Posts Tagged Texas
By TIMOTHY EGAN
House of Un-Representatives
Timothy Eganon American politics and life, as seen from the West.
Not long ago, the congressman from northeast Texas, Louie Gohmert, was talking about how the trans-Alaska oil pipeline improved the sex lives of certain wild animals — in his mind, the big tube was an industrial-strength aphrodisiac. “When the caribou want to go on a date,” he told a House hearing, “they invite each other to head over to the pipeline.”
Gohmert, consistently on the short list for the most off-plumb member of Congress, has said so many crazy things that this assertion passed with little comment. Last year, he blamed a breakdown of Judeo-Christian values for the gun slaughter at a cinema in Colorado. Last week, he claimed the Muslim Brotherhood had deep influence in the Obama administration, and that the attorney general — the nation’s highest law enforcer — sympathized with terrorists.
You may wonder how he gets away with this. You may also wonder how Gohmert can run virtually unopposed in recent elections. The answer explains why we have an insular, aggressively ignorant House of Representatives that is not at all representative of the public will, let alone the makeup of the country.
Much has been said about how the great gerrymander of the people’s House — part of a brilliant, $30 million Republican action plan at the state level — has now produced a clot of retrograde politicians who are comically out of step with a majority of Americans. It’s not just that they oppose things like immigration reform and simple gun background checks for violent felons, while huge majorities support them.
Alex Wong/Getty ImagesLouie Gohmert at a Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012.
Or that, in the aggregate, Democrats got 1.4 million more votes for all House positions in 2012 but Republicans still won control with a cushion of 33 seats.
Or that they won despite having the lowest approval rating in modern polling, around 10 percent in some surveys. Richard Nixon during Watergate and B.P.’s initial handling of a catastrophic oil spill had higher approval ratings.
But just look at how different this Republican House is from the country they are supposed to represent. It’s almost like a parallel government, sitting in for some fantasy nation created in talk-radio land.
As a whole, Congress has never been more diverse, except the House majority. There are 41 black members of the House, but all of them are Democrats. There are 10 Asian-Americans, but all of them are Democrats. There are 34 Latinos, a record — and all but 7 are Democrats. There are 7 openly gay, lesbian or bisexual members, all of them Democrats.
Only 63 percent of the United States population is white. But in the House Republican majority, it’s 96 percent white. Women are 51 percent of the nation, but among the ruling members of the House, they make up just 8 percent. (It’s 30 percent on the Democratic side.)
It’s a stretch, by any means, to call the current House an example of representative democracy. Now let’s look at how the members govern:
To date, seven bills have been enacted. Let’s see, there was the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship act — “ensuring the stability of the helium market.” The Violence Against Women Act was renewed, but only after a majority of Republicans voted against it, a rare instance of letting the full House decide on something that the public favors. Just recently, they rushed through a change to help frequent air travelers — i.e., themselves — by fixing a small part of the blunt budget cuts that are the result of their inability to compromise. Meal assistance to the elderly, Head Start for kids and other programs will continue to fall under the knife of sequestration.
On the economy, the Republican majority has been consciously trying to derail a fragile recovery. Their first big salvo was the debt ceiling debacle, which resulted in the lowering of the credit rating for the United States. With sequestration — which President Obama foolishly agreed to, thinking Congress would never go this far — the government has put a wheel-lock on a car that keeps trying to get some traction.
Meanwhile, not a day passes without some member of this ruling majority saying something outrageous. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, for example, has endorsed the far-side-of-the-moon conspiracy theory that the government is buying up all the bullets to keep gun owners from stocking their home arms depots. As for Gohmert, earlier this year he nominated Allen West, a man who isn’t even a member of Congress (he lost in November) to be Speaker of the House. Harvey, the invisible rabbit, was not available.
Gohmert, like others in the House crazy caucus, has benefited from a gerrymandered district. He can do anything short of denouncing Jesus and get re-elected.
The Beltway chorus of the moment blames President Obama for his inability to move his proposals through a dunderheaded Congress. They wonder how Republicans would be treating a silken-tongued charmer like Bill Clinton if he were still in the White House. We already know: not a single Republican voted for Clinton’s tax-raising budget, the one that led to our last federal surplus. Plus, they impeached him; his presidency was saved only in the Senate.
Obama may be doomed to be a reactive president in his second term, with even the most common-sense proposals swatted down because, well — if he’s for it, Republicans will have to be against it. What could be a signature achievement, immigration reform, faces quicksand in the House. But a gerrymander is good for only a decade or so. Eventually, demography and destiny will catch up with a Congress that refuses to do the people’s bidding.
- House of Un-Representatives (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Louie Gohmert, CPAC Superstar (nationalreview.com)
- Louie Gohmert: Boehner Has Concerns about the Tea Party, So I Have Concerns about Him (nationalreview.com)
- Gohmert accuses Obama regime of impeding Boston investigation (israelmatzav.blogspot.com)
- Tea Party Congressman Louie Gohmert (unclewilliejoe.wordpress.com)
- Rep. Louie Gohmert says administration is full of Muslim Brotherhood members (dailykos.com)
- REP. LOUIE GOHMERT: FBI’s willful blindness enabled Boston terror attack (rare.us)
- Louie’s Latest: Gohmert says radical Muslims are training to ‘act like Hispanics’ to get into the U.S. (chron.com)
- Egan on the House (snohomishobserver.com)
- Louie Gohmert treated like rock star at CPAC, of course (salon.com)
What Happens When Fracking Hits the Suburbs
Residents of Gardendale, a suburb near the hub of the west Texas oil industry, face having up to 300 wells in their backyards.
January 2, 2013
Photo Credit: Pincasso/ Shutterstock.com
The corner of Goldenrod and Western streets, with its grid of modest homes, could be almost any suburb that went up in a hurry – except of course for the giant screeching oil rig tearing up the earth and making the pavement shudder underfoot.
Fracking, the technology that opened up America’s vast deposits of unconventional oil and gas, has moved beyond remote locations and landed at the front door, with oil operations now planned or under way in suburbs, mid-sized towns and large metropolitan areas.
Some cities have moved to limit fracking or ban it outright – even in the heart of oil and gas country. Tulsa, Oklahoma, which once billed itself as the oil capital of the world, banned fracking inside city limits. The authorities in Dallas last week blocked what would have been the first natural gas well in town. The town of Longmont, just outside Denver, meanwhile, is fighting off attempts by industry groups to overturn a fracking ban.
But Gardendale, a suburb of 1,500 people near the hub of the west Texas oil industry, exists in a legal and political environment in which there are seemingly few restrictions on fracking, even inside city limits. For residents here, fracking is part of daily life.
