim Mcveigh outcome.  How can these people not see the danger of the over-the-top rhetoric that is not only coming from them, but from right wing politicians basically giving them the green light for violence against the government?  I knew there would be a certain element of this country that would be upset over Obama's election, but I never thought it would get this ugly.

I'll close with a sports news item.  If arrangements go as planned, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on July 2. Sources have told that Earnhardt will revive his father's famous #3 in a collaborative effort initiated by JR Motorsports with Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. A formal announcement is expected on April 29. According to team sources, a Hendrick Motorsports engine will power the car. Earnhardt Jr. currently has a personal services contract with Wrangler, continuing a family legacy between the brands. Wrangler first sponsored his father for the final race of his 1980 Cup championship season and the following year with Rod Osterlund for the first 16 races. This is big news for anyone that was a fan of "The Intimidater" because there has not been a #3 on the track in a Nascar event since February 18, 2001.

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