“You can hear it, you can smell it, and you are always breathing it. It’s just like being behind a car exhaust,” said Debbie Leverett, during a tour of the area last October organised by the Society of Environmental Journalists. “All of your senses change.”
Over the last few years oil companies have drilled 51 wells in Gardendale, an area that covers about 11 square miles – and that’s just the start.
Berry Petroleum, the main oil developer, plans to drill as many as 300 wells in Gardendale. “Berry’s current plan is to drill approximately 140 wells on 40-acre spacing in and around the Gardendale area,” Jeff Coyle, a company spokesman, wrote in an email. “Additionally, we are preparing to conduct a pilot study on 20-acre spacing and, if those test results are encouraging and economic conditions warrant, we may drill up to 160 additional wells.”
Some of those wells will be drilled within 150ft of residents’ front doors – far closer than in other towns in Texas.
In the nearby city of Midland, the oil industry hub and childhood home of George W Bush, the city council capped the number of wells inside city limits at 30. The town requires oil companies to stay 500ft away from buildings and homes. In some circumstances oil companies may be required to landscape around a well.
“People are still not really happy when an oil well turns up in the backyard,” said Wes Perry, Midland’s mayor and an oil man himself. But he added: “We are an oil town. We can’t be hypocrites.”
However, Gardendale lacks the legal authority to keep fracking at a distance. The suburb, just outside Midland and Odessa, is unincorporated, so it does not have the legal authority to impose zoning restrictions. Residents voted down an attempt to incorporate last year, fearing it would lead to higher taxes.
Berry argues the close proximity serves to encourage industry and residents to co-exist. “What we have here is a situation where we have to find the best way to work together, where mineral rights owners and surface rights owners can co-exist,” Coyle said.
But co-existence does not work for Shane Leverett, Debbie’s husband. Leverett has worked in the oil industry, but he said the drilling plan for Gardendale was excessive. “This is a fantastic opportunity for oil and gas development, but it is coming at the expense of all of us,” he said.
The couple are suing the oil company to try to block drilling on their 130 acres on the edge of town. The land is staked with bright plastic strips marking potential oil wells.
Current plans call for seven wells on the property. “They’re talking about a well every 600 feet and a pad every 300 feet,” Shane Leverett said. “Do the math. There’s not much room left over for us.”
The suit seeks to challenge a pillar of Texas law: that property owners have no control over the extraction of the oil that lies beneath their land, unless they also own mineral rights. The Leveretts only own the surface rights to their land. The mineral rights were sold off decades ago – a fact the Leveretts were aware of when they bought their property, but they did not think there was a real prospect of drilling at the time.
Fracking changed that, however, making it profitable to drill on the Leveretts’ land.
“This case is of historic importance,” said Steve Hershberger, the Leveretts’ lawyer. “Now that the oil companies have found oil and gas through fracking and horizontal drilling they are going into residential areas and urban areas. This case is going to define the relationship between mineral owners and surface owners in a big way.”
The oil company argues the Leveretts got what they paid for. “Essentially, each Gardendale surface owner bought his or her surface property (at a discounted price without the minerals) betting, wrongfully as it turned out, on the proposition that oil and gas development would not occur in the area,” Coyle said.
Other residents complain the oil company dictates what property owners can do above ground, even without definitive drilling plans.
Hector Rodriguez said he was barred from expanding his trailer home or putting in a bigger dog house on his six acres because the oil company insisted on protecting access.
“They told me they might not ever drill there, but they put the stake there just in case,” he said. “They told me I could not do anything there. I have no rights.”
Coyle said the company believes the Rodriguez property sits atop a potential oil well – although it is not currently scheduled for drilling.
Rodriguez, back at home, is unimpressed. “We’re just talking about a dog house,” he said. “I should be able to decide about that.”
- What Happens When Fracking Hits the Suburbs (alternet.org)
- When fracking came to suburban Texas (guardian.co.uk)
- When Fracking Came to Suburban Texas (readersupportednews.org)
- When fracking came to suburban Texas (politicalcrazyness.tumblr.com)
- Fracking Industry Coming to a Neighborhood Near You? (commondreams.org)
- When Fracking Came to Suburban Texas (climatedesk.org)
- Real life ‘Promised Land’: Fracking comes to suburban Texas (rawstory.com)
- When fracking came to suburban Texas (oddonion.com)
- Matt Damon’s Fracking Film Manages To Make No One Happy (fastcoexist.com)
- Is fracking a “happy solution” to our energy needs? (resilience.org)
If you go to the website of Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland, you’ll see a whole page devoted to Hurricane Sandy recovery. You’ll see pictures of him touring flooded coastal towns. You’ll see the number to call if you lost your power. You’ll even see a link to the website for the National Flood Insurance Program.
Chris Weyant / The Hill
What you won’t see on his Hurricane Sandy Recovery Update is an explanation for why he voted against letting the flood insurance program borrow more money to pay flood insurance claims, 800 of which are pending in Maryland. That particular bit of malarkey is on anotherpage:
“The current national flood insurance program is obviously broken and must be reformed,” stated Harris. “Unfortunately, today’s vote does nothing to ensure the long-term stability of the national flood insurance program which is important to the Eastern Shore.”
Harris wasn’t the only congressman to vote against the first chunk of Sandy relief. In all, 67 members of congress voted No—all Republicans, bless their hearts. And Harris wasn’t even the only one representing a hurricane zone to vote against funding flood relief for Sandy, so maybe he doesn’t deserve more than his share of scorn.
There’s also Steve Palazzo from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Farther down the coast you’ll find Randy Weber, who represents the area of Texas flooded by Hurricane Ike. Both voted No on Sandy relief.
Mo Brooks from Alabama offered a toxic excuse for his No vote on Sandy relief.
“People have to protect themselves from the risks of weather, particularly if they live in an area that is periodically hit by substantial storms,” said Brooks, who secured federal aid when his district that was hit by tornadoes in 2011. “They should not expect American taxpayers to subsidize a vacation home on the beach.”
It might help Brooks and his fellow Gulf Coast hypocrites sleep better if they believe that’s what congress approved, but that dog don’t hunt. People who live in coastal areas do protect themselves. It’s called buying flood insurance.
And congress wasn’t handing out money to anyone. Instead, it increased the borrowing power of the flood insurance program so it could pay claims. The program used to be self-sustained by flood insurance premiums, but the fund went deeply into debt after Hurricane Katrina.
This is where the hypocrisy of these virulent nitwits starts stinking up the fridge. Within two weeks of Katrina making landfall, congress had already passed two emergency relief packages totaling $62.3 billion, and they did it with the votes of at least 16 of those who voted against Sandy relief.
Members of the House Science Committee also show up prominently on the list of those who voted for Katrina relief but against Sandy relief, including Jim Sensenbrenner, who believes solar flares cause global warming, and Randy Neugebauer, whose response to the drought and tornadoes in 2011 was to sponsor aresolution calling on Americans to pray. Thank God. Without congress, I’m not sure Americans would remember to pray. Also on the science committee are our friends Brooks, Harris and Palazzo, so we’re in good hands there.
This is what the Party of Lincoln has come to: congressmen voting the flood insurance program into debt and then using that debt as an excuse to vote against funding flood insurance for flood victims who are only flood victims in the first place because of global warming, a problem they’re in charge of addressing but which they believe is an elaborate hoax.
“They’re a bunch of jackasses,” said former three-term Republican Sen. Al D’Amato, a resident of Long Island. “Every one of the 67 who voted no are nothing more than pawns of a philosophy that is not backed up by facts.”
A recent poll found congress was less popular than colonoscopies, used car salesmen, and Nickelback and only slightly more popular than gonorrhea. But maybe that’s not fair.
After all, you can cure gonorrhea.
- Sen. Harry Reid: Hurricane Katrina ‘was nothing in comparison’ to Sandy (video) (al.com)
- FEMA’s Flood Insurance Program Needs Bailout (sweetness-light.com)
- Right Wing Group Will Punish Republicans Voting for Sandy Flood Aid (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Sen. Vitter calls Reid ‘idiot’ for comparing Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina (thehill.com)
- Congress to vote on Superstorm Sandy flood aid (kansascity.com)
- Flood insurance faces new stress (victoriasluxuryestates.wordpress.com)
- Government Is Worse Than Sandy (lewrockwell.com)
- Congress to vote on Superstorm Sandy flood aid (newsobserver.com)
- Congress to vote on Sandy flood aid (kypost.com)
- Superstorm Sandy relief measure to be considered in Congress (wjla.com)
It has become axiomatic that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. In the case of the first responders to the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, it was 20 minutes, to be exact.
That’s the picture that is emerging from the 911 calls from that terrible day. Twenty minutes. I have tried in vain to imagine my 7-year-old grandson, his defenseless classmates and their equally defenseless teacher being shot to death one by one while waiting 20 minutes for police to arrive. It is a scenario too terrible to conjure in my mind. To imagine local law enforcement personnel taking a full one-third of an hour to respond to such a monstrous event is infuriating. And yet, there it is. Those who wish to protect themselves and their loved ones in almost any situation should not depend on government. How many times have we seen it before?
On September 11, 2001, government failed to protect the unsuspecting victims on those four airplanes, as well as those on the ground. On Flight 93, it was courageous passengers, taking matters into their own hands, who stopped those Islamist monsters from making that day even more infamous.
In September 2005, government — federal, state and local — completely failed the people of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city’s poorest section. Those who were willing and able to take care of themselves and their families were spared. Many of those who counted on government simply perished.
Even the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September, was a case study in brave volunteers, not government — especially not this government — making a difference.
And in every mass shooting, in every school or other public place, in every corner of this country, government has betrayed the very people it is sworn to protect, usually by declaring a “gun-free zone” or some other absurd control on the right of private citizens to render protection for themselves, their families and their neighbors.
On October 16, 1991, in Killeen, Texas, an assailant drove his pickup truck through the front window of the Luby’s Cafeteria. He then shot 50 people, killing 23 of them, before turning the gun on himself. Two of those victims were the elderly parents of Suzanna Hupp, whose revolver was useless to her because it was 100 feet away in the glove compartment of her car. Hupp later was elected to the Texas Legislature on a platform of allowing Texans to carry concealed handguns, legislation she successfully pushed through and which then-Governor George W. Bush signed into law.
On April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado, two misfit high school students decided to murder as many of their teachers and classmates as possible. Their subsequent rampage — again carried out in gun-free zone — left 13 innocent victims dead.
On April 16, 2007, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech), a lone gunman shot and killed 32 people, wounding 17 others. Another school, another gun-free zone.
A few months later, just before Christmas, on December 5, 2007, in Omaha, Nebraska, a 19-year-old loner walked into the Von Maur department store at the Westroads Shopping Center and murdered eight innocent shoppers. As I wrote in a column at the time, “This individual looked at the ‘no concealed weapons’ sign and read, ‘Murderers welcome here. Please come in and shoot as many people as you like. No one here is capable of stopping you. Even our mall security officers are not armed.’”
January 8, 2011, at a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket, 6 people were murdered and 13 others wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who miraculously survived a bullet through her brain.
July 20, 2012, Aurora, Colorado, in a movie theater that does not allow law-abiding citizens to carry their licensed, concealed firearms, 70 people were shot, 12 of them fatally, by a single shooter.
And now, most recently, we have Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, with its horrendous toll of 26 dead — 20 of them 6 and 7-year-old children. As usual, no one there was allowed the tools to protect them. One of the teachers reportedly huddled with her students in hiding and assured them, “The bad guys are here now. We just have to wait for the good guys to get here.”
Sadly, the good guys didn’t arrive for 20 minutes.
- The Truth About The Second Amendment. What It Really Means. Poll (startlbartfast.newsvine.com)
- Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains meaning of 2nd Amendment! (amresolution.com)
- Some Good Patriot Videos (libertyendanger.com)
- Under the Leftwing’s Set of Rules, Some Are More Deserving of the Second Amendment Than Others (sfcmac.wordpress.com)
- The Deadly Liberal Fairy Tale of ‘Gun-Free School Zones’ (boilingthefrogs.wordpress.com)
- Shootings up 49% in November in Gun-Free Zone of Chicago (moonbattery.com)
- In the wake of Sandy Hook, cooler heads must prevail (legalinsurrection.com)
- Victim of Central Texas Luby’s shooting discusses gun rights, CT shooting (khou.com)
- 18. 2nd Amendment: TX Massacre Tragedy might have been averted – Suzanna Gratia-Hupp.mp4 (12160.info)
- BREAKING: Mass Shooting at Clackamas Town Center Mall (Gun-Free Zone) (thetruthaboutguns.com)
American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals
The 32-year-old lawyer sold skin-care products in Houston before finding work as the assistant general counsel of a futures-trading firm where an irate customer punctuated a recorded voice-mail message with gunfire.
“No one was left with the impression that he just happened to be phoning from a sporting clays range,” she says.
Eighteen months and two busted jobs later, the daughter of a retired physician and a former editor at Vogue circled back to upstate and hunkered down at a small legal office that pays about one-quarter of her former $165,000 salary.
Generation Y professionals entering the workforce are finding careers that once were gateways to high pay and upwardly mobile lives turning into detours and dead ends. Average for individuals ages 25 to 34 have fallen 8 percent, double the adult population’s total drop, since the recession began in December 2007. Their rate remains stuck one-half to 1 percentage point above the national figure.
Three and a half years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, the earnings and employment gap between those in the under-35 population and their parents and grandparents threatens to unravel the American dream of each generation doing better than the last. The nation’s younger workers have benefited least from an economic recovery that has been the most uneven in recent history.
“This generation will be permanently depressed and will be on a lower path of income for probably all of their life — and at least the next 10 years,” says Rutgers professor Cliff Zukin, a senior research fellow at the university’s John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Professionals who start out in jobs other than their first choice tend to stay on the alternative path, earning less than they would have otherwise while becoming less likely to start over again later in preferred fields, Zukin says.
, who was chief economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers in 2009 and 2010, says the shift to a downwardly mobile society may be lasting. “Children are not earning as much as their parents, and I think we’re laying the seeds for that to continue into the future,” he says.
Only one-fifth of those who graduated college since 2006 expect greater success than their parents, a Rutgers survey found earlier this year. Little more than half were working full time. Just one in five said their job put them on a career path.
Those who finish only high school or drop out fare worse. Almost four out of five jobs destroyed by the recession were held by workers with a high school diploma or less, according to’s Center on Education and the Workforce.
Middle-income jobs are disappearing for a wide range of young professionals. The number of financial counselors and loan officers ages 25 to 34 has dropped 40 percent since 2007, outpacing the 30 percent drop in total jobs for the profession, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Similarly, the number of hours logged by first-year and mid-level legal associates — a productivity measure of young lawyers — fell 12 percent from 2007 at some of New York’s largest law firms, says Jeff Grossman, national managing director of Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Legal Specialty Group in , . Yet profits per partner climbed $50,697 to $1.5 million on revenue of $66 billion last year, according to a separate survey of 86 of the world’s top law firms by The American Lawyer magazine.
“I had a lot of faith in the system, the mythology that if you work really hard you can achieve anything, and the stock market always goes up,” says 2009 law school graduate Elizabeth Hallock, 33. “It was pretty naïve on my part.”
Hallock is the named plaintiff in one of against some of the nation’s best-known law schools, including her alma mater, the University of San Francisco . The civil complaints, filed in 2011 and 2012, accuse the institutions of overstating graduates’ job-placement results and incomes.
Young Americans are struggling to reconcile their lack of economic rewards with their relatively privileged upbringings by Baby Boomer parents and the material success of their older peers, Generation X, born in the late 1960s and 1970s, says Kathy Sheehan, general manager of GfK Consumer Trends and Roper Reports, a unit of German-based research firm GfK.
“It’s a generation that had really high expectations, in some part driven by the way they were raised by their boomer parents,” she says. “Yet in the past five years they have had reality slammed in their face by the employment situation.”
About 61 million people, one-fifth of the , work at jobs where median earnings declined since 2007 even as the 1.2 million households whose incomes put them in the top 1 percent saw their pay rise 5.5 percent last year. Younger workers are experiencing the worst of the disparity in part because they’re being displaced by older workers. The number of employees ages 55 to 64 is expected to the under-24 working population by 2020 for the first time since at least World War II, according to the BLS.
Dashed expectations crimped even some of the most innovative corners of the economy. Daniel White was wrapping up a week-long vacation to two summers ago when a co-worker at Chicago-based called to share the news that White was about to be fired from the e-commerce discounter.
The 27-year-old business school graduate was living from paycheck to paycheck, cold-calling hair salons and pizza parlors in Youngstown, , from crowded offices at company headquarters when he found himself out on the street.
This year, White says, he hopes to earn $2,000 at his own startup Web-sales venture in Burlington, Vermont, seeing technology as the one path to potentially matching his father’s generation, “the people with the money and power.”
In more traditional jobs, the fallout from the subprime- mortgage collapse a half-decade ago continues to pummel people, including the architects who designed homes. The number of them ages 25 to 34 has fallen by 41 percent since 2007, compared with the total drop in the profession of 25 percent.
At the Seattle architectural firm of Callison LLC, faces and names began to disappear from the staff directory almost immediately after new hire Eli Hardi joined in January 2008.
“People would drop off on a daily basis,” says Hardi, 28, a recent graduate of a five-year architecture degree program in . Within a few months, Hardi rose from an hourly to salaried position. The promotion wiped out overtime pay and reduced his annual income by 12 percent to $39,500, he says.
Hardi worked through Christmas and New Year’s before being laid off during the first week of January 2009, 13 months after his hiring. He walked home in the cold to his apartment and new big-screen TV that was now a symbol of his uprooted ambitions.
“It’s a bit sudden, a bit jarring,” he says. Still, “there’s a certain sense of relief that you don’t have to deal with the sword hanging over your head. I almost felt worse for the people who had to stay, knowing they might lose their jobs.”
Architecture graduates ages 25 to 29 had the highest of 57 degree programs surveyed by the Education Department in 2009. Their 9.6 percent jobless level rivaled the 10.6 percent unemployment for all Americans ages 25 to 29 that year, including those without college degrees. Nursing fared the best with a 1.5 percent jobless rate.
“The hours were long, the pay was low and we got a notice saying the bonus would be minimal,” he says. “The hardest part, I found, is to maintain your own self respect and dignity.” In March, he quit to join a smaller firm where he works on historical renovations.
The same housing crash that hammered young architects and loan officers also slammed lawyers. Law schools are turning out about 45,000 holders a year for about 25,000 full-time positions available to them, according to the National Association for Law Placement Inc. in Washington. The class of 2011 had the lowest placement with law firms, 49.5 percent, in 36 years.
“It is not the perfect path to wealth and success that people may have envisioned,” says Robin Sparkman, editor in chief of The American Lawyer magazine in New York.
Some of the disenchanted have taken their complaints to court. Plaintiffs’ attorneys and recent law-school graduates are pushing to change what they call law schools’ overstated reports of post-graduation employment numbers. The results are used in magazine rankings of the institutions and to recruit new applicants. In state-court lawsuits, the former students allege false advertising and consumer fraud.
The claims are “meritless,” says Angie Davis, spokeswoman for the University of San Francisco . “We are sympathetic to the difficulty faced by law school graduates nationwide in finding employment on the heels of the Great Recession,” she says, adding the university helps students find work, and many have found “successful, rewarding careers.”
This July, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn allowed lawsuits against USF and Golden Gate University to proceed, ruling that some law-school graduates may have a basis for claims that they were deceived. Judges in Illinois and rejected similar complaints.
“It’s hard to look at the information the schools were putting out and say it’s not misleading,” says Derek Tokaz, research director of the nonprofit Law School initiative. It published research showing that the chance of recent graduates getting permanent full-time work in law was far lower than the 80-95 percent total employment rates the schools typically boasted.
Tokaz, 28, worked with Tretter-Herriger at the Manhattan law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP. She joined the firm in September 2008, the same month that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed, gradually setting off panic on and around the world.
The late nights and long weeks awaited by first-year associates as a grueling rite of passage didn’t come, she says. Instead, there was so little work to do that the hedge fund lawyers and recruiters she worked with frequently retreated after lunch to a street-level pub to watch English soccer.
Tretter-Herriger says she and some other first-year associates were fired 13 months later with the proviso they could keep their desks and look for jobs through October. She found one at the Houston futures trading firm. When it later outsourced some of its legal work, she moved on again and answered an ad on Craigslist for a job in Buffalo, New York.
She now complements her $45,000 lawyer’s salary by training horses and giving riding lessons. She says she’d like to buy a rental property and become self-sufficient in case she loses this job.
“As it is, all of my possessions still fit in the back of my truck,” she says. “I can pack it in a couple hours, pick up the trailer and horses and move anywhere the gas tank will take me at the drop of a hat. What can the system take away from you when you have that kind of freedom?”
- American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals (redalertpolitics.com)
- American Dream Fades for Generation Y (dailypaul.com)
- ‘American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals’ (cryptogon.com)
- The American Dream: Poor or Prison (truth11.com)
- An American Dream (linesbylinda.wordpress.com)
- Ian Ruhter: The Alchemist Chasing the American Dream (urbantimes.co)
- Poll: 63 percent of college grads think the American Dream is dead (redalertpolitics.com)
- David Koch Gave $50 Holiday Tips at 740 Park Avenue: TV – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- From American Dream to American Reality: Gen Y Coming of Age (thenarcissisticanthropologist.com)
- Mohawk John Kane ‘My Sovereignty is not the American Dream’ (bsnorrell.blogspot.com)
Judge temporarily saves teenage girl facing suspension for refusing to wear RFID tag in school – The Next Web
23 November 2012
A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a “Smart” Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip.
In short, this is good news for Hernandez, who has been fighting her school for months. Let’s back up a little, however, to get the full story here.
First off, the school district in question started issuing the badges with embedded RFID chips at the start of this school year in September, as part of its $500,000 Student Locator project. School officials want to eventually expand the program to the district’s 112 schools with a projected student population of 100,000, in the hopes of receiving up to $1.7 million from the state government.
The badge, worn via a lanyard around the neck, identifies a student in three ways: it features their photo and name, a bar code associated with each student’s Social Security number, and the chip to monitor his or her movements on campus from the second they get there to the second they head home. The ID card is required to use the library or cafeteria, vote in school elections, attend certain school functions, purchase tickets to extracurricular activities, and Hernandez claims, in some cases to go to the bathroom.
Hernandez refused the new policy of wearing the badges at all times and, with the support of her family, began protesting on the grounds it violates her religious beliefs and infringes on her privacy. Yet the school stopped her from passing out flyers to other students regarding the locator project.
The school offered a special lanyard with the RFID tag removed, in the hopes to put a damper on the whole situation. The student’s father refused the deal, however, because it came with strings attached.
“He told me in a meeting that if my daughter would proudly wear her student ID card around her neck so everyone could see, he would be able to quietly remove her chip from her student ID card,” Steve Hernandez told WND. “He went on to say as part of the accommodation my daughter and I would have to agree to stop criticizing the program and publicly support … it. I told him that was unacceptable because it would imply an endorsement of the district’s policy and my daughter and I should not have to give up our constitutional rights to speak out against a program that we feel is wrong.”
After months of school board meetings, organized protests, and even filing formal grievances with the district over the matter, the family received the following letter on November 13:
Hernandez was essentially told she would be suspended from her school on November 26, unless she wore the badge around her neck, which she has been refusing to do. This coming Monday, she would have had to attend William Howard Taft HS, another high school in the same district that does not (yet) employ the badges with the RFID chips.
The Hernandez family decided to take action against the school with the help of the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties and human rights group which immediately took the view that the school district is looking for more public funding, which it can only receive if there is proof of positive student attendance rates. Rutherford attorneys filed a petition for the aforementioned TRO, as well as immediate injunctive and declaratory relief alleging that the school’s actions violate Hernandez’s rights under Texas’ Religious Freedom Act, the First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment.
“The court’s willingness to grant a temporary restraining order is a good first step, but there is still a long way to go—not just in this case, but dealing with the mindset, in general, that everyone needs to be monitored and controlled,” John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said in a statement. While the TRO has been granted, a hearing on the preliminary injunction will take place next week.
“Regimes in the past have always started with the schools, where they develop a compliant citizenry,” Whitehead continued. “These ‘Student Locator’ programs are ultimately aimed at getting students used to living in a total surveillance state where there will be no privacy, and wherever you go and whatever you text or email will be watched by the government.”
- Judge temporarily saves teenage girl facing suspension for refusing to wear RFID tag in school (thenextweb.com)
- Texas student suspended for refusing RFID tracker (boingboing.net)
- Student’s expulsion for refusing to wear RFID tag put on hold until next week (theverge.com)
- Texan schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag (theregister.co.uk)
- Judge Saves Girl from Suspension for Refusing to Wear RFID tag (thenextweb.com)
- School Attempts to Suspend Student for Refusing to Wear a School-Issued RFID Tracker (cryptogon.com)
- US student suspended for refusing to wear school-issued tracker (wired.co.uk)
- How a Teenage Girl Rebelled Against Her School’s RFID Tagging Scheme and Got Expelled (motherboard.vice.com)
- Judge Grants Reprieve To Student Expelled For Refusing To Wear Tracking Device Badge (tutoringtoexcellence.blogspot.com)
- Student Suspended for Not Wearing RFID (drudge.com)
Friday Talking Points — Wake Me When It’s Over
Posted: 11/02/2012 8:17 pm
Every so often, I get an idea that I know would make me millions of dollars. Today, I had another one: develop and market a pill that, when taken, would put you to sleep until the morning after the election. The pill would be magically timed to work no matter when you took it, meaning a citizen in Texas or California might not want to take one until perhaps mid-October, but the folks in Iowa and New Hampshire might be expected to take one New Year’s Eve — thus avoiding not only the debates and punditary frenzy of the general election, but the entire primary season as well. It would be marketed under the name “The Rip Van Winkle Pill.”
Okay, I fully admit that this would be medically dangerous, and likely downright impossible. But, hey, I bet I’d sell a bunch of RVW pills anyway (at least in the fantasy world of my overwrought imagination). How many of us would be tempted, at some point, to just say to friends and family, “I’ll be out until November 7th, so just leave me a message and I’ll get back to you then.”
As the 2012 election season draws to a close, it feels (as always) as though it’s lasted four full years. At least to me — but maybe I’m just jaded and exhausted because I pay such close attention to politics (speaking of things that are medically dangerous…).
It’s gotten so bad that I can’t even bring myself to write a talking points column today. Oh, sure, I could give President Obama another award for his response to Hurricane Sandy, and even say a few nice things about Chris Christie, for whom I’ve always had a soft spot, just because of his double-barrelled “Chris” name (on which subject, I fully admit, I am biased).
I could go back and dig out the best talking points of the election from Obama and other Democrats out there on the hustings, but at this point it really feels like it would be a wasted effort. How many of you, reading this, are still unsure about which candidate you’re going to vote for? I have pro-Obama readers, I have pro-Romney readers (no, really!), and I bet I even have a few pro-third-party readers to boot. But I really seriously doubt anyone who is still unsure is spending time today reading my column. I could be wrong (I often am), but it just feels like there’s no one left to convince, one way or the other.
Of course, I don’t live in a swing state — that could have a lot to do with it. And I am not donating time to any candidate’s campaign for “get out the vote” efforts, because my personal professional code of ethics forbids me to do such things (although I did make an exception last week to fully endorse a cat who is running for the United States Senate… which goes to show my own state of mind, I suppose). But I do not fault anyone for doing so, and in fact heartily encourage such participation in our democratic process.
Want Obama to win? Call up your local Democrats and offer to put in some hours in a phone bank, cold-calling people in swing states, trying to convince them to vote for Barack. Want to see Romney elected? Call up your local Republicans and offer to do the same for Mitt.
One local Republican Party outlet has a new ad up which is well worth viewing — for all voters. In it, the fictional C. Montgomery Burns offers up the choice between “Broccoli Obama” and “Meat Romney.” At this point, we could all use a little comedy relief, right?
As in all elections, what interests me most are the things the media get horribly, horribly wrong. The biggest one this year would have to be “debates don’t matter, they never change anyone’s mind.” The first Romney/Obama debate will be what is remembered in this election cycle, no matter who wins next Tuesday. It was a true “game-changer,” no matter how overused the term is. It was just as much of a game-changer as, in 2008, the choice of Sarah Palin turned out to be (which was, at the time, dismissed by the punditocracy because: “running mates don’t matter, they never change anyone’s mind”).
The one nugget of conventional wisdom that (thankfully) seems to have gone away this year was the obsession by pundits earlier over whether this would be a “choice” election or a “referendum” election. It’s such a nonsensical theme, like saying the choice of eating ice cream is because it is either “sweet” or “cold.” Well, um… it’s both. It always is. But, like I said, thankfully this seems to have fallen by the wayside.
The media did catch one break this time around. In every single election (at least the ones I’ve lived through), two storylines are consistently pushed by the media — right up to Election Day itself. The first is the old “this is the most important election in your lifetime.” This is trotted out every single time, and nobody ever notices that this cry of “Wolf!” is exactly the same as what was said four years ago. Exactly. Go back and look it up — just pick any presidential election year, and you’ll easily find those stating it’s the most important election in all of American history.
But it’s the second quadrennial media theme in which the pundits actually caught a break this time around. Because every election — no matter how big a blowout — is always portrayed as “excruciatingly close” right up until the minute the votes start getting actually counted. This time around, the media may be right. There, I said it: a tired old media theme from the mainstream media could actually come to pass. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. I mean, these things just don’t happen normally, right?
Another thing this year’s election may be remembered for — if Obama wins — is the “October Surprise” dished out by Mother Nature. Let’s see… in 2008, the first day of the Republican National Convention was disrupted by a hurricane… in 2012, the first day of the Republican National Convention was disrupted by a hurricane… and then Hurricane Sandy arrived just in time for President Obama to look presidential and caring in the final week of the election. Now, I’m not one of those folks who pretends to be able to divine “God’s will,” so I leave it for others to draw conclusions about deities and what message is being sent, if any. Ahem.
The other last-minute news politically looks like it’s going to turn out to be pretty much of a non-starter. The unemployment rate inched up from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent, but more jobs than expected were created in October. This allows both sides to spin things, without giving either side a true knockout punch. Romney will say things are not heading in the right direction — the rate went up! But with unemployment under the psychologically-important level of 8 percent, Romney and the Republicans are robbed of a big conspiracy theory (the one about how last month’s numbers were manipulated for political reasons). If unemployment was back up to 8.1 percent, you can bet your bottom dollar you’d be hearing this theme today.
Obama will point to the number of jobs created and say things are heading in the right direction, the recovery is on track, so just give him four more years and things’ll be better! But because the number went up, not down, Obama can’t point to the rate itself as a good trend. If the rate had fallen to, say, 7.6 percent, Obama would be hammering this number home every chance he got, to put it another way.
But they’ll have to spin things on their own, because this week is the one week that I don’t think anyone needs my help in formulating talking points. I’ve been doing this column for five years now, and while Democrats certainly need all the help they can get on this front in normal times, at the tail end of a presidential election the party machine is cranked into such a high gear that my efforts wouldn’t even be icing on the cake at this point. I checked, and in 2008 the Friday before Election Day had no Friday Talking Points, because it was also the last weekday before Hallowe’en, so my annual “scare the pants off everyone with a little comedy” Hallowe’en column took precedence (if you missed it, check out my scary stories for 2012 from Wednesday).
Comedy is important, in the midst of the political maelstrom. It allows us all to gain some well-needed perspective, at times. Which is why I started off joking about a Rip Van Winkle Pill (you can just picture the ads: “Wake me when it’s over!”). But in reality nobody should sleep through an election. One of the best lines Obama has been using over the last month or so is to bait the crowd during a speech with a line he knows will get booed, and then respond (seemingly spontaneously) with: “Don’t boo… vote!”
I think America should enact this into law. I would support making it illegal to complain about politics – any politics, from any viewpoint or party, including criticizing any politician — unless you can prove you voted in the last election. I would call it the “If You Didn’t Vote, You Can’t Complain Act.” Republicans want photo identification for voting? Well, I want any political commentator — even those posting comments to blogs and articles such as this one — to have to certify that they’ve voted before they’re allowed to say anything – anything – about politics.
Okay, that was comedy as well, I admit. Or at least a weak attempt. First Amendment… blah blah… unconstitutional… yadda yadda. I know it could never happen, but it certainly would be nice, wouldn’t it?
I leave you with excerpts from a real comedian (well, he plays one on teevee, at least) ranting about the importance of participating. This was from a rant by Craig Ferguson I heard in the last election cycle (read the whole thing, if you’d like — it’s hilarious). Craig is a naturalized United States citizen, so he personally feels very strongly about the issue of voting. And I can’t say I disagree. So, to close, here is Craig Ferguson on why “Wake me when it’s over” is really not even an option, or shouldn’t be:
Are we so lost we have to be sold our own democratic right? What the hell is wrong with… what is going on?!? We have to “sexy-up” the vote for young people? Remember four years ago Puff Diddley had that group “Vote or Die”? Then it turns out he didn’t even vote himself! Maybe he forgot which name he registered under.
Listen. Here’s what I am saying to you… here’s what I’m saying. Here’s what I’ve been saying: If you don’t vote, you’re a moron. Alright?
If you… settle down. I know you say: “Well, not voting is a vote” — no, it isn’t! Not voting is… is just being stupid. Voting is not sexy. Voting is not hip. It is not fashionable. It’s not a movie. It’s not a videogame. All the kids hate doing it. Frankly, voting is a pain in the ass, but here’s a word — look it up — it is your duty to vote! “Duty?”
The foundation in this democracy is based on free people making free choices. So, young people, if you can’t take your hand out of your bag of Cheetos long enough to fill out a form, then you can’t complain when we wind up with President Sanjaya!
Listen. I am an American. This country at… is at war — right now. Americans, in foreign lands, wearing uniforms representing this country, are losing their lives. Americans here in this country are losing their homes. We have two patriotic candidates, right? They both love this country. They have different ideas about what to do with it. Learn about them. Read about them. Question them. Listen to them. Then, on Election Day, exercise your sacred right as American, and listen to yourself.
Craig then took a commercial break, and returned with a second half to his rant, where he gave everyone in the audience voter registration cards:
Here’s the thing that made me think, though, the… the people who didn’t register to vote, when they were asked why they didn’t vote, they said, ah… half of them said, “I’m not interested in the election,” and the other half said, “I’m not interested in politics.”
How could you be not interested in politics? You’ve got, you’ve got to have an opinion about something. Don’t you think? I mean, I don’t know — “I’m not interested in politics” — do you, do you live anywhere? Do you, do you shop anywhere? Do you drive a car? Do you put on pants? Do you leave the house at any point? Do you own the house? Do you rent the house? Do you ever, ah, hope that the police will save you from something that may or may not be illegal? Of course you’re involved in politics. If you’re alive you’re involved in politics.
- Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points — Wake Me When It’s Over (huffingtonpost.com)
- Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points — Frankenstorm! Hank for Senate! (huffingtonpost.com)
- Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points — Frankenstorm! Hank for Senate! (huffingtonpost.com)
- Talking Points Memo: Libya Will Not Be an Issue for President Obama in the Election Thanks to the Media (foxnewsinsider.com)
- What Was The Debate Subject, Again? (businessinsider.com)
- Talking Points Memo: Threats From the Far Left Over the Presidential Election (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Romney, Obama look for edge as campaign nears end (cnsnews.com)
- Five delusional right-wingers who have Mitt in a landslide (salon.com)
- Romney, Obama look for edge as campaign nears end (news.yahoo.com)
- Last Election For Electoral College? (businessinsider.com)
When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook
BY GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
AUSTIN, Texas—Bobbi Duncan desperately wanted her father not to know she is lesbian. Facebook told him anyway.
One evening last fall, the president of the Queer Chorus, a choir group she had recently joined, inadvertently exposed Ms. Duncan’s sexuality to her nearly 200 Facebook friends, including her father, by adding her to a Facebook Inc. discussion group. That night, Ms. Duncan’s father left vitriolic messages on her phone, demanding she renounce same-sex relationships, she says, and threatening to sever family ties.
The 22-year-old cried all night on a friend’s couch. “I felt like someone had hit me in the stomach …
- When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook (allthingsd.com)
- Internet Privacy Does Not Exist (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Gay Students’ Outing Highlights Privacy Flaws in Facebook Groups (webpronews.com)
- Facebook’s Wonky Privacy Controls Now Outing LGBT Youth Without Their Consent (betabeat.com)
- The Best Reporting on Facebook and Your Privacy – ProPublica (propublica.org)
- When You Post, the Wall Street Journal Might Listen (danceswithchaos.wordpress.com)
- The Ins and Outs of Facebook Advertising (clurradonald.com)
- Media Digest (9/14/2012) Reuters, WSJ, NYT, FT, Bloomberg (dailyfinance.com)
- Facebook Inc. (FB) Privacy Settings ‘Outing’ LGBT? (insidermonkey.com)
George W. Bush Returns To America After Spending 4 Years In The Himalayas | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
George W. Bush Returns To America After Spending 4 Years In The Himalayas
SEPTEMBER 25, 2012
The 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, who now wishes to be called Gomtesh.
JACKSONVILLE, FL—Garbed in unwashed robes and wearing a long, gray, wispy beard, former president George W. Bush returned to the United States this morning after spending four years on a spiritual journey in the Himalayas.
Sources said Bush, who hasn’t been seen in America since abandoning his Crawford, TX ranch and Secret Service detail at the end of his presidency, appeared on the shore in Jacksonville, FL, emerging from what appeared to be a crude self-built wooden boat and exhibiting a gentle, placid countenance as he addressed surprised onlookers.
“Nearly four years have passed since I embarked on my search for the answers to life’s mysteries, and now the complex passages of time have returned me here once more, to my homeland,” said the bedraggled yet serenely smiling 43rd president of the United States, accompanied by a young monk named Dawa whom he met during his two years studying in a Tibetan monastery, and by a mountain goat he reportedly adopted as a spiritual companion. “I return to my home enlightened by the wisdom of 10,000 lifetimes, so that I might guide all idle souls along the oft secluded path of generosity, truth, and righteousness.”
A file photo of Bush while he was living a nomadic existence in the Himalayas.
“I am but a gently falling leaf, buoyed by mountain winds,” the 66-year-old former Texas governor continued. “To see the way forward is to be connected to your own reality and be one with your consciousness—complete and pure, unburdened and without want.”
By his own account, Bush trekked across the Tibetan countryside for several months before deciding to devote his life to the study and teaching of transcendental meditation, later spending a year in seclusion during which he scaled Himalayan peaks while “guided only by the loudly whispering wind and harsh, merciless snow.” Sources reported the famed Republican is missing three toes from frostbite he suffered during his travels before mastering the ability to raise and lower his body temperature at will.
Throughout the makeshift press conference, the former president refused to respond to the name George Bush, repeatedly reminding onlookers that he now preferred to be called “Gomtesh,” a moniker reportedly bestowed upon him by members of the monastery after he “passed through to another realm of being.”
“My presidency, my wife, my daughters, and my name are all elements of a plane of existence that my fully realized soul no longer comprehends,” said Bush, describing the vows of renunciation he took upon entering the monastery, which required him to disown all vestiges of his former life. “Now I, Gomtesh, am a truer being, forgiven the sins of my past life and devoted to a life beyond the material world.”
Bush then closed his eyes and drew a deep breath, hushing bystanders who attempted to speak by telling them to “experience for a moment the expression of the universe.”
While several of the onlookers on site for Bush’s arrival were vocally critical of the former president’s administration, they admitted they were nonetheless impressed by his seeming connectedness to a higher spiritual force.
“I can’t say I ever agreed with the guy when he was in office, but he really seems be on some higher spiritual plane now,” Jacksonville resident Sean Davis said. “When someone asked him about his views on the upcoming election, he talked for 30 minutes about how power is but a raw diamond, precious when handled by an expert cutter yet, in the wrong hands, often impure and corrupting. Or something like that. It was beautiful.”
“Even being in his presence just felt…illuminating,” Davis added.
Though the former president remained relatively elusive while commenting on his eight years in office and discussing his political legacy, when asked about the thousands of casualties in the Iraq War, he reminded those gathered that “dying was not the end of life’s journey, but merely a new state of existence.”
“We are all eternal beings waiting to accept the true nature of death, which, in many ways, is merely a new beginning for the human soul,” Bush said. “And, you know, just to clarify, we know those soldiers did not die in vain because that would be saying that invading Iraq was the wrong decision, and I don’t believe that it was. When you’re the commander in chief of the most powerful nation on earth, sometimes you have to make difficult choices, and not everyone’s going to like those choices, but I’d like to see anyone else here make the call, because, I’ll tell you first hand, it’s a tough one. People who criticize the decision now speak with the benefit of a hindsight none of us had when our country was being attacked. The fact is, Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, and I think anyone would have made the same call I did, even if there were never any weapons of mass destruction. I would do it all again if I had to.”
“Aw, dammit,” Bush added after a pause. “Well, folks, it appears my journey is not yet complete.”
The former president and his companions then reboarded their vessel and drifted back out to sea.
- George W. Bush Not Able to Attend Romney Fundraiser in George W. Bush’s Own Home, Probably (slog.thestranger.com)
- Misunderestimating airplane windows | rabble.ca (mbcalyn.com)
- George P. Bush Making His Political Mark (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Ralph Nader Says Obama Is A ‘War Criminal’ Who Has Been ‘More Aggressive’ Than George W. Bush (weeklyintercept.blogspot.com)
- Ralph Nader Says Obama Is A ‘War Criminal’ Who Has Been ‘More Aggressive’ Than George W. Bush (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- George W. Bush And Apology (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- New ebook Argues 2012 is a Referendum on George W. Bush (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Jeb Bush for president? His son says probably not (miamiherald.com)
- Jeb Bush For President? His Son Says Probably Not (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- Bill Clinton’s Disgraceful Comments About George W. Bush (commentarymagazine.com)
Free Wood Post – George Bush is a “Damn Yankee”; Texans Move to Retroactively Impeach the Former Governor Over New “Birther” Controversy
George Bush is a “Damn Yankee”; Texans Move to Retroactively Impeach the Former Governor Over New “Birther” Controversy
September 1, 2012
All the hoopla about birth certificates and American Presidents just reached a new level. Ruth Davis of Mesquite, Texas exclaimed at a recent town hall meeting that “no one ever questioned George Bush’s birth certificate.” Don Jackson of Garland Texas then dropped a bombshell. He said, “actually I had looked into that and found startling evidence that George Bush was not a native Texan as many people were led to believe”.
Mr Jackson explained “when working in the public records office in the courthouse I once glanced upon a copy of the Ex Governor’s birth certificate and it stated that he was in fact born in Connecticut. I thought that maybe it was a prank played on me by a co-worker but now I think about it, it could be true. After all, ya’ll remember he did throw out that first pitch at the Yankees game, (no Texan would ever do that) and worst of all, he throws like a little girl. I was ashamed and embarrassed to speak of this, but I can no longer hold my tongue”.
If this is the case it would have made him ineligible to be Governor of Texas and they would have to retroactively rescind his stature and compensation. Any legislation that was passed during his tenure must now be overturned as well. The Texas constitution is quite clear that a Governor must be a natural-born citizen of Texas.
Clyde Dockweiler said, “no self-respecting Texan would EVER be led by a damn Yankee”. Enraged after learning of this deception the group quickly moved to adjourn the meeting. They planned to go home and gather their pitchforks and torches, then regroup and meet behind the barn at Jon David’s farm out near Rockwall. From there they would then head down to the Bush ranch and exact a little “Southern justice”.
The Bush family could not be reached for comment. His attorney said that “we have no intention of releasing the birth certificate and that any calls for such nonsense would be considered unpatriotic”. Being unpatriotic is now viewed in the same light as treason and classified as a 1st degree felony which carries the death penalty under the “Patriotic Act”. Ironically this law was enacted by Bush during his time as President.
On a side note, after hearing of the news country music stars, The Dixie Chicks–who nearly lost their career and had a long running feud with country star Toby Keith after saying during a concert in England that they were “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas”– released this statement today. “Ha, suck it Toby Keith, we knew something wasn’t right about this idiot and now we have proof, he ain’t no Texan, he’s a bloody Yank”.
The Texas legislature filed an immediate motion today demanding George W. Bush be impeached retroactively.
As far as the legitimacy of the Bush Presidency? No one was challenging that.
Bubba Jenkins from Sunnyvale said with smirk, “hell, if they’ll let that Kenyan, Muslim, Socialist run amuck up there in Washington, ain’t nobody gonna stop a Damn Yankee from being President. They don’t have the same sense of quality control that we have here in Texas. Damn, them liberals might even put a Mormon up in there next, I tell you what, this has gone to hell in a basket of trout.”
Don’t expect things to blow over anytime soon. Texans are proud of their heritage and birthright, having been fooled by a Yankee for so many years will undoubtedly leave a scar.
- Republican Convention Toasts The Bush Legacy (mysanantonio.com)
- The True Obama Story: Governing as George Bush While Running Against George Bush. (economicpolicyjournal.com)
- Rick Santorum, George P. Bush address Texas delegates (statesman.com)
- In Texas the big election is all over but the shoutin’ (star-telegram.com)
- Maher’s New Rule For GOP: Admit George W. Bush Exists (huffingtonpost.com)
- George P. Bush impresses Texans at RNC (reporternews.com)
- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush Boosts Romney, Defends Ex-President (blogs.voanews.com)
- saluting George H. W. Bush, torpedo bomber pilot (grandoldpartisan.typepad.com)
- George W. Bush on politics: ‘I crawled out of the swamp, and I’m not crawling back in’ (trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com)
- Louie Gohmert (R-TX): George W. Bush Did A Better Job in Afghanistan Than Obama (crooksandliars.com)